Wednesday, September 13, 2006

First Condo Party Ever, 1924

The Jewish Museum of Florida unveiled their new exhibit Monday night to an enthusiastic crowd of developers and those that love them. "Bonim," (builders in Hebrew) focuses on the Jewish builders and their impact on Florida's cherished industry - real estate development. The crowd, though not as sprightly as the usual SoBe party goers (let's just say these people cruised South Beach before Diddy was born) were nonetheless eager and interested in the voluminous exhibit. At nearly 600 images it was hard to balance a potato latke, glass of Baron Herzog Merlot, and read all about those buildings, builders, build, build build! Rise, Florida, RISE!

A fascinating discovery was the very first condo party ever - in a tent, on the beach in Surfside, sponsored by French Jewish developer Henri Levy. Humble beginnings for a tradition that now includes the perfunctory open bar, the spectacle of caged dancers, and in some cases the presence of Star Jones. One longs for those nostalgic days of yore when all a developer had to was set up tent (literally) on the beach and offer a refreshing beverage and a lease or two.

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