Monday, August 31, 2009

Downtown Tennis

Here in Venice you can play tennis in the heart of downtown across the street from city hall. I wonder how often city staff come out here to work out their frustration. Might be a good idea. Anyway it's a great setting that is very accessible.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Luna Cafe

Just off Tampa Ave. between the Venice theater and the old Kentucky Military Institute building (now Venice Mall) is this inviting building with a cafe in a very park like setting. I haven't tried it yet myself so I can't really recommend it. But it sure looks nice and if I'm around there when it's open it always has several customers, that's always a good sign that it's a good place.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Peppermint Columns

I love the detail on these columns in front of Bresler's Ice Cream on Venice Ave. downtown. But somehow when I go in there I usually end up with peppermint ice cream. I wonder if there could a subconscious suggestion sort of thing going on here?!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beach Front Dining

This is not just the only place for beach front dining in Venice, but for many miles away, I don't even recall of a beach front restaurant in the Sarasota area. Sharky's On The Pier has a great Florida keys beach atmosphere, and great food too. A walk out on the pier is also very nice.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Game On

Venice Beach is a great spot for volleyball with several permanent nets set up. It's actually a great beach for lots of activities as I believe that it is not only the most central beach, but also the deepest on the island. There is plenty of room to spread out here.

The main thing I don't like here are the condos on the beach most of which I feel where very poorly designed. Also none of which would be here if John Nolan's city plan had been more closely adhered to. There should have been virtually nothing except nature and parks on the gulf side of Esplanade Blvd.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Humming Bird

I can not take credit for this wonderful picture. When my friend Alice was out walking this morning she was fortunate to be able to get this shot of a humming bird on a branch with the setting moon in the background.

She was also gracious to allow me to share it with you. I love the color and composition, I also know that it's hard to get a good shot of humming birds. Great job Alice!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Inter-coastal View

Taken from the same building as yesterdays photo, here is a view of the Inter-coastal Waterway that the building is built beside. The waterway was built the 1960’s as a safer inland travel route to the open water of the gulf or Atlantic. It made Venice an Island until that time Venice was one of only a few Florida cities situated directly on the coast. Most "coastal" Florida cities are actually separated from the coast by natural barrier islands.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Island Overview

Taken from the balcony of a condo on the Inland Waterway on one side of Venice Island you can see the Gulf on the other side of the island. This is a good shot of the downtown area, right above the Little Theater you can see a double line of palm trees, those are running down the center of Venice Ave. in the main downtown shopping area.

The large cream color building just past the theater was built as a hotel, became Winter headquarters for the Kentucky Military Institute, and is now condos with shops and a French restaurant on the first floor.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Venice Beach Pavilion

A contrast to the Italian influenced detail I showed yesterday. In the mid 1900's ultra modern architecture was all the rage and the plans for northern Italian style buildings where largely ignored here in Venice.

I wish that the style originally planned for Venice had been carried through better as some of the modern condo buildings are just ugly, but some exceptions and contrasts are nice and this is one I really like. There is also no guarantee that if other buildings had been built in a different style that they would be better, there is bad design in all styles.

The Venice beach pavilion here is a great example of the local "Sarasota School" style. It was designed by renowned architect: Cyril T. Tucker and built in 1964.

The pavilion features a hyperbolic paraboloid roof soring over two low buildings of coral stone and a large open air area with tables for eating ice cream from the pavilion shop or playing chess, etc.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Granada Apartments up close

Yesterday I had a photo of the historic Granada Apartments and mentioned that the buildings have sculptural reliefs this is a close up of one of those. Every one I've seen is different, it's a detail that you just don't see on many buildings. Details like this add a lot of charm and character. I believe these apartments where originally built for the working class rather than for the wealthy which makes details like this even more exceptional.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Granada Apartments

Built in 1927 the Granada Apartments are part of the Armada Road Multi-family Historic District. There is no pool, but with wrought iron gates, two courtyards, curving stairs, and sculptural reliefs on the buildings. These apartments have a lot of charm and character that is missing in more recent construction.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Golfing Around

I'll admit it, I'm not a golfer. I think that makes me a bit odd around here as there are twelve golf courses in this small town. While I don't golf I have to admit the courses can be quite beautiful. I particularly enjoy this one at Pelican Point. There is a road that goes right through it, that road is by fay the most scenic way to from where I live onto the island.