Saturday, February 24, 2007

Central Florida Kitsch

Twenty years ago, when we lived in Florida, Mount Dora was just another dusty and impoverished central Florida backwater. What a transformation!
It seems as if the City hired a slick Public Relations company, rented a sign-writer for a week or two and hired some movie extras to walk around town looking interested.
Whatever the strategy, it worked. Four or five of the downtown cross streets (that's most of them) are lined with the most kitschy antique stores, furniture emporia, sandwich shops, lunch rooms, wine tasting joints, ice cream parlors, tea shoppes, stores dedicated to candles, aroma therapy, Mount Dora memorabilia - yikes - there is even a Segway store where $5,000.00 will get you one of those fancy electric scooter thingies! Why, for just $14.00 you can climb up on a horse and cart and experience traffic fumes firsthand for twenty-five minutes, as the driver struggles to cover the short trip around town in the dense and ever circulating traffic.
The clever part of this scam seems to be, that having established a critical mass of people, all blundering around muttering "What is everyone looking at?", the phenomenon is self perpetuating since every would be passer-by feels compelled to stop and get in on the action. It certainly worked for us!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Guess we will not have to go into Mt Dora next week as would only perpetuate the existing problem. You speak as a true conservative taking a "green" tour and blaming the liberals for spoiling your day because they taxed the vehicles.