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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our ninth calendar year
    PCR #433  (Vol. 9, No. 28)  This edition is for the week of July 7--13, 2008.

The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region: Part 7  by William Moriaty
"Hellboy 2: The Golden Army"  by Mike Smith
Guest Editorial:
"Mother of Tears" by Terence Nuzum
ED Tucker vs Spook Hill  by ED Tucker
The Revenge of Oddservations by Andy Lalino
Favre Saga Continues… .... Rays Slumping .... A-Rod + Madonna = Pay Rod .... Jaguars’ Star Arrested .... Madden '09 Anticipation .... TBC  by Chris Munger
Amity Island Closes Beaches  by Matt Drinnenberg
Film Fans Rejoice .... Give Money A Chance .... Passing On .... And The Oscar For 1956 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
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Anniversary Meets Architecture on St. Pete Beach Part One:
The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region: Part 7

First an Update on Me:
To claim that things have been a disaster since my wife and I had found out in November 2007 that our house on 1001 W. Baker Street in Plant City had a major structural failure requiring massive reconstruction is an understatement. This is the first La Floridiana since Issue #409 on January 21, 2008.

Due to problems securing financing for a loan to complete this work, the house has sat idle for the past three months, with all of its siding stripped and a covering of Tyvek with yellow Caution tape near the front porch being the interior's only defense against the elements of both weather and man.

Having to temporarily live in an apartment over the past five months now has presented its own economic challenges along with skyrocketing fuel charges and an economy that all but our elected officials recognize is in some of the worst shape it has been in since the Great Depression - - don't shuck and jive me to the otherwise - - I've lived through the recessions of 1970-71, 1973-75, 1978-79, 1982-83, 1987-88, 1991-93, 2001-02 and this is the bleakest and most destructive to date. This once common face in Tampa during the weekends has become scarce in order to stave off insolvency. It's been rough and I don't see improvement on the horizon - -

Time Out for Good News: Happy Anniversary 20
Even in the worst of times there are still things to count your blessings by and celebrate. May 14, 2008 marked the 20th Anniversary of the wedding that Karen Cashon and I had at Siple's Garden Seat Inn at Clearwater back in 1988. To celebrate this landmark, Karen and I threw caution to the wind for just a little while and had a three-day stay at a 1950's era motel in St. Pete Beach called the Bon-Aire Resort Motel.

The Bon Aire is a bit of Bay area anomaly. It was built in 1953 and has been under the same ownership since that time! In addition, the majority of the structure is still in an untouched 1953 mid-century modern glory. The Resort was brought to our attention by our dear friend Susan Hughes who was smitten by its mid-50's appearance. The atmosphere there is as laid back as taking a time machine to Florida in the mid-50's. No loud partying or rude behavior there - - everyone seems to enjoy its old Florida ambiance and live on island time. While there I met a fellow Cracker named John Cook of Lakeland who extolled its laid back virtues as he has made it a tradition to ensure that the Bon Aire tradition would live into the future!

Photo Crazy
As the Pinellas Beaches offer more mid-century modern architecture of extant commercial structures (John Lautner would be proud!) than any other area of Tampa Bay, any trip over there is a delight and when I have a camera at my disposal, it's even more magical.

So, for your viewing and architectural entertainment, is a photo essay conducted in St. Pete Beach, Florida between May 15th and May 18th 2008 in the spirit of La Floridiana!

Ah, the Googie glory that is the Bon Aire Resort Motel logo at night that has been a beacon to beachcombers for 55 years now!An overview of the front of the Bon Aire the next morning as it faces Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach.
The buildings are two-story cinder-block structures with rooms that have balcony views facing courtyards such as this.The front office.
The decorative concrete block theme of the Bon Aire Resort Motel extends northward to this public access gateway to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.In addition to the incredible architecture, another draw for this author, conceived in the Isle of Pines, Cuba, born on Davis Islands in Tampa, is of course, the beach! Here is a view of Sea Oats on a dune framing a view of the Gulf of Mexico directly behind the Bon Aire on the morning of Friday May 16, 2008.

Next Week: Our photo journey of St. Pete Beach continues right here in PCR, so be here then!

"La Floridiana" is ©2008 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.