I wouldn’t normally think of posting a photograph of a motel window for my Thursday’s Lingering Look at Windows. They are normally quite boring – seen one… boring. But when I define “lingering” as 30 years worth of looking I think this window has earned posting rights.
For 30 years we have driven on US 41 just a block or two north of where it turns to go southeast, that corner where all the congestion is because it is where all the Naple’s action begins. This little stretch of road hasn’t always had so much traffic, but it has always had some congestion. They have widened the road (now 6 to 8 lanes wide) as the traffic increased.
In this area, the “Lemon Tree Inn” caught my eye – still does – I look for it. It is a small motel in the old fashion way with just two stories in one section, just one story where the lead photo was taken. This is the kind of motel that lined all the US highways before the interstate system was built. It was always someplace I thought I would like to stay. But of course I would never pay to stay there when we were staying just around the corner and over the bridge.
If I do decide to stay there, I had better do it quick. They are going to tear it down to build a new hotel. By the time we return next fall they will be building a three-story inn with a restaurant and shops. I’m sure it will be attractive and inviting as everything in downtown Naples is done to attract the discriminating tourist with money to spend. But I’m going to miss the old Lemon Tree. It is one more way that the sleepy little fishing village we once knew is disappearing and a vibrant, exciting new Naples is emerging. I love them both.
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