On Saturday afternoon I rode bicycle into Museum Park (1075 Biscayne Boulevard) guided by a tender curiosity and a slight resentment. The resentment stemmed from David Beckham's soccer stadium deal that recently fell apart. I was kind for the soccer stadium in Downtown. I felt the murky boat slip should've been filled and the City Commissioners could have left the decision up to the voters.
Five minutes hanging in the park changed my mind forever.
Museum Park is both breathtaking and pristine. The use of this public space in our urban core is unique, enchanting and invaluable. This truly is an accomplishment. The breezy wind, the water, the scope of vision and architecture, the foliage, the greenery, the museums, the horizon -- and most of all -- the lighting. A slight silver hue seemed to radiate throughout the park, casting a mood of peace and harmony. This soft light, the pulse of the park, is undoubtedly created by all the surrounding water, so much water, immeasurable in scope and volume, this wonderful water, OUR water, reflecting the sun, blanketing the new park in this silver hue.
It is beautiful and sitting at the end of the park, shoes off, under a palm tree, writing this essay on a phone, looking at the vastness of our panorama, then, right then, I clearly saw why the boat slip needed to remain unfilled, why the soccer stadium couldn't be built there, why this space, including the boat slip, needed to remain public. It's easy to see. It's the water. From the street the water in the boat appears murky and backlogged. At the end of the park, a couple of football fields out from Biscayne Blvd, the water is clean and expansive. It's easy to see when there.
The potential for this new public space is imminent. Festivals, gatherings, rally's, whatever we want, it's ours, and it's here; it's here for good, and you could see the potential in the mills of people scattered loosely throughout the park, families with children, couples and lovers, athletes and bikers, frisbee tosser, kite flyer, tourist with a camera, members of the Coast Guard offering free tours of the USCG Baroque Eagle, a giant pirate looking vessel currently at dock in the slip. You could see the potential, I mean you could really feel the potential of this park becoming kinetic. Museum Park is another indicator of how it's such a wonderful time to witness Miami.
On the way out I saw a friendly face from yoga. He's also the director of the Bayfront Park Trust who basically manage or you can even say own the land. He was siting under a Banyan Tree on a small chair gazing at the new park with a cracked smile.
He looked sage, sort of like a monk.
"I've been here since six am, in the same spot, not necessarily to work, but just to feel all of this," he said. "You know what I mean? This needs to be felt."
"Congratulations. It's beautiful."
"It certainly is."