Karen Newman Albertson arrived in Hollywood when she was but a wee-toddler (3-years old to be exact). Her formal education was provided by Hollywood Central, Olsen Middle and South Broward High (in that order).

Karen is currently President of the Hollywood Historical Society, a group she joined in 2007. Her ascension was rapid—from membership to the board of directors to secretary to vice president to her current status as prez…

For those who don’t know the HHS is located in the historical Hammerstein House at 1520 Polk Street. They offer up one of the most enjoyable and educational opportunities in town—FREE tours on the first Sunday of every month (1pm—4pm).

The Society also boasts an Archive Center (among its gems every copy of the Hollywood Sun Tattler, gobs of old-time photos and post cards; et al).

Karen knows from Hollywood (a nod to her many years as a resident). She’s watched it grow over the decades and, as is natural, has some nostalgic laments. However, she perks up when discussing the growth of Harrison Street “It’s drawing some wonderful people and businesses.”

Karen raves about the Dream Car Classic event, the new critically acclaimed restaurants and Art Walk. She’s especially proud of the development of the Beach and Broadwalk. “When I was a kid the Broadwalk was nothing more than a thin slab of concrete!”

Regarding Hollywood’s allegedly “shady” past, Karen is quick to note that there once was an illegal gambling joint in the building that currently houses La Vendetta restaurant. And while she won’t name names; the father of her best childhood friend (and next-door neighbor) was an alleged mob figure…

Karen Albertson is a wealth of knowledge and has first-hand experience of this hippest of hamlets. I strongly urge you to get to know the history of our town and visiting or resourcing the Hollywood Historical Society is a perfect place to start.

(Learn more by logging onto: hollywoodhistoricalsociety.org)