Delray Beach Bus Loop Took on Atlantic Avenue

Categories: Nightlife
delraybusloop_passport.jpg
By M
Here's your drinking passport.
Rebecca Dittmar did the Delray Bus Loop, which traveled all over downtown Delray Beach on Friday.

Like any opening night, there have been a few glitches. A huge success in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the fundraising alcoholic trolley adventure has made its way to Palm Beach county. My friends (V and M) and I are on the inaugural Delray Beach Bus Loop. The route runs right down the busiest stretch of Atlantic Avenue, a traffic disaster on a Friday night which could have easily been avoided with more careful planning.

Some of the bus drivers didn't know where they were going -- like, they had no idea. The first bus we got on was missing its Bus Loop Ambassador, volunteers who know how everything is supposed to work, where it's supposed to go, and how to handle any problems that might arise. After listening to the beleaguered driver go back and forth with some of the other passengers, I made my way to the front and showed him my Bus Loop Card. It had the route printed on a street map on one side, the other side had all the venues and the drinks and appetizers (if any) that they offered.


delraybusloop_map.JPG
By M

I told him he needed to turn left to get us to our next stop. He did so -- with me still standing with the door still open. V looked ready to launch out of her seat and catch me if I fell out of the door, which I appreciated. I flung myself into the first row and hung on.

We were ready to get off. Prior to me directing the bus, this was our situation. M had shouted over the general melee inside the trolley: "This is my friend Rebecca [me]! She's sexy and she likes a booty smack!" I ducked my head and cringed behind V. Hooting and whistling followed. I glared at M, who was perched on the bench at the back of the bus. She did not look sorry. Thanks to the vodka and tonic I'd gotten at Bull Bar with my Loop Card, this was hilarious instead of terrifying, but anyhow, I wanted to get off, while this was still the only response to the pronouncement.

Also, V, who sat next to me, was having her hair petted by The Stalker. We picked up The Stalker a few bars ago and haven't quite been able to shake her. She was very nice as long as you're the sort of person who enjoys overly personal "compliments" that make no sense. M was gesturing wildly over The Stalker's head, mouthing "Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger!" V took the whole thing in stride and instead explained to the couple next to us that, no, the tattoo on her shoulder was not of her child, it was of Rosie the Riveter.

delraybusloop_trolley.JPG
By M
Poetry in motion.


Soon enough, we were at Falcon House. Many of the patrons that night were first-timers -- and you saw that on their faces upon entry because the Falcon House is not at all what you'd expect. Instead of a pub, it's more like something you'd find on South Beach. The light inside is red, and there's club music (Rihanna) playing alongside a rolling sea of loud, drunk patrons enjoying themselves. At the bar, I got my Loop Card stamped and claimed my beverage. Each stop on the route had a different drink. At Bull Bar and Caliente, it was any liquor. At Sail Inn, it was a lemoncello. And at Falcon House, it was a margarita. It has been the most generously sized drink so far -- and the most delicious.

I sipped. Good God, I have never enjoyed a margarita so much! I scribbled in my notebook. I'm pretty sure at that point I wrote something really poignant about friendship and love and the meaning of life, about how bars and bus loops can bring new people together and renew old friendships. It was the sort of life-affirming prose so transcendent it becomes poetry. (I cannot read my smugdey notes; my little notebook got drenched in the condensation of my many drinks.)

I had only introduced V and M tonight. They were completely different looking, V covered in tattoos and M, petite and Latin, smoothing her perfect hair. They were already in friendship-love with each other, heads together, conversing in Spanish.

What I wrote was probably epic, but then so was the margarita.


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Location Info

Falcon House - CLOSED

116 N.E. Sixth Ave., Delray Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant


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4 comments
Profitpak
Profitpak

I would like to tip my hat and offer a toast to the Delray Beach Bus Loop for a fine job well done and thank John Haley for having the insight to put it together.As we all know, the Atlantic  Avenue bar section is not that big and we can certainly walk it except for the Sail Inn but it wouldn't be half as much fun as riding the trolleys with old and new friends we met along the way. As a bus ambassador on the Delray Beach Bus Loop, I can tell you that I knew my route so well that after going along with the bus driver three times over the entire route, he was able to do it on his own. I also know of several other ambassadors who also knew their routes well in advance of the loop start so it seems to me that you must have been the lucky single person that got the bus with no ambassador.   From the beginning of the Loop at the Public Library (free parking for all who took advantage of it), the route was also well laid out. It traveled mostly on the back streets and the only time it was on Atlantic Avenue was from 7th to the Marriott which wasn't busy that far down the strip and again getting back to US1 heading north to the Sail Inn,and then when we came off of US1 south and made the left onto the very next block onto US 1north to go to Falcon House.  I don't know where you encountered a problem hitting traffic as we had no issues and with everyone having a  great time on the buses, I don't think anyone even cared. As with any bus loop, part of the fun of the night is meeting and having fun on the bus.In fact, I found traffic lighter than usual for a Friday night in Delray and maybe the buses packed with people had something to do with that as it kept a lot of drivers off the strip..  I thought the night went off extremely well considering it was the first time. John Haley as usual had things under control and a remedy for any problems that arose.The next time that there is a bus loop, please feel free to contact me and I will personally be your bus ambassador.  Jorge Sanchez

Rebecca Dittmar
Rebecca Dittmar

I too thought the night went very well - aside from the occasional first night bump in the road. I was not trying to make it seem like it was a disaster - and I don't think that's what I did, either. We did have a bus driver who was lost and I did have to help him, but he was very nice and obviously doing his very best and I'm sure once he got a loop ambassador on board, things smoothed out for him as well. We did get stuck in some traffic on Atlantic Avenue - which could have been gotten around on by taking side streets, but it's not a huge complaint. All in all, it was a great time! On a fun, crazy night in Downtown Delray the bumps in the road only add to the fun, which is all I was trying to portray here. I look forward to the next bus loop and fully intend to be on it, even if it does go down the main drag of Atlantic Avenue. :)

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