This past summer the City of Miami gave away a big
There are many similarities between these two parcels of public land.
Last spring the Grove's city commissioner, Marc Sarnoff, made a deal to let the private school next to Peacock Park take over the SW corner of the waterfront park. We didn't get to vote on that one.
The plan was to build fenced mini-soccer fields on the tennis court and to leave the existing basketball court alone. Sarnoff also had them build a huge, 80-foot rubber pit next to The Glass House.
Now the work is done. I went there on Labor Day to see the damage.
We now have 12-foot fences around the soccer courts and the basketball court.
On Labor Day the soccer field was locked.
The gate on the basketball court was open. The b-ball fence is un-needed, ugly, intimidating and went beyond the plan Sarnoff presented to the public.
I wanted to see why the City put a pit, filled with chopped-up tires, next to the Glass House. I spent ten minutes contemplating the damn thing.
As you can see, the swanky Sonesta Hotel is right across the street. Were their guests asking, "Where's the closest casino, club, and shredded rubber pit?".
I could not figure out,
1) If anyone would want to use it and, 2) If you did, what would you use it for?
Finally a man and his young son approached. They stood at the edge and stared. Finally, they walked through it as they left the park.
I could not tell if they liked it or not. I decided to walk in it as well, to find out how fun this pit of debris could be.
It is interesting to walk in, very much like walking in a field of, mmm, shredded tires.
I tried walking bare foot. It was not painful but not comfortable either. Certainly not fun.
Aren't parks supposed to be fun? Aren't they suppose to have some semblance to nature?
In my continued search for a good time I put my head down and tried a somersault. It hurt my head, a cranial massage from someone who does not like you.
The pit is like a huge, hellish, tumbling mat.
Finally, I tried to bury myself in the black stuff, like they do with sand at the beach. I felt stupid and got some in my eye.
Apparently kids like throwing it. It was all over the grass they planted next to Marc's black box.
If we are fortunate -over time- the grass will grow over the rubber pit.
It struck me that both
Scotty's and Peacock are rare, 7-acre parcels of waterfront public land.
If Sarnoff has his way he will give away the Scotty's Landing site for the next 80 years. It might as well be forever because Marc's Folly will continue until after you and I (and most of our kids) are gone.
The November referendum is so vague, the developer Sarnoff made his deal with will get to do almost anything they wants with the land. He'll begin by demolishing Scotty's, our much-loved casual restaurant on Biscayne Bay.
Who knows? Maybe it will be replaced by a rubber pit.
Vote "NO" on November 5th. Forward this to your friends who may not be aware of the giveaway.
We must stop the City from taking away the things we love in the name of development. We must stop it now.
If you have not signed the petition to protest the City's plan to demolish Scotty's, please do it now. It is a small part of creating a united voice.
The link is,