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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty    Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #544  (Vol. 11, No. 35)  This edition is for the week of August 23--29, 2010.

"Piranha 3D"  by Mike Smith
Will's 2009 South Florida Adventure: Part Two  by William Moriaty
The Lost Drive-In: Demented Double Features  by ED Tucker
Zeiram 2  by Jason Fetters
Dad .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith

Will's 2009 South Florida Adventure: Part Two

Saturday morning June 13, 2009:
The beautiful brutalist lines of the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center.
With Karen and me in the Night Stalker and Lisa Clardy and Susan Hughes in Susan's car, the four of us left the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa and sped up Interstate 95 to attend the final day of Hukilau 2009 (be sure to listen to the dynamite sounds of The Stolen Idols on this web site!) at the Bahia Cabana Days Inn on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. The last time I had been to Ft. Lauderdale Beach for any extended period of time was 1996 and that was long enough to have dinner! Susan told me on this trip that the Beach had lost much of its mid-century Florida character due to the advent of high rises built in the late 90's and early 00's before the Great Recession. Fortunately I would discover a good sampling of remnant mid-century modern structures, one of them simply by by visiting the very venue that the Hukilau was occurring at, not to mention the incredible Mai Kai Restaurant later that evening.

Hukilau 2009:
It was slightly before noon when we arrived at the Bahia Cabana Days Inn Beach Resort for the Hukilau. Susan got reservations for two rooms, one for her and Lisa, and one for Karen and me at the nearby Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center, a brutalist style mid-century modern building located next to the famed Bahia Mar yacht basin in Ft. Lauderdale Beach. We walked several blocks from our Bahia Mar parking spaces to the 50's era Bahia Cabana where we joined Brendan and Anna and the Hukilau. There were many vendors there and I was hoping to see yet another dear friend of mine there, "Miami Mike" Hiscano, peddling his goods.

Tikis seemed omnipresent pool side at the Bahia Cabana!
I knew I was at the right place for Hukilau 2009 when I saw this sight at the Bahia Cabana.
I first took in the sounds of the Bikini Beachcombers while poolside at the Bahia Cabana. Ah, this is life as it ought to always be in South Florida. Tiki images were scattered all through the pool area adding to the event's ambiance. As this was the final day of the event, most vendors began pulling down their sales areas, and seeing how the housing crisis made purchasing most anything outside of food out of reach, I opted to explore the nearby neighborhood while Lisa and Susan went back to their room to rest and change for the evening's dinner at the Mai Kai.

I found the neighborhood to be an enchanting travel back in time. Much of the mid-century modern Gold Coast Florida appeared to be alive and well along the many streets that I wandered about. The constant warm Atlantic breeze through the leaves of the Coconut Palms has a sedating yet mystical effect on me, adding to the sensory force of this mid-century modern treasure.

As I made my way back to the Bahia Cabana, Susan was waiting pool side. As she had changed into another outfit, I didn't recognize her and found myself wondering who the pretty woman in the white dress was waving at me and why! The two of us then took a bus filled with other Hukilau attendees. On the bus we met a most pleasant couple from Australia attending, and once at the Mai Kai Restaurant, one of my favorite places on the planet, we met up with Brendan, Anna, Lisa and Karen.

This beautiful nautical theme mural adorns this hotel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach.
The Polynesian revue was its usual outstanding, and afterward Susan and I walked the gardens while The Stolen Idols played their intoxicating brand of space age pop and exotica sounds reminiscent of Les Baxter, Martin Denny and Yma Sumac.

As all good things must come to an end, we took the bus back to the Bahia Mar. Karen and I had still had a stop to make, however, the next morning before leaving South Florida.

"Miami Mike" Bound:
As Lisa and Susan would be traveling northward back to Orlando, Karen and I found ourselves traveling southward to Miami Springs to visit my dear friend "Miami Mike" Hiscano at the Airport Diner on N.W. 36th Street. We went by the house on DeLeon Street in Miami Springs where T.R.E.E. Inc.'s Vice President Bob Scheible grew up. We later met Mike as he was delayed due to work responsibilities at Jackson Memorial Hospital. in Miami. We did a bit of catching up, having not seen each other since 2005. He was kind enough to leave me a copy of a book on the history of Miami Beach by one of the heirs of the Wometco media empire of Miami. We finished up lunch and Karen took the long trip back to Plant City.

Yes, the weekend of June 12th of 2009 was indeed a bright time in an otherwise dismal era in the life of one William Moriaty and will remain one of my fondest memories.

The Bikini Beachcombers perform pool side at Hukilau 2009 at the Bahia Cabana in Ft. Lauderdale Beach.An overview of Hukilau 2009.A beautiful view of the Bahia Mar yacht basin as seen from the Bahia Cabana.
A mid-century modern apartment near the Bahia Cabana.Beautiful stone work at the Blarney Castle Motel.Why I love the beaches of South Florida. Just look at that color of that water!

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "La Floridiana" is ©2010 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.