Slow news days bring out the mischief in me. I wrote a whole list of fun things imaginary people could do at the Sims Park Grand Re-Opening, on Saturday. I especially liked the idea of a County All Bassoon Band.
Oh, well. I know there are a lot of big things shaking, down in New Port Richey…Chamber of Commerce is doing a lot of pretty cool business development week activities…The Hacienda Restoration looks like an actual construction job, now, so THAT is exciting.
Of course, the big event, this week, will be the Grand Re-Opening of Sims Park…It is the ‘signature space’ of West Pasco County. The connection of Orange Lake to the rest of the space is going to be a new and amazing thing. The West Pasco Historical Society will now overlook it all, and I love that. I think the scale of events in the unified space will grow…And that will mean an ever more vibrant culture, art, and music scene in our community.
Now we have new shops springing up, a TV studio, a business incubator…Our little city on the river is coming around. Let’s be careful we don’t make it too cool. If it’s going to be authentic, you’re just going to have to tolerate some weirdos. Some low income people, some new cultures, some new ideas. A Convenience store, or two. I remember when former NPR Mayor Wendy Brenner xeriscaped her yard…Some folks were not too enthused about that. Now, there is a whole ENCLAVE of folks from Orange Lake North to Mass Ave that are xeriscaping, and growing vegetables in their yards, and all sorts of other ‘far out’ things. It is my favorite residential neighborhood in New Port Richey.
That’s it really…I want them to leave room for new ideas. I was able to enjoy Ybor City in Tampa during it’s last gasp of…dangerousness. It was not a place kids from out in the boonies visited with parental approval. It was sketchy, but it was CHEAP. Musicians and artists and crafters could live there.
You may not know this, but artists often don’t make a lot of money. Cheap living is critical to incubating an art and culture scene. Food, too. Gourmet food is great. But so is good STREET food. A good utility slice of pizza, or a Sabrett, or a giant pretzel with mustard. We should be careful, is what I am saying, not to price THOSE GUYS out of downtown.
You want to be safe. I want to be safe. I get it. But, if we clamp down too much on what we ‘allow’ in downtown, don’t we lose some of the chaotic beauty of a great town? Is sterile what we want? It’s not what I want.