Consuming Cold Ones for Literacy

Ft. Lauderdale Chapter of Room to ReadIf you’ve ever considered that your binge drinking is problematic, come out this Saturday to make yourself feel a little better about it.  The local chapter of the non-profit organization, Room to Read, is hosting their first annual BEERS for BOOKS party this Saturday August 14th at the (self-proclaimed ‘World Famous’) Parrot Lounge on Fort Lauderdale beach.  If you’ve ever found yourself stumbling around on the north end of the beach, chances are you have been to this Philadelphia Eagles-themed dive bar.  All drunk jokes aside, the event will raise money to support Room to Read in their effort to fund youth education in Asia and Africa.  The average cost for the organization to send a child to school for one year is $250 and by patrons sparing a small admission fee, you are helping Room to Read reach that goal.  Admission to BEERS for BOOKS is $12, which includes one drink and access to the free buffet. Similarly, you can choose to donate a book, and your ticket will cost you only $10.  The organization will also be raffling off tickets to an upcoming Toby Keith concert (if you are unfortunate enough to be into that sort of music).  Venture down to the Parrot Lounge this Saturday to show your support for Room to Read and put your night, what otherwise might have been a sloppy Saturday night, to a good cause.

Saturday, August 14

3:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.

The Parrot Lounge

911 Sunrise Lane

Admission: $12 / $10 with book donation

Historic Swing Bridge Finally Re-Opens

by Kate

Living in South Florida we are all too familiar with drawbridges, but it was just over one year ago that I discovered Fort Lauderdale is home to one of few swing bridges that still exist across the globe.  Tucked away in a quiet residential corner of downtown Fort Lauderdale, two historic neighborhoods, Sailboat Bend and Riverside Park, have been connected by the North Fork New River Bridge since it was constructed in 1927.  This historic bridge is the oldest of five in the state of Florida.  Unlike drawbridges, swing bridges rotate on a pivot generally in the center of the bridge, swinging the bridge to allow waterway traffic to pass through on either side.  I’m unsure of the advantages or disadvantages of having a swing bridge, but regardless, it is a unique piece of Fort Lauderdale’s history that deserves some sort of recognition.

The bridge provides easy access to downtown Fort Lauderdale for residents of Riverside Park by allowing them to drive across the New River into the more conveniently located (if you consider downtown access convenient) Sailboat Bend.  Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Riverside Park, the bridge underwent much needed renovations in late summer of 2009 and only just re-opened this past Sunday, August 1st. I’ve rarely had the need to travel to Riverside Park in the past year but for whatever reason, the bridge closure felt extremely problematic.  Maybe because I had some strange desire to drive across the bridge simply because I could not or maybe because I used that as an excuse for not hanging out with a friend that resided in Riverside Park for several months.  All excuses aside, the bridge has now re-opened and there is an opportunity to explore a part of Fort Lauderdale that I know little about.


Jazz To Sweat To

by Kate

On the first Sunday of every month residents of greater Broward County gather for an event like no other–The SunTrust Jazz Brunch in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Why is this event like no other?  Because I cannot think of a single event that I’d want to sit through in the scorching midday heat that doesn’t involve sports or the heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages.  Don’t get me wrong, people do drink at Jazz Brunch.  However, given the extremely warm South Florida temperatures, I’ll take my intoxicated Sunday brunch inside, thanks.

The lawn of the Esplanade (park across from the Museum of Science & Discovery) becomes so packed that the event quickly consumes the entire area from the Performing Arts Center all the way to the railroad tracks.  In addition to the sounds of soft, poppy jazz tunes (I’ll get to that shortly), the Jazz Brunch soundtrack comes complete with crying babies, barking dogs, and the occasional interrupting train, which in comparison to a 5-year old screaming, is actually quite pleasant.  On the City of Fort Lauderdale’s website, on the Special Events page, it mentions that “everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets.”  Obviously this is not a rule that is abided by.  Leashed?  Yes.  Well-behaved?  Tell that to the woman pushing the yapping Shih Tzu in a Louis Vuitton stroller.


Free Parking? That’s Unheard Of!

by Kate

As a longtime resident and beach-goer of Fort Lauderdale, I have watched countless parking meters being erected at what were once free parking zones. Nowadays, free parking on Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront is virtually unheard of and the spots there  are, are few and far between. That is, unless you are smart enough (or don’t have too many outstanding parking tickets) to obtain a Resident Beach Parking Card (RBPC).

This very inexpensive card will prove to be the most valuable card you will carry, next to your glorious Florida driver’s license in which your photo, if taken at a South Florida DMV, probably looks like a criminal mug shot. Don’t let the two-page RBPC agreement scare you away; for just six dollars and a little proof of residency, the card is yours. You must have a current driver’s license, vehicle registration, a current utility bill, and a valid 12-month lease or proof of ownership of property within Fort Lauderdale. The card works like cash when you insert it into the parking meter, covering the cost of your parking in three select beachfront lots.

The three lots are:

  • Fort Lauderdale Beach Park – 700 Seabreeze Blvd
  • East Lot Birch/Las Olas Intracoastal
  • North Beach – A1A north of Sunrise Blvd

Granted this card will not save you from the ruthless meter maids if misused, it will however, save you a few bucks here and there so you can have that one extra drink from Blondie’s that you really just couldn’t afford.

The RBPC can be applied for in-person at the Fort Lauderdale Parking and Fleet Services Department (290 NE 3rd Ave) OR online at:

Q&A with Scott Putesky of Kill Miss Pretty

by Kate

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or more likely in our case, a palm tree) for the past month, you have probably heard something about Kill Miss Pretty. And unless you were born after 1990, you probably have a place in your heart for the early 90’s television drama, Twin Peaks. Put the two of these together and you have Friday night’s entertainment lineup at the Monterey Club in Fort Lauderdale. The event, which pays homage to the legacy of Twin Peaks, will include burlesque dancers and two sets, during which the members of the electro-punk band will be portraying the roles of the all too familiar small town cast. It’s safe to say, we are looking forward to seeing sexy rock vocalist Alicia Olink eroticize the character of teenage murder victim Laura Palmer. Come dressed in your finest Pacific Northwest threads and watch the murder mystery unfold.

Friday, June 25, 10 p.m.

The Monterey Club

2608 S. Federal Hwy.

Tickets cost $10

An FTLC contributor had the chance to get the latest scoop about KMP from newest band member and Marilyn Manson co-founder, Scott Putesky.

FTLC: So, you are the new addition to Kill Miss Pretty. Can you brief us on your musical history and how/when you ended up with KMP? Also, what do you feel you contribute to the band that may not have been there before?

Scott: As co-founder of MArilyn MAnson & The Spooky Kids I wanted to continue innovating whereas the rest of the band did not. I guess they couldn’t keep up. I struck out on my own and grew a lot. I worked with Jack Off Jill, collaborated and produced tracks for others and assembled a band called Stuck On Evil in which Martin Davis played bass as he does currently for KMP. Martin asked me to add a guitar track to the song Judy Garland and the part became integral. For fun I played three songs with them live including Judy … and Dogma … now we do the Spooky Kids song She’s Not My Girlfriend – with a contemporary tweak.

KMP has a unique style, very edgy and erotic, and the band really promotes Alicia as a sex symbol. Do you think this works to the advantage of KMP?

Alicia is our secret weapon of mass distraction. Just when you check her movin’ and groovin’ you realize you’re movin’ and groovin’ – but the song is what stays in your head. We just remind the listener that music itself sells sex.

What is the significance of the Twin Peaks theme for the show at the Monterey Club on Friday? And how do you plan to play the part of Special Agent Dale Cooper?

Russ and I are big fans of the show, the movie and David Lynch. Marilyn Manson’s cover of I Put A Spell On You appears in Lynch’s Lost Highway and my guitar solo starts as Patricia Arquet strips – it’s pretty awesome and I feel remotely honored. Twin Peaks is just about drinking age now and is a pop culture style all its own. I am going to walk around with my micro cassette recorder making notes for Diane (and probably save them for future use).

Until a few months ago nobody was really hearing from the band and suddenly you are all over the local news and going on a short national tour. Why the sudden buzz and can you tell us a little about the upcoming tour?

I work better when I’m doing so for others and I think I’ve revived the band’s enthusiasm and the fans’ motivation to come see us play. As far as the tour goes – a psychic told me to go west and “look for the smiling bag.”

Lastly, I met you on a random weeknight at my favorite local watering hole, the Poorhouse. What are the band members’ favorite Fort Lauderdale hang out spots?

Sorry, that’s privileged knowledge limited to our exclusive imbibement circle.