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Other voices

Question. The thing about Florida is that it seems only grudgingly hospitable to human life. It doesn't belong to me, you think, looking at the vines that cover the trees and the bugs and the swamps. You think: Why was it settled? And then: Why am I here? Answer. Because the sand is like sugar. And the oceans, though full of jellyfish, are warm. Sunsets are unusually attractive. The tomatoes grow sweeter. In general, things compensate for their unfriendly origins, or at least try to be gracious about them.

Molly Young, on

America made from concentrate.

Jeff MacGregor,, in a tweet

It's impossible to say "Florida" and have it mean one thing, unlike, say, "Iowa" or "Arizona." There are so many extremes: big, cosmopolitan cities and some of the most redneck places I've ever been; the death metal scene clashing with the bikini culture; the Cuban exiles and the snowbirds; some serious money and some desperate poverty. Even the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are totally different. It's like it should be at least four different states.

Chris Jones, Esquire, in an email

I always have a slightly vertiginous feeling in the state — like it's sitting on a platform, but the platform is only an inch high.

Hank Stuever, Washington Post, in an email

Sometimes I think I've figured out some order in the universe, but then I find myself in Florida, swamped by incongruity and paradox, and I have to start all over again.

Susan Orlean, in The Orchid Thief

This is a gracious and forgiving land. Where it has been plundered, ravaged, and scarred by those who did not fully understand it, time, the warm sun, cleansing rains, and more enlightened use allow it constantly to redeem and renew itself.

John I. McCollum, in his 1984 introduction to The WPA Guide to Florida

Other voices 01/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:57pm]
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