Published On: Wed, Mar 28th, 2012

Downtown Boca isn’t just happening, it’s dynamic!

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By: Dale King

It’s been a busy few weeks in our household. So my wife and I decided to visit one of our favorite restaurants the other night and just relax a bit.

We made reservations at Caruso’s for some terrific Italian food.  Owner Gina Caruso greeted us at the door and led us to a nice table by the window.

It was early evening, and things were kind of quiet and laid back.  The sun was still way up in the sky as Daylight Savings Time had been instituted the week before.  We saw some young people walking around the parking lot.  Actually, it was the night before St. Patrick’s Day, and lots of people were costumed in green.

It wasn’t long afterward that we noticed the Fulmer family outside.  Kendra Fulmer, a budding vocalist with a wonderful voice, was preparing to sing outside the restaurant as the evening went on.  Her father, Fred, was setting up the equipment and her mom, Ingrid, stopped by our table to say hello and talk a little about the gig.

Well, it wasn’t long before Jon and Bonnie Kaye came by with son Michael to enjoy dinner with the Fulmers.  They also said hello and Bonnie came by the talk about the newest edition of the Downtown Boca quarterly that had just been published.

Actually, Yaacov Heller brought copies over from his shop across the parking lot at Royal Palm Place.  We hadn’t seen Yaacov for a while, but we did get his invitation to attend an event at his Gallery 22 on Friday, March 23.

By the middle of the evening, the place was buzzing.  My wife and I finished up a delicious meal – even took some of it home – and headed for the car.  Kendra was still singing.  And by the way, she did an excellent version of “Phantom of the Opera,” not to mention some great tunes from the pre-rock era.

Dark was descending on the city when we turned onto Federal Highway to head home.  The sidewalks were filled with people going from shop to shop on their way to Royal Palm Place.

It was nice to see that so many people have discovered downtown.  It truly is a happening place – a dynamic place.

BIDDING ADIEU TO EMILY LILLY

One of the people responsible for a lot of the special events that happen in Boca Raton throughout the year has retired.

Emily Lilly – perhaps one of the most familiar faces and hardest working people in the city – is stepping down to…, well, to continue what she has been doing – except as a private businesswoman.  She told me the other day she plans to operate her own events planning firm.

I’ve known Emily for many years and she was always there to help.  If a question came up about an event, we just said, “Call Emily Lilly.”

I remember a heartbreaking night back in 2002. The city was planning a first anniversary event for the 9/11 terror attacks.  Tents were set up around Sanborn Square and the clock was ticking toward a 7 p.m. start.

I was driving over from the old Boca News office when the sky opened up with thunder, wind, lighting and a deluge of rain. It was fast, but it was furious.

When I got to Sanborn Square, the tents had all blown over.  Practically no one was there.  But Emily was under the city’s tent, standing by her box of goodies until everything could be cleaned up.

You’re a trooper, Emily, and we will miss you very, very much.

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