I review a lot of places for a lot of online publications. But this one, is personal. I came back to Hollywood Florida thinking that I would just settle in the place where my old friends and some key family members had settled. After all, it was better than Sunny Isles which could no longer be home and Miami Dade was not my style. I got used to just being “stuck” where I knew people. Then I began traveling for clients and networking when I happened upon Delray Beach. Long story short, I eventually stayed and here I have been for 6 months.
I too, like anyone else will become infatuated with people and places. But it takes me a long time and research into a person or place as well as a decent time investment to fall in love. I came to Delray Beach every weekend for a year and a half non-stop via Tri Rail. I shopped, I ate, I spoke to people on the street—tourist and native alike. Then, I caught the bug and couldn't shake it loose. I had to be here. The pull was almost supernatural. I had no real logical reason to work nearly 24/7 to save the money I needed to get here—but it happened. Needless to say, friends and family wanted to know what the attraction was—and one by one I showed them.
I now have more friends, family and clients coming up here nearly every weekend. Even those that are also trying to find a way to get here...permanently
So what did city commission meetings and the people I met have to do with securing my decision to stay and make Delray Beach my home?
I've lived in quite a few cities in the space of my 45 years on the planet including Europe.
But Delray Beach is an epicenter for characters who’s passions and opinions make up the fabric of this village.
Never before have I gone to commission meetings and witnessed such an array of ages and walks of life gathered together in one room—stuffed to capacity mind you—and having the same affair that I was with the same love.... I even ran into the Spot Coffee guy who makes my protein shake after the gym—he couldn't be more than 30.
But from 20 to 90 you see them—sitting or standing room only—arms across chest and brows furrowed with intent for their part of our little village. The business owner, the new resident, the person who was there when Delray was—much like most of Florida—a swamp, and the ones who stuck it out in her less favorable days of drugs and crime—heck—even the homeless show up to speak and are welcome to do so.
A short break and a firm decision:
I joined many groups and met many people upon my arrival to Delray. Some things turned out well and other events did not. It's the crossroads you come to when you're 45 and an independent thinker with a high standard for those you keep in your life and where you call home everyday. So, I did what I had to do and took a huge step back for a couple of months and disengaged—thought—and reengaged with the people and groups that fit me—and decided to stay.
That is what makes Delray Beach such a siren—such a seductress— to people who are intelligent, artistic, passionate and different. It is a smallest place with room for everyone to be who they are—agree and disagree—fight and makeup and still benefit their home.
I would call no better place home...