But in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and ’90’s, Suzan Strauss was a street style star for the colorful outfits she designed, always worn with platform boots as high as horses’ hooves and a towering hat covering her hair.
The effect, said photographer Osker Jimenez, was to make her look seven feet tall as she glided slowly along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, among the era’s pierced punks, dark goths and glam rock kids.
Fascinated with this self-assured, eccentrically-dressed woman, Jimenez photographed her for a decade, eventually publishing two books and staging a photo exhibition of his Strauss photos.
It’s that time of year when weekends are filled with festivals galore! And this weekend kicked off two big ones:
The Latin Food and Music Festival:
The Latin Food and Music Festival went above and beyond the expectations.
This was the inaugural Latin event of its kind held at the South Florida Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18 in West Palm Beach. Surprisingly, it brought an outstanding attendance doubling expectations.
The event was split into two different areas: indoor bazaar-style market, and outdoor food ‘paraiso!’ From Colombian Arepas and Mexican Tacos to your typical fair funnel cakes, the food offerings featured many Latin American flavors. But where was the fiesta? Inside, with AC!
Don’t let the commodity of the air conditioning fool you, the party was hot! Headliners such as Tito Puente Jr. and Angel y Kriz performed lively on stage, meanwhile, the guests got to show off their Latin moves with each classic tune. Even the police officers couldn’t help but move!
If there was one thing you missed by not attending West Palm Beach’s Taste of Soul Food Festival on the downtown waterfront, it was the amazing Caribbean dishes and soul food plates. For less than $10, you got a protein, and at least three sides and a drink.
The live music performances kept men and women on their feet and in front of the stage vibin’ the entire time. Even the children were shaking their hips as they danced to songs like “Cha-Cha Slide” and “Drop That ‘NaeNae.”
Many attended the event to see Stephen Marley’s performance. He and his band arrived just as the sun was setting. The sounds of his voice and the live band were soothing and served as the perfect way to end the night.
The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is Sunday. Palm Beach Post reporter Staci Sturrock wrote this column on the tenth anniversary of the attack:
It’s been years since I had the heart to sift through the contents of the vintage suitcase in my spare bedroom. But recently, I flipped open the latches of the hard-sided, marbled-green Samsonite.
There was the paper air-filter mask someone handed me on the streets of New York 10 years ago this Sunday.
There were the reporter’s note pads, scribbled with quotes like this one from an eyewitness to the attack on the twin towers: “At first, we were just watching the smoke, and then we saw people jumping or bodies falling out of the windows. They were like rag dolls.”
Or this one, jotted down two days later outside the Lexington Avenue Armory, where families sought help in locating what we then called “the missing”: “We just hope someone will tell us where we can go to find our son.”
And there, the pair of battered black sandals.
I wore the shoes most of that week, when I happened to be in New York to attend fashion shows, and wound up covering a national tragedy.
Now, I remember why I couldn’t bear to look inside the suitcase. It’s my very own “hurt locker” of recent history.
The Samsonite is also a time capsule of sorts, a historic relic, a souvenir of an era long past.
This particular model was popular in the 1950s, when the person who drove you to the airport could escort you to the gate and kiss you goodbye. When you didn’t have to remove your shoes and belt and jacket to pass through security. When grabbing your bags and heading to the airport meant packing your sense of adventure, not a couple of Xanax.
Stored inside, I can see the technological changes of 10 years. There’s a small stack of faxes.
A horizontal credit-card receipt that had been put through an old-fashioned, sliding imprinter. A packet of 36-exposure film developed at an Eckerd drugstore, not instantly routed from a phone to my Facebook page.
The photos trace my path after I scribbled this note during the initial post-attack phone call from my editor: “first person story, center of the apocalypse, walk as far south as possible.”
And so, around 10 that morning, I headed south from my Times Square hotel. Along the way, I talked to dazed New Yorkers and aimed my point-and-shoot camera at pedestrians trudging mid-avenue, pausing to stare at smoke billowing in the distance.
Out on the streets, news updates weren’t as near as the palm of your hand. Smartphones? Tablet computers? Try the occasional transistor radio or jam box. I didn’t even own a cellphone then, and neither did the many residents waiting at pay phones to call home.
Here’s a photo of information-gathering, circa 2001: two dozen strangers huddled around a car, its windows rolled down and radio cranked up.
And here’s a snapshot of how quickly hospitals mobilized that morning — attached to a tree, a hand-lettered sign that read “Blood needed at St. Vincent’s.”
Scores waited in line to donate at the Greenwich Village hospital, where green-scrubbed doctors stood outside, next to office chairs draped in white sheets, ready to ferry the wounded who never arrived.
And, in my note pad, phrases evoking the surreal nature of a catastrophe that was simply unbelievable, even with the evidence written in a disfigured skyline:
“NYC bus goes by with paramedics in every seat. … Police riding in back of Ford F-250 pickup.”
“A priest wearing a dusty white hard hat.”
“Soot falling from sky like snowflakes.”
In the end, I made it within half a mile of ground zero before encountering a policeman who had every reason to be impatient, but wasn’t. “I even threw NBC out,” he said. “Unfortunately, you guys gotta go, too.”
The days that followed were a blur of interviews with tourists and mourners and downtown residents trying to retrieve the pets they’d hastily abandoned in apartment buildings adjacent to the Trade Center.
My photos do a poor job of conveying that week’s schizophrenic mix of pride, sorrow and hopefulness: American flags hung from fences and scaffolding. The makeshift memorials of roses and sunflowers, candles and messages of peace. Mailboxes papered over with missing-person fliers.
Those hastily Xeroxed pleas for information — which typically featured professionals in their prime, oblivious to the violent fate that awaited them — were mind-boggling in number.
Two posters were handed to me outside the Lexington armory, where many fathers and mothers, friends and co-workers sought out reporters, or anyone else, who would listen to their stories.
One shows a handsome 32-year-old man in a swimming pool with a young child. He is Mario Nardone, and on Sept. 15, 2001, The New York Times described the bonds broker, who worked on the 84th floor of the South Tower, as the guy with “the million-dollar smile and the million-dollar heart.”
Less than a week later, The Times ran an obit of the lovely woman on the other flier. Rosa Julia Gonzalez, also 32, a Port Authority secretary. After the terrorists flew into the South Tower, Gonzalez called one of her six sisters, then tried to make her way to the street from the 66th floor.
According to news reports, Gonzalez was descending the stairs with her friend Genelle Guzman-McMillan when the building collapsed. Almost 27 hours later, McMillan became the last person pulled alive from the wreckage.
Gonzalez was not so lucky.
Last month, my boyfriend asked, gently and without judgment, if I’d like to get rid of the suitcase, or at least the contents that give it so much physical and emotional weight.
We’ll be in Lower Manhattan on Sunday, and maybe, he suggested, we could leave a few items in tribute at the new 9/11 Memorial, the one inscribed with 2,983 names.
I didn’t know what to say. He finally spoke: “You’re not ready to let it go.”
I guess I’m not, and I’m not sure why. I experienced 9/11 at such a remove that it’s wrong to say I “experienced” it at all. I wasn’t in the center of the apocalypse; I was an observer on its outskirts, and after six long days, I returned to the comforting routines of home.
But it seems heartless to discard the fliers or the photos or the note pads, or even say goodbye to those worn-out sandals.
Now, as I handle the shoes, lyrics from a favorite song by the folk trio The Be Good Tanyas come to mind:
You pass through places
And places pass through you
But you carry ’em with you
On the soles of your travellin’ shoes.
The suitcase is where I carry ’em with me — those memories of places I hope we never pass through again.
1) Tito Puente, Jr. will be rocking the Arts Garage in Delray Beach June 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. Puente and his Latin Jazz Ensemble have been called “a dazzling show filled with charisma, flair, and all the right dance moves.” Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.
2) Roar & Pour will take over the Palm Beach Zoo June 4 starting at 4:30 p.m. with food, drinks, and live music. The June event will feature San Francisco-infused food including grilled chicken on sour dough, chicken teriyaki, and burgers or hot dogs. The event will also feature a drink menu fueled by Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach with the band starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information, and tickets, visit the zoo’s website.
3) The Everglades Experience is coming to West Palm Beach at the Grassy Waters Preserve June 4 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The event will feature a guided tour along the land and is intended for children 10 and older. Tickets start at $15 for adults and $7 for children with more information here.
4) Darius Rucker, Dan and Shay, and Michael Ray are jamming on the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater stage June 4 at 7 p.m. The Grammy-winning artist, Rucker, started with Hootie & the Blowfish in 1986, but has since gone solo with four albums, most recently “Southern Style” and “Home for the Holidays.” Tickets start at $33 and can be purchased here.
5) “Weird Al” Yankovic is bringing his brand of music and comedy to West Palm Beach and the Kravis Center on June 4 at 8 p.m. The artists is currently in the middle of his “The Mandatory World Tour” and is known for hit parody songs such as “Eat It” and “Like a Surgeon.” He is also one of three people to have had top 40 singles in each of the last four decades, joining Michael Jackson and Madonna. Tickets start at $22 and can be purchased here.
6) Founder’s Day is back at the Flagler Museum with free admission at the gate on June 5 starting at noon and going until 5 p.m. Visitors are offered a self-guided tour of Whitehall through a museum that has been called “an absolute must-see.” For more information on what the museum will be offering, visit their website here.
7) Music in the Museum will be overtaking the Boca Raton Museum of Art on June 5 from 3 until 4 p.m. Performances include Antonio Rincón and David Block on piano and violin. Rincón was trained at the Peabody Conservatory of Music while Block studied at Florida Atlantic University. The concert is free with the cost of the museum’s admission. For more information, click here.
8) Cyndi Lauper just wants to have fun with guests of her concert June 11 at 8 p.m. at the Mizner Park Amphitheater. The Grammy, Emmy, and Tony-winning artists is celebrating more than 30 years in the business and global record sales of more than 50 million. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased here.
9) Journey and the Doobie Brothers will be rocking out with the small town girls living in a lonely world on June 11 at 7 p.m. in the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater in Wellington. Journey rose to popularity in the 1970s with hit songs such as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Faithfully” with the former hitting number one on iTunes in 2009, becoming the top-selling track on the site not from the 21st century. The Doobie Brothers started in the 1970s with a brief split in the later portion of that decade. Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased here.
10) Beach Walk around Delray Beach on June 11 from 9 a.m. from 10 a.m. The event will feature a guided walk of the beach where participants will investigate plants, animals, and learn more about the ocean. The hour-long program costs $8 per-person with more information here.
11) The Lake Worth Mango Festival will be taking place on June 11 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. around the city. The event will feature programs along Lake Ave. with food from Eat Da Bone BBQ & Jerk and Sherri’s Breads from the Heart, which will feature mango-infused additions to the timeless favorites. Artists such as TombiFlow and Charles Pan Vibes will be performing d the festival with other street performers showing up. For more information, visit the festival’s website.
12) The Don Quixote Spring Concert will be taking over the Wellington High School Theatre on June 11 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on June 12 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. The concert promises to take audiences into the world of 19th century Spain “brought to life by beautiful costumes, exceptional acting, and vibrant dancing.” It will be performed by the Arts Dance Generation of Palm Beach County with guest artists Carlos Ignacio Galindez and Aaron Melendez, formerly with the National Ballet of Cuba, joining the group. Tickets start at $30, with a discounted price of $20 for students, and can be purchased here.
13) Food Truck Safari will be at the Palm Beach Zoo on June 18, starting at 4:30 p.m. With the truck windows opening at 5 p.m., the ones set to appear include Caribbean Cowboy, The Minivan Food Truck, Woody’s Burgers, World Fusion Cuisine, and Melted Madness. Barrel of Monks Brewing will be providing drinks with admission starting at $10 for nnon-adultmembers, $8 for adult members, $7 for child non-members, and $6 for children members. Those under three get in for free with more information here.
14) Maks and Val Live On Tour: Our Way will be at the Kravis Center on June 19 at 8 p.m. The dance tour includes Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, two of the stars of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and will have the brothers bringing to life some of their childhood moments and life stories. “Val and I have pushed each other to be better dancers every day since we were kids, and this show will fulfill a lifetime dream to perform on the same stage together across the country,” said Maksim on the event. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.
Leading up to Wednesday’s charity polo match in Wellington, the Prince of England and the Prince of Polo engaged in a week of texting banter about whose team would take home the trophy from the Prince’s Sentabale Royal Salute Polo Cup, said Nacho Figueras, Argentinean polo god and Ralph Lauren model.
Figueras, a Sentabale Ambassador for the Prince’s African children’s charity, paused to speak to the media before the match, which was held May 4 under rain-swollen skies on a sodden private polo field south of Lake Worth Rd.
“He’s really fun,” said Figueras of his royal pal. “We’ve been joking about who’s going to win. He’s really fun to be around.”
Nacho, who has four children, said he strongly supports Sentabale’s mission of helping children living with HIV and AIDS. He and Prince Harry, who’s on the cover of new People talking about how his life mission is to “make my mother incredibly proud,” visited the the charity’s operation together in the southern African country of Lesotho.
“It’s important to get over the stigma of HIV,” Figueras, 39, said, “and to get behind these kids. They’re the future of Africa.”
A casually-dressed Harry, wearing a scruffy red beard, showed up a few minutes later escorting Figueras’ wife, photographer Delfina Blaquier.
“Welcome to the Sunshine State,” the ginger-haired Prince, 31, said, laughing, indicating the gray skies overhead.
The Prince, fifth in line to the English throne, seemed to have some royal power over the weather.
As soon as he arrived at the Valiente Polo Farm, where the event was held, the afternoon torrent trickled to a drizzle, then stopped for the duration of the match. It started up again at the end of the games, as trophies were awarded.
After the Prince’s Sentabale team won the trophy against Figueras’ Royal Salute squad, it was obvious the two men are good friends.
With some good-natured trash talk on the trophy stand, Figueras swiped the gold horse-and-rider out of the Prince’s hands, who grabbed it back.
A Sentabale spokeswoman said the Prince’s charity hoped to raise more than a million dollars from the match, which will go toward sending 1,500 children to the Mamohato Children’s Center, where they are educated about the virus in hopes of ending Africa’s AIDS epidemic.
Speaking to donors afterward, Prince Harry said later this year Sentabale expects to expand its work into Botswana.
1) Grossology is oozing to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium on May 7 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The traveling exhibit is a collaboration between Science World, Advanced Exhibits, and “Grossology” author Sylvia Branzei and will include a “Tour du Nose” where guests can explore 10 nasal features and find out “how your snot acts as an air filter, a smell sensor, and a mucus producer.” There will also be a “Burp Machine” and “Urine: The Game,” which allows kids to explore the role of the kidney in a virtual reality setting. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $11 for children ages three-12, and free for those under that age. For more information, visit the museum’s website.
2) The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival will be opening its doors again at the South Florida Fairgrounds from May 6 through 8 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day (except for Sunday when it closes at 4:30). The festival, which is the largest monthly show in Florida, offers an “early buyer” deal on Friday for $25 each day for those looking to scan the items from 9 a.m. until noon. Other ticket prices include general admission options at $8 a piece, two-day admission for $12, and senior admission for $7. For more information, see the festival’s website.
3) The Palm Beach County Spring Kids Expo is opening its doors on May 7 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at The Box Expo Center in West Palm Beach. Admission is free and allows Palm Beach County children the chance to play and learn about other family-related topics in a safe environment. For more information, visit the event page here.
4) Alice in the Everglades mixes the fantasy of the classic Lewis Carroll story, “Alice in Wonderland,” with the setting of the Florida Everglades on May 7 from 7 p.m. until 8:15 p.m at the Lake Worth Playhouse. The performance is described as a “contemporary, comedic ballet variation” of the story with re-defined characters such as Palm Beach Bunny, Punk Rock Alligator, Clewiston Cat, White Heron Queen, and Red Rattlesnake Queen. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased here.
Reason for ranking: West Palm Beach is the center of gravity in Palm Beach County. And not just because it has the zoo, the county courthouse, convention center and the only county stop on the yet-to-be-built All Aboard Florida route. West Palm Beach has led the way with the arts — with the Kravis Center, Palm Beach Dramaworks and SunFest — and figured out that nurturing public space, even if it’s just a big fountain that kids can play in, is really important. It’s a city of muraled walls, rental-bike stations, and an ever-changing roster of trendy dining spots and re-invented neighborhoods.