Monday, July 11, 2011

The way we were

Coral Gables calls itself "The City Beautiful."

But over the years it's also earned itself the unofficial nickname of "Moral Gables."

In 1949, the city passed an ordinance banning "crime comic books."

In 1970, the city tried and failed to ban the showing of the movie, "Woodstock."

In 1972, the Coral Gables city commission was urged to ban the movie, "Last Tango in Paris," because the theater scheduled to show it was near a school.

In 1974, a Gables cop was suspended for shacking up with his  girlfriend.

And, at one time, video games were banned within city limits.

As late as 1987, the city commission passed a ban on beer sales at a Miracle Mile outdoor street festival. One commissioner justified her vote by saying, "drugs and alcohol are linked together."

Twenty years ago, the city spent over $130,000 of taxpayer money trying to "outlaw Miami New Times' brightly colored newspaper boxes" on the city's sidewalks.

Starting next month, Coral Gables residents, once again, will not be able to park pickup trucks in their driveways or on city streets from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Last month the Miami Herald reported the city was resuming  enforcement of the "controversial law because ... the Florida Supreme Court decided not to consider an appeal by Lowell Kuvin, who sued Coral Gables in 2003 after code-enforcement officers cited him for parking his pickup truck on a residential street."

But, The Gables - it turns out - wasn't always so "moral."

In the 1920's, if you wanted to gawk at naked ladies, all you had to do was drive on over to the Coral Gables Golf and Country Club.

The staid country club, it seems, featured nude dancers.

But for some reason, in 1927, the club changed course and decided to give "dancers with a wardrobe a chance."

Said the club's managing director Fred E. Mann, "Not that we are opposed to dancers au naturelle, but we believe the patrons of the club have had sufficient of the terpsichorean endeavors of the young women who eschew clothing in their act."

From the Miami Daily News, March 4, 1927


  1. I'm not sure if this true or not, but I've heard the reason UM doesn't have sorority houses is because of a law the prohibits large groups of women from cohabiting because the city classifies that as a brothel. True? I'm too lazy to look it up.

  2. Forget it, I looked it up. It's a myth.

  3. Is there a translation for what that club manager said? Sounds like the Texas Ranger in "True Grit." Either version.


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