Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I enjoyed just saying Apalachicola. Say it distinctly, ap-a-lach-i-cola, lingering over each syllable like you might a peaty sip of Lagavulin. What a fine place-name.

It sounds like a place where King Cotton passed through on the way to the mills of England, only to be strangled by a Yankee blockade, a place with a square block of a cemetery dotted with worn stones and populated by prominent oaks bearded with Spanish moss, and also a place with some working boats -- fishing boats -- docked in sight of stone warehouses now slowly being transformed, as a group, into restaurants and other attractions.

It sounds like a place that had a post-war revival (and I mean the Civil War), this time based on lumber, which left behind a stock of Victorian and other housing styles treasured again in the late 20th century -- when the renovations and the return to the houses' former colorful exteriors began in earnest. But it's still a small town, the sort of place that has one street with traffic. On a Thursday morning, the other streets are empty enough to bicycle down for a few minutes without too much worry, using the bright yellow bike provided by your hotel. People are out walking their dogs down the middle of these fairly empty streets.



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