Tag Archives: Charles J. Kropke

New DVD Captures the Story of South Beach

South Beach DVDWe are proud to announce that following a successful sell-out of the first edition and the publication of the second edition of his landmark book “South Beach – Stories of a Renaissance”, Charles J. Kropke is now releasing a companion DVD with the same name.  It is tracing South Beach from its earliest pioneer days to today’s high-energy global resort, bringing the remarkable comeback story of this historic district to life.  With historical photos as well as on-location scenes, the DVD “South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance” is being published by Tropic Moon Media and provides a unique look at one of the world’s most popular travel destination.

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South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance – The Second Edition

Photo by Michelle Yan

Michelle, one of our guides-in-training, was cycling through South Beach one day and saw a peculiar sight: a skateboarder carrying a copy of a very familiar book. After chasing him down and becoming a traffic hazard in the process, she found out that the young man had just purchased South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance and was going to send it to his girlfriend in Korea as a gift.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, our resident author Charles J. Kropke co-published the first edition of this book with Eleanor Goldstein in February 2011. The book has been a great success and continues to sell strongly; I have seen its bright blue cover through the window in locations such as the Villa Vizcaya Gift Shop and Books & Books stores. We are very proud to announce that the first edition of this book is completely sold out and that the second edition is currently being printed! Continue reading


Charles J. Kropke wins Historic Preservation Award

Dragonfly Expeditions is proud to announce that Managing Partner Charles J. Kropke has received the 2012 Historic Preservation Award presented by the Dade Heritage Trust during their annual meeting in the restored Pan American Seaplane Base (today Miami City Hall) on April 27th, 2012.  Charles was honored in the category of outstanding individual for the many aspects of his professional and personal life on behalf of endangered historic treasures and the general awareness of preservation.  Among the efforts mentioned were the work of Dragonfly Expeditions which educates travelers from all over the world about Miami’s architecture and neighborhoods through the art of storytelling. In addition, Charles’ book “South Beach – Stories of a Renaissance” highlights inspiring individuals whose push for historic preservation had a tremendous positive economic impact on the tourism industry of Miami Beach in particular and South Florida in general.


Everglades Backwater Hike with Charles J. Kropke and WLRN TV 17

The folks at WLRN-TV are creating a series of small segments entitled “Slices of Life” featuring local residents’ careers and businesses. A small group of friends and I were invited to come along with the crew to interview Charles J. Kropke. I was thrilled to join upon hearing that the filming was to be conducted in Big Cypress National Preserve. This, however, was not going to be the passive outing that most people witness- high and dry. Our guide’s ominous recommendation was to “make sure to bring a change of clothes and shoes”.

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Charles J. Kropke Moderates the “Restaurants and Nightlife” Panel for 2012 Art Deco Weekend

An extremely successful and poignant panel discussion took place on Friday, January 13th at the Wolfsonian-FIU in South Beach.  The panel discussion was part of a lecture series organized by the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) as one of the activities for the 35th Anniversary Art Deco Weekend.  Charles J. Kropke, moderator for the event, assembled the panel of noteworthy nightclub owners, event promoters and nightlife professionals who created the entertainment scene for which South Beach became internationally renowned.  Represented were Lee Schrager, founder of  the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, David Wallack owner of Mango’s Tropical Café,  Jane Wooldridge, business editor for The Miami Herald (formerly nightlife editor for South Beach during its heyday), Michael Capponi, club promoter extraordinaire, and Louis Canales, one of the first successful nightclub owners in the resurgent South Beach.

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MDPL Reads launch event for Charles Kropke’s South Beach Book

The Miami Design Preservation League kicked off the new community-reading program MDPL Reads at the Art Deco Welcome Center on October 12th, 2011. This first event featured South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance by Charles Kropke and Eleanor Goldstein. The approximately 200 guests enjoyed a catered cocktail party with paintings from the book on display followed by a discussion, and book signing.

The book has also been chosen to be the official book for Art Deco Weekend 2012, and will be featured during many events in the coming months leading up to the festivities in January. Information about these events can be found on the South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance Facebook and Twitter pages.


A Memorable Trip to Nassau/Bahamas

Philipp, you have the opportunity to go to the Bahamas at the end of March.” – This was one of the first statements I heard when I arrived in Miami to start the internship with Dragonfly Expeditions on March 1st 2011.  Of course I wanted to seize this opportunity and so the flights and the hotel rooms were booked right after that.

“Wow, the Bahamas…”  With this thought in my mind I started working on a script for one of the two programs that Island Episodes, Dragonfly Expeditions’ sister company for the Bahamas was organizing on New Providence Island.  I researched a bulk of information on exciting stories and anecdotes that were related to historical places in Nassau.  I read some really interesting tales and the best thing was that I was actually going to see these places with my own eyes.

On March 24th 2011, Charles, Javier and I departed to Nassau with a flight delay of ninety minutes, but we made it on time to the meeting with one of our guides, Tonia Mullings and the staff of Clifton Heritage National Park for a final briefing before the program started. Continue reading


Charles J. Kropke Quoted in The Miami Herald

Dragonfly Expeditions’ own Charles J. Kropke was recently quoted in The Miami Herald, our local daily newspaper, speaking about our efforts to promote outdoors activities. The following article appeared in the February 24th 2011 publication.

Click the image below to read the article in its entirety:

Click to read in .pdf

(If you can not view the .pdf, you may need to Download Adobe Reader)


Book Launch Party for “South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance”

At long last, the book South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance has arrived and is now available for purchase!  This is a very exciting time for Dragonfly Expeditions and Charles J. Kropke especially – Charles is an accomplished storyteller and now a published author with his first book showcasing the great resort we call South Beach!

The launch party for “South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance” is on February 17th, 2011 at 7pm, at Books and Books, 927 Lincoln Road, on Miami Beach. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase that evening.  Please join us as we congratulate Charles for a job well done! Continue reading


South Beach: Stories Of A Renaissance

After 2 ½ years of personal interviews with some of the most influential entrepreneurs and dreamers of building a world class resort, Charles J. Kropke has completed his book, South Beach: Stories of A Renaissance.   With a beautiful teal and yellow cover that represents the Art Deco South Beach, Charles has found the back stories of some of the more iconic venues and people that, in their own way, have transformed this once mangrove, mosquito infested area into the most recognized international resort in the world!

For more information about the book,
contact Tim Jefferson at  tjefferson@greenherongifts.com

Here is an excerpt about the design of the Holocaust Memorial: Continue reading


Meet the Team – Charles J. Kropke

Since this is a somewhat futile attempt to describe Charles J. Kropke in a single article, I want to make clear that the following lines are a very subjective view into Charles’ life – one that he has allowed me during the years that we have been working together as business partners.

Charles’ family roots lie in the hard-working crabbing community of Chesapeake Beach in Maryland.  The town was home to a resort from the Victorian era, so Charles’ early years were influenced by the many days he roamed the surrounding wooded hills in search of antique bottles, by the crab houses along the tidal creek and the original Ferris-wheel in the old amusement park, but also by the many abandoned vacation homes in the nearby town of Randles’ Cliff whose varied contents would hold young Charles’ fascination.  His family moved to the West coast of Florida when he was at the tender age of 11.  But growing up to become thoroughly Floridian Continue reading