Thursday, July 5, 2018

South Beach Park

Among the many piers that stick out from Key West's south shore this one has come into the focus of the city leaders. It's called South Beach because it is the southernmost end of Duval Street.So far so good, 
The beach is sort of public access but blurs into the Southernmost Beach Cafe and their premises which have an ll defined line in the sand. Apparently city planners want to clean up this end of Duval Street and make a formal pocket park with public access. No bad thing. 
The thing is that beaches in the Keys are not what people come here for, unless they are misinformed. Geologically the Keys are more akin to the Bahamas, rocky outcrops of limestone rising slightly above the tideline with no sand to line the beaches. Mainland Florida is much better suited to the beach lover as the peninsula is made of sand and has miles of beaches on Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
On top of that during onshore gales and hurricanes this area is swamped of course and high tides always bring seaweed to dry and rot on the imported sand here so it is a rather more robust beach experience than many tourists might expect. I can best describe rotting seaweed as having a barnyard smell like  steaming horse manure or fresh pig shit  and whichever way you smell it, it's suboptimal for the beach going experience.
The plan is to create a more aesthetic experience and to create a clearer line on the beach though plans have yet to be finalised.
I am pretty sure it will be an improvement as this is not exactly how you would expect the city's main drag to end, rather ignominiously in a pile of dead seaweed, cement and public/private sand.
Duval Street stretches away for 14 blocks to the other end which stops short at the harbor waters. Also a rather bland full stop even if not full of seaweed as the harbor waters are not infested with it.
There is much work to be done to modernize Duval Street and make it appealing if only they would consider it. Pedestrian only would be a wonderful thing.