ICYMI: Carlton: From freed slaves to business heyday to Bro Bowl, history in amazing at Harvey Park
I wanted to make sure you saw Sue Carlton’s column on the soon to open Perry Harvey Sr. park.
By now you're thinking: So what's the big deal about what's in there?
This is not a story told in dull brass plaques and statue heads. A ribbon of concrete leads through a History Walk of eight glass murals of blown-up historic photos and images that change and move when you do, revealing even more. There's something almost ghostly about it: Children and grandmothers, a newspaper page recounting black people voting, an attorney, a soldier, a street scene, a lunch counter closed. Religion and culture and business are all in there, in the faces and buildings. Music, too.
Maybe the best thing a city can do for the people living in it is provide some really good public parks.
Around here, we have neighborhood pocket parks and sprawling urban ones that roll along waterfronts, parks that teem with festivals and Sunday yoga enthusiasts. At one recently repurposed Tampa riverfront park, people sip wine at a restaurant on its edge as neighborhood kids romp through a splash park and canines check each other's ID in the adjacent dog area.
So I am a sucker for a good park, which is like saying you prefer Saturday mornings to Mondays, because who doesn't?
But the other day, a park blew me away.
It was a sneak peek of the soon-to-reopen $6.95 million remake of Perry Harvey Sr. Park in a quiet corner of downtown Tampa by the interstate — part history museum, part artwalk, part barbecue-grill-and-basketball-court community park. The place is remarkable not just for what's new or what's there to do, but also for what's there for the remembering.