By Sharon Aron Baron
There is no doubt that Ryan Yousefi loves the City of Coral Springs. He shares a comprehensive list for any doubters that expresses what he loves most about his city.
Ryan’s family moved from Columbus, Ohio to Coral Springs back in 1984, where he attended public schools and graduated from Coral Springs High School in 1998. He then went on to graduate from Florida State University, stayed in Tallahassee for a few years after that, until he eventually moved back in 2008.
In 2012, Coral Springs had a population of 125,287 in only a 24 square mile area. With a median household income of $70,610 and great public schools, the city continues to be a great place not only to raise a family but to start a business. Coral Springs ranked number 15 in the population of Florida cities.
Currently, Ryan works at Affordable Rehab and writes for the Riptide section of Miami New Times, which covers News, Crime, and Sports. This article first appeared in the Broward/Palm Beach New Times, and although Coral Springs is a city, he wants everyone to know it’s also the Best Neighborhood in Broward County.
By Ryan Yousefi
Welcome to Coral Springs, the best neighborhood in Broward County. I’m not just saying that; I’ve lived the dream for 20-plus years. You might be saying to yourself, “Hey, I’ve been to Coral Springs — you’re crazy.” Well, you would be right — craaaaazy about my love for the city my parents moved our shivering Ohio asses to in the early ’80s!
Coral Springs is one of the fastest-growing cities not just in South Florida but in the WORLD. Well, I don’t have any data to back that up, but they just built a BJ’s Brewhouse in like a month, so it’s basically Tokyo if you ask me.
In 1963, a couple of dudes almost called Coral Springs “Quartermore,” probably because back in 1963 paying a quarter more for something meant it was freaking fantastic, but they settled on Coral Springs; then they invented Facebook. OK, fine, you saw the movie; I’m lying again. But seriously, even dogs in Coral Springs have a Facebook page, so they should get at least a mention in Social Network 2.
Below, you will find ten non-negotiable reasons Coral Springs is the best place to live in Broward:
10. Technically, nothing is HERE, but if you need it, it’s not far.
Remember that roommate who never chipped in for pizza but always ended up eating a full share? That’s Coral Springs. Coral Springs set up shop in 1964 and decided none of that monkey business was happening up in there, no exceptions. I mean NONE. One city in America disallows McDonald’s iconic golden arches sign, and that’s Coral Springs because a huge yellow “M” is filed under monkey business.
If we want to go to the casino, we venture over 441, to a faraway land one minute away called “Coconut Creek.” If we want to go to the beach, Deerfield Beach is five Outkast Aquemini songs away. Hell, I had to Google it. I was sure at least Butterfly World was in Coral Springs, but NOPE, that’s technically Pompano. If you need to mail something, however, Coral Springs is the destination for you, with 27 FedEx and 23 UPS stores to choose from.
9. You really deal with traffic only once a year, and it’s the talk of the town weeks prior, so you have plenty of advance notice if you choose to avoid it.
Miami traffic at 5 p.m. looks like a scene out of the early stages of a zombie apocalypse, Coral Springs at 5 p.m. looks like, well, Coral Springs at noon. There are 127,000 people in Coral Springs, and at times it seems like somehow only 12 of them have a car. There is traffic one day a year, the day the town closes Sample Road for a few hours for the Holiday Parade, and even that pisses everyone off.
8. The Coral Springs Covered Bridge is the only publicly accessible covered bridge in Florida, all 40 feet of it.
Back in 1964, Coral Springs was like “Hey, what should be the first thing we build?” Then some guy was all like “a covered bridge?” And the rest is history. The eye of Hurricane Cleo passed over Coral Springs just months later, and the bridge is still there. In 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit Coral Springs hard, the bridge gave Wilma the kung-fu “bring it” fingers, laughed in its face, and lit a cigarette. To recap, covered bridges and McDonald’s without golden arches, THAT’S WHAT CORAL SPRINGS DOES.
7. We have a Laspada’s, and you’re so damned jelly.
At first glance, the strip mall on Sample Road just east of Riverside drive seems normal enough. Light-bulb store, check cashing store, liquor store, and a psychic, but not so fast, my friend. Nestled between all that excitement is none other than Laspada’s, the G.O.A.T. hoagie shop. If you have never been, download the New Times app, and read the rest of this when you get there, or print this out and use it as a napkin when you’re done; I’d be honored. While you’re there, cash a check, get your palm read, buy some booze, and pick up a light bulb: It’s the one-stop-shop! #YOLO
6. Coral Springs is really safe, which is good.
In 2010 CNN Money ranked Coral Springs as the 44th best place to live in the United States. Your chances of being the “victim of a violent crime” in Coral Springs are 1 in 512 and even better if you just stay inside tweeting all night. Coral Springs: Come for the covered bridge, stay for not being a victim of a violent crime.
5. The Panthers practice here, and they are undefeated when doing so.
Ever go to a Panthers game and say to yourself, “Man, I wish I could see how this team prepares to lose.” Well, you’re in luck! The Panthers practice right here in Coral Springs, at Saveology Iceplex. When the Panthers aren’t wowing you with their practices, you can come to enjoy the hypnotic beats of world-famous DJ Ballistic Billy. Suck it, South Beach.
4. Coral Springs holds the “Our Town Festival” every March, and it’s free-fiddy.
For more than 20 years, Coral Springs has held Our Town, the festival celebrating the city’s awesomeness. Think Dade County Fair without all the inconvenient stabbings and fear of impending gang violence. The yearly festival includes fun rides, a food court, arts and crafts, a car show, and a beauty pageant. Not sold? What if I told you there was cotton candy? No? What are you, al Qaeda or something?
3. It might not be Boca, but it’s not Margate, but it’s not quite Parkland, it’s kinda sorta Tamarac.
The best part about Coral Springs, as we have covered already, is that it sits smack dab in the middle of so many other places, it’s like the Starbucks of Broward County cities. You come there to live because it’s a great place to raise a family, but if you want frozen yogurt or, let’s say, the Cheetah, it’s not too far. Maybe you’re feeling fancy tonight; well, Mizner Park is just down the road in Boca. University Drive will take you where you want to go. Just don’t go south of Commercial; things get sketchy.
2. The city just poured $700 million into its downtown area, near “The Walk” open-air shopping and entertainment center.
Within a few-mile stretch on University Drive in Coral Springs is a place called The Walk, with pretty much everything you could imagine, except fun things to do if you’re under 18, but really, screw you kids; you have an X-Box. The Walk’s website claims “Whether you want to get your nails done, your hair colored, or get your legs waxed… you can do it all here!” I’m not sure all those things have ever been available in the same town, much less the same plaza, but I’ll put a call into Guinness and find out.
1. From time to time, you will see Kimbo Slice riding around on some sort of futuristic four-wheel hybrid motorcycle thing, and it’s just as awesome as you would imagine.
Sure, lots of celebrities live in other places, but how many of them are Kimbo Slice? None, that’s how many. I rest my case. Listen, I was running out of reasons here, and I’m pretty sure I saw him today, so I put him on the list; take it up with him if you have a problem with it.