Places

Dania Beach

When we lived in Florida, we’d often choose to drive over to Dania Beach, because it was much less crowded than Hollywood or Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Sometimes you’d barely see someone else there and we loved that sort of quiet isolation. We’d set up our blanket and enjoy the sound of the gentle waves lapping the shore, the tropical breeze blowing through the palm fronds and mangrove leaves, punctuated by the occasional pelican calls or seagull caws. Sometimes we’d go there in the evenings and walk along the ocean shore, cooled by gusts of night wind coming in from the deeper waters.

Here is a gallery of 41 photographs I’ve taken there at various times. I included some images from the nearby Intracostal Waterway, too. I had many more of these photographs, but I experienced some data loss in recent years. Enjoy the ones I’ve still got! 🙂

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Places

A drive on A1A

I lived in South Florida for a number of years. I went to high school and graduate school there. I did a lot of driving up and down A1A over the years, since 1991 onward. During a stay in South Florida in 2010, we were returning home after a visit to Vizcaya, and we thought we’d drive up A1A from Miami Beach, to see how things had changed.

They had changed. Things have always been in constant change along the coast, at least to my knowledge. When I arrived in Florida and started going to the beach in Hollywood and Hallandale, there were a few multi-story apartment buildings here and there, with a few larger ones down the road toward North Miami, but the rest of A1A was quiet, with nice, Art Deco beach houses tucked away between large palm and mangrove trees and private beaches. Then, sometime in the mid 90s, larger apartment buildings began to rise. The invasion had begun. The traffic began. Whereas A1A had been a leisurely cruise down the coast, it eventually turned into one long traffic jam. People who’d lived in quiet little beach houses for years and years, saw to their dismay the rise of monstrously tall apartment buildings, right next door, obliterating their privacy. There must have been zoning law disputes and lawsuits, but eventually the large real estate developers won, because more and more apartment buildings rose on the beach.

I have to wonder how those things are anchored to the ground, because Florida has no bedrock. Underneath a fairly thin slice of topsoil, Florida is made of coral bed, which is porous and soft. The engineering knowhow required to build a proper foundation for a 40-50 story building right next to the beach, where it’s subject to high winds and hurricanes and the concrete is eaten away by salty water, must be fairly complicated and tremendously risky. But people want to live “the dream”, and for the people clamoring for a beachside apartment in South Florida, the real estate developers are happy to provide it.

The photos you’ll see here were taken from the car, as we drove up A1A toward Hallandale Beach. It was the spring of 2010. Side note: I do like the way they painted the Hallandale Beach Water Tower.

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Places

The inquisitive lizard

Having lived in South Florida for a long time, I’m used to seeing lizards of all sorts, but when I saw this large green fellow on the sidewalk, his iridescent hues mesmerized me and I quickly ran to get my camera. When I got back, he was still there, waiting for me. Not liking his vantage point though, he climbed up on a royal palm tree and got to eye level with me.

Then, as I shoved my camera in his face to get these closeups, he didn’t budge at all. He even offered different angles, as you’ll see below. Enjoy the photos!

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