Sunday, May 6, 2012

Linda Avenue

A quiet back street in New Town, a comfort zone for birds to hang out in the street and chat. Or bicker, I think. They weren't being quite so nice to each other as Cheyenne and I strolled past.

Linda lies just off Flagler Avenue and crosses the entrance to the Little Hamaca City Park next to the airport.

Here's a link to an essay I wrote on the park including a discussion of the Gambusia Fish ditches, Little Hamaca.

Above we see some lucky child's model SUV. While below we see the real thing. Bringing them up from an early age to appreciate large vehicles, I suppose.

Florida drivers rate a shady parking spot as a good place to leave their cars. Shade that produce edible fruit, like these sea grapes is a bonus in my opinion.

New Town was the undeveloped part of the island that became desirable in the mid 20th century as a place to build wide streets and mainland sized homes with all modern conveniences.

The ranchette bungalows may not look pretty compared to the ramshackle Old Town wooden homes but they get big yards, off street parking and lots of greenery, most of whose taxonomy is not known to me, as usual.

Palm shrub with dangly bits:

The biggest issue these homes had arose in 2005 when Hurricane Wilma drowned this side of the island and residents gained a fresh appreciation for the slightly higher elevation of some knobs of land in Old Town.

It was rather the same way for New Orleans where the French Quarter and The old Faubourg Marigny quarters didn't flood in Hurricane Katrina. The original settlers had reasons for building where they did.

In the picture above we see a steeply pitched roof more suitable for Alpine snows, you'd think. Yet here it is. And below we see a loo brush flower whose proper name...I can't recall.

And here's another blob celebrating dentistry apparently.

There is also a canal system around here buried in the mangroves, it runs behind Riviera Drive and across Flagler and under North Roosevelt and pops out near Overseas Market on the north shore of the island.

Flagler Avenue, a main street across the middle of town:

A street for another essay.

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Flagler Avenue

With the best will in the world Flagler Avenue is not terribly scenic, especially when you consider how scenic parts of this little island can be.

Cement poles, scraggly untended trees in the median, acres of asphalt and lines of cars in a four lane expressway across town...none of it adds up to anything remotely approaching "quaint."

The architecture is Florida circa 1960, bungalows fronted by strips of lawn...

...with the inestimable benefit of off street parking. This is far from tourist country, far enough from the hub of downtown commercial activity to make a scooter an attribute.

For Cheyenne the heat reflected from the cement was offset by smells whose origins I hope emanated from other passing dogs.

As always in South Florida's suburbia the banality of the architecture is offset somewhat by nature's best efforts. Puffy clouds and palms look good out here.

But in every frame there is a car because as much as Old Town is good for walking this part of town isn't. Flagler is a useful cross town street, away from the scenic attractions of South Roosevelt and equally unaffected by the business centers which attract cars to North Roosevelt.

There are businesses the length of Flagler Avenue but this street is most useful for locals looking for a quick path across town.

And once again we find an empty pair of shoes lying around. It is a mystery to me why so many pairs of footwear get discarded around this town.

One notable business on Flagler is the urgent care clinic, the walk in "doc-in-a-box" that offers appointment-free medical visits. It also marks the entrance to Little Hamaca city park.

And across the street more vehicles languishing under the blazing sun.

The old VW project sits waiting for attention while the covered spot waits for the daily driver to return from work and spend the night under the shade of the tent.

Flagler Avenue is all about cars, parked and traveling.

From the Casa Marina Hotel to the entrance to the city Flagler is the vehicle artery across the middle of town, not scenic but eminently useful for those that know about it.
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