New Water Works Park opening near Downtown Tampa.
This week, the long awaited Water Works Park and Ulele restaurant opened. The plot of land that the park and restaurant now occupy had been unused and unloved for as long as I can remember. I have taken many walks by that spot, always waiting for something to happen. When news hit that a park was coming, I was quite excited. For months, I would periodically pass by to check out the progress. With each addition, I could see what this park was going to bring to the city.
I attended the ribbon cutting and the grand opening celebration this week, coming away with a renewed sense of hope for my city and a strengthened drive to make my own impact on it. Mayor Bob Buckhorn repeated a few statements that resonated with me and were completely in-line with what I’ve always felt for Tampa. His main message was that Tampa shouldn’t be content with second best or mediocre, that we are a great American city. I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve seen many Tampanians leave for “bigger and better things”. Tampa is my hometown and I’ve stayed, not because I haven’t had the opportunity to leave, but because of the potential I see here. I chose to stay to see the city I love grow and prosper. Projects like the park and restaurant show that there are others who feel as strongly about this place as I do. We are a city with history and character, filled with talented, creative, hard working people. Those factors, coupled with the momentum building with improvement projects like this, make Tampa’s prospects look great. I can’t wait to see what’s next.