Friday, March 18, 2011

"Creation is a drug I cannot do without" - Cecil B DeMille

The most popular souvenir t-shirt sold in the little town that I now call my home says "Englewood - a small drinking town with a fishing problem". Yes, we are a coastal community with with 7 miles of spectacular beaches. Everyone here either has a boat or goes fishing on beautiful Lemon Bay.  The official local pastime is hunting for sharks teeth on the beaches.  But I really think the t-shirt should say "Englewood - a small creative town with an artist problem". 

 You cannot go anywhere in Englewood and not see something creative. There is even a street called Artist Avenue with cross streets named for various artists like Van Gogh Road & Pablo Picasso Drive. The historic downtown Dearborn Street is a perfect example of how creative people with lots of paint & ideas can bring life back to a tired business area.  There are murals reinventing walls on old buildings. The businesses have funky decor and there is lots to look at. The main culprit behind this creative energy is a group called The Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay
The adirondacks were painted by local artists & donated for a silent auction fundraiser

One of the things that catches your eye as you drive the main street through the downtown Dearborn Street business district is that every corner has a park bench. Each bench has been painted by an artist from the Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay (AALB). Part of  the AALB's mission statement reads - 

"The vision of the Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay, Inc. is to afford the opportunity for artisans to come together in support of one another. To work towards the enhancement of the community both in a social and economic manner."

Click on the picture to enlarge

The shops were closed so I indulged in some window shopping

This ice cream /coffee shop has live music on the week-ends. The cafe doubles as a gallery of local  artists. 
Mermaid's can get their hair done
Local art is the best art

Historic Dearborn Street is where the Englewood 

community gathers. Thanks to the Arts Alliance of 

Lemon Bay we have somewhere beautiful & creative to

 sit a spell and enjoy our main street.


  1. ah-what a beautiful post. I want to go there now. If I lived there I would be inspired too! Thanks for sharing and next time I have to buy one of those shirts.

  2. Fun post! Love the benches! I would love to visit you!

  3. I would have alot of fun in these great shops! And I love the benches, how fun and colorful! We have those "drinking" shirts here in Michigan, and I hate them, so tacky! I like your quote much better:)

  4. The painted benches are marvelous!! Englewood looks like a fun town. How far is it from Sanibel? I may need to consider actually leaving the island for a day!!

  5. Love it all -- Englewood is on my new list of gotta-go-to places!

  6. I must come down for a look around! Thanks for the inspiration...

  7. I wish I had the talent it took to paint just one of those benches. :)

  8. Very cute little town Englewood is. I had no idea. I love creative artsy places. That is why I love Key West. Hope you are having a great week!

  9. Looks like a super fabulous place:):)

  10. Those benches look beautiful. I love that they all have different quotes too. The Arts Alliance sounds like they've done much for the city, and created so much beachy beauty too :-)

  11. Sounds like a little of Cedar Key has rubbed off on Englewood. Or maybe it's the other way around.

  12. Your town is so cute and yes, definitely creative! I'm so glad you posted pics of the benches, they are such fun and they add a unique touch to the downtown area.

    My favorite quote is the rules of the jungle: stay calm and share your bananas. Words to live by!

    Love ya


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