Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Sunday, February 16, 2020

"Blue Hour," St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

After a February day in the low 80's F, folks fill the downtown for outside dining.

Some folks were "dressed to the nines," and some in t-shirts and shorts, all appeared welcome.

I see how one can get comfortable with this lifestyle compared to the cold and dreariness of the north.

All is quiet at the 1927 Flori-de-Leon, former winter home of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

I viewed an available unit for sale with a realtor.  Frankly, if I was at the point of ready to buy, I would  jump at the chance right here. I really like the history and ambiance of this building and its location downtown. 

I still am trying to sort out the ideas of snowbirding vs. moving vs. visiting vs. traveling to different locations each year vs. single family dwelling vs. shared walls vs. condo vs. coop vs. stand-alone. Living here in Florida is not without its drawbacks. Almost to a person with whom I spoke, folks leave during the hot and humid summer months if they can.  It is the reverse side of the winter/summer coin. New Englanders leave in the middle of winter, many here leave in the middle of summer. And of course, the biggest question: do I really want the expense and work (and can I afford) to maintain two homes in distant locations or, should I just leave New England altogether? Oh well, more thought and analysis to be done.........

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Few Random Sights, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

A race for the choice of which chaise - in the sun or in the shade - St. Pete Beach.

A nice place to spend a February winter's day - this is on the bay side near Belleair Beach and, it's only a short walking distance to the Gulf in the other direction.

A stunning tree, dripping with Spanish moss in Gulfport.

Palms waving at the Don Cesar in St. Pete.

The Central Avenue Trolley (a dressed up bus I think) in St. Pete makes its route from downtown to the beach and back almost 50 times daily/ 40 on the weekend - fare is $2.25 but discounts are available.

Sunset clouds over Mirror Lake.

Friday, February 14, 2020

St. Petersburg Yacht Club 2020 Valentine's Day Regatta, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

A perfect day for a sail but, this young sailor is not alone.

It turns out there are close to 300 of these small boats each helmed by a 10-15 year old boy or girl.

And one by one they are launched into this harbor in Tampa Bay for six hours of competition in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club 2020 Valentine's Day Regatta.

This regatta is part of the 2020 United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) Team Trials Qualifying event. The Optimist dinghy is one of the most popular sailing dinghies in the world, with over 150,000 boats officially registered with the class and many more built but never registered. USODA mission is to support and sustain junior sailors, their families, and junior sailing programs and promote fun, safety, self-reliance, and good sportsmanship.

So, six hours later, how do they get all those boats back onto the dock with a minimum of chaos?

The assisting power boats tether a few of the sailboats together at a time and tow them back to the dock area, untie the line, and the young captains take it the last distance to the docks. It is quite an orchestrated scene by the sponsors.  At least until the last bit.......

As I said, there were many, many, many of them! It brought to my mind the famous monarch butterflies returning to Mexico.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Weekend Downtown, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

On Saturdays for much of the year (not during June to September), a huge open air market is held downtown - food, treats, stuff, live music, and lots of people.

I enjoyed a delicious vegan lunch from this vendor.

I have seen and eaten a lot of guacamole in my life but never such a huge bowl filled to the brim. I wanted to dunk face-first into it.....

It being a weekend, I wandered a dozen or so open houses to get a feel for the local real estate market. This little gem of a property had been on the market less than 24 hours and already had two offers. (Asking price was $250K USD, I don't know how much the offers were). I could see myself sitting on that front porch saying hello to passersby.

This unremarkable view has an interesting piece of information. Notice the vessel at left says "Provincetown III." Turns out this ship is a snowbird and motors between Tampa and St. Pete in the winter months and spends the summer months plying the Boston to Provincetown waters.

Many of the downtown streets were closed off and no parking allowed to accommodate runners for the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and whatever else. Of course, it was a perfect 72 degree F day.

While there are many fancy high-rise and/or other newer buildings downtown, this development struck me as a nice little place for a snowbird apartment. "Old Florida" style - a two-story walk-up, mature gardens and plantings, and location, location, location.  Hmmmm?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Wandering About, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Most of the boats at home are up on stands and shrink-wrapped in plastic. Not so down here. Sailing on Tampa Bay viewed from Vinoy Park in downtown St. Pete.

I'm not sure if that's a kid or dog(s) in the little car - it is common to see either.

Roller-blading is still popular here on the broad, smooth sidewalks along the downtown and old northeast neighborhood waterfront park areas.

Unusual architecture along Central avenue - from a time gone by.

A more typical and contemporary view downtown along Central Ave before the lunch rush begins.

I enjoy walking by this place on 4th avenue, the Flori de Leon built in 1927. Baseball stars Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig stayed here when in town for spring training back in the day. Currently it is a 55+ condo/coop/apartment building.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Out and About, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

A bird of paradise flower grows poolside at the Don Cesar resort.

A gale force wind today in advance of a powerful cold front sweeping the eastern U.S.

Regardless, it is still pool weather if you choose.

And no Florida visit is complete without a pirate sighting - arrgh matey.

Friday, February 7, 2020

A World Away from New England, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

St. Petersburg, Florida, has the distinction of claiming to be one of the sunniest locations in the U.S.  It's also somewhat derisively referred to as, "God's waiting room," based on its reputation as an old people magnet. Say what you will about old people but, they have lifetimes of experience and wisdom and if "they" like St. Pete who am I to argue.

This local was hanging out downtown on a sunrise walk (me in shorts and t-shirt).

The downtown marina at sunrise.

Yes, the grass is that green in February.

A random flower in bloom.

My jetBlue flight from Boston to Tampa embraced the Boston sports obsession with this painted green Boston Celtics tribute aircraft.

The ambiance of a 1930's Florida hotel lobby (the Hollander) is a great place to stay in the downtown area.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Wintry Look, White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Today is starkly beautiful at the beach.

High tide, cold wind.

Just the crash of waves, the rolling of rocks at the surfline, and the rustling wind in the remaining tall grasses. Winter at White Horse Beach.

Time to head south for some warmth..........

Sunday, February 2, 2020

"Jack Broadbent," Spire Center for Performing Arts, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Musical magic was created on this particular evening at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in downtown Plymouth. It takes a special and extraordinary performer to walk onto an empty stage with just his guitar, voice, and wits to single-handedly capture and enthrall a crowd for the evening.

Londoner Jack Broadbent was the artist who accomplished that. (Note: his unusual hair coloring in all these images is from the stage lighting).

The Spire often brings very talented performers to its stage but, some are particular standouts. Jack Broadbent was one such artist.

A recognized master of the slide guitar he presented both original material and favorites from other creators. He was fully engaged with the crowd, the fourth wall essentially non-existent as he wove his tunes and stories throughout the evening with the captivated audience.

After a performance, an artist often will come out to the lobby and mingle with the crowd, sell a few CD's, vinyl, or other merch. I have rarely seen the numbers of patrons lining up who I saw after this show to buy a CD so they could both support Mr. Broadbent and take home his extraordinary music for anytime listening.  What a talent!

Support local, live performing arts here in our town. Come to the Spire Center for Performing Arts. They offer year-around performances.

The Spire Center for Performing Arts.