Sunday, October 08, 2006

Coastal Connections

A couple of recent stories by Bob Ardren in the Pelican have focussed on the changing waterfront in the Sarasota area. One concerns Cortez fishing village and the other is about Walt's Restaurant.

As one generation steps aside and the new takes over, a simpler way of life fades into the past. The stories from the era of a strong connection to the gulf waters - a connection that provided the livelihood for many families - are known by many that have spent a while in our coastal cities. Remnants of these stories still exist, mainly family stories and musuems.

These connections are a significant part of our place, our sense of place.

I would encourage all of our readers to stop by Walt's for a lunch or dinner of excellent local fish (and read about the family history while there). In the 80's, when I visited Sarasota, the first stop was always Walt's on Washington. Oysters and a grouper sandwich washed down with some beer was the attraction. Now Walt's is on the South Trail but the food is just as great.

Also stop by Cortez and have a fresh fish lunch on their dock; watch the birds and the commercial fishing activity. Wander around the village and picture yourself living on this waterfront a few decades ago.

Both Walt's and Cortez have fish markets; you can take home some fresh caught fish or maybe some smoked mullet and savor it later.

These pictures are of Cortez - a fascinating place.

Maybe with a visit to one of these places you too will start connecting a little stronger to this sense of place.

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