The Village(s)

I like a good scary movie and especially one that uses your imagination instead of special effects.

One of my all-time favorites is ‘The Village’ by M. Night Shyamalan. It depicts a quiet, isolated village in the backwoods of Pennsylvania where there is an agreement between the people of the village and the creatures who reside in the surrounding woods. Basically the people do not enter the woods and the creatures do not enter the village.

Here in Florida we have discovered a modern-day community that is a product of the retiring baby-boomers.  It is called ‘The Villages’ and the scope and design of this retirement community is probably the most impressive we’ve ever seen. The homes and villas stretch for miles and are organized around various town squares that become the focal point for community activities. There are golf courses everywhere, recreation centers and various shopping districts integrated throughout the different parts of the complex. There are also medical facilities providing every conceivable type of geriatric-related care there is.

Take all of these neighborhoods and connect everything with a network of golf cart and bicycle paths and you have, what looks like, a beehive of activity going on all day long. One merchant told me that there are over 50,000 golf carts in the area and it’s easy to believe because it seems every strip mall has a golf cart store that either sells or repairs them.  In essence you would never have to leave the Village if you didn’t want to interact with the creatures in the surrounding woods.

After years of living in a college town and being around a large number of young people…it feels very strange going into every store and realizing we might be among the youngest people there. By the way….if you seek a community that has thoughtful, careful and skilled drivers….do not come here.