This is a Love Letter I wrote for Valentine’s Day to my beloved neighborhood, Gillespie Park (in Sarasota, FL). Here’s the first few lines and photos, click the link to see the whole thing on This Week in Sarasota.
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It’s the season for red cellophane heart-shaped boxes, romantic dates and love letters. In the spirit of the season, I decided to put my feelings for my greatest local “paramour” into words and pictures in a love letter to my neighborhood, Gillespie Park.
Ten Things I Love About You
A Love Letter to Gillespie Park
Dear Gillespie Park,
Since the day we first met, when I was visiting my friends at the blue house on 7th St., I have nurtured a strong and enduring love for you. I hope you won’t think me presumptuous in sharing my feelings so openly, but I can’t shake this feeling that we are made for each another. My greatest sadness would be for you to never know how very special you are … So here are 10things I love the most about you:
1. Your Face
Houses from the early 1900s, friendly front porches, expert detail … Spanish-style stucco houses in white, brown and red … Yards that range from delicately manicured to sometimes old-Florida wispy, sometimes lush and funky foliage. Hidden lanes, oak canopies, a convenient street grid that gives me about 300 options for getting in and out.
You are eclectic, exotic, traditional, industrious, domestic, inviting and private all at once. For this, I love you.
2. My Neighbor Leo’s Home-based Chocolate Factory
The underground Willy Wonka of Gillespie Park, my friend Leo Rojas makes the MOST INCREDIBLE chocolates!! Hand-crafted with love and years of culinary experience, his line of “Porcelana” chocolates are made the way candy should be: all pure ingredients with little to no artificial additives. Flavors are distilled in the old-fashioned way, and Leo achieves flavor, texture and an experience that will literally blow your mind (I promise).