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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, May 2010
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I'm in Micanopy. On Purpose.

"Downtown" Micanopy
by ADAM JONES-KELLEY

I come to Micanopy for vacation.

How many people can make that claim?

Those of you familiar with Florida who can’t quite place Micanopy will likely know it as the exit on I-75 between Gainesville and Ocala featuring the “World Famous” Café Risqué, advertised for miles in either direction on old, dilapidated billboards proudly proclaiming “We Bare All.”

Café Risqué is in what appears to be a double-wide trailer and apparently offers the best in BYOB nude entertainment. Their multitudes of roadside ads also note that they have “pool tables and video games!," I guess hoping parents will bring the kids on in.

They also offer showers.

A strip club, in a trailer, offering showers. I’m dying to know what they’re doing in there that requires showers. I’ve promised myself for years that I’d stop by to find out but have thus far broken that promise. I’m going to see if my Grandmother wants to go in for brunch sometime this week.

I probably ought not blog unflattering things about Micanopy while still here lest some local run me over with her pick-up. Come to think of it, I’m probably ok. I’m not sure word of the internet has actually reached Micanopy yet. Residents may have heard about it, but know it only as something for which Al Gore once advocated, and thus consider it a myth.

Once you get past the strip club, the town of Micanopy is really quite charming. Established in 1821, Micanopy is the oldest inland settlement in Florida. It hasn’t grown a whole lot since 1821, but in recent years it has become a mecca for antique shoppers and those who think estate sales are simply fabulous. The largest shop, creatively named “The Shop,” offers “unique furnishings and an eclectic array of decorative and seasonal fare for your home.”

I believe that may be code for “stuff other people have discarded,” but I’m not sure.

I do, however, love the little coffee shop in Micanopy, called simply Coffee and Cream. (Apparently Micanopy residents are confused if the name of an establishment doesn’t also inform you what you’ll find inside.) I eagerly visit Coffee and Cream each trip for a delicious tuna sandwich and home-made ice cream. (I do often fear that I’ll return to find the café’s name changed to Coffee, Tuna and Cream.)

My family moved to Micanopy about eight years ago, having successfully located the part of Florida farthest from the ocean and sporting more armadillos per acre than any place outside of Texas. It’s a drive of only 5 ½ hours from Atlanta, and I visit frequently, always stopping at the precise same gas stations in route. I have no idea why men do this. We simply have our pre-determined stopping points, and we won’t deviate from them, even if we urgently need to pee. That would mess up our schedule, and kick our minds out of cruise control - we can’t have that. We measure our progress by the time it takes us to reach our pre-appointed breaks, always racing to beat last trip’s time. There’s never really a particular need for me to arrive at any certain time, but that’s irrelevant. Knowing the trip should take no more than 5 hrs 30 mins I’m outraged at any delay that might cause me to arrive in 5 hrs 45 mins. Men are stupid.

Cafe Risque
Why do the have showers?

When my family announced their intention to move here, I wondered aloud why they’d choosen such a remote location, especially in a state rimmed by gorgeous beaches. “It’s tranquil,” “It’s peaceful,” “It’s relaxing” came the answers. I heard: “It’s boring.” Seriously, Micanopy – call me when you require a traffic light.

My family has three horses, which no one ever rides, and a tractor, which no one knows how to operate. We have more than 100 acres, and after eight years I still get lost. There are plenty of snakes, the occasional alligator, and some of the world’s largest spiders, many of whom seemed to enjoy tormenting my ex (some of my fondest memories here.) It’s hot and sticky, and the only water nearby is in swamp-like sink holes only a Mayan sacrifice victim would enter.

Tell me again why we’re not at the beach?

Adam Jones-Kelley
President of Conway, Inc.

Adam Jones-Kelley

Adam Jones-Kelley serves as President of Conway and Publisher of Site Selection magazine, having been with the company for nearly 20 years. Adam is a featured speaker at events around the world and a regular contributor to Conway's various publications.

 



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