Dec 16, 2004

Ah, lovely west palm beach


So, I spent the last weekend with my grandma, which means I spent last weekend in the general vincinity of West Palm Beach, FLA.
I suppose most people leave FLA with Disneyworld pictures or blue sky scenery shots. But, honestly, thats just not what Florida is about.

So one day her nurse and I we were driving around, visiting various animal shelters in hopes of getting my grandma a critter for channukah. And, as the ride became longer and longer, crawling down the 6 lane street (no, not highway, but simple city street) dodging caddys and 4 door ford sedans in slow motion, I began to become more and more desperate for anything that might lend some orginality, some value to the miles of wallmarts and blockbusters and supermarkets, all with their own acre sized parking lots and uberbright signs.

The I saw it: Gun Club Road. Oh Lord, gun club road. Gun Club road, quite naturally, intersects with Military trail. But, pulling out my digicam I found that even with our glacial pace we were moving too fast to catch this descriptive street sign.

However, the 3 minute stop infront of Cun Club cafe was more than ample to capture the picture worth a thousand words. The image that sums up what is uniquely horrible about FLA.

I try not to hate Florida...really I do. I mean, there is unfathomable natural beauty there and some southern charm to the place, to be sure. And I like old people. Really I do. But as far as I can tell, FLA epitomizes man's ego at it's worst. Megamart after megamart destroying a natural paradise for convenience. Developers conquering beach after beach and swamp after swamp to ensure that nobody ever has walk more than a yard from their car to the sliding glass doors. Every bit of land unwalkable, unbikeable and unrecognizeable.

Further enrichening the pot is this odd pervading sense of fear, seediness and borderline violence. The cheap diners, gun shops and medical offices sitting neatly besides your local Winn Dixie. Trailerparks and gated communities, cheap jewlery and long laquered fake nails, disturbingly deep tans on wannabe gangbangers, huge alarm systems on even the chintziest of cars. Everything is big, ugly and built to protect itself until it sinks into the sea or is knocked over by tornado. Complexes and strip malls are whipped up quickly and cheaply and everyone has a gun and an attitude to protect the piles of cheap plastic crap they have amassed.

And there is little granny, getting out of her car in the blazing heat, limping over to the gun club cafe to have a nice safe cup of diner coffee with the early bird special.

Yep. this is what I did on my winter vacation.

1 comment:

Bjetsey said...

yarg. I know exactly how you feel - that's what Fresno is like. Thank god it's not the size of a state!