A whistle stop tour of Sarasota, FL (well, some of it).

You will remember  Christian Zaschke has been in town to research a story on the U.S. General Election for the newspaper for whom he is the New York City Correspondent - Suddeutsche  Zeitung,  (based in Munich).

He and I were no more than acquaintances who hung out together in the smoking area of Queen Mary II, on our journey from Southampton to New York.

As Christian (who lives in N.Y.C.) thought about the article he planned to write he thought  "Ah Sarasota, FL, that Limey Michael Povey lives there, maybe it would be a good place to research my story".

It all worked out well and I was able to connect Christian with Sarasota residents, Democrats and Republicans, who were glad to  meet with him.

Christian stayed at Sarasota's Art Ovation Hotel  (sorta swanky), so he was able to get a taste of downtown;  (and bayfront SRQ with its Westin Hotel etc, and luxury Condominiums). 

Three of his interviews took place in the fashionable and affluent "west of the (South Tamiami) trail" district -  South Orange, South Osprey and Bay Island.

I wanted Christian to get a bit more colour for his article so on his final morning (with only an hour to spare), I drove him through the (mostly) less fashionable North Tamiami Trail. 

Here are some pics from our ride: 

Municipal Auditorium (1938);  Private and W.P.A. financed,
Barnacle Bill's Restaurant  -  noted for its "Lighthouse".  (Restaurant now out of business. ( COVID related, but the last time I was there the food was mediocre and the service non Tito swift).

Pictures of one of the many one or two star Motels which line the North Trail.

Another Motel. Nothing fancy, but wonderful for tourists who cannot afford the big league Motels and Hotels.

An "attraction" which I've never visited -  but which I think would be great for parents and younger children.  (Closed because of Covid).

Oh how I'd love to visit this Museum. In the best of times it is not open ever day of the week; in COVID 19 days it is never open.

West of the north Trail and close to the Bay is the older Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores neighbourhood.  First settled in 1891 it has many smaller but well maintained homes in leafy streets.  I'd love to live there, but I am "priced out".

A short bayside walk way at Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores.  Zion and I have been known to walk here.

Sadly even "modest wealth" Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores has its "McMansions".

A bit farther  on the north trail I showed the Ringling Museum to Christian.

A quick drive through the New College of Florida Campus.

Back on the Trail  a drive by the Ringling College of Art and Design
campus.  Then into Newtown.

Driving the length of the Revd Dr. Martin Luther King Way.

The history of Newtown is bound up with the segregationist/Jim Crow era.  In short, the African American residents of the Rosemary District (too close to downtown Sarasota for comfort)  were "invited"  to move to a "New Town"   without paved road or a sewage system; and with stand pipes for potable water.

(For research look up Newtown, Overtown, or Black Bottom -  each in Sarasota).

I have white "liberal" friends who refuse to drive on MLK Way because it is too dangerous.  (Balderdash). The "danger" is is their white liberal minds.

In recent years the residents of Newtown ( with the cooperation of the City of Sarasota, and  private wealth) have renewed their community which has become a vibrant place to live.  I'd take it any day over the sterile "gated enclaves"  which abound in and around SRQ.

I wanted Christian to see a bit of Newtown, so that he would know that SRQ is more than the St. Armand Circle; Siesta Key; or "west of the South Trail"  areas.

I also took C through some of the side streets off North Tuttle and 17th St,  streets with homes for the hoi polloi.


Not on the north trail.  

Before I took Christian back to his Hotel for his drive to Tampa International Airport; and flight back to Gotham  we went  for five minute walks in two of my favourite haunts (avec Zion).  

Arlington Park; an Urban oasis.

Bayfront Park, Sarasota's lungs to the Bay.


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