I'm new to Myrtle Beach in relative terms, almost two years.
I have lived in various cities throughout the South and have visited cities all over the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a predominant feature of which are huge city parks to be enjoyed by people of every stripe. A main attraction of these parks are fountains. I'm thinking of Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park, and the fountains in Savannah.
Our own state, as well as cities running all along the coast, have parks which feature fountains from Wilmington, North Carolina, down to St. Augustine, Florida.
Where is ours?
A property with potential for wiping out the huge eyesore in this city is that ugly blot abutting Kings Highway that stretches between 21st Avenue and 27th Avenue. I understand that Burroughs and Chapin is holding that property.
What used to be my other favorite dream for a beautiful city park was the land between Marina Parkway and the Intracoastal Waterway. I walk my dogs there every day. I went away this winter only to return this spring to find trees mowed down and, to my horror, learned that Burroughs and Chapin is building another exclusive development along that strip, which will mean so many of us who use it now for biking, walking, taking our dogs for walks soon won’t be able to.
Here's a question: Why do the shopkeepers of the Super Block have to give up their businesses and the owners have to forfeit their property under eminent domain when all that empty blight is available?
There are no structures that would have to be demolished there and no businesses that will have to be shuttered -- and it's extremely unsightly.
Why can't it be converted into a library and government building, or even better, a huge city park, or a combination of both?
True parks have ponds, little bridges, islands of retreat under huge oaks, trails, fountains, some parts leafy meadow, others forest, with pavilions, arbors, horse trails, row boats for a pond, and a city garden.
There could be flower and souvenir kiosks, refreshments for ice cream. People need a place they can feel secure, enjoy a rest, play Frisbee.
Not everyone likes the beach, but love the weather here. What are we supposed to do? I'm not a golfer and I have skin cancers, so the sunny beach is the last place you'll find me. We can't jump in our cars and run down to Huntington Beach or Brookgreen Gardens every day on a fixed income.
The rates for Brookgreen scream exclusivity. The Market Common, which I enjoy, is too far to go and has a too-manufactured feel to it. My feeling there isn't one of relaxation; it's more, if you're not in your Lycra and sun visor running, then you're shopping in exclusive shops that don't really cater to the common man.
What about killing several birds with one stone and being all-inclusive? Let's get rid of the huge eyesore on Kings Highway? Let those good, decent, hardworking citizens in the Super Block keep their businesses and the city use their powers of eminent domain with B & C?
If I didn't know better, I'd say it looks an awful lot like the powerful winning over the powerless.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.