November 28, 2007


The town of Matlacha (pronounced Matt LaShay) is a small island, perforated with inlets and canals, shaped like a bird in flight, the eastern gateway to Pine Island on the Florida gulf coast. Its name is a Caloosa Indian word for "water up to the chin."

A funky little fishing village, it grew into an artsy town with a population of about 800, consisting mostly of fishermen, restaurateurs, bikers, assorted artists, musicians, misfits, and quite a few of what my friend Bobby calls "leftover hippies." (Where the non-leftover hippies are isn't clear, a parallel universe perhaps.) Matlacha is full of galleries, restaurants, bars, walkable from east to west, and an easy getaway. We go there to look and eat, or just sip cappuccinos and do what John Lennon said is people's favorite thing to do: sit around and talk.