Thursday, March 31, 2016

Simplicity? Beauty?

Simple?  Sure.  Beautiful?  Not really.

I need to find another photo for the "beauty of simplicity" theme 
for City Daily Photo bloggers tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The End of Spring Training

This week the Boston Red Sox ended their spring training schedule at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

The Boston Red Sox' star designated hitter, David Ortiz, is retiring at the end of the upcoming baseball season after 20 years in the major leagues, the last fourteen with the Red Sox.

There was a nice celebration before the game.  One of the streets near the spring training park has been renamed for him.  Ortiz took his usual big swings, but he was held hitless.

The playing field at JetBlue Park is identical to Fenway Park, the Red Sox' home in Boston, 
but there are many fewer seats in the stands and the park is much more contemporary. 

Baseball is fun for fans in part because, on every pitch, and even though some people think it is a slow-paced game, every player is moving and getting into position for what might come next.

There is effort on every pitch, every swing, every hit, every out.

I was deep in the outfield.  The closest player was the right fielder,
Cuban-born Rusney Castillo.
A perfect day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Walking Naples Beach

Some high school friends took turns digging a deep hole at Naples Beach.
Why?  Because they are teenagers.

A young man used his girlfriend as a weight for acrobatics while another friend took pictures.

A boy got tired of building a sand castle and started playing catch instead.

An older couple sat under a beach umbrella and looked out at Naples Pier.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Don't Mess with Success

Last summer the City of Naples cut down many trees in the medians along Gulf Shore Boulevard North and replanted the medians.  Big mistake.  Gulf Shore Boulevard North is home to many high rise buildings occupied by wealthy residents who did not take kindly to the changes.

The City is rapidly (and expensively) backpedaling.  The City Council has appropriated lots of money, and an advisory committee of residents has met repeatedly to review a new master landscape plan to replant the medians one more time, with big, mature trees, shrubs and ground covers.  

At a meeting in the City Council chamber, the advisory committee was getting a tree-by-tree
review of the plan.  (A painting of the Naples Pier is on the wall behind them.)

Moral:  Don't mess around with successful people's trees.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ran Adler

Ran Adler created this big, complicated structure from a basketmaker's waste.  He sorted the waste by size, drilled holes and then strung it all up.

This sculpture -- Waterspout -- and other Adler works are exhibited at the Gardner*Colby gallery on Broad Avenue South in Naples.

Friday, March 25, 2016


Jennifer works at a Fifth Avenue South store that sells beach-themed giftware.

Like everyone, Jennifer is trying to figure out what she will do when she grows up.

Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett is the City of Naples' past and future mayor..
He is a longtime City Counselor who has served three previous terms as mayor
and was elected last week to a fourth term.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Others have shown the first butterfly of spring.  In Florida, we have butterflies all winter long.
This monarch was bobbing around on a bush when I took a walk yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Baker Museum

Let's take a break from the galleries to see some of the interesting aspects of the museum.

There is a three-story blue glass Dale Chihuly installation in the stairwell.

And an appealing seating area in the space between the philharmonic hall and the museum.

And a corridor with a bright assemblage of Chihuly glass in the ceiling.

And, if you are lucky, you will be there on a day when the endlessly fascinating Thea is on duty.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Naples Collects

23 members and friends of the Baker Museum at Artis Naples have loaned works for an exhibition,
Naples Collects.  Trust me, these folks don't have scribbles by their kids on their walls!
The exhibition was dazzling.

These are three gelatin prints by American photographer Bert Stern from 1962, 
six weeks before Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose.  

The woman straight ahead is a FINGERPRINT portrait by the American artist Chuck Close.
 The museum has been permitting photography for just a few months, provided there is no flash.
But there is no exception for photographing loaned works.  Fearless as I usually am, I was uncomfortable taking very close photos of works from private collections,
so I took pix of rooms or distant shots or partially cropped shots.

The exhibition's most fascinating work is a large 2008 mixed media work by American artist Gregory Scott -- painting, photography and video -- showing a painting of the artist looking into a repeating scene in which (in the video) he continually walks in and out of the scene.  Brilliant!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Baker Baker Baker

All over Naples and Collier County, hospitals and cultural institutions are named for Jay and Patty Baker.  Jay was President of Kohl's, a national department store chain.  Patty has produced many Broadway musicals.  They are wealthy, civic-minded and generous.

The museum-formerly-known-as-the-museum-that-cannot-be-named-because-photography-is-not-permitted-but-now-can-be-named-because-photography-is-now-permitted is the Baker Museum,
the arts center of Artis Naples.  Patty Baker is the creator and co-founder of the museum.  She and her husband have contributed more than $10 million over the years.  More about the museum later.

The Bakers have given $23 million to the Naples Community Hospital (NCH) Downtown Naples Hospital, which was recently renamed the NCH Baker Hospital.  The Tower building at NCH North Naples Hospital is now the Jay & Patty Baker Tower in recognition of additional generous gifts.

And, a few weeks ago the Gulfshore Playhouse announced a $10 million gift from the Bakers to help build a new theater.  Whatever you think about wealth and disparities, the Bakers are a couple
who share their financial good fortune with the communities where they live.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Allure of the Senses

To give the Allure -- a proposed high-rise tower project -- some buzz, 23 large iron sculptures were quietly placed around downtown Fort Myers in the middle of a December night.

The exhibition is called "Allure Your Senses."

They are an installation through March by Colombian sculptor Edgardo Carmona.

Don Quixote stands in front of the Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Captain Dave

These are from a day of sailing in late February.  I am back in Florida today after two wonderful weeks in Peru and Ecuador.  Give me a day or two to pay bills and catch my breath.

Captain Dave skippers the 40-something foot cutter Sundance, which sails out of Fort Myers Beach.

Captain Dave is a character.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Giant Galapagos Land Tortoises!

The male giant tortoise on the right walked up to the one on the left.  He literally "got in his face."

The two tortoises began stretching their necks for dominance.  Taller wins.  The one on the left got higher and the challenger slinked away.  All in silence, all in slow motion.  A highlight of the trip.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: South Plaza Island

It is fascinating how each Galapagos island is different.  South Plaza Island's shoreline is ringed with volcanic boulders and cliffs, with lava rocks, opuntia cacti and sesuvium, a low ground cover 
that is red and orange when water is scarce.

A nazca booby -- white body, orange beak and eyes and a chocolatey brown tail and wing edge -- 
stood silently at a poop-covered promontory.

A blue-footed booby kept watch.

A young sea lion was curious.

A lava lizard posed, showing his best side.

And a swallow tail gull hid quietly behind a tree.

I am still away, for a few more days.