Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Higgs Beach

The South Pacific it's not; it's just Higgs Beach.Or, more accurately Higgs Park Extension, owned and operated by Monroe County in the middle of the city of Key West. The city has refused the kind offer of the park from the county arguing it costs too much to keep up. Nevertheless there are plans floating around to improve the place.
I am by nature dubious of all plans that offer "improvements" but this one has a few hurdles to get around. The planners want to re-route the road through the middle of the park. The Federal Aviation Administration has a giant tower currently located in the middle of the park. And they are fussy about their tower.The tower actually makes for a good bird sanctuary too.
There is an actual bird sanctuary, a rather informal one in a way, right there in the park.
Higgs also offers a sanctuary to some other birds that lack thew wings to fly or the ambition to move on.
I was rather grumpy a few years ago when they sliced out a piece of the park to make a dog run. I used to enjoy wandering here with my last dog, alike in all respects to Cheyenne, but Emma lost her mobility by the time the park was built. She never saw it. Cheyenne likes it, if there aren't too many dogs hanging around.From some angles Higgs is kind of a dump, but I like the lack of structure.
After Cheyenne finished sniffing where strange dogs had been (her favorite activity) she pulled me across the street to the West Martello Tower, home of the Garden Club. How is it I keep seeing human detritus everywhere I go?The redevelopment plan would move this stretch of Atlantic Avenue back from the beach, behind the dog park and through the antenna. It seems ambitious and not very likely, but what do I know. They have finished the African Cemetery next to the Martello Tower. It's believed to be home to the remains of some slaves who washed up in Key West when their slave ship took a wrong turn from Cuba, courtesy of the 19th century US Navy.Afternoon winter sun in Key West gives the place a certain glow, never more than in this past of the city. The White Street Pier is where people go to chase fish. Rather them than me. The beach is a place to hang and take notes. In the background here you can see one more reminder that Key West is a Navy town. A walk can take it out of a girl and a stretch in cool sand is the perfect way to get revived.
We sat for a while and watched the shadows.
Key West, sunset closing in and nowhere near Mallory Square.