In trying times, a sense of community – of belonging – can sometimes ease the worries and fears that come with the unknown. We are in such a time, right now. That’s why we’ve gone a little off topic with this blog. We are in this together. And we at Hollywood Eyes are here for you. Welcome to our community.
You’ve been reading our blogs for a bit, now. We hope that you’ve been informed. Maybe a little entertained. But, are you left wondering where we are? Where is the “Hollywood” in Hollywood Eyes?
We are known as Florida’s Hollywood and we are located in the southeast part of the state midway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. And, yes. We have an awesome beach! Hollywood Beach has a very cool feature called the Broadwalk. Nope. That’s not a typo. That’s what we call it!.
Our Broadwalk is a brick-paved, shop-lined esplanade paralleling Hollywood Beach. On any given day, you will find it teeming with runners, cyclists, skaters, dog walkers and folks out enjoying the warm sun and salt air.
Most of the shops and restaurants are local mom-and-pop places. You will, however, find the Margaritaville Resort and a few other well-known chains. Mostly, it’s locals with unique fare and friendly smiles. There’s even an outdoor theater that provides free performances on occasion.
And, there’s always a refreshing ocean breeze to rustle the palm fronds and keep you comfortable whether you’re taking a swim, flying a kite or sipping a thirst-quenching umbrella drink!
“Hollywood-by-the-Sea” was the vision of Joseph Young who, in 1920, designed a beautiful town built around a wide, tree-filled boulevard – Hollywood Boulevard, of course! – connecting three traffic circles, the easternmost of which came to be named after him following his death in 1934 at the age of 51.
Before he passed, he saw his town incorporated as a city, became its first mayor and developed Port Everglades. Port Everglades is up US 1 in Fort Lauderdale near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. These days, over 4,000 ships make the Port their call and it welcomes nearly 4 million cruise passengers every year.
The Great Hurricane of 1926 and the Great Depression soon after unfortunately ended Mr Young’s development of Hollywood-by-the-Sea.
Our city continued to grow on its own, seemingly in his honor. These days, in addition to the Broadwalk, modern-day downtown Hollywood boasts restaurants, galleries and more locally-owned businesses as well as Arts Park at Young Circle where one can find anything from music performances, resident artists – including one who teaches glass blowing! – yoga and a host of food trucks.
Arts Park at Young Circle is also one of the few places in the United States to see gigantic Baobab Trees. The Circle is host to five of these trees which are native to Africa.
With a monthly Classic Car Show and Art Walk as well as local Mardi Gras and St Patrick’s Day celebrations, our little city by the sea always has something to share with its residents and tourists alike.
So much of downtown Hollywood is comprised of privately owned small businesses such as Hollywood Eyes. It adds so much to that small-town feel that it’s easy to forget that we have such major metropolitan areas nearby.
Hollywood Eyes has called downtown home since Doctor Barry Kay opened his original practice on Hollywood Boulevard in 1998. In 2006, he moved the office to its present location at 2011 Harrison Street. Doctor Kay served as president of the Downtown Hollywood Business Association from 2003 to 2006, and then became president of the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
In fact, June 13, 2017, was declared Hollywood Eyes Day by the Board of Commissioners of Broward County, Florida!
So, now, you’ve been introduced to us and to our town. Guess that makes you all part of the family!
Stop in and say hi. We’ll make you feel right at home!