In Search of the Real Florida

Sidewalk footprints

Sidewalks of Northwood Village, West Palm Beach, FL

On the outskirts of West Palm Beach is a neighborhood called Northwood Village, and that is exactly what it is. A village away from the high-rise penthouses, beachside mansions, and shops along Worth Avenue in the glitzy city where Donald Trump lives. It is a step back in time to a Florida when everyone had access to the beach and the buildings were no taller than a story or two.

I stumbled upon this neighborhood several months ago but we were always on our way to somewhere else. This morning I had a meeting with two CPA’s who started their own firm two years ago. Women my age, taking chances and setting goals.

The meeting went well. Hopefully it will turn into some work, ten to fifteen hours a week. Although this is not my goal, I still have those pesky bills to pay. Books are hard to sell in an age where entertainment is wide and varied. I’d like to find new ways to advertise and that takes money too. So, I continue to crunch numbers. For now.

cafe Northwood

Cafe Society, Northwood Village, West Palm Beach, FL

 

It was almost two years ago that I moved to Florida. It is not quite all we dreamed it would be. The things we don’t like: the population density, the traffic, the extreme flaunting of wealth along the shoreline, the private beaches. The things we love: the winter weather, the big sky with the amazing sunsets, the ability to enjoy the outdoors all year long, the variety of restaurants and people and sights, still behaving like tourists exploring our new home.

And that’s what I did after my meeting. I drove to the coast and found myself at Northwood Village where I parked the car and took a walk, because yes, I am still walking and in the new year I plan to write again about my walks. This year I am on a mission to find Old Florida and because it isn’t easy to locate in this concrete jungle, I won’t be writing for 365 days, but I will let you know when I find it.

Today I found myself on bougainvillea streets lined with antique shops, restaurants serving varied cuisines, and Harold’s Coffee Lounge. It was straight out of the Caribbean, which is what I imagined my life in Florida would be like.

Harold's Coffee Lounge

Harold’s Coffee Loungs, Northwood Village, West Palm Beach. FL

 

I met a cockatoo and several locals drinking coffee and reading the paper. The back courtyard was lined with murals but I brought my coffee and blueberry cheese Danish to a table along the sidewalk, where after saying hello to the very friendly and feisty cockatoo, I took in the passing scene.

Harold's

My third book is coming soon. I feel really good about this book and I want to make a big splash. I’m having a hard time letting it go. I want it to have the debut it deserves. I would love a publisher but unless you have friends in high places, that’s a pipe dream and self-publishing is the way of the future, so I will figure this out on my own.

Over the past two years, while my life has been in transition, I have met lots of other people who are making changes and chasing forgotten dreams. I plan to interview and write about these fellow wanderers over the course of  the year. Look for my first piece next week.

If you too are middle aged but feel young and are optimistically reinventing yourself and trying new things, send me a message on my email (it’s over to the right on the long list of places you will find me) and give me a brief description of your story.

And please comment below on your plans for the new year. 

Comments drive traffic to my website and traffic sells books and selling more books is my new year’s resolution.

Community Garden, Northwood Village, West Palm Springs, FL

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