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Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 6.44.06 PMIf you were to take a quaint European city and mix it up a little to update it into the 21st century you might find yourself in Seaside, Florida. It is touted in urban planning classes as the Mecca for planners. So what would aspiring city builders do with some time on our hands but visit this place? We tried to do more than just visit the place.

Upon our first arrival we were unfortunately greeted with an army of construction vehicles. Since it is technically off-season here, they were working on the city center giving it new water drainage mains. This meant that everything was in shambles with every trace of greenery taken to the shovel. We tried to imagine what it would be like if it were filled with grass, a concert and palm trees. To help us we watched The Truman Show, which was filmed here. In the film everything was created for a perfect world for Truman to live in. In real life it is not far off. There are constantly people cleaning up and keeping things tidy.

Set photo from the Truman Show

Set photo from the Truman Show

The place is genteel and reminiscent of a medieval city built a thousand years ago. Tiny sidewalks go between houses that make the neighborhood feel like a kids play place. High attention to detail in the materials used for the street-scape and houses helped produce a very manicured and cozy ambiance. Sans for a gas station most conveniences can be had. Modica Market for some groceries, Amavida Cafe for some wifi, an assortment of food trucks, restaurants, clothing boutiques, bookstore, and even a tiny USPS.

IMG_2928So lets move there, its right on the beach and everything is walkable. Done.

Then there is the real estate market. If you would like a place to live there get ready to shell out a million for a two bedroom bungalow. We asked around to see if we could find a place to work. Most people seemed perplexed that we asked for office space in the area and we did not seem to find any nearby.

As we walked the streets to get a sense of the community there was an odd thing that happened. There was nobody. It seemed like we were in the Truman Show and we were trying to get away. Where were all the people? Deviating from the movie, we did find people fixing up houses and cleaning but very few people that did not have a camera in hand ready to take a picture of the next cute street, obviously they were not part of the cast. The reason for this is because Seaside is a vacation community.

We stayed at the state park just outside of Seaside and visited the neighboring communities as well.  My favorite was Rosemary Beach. Most of my photos ore of that place and Ally’s Beach, both adjacent to Seaside. Beauty exudes from these places, I just wish there were more affordable options to live and work there. We were able to bike to three coffee shops from the state park and enjoyed the routine of getting things done on the internet.

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