Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Bike Ride to West Palm Beach

A nice little bike ride, a total of 13 or 14 miles, is one from the northern part of Lake Worth to downtown West Palm Beach. Usually people point out how much public land Lake Worth has on the water. This list includes the beach, of course, the golf course, north and south parts of Bryant Park and the park on South Lakeside. A little different, but still public land, is the sidewalk - essentially a linear park - along the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway, for the most of the length of Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. 

You can start just north of Lake Worth and continue along a sidewalk along the seawall through the downtown and up to around 25th Street. That's where you finally lose the water access. My favorite part is the sweeping underpass at the Royal Park (middle) Bridge to Palm Beach. And then you have the Snook Island-like improvements to the area north of the middle bridge, along with day docks and pedestrian walkways over water and improvements to the area between the seawall and Flagler Drive. That last part was designed by the Michael Singer Group, the same people that guided the re-design of our beach renovation plan with slightly different results.
Last year, West Palm Beach introduced a sand castle-like tree in the middle of the open space at the eastern end of Clematis Street - where the old library used to be. Well, it is back again this year, supposedly a little bigger. We snagged these pictures of it and the area yesterday. The large sculpture is still a bit of a work in progress as some of the details were lacking. There are also smaller piles of sand here and there that will receive a similar treatment in the days to come.
One passerby, walking her dog, came up to us and insisted that this thing wasn't all sand and that there was a wooden structure underneath it. She, apparently not overcome by the holiday spirit, believed that the whole thing was a sham and a lie. So, there's that.
These are some of the holiday events planned over the next few weeks while the sculptures are up. These signs were prominently displayed around the general area.
Some of the sponsors of the sand sculpture and the holiday programming - notable that FPL is a sponsor. When was the last time our Lake Worth Electric Utility sponsored an event, other than underwriting part of the city's general fund expenditures? At least the amount of that contribution is in the process of a multi-year dial back which will put our rates on par with FPL eventually.

The pavilion in the picture above can be rented out much in the same way our ballroom can be rented out. Many events are programmed there and it has its own catering facilities. Given pleasant weather conditions, the building can be opened up to the patio area between it and the water.
Being Thanksgiving day, there weren't a whole lot of people around, but there were a few that paused or walked through while we were there.
And it was nice to see our Lake Worth business owner, come West Palm Beach City Commissioner be recognized on one of the sponsor identification signs. We'll be back to check on the progress of the other sand sculptures later, perhaps when an event is going on.