Palm Beach, FL

Heading further south from Vero Beach to Palm Beach is the second of my open country drives in South Florida. Lots of pictures in the posting this time, there's just so much to see.Here are two more examples of beautiful undeveloped Florida land, that is often just a stone's throw away from the highway.

Now comes Palm Beach, a small town that I find fascinating. The first time I came here I was struck by how underpopulated it seemed--for a town that is so famous, there seemed to be so few tourists. Then I found out that that was exactly the way the residents wanted it. They discourage out-of-town beach goers by charging an arm and a leg to park, for instance, especially next to their gorgeous beaches.  The town just really doesn't need your day-tripper dollars, thank you very much, and who can really blame them? Everything is sparkling clean, there is no "bad side of town", and they'd like very much to keep it that way. Most homes are hidden behind huge hedges to give the residents some privacy and to discourage gawkers.
Here are a few backyards.
 And some orchids growing on a Banyan tree that I found while gawking. 
Finding a parking spot can be hell.
The reason I am lucky enough to visit 
this millionaire's hideaway is the 
Classic Bookshop
situated right in downtown.
Jeff Jacobus and his wife Virginia bought the store in 1992, and Jeff has been running things by himself since Virginia passed away in 2004. He hired a former Waldenbooks veteran, Dan Foster, to be the buyer around that time. Here are a couple of interior shots of the store, they pack a lot of good reading into a small space!

The Classic Bookshop is one of those rare accounts that sells big coffee table books as well if not better than paperbacks. Here's Dan, the man who knows this store and this community like the back of his hand.

Now to introduce a new feature to the blog.

Some of you may have heard about my (now defunct) book project, which was based on a question about travelling back in time, and the answers given by a roster of well known authors. Well, the authors thought it was a fabulous idea, the booksellers thought it was a fabulous idea but, alas, no publisher thought so. I know, crazy publishers, what were they thinking?! Anyway, that being said, I thought that it would be interesting to ask my Southern booksellers the same questions in future posts, and Dan is lucky enough to be the first. 
Here are the questions along with Dan's answers.

If you could go back in time, from before recorded history to as recently as last week, for one month, be completely safe (if you wanted to be), live quite comfortably (also if you wanted to), meet anyone, whether famous or not, and really get to understand that time, culture and people.
A) Where would you go
B) When would you go
early to mid 1920's 
C) Who would you want to meet, if anyone
ALL the American ex-patriot writers of the Lost Generation
D) AND most importantly, why do you think you chose your answer
For the experiences! Drinking with Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, browsing the book shelves at Shakespeare and Company and chatting with Sylvia Beach, lunch at an outside cafe with Ezra Pound, participating in conversations at Gertrude Stein's salon (though, truthfully. I'd only be qualified to listen).

Thanks, Dan, great answers! I bet you loved Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, as I did.

What would your answers be? If you are one of the people I see in my travels then I will post your answers here when I see you next, but even if not, I'd love to hear what you would do, just tell me in the comments section below.

Next stop, Miami!


Avid Bookshop said…
I lived in Palm Beach County for a year and did not know about this bookstore. If only I could time-travel! Thanks for the pretty pictures of my not-quite-hometown and the story about the bookshop. I'll have to visit there if I return to PBC.

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