Sunday, June 19, 2011

Punta Gorda's Own Flash Mob

It's my last week-end in Punta Gorda before heading north to Nova Scotia for a respite from the summer heat.  I decided to bike to breakfast yesterday with the folks from the Yacht Club then head to the local farmers' market to check out the offerings and to have my first flash mob experience.  What????  A flash mob in Punta Gorda?  And what exactly is a flash mob anyway?  All excellent questions.

I read in the paper a couple of weeks ago that there would be a flash mob at the farmers' market on June 18th.  I truly wasn't sure what a flash mob was--despite having lived in New York all those years and my proclivity for wearing black, I'm just not that cool.  People patiently explained to me that a flash mob is when seemingly random people start singing or dancing or engaging in some other type of activity in a public place.  I then remembered seeing a YouTube video of people singing"Do Re Mi" from the "Sound of Music" in Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium.  (Here's the link if you've never seen it.  I wonder how many people missed their trains that day???)   Flash mobs are often organized through text messages or e-mails that instruct the participants to show up at a certain place at a certain time and start singing or dancing or whatever.  Sometimes flash mobs have a dark side, but I felt fairly confident that Punta Gorda's take on it would be fun and G-rated (especially since the mayor sent out an e-mail alerting people that something special was going to happen at 10:00 at the market.)

While waiting for the entertainment to begin, we spent some time in the booths, and I thought about how the farmers' market at the barn in Hubbards, Nova Scotia is different than the market in Punta Gorda.  Fruits and vegetables abound in both, but Punta Gorda's fruit has a decidedly more tropical flair.  The same goes for the flowers.  At the barn, there is a particular vendor whose bouquets practically fly out the door.  If you're not there by 9:00, your prospects of bringing a bouquet home are slim to none.  The Punta Gorda market has some great flowers, too, again of the more tropical variety.  (Note to self:  Get to the market when I return and pick up an orchid.  They are incredibly beautiful and very reasonably priced!) 

Then it was time for the main event.  First, a few people with push brooms started sweeping up the street.  Was this part of the act or was it just to clear the space for what was to come?  Performance art is truly in the eye of the beholder, so I'll leave it up to everyone who was there to make their own determination.  Then young people started emerging from the crowd and dancing.   It reminded me of a routine from "So You Think You Can Dance" (which I've been avidly watching this season for the first time) with the jumps and b-boy movements.  (Hey, I know about b-boy dancing--maybe I am cool after all!)  It was high energy and fun and the crowd enjoyed it.  After the dance was over, another group ran out into the street with signs that spelled out "We Love Punta Gorda."   My sentiments exactly!  I feel truly fortunate to have landed in this wonderful community and while I'm looking forward to spending time in Nova Scotia, I'm already looking forward to coming back home.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nanette: I enjoyed reading your account of the flash mob dance which I discovered while googling the event. Three of my nieces participated in it! I believe I see them all in your photo...holding the P, E and R! I have visited them in Punta Gorda and agree that it is a special place. I think they would concur and are happy with their decision to relocate there from NYS. Thank you for the great reporting and the wonderful photo! Have a great trip!....nybennie


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