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Archive for the ‘Florida connection on Blogfinger’ Category

 

Tropicana lights. A "cottage" in this 500 unit mobile home park. Ft.Myers, Florida. 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Tropicana lights. A “cottage” in this 500 unit mobile home park. Ft.Myers, Florida. ©

A yellow bird on Camelia Drive in Tropicana Park. All photos by Paul Goldfinger, New Jersey escapee. ©

A yellow bird on Camelia Drive in Tropicana Park. All photos by Paul Goldfinger, New Jersey escapee. ©  Re-post from 2015

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger.net:   Recently  (August, 2019)   we have had quite a few hits on this 2015 post; I guess it’s the time when folks think about getting away to Florida in the winter.

Where do the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker go to get a warm winter retirement?   It’s a Florida gulf coast mobile home park —in this case in the southwest part of the state.

But don’t ever refer to one of those parks as a “trailer park.” Down here, these modest dwellings, grouped together in villages of up to 500 units or more, are called “manufactured homes.” They are not RV’s and they have no wheels. They are basically metal cans, but they sit permanently on cinder block foundations with crawl spaces underneath, and many of them have survived since the 1970’s and even earlier.

There is a great deal of individuality in these “cottages,” and they are often  lovely to see and very practical. The larger ones are double-wides.  Inside, some of them look like trendy condos, but most are ordinary looking 2 bedroom, 2 bath units with dining rooms and screened in lanais. Most of the cars are Fords, Chevy’s or Toyotas, but an occasional BMW or Corvette can be seen parked in the carport.

Sweet cottage. Tropicana.

Sweet cottage. Tropicana.

 

Camelia Drive. Tropicana. Water is never far away.

Camelia Drive. Tropicana. Water is never far away, nor is a gin and tonic..

If you visit one of these places, like our prototype Tropicana Park in Fort Myers, you will be surprised because the park looks like a neighborhood from the ’50’s, with cute little houses on winding streets framed by flowery landscaping and palm trees.   You will not find derelict cars on blocks, junk yard dogs, or tattoos on anybody. Tropicana is neat as a pin, and you don’t see a scrap of paper on the ground.   The sign at the entrance says, “Resident Owned,” and that is a trend down here where those who invest become part of a co-op and are landowners.

Shortstop. Tropicana.

Shortstop. Tropicana.

All the roads are scenic.

All the roads are scenic.

Peeking into a backyard . Tropicana.

Peeking into a Tropicana backyard .

The people are mostly over 55 snowbirds, although about 10% live there year-round. Many of them are from the mid-west or Canada. Jersey plates are rare. They come straight down Route 75 and have no interest in the east coast where you find the Jersey and New York crowd who stay in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Boca and Miami. These Tropicana people are often retirees, farmers, policemen or government bureaucrats.

Hot Dog Day at Tropicana. Paul Goldfinger photo.

Hot Dog Day at Tropicana. Paul Goldfinger photo.

 

You almost never see anyone smoking.   They love socializing with like-minded folks who enjoy shuffle board, card games, exercise in the two pools. or events at the Clubhouse. They might have Hot Dog Day, a Valentine’s dance, or a spaghetti dinner—never anything fancy.

Tropicana is full for the winter season with renters and owners. The weather is usually magnificent, and the sun shines just as bright as over the areas nearby which are replete with wealthy gated communities. But, in Tropicana, modesty and low cost are the rule and are braggable findings.

The community is quiet, and in the evenings you see residents walking together, chatting softly, or casually riding two and three wheelers up and down the streets. Some are sitting by the pool as the sun goes down over the Gulf. Cars may not park on the streets, and the dogs can’t be bigger than your head.  The speed limit is 15 mph.

Tropicana sunset

Tropicana sunset

Some interiors are quite special. Tropicana.

Some interiors are quite special. Tropicana.

In 10 minutes you can be on the Causeway into Sanibel Island, a famous and expensive resort with a lush beaches, tree-lined bike paths, and a store that features Rolex watches and diamond bracelets.

Tropicana is also not far from Naples, Bonita Springs and Sarasota, places where you can hear symphonies, visit museums, eat at French restaurants, shop at Tommy Bahama and chat with some swells.

But the people of Tropicana prefer the $14.95 Tuesday night lobster special at Buster’s  Sports Bar about a  1/4 mile away. So, if you think that you can’t be a snowbird someday, take a trip south and visit one of these remarkable and affordable places. It’s amazing how inexpensive they are.

Plan to escape the Grove if you can next year.

—-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

MARIA MULDAUR

 

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Off the Sanibel Island Causeway. Morning, Feb 26, 2017 © Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Off the Sanibel Island Causeway. Morning, Feb 26, 2017 © Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

Wind surfer #2 Blogfinger photo. ©

Wind surfer #2 Blogfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge any of these photos.

 

Wrapping it up. Blogfinger photo © 2/26/17.

Wrapping it up. Blogfinger photo © 2/26/17.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

They are a group of about eight friends who met on this beautiful Sunday morning, for a session of wind surfing.  The group meets at various locations where conditions might be ideal.  They told me that the winds were good for about one hour this morning, just enough time to form a line and catch the breezes as they surfed around in a big continuous circle, like sail boats do.   It is a strenuous sport, and you have to be in good condition; the surfers were a mix of men and women of varied ages.

I watched their session as the wind caught their colorful sales and propelled them at high speed through the calm surf. It wasn’t easy to stay afloat.

I got a chance to take some photos, then, as they reorganized on shore, we chatted for a while.  One of them, a professional piano tuner, gave me her card. I promised to send them some photos, which I did.

They all seemed to have a wonderful fun time. They were laughing and chatting away on the beach as they explained how good this sport made them feel. One of them said, “It’s a great workout.”

DON CHERRY AND WILLIE NELSON

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Sanibel Island. Florida. Paul Goldfinger © 

 

ROY ORBISON:

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Fort Myers, Florida. By Paul Goldfinger. February, 2015. ©

Fort Myers, Southwest Florida. By Paul Goldfinger. February, 2015. © Click to enlarge.

 

Downtown Fort Myers, Florida. First Street is the main street—not Main Street.    The place hums and doesn’t roar. It has a slow pace, like much of the South. A historic downtown slowly comes back to life on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River.

By Paul Goldfinger. March, 2015

JESSICA MOLASKEY    from the album Pentimento  (Ken Peplowski on clarinet)

Jessica Molaskey

Jessica Molaskey

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Twistee Treat.  Bonita Springs, Fla. By Paul Goldfinger © 2015.  Click for the large size cone.

On a diet?   Skip the ice cream and take up tap dancing.  Then you can dance your big behind off.  And you can tap your troubles away;

Just ask Lisa Kirk from the Broadway cast of Mack and Mabel  (1974)    “Tap Your Troubles Away.”

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Faces at the Farmers Market in Ft. Myers Florida. By Paul Goldfinger © Undated. Click to enlarge.

THE VELOURS  From Forever Doo Wop Vol I

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Paul Goldfinger. Ft.Myers Florida. Edison Estate. 2019. ©

 

HANS ZIMMER, GEOFF ZANELLI, AND BLAKE NEELY—–   “Honor.”  This is the main title theme from the HBO Miniseries The Pacific.

 

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Gasparilla Island, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Click to enlarge

 

BOBBY PAGE AND THE RIFF-RAFFS.  From the original soundtrack of The Green Book:

 

 

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Paul Goldfinger ©.Sanibel Island Lighthouse, Florida. c 2016. Tri-X Collection. Click to enlarge.

WARREN VACHE´AND FRIENDS.  Houston Person (tenor sax) and Nicki Parrott (vocal.)  “Only Trust Your Heart”   Written by Benny Carter.

“Never trust your dreams
When you’re about to fall in love
Or your dreams will quickly fall apart
So if you’re smart, really smart
Only trust your heart.”

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Ft. Myers, Florida (southwest) Paul Goldfinger c. 2015. ©  Click to enlarge.

 

 

JEAN YVES THIBAUDET

From the movie score of Pride and Prejudice:  “Secret Life of Daydreams.”

 

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