Sunday, May 17, 2009

Clearwater Beach: Beach Walk -- The Review

My reader (sic) must be very proud of my concentrated effort to un-Boo myself and become a more positive, optimisitc Mrs. Oh. For this review I have to throw my efforts to the wind because I really don't have anything positive to say.

On first blush, Beach Walk seems ok enough if you had never been to Clearwater Beach before the bazillion dollar renovations and the years of construction. There is one word that resonated in my mind as I walked the Walk: heartbroken.

I was incredibly disappointed. I am not sure who designed Beach Walk but it seems like a cross between a mainlander's view of what a beach should look like and a Roller Coaster Tycoon landscape design kit. The only plus I could see is there is a ton of seating and seating vignettes. Problem: no one was using the seating. There were way too many bicycle parking circles, only one was used from my walk from the beginning of Beach Walk to Pier 60. The landscaping in these areas is lovely and filled with tropical plants and flowers. It is a shame no one is using the seating but then what do they have to look at? Certainly not a beach.

In most places you can't see the beach. What good is a Beach Walk if you can't see the actual Beach part of the Walk. What used to be parking is now man-made dunes. It looks like they just brought in a dump truck and dumped the sand over the old parking lot and left. The dunes are dotted with sea oats and wild flowers but who goes to the beach to see that?

In the few spaces where there are openings between the dunes you get to see this:

Lovely, no? The City doesn't want to raise the water meters at the beach (so our meter readers can actually find them) because it would ruin the view but Progress Energy has no problem placing their electric meters in the most ridiculous of places. Now if you look closely you can see 4 trash cans closely set together. The cans line the entire beach and yet the beach is dirtier than ever. There were dirty diapers and trash every where. And if you sit along the Walk wall you get to see more trash:

And broken boards with nails sticking out :

Where there used to be a view of the beach from the McDonalds you see this instead:

Look Ma, no beach!

This picture shows the Aqualea Resort in mid construction. Words escape me. Monstrosity does come to mind though.

Now don't get me wrong, as you can see there were also some lovely views. But in comparison to what we had before and what we have now....I am heartbroken and I want my tax money back.



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