I found myself chatting online this morning with an old friend from my New York studio days. I was dismayed to learn that he’d moved to Florida.

I’ve never seen the appeal, I must confess, of the “Sunshine State”. It’s always seemed to me a tacky and unserious place — like southern California without the redeeming qualities. It’s also depressingly flat; the highest point, if memory serves, is a paltry 145′ above sea level (it may even have subsided a bit since I last checked that figure, which was decades ago).

Worst of all, though, is the climate: an oppressive combination of heat and stupidity.

If you added it all together, I’ve probably spent a couple of months down there. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a lifetime quota and then some.

I realize this is a harsh review, and there may be those of you out there who love the place. No hard feelings, I hope — you have my blessing, and I can promise you I won’t be adding to the crowds.


  1. Whitewall says

    I know what you mean about Fl. My younger brother has a new place in the Cocoa Beach area and loves it…just not in the summer. So he travels in his motor coach back to NC where normal people live. He just left my house on his way to the NC mountains. He and those like him are welcome to that lifestyle.

    Posted June 30, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  2. Jacob Silver says

    Have you tried going to the parts of Florida with other Jews? Miami Beach is anything but what you describe. The majority of the state; however, is rural and typical southern which is not something I would enjoy either.

    Posted June 30, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    “Other” Jews?

    Posted June 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  4. Jacob Silver says

    You’re not Jewish?

    Well, nobody’s perfect.

    Posted June 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  5. Joe Skonue says

    Greater Seattle is far dryer than monsoon rain Florida.

    Calling Florida “The Sunshine State” is one of the great propaganda jobs of states’ promotion.

    Posted June 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  6. the one eyed man says

    Many years ago when you were in Florida, you correctly noted that the highest point on the Florida peninsula is 312 feet above sea level.

    You also mentioned that you saw a Chinese restaurant named House of Leon, and speculated that no decent Chinese restaurant could ever have that name.

    As someone who has been to more trade shows in Orlando than he cares to recall, I hope I never see Florida again. Like Texas, in order to get there I would have to go East until I smelled it, and South until I stepped in it.

    Posted July 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says


    I don’t know how you remember these things. Words and data I remember well, but when it comes to personal stuff, I can barely even remember having had a childhood.

    I’ve gone and checked. I had the ’45’ part right, but the actual altitude is 345 feet, not 145. (312 is just the highest point on the actual peninsula.)

    Posted July 1, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
  8. Five Daarstens says

    I don’t comment here often, but I have to disagree some. BTW, I am a native New Yorker. My Dad lives near Stuart, FL, and I have to say, it’s pretty neat. Cheaper living, better recreation, a beer cost $3.50 in a bar. There are many other cool small towns north of Miami on the East Coast.
    Does it have high culture, of course not, but two years ago I went to a free concert in Stuart by a Doors cover band, There were only about 200 people there and the concert was great. Can you do that in New York?

    Posted July 2, 2017 at 12:08 am | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says


    I knew when I posted this that I was painting with a broad brush, and expected some indignant responses.

    I’m sure that that there must be many places in Florida that are well-liked by the people who live there. Think of this post as nothing more than something like “I don’t like spinach”.

    Posted July 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  10. Bluefin Tuna says

    My grandfather and late grandmother made the usual migration after retirement, but returned a few years later to brave the Northern cold, finding their fellow Snowbirds intolerable. “All they ever talk about down there is their dogs, their illnesses, and their Social Security!”. If Massachusetts vacuums up a disproportionate share of the nation’s academically gifted, Florida seems its opposite- a magnet for the un-reflective of all ages. (But perhaps I’m unfairly biased against the Sunshine State, said sunshine being responsible for the most excruciating sunburn of my entire life).

    Posted July 5, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

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