On The Town in The Palm Beaches – Lake Worth

On The Town in The Palm Beaches – Lake Worth


Hi, On The Town-ers,
I’m Frank Licari. Today we’re exploring a
city that’s not just hip, it’s historic too. Of course, we’re talking
about the city of Lake Worth, or L-Dub as the kids
like to call it. We’ll jump into the city’s
lively and vibrant art scene, visit an oceanfront restaurant
with picture perfect views, and check out a
historic playhouse that just might be haunted. Are you ready? Lets go On The Town
in the Palm Beaches. (joyful music) [Announcer] This program
is brought to you by Discover The Palm Beaches. Visit ThePalmBeaches.com
for more information. (uplifting piano music) [Frank] I would like
to get into trouble with you in Lake Worth. Tell me what this town is about. It’s about the people
and what these people do, and how they absolutely
do marvelous things, not only in the past, not only
in the future, but right now. [Frank] This city was
built by two pioneers who were ex-slaves? That’s right, you’re
absolutely right. Their names were Fannie
and Samuel James. As early as 1896, now that’s
long before Lake Worth began. Sure! The name that they
identified with us was Jewell. (gentle guitar music) From this Lake Avenue
was the southern boundary of the Fanny and
Samuel James property, and it went all the way
down to 12th Avenue South. [Frank] That’s a
big plot, it’s big! [Helen] And all the way
from the lake, Lake Worth. [Frank] Right. [Helen] All the way
over to Dixie Highway. And they, they sold that land after Samuel
James passed away, and so, you’re
standing in the middle of the beginning of the
history of Lake Worth. Now, it was named after a
gentleman, right, Mr. Worth? A Major General
William Jenkins Worth. Frank, if you really wanna
get into your history, [Frank] I do. [Helen] You need
to start walking. If you keep walking,
turn over and come back over to Lake Avenue and
come to the Playhouse. There’s the ghost there. [Frank] Oh! There’s the ghost there. The ghost of the
Lake Worth Playhouse? At the Lake Worth Playhouse. Oh. There were two brothers. Oh. They were called
the Oakley Brothers. They came in 1924,
and they built the most important theater
in Lake Worth at that time. We had the first
$10,000 Wurlitzer organ. Oh! But I’m not gonna tell
you any more, because– No, I should go there. You need,
you need to go there, and you need to see
the pecky cypresses, the wrought iron,
[Frank] Yeah. Oh.
and the fact that there’s no bad seats in that house. Plus, now-
Well, there are bad seats if there’s a ghost in the house. Well, no, because
he’s a friendly ghost. Oh, he’s friendly. He likes, he likes good people. Okay.
(acoustic guitar music) What we do offer is, you know
we’ll do four full-scale musicals a season here,
and we’ll vary the, the genres from,
we just finished Flashdance, like a rock type of
musical for summer, then we’ll try to
go traditional, maybe we’ll throw
a newer one in, so we try to hit each market. Um, same with our plays
and our black box theater. Also, we have a big
film program here, where we show independent
films, 365 days a year. We also have an outreach program
where we go into the local schools, underserved community. (suspenseful music)
This, uh, building was built in 1924. Um, it was built by two brothers, the Oakley
Brothers. They, they were, uh,
running this, uh, facility and they initially opened
it as a silent movie theater and a vaudeville house,
and there was a pipe organ on the stage. That ran for a period of
time, I think about 1928. The stock market crashed,
they went out of business, and it’s been various
things throughout the years, it sat vacant for
a period of time, it was a movie theater. But in 1974, the group known
as the Lake Worth Playhouse, they were already performing
at City Hall in Lake Worth, so they purchased the building
and we’ve been here since 1974. Okay, so, you talked
about the Oakley Brothers. Yeah. I was told that the place might be haunted. And behind us,
there’s a ghost light. (Daniel laughing)
It’s during the day, so tell me a little bit
about the history of the- Well, everybody says
that, ah, all theaters are haunted in a sense. Right, right. So do you ever, ever
have a play going on where there’s an extra
character on stage, and you’re like, wait a second,
we didn’t cast that guy! Not so much that, but you
know, maybe once in a while you’ll hear, you’ll
hear a sound somewhere, [Frank] Sure. maybe a light will go on,
[Frank] Right. you know, and those
sorts of things. [Frank] Yeah, Yeah. So it never gets in
the way of production? No, no, no, we don’t
have a poltergeist floating down the aisle. Doesn’t ruin our
theatrical experience? No, no, no, not at all. Um, so the challenges of
a historic building are obviously, ah, always
keep the upkeep, right? Yes, and it actually,
if you look in the beams, [Frank] So…
if you look at the beams, you’ll see the OT,
with the orange, that was the original Oakley Theater. That’s the original. Oh, yeah, and to be
open this many years and still running. 66. 66. 66. Wow. [Daniel] We have a loyal and
ever-growing fan base here, a subscriber base, and just
people that want to support us and be a part of what we
do, ’cause we do good work. [Frank] Right. Above all, we put on
really good shows. [Frank] Great shows. [Daniel] Yes. Psst, Helen! There’s ghosts everywhere! I know, I know,
it’s an historic town! We’re old! [Frank] Okay. Thank you, Frank!
(upbeat music) If you weren’t here, how
would I get in without you? Well, ah. It’d be tough, right? Yeah, the number one
rule of kayaking is, there’s no graceful way to get in and out
of a kayak, so. Okay, all right. There you go. Yeah. Oh, sure, oh, yeah. All right. Snook Islands is, is
kind of the crown jewel of the restoration that
Palm Beach County has done in Lake Worth Lagoon. Lake Worth Lagoon, we
call it an urban estuary. So about 90% of the edge of
the lagoon has been sea walled. Okay. And so what we’re trying
to do is bring back some of the habitat that was
lost by all the development, and Snook Islands is the
biggest example of that. [Frank] What is a snook? It’s a fish. Okay, well, I figured,
sort of, I guess, but I’ve heard of salmon,
I’ve heard of bass, I’ve heard of trout. Yeap, you can just
add snook to that list of fish you’ve heard of before. I just did, and so,
can I eat the snook? If a fair sized
snook accidentally jumped in your kayak,
and you got back to shore with it. [Frank] Dem’s good eats,
is what you’re saying. Yeah, I think
it’s all good to go. Dem good eats, okay. These oysters are utilitarian. They are nature’s
filtration system. Um, an adult oyster can filter
about 50 gallons of water a day. Whoa. Yeah, so um, we really want
as many oysters out here as we can get. Adult oysters will cling
on to existing rocks and other oyster shells. Um, they’re really sharp so you
have to watch where you step, but they’re really
great for the water. (upbeat Indian music) You don’t just get breakfast,
you get Indian breakfast. Now, what’s the difference
between an Indian breakfast and the breakfast I’m gonna get
at Denny’s or wherever else? My mom used to
serve a leftover curry in the morning with the eggs,
or mix some scrambled egg, some curry spices,
with leftover bread from the night,
so I’m like, okay, let’s start East Indian,
then Eggs Nisa is his mom’s dish. [Frank] Fantastic. She used to make it,
and he just told me one day, he’s like,
“she used to make it like this.” I said, “Okay, let me try it.” [Frank] It was a way for you
to carve yourself out a little niche in the town
and be different, and as a result,
you create this amazing menu that everybody loves
and they come here specifically for that. Because people
demanding in this area, different, different. Sure. I didn’t know that people
would like that Indian food in this area, but they did,
and they were very supportive on Friday nights
before the breakfast. Not only do they love it,
that’s all they talk about. Everybody that we’ve spoken
to says, come over here. (upbeat music) So what keeps them
coming back here? Is it the location, is
it your, is it your menu? What’s the menu item that
goes, everybody goes, ah, man, I gotta go see the executive
chef’s this, what is it? Ah, there’s a few fan favorites
that we call them now. We’ve got the shrimp and
grits, people die for, line up for it on
Sunday mornings. Cheesy brisket dunker, again
it’s a mouthful, but it’s– [Frank] I see what
you’re doing here. House brisket with
fresh bread and au jus and cheese sauce, I mean–
You guys do fresh pastries? Yeah, we have ah,
Heather, my pastry chef. She not only has
developed a pastry menu for our evening team and
for the dinner service, but she’s also opened
up a in-house bakery. You wanna learn? You’ll be my new helper. [Frank] I would love to, sure. One thing I notice is that
you didn’t take any notes. [Frank] Oh, here we go. Look at, no, listen,
all up here baby. How can you
remember this, though? All up here, just
wait, just wait. This I gotta see. Just wait, gimme a plate. Let me show this, let
me show this guy up. Look at my circle. Now we gotta get a
raspberry, hold all your- All around the outside, yeah? I know somebody who’s
jealous right now. This is a close up
version of the sun. Get your cloud in here. [Frank] Dollop in there. Yeah, that’s good, good, good. If there’s anything
that I know how to use, it’s a chef’s knife,
not the executive one. Look at this, all right? How about one of
these, just because, because you have them, right? Oh, Nellie, look at this. Bam! (Heather laughs)
My sun’s even bigger. We got the sunrise
and the sunset. Not bad. Helen! (Helen screams)
Oh my gosh, the food in this town is fantastic! I’ve had Indian breakfast,
I’ve had pancakes, I made my own dessert, wow! (Helen screams)
(joyful music) The thing about Lake Worth
that I always said is that, you know, when you
come to Lake Worth, you fall in love with it. And I like to say West
Palm Beach or Boca Raton, maybe where fine art is sold,
but Lake Worth is where it’s created. [Frank] Look at that. We’ve got it all. In addition, you know, we’re sort of like
the combination of where Key West meets
Greenwich Village. You’ve got old Florida families
whose daddy planted that avocado tree back in 1919,
and you’ve got every pierced, colored hair, grommet eared,
everything and everyone comes together. We appreciate the
differences that we have and we cherish our diversity. (rocky music)
The pavement beneath my feet may look bare right now,
but every year tens of thousands of art lovers
converge upon Lake Worth for the world’s largest
street-painting festival. Over 600 artists come
here with chalk and paint and turn these streets into
a magnificent works of art. Let’s check in with two guys
who know what the hype is all about. How does the chalk art, right,
on the ground, outdoors, how does that differ as a
medium from, say, painting? You know, the main thing
is the psychological. Knowing that you’re gonna do it,
you may not even get it done, because if the skies open up
when you’re halfway through you just gotta accept
it and move on. I was gonna say, so if it
rains, you’re, you’re done. Just kind of zen
and you know, understand it is what it is, you know. Right, where do you, where do you, go for
your inspiration? Do you go look at
me and go, man, I’d really like to chalk
paint this guy, right? Do you ever-
We actually do a lot of just kind goofy, you know,
ah, you know, whimsical. Caricatures, kind of stuff? Pop reference, you know. So you’re just big kids,
is all you’re doing, right? You’re just kids. We play with chalk. Yeah. Come on. (inspiring piano music)
This Art Deco building houses one of Palm Beach
County’s cultural gems. Let’s go inside
and take a look at what the Council has to offer. We have 22 employees
at the Cultural Council and five departments that
serves artists and educators. We serve musicians, we
serve as an art gallery, as a public performance space
for concerts and for shows and we also have a learning
and education center. But we also have home to
our departments of grants, marketing, development
and the other services I just mentioned. Wow, that’s a lot to have
in one, one little area here. So, it’s right here
on Lake Avenue right? We’re right here in
Lake Worth, that’s right, and this is main
boulevard in the city, it’s between the beach
and US Highway One. So a lot of people just
happen to be out for drinks or for lunch or–
And you snag ’em, do ya sit outside yourself–
No, they see that we have a gorgeous gift shop
with handmade items from our artists
and they come in and they go shopping. Or they need a map or
they’re interested in what is there to do in the area,
and all of that really helps us to serve the arts
community as a whole, but also to serve visitors
to this 39 city destinations. Helen! Oh, there’s so much
art in this town, I went to the Cultural
Council, I went to the Hatch, I saw artist lofts,
I saw chalk guys drawing on the sidewalk–
And you saw the museum. Yes, wow!
(upbeat music) Lake Worth is the
largest concentration of Art Deco architecture
in the Palm Beaches. We have Art Deco residential
and then we have two fabulous Art Deco arts buildings,
we have the Cultural Council and we have the Lake
Worth Playhouse. Art Deco is geometric
and fast and speed. So we have flat roofs, we
have glass block windows, we have racing stripes
or banding stripes and everything is Egyptian,
like a zig-zag or a lightening bolt. It’s in groups of threes
and it might be, in South Florida, Nautical Deco
like a steamship, so you’ll have porthole windows. The most important element
found in South Florida is the eyebrow. [Frank] Wow! Eyebrow is a flat linear plain–
[Frank] Look at those babies, right, go ahead. [Sharon] No. The eyebrows are flat
linear plains above window to keep the sun out. So, Art Deco is a lot of fun
and, again, it’s masculine, it’s from the ’30s, ’40s
and a very modern style. Okay, so I’m looking for
flat roofs, geometric shapes, in threes, with eyebrows. I see the three thing happening. [Sharon] Excellent. That’s good right? I see rounded corners here. [Sharon] Yes you do. Right? It’s very symmetrical
and 3’s here. I see this person does not
pick up their mail often. Does that have anything to
do with the, nothing at all? But you left out, there’s
three of these rounded corner S-curves in the pole here. You see right here? Oh here, yes. Look, look, look here. We have one, two, three. Sure, sure. In France we say
un, duex, trois. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
(upbeat rocky music) Art Deco isn’t the only
type of unique architecture being preserved in Lake Worth. The city also has the largest
concentration of cottages in Florida, in fact,
there’s over 1000. Wes tells us why residents are
living large in small places. Well, it was really the
way the land was laid out. These were 50 foot wide
and 25 foot wide lots, and they were near the
water and they were part of a package deal
for farmland out west. They were trying to sell that
land and give these lots away, but these became the
more popular lots. Gotcha. And that’s what made
the city of Lake Worth. About five years ago
we had our centennial and we decided to form The
Cottages of Lake Worth, and we published a
240 page cottage book on all our cottages and
we featured 60 of them. It’s a beautiful book. And if you guys said,
you know what let’s just put these on the map,
let’s make sure people know they’re here,
let’s preserve this because that makes our area unique. It was a hidden treasure
right in front of our eyes. [Frank] Right. But there’s also a
historic board that reviews any changes that go
on to these cottages. Oh really, so somebody
comes in any goes, hey, let me tell you
about this porch swing you put in that’s not,
that’s not cottage-like. No, a porch swing might
be a little too much. [Frank] Okay. Yeah, but the idea’s
to make it livable for the modern day age. So when does it, when does
it stop being a cottage? Ah, when you get a
bigger lots, when you’re [Frank] Gotcha. um, maybe a quarter acre,
you know, a typical ranch development. Okay. We had a lot of
development in the ’50s, but these, these were
pre World War Two. Helen! (Helen screams)
Oh my gosh, there’s so much to do here. I’ve been strolling up
and down the avenue, I even went kayaking. Oh, don’t forget
to spend your money! Oh good idea, good idea. Here! Come back! I will, I will! With 8000 acres of land,
Palm Beach County’s park system has lots to do
for the entire family. In the Lake Worth area,
you’ll find John Prince Memorial Park. It’s the second oldest
county park in Florida. We have a tremendous
number of activities and amenities here
in John Prince Park. Over 725 acres of property here
in Central Palm Beach County. We have a dog park,
we have a therapeutic recreation complex,
we have picnic facilities, camp grounds,
we have sports fields, nature trails,
just a number of things that really could satisfy the,
the taste of any resident here at Palm Beach County. One of, one of the early things in planning
this park was golf. It’s one the only
lighted driving ranges here at Palm Beach County
that people can enjoy. (upbeat music)
[Frank] If you wanna take your golf swing
to the next level, while catching some fresh ocean air,
head down the streets of Palm Beach. That’s where you’ll find the
Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course, nestled between
the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. While you’re there
check out Al Fresco, where their golf balls
are a hole in one. After your belly is full
why not head nearby to the Tideline Resort,
where you can spend the day at the spa
or sip margaritas by the beach. Not a bad way to
spend an afternoon. (upbeat pop music) We’re one of the few studios
that is what’s called an open studio,
where they can actually come and use all our equipment
and rent time and make their art. Throughout the
year we have about, between 20 and 30
professional artists that come in here to
work with our artists. We do group tours, we
have a lot of group tours in the season obviously. We bring Palm Beach County
school kids to actually work one-on-one with
the glass artists, we bring about five,
five to 750 each year. This is cooling
the pipe, yeah. Getting a cool pipe. Push it in. Push it in there. Push it down in–
Push it down in. And then lift
it when you turn. Oh, okay. So this’ll get
a nice even coat. Gotcha. In the door. And keep it turning. Keep it turning. And that’s a heat
shield next to you, you’ll probably
quickly find out– Oh it’s hot. That it’s nice to stand
behind that shield. [Frank] There’s no
question about it. Yeah. We’re gonna roll that out. Right on the table? On the table, yeah. [Frank] Okay, okay. Right. So it has a little
grip to that steel table, [Frank] Gotcha, Gotcha.
we’re trying to push the glass back off of the pipe
where it can be used. Gotcha, how am I doin? Great. While you have
the dance music on, do you ever just sit
here with the glass– Oh I definitely do. You do that? We do a little moving
around, a little dancing yeah. What’s your, what’s your
go to dance? What do you ah… Oh, you know ah, I’m white, so
I just bob my head like this. Oh yeah, yeah, the
head thing, sure. You left me alone there
David, that’s a lot of, ah– You’re doing so well
I’m not worried about you. And we’re gonna to inflate
this up to say a softball size. Okay, so what, am I
blowing right into it? It’s like a balloon,
you gotta seal your lips to that thing
and push air through it. And I’ll stand back here
and tell you when to stop. So when I do tell you to stop
make sure you keep turning it. Okay, you’re almost there. And stop, excellent job. Oh man. Alright. Now we have some volume. Yeah, that’s what I like,
a little volume in my life. There went the glass
blowing aspect of your day. Right, okay. Alright, go ahead and squeeze on that line
and I’ll turn for you. Okay. Go right where I started it. Okay. Well there’s some real
heat coming off that, huh? Oh yeah, that thing’s
still over 1500, 1600 degrees
Fahrenheit, and stop. [Frank] Okay. Let me heat it up again. [Frank] Whoa! We’re gonna work on
that a little more. That was a, that was a,
that was a live flame there. There you go! [Frank] Let me know
when I can paddle it. Go for it. No, okay now, just,
just like that. Oh, I thought I was, I
was, I was, yeah, you, you fooled me with the paddle. One, two, three, we good? We go back to the bench. Alright, grab the paddle. [Frank] Grab the paddle. You know which one that is. Yes. And now hit the pipe. Hit the pipe? Yeap. Whoop. Whoa! You broke, you broke it. That was fantastic. How long would it take me
to be able to do that solo? [David] To do that solo,
[Frank] Yeah. at least two years. Two years, it’s a commitment. It is. (cheerful music) We embrace all
arts, not just myself, but the mayor and the
other commissioners. We know the value in art,
and we wanna be unique, we wanna be Lake Worth unique
and, you know, we’ve done it with some of the art. Well you can tell when
you walk around the town, it’s very artsy, there ah, one
of the, it’s vibrant that way you know, and you take
these, ah areas that maybe needed developing,
you give ’em right over to the arts community. Now you’re getting
an influx of artists from all over the place, not including, also
the locals, but people coming in
from out of the area, and making Lake
Worth their home, and creating the art
right here in the town. Absolutely and we try to
make sure that the artists, are local artists that needed
housing, were on the list. But we also, um, invited local
artists from all around, cities around us,
um, out of state, and you see the art
that they’ve created. We have huge events, um, we
have a large gay and lesbian community so we have a
large gay pride event. We have very diverse
communities that come out and create art in all round. [Frank] Do you give ’em
ideas for what you want? Sometimes we have ideas,
but we go through a process; some is vetted, some
is more grassroots, some is young kids at a cleanup
[Frank] Right. and we’re creating, um, we
painted the local garbage cans, and um, so it just depends on
what’s going in the community. One people one village, I,
I wanna create something that I wanna retire,
and you know, it’s walkable, sustainable, great restaurants,
everything you really need in a village. (upbeat music) And this ones the what? Roasted red pepper,
smoked Gouda cheese. Oh you’re a devil, oh you’re
a devil in a white coat. If you like this one
you gotta come here for it nobody else makes it like that. Everybody told me they loved
my soup so, knock on wood, I’ve been here for 13
years now making soup. I overheard you earlier
saying that sometimes you don’t even write the
recipes down, you start, it’s this concoction,
you make the soup– Hey, I don’t write any recipe. Anything. No recipe. So what happens if I come in
and I taste this amazing soup and I say, I want
this next month. I make it the same. The ones that I make the same
that are on my everyday list. I make the same. But if you make it special? Inspirational soup, there
is no law on how I make, but that’s why I let
everybody try ’em. So you’re the Picasso of soup. You make one and it’s
never gonna be the same. Sample it before you get it,
don’t go home and get made at me. That’s it. That’s what I tell ’em. Once in a lifetime
and it’s gone. Sometimes, I tell ’em,
sometimes I might not be able to do that one again. It’s like every soup’s
like a lost love, you go, aw, I’ll never have that feel again. They are all made
with love, it’s correct. So it’s a family business,
it says two, two chefs. My mom does my desserts. From scratch? From scratch and ah, my sister
does a couple of my cold soups. So still a family
oriented business. Yes. I would say the bestsellers
are the chocolate cake and the rice pudding. I saw the chocolate
cake over there. Yeah, and then I have a bread
pudding with caramel sauce. You don’t! Yes. You stop it! And then I use, I put a little
bourbon sauce on the side so– Oh saucy, look at you a
little bourbon on the side. [Jane] Don’t you
want a clean something? No, no, no, no
who needs clean, um. That’s good. Are you single, are
you a single lady? No. You’re not? No, I’m married. Okay.
(cool guitar music) Love the history,
love the culture, love the environment, and
in this city here I get everything I can possibly want,
and as a City Manager I live in Lake Worth. {Frank] Right. So, um, coming down
here and ending up here has been a long journey for me,
but it has been the best journey. [Frank] What do you see
as the future of Lake Worth? What do you want to see happen? I see Lake Worth being
one of those unique, incredibly wonderful places,
that people around the country are saying, we wanna
be like Lake Worth. We’ve been very fiercely
independent at trying to define our own unique path,
and it’s, it’s got some perils as we go through the process,
but I think we’re on our way to actually fulfilling that. § I like Lake Worth §
§ It’s a mighty fine place to be §
§ I like Lake Worth § § It’ll make you scratch
like a dog with flee § § Shiny doubloon
down by the beach § § It’s paradise
within your reach § (joyful music)
[Frank] Whether you’re checking out historic downtown,
paddling around Snook Islands or enjoying unique cuisine,
Lake Worth has the whole family covered. This hip funky beach town
is no stranger to the arts, with it’s eclectic
mix of specialty shops and restaurants and galleries
running along Lake and Lucerne Avenues. I’m Frank Licari, we hope
you enjoyed discovering Lake Worth and
that you’ll join us the next time we go On The Town. Helen! Helen, it’s the people! It’s the people Helen! [Helen] I know, I
know, they’re the best! [Announcer] This program
was brought to you by Discover The Palm Beaches,
visit ThePalmBeaches.com for more information. (inspiring music)

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