Thursday’s fall equinox reminds me of the great jazz ballad “Autumn in New York,” both for the many artists drawn to the song — including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell — and for the memories of good times in the old neighborhood.
In September 2020, during the bad old days of COVID, Diana Krall released her version of the song, featuring a beautiful video shot by respected photographer Mark Seliger. The bleak black-and-white images hovered over the city, shocking in its emptiness, as Krall sang in a style that was both lamentation and love letter. Ex-New Yorkers who have since come to South Florida know the feeling.
While fall in South Florida is much like summer in South Florida, we feel encouraged by the sense that cooler times are coming. Here are a few ways to get out of it this weekend, with a few date night recommendations. No lamentation, all love letters.
Date no. 1: Put on your list of venues worth getting in the car and bands worth hearing in the car, Friday’s show at 9pm Lagniappe house in Miami by means of Gold Dust lounge. The group, led by guitarist-composer and experienced scene maker Russell Mofsky, deals in a brand of boisterous, guitar-like moodiness reminiscent of a scene made up by Quentin Tarantino or David Lynch. Music to look over your shoulder with. And Lagniappe House, just south of the Design District and Interstate 195, west of Biscayne, is just a pretty wine bar, with a wide, brick patio under lit trees and a shabby-chic indoor lounge with a small corner stage. The menu is efficient, with grilled dishes, cold cuts and cheese. The wine list is where it is. Admission is free. Visit LagniappeHouse.com or GoldDustLounge.com.
Weekend laughs: if you know Dan Cummins‘ “Timesuckpodcast, then you know. This week he did an extended riff on George Carlin’s glory, necessary listen for… well, everyone. The profane and cerebral Cummins brings his Symphony of Insanity Tour to the Denmark Improv for performances at 7.30 pm and 10 pm on Friday and 7 pm and 9.30 pm on Saturday. Tickets cost $30+. Visit DaniaImprov.com.
Date no. 2: We’ll start at the end, with dessert… wrestling doughthe local donut pop-up with a pro wrestling theme, brings its inventive square rings (like a wrestling ring) to laser wolf, the intimate beer dive in Progresso Plaza in Fort Lauderdale, starting Friday at 5 p.m. Visit Instagram.com/laser_wolf. Just steps away you will find the popular terrace recently unveiled outside Patio bar & pizza, with an outdoor cocktail bar, Adirondack chairs, and a fire pit. Overlooking the terrace is sidewalk bottle shop, a captivating source of natural wines and a hip crowd. What else do you need? Visit PatioBarPizza.com or SidewalkBottleShop.com.
Ladies Night: Lizzo will bring her catchy folk songs to FLA Live Arena in sunrise at 8 p.m. Friday, with dispersed tickets available from Ticketmaster.com. Full price is $64.75+, but there are resale seats for nearly $20 less. …You can still get tickets to see Karol Go at 8 p.m. Friday at Miami’s FTX Arenabut they start at $225+ (with some resale tickets slightly cheaper) on Ticketmaster.com.
Date No. 3: Wynwood‘s food-forward Saturday afternoon staple Smorgasburg Miami adds a Friday night edition this weekend for the final episode of his Summer evenings music serieswith the funky and danceable X experiment. Open from 6pm to 11:30pm, you’ll also find many of the best Saturday food vendors serving up for your noshing pleasure. Admission is free. Visit SmorgasburgMiami.com or Xperimento.com.
Puerto Rico relief: While you’re with Smorgasburg Miamiyou will see they take donations for Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico at the information booth. The Smorg will double weekend donations to $1,000, according to a post on Facebook.com/Smorgmiami, and will also donate proceeds from all merchandise sales and send money to local nonprofit Neighbors 4 Neighbors.
Take the kids: Tickets for The Polar Express holiday trains from Brightline went on sale this week, starting at $50 for adults and $45 for children ages 2 to 11 (lap babies under 2 ride free). ‘s two-hour rides MiamiCentral Station offer an entertaining recreation of the classic children’s story led by a cast of actors, as well as hot chocolate and a treat from dancing chefs. Pajamas optional (but encouraged). Visit MiamiThePolarExpressRide.com.
Date no. 4: Perhaps, like George Costanza, you are better in the daytime. Drinking in the center Fort Lauderdale feels much classier when they call it Libations by the River. This gathering of craft beers, cocktails, wine and food trucks is over Esplanade Park on the River walk from Saturday from 2 pm to 6 pm. All your friends will be there, including Tarpon River Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewery, American Icon Brewery, Shady Distillery, Gulf Stream Brewing Co., Paradise Prosecco Co., Rescue Dog Wines, Black Flamingo Brewing Co, ChainBridge Distillery, and many others. Access is freebut sampling tickets for five drinks cost $25. Visit GoRiverwalk.com. If you want to add dinner, may we recommend the relaxing patio? The Chimney House, half a block away on the other side of the Broward Center? Visit ChimneyHouseFL.com.
The Weekender – South Florida Events
Get an overview of the best events and things to do in South Florida so you can make it an epic weekend.
Go with the Flo: Renaissance Queen Florence and the Machine bring the tour in support of the critically acclaimed new “Dance Fever” until FTX Arena in Miami at 8 p.m. Saturday, with King Princess opening. Seats are available starting at $50+. It’s informative when an electric artist like Florence Welch organizes her tour to create a South Florida gig on Saturday (the band played Nashville on Tuesday). South Florida must reward that decision. Visit Ticketmaster.com. (Remember, Brightline goes there.)
Date No 5: Show your benevolent side Brewing barrel of monks in Boca Raton on Saturday night, when they have new cans Witty in pinkthe pink-tinged beer (they add raspberries to their Wizard White Ale) that raises money for Taking steps against breast cancer until the end of October. There will be live music from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Scared Davelotteries and the insane culinary ambitions of Cheffrey eats. Visit Facebook.com/barrelofmonks. … Crazy Uncle Mike’sa reliable place for energetic good times about 10 minutes east of BOM, hosts nationally touring but local funk rock band The heavy pets starting Saturday at 8.30 pm. Tickets cost $15. Visit CrazyUncleMikes.com.
Racing and bourbon: The all you can eat and drink series Tasting on the track returns to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm for the last edition of the season, this one is called Bourbon & BBQ. Takes place on the third floor flamingo room, Overlooking the action at the track, the afternoon will feature Southern-style dishes paired with cocktails and premium bourbons. The cost for the event for ages 21 and older is $50. Visit GulfstreamPark.com/events.
Date No. 6: Playing at the Tin roof in Delray Beach on Saturday night, Have you covered is, yes, an energetic South Florida cover band that will set the soundtrack at that end of the Atlantic when they take to the outdoor stage from 6pm. Any band that can make believable versions of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and the classic Black Sabbath sing-along “War Pigs” is guaranteed to be fun. I can vouch for the top-notch burgers at Tin Roof, so you don’t have to. not really going away.Visit TinRoofDelrayBeach.com or GotYouCoveredFL.com…. On the other hand, this is the last full weekend of Taste Palm Beach discount dinner month, and one of the participating restaurants is the swankier Avalon Steak & Seafood up the block (110 E. Atlantic Ave.). I guess it depends on how much you need to impress your companion. Visit FlavorPB.com or AvalonDelray.com.
Fun with rubber: The Wharf Fort Lauderdale on Saturday will host another of his bubbly blowfish parties they call South Florida’s biggest inflatable spectacle, and who could argue with that? The day starts at noon and includes over 1,000 inflatables of all shapes and sizes, special CO2 cannons, and $10 Blowfish Punch. There’s also The Wharf’s Rosé all day long special: $35 bottles of Côtes de Provence Rosé from noon to 4pm Visit WharfFTL.com. … The free roof terrace Splash Pool Party Bee the Easton at Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village on Saturday the fancy swimming hole will be filled with rubber ducks. The DJ-inspired fun runs from noon to 5 p.m. Sunbeds and cabanas are available. RSVP and details at Facebook.com/theeastonftl.
Date No. 7: I’ve heard good things about brunch at (five-time James Beard Award nominee) Jose Mendin .’s River Tail in the centre Fort Lauderdale‘s New River – for its vibrant environment, the chicken and waffles with Korean BBQ syrup ($15) and bottomless Prosecco ($30). Opening hours are Saturday from 12 noon to 4 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM. Visit RivertailFTL.com. … I mention Rivertail because just under the bridge and over Huizenga Park, NSU Fort Lauderdale Art Museum will celebrate Fort Lauderdale Neighbors Dayof free entrance to the inhabitants of the city and two-for-one wine in the Museum Café. This is a good chance to see the exhibits “Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky” and “Beyond Alechinsky”, which are until October 2. The museum is open on Sundays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. You will need a photo ID or utility bill to take advantage of free entry. Visit NSUArtMuseum.org.