Monday, June 11, 2012

Higgs Beach Made Better

I had delayed returning to Higgs Beach t see the new fence and when I did finally check it out I was astonished.

With one quick move the authorities seem to have solved the problem of the bums taking over the pavilions at the public county owned beach in the middle of the city of Key West.

The old Astro City playground seen above has been replaced by a shady, waterfront child's park in the sand:

It was busy when I was there with mothers and kids coming and going.

In many respects it's a better location, with shade, an attractive ocean view, shade from the casuarina trees and the useful picnic pavilions line the fenced area.

These used to be residentially challenged cabanas filled with drinking squabbling bums who made a pleasant aft noon at the beach an impossibility for anyone with any sense of decorum in public places.

It's easy to point a finger in a shitty economy and say these are the dispossessed but unhappily these are the hobos and bums made romantic by early 20th century authors (John Steinbeck leaps to mind) though these modern incarnations are not by any stretch romantic.

The have relocated across the street to the wooden picnic tables next to the dog park, and there they sit. Key West offers an amazing array of services for the poor and homeless and hopeless, not surprisingly as this city is packed with millionaires and working poor. But there is a population, that swells in winter, of travelers and they seek no help and prefer to be viewed as rebels and outsiders.

It seems clear to me the relocation of the childrens' playground accomplishes the relocation of the bums, but also paves the ay for the new road planned to run inland from the beach, moving Atlantic Boulevard away from the shore.

Next the county will have to find the money to move the dog
park which was built with donations from citizens and now sits directly in the path of the planned relocated street. Once Atlantic is moved the remainder of Higgs Park will be mostly dog park, children's park a d recreational facilities, tennis courts and the like and the bum problem which has plagued this place will evaporate.

And the kids get their water front playground.

One has to assume the bums will move and some other neighborhood will be blogged for a while.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

There is actually a perfectly good space for a new dog park, complete with swimming and plenty of space for play, at the end of the road in Little Hamaca Park. The land was given to the city by te Navy, in a Land for Parks swap, for use by us, the citizens, as a park. But it has been completely ignored by everyone except a small section of city employees who use it for storage and a dump for things they are too lazy to take over to the actual dum on Stock Island, and about 3 people a month who use the Paintball ground. I take my dog there all the time, and in this heat, it is preferable to the Official dog park.

Conchscooter said...

Not a bad idea. For those that want to see pictures enter little Hamaca in the search function at the top of the blog page.