I see the waterfront as a vibrant hub of activity: families are picnicking on the grass in the warmth of a Sunday afternoon; couples are ambling the shaded pathways; folks are congregated along the boardwalk enjoying the sun and the glistening river, watching the boats entering and departing the harbor.
A street musician is serenading people strolling through the park, while kids are skimming a Frisbee nearby. Bicycle riders are cruising the bike path with care feeling the gently wind, taking in the beauty of the trees and flowers, the lawns and the shade.
Visitors to the city are drawn to the park with its grassy expanse providing a respite from the rush of traffic and the bustle of the day. They are drawn to the casual restaurants and cafes that define the perimeter of the park, affording an opportunity to relax over a fresh salad or a delicious latte or indulge in a crisp glass of wine. They are drawn by the quaint shops offering the artistry of the city’s retail community.
And when summer fades to the drearier and colder months of winter, the waterfront is still vibrant, beckoning citizens to enjoy the warmth of its venues; lunch and dinner by crackling fireplaces, a glass of wine with friends to cheer the soul, a purchase put off for too long … and all affording a view of the pristine park and views of the water which created the Clipper City …
When I think about the waterfront it is the above image that excites my imagination. It is an image that compliments the present downtown area of the city, its heritage and its connection to the sea. When I look at the waterfront now, I see an exquisite little park bordered on one side by the dynamic Firehouse Center for the Arts building, and on the other by the bandstand area on the water’s edge where citizens gather for concerts and other community activities.