Saturday, March 25, 2006

Young man, take a walk up the street-- It's a place there called the YMCA

Well, it’s beautiful weather down here—75 or so and sunny.

Here’s a spy satellite view of FAOB’s neighborhood.
Best I can tell, the whole development was a swamp not more than five or six years ago. It appears the industrious developers dredged part of the swamp and piled the dredgings onto the other part—producing a topography of about 50% land and 50% water. Not a single square inch of the land remains in anything resembling a natural state. Every micron has been landscaped—fairly beautifully, I must admit. There are two gates for accessing this world, which is entirely surrounded by either fence or water (“moat”, FAOB calls it).

Yesterday I walked around for over an hour, covering several miles. Here are some things I didn’t see:

Anywhere to buy a cup of coffee, a newspaper, a haircut, a hammer, or anything else.
Any churches, museums, schools, fire departments, or police stations.
Any posters or ads stuck to trees or lampposts,
Any cars with dents, rust, dirt, or bumper stickers. Not a single bumper sticker (except the barcode sticker that opens the gate.)
Anyone else on foot or on a bike.
A single scrap of litter.
Any houses painted white or any shade of blue, green, red, purple, pink, or gray.
Any other Caucasians.

Yes, you heard me—I was the only person-not-of-color around. Evidently, this subdivision was heavily marketed to well-to-do Central and South Americans (median household income of the municipality: $81,000). Sister-in-law tells me that she and Nephew have been snubbed at the playground because they do not speak Spanish. Nephew is attending bilingual daycare, though, so that will change soon.

Later in the day SIL, Nephew and I went to the elaborate recreation area owned by the subdivision, which includes three swimming pools, a large waterslide, and a minigolf course. If as children FAOB and I had had unlimited, free access to a large waterslide and minigolf, we would’ve thought we’d gone to kiddie heaven. For Nephew, this will just be routine.

Today, FAOB, Nephew and I went to the even more elaborate YMCA, which is just across the moat on the other side of the gate. It has a 42,000 square foot gym, eight basketball courts, eight roller-hockey rinks, eight tennis courts, eight baseball diamonds, and eight full soccer fields (see spy satellite photo). I’ve never seen anything like this. Not much like the crappy old Y in Major Metropolitan Area where little T.G. learned to swim 35 years ago.

I asked Sister-In-Law why no one is out paddling a kayak or canoe on the waterways. In the Smallish State, anyone with the great fortune to have a lawn ending on a navigable body of water would have boats in the yard, and, on a day like this, boats on the water. Perhaps it’s against the Association Rules here? “No”, she said, “paddling is allowed— but you have to remember, it’s winter for Floridians, so they’re not going to be out on the water.”

Strange, strange, strange.


Anonymous girltuesday said...

i kind of like the first picture. aboriginal almost.

3/27/06, 9:26 AM  

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