Library …. Danger … Danger

I expect more violence at our Main Downtown Library …….. let me tell you why …

This morning I jogged through the tent city, as I do about once weekly,  to see if we’ve made any progress with this difficult problem, but sadly, there was no sign of any….

….. As I wound my way through the dirty mess,  I was stopped by one of the tent city residents ….

…..”stock photo of danger!”

What you need….what you need…..  he stood in front of me….. I realized what I needed at this point was to keep jogging !  …..  He was insistent…..  what you, police? ….. he pushed me in the back and told me to get out  ….. I jogged on –   “goodness sakes” , I thought aloud, ” this is our Main Downtown Library ?” ….

 

Tent City …. Fort Lauderdale (on a dollar, or less a day)

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale  !

This is the City’s signature downtown Main Library, where you can camp outside in a tent for nothing….. But beware,  there is little upkeep, smells of urine, and has some sketchy characters at camp !

….tenting options abound, here is one that gives you that “I’m camping on the edge of a cliff” feeling….

…. free clothing, and meals  suddenly appear free of charge – daily

a transportation Pod is conveniently located in the front !

…  I went in looking to talk with someone, trying to make sense of the fiasco, but no one seemed too eager to talk …except for….

True ( that’s his name) ……    he lives here with his girlfriend, he’s from prison, drug charges,  she’s from New Jersey …..  he says the conditions suck, but that after Sorenson has taken an interest, things are a bit better ….and he says that he might make a movie of the whole stinking mess ….. she says she can’t believe there aren’t more services for folks like them …..

He says anytime someone wants to talk about Fort Lauderdale Tent City, just come round and ask for the Truth ! (that’s what he said !)

……

 

Rocky Mountain High !!

I think I found the WEST !  …..   and I’m diggin it !

….. that is actually Pikes Peak behind me …..  In Colorado springs, an hour from Denver  …..  a magical place !

…. look closely at this picture  …. that’s actually two little tiny people on top that mountain  ! …. Cray Cray !

….. I couldn’t get enough of this State…   here’s another pic I just have to share …

I think this rock is about to fall over ….anyhow, they call this wild land Rocky Mountain high   ….

Now I get it ……

I should’ve bought the t-shirt too 🙂

……. and if you go there ever, you MUST see the Red Rock amphitheater –

just the coolest place- th Beatles played there in 1964 !!!

 

…………  until next time – Tim

Timisstillgoing!

My Great American Road Trip has passed the 2000 mile mark, and the further west I go, the more fun I’m having ( probably the thin air 🙂

My last post had me at the gateway to the west, and the first stop had to be Kansas City…. You see, my famous rock and roll band -Sunday’s at Five- plays the song Kansas City and in the second verse it talks about “standing at the corner of 12th Street an Vine ….

Turns out, there IS  NO 12th Street and Vine ! ….damn songwriters !  …. but there is a 18th Street and Vine, so I got out the trusty Martin, stood in front of  “The Museum At 12th Street and Vine” and song a few bars to no one in particular…

Then came the long boring slog across Kansas…..  But imagine my joy when I finally came across the “El Paso County County Fair !

Cows,pigs,sheep, dinosaurs …Oh My

*the dinosaur was just at the gas station 🙂

……more fun later ….. Tim

 

Tim’s GreatAmericanRoadTrip !

… America is so BIG ! … I’m into this road trip about 1000 miles so far, and I’m having a blast (and  am exhausted 🙂    …. I left St Louis, Missouri a few days ago, ( headed west young man) – and I need to give  those of you that have joined me – virtually, an update …

Before  I forget,  before St. Louis I stopped in Paducah Kentucky on the way to St Louis  …… Sad place ….but in the 1950’s, it produced Uranium or some such thing. and they are still proud of it !…. (see pic above)

…….   but St. Louis, Missouri…. big great City …..   but … yes, also a mess ….

Downtown is nice, but this is what you see just outside ..

Here I am stopping to look at a leasing option ….  I hear you can buy some of these for one dollar…. I passed …

I decided not to camp in St. Louis and got a room at a nice Days Inn about a mile outside downtown….. the desk clerk suggested I take my scooter ( that’s what I take to get around the cities) in the room….. seriously

…. But to give the City their due credit, their downtown is quite nice –

Of course the Gateway Arch is spectacular, and as big as the Washington monument !  … this is where Lewis and Clark started their trek to find a way west to the Pacific Ocean –

immortalized on the river !

…. and the City takes their art seriously   …..  it is everywhere –

a man without a head –

a head…..

…even Pinnochio on rollers!

…..  but the most interesting thing about St. Louis –

… they stole the Pier 66 !

….  OK, I’ll be in Denver in a few hours….I’ll check back in then …. Tim

 

Tim’s tour ( can you join me?)

So I’m wandering across America on an exciting road trip …. that’s what Tim is up to now-a-days !

This is our yellow RV   ….  I think I’m calling it the Banana …..it may be a bit bright, but it is all outfitted with everything you need … bed , bath, kitchen, TV, A/C etc….. and it gets 20 m.p.g…… !

The road trip started from our cabin in Ga…..

This is our backyard there  …..YEOWWW !

Anyhow,  after leaving Ga., I cruised into

I set up camp just outside Birmingham, and found a typical southern joint and met some friends ….

…let’s just say they were a hoot 🙂

……. the next morning, it was off to Nashville …..  and what a town … first, I went to see the American Pickers store (it  looked a lot like my son’s store Oddballs Nifty Thrift on NE 13th Street )

I bought a couple of gifts, and then I went down into town to Broadway, where the honky- tonks are absolutely everywhere…. food drink music …. rinse lather repeat !..

I wandered into one club and the music was calling…. I found myself up on the stage singing “Pretty Woman” ! …… the crowd yelled ” do you know how to sing far far away? “….. I didn’t know that one so I stopped with one  ….

So, I was already having more fun that is probably legal … before I saw the mirage ….. a whisky tour  …… with samples !!

They certainly had plenty barrels , but of course I was only there for the educational aspect – the process of fermenting, aging , the casks that are charred etc…..  and I swear I only tasted the different products as instructed !

I did buy a nice bottle for later 🙂

 

….. I’ll report back in later  – next stop, the St. Louis arch !

“It’s All Good ” …. Tim Smith -May 31, 2018

Hi all…..

It’s been awhile since I posted, but I do miss most everyone  🙂

Another time I’ll get into the past election, I have lots of thoughts on it, but for now, it still feels best to just forget about it… So I thought I’d just say hi and share the article below, it just came out from a nationwide commercial real estate and business site, Bisnow, and it’s all about the raving success of 13th Street ! ….

Now that’s fun to talk about ….. here it is…..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Fewer Cars Has Meant More Retail For Upstart Fort Lauderdale Corridor

South Florida
Economic Development
May 30, 2018 Deirdra Funcheon, Bisnow South Florida

Longtime Fort Lauderdale resident Tim Smith said in the early 2000s, his middle-class neighborhood of Middle River Terrace had become beset with drugs and crime.
“If people were walking around here, they were looking for drugs,” he said. “If they were running, they were running from cops.”

 

 

A ‘before’ image shows Fort Lauderdale’s 13th Street Corridor before its makeover.

Fired up, he began a years long initiative to transform his neighborhood. Smith brought attention to one key corridor, where the city eventually narrowed and beautified streets and welcomed pedestrians and retail.
“Now, if you see someone walking down the street, it’s for the stores, and if they’re running, it’s for their health,” Smith said.
The process wasn’t quick or easy. First, Smith won a seat on the city commission, where he got the ball rolling to establish a Community Redevelopment Agency to benefit his area. The CRA, which didn’t get established until 2012, after Smith left office, and another neighborhood group, the Central City Alliance, focused on an unremarkable half-mile corridor along 13th Street in Fort Lauderdale that was not being used for much of anything except a cut-through for speeding commuters to dodge traffic on main thoroughfares.
With a $2.5M CRA grant, neighborhood leaders decided they would beautify the stretch, make it pedestrian-friendly and lure businesses.
Perhaps most remarkably, even though retailers often want high-traffic locations, the planners decided that here, they would cut, rather than add, a road lane, making it a Complete Streets project. That decision has been crucial to attracting businesses, Smith said. Savvy investors took notice and began to snatch up real estate in the corridor, and “Johnny-come-latelys followed,” he said.

 

 

The ‘after’ rendering shows how landscaping and bike lanes improved Fort Lauderdale’s 13th Street corridor.

In 2015, Warsaw Coffee Co. opened at 815 NE 13th St. with a 3,800 SF space. It was founded by Scott Ojeda and Blaise McMackin, who had brought life to another unremarkable area on Andrews Avenue when he opened Tap 42 bar and restaurant several years prior. That business has grown into multiple locations throughout South Florida.
Over the past couple of years, as Warsaw Coffee developed a following, the city of Fort Lauderdale reduced a lane of traffic along 13th Street between Northeast Fourth and Ninth avenues. In its place came on-street parking and bike lanes. The city added streetlights and landscaping.
Fort Lauderdale spokesperson Chaz Adams said that the project was just completed last fall, and it is still early to measure its impact. But Jaime Sturgis, founder of Native Realty in Fort Lauderdale, isn’t waiting to declare the area a success.
“It’s quickly becoming a young Las Olas,” he said, referencing Fort Lauderdale’s main retail thoroughfare.

Sturgis is marketing several properties for lease, including a six-parcel portfolio owned by Abby Laughlin, who spent $3.5M assembling properties between 2016 and 2018 and has focused on bringing public art to the corridor.
Laughlin, who had previously found success selling properties she assembled and held for 25 years in Frederick, Maryland, said she has always been interested in adaptive reuse and incremental development. After retiring, she and her husband moved to Fort Lauderdale.
“If this is a place the city is investing in, it’s a place I should invest in,” she said. “It’s right there in between Wilton Manors and Flagler Village. I saw that people are looking for new experiences. People are getting priced out of Flagler Village. This is a new opportunity for the creative class.”
Laughlin painted exteriors of buildings, brought in some muralists and made connections with area arts groups. She said there is green space that gives it a “botanical feel.”

Smith’s 28-year-old son opened a thrift store called Oddballs in Laughlin’s 8K SF building. It serves beer and wine and has become a neighborhood hangout. Two women are opening a beer/wine/tapas place with garden seating out back soon, Laughlin said. She said she has letters of intent from a Pilates/juice bar concept and a doggy boutique called Bow Wow. Laughlin said her asking rents are $20 to $25 per SF, whereas Flagler Village is asking $45 and Las Olas $100.
With a $100K Community Redevelopment Block Grant from the city, Warsaw Coffee’s team opened a new concept, Milk Money Bar & Kitchen, next to Warsaw last year. A men’s barber shop, Buck & Beards, soon followed and Gulfstream Brewing opened across the street. An antique store, Il Gufo, opened too, as did a clothing store, Kult.

Smith said young people are seeing Fort Lauderdale as a place to settle — in line with nationwide trends that have millennials choosing affordable secondary cities like Charlotte, Nashville and Denver over expensive urban centers like New York or San Francisco.
“A new art gallery is being discussed for the 900 block of 13th Street,” Adams said. “Since the project has been completed, discussions of additional investments have been floated within the half-mile corridor, and we will continue to track these as they develop. Moving forward, dozens of new jobs are expected along this area of investment of the city to create many opportunities for our neighbors and reinvigorate the central city neighborhood.”
Adams noted that the city is also looking to rezone the 13th Street corridor area for both business and residential uses and as a walkable, active streetscape. Smith said he is pushing for flexible zoning that would allow live/work spaces such as offices with upstairs apartments.
“This is a ‘Good guys win!’ story,” Smith said.

Fort Lauderdale High School Protest !

protest1

 

…….I went over to Fort Lauderdale High School this morning when I heard that the students were protesting the backward gun laws that allowed a mentally troubled young person to buy a military type assault weapon.

The murderer couldn’t legally buy a beer at 7-eleven, but in twenty minutes, bought a semi automatic weapon that killed seventeen kids in three minutes !

 

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So I was encouraged by this show of civic conscience from our young people, and went over to thank them for standing up and being counted!

 

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Some students worried that they might get in trouble, so I walked over and talked to the principal (pictured behind me to the right), and she seemed OK by the protest….

 

…….  The young people were intense, sincere, truly worried for their world –

 

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Let’s hope this senseless tragedy actually changes things ……

 

…………………….  Tim

 

…. call Tim anytime at 954-822-4727

Poli-tics

In case you forgot, I am in the middle of a run-off for Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner….

 

 

note5

 

And the  one thing that I have been reminded of about politics  is the Latin root of the word –   …………….   POLI …… meaning many, ………..  and ……………. TICS ……  meaning blood sucking insects !!

 

Yes, it can be a rough and tumble business, this politics, here is just one example … The signs you see littered about for we candidates are not cheap ( about 4 bucks each) so when I realized that at least half of the 400 signs I’ve purchased had been stolen, I had to think of something !

 

sign2

 

Goop …!      ……This sign ( all my signs only go on private property, with the permission of the owner), has seldom lasted a week, so I brought out the good old  goop,….

 

 

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I glued it six ways from Sunday, and finally to the iron pole beside it  🙂

It will probably be gone tomorrow ……….

PS   …. Please send me some money so I can buy more signs 🙂

 

[wpedon id=”1741″]

Paid for and approved by the Tim Smith for Fort Lauderdale Commissioner campaign

Time To Pull For Our Friend Marge !

Many of you know our dearest friend Marge Anderson. She is one of the most decent, pleasant, caring, involved and smart Fort Lauderdale residents ever !…..

 

margeplay

Marge playing role of Ivy Stranahan in Smith history play !

 

So when Marge went out to Seattle to visit her son this Christmas, and thought she was having a stroke, (that turned out to be brain cancer), we were all totally aghast – beside ourselves. Marge has been a friend, an activist, a neighborhood President ( treasurer, secretary etc.), served on many City Boards, belongs to the 1919 Club, volunteers for Insight for the Blind and on and on, and is just plain well known and highly respected around these parts …

She is also  my best bud, and when she called to give me the tough news, I said ” I’m coming out” …No no she said, you’ve got a campaign to run”  ( that’s how Marge is).  So I hung up and booked a flight to Seatlle  ..

 

marseattle1

 

 

(I arrived at the airport, and, just as an aside, the Seattle WAVE was zooming by  – yes, out there it goes to the airport, what a concept !!)

 

 

marwave1

 

I got a rental car ! …..

Before leaving Fort Lauderdale, I had put word out to all her friends that I was going…. I told them to bring a card or note or something to me that I could take to Marge from them   ….. They poured in  …..  On my first night there, I got to her son’s house and dumped the load of letters and well wishes on their kitchen table  …. She was quite pleasantly surprised  .. We read them all. I had  told everyone that Marge said no crying , so the letters were fun, and we laughed quite a bit  …

 

 

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Early the next day I picked her up for a full day of fun, and much serious talking  …. She gave me the full lowdown, all the details ……  I think Marge is ready for what is to come ….

 

 

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We just roamed around – explored and talked…… The Space Needle, the fish market, a long lunch ( with wine !)

She explained how the radiation would start very soon, that she is staying out there for treatment, but wants to be home ASAP, misses her busy life …..  We decided together that she would beat this beast, and I learned that she had already started to document the whole rotten experience, to help others …..  She said I could tell the story of her bravery and determination….

 

At the end of the second day there, I had to get ready for another long flight back home ….. I asked her if there was anything she needed or wanted  ….  She casually said she didn’t think the treatments would be so tough, but somehow inserted, kinda under her breath, that pot was legal in Washington State  …..  I googled pot shops near the area and there just happened to be one two blocks away !  ….

 

marpot1

 

Marge went back to her son’s house with a nice bag of peppermint patties ( they’re pretty creative out there) …

So pull for Marge however you can, send her an email to margery1@bellsouth.net, and she and I will keep you informed…….

 

Tim