Lake Worth | On The Town in The Palm Beaches

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 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 for more information (inspiring music)