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The old Astro City playground seen above has been replaced by a shady, waterfront child's park in the sand: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