FLA Aquatics owes its growth from a 65-member operation to the home of multiple state, national, and international champions to 2000 Olympic coach Duffy Dillon, who—as noted in the Sun Sentinel—was recently inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame. Dillon has amassed an experienced staff of certified instructors who have passed a national level-two background screening, including head coaches with level-five certification from the American Swimming Coaches Association. The company's multiple locations offer programs for all ages, including very young children learning to safely enter the water, competitive high schoolers, and adults seeking to train for a triathlon or start a floatie-based fashion trend.
From its central location in Delray, The Salt Fly hauls its standup-paddleboarding rental equipment to many nearby beaches, the Intracoastal Waterway, and Lake Ida so customers can enjoy some watery fun. The outfit’s owner—also the head of the Delray Beach Standup Paddleboard Club—meets his clients anywhere within 13 miles of Delray to drop off boards and paddles. He even offers lessons on how to catch waves, power across glassy expanses, or accurately mimic fish faces. Boarders can also sign up for a four-hour guided ecotour of Key Biscayne, where they'll have the opportunity to catch glimpses of the tropical fish, stingrays, and young sharks residing in the back bays.
Groups of women gather at the South Florida Women's Expo for a night dedicated to them. Vendors showcase feminine-friendly wares, which women browse while sampling wine and food. Chefs are on-hand to whip up delectable recipes for galleries of onlookers, models strut the fashion show runway in the latest couture, and psychics predict which attendees will have trouble remembering where they parked their car. A select few will win prizes such as spa packages, jewelry, and exclusive trips.
Colorful mats and bouncy trampolines fill the play-space at A Barrel O Monkeys Inc. This indoor playground exposes kids to creative and energetic play with open-gym sessions, Mommy and Me classes, and gymnastics sessions, during which kids can practice their cartwheels or glide down the slide to their heart's content. Kids can also zip-line through the gym or create art projects during all-inclusive birthday parties.
It's 1980-something. Glen, a young boy, dons a pair of glasses with one blue lens and one red, excited by this new technology that's supposed to make things on the screen pop out at you. During the next two hours, Glen ducks swooping avians during the revival of Alfred Hitchcock's ¬The Birds in 3-D, terrified, yet thrilled. This is one of Glen Gray's earliest memories about the theater his father built more than 30 years ago. Today, Glen lives out those moments each day as the proprietor of Movies of Delray, where the projectors roll a medley of Hollywood features, and foreign, art-house, and independent films.
Gold walls and burgundy curtains lend to the lobby’s art-deco air, and a large chandelier illuminates more than 60 pencil drawings of movie icons of yore, such as John Wayne, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe. This old-fashioned lobby disguises the updates within: brand-new bathrooms, granite countertops at the concession stand, and in the theaters themselves, digital surround sound and updated seating. Rows of black leather seats cushion moviegoers with high backs and wide benches so cozy that Glen claims guests have fallen asleep in them, only waking up at the end of the picture or when Bruce Willis turns out to have been a metaphor all along.
In celebration of film, professor Shelly Isaacs graces the theater with screenings of obscure Oscar-winning or Oscar-nominated foreign films. After each screening, he discusses the film with audiences, dissecting and analyzing the cinematography, characters, and plot.
Housed in a restored 1924 bungalow, Dada feels more like a chic friend's home than a typical restaurant. The owners use its different rooms to their advantage, offering a choice of spaces with different artwork and ambience. In one, you might eat a quiet, romantic dinner next to a fireplace; in another, there might be a reggae band playing well into the evening. Other performers take to the open mics in the basement, and outside voices are allowed to run free in a huge yard twinkling with lights. It all adds up to an experience that's quite different from the usual mold of South Florida nightlife, and the name Dada reflects that art movement's love for incongruous juxtapositions.
There's nothing absurd or surreal about two-time Delray Beach Garlic Festival champion chef Bruce Feingold's cuisine, however?it's simply creative, eclectic, and accessible. There is, for instance, a sandwich spilling over with seven different kinds of cheese?ranked as the second best grilled cheese in the area by the New Times (which has also given Dada high marks for its late-night eats and its bartenders). There are also more grown-up options, including lots of fresh fish. But for dessert, it's hard to resist the pure decadence of the Bunny, a sticky brownie with ice cream and bacon caramel.