Marco Island: even the ‘back door’ views are spectacular!

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Marco Island's "other" view, looking east from Collier Blvd and San Marco Road.

Marco Island’s “other” view, to the east east. Can you spot the Pickleball courts?

Info: Parking meters … where are they?

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We have them … but only on City streets and parking lots adjacent to the beach. You won’t find a single meter in any of Naples’ three downtowns: 5th Avenue South, 3rd Street South, and City Docks. Even the parking garages are free! More: Read the rest of this entry…

Photo: private dock in Park Shore back yard

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Seagate

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Port Royal

Events: The Naples Daily News Half Marathon, etc.

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After a ‘first ever in 28 years’ cancellation last year due to an unexpected tornado, the Naples Daily News Half Marathon is expected to get off to a glitch-free start tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 7am. The race begins and ends at Cambier Park.

Over time, the race has attained national status with its flat, fast course and generally benign weather. Over 2,000 runners — elite runners among them — will be competing for cash and other prizes.

Those who winter here — or choose Naples as the place to spend some vacation time are never disappointed in the number of interesting and/or unique events held here during ‘season.’

Being a spectator at a world-class running event isn’t a bad way to spend a Sunday morning!

Alternately, Cambier Park changes character entirely Sunday afternoon when the facility hosts a good ‘old-fashioned’ band concert. The Naples Concert Band plays at the shell from 2 until 4pm.

On Monday, our downtown park is the concluding point of the Martin Luther King Junior parade — which starts at 11am at South Broad in Olde Naples.

Photo: Boating Paradise!

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Port Royal

Dining: Sunday brunch …

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Prime season in Naples means a delightful array of restaurants offering Sunday brunch — often with special pricing and/or entertainment.

It’s also a time of peak demand — with what some estimate to be a near doubling of our ‘normal’ count of 300,000+ residents. So making a reservation today  is something you’ll be glad you did on Sunday gliding past the lines waiting to get into one of the 55 places listed on Open Table as offering a specialized Sunday Brunch.

Enjoying excellent food in the company of good friends — either al fresco  or in a dining room open to the warm breezes of winter in this sub-tropical Paradise — is one of the rare pleasures in life! Cherish every moment!

Photo: our delightful back waters …

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The boat ramp at Delnor Wiggins State Park — on the Wiggins Pass Estuary system.

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Photo: It’s a buyer’s market for spectacular water views.

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With views like this, who needs television?

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Photo Club: all welcome to free admission meeting.

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Here’s a timely tip to our seasonal residents and visitors, who are constantly on the lookout for interesting and productive things to do.

Thursday (January 12th) is the second Thursday of the month — and for over 300 photography fans that means reserving the evening for the monthly meeting of DPI-SIG, the Digital Photography and Imaging Special Interest Group of the Naples Free Net. Now you know way it has an a/k/a of The Naples Digital Photography Club. Many old-timers (the club was formed a decade ago) continue to refer to it, affectionately, as “Dippy Sig.” Thursday will mark the 150th consecutive meeting of this primo example of a well managed and successful social group.

The monthly general membership meeting (free and open to the public) is only one of the regular get-togethers sponsored by the club. There are photo outings, special groups for Photoshop, Lightroom, Women (and guys too,) Lighting, and a Round Table gathering. All events are well attended — and many members enjoy the social aspects as much as the artistic, instructional, technical, and artistic happenings offered year-round.

Meetings are held on the campus of Florida Southwestern State College off Lely Parkway and start at 7pm. Full information on the meetings and all the rest are here: http://dpi-sig.org.

 

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Photo: Wiggins Pass

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Wiggins Pass

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Advisory: traffic tie-ups and murky weather

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A pair of bicycle events today and tomorrow will interfere with travel in the north part of Collier County. Click here for the full story from the Naples Daily News.

Add in the possibility of rain to drive tourists off the beaches and into restaurants and shops while others converge on art shows in Naples and Estero and you’ve got some real potential for frustration or worse.

Best bet: allow twice the time to get to your destination. Safely. And in a positive state of mind!

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Photo: Estero Bay

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One of the most scenic rides in the state: Hickory Boulevard, connecting North Naples to Fort Myers Beach.

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Info: an early crystal ball into 2017.

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Copyright 2017, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Paul Davidson:  (edited for length, but not for editorial slant or content:)

Job growth (In 2017) is likely to slow as the recovery approaches its eighth anniversary, according to a recent survey of economists.

The economy is projected to grow at a 2.3 percent annual rate in 2017, up from an estimated 1.6 percent this year. That’s modestly above the tepid 2.1 percent average that has prevailed since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.

The big wild card: The Trump effect. Quick congressional passage and implementation of his plan to sharply increase infrastructure and defense spending and slash taxes could mean faster growth. But Trump’s threats to slap big tariffs on China and Mexico risk trade wars that could roil the economy.

Consumers, meanwhile, are poised to underpin economic growth again as a result of those fatter paychecks, steady job gains, record housing and stock prices, reduced debt and still-cheap gasoline. The economists surveyed by Blue Chip expect consumption to increase a solid 2.5 percent, in line with gains in 2016.

Oil prices have doubled since bottoming out early 2016, coaxing producers to revive shuttered wells and order steel pipes and other materials from U.S. factories.

Copyright 2017, USATODAY.com, Paul Davidson

 

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Photo: Eagle watches the nest from an urban rooftop 600′ away!

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Photo: Ushering in a new year … snow or sand?

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I’ve done it both ways, and frankly this is best!

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Info: MLS holiday activity.

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Yesterday, January 2nd, was technically a holiday. Most non-retail employees had the day off — the Monday observation of New Year’s Day.

Yet the MLS recorded this activity, as compiled by NABOR:

  • 164 new listings, 55 closings, and 81 deals that went pending
  • 46 listings dropped out of the market
  • 34 contracts were extended while 22 homes returned to the market after a pause
  • And while there were 7 price increases, 154 listings chose to post a selling price decrease

It appears the trend of the past continues: the first quarter of the year is definitely a buyers market!

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Photo: how to get the maximum enjoyment out of golf.

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Golf can be relaxing … for those who watch it from a safe distance!

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Weather: lowest high temperature.

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It’s a rare day in Naples during which the temperature fails to reach 70º. I thought we had one on Friday, when dawn broke at 48 degrees and it remained cool through noontime. But by afternoon, the sun had warmed the air over Naples Municipal Airport (KAPF) to 72.

The lowest high temperature here in all of 2016 was on February 7th, which started out at 51 but only managed to move up to 60º by early afternoon. The coldest overnight low of the year was recorded on January 25th, when the temperature dipped to 44 degrees.

That probably explains why we don’t have LL Bean stores in Florida.

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Photo: another amazingly affordable water view.

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This water view condo is new on the MLS — listed at just over $200 per square foot!

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Info: Downtown Art Show January 7 & 8.

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It’s a national and even an international event! This years New Year’s Art Show has drawn artists from 30 states and 4 countries.

The free admission show runs from 10am to 5pm on both Saturday January 7th and Sunday January 8th in one of the nation’s primo downtowns, Fifth Avenue South. The event is hosted, as always, by the Naples Art Association.

I know that’s over a week away — but you really don’t want to schedule anything that would prevent you from attending!

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Photo: water views are a hallmark of Naples living.

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Info: NABOR study reveals the best months for buyers.

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The Naples Area Board of Realtors® recently crunched the numbers on nearly 56,000 residential real estate transactions, taking a look at the original list price/final sale price ratios in each of the 12 months of 2016.

While these averages of averages rarely produce conclusive information on specific future transactions, this report did show significant patterns that are worth passing on.

From a buyer’s perspective, the months of January, February, March, October, and November seem to offer the best chance of getting a favorable offer accepted: with homes selling for close to 80% of list. The study shows that in the seven other months of 2016, the final price on listed properties was closer to 90% of the original price point.

The MLS shows 1,312 homes for sale at one million dollars and over. That’s about a 16 month inventory, given that there were 952 sales in the same price grouping in all of 2016.

That’s a decent buyer’s market, especially going into a three-month period in which the lowest priced offers have the best chance of going to closing. Call me if you’d like the inside word on a particular property or neighborhood.

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Photo: Banyan canopy

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Hurricane Wilma in 2004 did extensive damage to the banyan canopies along Gulf Shore Drive, but this one on Spyglass Lane in Port Royal remains as a memory of what had been a far more common sight.

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Photo: it’s “season” for the eagles. too!

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American Bald Eagle, from a nest just off Vanderbilt Drive in North Naples.

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Info: where to find food today?

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Christmas is always the most difficult day of the year to find an open restaurant or deli. The Naples Daily News has tried to be helpful — and perhaps the printed edition will have a more complete list. A quick scan of the paper didn’t uncover one, though.

In the meantime, check this link for a short list of places that will be open today and accepting reservations. I’ll try to add to this list after making a scan of North Naples after sunrise.

Dependably, Walgreen stores will be open all day, most until 10pm, in case of unforeseen shortages in the ‘fridge or cupboard.

10:30am update: It’s pretty sparse out there! We found Mel’s and Skillet’s in Bonita Springs closed, along with all our other favorites that come under the privately owned classification. Perkins is open — with about a half-hour wait but with pleasant staff and the usual good food for the price. Traffic is very light, so not too many people (at least at this time of day) are  searching for a place to chow down. Dunkin Donuts shops are also open — at least for the morning. Merry Christmas!

Best bet for finding dinner reservations — if nothing from the newspaper list pans out — is to go to Open Table on the web. You don’t even have to sign up as a member to reserve a table through the site.

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Christmas weather: no snow again this year!

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We broke a high temperature record last year on Christmas day: 89º.

We’ll likely come close again tomorrow — forecast is for 87º and sunny. An overnight low of 76º will be twenty degrees higher than the average.

So how cold has it been on Christmas in Naples? In 1989, we dipped down to 28º — but it still didn’t snow! When temperatures get that low in this part of the United States, it’s usually because of cold, dry air that has already been stripped of most of its moisture.

Has it ever snowed in Naples? No, although we came close on January 19, 1977 — the only day in weather history that people in Miami witnessed snow on the ground. A few folks in Naples report having seen snowflakes in the air, but none survived on the ground. The next day, the 20th, Naples recorded it’s coldest temperature before or since: 26º.

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Photo: living at 200 feet

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This is the view from a GUEST bedroom! L-R: The Frank Halas Bridge on Vanderbilt Drive, Pelican Isle, Cove Towers, and the two Aqua mid-rises.

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Info: what the closest Publix can mean to you.

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In addition to the obvious, every Publix supermarket in the area provides clean, safe, and well-marked restrooms for anyone who passes through the doors. Three rooms: the traditional two, plus one for family functions. The safe part refers to the fact that these facilities are located in the front of the stores — next to the busy checkout lanes. That, plus the constant attention the rooms are given by staff, places customers in the most criminal-averse situation possible.

The stores in this area are in a near perfect grid — just a few miles apart along our major highways.

Another often unexpected human urge is hunger, and the Deli in each Publix is a treat for both the palate and your wallet. Soups, salads, and custom-made sandwiches are attracting an ever-increasing number of workers on lunch breaks. Most stores have seating areas, both indoors and out.

I’m usually fairly well-organized in my daily travels inspecting the almost limitless array of residential real estate opportunities in the area. More often than not, my day concludes after a visit to one of what must be a couple of dozen Publix stores here in Southwest Florida.

 

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Photo: Luxury living, downtown.

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Meeting/Party Room — one of the many amenities at Naples Square. There are some real bargains here. Call me to find the right connections.

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Nature: South Florida’s spectacular National Parks

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We are so blessed with natural beauty, abundant sunshine, and solid infrastructure that its easy to forget we are surrounded by three National Parks and one National Preserve: Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Big Cypress, in that order.

All four facilities come under the management umbrella of the South Florida National Parks Trust — and they have a new website they’d love to have you visit:

http://www.southfloridaparks.org/parks/

Be sure to check each of the parks’ features and offerings — and sign up for the newsletter.

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MLS: This second floor condo is not only about views: the price is eye-popping, too!

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This freshly updated condo offers spectacular views of holes 13, 14, and 15 on the highly rated community course. This listing won’t last long at $269K. Let me introduce you to the best agent in the community.

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Rentals: what to expect.

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With ‘season’ fully underway, it’s not surprising to hear people comment that the rental market is ‘very tight.’ As with most things, it’s all relative. Searching the local MLS-controlled public access sites for a January and February rental at a rate of between $9,000 and $4,000 per month in Naples, Marco, Ft Myers Beach, and Bonita-Estero — reveals about 100 properties.

Is that all there is? Well, no. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Boating: from condo to helm in 5 minutes.

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Cove Towers Marina in North Naples

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Weather: December 16th in Naples

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Today, high of 80º, low overnight 62º.

Tomorrow, 83 and 67.

Sunday, 84 and 69.

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Info: Uncrowded beaches!

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7th Ave South Beach Access at 3pm on November 28!

7th Ave South Beach Access at 3pm on November 28!

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NEWS: Braves 2nd attempt at Naples move shot down.

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A months-old proposal to relocate the Atlanta Braves spring baseball operation to Naples wilted on the vine today when the Collier County Commission nixed the idea to float some $100M worth of bonds to build a sports complex for the team’s spring training sessions and games.

Even considering the prospect of an additional $25M pouring into the local economy, the vote was unanimous, 5-0, with commissioners citing more urgent needs such as infrastructure improvements, beach re-nourishment, and the yearly cost of maintaining the facility as reasons for the denial.

It appears Palm Beach and Sarasota counties are still in the running for the Braves — who have been looking to get out of the Disney World area for years.

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Photo: Luxury living at Mercato.

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I can put you in touch with an agent who specializes in this community. Call me at area code two three nine, eight two five, five six three five.

I can put you in touch with an agent who specializes in this community. Call me at area code two three nine, eight two five, five six three five.

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Info: Become a permanent part of the Naples/Collier County community:

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Freedom Memorial Sponsored Bricks: www.CollierRemembers.org

Freedom Memorial Sponsored Bricks: www.CollierRemembers.org

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Photo: Your living room can’t get any closer to the water.

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Condo soon to be on the market in the 800’s — but the surf sounds are worth a million!

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