Friday, September 21, 2018

The Food Trucks are Coming!

COASTAL COMMENTS

We have talked with FP&L regarding the downed lights in our area. There are two twisted poles on Davis Boulevard that have been lying on the ground looking like giant pretzels, since Hurricane Irma! FP&L got back to us to say that the poles are the state’s possession and FP&L cannot work on them. When contacting FDOT, their response was: “The light poles on Davis Blvd., as well as the lights on the Jolley Bridge, were damaged by Hurricane Irma. Repairs to lighting like those are deemed non-emergency repairs by the Federal Highway Administration, so the repair contract took longer to get approved by them. FDOT has recently received approval for the repairs from FHWA and will be repairing those lights, as well as many others around the District, later this year.” (I’m hoping “this year” means 2018! But who knows for sure?). “We have asked the contractor to prioritize the Jolley Bridge first, since there has been so much concern expressed about the lack of lighting there. After the Jolley Bridge, the contractors will prioritize the light poles on Davis Blvd.” There you have it, right from the FDOT!

Have you been to the Elks Lodge on U.S. 41E recently? Saturdays are the best when it comes to “Hot Dog Saturday.” They immerse them in beer overnight, and then on Saturday morning they grill them! Oh my goodness, they taste so good! They serve them with cheese, chili, and other condiments, plus potato chips, for $3! They start serving around 11:30 AM, or sometimes it’s noon. If you are a member of the Elk’s you can order adult drinks, but if not, they will serve you soda or water or iced tea. If you find the time, try to get over there. You’ll be glad you did. They are also planning on having a “Sneaker Drive” for the children who need school shoes. I’m hoping that the Greater Naples Fire District will keep them here on this side of town, because people seem to donate to kids elsewhere, but they don’t realize how many kids there are right here, and how in need they are! The Fire Department says the kids just have to go to the fire station on 951 near Immokalee Road, but they don’t realize these kids have no transportation nor do many of their parents. When they were East Naples Fire Department they offered them at the Davis Boulevard fire station and were mobbed with kids. This also holds true with Christmas and toy collections, clothes collections, underclothes, etc. There are no distribution points here like in other parts of the county where they have many agencies that hold fundraisers and collections. My goodness, you always hear about the generous donations to kids in Immokalee and Grace Place in Golden Gate. Maybe we can look around and find a place here in this part of the county who will work with agencies to be a distribution point! The Marco Kiwanis Club and East Naples Merchants Association finds a way to get to some of the kids at Manatee Schools, but other places with fabulous money and gifts send them to Immokalee. I don’t think they even realize all of the need right in their own backyard. Maybe they’ll read this column and start to ask around. That would be so very nice! Being that more affordable housing is located right over the bridge than any other place in the county, this would really help those kids.

It’s exciting to see new construction and/or businesses coming to the area! So many people move here, but we also need businesses to serve their needs! It seems we never have enough business to satisfy residents, especially more restaurants, because people like to eat at new places, or familiar places, or different places so it isn’t the same old, same old. Speaking of new business, a craft beer tavern will be opening on Bayshore soon. It won’t be long before we’ll be able to see what it looks like. Something new is always fun. Then, on the very same street the food truck business – “Celebration Park” will be opening around the same time! I understand that Rebecca Maddox, the owner of 360 Market, asks each applicant who would like to be a part of the food truck business to cook in her kitchen for two weeks so she gets to know how they work, how clean they are, how well they work with money, and how they treat the patrons of the business. She will also decide what types of food trucks will be featured and there will be no duplications. Knowing Rebecca, it will be an instant success! Look at what she’s done with 360 Market! The food trucks will include foods such as New York Pizza, Chicago Hot Dogs, French Cuisine, and other tastes such as Greek, Indian and Dutch cuisines, and probably more. It will truly be eclectic and feel different, almost like an international village in a setting that seems to blend into the architectural style of The Botanical Garden. These businesses will be firmly rooted by the time Pickleball and the U.S. Open holds it tournaments, the big one being in April.

I wonder if any of you decided to go to a class reunion recently. I missed my first few, being that they were in Cleveland, Ohio and I live in Naples, but the last few times I’ve chosen to attend. It’s been so much fun that my West Tech class decided to have a mid-term reunion just so we could get together again. When a handful of people arrived they mentioned that they really weren’t going to come but made the decision to attend after all. Some came in from Texas, California, Michigan, and Minnesota. Everyone was so happy they made the right decision. I mentioned to those sitting at my table to be quiet for just a minute, and we heard laughter and happiness coming from each and every table. It was really a great sound. One guy bought a rose for every person there. We had the event at Lakewood Country Club (and I live in Lakewood here in Naples which also has a Lakewood Country Club), with excellent food and a band, and dancing like I remember so well. No one dances like Clevelanders. I hope you’ve attended one of yours as well. I had no one to go with, but that quickly resolved itself because many reservations only had one person, so there is always someone to
sit with.

I hope everyone is having a relaxing and fun filled summer. Soon it will be back to the old grind and cooler weather.

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