Joshua Spencer (Franzese). Ruth Peterkin (Beach). Courtesy of locations.
He’ll always be remembered as Damian, the definitive gay bestie from Mean Girls, but Daniel Franzese has since graduated from his Glen Coco days. This year the actor joined the cast of HBO’s Looking, playing Eddie, a lovable, HIV-positive bear with a big heart and a gift for quotable bons mots, and he returns to television this fall to star in the ABC Family addiction drama Recovery Road. Meanwhile, we have his clever YouTube parodies to keep us entertained (see his brilliant spoof of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”), as well this epic tour of his Florida hometown, Fort Lauderdale.
1. Rosie’s Bar and Grill
“Rosie’s is a staple of the incredible gay neighborhood of Wilton Manors. On Sunday Funday, everyone gathers around there to eat, drink, and talk about the weekend. It’s a must if you’re in the hood.” 2449 Wilton Dr.; RosiesBnG.com
2. The Classic Gateway Theatre
“This old-timey movie theater is a major landmark for me. If you went there in 1999, I was working and might have sold you popcorn. If you went there in 2001, you might have seen the Fort Lauderdale premiere of my first film, Larry Clark’s Bully.” 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd.; ClassicGateway.com
3. Swap Shop
“I love nothing more than a flea market and a kitschy adventure, and this place is unparalleled. There are miles of goods, ranging from knock-off awesomeness to junk and vintage finds.” 3291 W. Sunrise Blvd.; FloridaSwapShop.com
4. Butterfly World
“My best friend Sharon and I come here for a peaceful getaway when I’m in town. Our favorite part is the hummingbird sanctuary, where the little cuties zip and zoom above your heads when you walk through with your coffee.” 3600 W. Sample Rd.; ButterflyWorld.com
5. Mazzola’s West Italian Restaurant
“It’s a little bit of a drive to the suburbs, but if you want to try some of the best pizza you’ve ever had, made by some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, then go here. Tell them, ‘Danny sent me’ and they will treat you right.” 12585 Orange Dr., Davie; MazzolasItalianRestaurant.com
6. Las Olas Boulevard
“Nestled along the river leading out to the ocean, this is still one of the prettiest, low-key bar crawls I’ve ever been on. A perfect date night dinner or happy hour won’t be hard to find. Then again, neither would any of the people I went to high school with.” LasOlasBoulevard.com
7. Peter Pan Diner
“You know those diners with, like, 500 things on the menu? Well, this greasy spoon is the mecca. It’s open 24 hours, and you’ll find lots of lost boys there past 2 a.m.” 1216 E. Oakland Park Blvd.; MyPeterPanDiner.com