Naples & New Towns by Leon J. Podles

Naples & New Towns

Since we have made Naples, Florida, our winter residence, I have often pondered the question: Why is there a Naples? God could have provided many places for those fleeing the twin curses of cold and taxes, but in his infinite wisdom he provided them with Naples. Having devoted many hours in the pool to this question, I came up with the answer: Naples is God’s way of teaching humility to the rich. It does this in two ways: First, if you live in Naples, no matter how rich you are, there is always someone richer. Second, Naples demonstrates that money does not buy good taste.

As I have no chance of being on the Fortune 500 list, I am untroubled by the first rebuke that God gives to the Naples rich. The ups and downs of the stock market mean that someone who was worth $1.2 billion two years ago is now worth only $600 million, and the mere $750 millionaire who socked his money away in government bonds now outranks him. Sic transit and all that. How fleeting is the glory of wealth, especially when the stock market is doing a prolonged nosedive.

As for the second rebuke, Naples has a taste for “Mediterranean” architecture. This style is based upon impressions of Caesar’s Palace—the one in Las Vegas, that is. The Romans went in for vulgarity, God bless them, but even they would be puzzled by the variations on classical architecture that are dreamed up by Midwesterners after two or three margaritas.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Leon J. Podles holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, has worked as a teacher and a federal investigator, and is president of the Crossland Foundation. He is the author of The Church Impotent (Spence), Sacrilege (Crossland Press), and Losing the Good Portion: Why Men Are Alienated from Christianity (St. Augustine Press). Dr. Podles and his wife have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

32.2—March/April 2019

The Boy Genius

Finding Him Again Through the Patriarchal Group by Anthony Esolen

29.4—July/August 2016

The Very Idea

on Anselm's God & the Virtue of Existing  by Tara L. Jernigan

31.6—November/December 2018

Of Single Importance

on the Church's Response to the Anti-marriage Tide by Diane Woerner

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00