“Why doesn’t the landscaping along ocean boulevard at Palm Beach look more like Beach Road on Jupiter Island?”I asked Bobbie Lindsay, a Town Council member, who was sitting next to me on Monday morning at a Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce breakfast at The Breakers. “It used to,” she smiled. While on Jupiter Island last Sunday, I couldn’t help but marvel at the subtle spectacle that begins the moment you cross the bridge at the north end, wondering whatever happened to Palm Beach? Alas, the triumph of ficus hedges.
About that time, the Chamber’s guest speaker, architect Rick Gonzalez, began speaking on his recent trip to present day Havana, no longer “The Paris of the Americas” when Europe’s finest town planners designed Havana’s parks and streets while McKim, Mead & White, Carrere and Hastings, and Schultze and Weaver provided blueprints for hotels and mansions. Much like today’s Venice, Havana’s significant buildings have been exploited by horizontal and vertical subdivision, or “facadomy,” as it is best described. I couldn’t help but recall when The Breakers’ 1,000-foot pier was lined with railroad tracks, allowing passengers to step from railway cars onto steamers that took them directly from the end of the pier to Nassau and Havana. Progress and hurricanes have long since washed away any memory when The Breakers pier was the first Port of Palm Beach. Then, there were the seaplanes that took off from Singer Basin after dinner at the Everglades Club and checked into the Hotel Nacional de Cuba for all-night gambling in the hotel’s casino then heading to the Tropicana for the 4 am show before returning to the club’s golf course for an 8 am tee time at Palm Beach.
January 6, 2020 – 8 am Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce Breakfast The Breakers
Here are some of my iPhonetography impressions.
January 8, 2020 – 6 pm Gardens Conservancy honors Fortin Foundation Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens Evening of Music & Art in the Garden