Wednesday, September 14, 2011

'Tween-Time Motels: La Mark Charles

US 19 in the Tampa Bay area is something of a horror during the day, an endless stretch of... eh... unique driving styles, nonstop traffic, and strip malls. Starbuck's, Subway, McDonald's... it's a litany of humanity buried in its own works. New monoliths arise amid crumbling relics of Space-Age exuberance. Beeping, growling, carbon-monoxide-wheezing construction vehicles perpetually perform surgery on this great, calcified artery.

But in the early morning, when only a few straggling headlights meet yours, there's something a bit haunting about it.

Dawn and dusk are 'tween times, liminal moments when fairies are said to roam. These particular specimens may be spreading mildew and dry rot rather than dewdrops, but the beauty of their work is apparent nonetheless. And I'd like to start sharing some of that beauty with you.

The enigmatically-named La Mark Charles... a reference to a famous place I've never heard of, or was some optimistic entrepreneur sure that adding a touch of French to his own name would create a mystique about the place? I'm afraid I don't know enough to say. There's a gothic air about it now though.

Does it seem to you that the glowing word "vacancy" is telling you about something more than the simple availability of rooms? Maybe it's just me.

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