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They're not all farmers. This booth is Coastal Driftwood Decor. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©

They’re not all farmers. This booth is Coastal Driftwood Decor. Lakes Park Farmers Market.  January, 2015.  Ft. Myers, Fla. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge. 

DUKE ELLINGTON:  “At a Dixie Roadside Diner”

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Naples Mercantile Exchange 1919. Photos by Paul Goldfinger

Naples  Mercantile Exchange 1919. Now a restaurant (La Campanile) 5th Avenue. Naples, Fla.  Photos by Paul Goldfinger. 2013 re-post. Blogfinger.net 2020.

By Paul Goldfinger, roving Editor.  Winter, 2013.

We’re reporting live from the west coast of Florida.  There are quite a few Grovers who hang out down here in the winter, but we won’t give them away. We are in the southwest area—Fort Myers, where we have an immobile home. We wander around among Minnesotans and Canadians, searching for a one-liner and a good bagel.  But the weather is fabulous.

One of the places we like to visit, for comic relief, is one of the ritziest towns in the world:  Naples, Florida, about one hour south of us, down the Tamiami Trail (Route 41.)

Naples is a very classy and beautiful  place with a zoo, a museum, golf courses, botanical gardens, country clubs, and a symphony orchestra.  Oh, and they also have the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s lots of money, celebrities, expensive cars like Bentleys, and beautiful houses, but it is fun to walk around and soak up some of the international flavor.   You can hear multiple languages spoken as you go window shopping along 5th Avenue or 3rd Street. But sometimes that international thing isn’t so alluring.  We were eating lunch outside when a European couple stopped in front of us and proceeded to smear suntan lotion on each other.

The stores are fancy-shmancy—you feel like you are on Fifth Avenue in NYC.  It’s fun to window shop. You can also walk around and look  for a condo;  we peered through a metal barrier fence to view one. There was a brochure—it was about $2 million. We passed on that bargain.

Cafe Luna on 5th Avenue

Cafe Luna on 5th Avenue

There are quite a few good restaurants.  We had lunch at a crowded  Cafe Luna at 467 Fifth Avenue.  You can sit outside  (or in) and people watch.  We had salads.  Mine was with Norwegian smoked salmon (actually, it’s just lox)  and garnished with apple slices, strawberries, and asparagus. Eileen had a simple small  Italian salad. The prices were reasonable.

I saw a few silver-haired guys with young blonds, but what’s wrong with that?  Actually I was with a blond with a retro-hat made of bark cloth. Two people asked her about it.

 

Eileen in her Liza Doolittle hat.

Eileen in her Liza Doolittle hat.

Then we found a  sidewalk cafe where the coffee was great and you get a cranberry/orange muffin and a chocolate scone, both for the price of one. Eileen ate nothing. She has will power.  I ate half the muffin.  I have will power, but it is limited.

Our favorite store there is Tommy Bahama.  He has a men’s shop and a women’s shop separated by a restaurant.  I treated myself to a pair of shorts made of ultra-soft-thin cotton that fit just right, and that’s not a simple thing to find. Eileen bought nothing, so I got off easy.

SOUNDTRACK:  It’s Maude Maggart singing Irving Berlin. I don’t think Irving would feel at home in Naples, but I could be wrong.  After all, he wrote “Easter Parade.”

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Naples, Florida. 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Naples, Florida. 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©

SIMPLY RED   “Every Time We Say Goodbye”   from his album Simplified

This is one of my all time favorite songs. Words and music by Cole Porter for a stage show in 1944.

The lyrics are appreciated viscerally and down to your soul. One of the cleverest lyric lines in music occurs when it goes, “There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor, every time we say goodbye.”

If  you listen carefully you might be able to appreciate the change in chord progression during that line from A flat major to A flat minor—a brilliant musical moment where the music and lyrics match exactly and the meaning is deepened by the chord change.

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Paul Goldfinger. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Sanibel Island. Feb. 2020. Click to enlarge;

 

 

HARRY THEYARD:   From Man of La Mancha:

 

 

 

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The Edison House on McGregor Avenue in Ft. Myers, Florida. By Paul Goldfinger ©

The Edison house on McGregor Avenue in Ft. Myers, Florida. By Paul Goldfinger © 2012

 

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. His winter estate in Ft.Myers is located next door to Henry Ford’s.  Both homes are open to the public now.  They are situated on the Caloosahatchee River.

DAVE STEWART  and  THE SECRET SISTERS:

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Atlantic Avenue. Delray Beach--east coast Fla By Paul Goldfingef

Atlantic Avenue. Delray Beach–east coast Fla By Paul Goldfinger

Elvis Presley: “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You:”

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Hibiscus. Sanibel Island, Florida. by Paul Goldfinger ©. left click

Hibiscus. Sanibel Island, Florida. by Paul Goldfinger ©. 2013. Silver gelatin print. click to enlarge.

CAT POWER:   from the “Covers Album”

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camel

Ft. Myers, Florida, McGregor Blvd, near K-Mart. Paul Goldfinger ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor at Blogfinger.net

I was driving by K-Mart in Ft. Myers when I saw a camel by the side of the road. So I parked my car and walked a mile to see him.  He was snacking on some grass when I strolled over to take his picture.  I asked him, “What’s going on?”

He said, “I hear they’re having a sale on lawn furniture.”

“Do you live here? “ I asked.

“I come down from Jersey in the winter.  We travel in a long caravan on 95. We pack spices, silks, and belly dancers.”

“Where are you from?”  the camel asked.

“Ocean Grove, New Jersey” I said.

“Oh” said the camel. “Do you know Jack Bredin?”

Then he said that he was going to a costume party and didn’t know what to wear.  I said, “Go as a camel.”

He said, “I did that last year, but a guy in a camel costume won the prize.”*

I asked the camel if he liked walking in the desert. He said that it’s fine because he has 3 eyelids to protect him from sand.

But he wasn’t done chatting.  He said, “The blue whale’s tongue is heavier than a fully grown elephant.”

tigoo

The Tigoo  PG photo

“No kidding,” I said.  Then I spotted the tiger.

It seems a mini-zoo had set up camp by the side of the road.  A little boy about three was looking at the tiger.  He said to his mom, “Mommy, can I play with the tigoo?”

Mom said “no.”

It’s up-tight mothers like that who cause childhood neuroses.

I went back to the car, avoiding the pony rides, because the sign said that ponies bite.

—Paul Goldfinger

* A Woody Allen joke from his standup days.”

SAMMY DAVIS, JR.:

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By Paul Goldfinger, 2013 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, 2013 ©

BUDDY HOLLY:

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Bunche Beach

Fort Myers, Fla By Paul Goldfinger 2013

 

 

“Open Season”   (It’s all in your mind)  by the High Highs–from the film Pitch Perfect:

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