At times with people many of us avoid, beautiful Williams Park gets a bad rap at times. It’s enjoyable to walk through it under the big hanging branches. There’s a fountain in the middle, near a monument commemorating those who perished in a world war. There is an underused stage along the north side, usually available for community events.
This was previously the PSTA downtown bus depot, so bus parking spaces on three sides have been replaced with parking meters for everyone. The kiosk that sold bus passes is vacant. Panhandlers are now rare in Williams Park, likewise people who lingered here all day on the many benches. The all-day homeless camp of yesteryear is gone.
Was feeling a bit of cabin fever setting in, so headed out this morning and walked over to Amscot. There I got a day bus pass and walked two blocks down to McDonald’s for a small decaf. A cup of morning coffee is always enjoyable. The bus stops directly in front of McDonald’s, so waited there a few minutes as I finished my cup, then hopped on the 19 to the Central Avenue bus depot. Get there and five minutes later the beach bus arrives, so set off on the long ride to Pass-A-Grille beach.
This is the little old fishing village where St Pete Beach began, and is now preserved as a historic district. No high rises here, not even a gas station, just quaint old cottages reminiscent of Old Florida. You can walk along the bay side shore for over a mile until you reach the Land’s End Cottages on First Avenue at the south end of the island, then walk a block west and reach the Gulf of Mexico. There is a long rocky fishing pier there that provides a panoramic view of the beach stretching for several miles to the north and Shell Key to the south. At night you can see the lighthouse beacon at Egmont Key even farther south. Walked north along the beach to the Paradise Grille on the waterfront at ninth avenue. This is a relaxing place where everyone gathers to eat drink and enjoy the view. A beautiful day it has been.