Friday, November 24, 2017

3703 S Atlantic Ave Daytona Beach Shores to 2727 N Atlantic Ave Daytona Beach FL USA

By entire coincidence I cycled today from our apartment at 3703 S Atlantic Ave in Daytona Beach Shores to 2727 N Atlantic Ave in Daytona Beach.  The coincidence is that the unintended destination was where  - ten months ago - we first met the real estate broker who consummated the contract for our rental apartment here.  I recognized the building as I approached it along Atalantic Avenue (A1A) which I maintained as my route throughout the journey, there and back, because the tide was so high and the beach was virtually impassable. According to Mr. Google the distance between the 2 points along that coastal route is 9.1 miles which is a far greater distance than I would have imagined traveling when I set out on my bike at eleven o'clock this morning.  Perhaps it was because yesterday I was rooted inside the apartment for the entire day preoccupied with a particular legal issue and - most importantly - it had been raining on and off throughout the day.  Besides the day before I had cycled about ten miles to and from Ponce Inlet and I felt it wouldn't hurt to take a day off so to speak.  Even though the weather was cloudy today - and there appeared to be a possibility of rain - I decided to bicycle in any event because I was in need of the expiation not to mention the exercise, rain or shine.  To be cautious I sported a shell I had bought last year on Hilton Head Island.  Even though it never rained the temperature was cool enough to merit the jacket in any event so I was glad to have had it.

The ten mile hike along Atlantic Avenue is a study in demography, architecture, culture and municipal planning.  My end point at the northern end is virtually the city limit of Ormond Beach, where instantly the sidewalks change from the dilapidated condition found in the northern extremity of Daytona Beach to a newer and better maintained state. Daytona Beach - being the central portion between the beginning and end of my trek - is marked as one might expect by the commercial mediocrity of a popular beach resort which caters to young families, motorcyclists and drag car enthusiasts.  There are bars, tatoo parlours, barbecue emporia, endless shops selling T-shirts and souvenirs, large ocean-front hotels (and more than one run-down abandoned motel - one with the unfortunate name of "Alpine"), historic bars and hotels proclaiming to be the seat of the Daytona 500 (the most prestigious race in stock-car racing since 1959), amusement parks, boardwalks, piers with restaurants overlooking the sea, booze stores and cigar outlets.  There is a constant parade of conspicuous automobiles along Atlantic Avenue.  I am certain I saw the same vehicle making the rounds more than once.  Clearly it is considered appropriate to show off one's noisy, boisterous car with thundering engine and vulgar contraptions mounted over the front hood; or preposterously large wheels decorated with glamorous nickel and steel.

At the lower and upper reaches of Daytona Beach there are some fine looking beach-front homes, some of which are very elegant and extremely well-maintained, with iron gates and cameras mounted on high poles.  Some of these places were reminiscent of the homes of the well-to-do which I had seen along the Pacific Ocean in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, similarly juxtaposed with tacky commercial establishments and poorly maintained sidewalks.  I confess it lent a robust flavour to what might otherwise have been a pristine and insipid environment.

Speaking of practical realities there are numerous parks located along the route. This is important if one wishes to repose, or if one is thirsty; or perhaps Nature beacons. The architecture of each of them is very similar which I doubt is an accident.  The park benches are made of concrete and are thus extremely durable. The surrounding gardens are manicured.

Daytona Beach Shores is by design almost exclusively residential; and of that most are condominiums, many of which are directly on the beach.

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