You don’t have to go to Europe: American cities

You would think by my posts last month that Europe is the only cool place in the world to experience city life, but that is just not so.  The United States has some really wonderful pedestrian-friendly, people-powered cities.  One of those happens to be St. Petersburg, Florida.  If you have two feet and a bicycle, you can be happy as a clam in St. Petersburg.

One of my favorite parts of living in any city is the Saturday morning farmers market ritual.  This morning, I pumped up the tires on my bike and headed a mile down the road (on the amazingly convenient dedicated bike highway) to the farmers market.

St. Petersburg, FL Saturday farmers market

The first place you always have to hit here is the big organic vegetable vender at the entrance.  Today the line was pretty long, and I’m guessing this was in part due to the fact that there is an increasing demand for organic (aka “safe”) produce.  It is always worth the wait because their veggies are so delicious and nutritious.

Organic vegetable stand at St. Pete farmers market

Then you can get some organic coffee, listen to some live music, grab a delicious pastry… it’s like a festival every Saturday!

Organic coffee at St. Pete farmers market

Fresh pastries at St. Pete farmers market

Fresh pastries at St. Pete farmers market

There are all the colors and textures of European markets right here in our back yards!

Flowers for sale at St. Pete farmers market

Beautiful bangles at St. Pete farmers market

Colorful pillows at St. Pete farmers market

Purses at St. Pete farmers market

You can see the innovative things that people are doing.

Solar fan at St. Pete farmers market

Plus, the parking in the city is no problem as long as you have the right vehicle!

Bicycle parking in downtown St. Pete

Cities also provide unexpected sites and entertainment.  As I was headed downtown on my bicycle, I heard a band playing.  As it turned out, a bunch of college bands were practicing in the open parking lot nearby.  I enjoyed the show for a few minutes.

Marching bands practicing in St. Pete

Then, as I was cycling back, I came upon an outdoor art fair that had closed down a few sections of street.

Art fair in St. Pete

The BikeCaffe was on the corner.  What fun!

BikeCaffe in St. Pete

If you’re dying to experience the sites and sounds of a sophisticated city, check out a nearby American city… St. Petersburg, FL – Austin, TX – Boston, MA – Burlington, VT… there are so many wonderful cities in the U.S. where you can grab some humanity and culture.

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