One Man and His Horn: Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale

My time in Boca Raton was mainly spent running around and wasting time.  I found this wonderful park called Sanborn Park Square and I asked a gentleman about the traffic that comes through there and he didn’t know for sure.  There were restaurants and offices around so I thought it would be a good spot for lunch.  The man told me Mizner Park was just around the corner.  Mizner Park is a huge area with grass and fountains all down the middle of the street and all kinds of shops and restaurants lined on either side of the street.  It looked like a wonderful place to set up.  I just wanted to make sure it was okay. I don’t like getting set up and start playing, only to be told I can’t play after only one song, I feel it is a waste of time.  Turns out, I wasted a lot more, doing it the way I did.

I saw an officer and he didn’t know.  He said I should check with Park Security.  THey said it is city property, I need to ask the city.  I called City Hall and got transferred. I got a voicemail, I got transferred to another place and got that voicemail.  She put through to non-emergency police, they didn’t know.  The person transferred me to the Lt., I got voicemail.  At this point I was going crazy, so I just went back to Sanborn and played there.  It was beautiful, much smaller park and I thought that would be good.

I played out there for about two hours.  There wasn’t nearly as much traffic as I thought there would be.  The highlight of the entire day came when a photographer named Amanda came in.  I saw her taking photos of the park and then she asked if she could take photos of me.  She was there for a few minutes taking my picture as I was playing.  When she was done we talked for a few minutes and I gave her a cd.  She is going to share the photos she took with me.   I will post them on my facebook music page when I get them.

After  I was done for the afternoon shift, I went to City Hall.  There was a 25 minute waiting line to talk to somebody there, so I went to the Police Station across the street.  After a few minutes,and two people working the phones, I finally got my answer about Mizner Park—     Yes, you can play out there but you can’t take money, unless you have the proper permit through Code Enforcement.   So I want to say to any other traveling Busker– If you are just passing through, just keep going.  Unless of course, you plan to live there.

I got to Ft. Lauderdale around 3: something and drove around looking for a spot.  I went out to the beach and in retrospect, realized I made a mistake.  I should have paid the $7 to park for the day and just spent the day out there.  Instead I went back into town onto Las Olas and found a corner.  There were 2 elephant sculptures on the grass right next to it, I thought would bring luck.  Little did I know.  I actually found most of the people there to be a little snobby, just my opinion.  I don’t normally say a whole of negative things but I can’t help it here.  I stayed out on that corner for an hour and a half.  I went to the coffee shop and caught all the way up on my work then looked for a new spot.

It wasn’t happening on Las Olas, so I went to the Riverfront and there was an event at the theater there. I did speak to an officer and he was very cool. He was most helpful with ideas.  I went out to the beach.  I found a corner near the beginning where loud music wasn’t being played out of the clubs.  It was a pretty good spot, traffic wise.  For the most part, I found people there to be a little snobby too, not all of them.  There were a couple cool people. I am not just talking about people who tip either.  I am talking about just being cordial.  I think I need to write an entire entry on that alone.  Anyway,  I saw a cruiser drive by and he didn’t stop, so I knew I was good to go.  I was out there for about an hour and a half.  It was getting late, so I pack it up and head to Naples.

Again, to other Buskers– in Ft. Lauderdale, for the most part, although you need a permit, out at the beach or on the Riverfront you should be fine.  If an officer asks you move just do it.  Chances are they won’t, but you never know what kind of day they are having.

 

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