How would you brand Coconut Grove?
What it all came down to with me was the people. While my friend and others think of the Shopping, Dining and Unwinding, which basically includes hanging out in the Center Grove and enjoying our waterfront, we both agreed that it's the Coconut Grove experience which makes the Grove -- the people, the feeling, the whole atmosphere. It's state of mind as well as an incredible naturally beautiful place.
But I wanted to go further and pick a time and place. For instance, do you have a certain time of week or day that you like the best, ie Happy Hour at The Grove Spot, the Sandbar or the Sailing Club? Jogging on South Bayshore Drive or shopping on Saturdays?
Mine is simple, it is Saturday and Sunday mornings. I go to the gym very early. The streets are quiet except for runners, joggers and the ubiquitous bicyclists. Unless I pull out into the street and see them right off, it just is not a completed experience. They are all part of it. Then I pull up onto an empty street, park, and make my way to the gym, there are just a handful of people around, the same people usually. Jean is in the parking lot washing cars, we visit for a bit, others jog or walk by, others are walking their dogs, and we greet each other, the same people all the time; keep in mind, it is very quiet and still out.
Inside the gym it's the same few familiar faces, which is nice, I like a few people in the gym, it's easier to work out. We visit; we all know each other. This one tells me about his new music, this one tells me how to eat right, this one tells me to stand up straight to do the cable cross, this one asks how the family, is, etc. In between, I do get to work out. I also get a lot of stories for the Grapevine there, as there are often politicians and movers and shakers around. So we talk for a bit, too.
After the gym I head out to get something quick for breakfast and the same routine ensues, people ask the same questions, we all visit, we all know each other and it's a routine that I look forward to each week. Many Sundays, before the gym I go to mass. It's the same people in the same seats (pews) and the same alter boys and the same priests and it's all very comforting before I run home, change and head to the gym for that routine. The rest of the week isn't as special to me. It's all about the quiet of Saturday and Sunday mornings for me. And the people that accompany that.
"Comforting." That's the word I used. My friend liked it, he wrote it down. I find Coconut Grove comforting. But is that a brand?
Ironically, this past Sunday, I was on Lincoln Road with another friend, and we were talking about the Grove. He called it, "comfortable." I never told him about this branding story, he just used that word out of the blue. Maybe it fits.
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