Breaking Away From The Gayborhood Might Be Just What You Need

Fall is in the air in Southern Florida and that means, well, not much will change. The temperature will still be in the 70’s to 90’s, but the rain and the humidity start to lessen. Hurricane season does not end officially until the end of November, but snowbird season usually starts about now, in October. Snowbirds are when the northerners leave their soon to be much cooler homes to come and inhabit their more tropical homes for the winter months.


Now you can take this influx of people in a couple different ways. Yay! More people on the grid! The “dating” apps get even more full. The bars get more packed. The roads and highways get more congested. It is very noticeable in all aspects.

One thing I like to do in the fall and winter is actually up my local travel game. As people are coming into into our space, I branch a little out to explore what is just around the corner. Here are a couple of things I’ve done recently and just loved the experiences.

Have A Quickie At A Hotel –

When it comes to finding some great dining options, we often stick to what we know or areas we know. One untapped restaurant resource often in any city are the restaurants at hotels and resorts. 


Put the “dating” app down and pull up your GPS – Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. Situated on the largest stretch of privately owned beach in South Florida, the resort has recently welcomed in a newly appointed Chef that is definitely here to please. Chef Damoriae Graham has turned the menu on its head at 3030 Ocean Restaurant and Bar

It’s worth the short five-mile drive from home to indulge and sample the offerings from the resort’s new Senior Sous Chef and Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean. Damoriae Graham previously worked with various restaurants on the West Coast. His and the restaurant’s goal was to blend the unique culinary styles of the Caribbean and Cuba, as well as flavors from across the Atlantic. We think he did quite well as my mouth is watering just thinking about the flavors he combined to make our taste buds dance.


You could always not opt for a quickie and could look into a staycation at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. We were there on a rainy weeknight, but wanted to see more of the Resort, especially outside. It’s located on 16 acres of private beach, home to four restaurants (3030 Ocean Restaurant, Sea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar, Riva, and Loggerhead Sand Bar) as well as HB Fresh and Starbucks. A wellness haven for travelers, the resort boasts an advanced fitness center and 22,000 square-foot spa where guests can indulge in rejuvenating treatments. Maybe a dip in the lagoon pool, some water sports or possibly enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches.


For more information, please visit or call 954-525-4000

Get Your Culture On –

I’ve been to the Boca Raton Museum of Art several times and am impressed during every visit. The shows and exhibits they provide the community are some of the best I’ve seen. One of the more unique ones recently, and is still there until January 22, 2023, is the Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy. It is the first museum show dedicated to Hollywood’s painted backdrops and had its world premiere in South Florida (April 20, 2022 ‒ January 22, 2023).  Yes, we all can imagine and remember those actors in front of those famous scenes, but this exhibit is to honor those who created these monumental canvases for the camera. The exhibit creates a magical portal that takes the terms “large-scale,” “immersive,” and “virtual reality” to a whole new level.

This exhibition of 22 scenic backdrops, made for the movies between 1938 and 1968, celebrates an art form nearly forgotten. This is a well-deserved moment in the spotlight for the dozens of unidentified studio artists. Their uncredited craftsmanship made scenes of Mount Rushmore, Ben Hur’s Rome, the Von Trapp Family’s Austrian Alps, and Gene Kelly’s Paris street dance possible.


The exhibition was originated by the Boca Raton Museum of Art and is co-curated by Thomas A. Walsh and Karen L. Maness, who played pivotal roles among a group of passionate Hollywood insiders to salvage these American treasures. For their story, here’s a video from CBS Sunday Morning.


It was jaw dropping to see these in person and of course brought back so many memories of some of the movies we love.


You have until January 22, 2023 to see this exhibit. But check out other exhibits, especially Reginald Cunningham: Black Pearls, the first-ever museum exhibition of Cunningham’s work, curated by Kelli Bodle, Assistant Curator. The Museum has commissioned Cunningham, nationally acclaimed for his brand, for this new series of photographs to honor the nearby historically Black neighborhood of Pearl City, celebrated as one of the earliest and longest lasting African American neighborhoods in Florida.

Park the Car & Take The Train –

I really dislike driving to Miami.  There, I said it. I did drive from Fort Lauderdale to Miami for 3 years and that was to Western Miami which is much less of a nasty commute congestion wise than going to Miami proper.

What is the solution?  Man oh man, I had a constant exhale, a sigh of relief when I was on the Brightline down to Miami. Zero worries about traffic, other drivers, obstacles in the road, road rage (mine or others). That’s what I had on the Brightline. I also had snacks and alcohol given to me on the train! Much better than getting caught with a road soda.


Since my first ride on the Brightline to Miami, I’ve paid attention to their web page for specials, programs, and incentives, but seriously, remembering that exhale, I know it’s a better option than the drive. And I’ve also kept it in mind when desiring to take in new restaurants, go to a game, play, or musical, or even to visit South Beach. The next promo is actually for people coming to Fort Lauderdale.

The world’s largest in-water boat show, The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), kicks off Wednesday, October 26. 

New to this year, the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show will offer Brightline riders exclusive shuttles to get to the show. For those traveling from north or south, Brightline provides the perfect options for stress-free travel to arrive in style. When guests have arrived at the Brightline Fort Lauderdale station, they will go to the lower level and jump on the FLIBS Red Shuttle Loop to receive complimentary service to and from The Riverside Hotel. FLIBS complimentary shuttles will begin to operate one hour before the show opens and will discontinue service one hour after the show closes. 

Brightline groups of four or more can use code ALLABOARD to save 25% on SMART fares for the FLIBS.


So when the gayborhood gets crowded, sure, we can stay and see what the cold northern weather has brought in for new options.  But we can as well branch out and take another look at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Area and what new culinary, cultural, or commuting options exist nearby. And when you come back to the gayborhood, tell everyone about the fun you had. I just did.

About the Boca Raton Museum of Art

Founded by artists, Boca Raton Museum of Art was established in 1950 as the Art Guild of Boca Raton. The organization has grown, now in its eighth decade, to encompass a Museum, Art School, and Sculpture Garden. As one of South Florida’s leading cultural landmarks, the Museum provides educational programs and a robust exhibition schedule to the community, and to visitors from around the world. Support for #BocaMuseumatHome

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