I’ve never been so excited to edit an events page. There is, you see, an events page in this month’s issue. It’s a curated list of some of the most interesting events happening in Fort Lauderdale this month, with practical information about what times they’re happening, how much they cost, etc. As journalism goes, it’s fairly functional.
For reasons I don’t need to explain to you, it’s also the first events page we’ve run in more than a year. And let me tell you, seeing it in print feels good. There’s an events page! Because there are events! Yaaaaay!
But the main theme of this issue isn’t events. This is our annual Ocean Issue. It’s one of my favorites every year because while the ocean may hold many secrets, it also offers up many interesting stories. For our longest story, I talked to some of the people working to make our oceans cleaner and healthier through everything from more effective ocean trash removal to coral reef health. We’ve got beachgoing fashion, tasty seafood, a classic Fort Lauderdale house on the New River (which is, of course, Fort Lauderdale’s original highway to the ocean) and plenty of other seafaring fare in this issue.
The Atlantic is, of course, an intrinsic part of life here. But I wonder if sometimes it’s not also easy to overlook. I once got in an argument with a Northern transplant about whether South Florida has much easy access to nature; the Northerner’s argument was that since there’s not rolling countryside beyond the suburbs, we don’t.
Without even getting into how this neglects the fascinating Everglades, I noted that our nature sits at the eastern end of every major east-west road. Sure, our beach and water are not something you drive out into. Granted, they’re within a thrown novelty plastic cup of some of our finest 2-for-1 margarita bars. But this is still our mountain range, our rolling forest, our hiking trail. And for the price of a snorkel and fins, we can see a lot of what it has to offer without ever leaving the city.
In these recent event-free times, I’ve definitely come to appreciate the ocean more. It’s free, and it’s been here for us when other things haven’t been.
Now those other things are coming back, and that’s great. This month, I think I’ll go to some events. See a bit of live music. Catch a Marlins game. See what’s new at the arts districts. But I’ll also spend time in our slice of Florida nature. Going to the beach is always an event.