Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 28, 2017

J&S Carousel

Ever wish you could do something you used to do as a child without being stared at? Riding the J&S Carousel at St. Augustine's Davenport Park is a great way to indulge that childlike wonder, and guess what? You won’t be the only adult doing so. I just read on the site that there is supposedly a camel mixed in with the horses, but I never noticed it. This particular carousel dates from 1927 and only costs $1 for a ride. I highly recommend it, and as it's located along San Marco Avenue just off the bridge from Vilano Beach, it's easy to find. This is my horse. :-)

Spanish Bakery, St. George Street

I don’t know the story behind this painting located inside the small, authentically-colonial Spanish Bakery kitchen, but I suppose it’s either meant to be Ponce de Leon in 1513 or St. Augustine’s founder Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. Or maybe it’s just some random conquistador and the owners just liked the painting. I thought it was a nice historical touch, and there is least one other similar painting here as well. 

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 21, 2017

Castillo de San Marcos

Palm tree shadows on a 350-year-old wall. Yep, this is heaven. Equally pleasant is getting here so early that you’re just about the only person wandering the grounds (I highly recommend it). This is San Agustín Bastion, constructed in the 1680s and guarding the tenacious town of St. Augustine ever since. This is the only small tower you’re allowed to walk inside, and offers great views of the bay, the terreplein, and the eastern outerworks.

Fort Matanzas

I was recently sobered by a walk along the Fort Matanzas nature trail, which showed many downed and rotting trees that seemed to be victims of the devastating Hurricane Matthew. This scene, though, is untouched, and shows the natural beauty of this secluded area. Watch out for oyster shells (yes, there’s actually a sign that states this), rattlesnakes, sea turtles, and marsh rabbits. If they’re not interested in saying hi, feel free to take a nice long walk.

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 14, 2017

 St. George Street

The pedestrian-only shopping district of St. George Street offers so much more than shopping. There are so many little nooks and crannies and alcoves and artsy details if you know where to look, and on my last trip I discovered these two beautiful fountains behind a shop. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, as the fountain the front was constantly burbling in a gentle stream and was very interesting to watch. The blue fence and shutter and the old-fashioned brick path add to the aestheticism of this relaxing little area. Unfortunately, we were on our way out and didn’t have the time to explore more thoroughly.

Fountain of Youth

If you’ve visited the Fountain of Youth recently, you might know that a Spanish chalupa was built on park grounds and placed in the Matanzas River. This is my first attempt at a close-up, which reveals the boat’s name: San Agustín. From 1565 to 1763, and again from 1784 to 1821, this was the town’s official name, sometimes listed in official documents as “San Agustín de la Florida.” I’m still not sure whether it was pronounced “San a-GUSS-teen” or “San AW-goo-STEEN.” I’m not too fond of conjuring a 16TH century Spaniard to tell me the proper pronunciation, either. I hear they were only hospitable toward a particular demographic, and as I don’t meet that criterion, I’ll have to make do with guesswork. 

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 07, 2017

Huguenot Cemetery

The old Huguenot Cemetery (officially named the “Protestant Burying Ground”) has an air of sadness about it, and history reveals many reasons for this. First, in Spanish St. Augustine Protestants were forbidden to be buried inside the city, making it necessary to construct a burial ground outside the walls where any number of animals on unsavory passersby might desecrate the tombs (traveler Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in the 1820s that vandalism had indeed occurred). Second, many of these unfortunate souls were victims of a yellow fever epidemic.

Castillo de San Marcos

This is my favorite photo I took on my recent trip to Florida. Depth perception be hanged . . . none of these places except for the mortar and watchtower are close to one another, and yet this angle makes it seem otherwise. From left to right: San Pedro tower, the Castillo’s weathered coquina wall with a patch of new coquina visible, one of Flagler College’s many beautiful Moorish-style terra cotta turrets, the replica 17TH century Spanish watchtower at the Colonial Quarter museum, the lovely dome of millionaire Henry Flagler’s Memorial Presbyterian Church completed in 1890, and an old Spanish mortar. 

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays