Published On: Sat, Apr 20th, 2024

Been There, Done That

By Marci Shatzman

I hope pedal pushers aren’t coming back.

Now they’re called capris or cropped jeans. Somewhere between slacks and shorts, they were the uniform in the “Seinfeld” era.

Remember the TV show that ran from 1989 to 1998? They’re still in reruns. But Jerry will be 69 on April 29, and there’s no such place as Del Boca Vista. There never was.

That was nearly 30 years ago, and a lot has changed.

Sleepy Boca has turned into vibrant Boca with 100,000 city residents, not even counting people (like us) who have a Boca address but live in the county.

The city and suburbs have evolved from an IBM and mostly East Coast retirement mecca to its present family friendly state. When we moved here in 2000, public schools still had a so-so reputation. Now they’re A-rated and so overcrowded, the district had to build another grade school (Blue Lake) in Boca and expand schools like Addison Mizner from an elementary, to a kindergarten through eighth grade. FAU just announced record first-year college applications…more than 46,000, a 27% increase from last year.

Mizner Park restaurants were always an early evening. Now they’re weekend date night destinations.  

The new Brightline private railroad station has ushered in a new era for Boca. People can ride to Miami and grandparents can take visiting or grandkids who already live here to Disney without driving or flying.

Large entertainment venues for national touring companies and big-name entertainers are relegated to West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, Hollywood and Miami.

That may change. City leaders and incoming The Center for the Arts and Innovation envision Boca’s future as both for locals and a destination. Initial designs for the campus that will encompass the city’s amphitheater and vacant lot next door have flex space for everything from indoor-outdoor stages to galas to business, to school and community uses.

Not everybody’s happy about any of this. Many longtime residents hate the traffic and the busier vibe.

But the late great Mayor Susan Whelchel was right. About everything. People laughed when she predicted kids would go to college and move back here to raise their family. She foresaw the future for Boca, and it was bright.

And like most of us dressy Boca women, I never saw her in pedal pushers.

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