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FIND YOUR DREAM HOME OR APARTMENT
must-see on msn
Sowrabh "SAB" Sharma
MMC System Inc.
I live in Sarasota, FL, home of Siesta Beach which was recently voted the #1 Beach in the US. It is absolutely miserable for the year-round residents to go to the beach anymore. With the traffic (summer OR winter) it takes almost 45 minutes to get to the beach from the mainland. Once you get there you have to drive around for another 45 minutes to find a parking place, which is always at least a mile from the shoreline - NOT a pleasant walking distance from the beach when you're carrying a chair, towel, reading material, and something to drink. Once you actually get to "your spot" and get settled, you have one radio station on one side, another on the other side, and a third behind you, and it never fails, the players of these stations always get into a volume war. Enter the unsupervised, uncontrolled children who are allowed to run rampant on the beach, kicking sand all over the place - including on me, generally into my face - who scream like banshees and act like they've never been let out of their cages before. Some fool always thinks it's cool to feed the seagulls their left over french fries or potato chips. Ever had a swarm of seagulls flying at you? It's like being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. And these birds sh*t whenever they feel like it. Seagull sh*t is not something you want in your hair. They are scavengers, eating anything and everything they can find - including garbage and vomit. What goes in must come out, and I'd prefer it not in my hair. Going to the snack bar to get a drink or lunch? Bring a credit card. Way over-priced, and just not worth it. And if you still decide to go, pack up all your stuff & take it with you, or it won't be there when you get back. What did I forget? Oh yes: smoking is no longer permitted on the beach (which isn't a bad thing) due to the inconsiderate fools who think the world is their ashtray and left their butts all over the place. Babies would pick them up, you would find them in sandcastles, the sea turtles and seagulls were eating them (poison). People leave empty bottles, candy bar wrappers, sandwich wrappers, beer bottles, and used condoms all over the place. I should note that there are plenty of garbage cans available, not to mention signage indicating No Glass, No Smoking, No Pets, Pick Up Your Trash, etc. The sea turtles are having a tough time reproducing due to the swarms of people who just can't resist reaching past the police tape marking out their nests and uncovering their eggs. The sea birds choke on knotted fishing line, plastic six-pack rings, and anything else that looks like it might be edible. The sheriff's office, years ago, had to develop a beach patrol specifically for the shoreline because of these fools. I can think of better ways of spending tax dollars than providing babysitters for (mostly) adults who are supposed to be responsible and mature, but unfortunately it's necessary, or Siesta Beach would just be a big garbage dump. The condos that are built up along the shore completely block the view, so you have to actually park and walk out onto the beach to see what all the fuss is about. I remember when I was little - 40 years ago - you could park on the packed sand and spend the day at the beach and see maybe 20 people.
Do I sound bitter? I'm not; just getting a lot off my chest. I'm just really feeling nostalgic for simpler times...We rely on tourists for our economy, but do they have to be such idiots?
To make matters worse, the park owners/managers were horrible stewards. The park dumped both human and animal excrement into a nearby lake, killing the fish. They lost a 7 foot long Bengal tiger - in the amusement park. Other animals were constantly getting loose. Baboons, ostriches, mountain goats, at least one elk, an emu, a rhino, and other dangerous animals. Anytime someone called Great Adventure to complain about yet another dangerous animal in their backyard, the park claimed it didn't belong to them.
They broke child labor laws with impunity. (Do you really feel safe having your child go on a roller coaster being manned by a 16 year old who's been on shift for 16 hours straight?) Or how about a brand new employee with no experience who is put in charge of the baboon area? By the way, one of their roller coasters (Kunda Khan, I think), is unsafe. One of their engineers has been telling them for years that it's unsafe and that people will be killed. Their reaction? They fired the engineer!
Most people don't move to a location simply because it's a tourist area. Considerations such as available jobs, schools, housing, etc., generally play a much larger role. The point is: If tourists (and owners of attractions), would just be considerate to those living there, that would eliminate most of the problems.
I once bought into a warehouse conversion down by the docks, a well known prostitution area, which is a tourist attraction of sorts. My neighbors seemed genuinely confused (and somewhat suspicious) when my gf & I I told them that if they didn't like it, they should have bought condo's somewhere else.
My current home is in a neighborhood next to a race track, and what do you know, new neighborhood, new committee to oust the nuisance of the week.
Why can't these people just avoid the hassle (for all of us) and move into an exurban subdivision to begin with?
As a tourist attraction - it is way overhyped. It is a house, just a house. There are many places to go on the Island that have Hemingway ties. Try the bars or where he refereed boxing matches. The cats you ask? - polydactile cats are all over Key West - not unique to this property.
His reputation was not of an upstanding citizen or creative genius. He was not someone you would have associated with when he was alive.
If you go to visit Key West, do some research, there are MANY better choices for attractions that have educational value about the area and its history. If you want to see a house, have fun.
I actually grew up one block behind Graceland in Memphis. At one time, Whitehaven was THE neighborhood in which to live -- a nice middle-class neighborhod that was a great place to raise a family. Unfortunately, as with many large cities, neighborhoods go through life cycles. Another, newer neighborhood will arise while the previous "best neighborhood" begins a decline as residents move to the newer place. It happens in all cities and is not unique to Memphis or this particular neighborhood of Whitehaven.
I lived there for 10 years while Elvis was alive and living at Graceland. At that time, it wasn't a tourist attraction. He was a quiet neighbor and his house drew very minimal traffic. Heck, I used to trick-or-treat there on Halloween! Only after he died in 1977 did the chaos begin. More and more traffic came, so more and more people moved out. Then the build-up of the location as a "tourist attraction" began and the neighborhood declined for those who wanted to LIVE there. My family moved in 1982.
I am not blaming Graceland at all for the change in my old neighborhood. Like I said, neighborhoods have a life cycle, despite what attraction might be nearby. City life is not perfect and this is just the nature of living in a city.