KAREN BERMAN (Mathematics faculty) comes from a long line of educators. Her sister is a kindergarten teacher. Her father, with whom she is very close, retired from teaching three years ago after a 50 year teaching career. 

At the end of the school year, Ms Berman shuts the door of her classroom, remembering to savor late night suppers and fog in anticipation of her annual summer pilgrimage to the great southeast. For a month each summer, Ms. Berman trades the Golden State for the Sunshine State to spend a month with her parents in Delray Beach, a coastal city in Palm Beach County, Florida. 

Once a center for pineapple cultivation, tourism and real estate speculation, Delray Beach experienced a bit of an identity crisis when the land boom in mid-1920s Florida collapsed. No longer the largest town on the east coast of Florida between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach had to reinvent itself and seems to have done a pretty good job of it. 

The Downtown Delray Artists District, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, and the Spady Museum are just a few of the attractions for visitors to the area. The Old School Square Cultural Arts Center, built on the former site of the now defunct Delray Elementary School and Delray High School, houses the Cornell Museum of Art & American Culture and is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

Delray Beach is also the site of the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, a very forward thinking enviromental project; 50 acres of unused utility land transformd into a public wetlands park. Each day, approximately two million gallons of highly treated water are pumped into the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, making it a vital part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Over 151 species of birds have been spotted inside the park, some of which were close to extinction and are now protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Maybe that has something to do with Ms. Berman’s comment about Early Bird Dinners at 4:00 pm?