500blk Weekend street festival


Mayor Keith James Cancels Pride Fest!

Last week the Pride on the Block organizers asked me if they should be worried about Mayor Keith James canceling the 3rd annual Pride Fest in Downtown West Palm Beach. I reassured them although Mayor James would most likely do anything, he could to hurt me and my businesses, he won't dare cancel the Pride Fest organized by and to benefit Transpire Help, a not-for-profit created to provide support for the LGBTQ+ community in recovery.

I was dead wrong! Mayor Keith James surprised and shocked us all and denied the permit for the Pride Fest with no reason given.

"Plague! We are in the middle of a plague!" Larry Kramer shouts through the noise of people arguing at a meeting of Aids activists.

Some of us are old enough to remember the beginning of the Aids epidemic and the refusal of our government to address the crisis. Then, finally, a group named Act Up, headed by a charismatic rageful Larry Kramer, did just that, Act Up, and they made all the difference in turning the minds of most Americans and, in turn, our elected officials to not just stand by but commit vast resources to combat the Aids epidemic.

Larry Kramer’s words, unfortunately, ring true today as they did in the 1980s. There is a Plague today: not deadly biological virus but a Plague of the mind: of intolerance and stupidity. From the reversal of Roe V Wade, word assassination, banning gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom, and making it illegal for Drag Queens to perform, our society has genuinely regressed half a century in just a few years. All the struggles of Larry Kramer and Act Up, Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, were all for naught.

I have been losing faith in our City over the years as we live under a veiled dictatorship called the strong Mayor system. I'm sure the citizens who in 1991 voted to create a strong Mayor and elect Nancy Graham may have never envisioned the possible abuse of power this system allows and possibly encourages.

A strong Mayor may be beneficial when we are lucky enough to have an honest, dignified righteous Mayor with only the interest of its citizenry at heart. Still, when the opposite of those values is elected, we are in trouble.

And that is where we are now! We are in trouble.

The Plague is here, in Tallahassee, in far too many states, and in our City. This is no time for complacency. Serious consequences are at our doorstep if we do not act up.

Pride Fest was attended by over 2,000 citizens of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County last year. It was a great success and well received. As a result, the organizers this year decided to expand the event to 2 days, Friday and Saturday, June 2nd and 3rd, and add Rosemary Square as an additional location with events running simultaneously. A full lineup of national performers and speakers was booked, and tickets purchased; expected attendance this year was over 3,000 people, all celebrating diversity and tolerance.

That has all vanished with one simple signature by our strong Mayor Keith James,

All of us involved in this event have reached out to our commissioners, congresswomen, City officials and community leaders to try and instill some reason into Mayor James and have him change his mind. All were sympathetic and supportive, but we repeatedly heard the same thing. Mayor Keith James holds power solely, and only he can grant the permit for Pride Fest on the Block.

We will continue the fight. We are not giving up. We can't.
Join us tonight, Friday, on the 500 Block for the final Drag Show performance (as Mayor James also revoked the 500 Block weekend permits) and show your support for the LGBTQ+ community and our entire City and County.

Celebrate our diversity!

Please fill out the petition to send to Mayor Keith James telling him to approve Pride on the Block 2023

“The dynamism of any diverse community depends not only on the diversity itself but on promoting a sense of belonging among those who formerly would have been considered and felt themselves outsiders.”
— Sonia Sotomayor

35 years ago a few of my friends said I was crazy for naming a new indie/punk rock club I was opening in an old formerly...

35 years ago a few of my friends said I was crazy for naming a new indie/punk rock club I was opening in an old formerly condemned Salvation Army building on the 500 block of Clematis Street, “Resoectable Street”. Back then you could sit and have lunch or a 3am late night snack , Bills Tuxedo rentals was across the street, Badcock furniture to the east and that was about it.

Although we have managed to remain somewhat relevant over the years and most importantly remain open, most do not know where the name “Respectable Street” came from.

Tonight that indie/punk clubs namesake, XTC will be performing their song “Respectable Street” Live!

We’ve been waiting 35 years for this momentous occasion.

It’s about damn time… Thank you XTC!

“Don't he realize this is respectable street”

Also see Respects,Respectables, Rejectables, RSC etc.



They laughed when Rodney Mayo opened in the run down Salvation Army building in dicey 500 block of Clematis, but 35 years later, it's still a hot spot.




THE BLOCK IS HOT! Join us tomorrow, June 18th from 3pm - 11pm for our Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, and we are kicking things off with live music, free food, and games for the whole family. Stay tuned for a live drumline performance from a local middle school and free food for all participating kids! See you there ✊

Well the fat lady isn’t singing yet...but she's warming up! The Good News- after our petition to repeal the drastic park...

Well the fat lady isn’t singing yet...but she's warming up!

The Good News- after our petition to repeal the drastic parking rate increases by the City of West Palm Beach garnered over 3,000 signatures (and counting), over 600 comments on Facebook, 2 meetings with the Merchants and City staff, the City have agreed to revisit the rate increases. Most notably the 24/7 enforced parking which looks like will go back to the original free after 7pm. The merchants will provide some recommendations to the City to review and we are hopeful a just compromise will be reached. We would like to thank City staff and the DDA for meeting with us and listening to all the comments from the residents and the merchants.

I do not think this would have happened without you signing the petition, writing comments, showing up at meetings and expressing your frustration with an ill-timed and burdensome rate increase. I’m afraid this decision by the City was made with little regard for the working folks or long time residents that are struggling every day to pay rent, put gas in their car, get to work and yes PARK!

I kept hearing over and over “well it’s only an extra buck or two”. Unfortunately, that extra buck or two equated to a $20 parking fee for many who could not afford it.

Progress, growth and development will never stop but it can happen without forcing out those who have lived and worked here all their lives and still want to call West Palm Beach their home. This place won’t be much fun if all we are doing is dodging self-driving Teslas on the way to their guard gates.

Stay Tuned, more to come. Keep speaking up and commenting!

Changes are under construction to West Palm Beach's new controversial higher parking rates. WPBF's Terri Parker has the details.Subscribe to WPBF on YouTube ...

Thank you for all those that filled out the survey regarding the increased parking rates. 667 folks completed the survey...

Thank you for all those that filled out the survey regarding the increased parking rates. 667 folks completed the survey. The results are telling although not surprising. 85% did not agree with the new rates, 11% were not aware of the new rate increase and 3% agreed with the increase. Results to the other questions are in the graphs below.
The Palm Beach Post reported a 42% increase in residential rental rates in the past 12 months. Wages certainly have not kept up with the hyper inflationary cost of living. Property assed tax values are anticipated to skyrocket by 20% resulting in one of the largest tax increases in history. Residents downtown are being forced to move; downtown workers who used to be able to afford to live downtown have already had to move. How are folks going to survive? Is it just me or does anyone see a crisis brewing? Is it the opinion of our City leaders if you can’t afford to live here just move?
This is not the time for the City of West Palm Beach to dramatically increase parking rates for no particular reason and with no explanation. Downtown residents who benefited from the free overnight parking are now having to pay up to $350 per month for parking. Why didn’t the City make some provision for them like a resident pass? Are they trying to force the moderate-income folks out of downtown so this city will only be a haven for the wealthy and real estate investors who are currently making windfall profits due to the skyrocketing rental rates?
I’ve heard from many of our customers that would swing by for their morning coffee on weekends to surprisingly find that their $3 coffee will now cost them $8 due to the flat rate parking charge of $5. I am sure these rate hikes will have a cumulative negative effect on many other businesses throughout downtown.
The parking department made a profit of 2.5 million dollars last year and is anticipated to exceed that this year. What does the City need the extra money for? What will they spend it on? In this time when costs of living are out of control why does our City need to squeeze the “average” person with this unnecessary additional cost.
Look out for a petition in the next couple days requesting the City Commission repeal and reconsider the parking rate increase. At the very least I feel we should have a voice and be allowed input in the process which we were not afforded.

The City Commission last week approved a sweeping parking rate increase. Although it is hard to determine a % increase w...

The City Commission last week approved a sweeping parking rate increase. Although it is hard to determine a % increase when rates go from free to $5 and $10 flat rates and 7am to 7pm parking goes to 24/7 enforced parking, I estimate at minimum 300% increase in rates. This unfair parking rate increase affects our low-income families and individuals disproportionately. Parking in the City of West Palm Beach is not a luxury. The 24/7 flat rate parking seems to be targeted at our downtown residents. For those living in the towers with 2 covered spaces I doubt there will be any ruffled feathers. What about the older properties on Clematis, Datura, Olive and surrounding where the tenants rely on street and garage parking? In this time of hyperinflation, it is not the right time to raise rates!

I do not feel the downtown merchants were given the chance to have any input and it appears the residents may not have either. The parking rate increase was added to the City Commission agenda 48 hours prior to the vote last week. Whether it was intentional or not the optics certainly do not look good.

The parking department made a profit last year of 2.5 million dollars and from what I can find made over 2 million dollars profit each year for the past 4 years. It is more than flush with funds with a 16-million-dollar balance sheet.

As we all have heard property values in our area are estimated to have risen 20-25% in the past 18 months. Although this may be good news for some, I'm afraid when we get our adjusted tax assessed values in the mail in a few months we may be in for a shock. Increased tax values equal increased revenue base for our City. With so much government waste I’m afraid increased tax revenues will only lead to more inefficiency and waste in the hands of our politicians.

The businesses downtown just received a notice that next week’s commission meeting will be a vote to increase the sidewalk cafe permits. The current proposal will skyrocket rates from currently a $150 annual fee to, for some businesses, over $7,000 in annual fees as new rates will be based on sidewalk square footage. We know who will bear the cost of these increased costs... unfortunately the consumer in higher prices.

I am dumbfounded why our City leaders are taking this position of increasing rates drastically in so many areas of our lives. If we were talking about 25% or 50% increases may be one conversation but it seems like the new attitude is if you can get it, charge it, no matter the cost to the residents.

Please take a moment and complete this survey of 6 questions. The City folks I have spoken to about these issues seem to vehemently support these increases and believe the businesses and residents were given ample time and every chance to voice their opinions. They believe these increases are warranted and will benefit the City as a whole…What do you think?

Thank You!

Click the image to voice your opinion!

Tomorrow on the 500 BLK!

Tomorrow on the 500 BLK!


The faces of H3: Rodney Mayo & David Rae

We’ve pivoted our weekly Food Drives in Riviera Beach into weekly Food Distribution in downtown West Palm Beach.

Each Tuesday & Wednesday we’re handing out homemade, hot meals to anyone in need of food. We’re also giving out water, snacks, and a friendly conversation.

We won’t stop until there isn’t one hungry stomach in Palm Beach County ❤️


West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James defended his city’s response to finding toxins in its drinking water supply following criticism from residents and the town of Palm Beach that they should have been notified sooner.


500 Clematis
West Palm Beach, FL

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Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 10pm


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In response to new recommendations to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), all outdoor St. Patrick’s Day festivities scheduled for today through Tuesday, March 17, have been cancelled. While this was a difficult decision, the health and safety of our community is our number one priority.

500blk Irish will still take place inside of O'Shea's Pub and Respectable Street.

Businesses will remain open with plans to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day holiday within their establishment: https://bit.ly/39wtcY7
This Sunday at RSC 7pm-?
The fun on Clematis Street always continues on, including at the new 500blk Block Parties happening every weekend thru March!
Be sure to check out their varied schedule of special events at www.500blk.com !