Along the Gulfshore


Stand up and be counted

“The weather is great, but there’s nothing to do here.”

That’s the lament I hear often from my peers, young professionals within a few years of 30 both ways.

When I talk to friends from bigger cities, who just came back from a craft beer and charcuterie tasting or had tickets to see your favorite indie rock band, it’s natural to lust for those things down here.

At the same time, we aren’t really trying that hard to make something for ourselves. I went to the opening of the Degas and Steve Tobin exhibits at the Naples Museum of Art last week. I’m certain that at 29 and 32 my wife and I were the youngest people there (with the exception of 35-year-old Phil CEO Kathleen van Bergen and auctioneer Shane Hall) by a good two decades.

It’s a bit depressing to see that people who are desperate for culture aren’t taking advantage of what is available. We don’t show up in mass to anything outside of weekends at the Mercato or Fifth Avenue South. And in effect, we aren’t giving the people responsible for cultural programming a reason to include us in their plans. They have no reason to cater to our demands.

There’s a reason Johnny Mathis comes to the Phil almost every year. People in Naples are willing to pay $80 a ticket to see him. Imagine who else could show up if we proved we were willing to pay to play.

The saying goes you have to make your own fun, otherwise it’s entertainment. Well, we need to work to make entertainment that stimulates us come to Southwest Florida. To do that, we have to stop complaining about there being nothing to do and start making things happen.