Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily Report: Circle Party

We had a nice day yesterday. Our neighbors, the Athertons from Boston, came up with the brilliant idea of an end-of-season Sunday party for our cul-de-sac group of 8 homes: Since most everybody goes back up north around this time of year, the idea was to cook a dish to pass with the intention of emptying your fridge of leftover food.

There were about 14 of us out in the circle for lunch. Paul set up tables and chairs. Mom made bean salad, ambrosia, and brownies. I made nachos and Singapore Sling punch (a big hit, naturally). The Athertons provided shrimp cocktail and a big ham. Their neighbors (Mrs. Atherton's sister) Cathy and her husband Phil also from Boston bought potato salad. The neighbors on our other side, Tom and Candy (from my old stomping grounds in the Southern Tier of New York State) brought fried fish and baked beans. Neighbor Jim across the circle was also there. (He and I will be the only people in our circle of 8 houses living here in Florida during the summer. Fortunately I will also have Uncle Bob nearby, Aunt Alice up the road, and Aunt Carol across town as well during the summer months.)

There was an interesting discussion at the party concerning something that I've always wondered about: Why is this very specific part of Florida so popular with people from New York and New England (but decidedly not New York City)? The proposed answer I heard is this: The richer (and more Jewish) New Yorkers have been retiring to Florida for half a century longer than their transpontine counterparts, so they've headed to the more traditional Miami. However the upstate folks? They come to the Tampa/Sarasota area because this is where both The Yankees and The Red Sox have their Spring Training facilities. (Of course, once you reach a critical mass of people, it gets to the point that everybody knows somebody from their area who lives in Tampa/Sarasota... a close friend or relative who has retired here... and people tend to follow their own. (My grandparents initially started here in the 60s following a group of their own friends, who were probably following other friends, who might have been following baseball.) Well, that's the theory anyway.

After chit-chatting all day in the sun and drinking my share, a 3-hour evening nap was in the cards. Then it was off to work for the night.

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