Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hollywood to West Palm Beach

Hello and welcome back to Old Highway Notes. Once again we return to Miami and the start of Interstate 95. This week we will make some miles. So far we have bopped around the Miami area a little bit to take in the sounds and history. We will be hitting the road from the northern most place we have been so far. We start off from Gulfstream Park where the Miami International Pop festivals were held. From there we will continue up Interstate 95 for about 65 miles leading us to West Palm Beach Gardens. Here is one last look at Downtown Miami from an old postcard we found along the way.

Lummus Park in Downtown Miami (Flickr/Creative Commons)

OK, now lets take a look at the map.

 A Day At The Races: Hollywood and Hallandale Beach

Musically, I found this strip of highway pretty barren when I was doing research on the area. I mean, there are a lot of celebrities with Florida homes, but it seems there creativity was generally exercised elsewhere, with one exception we will get to later. So lets concentrate on the scenery. This vintage postcard shows Gulfstream Park, the start of our trip from sometime in the 1930's or 1940's before the Interstate was put in.

Gulfstream Park, at Hallandale, near Hollywood, Florida, 'the track by the sea', One of the nation's most scenic race courses

These days Gulfstream Park has returned to its natural gambling roots and the days of hippy communalism have given way to gambling and shopping. I guess that's always what a horse track should be about any way..Here is a play list of how things are at Gulfstream Park these days.

Fort Lauderdale: Where The Boys Are

We hit the highway and begin to drive North. This dash cam gives us a view as we head into Fort Lauderdale. You will note there are some nasty storm clouds on the horizon.

Here are some old postcards from Fort Lauderdale.

Air view, Bahia Mar Yacht Basin, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (flickr/CC)
Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel and Trade Winds Hotel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (flickr/CC)
To show you Fort Lauderdale today I assembled a play list that has a short history of the city, a tribute slide show video, and a dash cam tour around town.

As the video history mentioned, Fort Lauderdale has a reputation as a popular spring break destination, A lot of its fame can be traced back to The 1960 film "Where The Boys Are". From Wikipedia:
Where the Boys Are (1960) is an Metrocolor and CinemaScope American coming-of-age comedy film, written by George Wells based on the novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout, about four Midwestern college co-eds who spend spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The title song "Where the Boys Are" was sung by Connie Francis, who also co-starred in a supporting role. The film was aimed at the teen market, featuring sun, sand and romance. Released in the wintertime, it inspired thousands of additional American college students to head to Fort Lauderdale for their annual spring break.
The theme song used in the movie was not the version that was preferred by Connie Francis and its writer, Neil Sedaka. They released a studio version of the song in January of 1961, that created a synergy in demand for the film and even more spread the fame of the Fort Lauderdale when classes were off for the week. It was a successful record. Again from Wikipedia:
The different versions of the track would provide her with a #1 hit in some fifteen countries.[5] The Japanese version Atashi-no was even released in the US on MGM Records Single K 13005.[1]Where the Boys Are was comparatively less successful in the English speaking world: its US peak was #4 while the track peaked on both the UK and Australian charts at #5.[6] However, Where the Boys Are became Francis' signature tune and remains a fan favorite.
My music collection has an box set called The Brill Building Sound that features many of the songs Connie Francis and Neil Sedaka released including this one, our lone play list addition this week. Its interesting that it would make a Florida play list since it was written in New York and recorded in Hollywood, but it is forever tied to Fort Lauderdale, so there you have it. The video play list includes the opening credit for the films followed by the studio record release.

Life Is Good In Boca Raton

Hitting the road once again we jump onto Interstate 95 and head North to Boca Raton, Florida. This dash Cam poster has a funny description under his video:
The worst drivers in America are on this road.starting out in Broward County at I595 and driving North to Palm Beach County

A quick look about at Boca Raton is affluent gated suburbs,  A hub for business it seems rather lackluster to me, quite frankly. Posh enough I suppose. Here are a couple of Boca Raton videos, one from a local realtor and one a helicopter tour of the city.

Finishing the drive in West Palm Beach

Heading back on the road we continue north leading us to the end of today's drive, West Palm Beach Florida.

Now that we have arrived in West Palm Beach its about time to call it a day. On our video playlist lets take a spin through Lion Country Safari on the west side of town. After that we will make our way to the beach on the east side, steering clear of trouble along the way. A reminder that Interstate 95 is used my more than just tourists is our second video that talks about the cities Top 6 gang, From there, we take a tour of West Palm Beach in our third video. Our fourth and last video is of the beaches of West Palm Beach which is where we will retire for the day.

Thank you for joining us for this weeks Old Highway Notes. Join us next week as we return to Route 66 in Chicago and continue our blues journey though that city. In two weeks we will be in San Diego County on old Highway 101. Then just three short weeks from now we return to Florida to continue our trip up Interstate 95. Until we meet again, drink plenty of water and use lots of sunscreen,

A Nice View After a Long Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida (Flickr/CC)

Mileage Stats

Route 66: 0 Miles/1 State/523 Tracks/95 Videos/23 Posts
Highway 101: 13  Miles/1 State/459 Tracks/156 Videos/17 Posts
Interstate 95: 77 Miles/1 State/11 Tracks/40 Videos/6 Posts
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