Hi you in the future. This was the Friday and Saturday (July 10-11) road trip from Coral Springs to Saint Petersburg to re-visit The Dali Museum and watch a baseball game. It was a lone trip and you were not embarrassed. Only you for thoughts, conversation, opinion, and entertainment. One can be alone.
So you didn’t leave at 5:30am on Friday like you wanted and instead left at little before 8am. It wasn’t inconvenient until the detour on Alligator Ally through Immokalee, a place you have never been.
The east coast Florida highways have more trees and greenery than the west it seems.
Only until you crossed the bridges, especially the highest bridge with the yellow suspension cables extending diagonally down that from afar seem like a golden spike, that you accepted that Saint Petersburg is a peninsula. Because of the earlier detour you didn’t arrive before noon. You arrived at the museum at 3pm though you entered Saint Pete by noon, but decided to eat a Publix veggie sub at a public park the size of one city block exactly. The park was nice enough and many people were sitting down on blankets. Parked on the street and slide coins in the meter. It became noticeable that those people where the city’s homeless. With the homeless spread across the park the non-homeless stayed clear. You were part of the homeless scene.
The first visit to The Dali Museum was on another road trip several years before with an ex-high school girlfriend not longer after your separation. The museum was smaller, but still there. I remember the very large paintings and the white pajama shaped dress she wore with black heels; thought it was too much. So a new three story museum was build in the same spot as the old. Three floors, but only the third floor for exhibition where the concrete spiral staircase leads. And so Dali and you were together again.
Let the others go in order and view each painting one after another like a doctor evaluating patient x-rays. No, you, you zagged when they zigged, went up when they went down. Leave the gallery and return later and view the paintings in reverse. Randomly jump without fear or thought from one to another. You drove the museum security nuts! They saw you multiple times. And again in circles. What must’ve they thought? There’s a crazy.
Dali ordered the gallery closed at 5:30.
Later that day after sofritas at Chipotle you drove for 10min to find a parking spot near Tropicana Field that wasn’t $15 expensive. Even $10 was too much and so you found one lot for $5. Turns out it was a city lot and that is why it was the least expensive the attendant explained and congratulated you for saving five dollars. So you parked there and walked the few minutes to the stadium.
Ten dollars was the cheapest ticket and you sat at the 300 level in the last of the last seats behind the outfield next to the electronic display boards. There was a tank full of sting rays below a board. A tank full sting rays?! The seats were aluminum benches just like the bleachers you find in high school gymnasiums. It was an indoor stadium and you were thankful for that because the heat was strong and you just wanted to sit and watch and clap for the home team a little. Final score Tampa Rays 3, Houston Astros 1.
And then around 10pm it was back to the bedroom you rented in Amy’s house not far from the stadium.
A steady and fairly quick summary of the history of mathematics throughout the centuries and cultures pertaining to the absence of zero and infinity. Slow at the start the author overemphasizes that zero is dangerous. Repeatedly concluding and leaning on zero to create intrigue. Appears to try too hard.
Greeks to Egyptians to Romans to Indians to Arabs to the West – the professions of mathematical thought. Cultures building on past progress.
Interesting bits include Greeks’ geometric religion. Christianity based on Aristotelian philosophy; an external universe. Graph without zero or negative numbers. Advanced math to manipulate very large numbers and the language of nature: calculus. Theory of relativity – the faster an object moves the slower time progress, time as the fourth dimension.
Creating something from nothing is possible. Without God.
A typical beach town. Continue north of Jacksonville Beach and experience Atlantic Beach and go a bit further for Neptune Beach. Beach town, cruising, people out walking, everyone wearing sunglasses just enjoying.
Spending time in the park a week or two ago. And as I usually do spend a few hours underneath a tree reading and not being on the cell phone or laptop or any screen. The world is incommunicado.
Changing their temperament, the clouds darkened deep and a friendly constant breeze wandered around the grass and bushes and trees. And so I thought I could hold out and not leave. Dark clouds are quite interesting. You’re experiencing nature and its exciting to be there so I didn’t leave awaiting the next. The next arrived ceremoniously with a loud vibrating entrance. More like a boom and a crash. If the clouds didn’t mind you, then the boom and crash holds your attention. The excitement level increased quite a bit. Still I stayed and just looked up wondering if any of those lighting crashes were meant for the tree above. It was a large overgrown tree with long extended branches and leaves on the ends like the legs of a millipede. Remember the feeling of aliveness as a witness this event rather than inside looking out of a window ever so often. And so I wanted for the next. Again.
The next arrive slowly. One and then another and another and then all together randomly and faster, light at first, but then heavy globs in rapid-fire sequence. Rain. Dark clouds didn’t nudge me, ominous wind didn’t move me, thunder strikes held me firm in my place, but rain got me moving. Gathering the folding chair and tote to head for the car, the rain came down much much faster and harder. Reaching the VW Golf and lifting the hatchback to semi-organize the folded chair and tote bag I knew I was wet. Not drenched, but just enough to feel moist through clothing. Could see and feel the water rolling down my forearms.
Seated in the driver’s seat I waited and simply looked out through the glass windows. The steering wheel returned the stare. Straight ahead to see the grass and large bushes obscuring any view. The windshield holding up against the barrage. Almost like airborne solders dropping in from the sky and crashing into the ground. They fall and crash and explode on the windshield and roll downward to a ditch. New solders fall again and again. Don’t you know your fate solder? Follow orders solder. Die, die, die!!
To the left, the parking spot next to me. All these slots empty. Little water-works all around. More solders crashing to the ground and upon each other. There’s a pool forming.
The thunderstorm was just beginning. A curtain of rain surrounded the park as I drove out. That rain curtain continued well after I arrived home.
So I usually head to Starbucks when I just want to leave the house and be someplace else that isn’t as formal or quiet as a library but comfortable enough to spend a couple hours. Barnes & Nobles comes a close second. The city park might displace Starbucks as the go to place to relax and read.
The inspiration comes from New York’s Central Park during summer. The imagery is often of the young spread on beach towels like cream cheese on bagels, snacking on food stored in their baskets, wearing obligatory sunglasses, and sometimes shirtless. Oh and tossing around a Frisbee. Huh, I didn’t know that. Frisbee is a trademarked name. Thanks to the spell checker. Flying disk is the generic name. Anyway it never struck my why the park hadn’t entered my mental list of possible alternatives or replacements for my frequent purposes at Starbucks.
On an impulse this past Saturday morning I head to the city park with light supplies: magazine, headphones in zip lock bag, umbrella, bottled water, sunglasses, and folding chair. Check out my city park minimalist equipment here. Except for the large crowd in shelters at the parks entrance, the rear of the park was surprising free of people and cars. A little disappointed but I surely had my pick of parking and area.
The sole car in the row of spots and one hundred meters to the closest human. No less than one minute since I begin my enjoyment rain drops land on the magazine in dozens. Not a problem since the shelter a few paces away is empty. Actually much more comfortable though I do feel a bit awkward sitting in the chair with my feet resting on the wooden table’s bench. The rain continues and heavier this time. Wind joins the action and I feel great. Relaxed and comfortable the reading is just that more enjoyable. Wind cooled by the heavy rain creates an incredible breeze. Like an ice cube melting in front of a fan. Bottled water is nice, but I was getting the munchies and didn’t bring anything for wanting to keep this adventure light.
The no remorse list of pros and cons.
Quiet. No explanation needed.
Secluded. Might be scary if alone and female.
Fresh Air. No coffee aroma.
Cheap entrance. At $1.50 cheaper than a frappuccino.
Bring Your Own Food. Need to plan ahead a little.
Play Frisbee. Can’t do this at Starbucks plus you can take a break from whatever you aren’t doing.
Rain. Lovely ambiance.
Not Air Conditioned. May sweat. Humid too.
Insects and other crawlies. The uncomfortable feeling of creatures.
Bathroom. Hmm. Yeah.
Sunrise to Sundown Only. Good only on days off and weekends.
Rain. Possibility of being soaked.
Bring Your Own Food. You’re stuck should you forget plus bring the wrong thing and you’ll experience the bathroom.
Electricity. Plan ahead item.
Hour and a half into my park adventure restlessness sets. Switch to music though that just accelerated my restlessness. In end the park experiment was a success and now is top of mind for next weekend.