Palm Avenue Perspectives

Palm Avenue is one of the more attractive streets in downtown Sarasota. It is lined with art galleries, boutiques and restaurants, palm trees (many of which will soon be removed), historic buildings (some of which will be removed to make way for another high rise for the affluent), and even a large verdant grassy patch (soon to be dug up and covered over with…

Sunrise at Celery Fields

Behind the Facades

It’s always worth a look behind the facades to see what’s happening in the alley. These images all came from a one-block section of alley in the heart of downtown Sarasota, Florida. In addition to the now-defunct “Golden Apple” dinner theater, they show the backsides of a few of the city’s finer restaurants, a brand new parking ramp, and some graffiti on the back…

The Fallen of Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island on Georgia’s coastline may be best known for it’s historic district and the Jekyll Island Club — a retreat and playground for the country’s wealthiest elite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Established in 1886, the Club was frequented by the Morgans, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and others of their class. However, there is another feature worth seeing on Jekyll Island. “Driftwood…

Thunder by the Bay

Every year the City of Sarasota hosts “Thunder by the Bay” — a motorcycle event and charity fundraiser in the heart of downtown along Sarasota Bay. Thousands of motorcyclists and spectators crowd the streets. Of course, there are always a few residents in the high-end high rises who complain about the music, the partying on the street, and especially the “thunder” from the motorcycles….

Swamp Magic

I’ve often wondered what it is about Southwest Florida’s tropical landscape, its swamps and tropical foliage that gives its natural areas a feeling of mystery. Is it simply that the landscape is unfamiliar to those of us from other places? Or is it the density and lushness of so much life packed together — along with a sense of the things that lie hidden…

Veterans Day, 2013

It was Veterans Day, and in the park where the speeches were given, stood the Salvation Army truck — symbol of the only real help many veterans will receive. The parades and other patriotic events offer little for many who they supposedly honor. Instead, the parades seem to glorify wars past, promote the jingoism of war, and praise the children destined to become the…

Messages from the Garden

There is so much to be learned from a garden — just by looking and listening. The swelling flower bud is ready to burst with life and color, the orchid invites us in, while the bamboo sends some symbolic message for us to take home to decipher. Each plant has it’s own voice and the messages change with the seasons.

A Rising Asphalt Sea

Mostly empty, its parking lot free of cars, this suburban mall is in foreclosure. But do not worry. Plenty of money was made, and the risks and debt shifted off onto others. And for the shoppers, the good news is that an even larger new mall will soon be built nearby, where another chunk of woods and wetlands will slip beneath the rising asphalt…

Things Seen Along the Bayfront

A recent proposal to bring a second war-themed statue to Sarasota’s Bayfront stimulated heated discussion about public art and the types of sculptures that are desirable and appropriate there. But throughout the discussion no one mentioned one of the biggest sculptures of them all — the tall blue glass monument to finance and commerce located just across the street. Whether or not you believe…