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Archive for the ‘Fort Myers Florida’ Category

“The Arvelee” in downtown Fort Myers, across from the Caloosahatchee River. There are quite a few old Florida buildings in that neighborhood. Click left for full screen view. By Paul Goldfinger ©

 

SOUNDTRACK:  This photo reminds me of Miami, and when I think Miami, I think Cuba and mambo.   From the movie Mambo Kings, here is Antonio Banderas with “Beautiful Maria of My Soul.”

 

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Gulf of Mexico. Bunche Beach. Fla.   Dec. 24, 2019. ©  Paul Goldfinger.

 

JOHN RUTTER, THE CAMBRIDGE SINGERS, CITY OF LONDON SINFONIA:   “For The Beauty of the Earth.”

 

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Ft. Myers, Fla.  Dec. 24, 2019. Morning light.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Monochrom.   Click to enlarge

 

 

JIMMIE RODGERS

 

 

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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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The Thomas Edison Estate in Fort Myers, Florida. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

The Thomas Edison Summer Estate in Fort Myers, Florida. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

BUCKY PIZZARELLI and FRANK VIGNOLA  “You’ll Never Know.”

 

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Lakes Park Farmers Market. Ft. Myers, Fla.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Lakes Park Farmers Market. Ft. Myers, Fla. c. 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

ALAN BERGMAN

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Lakes Park, Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Lakes Park, Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to see it all.

THE FUGEES    “Just Happy to be Me.”  (Sesame Street)

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Flower stand attracts a Florida honey bee. By Paul Goldfinger ©.

Flower stand attracts a Florida honey bee. By Paul Goldfinger ©. Click to make her more apparent.  March, 2016

THE LITTLE WILLIES

 

Wisconsin cheese man.  Paul Goldfinger photo . ©

Wisconsin cheese man. Paul Goldfinger photo . ©

MIRANDA LAMBERT  with PISTOL ANNIES:    “Run Daddy Run”  from the Hunger Games soundtrack.

 

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Fort  Myers, Fla. Farmers' Market. By Paul Goldfinger ©.

The hidden girl.   Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Fla.  By Paul Goldfinger ©Click to see. ©

BOB DYLAN:  “Where are You?”

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Gulf of Mexico near Sanibel Island, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photograph 2014. ©

Gulf of Mexico near Sanibel Island, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photograph 2014. ©

Europeans are fond of taking a month off and caravanning from place to place during their summer “holiday.”   This couple from France flew to Quebec and rented this mobile home.  They stopped on the Causeway between Fort Myers and Sanibel Island.

He had been fishing and returned to the van for a nap.  She was having a smoke outside when I strolled over to briefly chat.   She was very mellow and relaxed while studying the seagulls and the calm of the Gulf where there were no barriers, boardwalks, restrictions, parking problems or life guards  blowing whistles.  These people sure know how to have a good time.

SHE AND HIM:

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