Photos: Who was the Witch of Wellington? The answer with amazing photos

Suzan Strauss was known as the Lava Lady in Los Angeles in the 1990's, where she let photographer Osker Jimenez capture her in her DIY couture. (Osker Jimenez Exposure House)
Suzan Strauss on a street near her Los Angeles home in the 1990’s. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at local thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at Wellington thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)

In Florida’s suffocating heat, she wore head-to-toe black, as if in mourning a loss.

Consequently, locals dubbed her the Witch of Wellington.

Read the full story about this eccentric Wellington and Los Angeles icon

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.

Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapers. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapes. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

 

Strauss' Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)
Strauss’ Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)

 

(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Strauss was born to an Orthodox Jewish family. In accordance with custom, she always wore hats or wigs to cover her hair. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding her home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding the lava rock-covered home that gave her the name “Lava Lady.” (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez' photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez’ photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

Behind the wheel: Best scenic drives in Palm Beach County

Winding, leisurely or quirky, these are the best scenic drives that show you the marvels of Palm Beach County.

With great weather finally here, it’s time to get into the car and hit the great American highway for a road trip to remember. Destination: Palm Beach County?

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Ficus Nitida is the species of trees lining bridge road on Jupiter Island. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

With staycations all the rage, you don’t have to go far to add a scenic drive to your road trip bucket list. Within the broad borders of the county, there is more to see than you might think.

From Jupiter to Boca to the western communities, you can gaze upon the natural splendor of ocean, waterways and lakes. Or check out man-made marvels, from ultra-expensive houses to tiny trailers. And stop along the way to dine, shop or take a nature hike.

Most important of all, you can see the place you live in a whole new light. These drives are perfect for a weekend afternoon — or even your lunch hour.

Let’s go road trippin’!

ROAD TRIP NO. 1: A1A, from Palm Beach to Boca Raton

Length: 30 miles

Start/stop: Begin at Worth Avenue and A1A/S. Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach and head south until you hit Deerfield Beach (with a few stops along the way).

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The thick coastal hammock of mangrove trees at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. (Photo by Steve Lopez)

Why this drive delights: This is the Big Kahuna of Palm Beach County scenic drives, winding through the gilded splendor of Palm Beach, past endless (and we mean endless) condos and mega-mansions. You’ll see funky beach towns, a funky trailer park town, and sweet, seagrape-swept views of the Atlantic and Intracoastal Waterway. This is bucket list material. Honestly, if you haven’t taken this drive, you need to ask yourself: Why am I living in Palm Beach County?

 9 sights to see:

1. As you’re heading south through Palm Beach, say hi to The Donald. You can usually get a brief eyeful of the architectural details and big gate of President Donald Trump’s shack, Mar-A-Lago (1100 S. Ocean Blvd.)

Related: A look inside Mar-A-Lago

The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach is partially visible over its tall hedges on S. Ocean Boulevard. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach is partially visible over its tall hedges on S. Ocean Boulevard. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

2. Most condos on this drive are tall and dramatically boring, with faux posh names, but we’re partial to two between Sloan’s Curve and Lake Worth: The ’60s mod-looking President of Palm Beach (2505 S. Ocean Blvd., not to be confused with Trump’s house) and the cool white Regency of Palm Beach (2760 S. Ocean Blvd.).

3. When you reach Lake Worth, take a quick left into the Lake Worth Beach complex (10 S. Ocean Blvd.). It’s a good place to grab a bite, and check out the ocean scene. Despite all the upgrades, the pier still looks vintage-funky.

4. As you pass through Manalapan, you get some nice glimpses of the Intracoastal. And ponder this: Have you ever driven this stretch of A1A when half of the oceanside properties are not in tear-down mode?

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Ocean Inlet Park at Ocean Ridge. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

5. Between Manalapan and Ocean Inlet Park (6990 N. Ocean Blvd., Boynton Beach), there is a lovely, shady stretch of canopied trees and seagrape splendor. The beach-changing houses here along the ocean are probably nicer than your entire home. Roll down the window, take your foot off the gas and enjoy it.

6. Past Boynton, take a jog left on Corrine Street, right on Old Ocean Boulevard and head down to the marvelous mystery of A1A: How does a trailer town still exist here? With views of both the Atlantic and the Intracoastal? Briny Breezes is one of those places where you can test a relationship theory. Drive down tight little Hibiscus Street, with quaint mobile homes on both sides. By the time you get to the end at the town library and shuffleboard court, one spouse will be ready to chuck all the hassles of suburban home ownership and move right in. The other spouse will be ready to chuck you for suggesting it.

The Lake Worth Casino at Lake Worth Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
The Lake Worth Casino at Lake Worth Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

7. As you pass through the town of Gulf Stream, look up. Towering pines flank the roadway.

8. By this point in the trip, you may be weary of looking at condos blocking the ocean view. Delray Beach’s commercial district at Atlantic Avenue is made for a stop-and-shop. Or head down to Boca Raton’s numerous beach parks and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (1801 N. Ocean Blvd.).

9. You’re almost there. Past the Boca Raton Resort and Club and over the drawbridge and you’re into Deerfield Beach, the end of your journey. Except you have to turn around and go all the way back. But it was worth it, right?

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ROAD TRIP NO. 2: Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach

Length: 10-12 miles
Start/Stop: North Flagler near Northwood Road. Go south to South Flagler and Arlington Place.
Photo currie park
Currie Park on N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Why this drive delights: Beginning near the pastel-colored shopping and restaurant district along Northwood Road, this leisurely drive takes you past calming views of the Intracoastal, and the glittering downtown commercial district of condos, restaurants and waterside walkways. Once you get through downtown, settle into the most relaxing part of the drive, a non-stop travel reel of upscale homes with broad lawns, a mishmash of funky architectural styles, and a sweet walkway along the Intracoastal (though the road section south of Southern definitely needs repaving). By the time you get to South Flagler’s terminus at Arlington Place, your blood pressure should be a lot lower. And you can do it in less than an hour.
George S. Petty Park on Washington Road in West Palm Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
George S. Petty Park on Washington Road in West Palm Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

5 sights to see:

1. Don’t miss the curved, copper-colored dome of Temple Beth El (2815 N. Flagler), built in 1970 and a hidden architectural jewel of the city.

2. Pull into Currie Park, at N. Flagler and 23rd Street, and watch boats speeding down the Intracoastal Waterway and people walking along the park’s well-maintained shoreline. (Other nearby sights include the Palm Beach Maritime Museum and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial).

Palm Beach Maritime Museum on N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Palm Beach Maritime Museum on N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
3. When downtown (which might require a slight detour because of construction on the north bridge), stop and gawk at the mega-yachts perched at Palm Harbor Marina (400 N. Flagler).
4. Glimpse our favorite sign on a church: “No Skate Boarding Allowed” posted on the front of the historic First Church of Christ Scientist (809 S. Flagler), built in 1928 in a grandiose Classical Revival style, where the steep steps are apparently an irresistible temptation to board riders.
5. A moment of Zen: the pocket-like George S. Petty Park (Washington Road at Royal Park Road), though in truth all of the El Cid-Southland Park area is pretty Zen if you’re into gazing at expensive homes and condos. We’re partial to the tower-like house at Washington and Westminster. (An FYI on directions: Flagler turns into Washington, then converts back to Flagler via Greenwood Avenue a little farther south. Why? We don’t know, either.)
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ROAD TRIP NO. 3: Jupiter to Juno Beach

Length: 15 miles
Start/Stop: Begin at U.S. 1 and Indiantown Road, Jupiter. Go south on U.S. 1 to A1A/Ocean Drive, Juno Beach. Then turn left/north on A1A all the way back to U.S. 1 and A1A, Jupiter.
photo jupiter lighthouse
Boats pass by Jupiter Lighthouse. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Why this drive delights: This trip beginning on U.S. 1 south of Harbourside Place reflects a lot of what makes north county coastal living unique. There is the chance to see great swaths of dunes and undeveloped land in the middle of the usual commercial and residential development. Once you turn north onto A1A in Juno Beach, it’s a laid-back drive of condos, parks, seagrapes and glimpses of the Atlantic, all populated by north county’s legion of bicyclists, surfers and beachgoers. You’ll also eyeball such familiar landmarks as the Juno Beach Pier, Carlin Park and the Jupiter Lighthouse.
Pelican Lake. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
Pelican Lake. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

4 sights to see:

1. The Jupiter Ridge Natural Area(1800 S. U.S. 1), a 271-acre slash and scrub pine preserve that is worth a hike or run along its boardwalk and sandy trails. The county purchased it for $23 million in 1993. (A little farther down U.S. 1 is another stop and walk spot: the Juno Dunes Natural Area (14501 U.S. 1), as well as the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, 14200 U.S. 1).
2. In Juno Beach, make a quick right off A1A/Ocean Drive onto Celestial Way, the town center of Juno Beach. This is your Zen moment: A 1-mile pathway winds around Pelican Lake with two gazebos, and lots of ducks and wading birds to see. Stop and take a walk.
Diners enjoy the intracoastal views at Guanabanas restaurant in Jupiter. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
Diners enjoy the intracoastal views at Guanabanas restaurant in Jupiter. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)
3. Right after the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, turn right on Jupiter Beach Park Road and take a winding ride through the beach park (1375 Jupiter Beach Road), which terminates with a gobsmacking view of the Jupiter Inlet and Atlantic Ocean. You can also walk here to adjacent Dubois Park, one of the best places to take in picture-perfect views of the Jupiter Lighthouse.
4. At the end of your trip, you hit the commercial bottleneck of restaurants and bars Guanabana’s Schooner’s, Square Grouper, Jetty’s, etc.). It might be worth it to end your ride here with a walk up tiny, funky Love Street (don’t miss the handpainted sign with lyrics to The Doors’ “Love Street”). With all the new commercial development plans, it may not stay funky for long.
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ROAD TRIP NO 4.: The Glades

Length: 37 miles
Start/Stop: Go west on Southern Boulevard past Lion Country Safari as it turns into U.S. 441. Once you get to the end of the road, turn right to Pahokee, where you can end your trip at Lake Okeechobee.
Royal palm trees line SR 715 in Pahokee. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Royal palm trees line SR 715 in Pahokee. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Why this drive delights: You can live in Palm Beach County for decades and rarely make a drive out to the Glades. That is a mistake. Head west on Southern Boulevard and, all of a sudden, it’s like the difference between watching a movie on an iPhone and seeing it blown up on an IMAX screen. The sky is bigger. The clouds are bigger. The horizon line of green fields and the Glades’ famous black muck soil goes on forever, interrupted only by giant power lines and the occasional belching smokestack. Driving out U.S. 441, you realize how much development blots out your broader vision of the world. Take your kids and have a teachable moment in how your food is grown and harvested.
A camper at the Pahokee Marina and Campground on Lake Okeechobee in Pahokee. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
A camper at the Pahokee Marina and Campground on Lake Okeechobee in Pahokee. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

2 sights to see:

1. Stop in at Paul Rardin Park (4600 State Road 715). A steep (very steep) road leads up to the boat ramp and an overlook of the lake. You can walk along the dike and join other park goers sitting on the bank and enjoying the scenery.
2. Driving into Pahokee, you might be surprised to find the road lined with as many palm trees as you’ll find on Palm Beach. Once you arrive downtown, turn left into the Pahokee Marina and Campground (190 N. Lake Ave.), a perfect place to gaze on the enormity of the big lake and end your road trip. (Wondering whether to invest the time? Hey, Bruce Springsteen made this trip on his chopper a couple years ago, and if it’s good enough for the Boss …)
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ROAD TRIP NO. 5: Dixie Highway through West Palm Beach/Lake Worth/Lantana

Length: 7. 2 miles
Start/Stop: S. Dixie Highway and Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, south to Dixie Highway and Ocean Avenue, Lantana
West Palm Beach's Carvel ice cream cone sign on Dixie Highway. (Madeline Gray/The Palm Beach Post)
West Palm Beach’s Carvel ice cream cone sign on Dixie Highway. (Madeline Gray/The Palm Beach Post)
Why this drive delights: What’s scenic is in the eye of the beholder. Even a busy commercial highway has its charms. We could have picked Military Trail or, uh, I-95, but we recommend Dixie Highway because of its kitschy signs and architectural oddities. How this mishmash of businesses operates on Dixie is one of the wonders of this street, where quirky names abound — The Mad Hatter Lounge, the Tanks A Lot aquarium shop. Enjoy the broad range of commercial enterprises — ethnic restaurants and grocers, car repair shops, upscale antique stores, churches, funeral homes, an ice cream factory, dive bars, tattered remnants of Florida’s once-vibrant motor court culture and even Lake Worth City Hall (which once doubled as a movie set in the film “Body Heat.”)
Exterior of The Palm Beach Post building. (Riuchard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Exterior of The Palm Beach Post building. (Riuchard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

3 sights to see:

1. The tour begins by going south on Dixie at The Palm Beach Post building (say Hi to us!) Immediately on your left is the first quirky sign you need to Instagram: the giant hammer on top of Hall Hardware (2750 S. Dixie), where Martha Stewart visited recently. More sweet sights in West Palm: the Howley’s restaurant logo sign at 4700 S. Dixie (“Cooked In Sight, Must Be Right”), and the double sky-high ice cream cones at Carvel (5901 S. Dixie).

Old Key Lime House in Lantana. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)
Old Key Lime House in Lantana. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

2. Once you cross the line into Lake Worth, check out the crinkled pie-crust shaped lettering on The Upper Crust pie shop (2015 N. Dixie, Lake Worth), the pithy, pungent sayings on the Harry’s Banana Farm bar sign (1919 N. Dixie), the art deco, birthday cake-like curves of Blue Front BBQ (1132 N. Dixie), the cool jazz mural on the side of Chafin Music (608 N. Dixie), the big fish on top of Tuppen’s Marine and Tackle (1002 N. Dixie), and, of course, the big horse sitting on top of McLelland’s Inc. Saddlery (317 N. Dixie).

3. In Lantana, see the cute, old-school Barefoot Mailman Motel (138 S. Dixie in Lantana). And end your tour with a short jaunt east down Ocean Avenue in Lantana to behold the blindingly green exterior of the Old Key Lime House (300 E. Ocean Ave.)— it’s the perfect only-in-Florida end point to your funky drive.
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ROAD TRIP NO. 6: Jupiter Lighthouse to Jupiter Island

Length: 30 miles
Start/Stop: Begin at Indiantown Road and South Beach Road, Jupiter. Head east over the Intracoastal bridge, then veer north past Coral Cove Park and into Martin County. Once you pass through Jupiter Island, turn left/west at Bridge Road in Hobe Sound, then left/south on U.S. 1 back to Palm Beach County.
Areas around (and under) the beach access ramp, and in the dunes, at Coral Cove Park.
Areas around (and under) the beach access ramp, and in the dunes, at Coral Cove Park.
Why this drive delights: Jupiter Island and its endless enclaves of the wealthy is the north version of Palm Beach. You won’t see much, because of the towering landscaping, but that landscaping is divine, the drive is blissful and you can play a game of counting how many “Service Entrance” signs you spot. (Lots of bicyclists through here, so drive carefully.)

5 sights to see:

Large wave crashes on shore at Blowing Rocks Preserve. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
Large wave crashes on shore at Blowing Rocks Preserve. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

 

1. If you’ve never been to the 73-acre Blowing Rocks Preserve (574 South Beach Road), run by the Nature Conservancy, it’s worth a stop, especially if the water is spuming through the limestone rocks on the beach. It’s our mini-Big Sur.
2. On Jupiter Island, stay right on South Beach Road when it forks and make a quick stop at Christ Memorial Chapel (52 S. Beach Road), a Spanish-style church built in 1939. (Where else will you see a church that opens onto a broad golf course fairway?)
Ficus Nitida is the species of trees lining bridge road on Jupiter Island. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Ficus Nitida is the species of trees lining bridge road on Jupiter Island. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
3. When you reach South Beach Road and Estrada Drive, take a left and wind down a beautiful street of pretty houses that terminates at the Jupiter Island Club, 1 Estrada, with its gorgeous club building, manicured lawns and yacht dock. (And you’re not a member, so keep on driving.)
4. Back on South Beach Road, head past the Bridge Road intersection and go all the way to the terminus at the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. Check out the mountainous, perfectly sculpted dune/mound that separates the road from the beach.
5. Once you get to Bridge Road and U.S 1, turn south on U.S. 1 and take the semi-hilly drive back to Palm Beach County, past sparkling glimpses of the Intracoastal and more dunes at Jonathan Dickinson State Park (16450 SE Federal Highway). Bonus points if you can spot the nearby gated driveway to a certain Palm Beach County-bred movie star’s house.

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ROAD TRIP NO. 7: Central/North end of Palm Beach

Length: 12 miles
Start/Stop: Head north on Cocoanut Row at Royal Palm Way, past the Society of Four Arts and the Flagler Museum, across Royal Poinciana Way and down Bradley Place as it turns into North Lake Way. Turn left onto Country Club Road and head all the way up north past the Sailfish Club, then scoot over to North Ocean Boulevard and head south, as it turns into South County Road. End at Phipps Plaza and South County Road.
The coral cut on Country Club Road is on the west side of Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy/The Palm Beach Post)
The coral cut on Country Club Road is on the west side of Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy/The Palm Beach Post)
Why this drive delights: Hey, pretty much all of Palm Beach is a scenic getaway, and who doesn’t like to look at places you’ll never live? You can see a mix of eye-catching homes draped in towering landscaping (celebs like Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern have abodes in the north end) and the tight roads are fun to drive.
5 sights to see:
1. When you turn onto Country Club Road from North Lake Way, behold one of the island’s most dazzling natural wonders: the deep coral cut that towers above both sides of the road (don’t forget to look for the Bastille-like prison window in the cut, which has prompted all sorts of urban legends, but is really just a water department door.). Coming out of the cut, you get a dazzling view of the Intracoastal along the Lake Trail (which you should walk or bike at some point) and the mega-yachts parked at boat yards on the West Palm side.
Susan and Chris Cristopoulos take a rest Thursday afternoon during their bike ride along the Lake Trail near the Palm Beach Country Club. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
Susan and Chris Cristopoulos take a rest Thursday afternoon during their bike ride along the Lake Trail near the Palm Beach Country Club. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
2. Once you get to Arabian Road, curve left as it becomes Indian Road, then jog north on N. Ocean Boulevard to check out the northernmost point of the island and the short dock, where you can see cruise ships heading out to the Atlantic.
3. Heading back south on N. Ocean, enjoy more winding curves, glimpses of Atlantic (especially around the Palm Beach Country Club) and keep up with the construction teardowns and buildups that always seem to be happening on the north end.
The Breakers.
The Breakers.
4. The leisurely drive continues south past a shady canopy of trees between Phipps Estate Road and Sanford Avenue, and such local sights as Green’s Pharmacy, St. Edward’s Church, the old Paramount Theater complex, The Breakers and Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, all worth a visit.
5. End your trip on one of our favorite pocket roads by turning right off S. County Road into Phipps Plaza, a cute little roundabout of architectural offices and tucked-away homes and no parking spots for the hoi-polloi. This is Palm Beach, after all.

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ROAD TRIP NO. 8: Wellington

Length: 8 miles
Start/stop: Turn off Southern Boulevard onto Bink’s Forest Drive, and drive up to Aero Club Drive. Take a right there and head down to Greenbrier Shores Boulevard, where you can turn right into the Aero Club neighborhood.
An airplane parked in the Aero Club in Wellington. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
An airplane parked in the Aero Club in Wellington. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

 

Why this drive delights: It’s not every housing development that boasts airplane hangar garages, and it’s unusual to see planes parked as casually as Cadillacs in back yards. And don’t forget to check out the fun street names — Boing Street, Lindbergh Lane, Take Off Place, etc.
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ROAD TRIP NO. 9: Lake Osborne to High Ridge Road

Length: 6.5 miles
Start/Stop: Turn off Lake Worth Road onto Lake Osborne Drive. Once you reach Lantana Road, double back and turn right on High Ridge Road, ending at Hypoluxo Road.
Lake Osborne Park on the west side of High Ridge Road, south of Lantana Road. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)
Lake Osborne Park on the west side of High Ridge Road, south of Lantana Road. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)
Why this drive delights: This is a scenic waterfront drive that reminds you of Old Florida. Revel in a leisurely, miles-long ride around the other big Lake O in the county.
 2 sights to see:
1. On Lake Osborne Drive, past the entrance to John Prince Park, there are plenty of spots to pull your car over and watch fishermen on the lake, or join the sidewalk parade. The apartment complexes and houses aren’t your usual waterfront property — they’re older, more middle-class, not Mega-Mansion land, as though somehow developers were not given the secret password to come here, tear down and overbuild. (And this quiet, neighborhood feel is what some people are worried about losing if the Atlanta Braves build a spring training complex at John Prince.)
John Prince Park.
John Prince Park.
2. High Ridge Road is a sweet, short, semi-hilly drive (hence the name.) Just past High Ridge and Hypoluxo Road, visit the High Ridge Natural Scrub Area (7300 High Ridge Rd.), another pocket nature preserve where you can stretch your legs and end your journey.
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Hurricane Matthew: ‘The calm before the storm’ through local pictures

Hurricane Matthew updates: Check our WeatherPlus blog. 

You’ve probably been bombarded with news, tweets and pictures regarding  #HurricaneMatthew as it goes through the Caribbean and possibly hugs the eastern United States over the next few days.

However, if you’re still not convinced by the latest media hype (even though you should), check out the local forecast from the Pelican Park Weather Station:

The coconut suggests that it’s still calm in Palm Beach county, and a few pictures from today actually prove it.

Weather so nice today, that many have been enjoying outdoor activities.

Or relaxing on their ocean view patios watching the skies change throughout the day.

On the other hand, as also stated by @dr.jakehyde on his caption above, “the only calm thing in town seems to be the weather.”

Take a look how people in the county are preparing for #HurricaneMatthew

Why not use your lunch break today to get ready? @bcathcart84 did!

Including myself as I was freaking out because I couldn’t find water since yesterday.

And there’s also a group of people (probably the smart ones) who are simply avoiding Hurricane Matthew at all costs.

@josephpauldavis is heading to DC.

@refined_fashion has no business doing in the island.

Even though the skies are crisp and blue today, this pool seemed completely empty.

No lines outside of the Gucci store. #Priorities

@thejenobrien seems to be hopeful still.

But @_Juniorsalas83 is not taking any chance… and he seems upset about his departure.

 

Once again, To get the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew check our WeatherPlus blog.

Best of the weekend: Did we snap your photo at these fun-filled festivals?

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.

photo latin festival
The crowd enjoys the live music at the Latin Music & Food Festival at the South Florida Fairgrounds Sept. 17 and Sept. 18, 2016.

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!

Did we snap your photo at the Latin Music & Food Festival? Here’s a photo gallery from the event!

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2016 Taste of Soul Food Festival in downtown West Palm Beach. (Corvaya Jeffries/The Palm Beach Post)

The Taste of Soul Food Festival

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.

Did we snap your photo at the Taste of Soul Food Festival? Here’s a photo gallery from the event!

 

9/11 anniversary: Why I can’t let go of my Sept. 11 ‘hurt locker’

090211 (Ray Graham/The Palm Beach Post)--Studio--We need a photo of this old Samsonite suitcase I have that is filled with a bunch of stuff from the week of 9/11/2001.
Post reporter Staci Sturrock’s old Samsonite suitcase is filled with ephemera from the week she spent in New York City covering 9/11. (File photo/The Palm Beach Post)

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.

Best 14 things to do in Palm Beach County in June

tito-puente-jr
Tito Puente Jr.

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.

darius-rucker

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.

Related: Concerts you must see this summer in Palm Beach County 

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.

cyndi-lauper

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.

food-truck-safari

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.

Related: Food truck guide of Palm Beach County

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.

Prince Harry “really fun to be around,” says polo star Nacho Figueras

Polo prince Nacho Figueras and Harry, Prince of Wales, wave to the crowd before a charity polo match to benefit Sentabale, the Prince's African children's charity.(Post photo/Allen Eyestone)
Polo prince Nacho Figueras and Harry, Prince of Wales, wave to the crowd before a May 4 Wellington charity polo match to benefit Sentabale, the Prince’s African children’s charity.(Post photo/Allen Eyestone)

Is this a polo “bromance”?

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.

Prince Harry and Delfina Blaquier, wife of polo player Nacho Figueras, arrive at the private Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington May 4. (Post photo/Allen Eyestone)
Prince Harry and Delfina Blaquier, wife of polo player Nacho Figueras, arrive at the private Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington May 4. (Post photo/Allen Eyestone)

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.

Nacho Figueras tries to swipe the winner's trophy from Prince Harry. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)
Nacho Figueras tries to swipe the winner’s trophy from Prince Harry. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)

 

Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras shake hands after a polo match as Figueras' wife, Delfina Blanquier, looks on. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)
Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras shake hands after a polo match as Figueras’ wife, Delfina Blanquier, looks on. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 family-friendly things to do this weekend in Palm Beach County

 

grossology

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.

photo antiques festival
West Palm Beach Antiques Festival at the South Florida Fairgrounds. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

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.

Join Alice as she travels from Palm Beach to the Everglades in Ballet Atlantica's 'Alice in the Everglades.'. (Contributed by Peter Weber)
Join Alice as she travels from Palm Beach to the Everglades in Ballet Atlantica’s ‘Alice in the Everglades.’. (Contributed by Peter Weber)

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.

20 best concerts at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

Kid Rock, 2015
Kid Rock, 2015

April 26 marks the 20th anniversary of Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, or if we’re getting technical about it:

The Coral Sky-Mars Music-Sound Advice-Cruzan-Coral Sky again-Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre.

SEE PHOTOS OF 20 GREAT ACTS FROM 20 YEARS AT THE AMPHITHEATER.

And here are some that didn’t make the cut:

Velvet Revolver, 2007
Velvet Revolver, 2007
Rush, 2007
Rush, 2007
Lee Ann Womack, 2007
Lee Ann Womack, 2007
Paul Simon, 1997
Paul Simon, 1997
Foo Fighters, 2000
Foo Fighters, 2000
Santana, 2000
Santana, 2000

Poll results: Which Palm Beach County city was voted best by Post readers?

photo west palm beach
West Palm Beach’s GreenMarket at Waterfront Commons. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)

Last week the Post’s Frank Cerabino ranked all the cities in Palm Beach County.  Based on Cerabino’s top ten picks, we asked our Post readers ‘what is your favorite city,’ and the results are in!

You all agreed with Cerabino…with a total of 490 votes, West Palm Beach was the readers’ choice winner! Other favorites were Delray Beach, with 381 votes and Jupiter with 379 votes.

Here’s why Cerabino picked West Palm Beach as the top city in Palm Beach County:

1. West Palm Beach

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.

Poll results: