Sarasota, Florida, is a city of 53,326 located south of
Tampa on Florida’s Coast.
This attractive and relatively affluent city was once the
winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus which recently ceased performing
after 146 years. For its size,
Sarasota hosts an amazing number of cultural institutes; the Ringling Brothers
Museum which showcases old masters and modern art; also an opera house,
symphony hall, and numerous theaters and performing arts venues. The Bay front is a major magnet for
locals and tourists.
I spent a week in the Sarasota area exploring the city and
bay front with good friend Dr. Warren Melamed who enjoys spending part of each
winter in the area. The below
three pictures are the entrance to the bay front, the marina and grounds, and photographer
Robert Capa’s famous 1945 VE Day picture of the sailor
kissing his girlfriend which was captured in a fifteen foot high statue.
on high wire walking across Bayfront Drive.
Boating is very popular in Florida and the Sarasota area
thus requiring application and enforcement of regulations and appropriate
I was particularly impressed by Walt’s Fish Market
Restaurant and Tiki Bar which was established in
1918. John Ringling was a great
force in the building of Sarasota but others like Walt Wallin,
the first owner, played major roles too.
Some of Walt’s most popular items are the Mullet and Blue
Crab Salad and fresh shrimp.
In conclusion, I am partial to cities that invest heavily in
public art, a sign that the people believe that their home is so special that
want to beautify it even more – Sarasota is such a place. Two particular statues that caught my
eye are The Duffer (Royal St. Andrews, the Father of Golf) and the Butterfly
In retrospect, I ask myself why it took me so long to
finally visit this lovely city and area.