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Is New Always Better?

This past Sunday Science Guy took me downtown to the pier. I’ve lived in this part of Sunny Florida for six years now and although we’ve ridden past it many times, I’ve never actually been there. The city is going to tear it down and now thanks to those who rallied and went to the city counselors’ meetings, there was a vote to rebuild it. It seems that the pier, which has stood for years, is slowly sinking and while it’s not a dangerous place, it will one day become one.

First, we parked in the parking lot, which begins at the beginning of the long walk along the pier. Facts on the fish that swim in the waters of Florida line the way with small alcoves every twenty feet or so for those who want that picture perfect moment, or just want to stop and gaze out onto the water. We could have taken the trolley; however, it was finally sunny and not too cold, so we decided to walk.

Off to the left there were at least 30 petite sized sailboats, trailing behind a much larger boat much like children marching back to class behind their teacher. (Science Guy told me the name of them, but I can’t remember what they’re called, just trust me, they were like mini-me sailboats.) I took a picture, but you can’t see them very well.

Up ahead of us, at the end of the pier, sat the building, flanked with red, yellow and blue flags, with trimmings to match. A large cement deck wrapped around the building, with the back having a dock for those who want to walk down and fish from. Tables lined the area with umbrella’s matching the color décor and a band played for those relaxing and soaking up a little warmth. I should mention here that the band consisted of three high school students, two boys and a girl who played the drums. They were amazing.

Now this isn’t just your normal run-of-the-mill building. Nope, it’s designed to look like an upside down triangle. It’s five stories tall and has a small aquarium in the center, along with a food court, several sit down restaurants, shops to browse in, candy store with homemade fudge and of course five o’clock somewhere beverages.

Just as you get to the front entrance, off to the side where tons of Pelicans. I couldn’t believe how close I could get to them without a huge flight filled with a rain shower of shedding feathers beating down on me. Then I saw the little girl step onto the platform and throw them fish. Aw yes, these birds have the life. People surrounding them, waiting on their turn to feed them.

Once inside we did the browsing thing and went through the aquarium (which wasn’t all that big, but cool), and then went to the 5th floor to find something to eat. Stepping out onto the wrap around observation deck was amazing and so peaceful, even if there were tons of people there.

Larger sailboats dotted the water, gently rocking in giant bath of blue. Right there and then, I was wishing I had my laptop as realized this was a perfect spot to write. My characters were dying to come out and play.

Everything was perfect…except I kept looking around wondering if it will be the same when they rebuild. There’s talk about making it newer, bringing it to a much more modern state. This is where is new always better began.

We have a fabulous downtown area. History museums, art exhibits, including the famous Chilullay (which I have to say it is beautiful), the Dahlia Museum along with wonderful shops and quaint restaurants. Some of it is extremely modern, but most places have that wonderful old feeling to them. Walking through the many parks shaded by the tears and soft grass that make up small blocks, you wonder who was here before you. Who were the people who built the old hotels that are beautifully decorated inside with antiques from back in the day? How happy they would be to know that much has been preserved. Blankets spread out with picnic lunches or lawn chairs with people reading, just gives off that sense of for today all is right with the world feeling.

But for the pier, apparently a major attraction to those visiting by the sounds of several languages being spoken around me, they want it to be modern. I guess my biggest concern is we’ll have this new shiny pier with this huge modern art building and it will no longer be the same. Which if you ask me a building that looks like an upside down triangle is pretty modern in itself.

I guess when it comes down to it; I’m not the biggest fan of change. Not that change isn’t good, but sometimes it just feels right to keep things as they are. Who knows, maybe when the day comes that they tear it down and rebuild it I’ll feel differently, but for today I’m glad I’m getting to experience as it is.

What about you? Does new always seem better, or do you sometimes like things just as they are?



8 Responses

  1. tough question! I love looking at old, but then again the new is wonderful.

    But when old become dangerous…I’m all for new! Maybe they’ll bring in some restoration and do a nice blend

  2. Keri – I know, it really is a tough question. Maybe because it was the first time I’d actually been there, but it just seemed so perfect to me. It absolutely has to be redone before it does become a safety issue (which it isn’t one right now), but I’m kinda hoping they keep it in the vein it’s in now.

  3. Lovely pictures, Vicky, and I loved hearing about your adventure.

    I think one must find a balance between old and new. And I agree with Keri that when it becomes dangerous, then it is time to consider what is best for a community.

  4. Great, pictures! Sounds like you had a great trip! 🙂

    I don’t like change very much either. LOL And when there history involved, I love it when they try to restore things as close to the original as possible. There is so much modern stuff out there already. We need to keep what we can of the past for our kids to learn about and enjoy. Just my two cents.

  5. Amy – it hasn’t reached dangerous yet, but that is were it is headed and I’m totally for fixing and making it better, I’m just wishing they’d keep it more like it is than what’s being proposed. 🙂 Of course, once it’s done, it’s probably going to be fabulous.

  6. Melissa – Totally with you and I think that’s the hardest part for me. Our downtown area has some wonderfully old buildings with tons of history to them, yet with each change they want to take those away.

  7. Awesome pictures Vicki! The Florida sunshine looks so beautiful. 🙂 I loved hearing about your adventure.

  8. New is nice sometimes, but old, well, it can blow you away. I remember feeling the weight of history when I went to London and saw all those places that we’d learned about in World History back in middle school.

    I love the Pier. When we were new to the area, we went there a number of times. It’s also a fun place when you want to get out but aren’t flush with cash. I think it’s sad it’s being torn down.

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