Back when I lived in Tampa, the downtown area was a little seedier. I remember there was this one park with gnarled old trees and broken up pathways. The entire park literally smelled like homeless person and urine, but it was still one of my favorite places to go because it was ironic that pristine skyscrapers surrounded the dirty little place.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is a brand new addition to the waterfront canal the runs through downtown. It has replaced the seedy old park of my past, but I don’t really mourn the loss.
Situated beside the new Straz Performing Arts Center, the waterfront park is simply designed and geometric. Strategically placed public art installations give students and tourists something to look at, and there is a ground-level fountain to keep you cool on hot Florida days. You have a view of downtown in one direction and the Russian spires of the University of Tampa in the other. All and all the park is a great addition to downtown Tampa and a nice place to spend an afternoon without the threat of homeless person urine.
Photography by Julia Ozimek.