Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flamingo Park

Sometimes you might hear Miami referred to as the "sixth borough", in reference to its status as a haven for New York City vacationers and retirees. If you run with that idea, then maybe Miami Beach is a stand in for Manhattan island, and we can go ahead and count Flamingo Park as Miami Beach's own "Central Park".

Flamingo Park is located in South Beach, in between 11th and 15th street and Alton and Meridian. It is a large urban park with plenty of different recreational activities available. One of these is tennis. Flamingo Park is a popular place in the area to play tennis. Unlike in most tennis complexes, which utilize hard courts, the Flamingo Park tennis courts use clay. So if you want to channel your inner Rafa Nadal, then partake in some rallies here at Flamingo Park. It seems like they are hoping to renovate the court complex soon too.

The park houses not only a tennis complex, but a community pool as well. The pool area has a unique design, and looks like a fun place to go take a swim.

The pool and the tennis courts are just some of the draws to Flamingo Park. There is a nice area of wide open space to roam around in, areas to bring the dog, basketball courts, and places for racquetball and baseball/softball as well. There is even a football field with a track circling around it.

Some of the best qualities of the park are its landscaping. The park makes really good use of different kinds of trees and plants, and many areas of the park are well shaded. In a city where temperatures commonly approach triple digits, a little shade can go along way to making a park seem more welcoming.

Flamingo Park is a great park, and it shows given its high use rate by the community. When I went, there was a mixture of patrons: families at the park and playground, tennis players using the courts, basketball players, and even people just walking across the park to get where they needed to go. Its location is a great one, right in the heart of the aptly named Flamingo Park neighborhood. This area of historic art deco style apartment buildings surely benefits from having such a great park at the doorsteps, and given Miami Beach's condensed nature, the park is close to many of the city's other residents too. You can get up close and personal with the Flamingo Park neighborhood just by standing at the edge of the park, but you can also view some of South Beach's taller residential buildings just standing in the center too.

Flamingo Park is a well maintained and exciting place. It has everything from a pool to youth athletic leagues to a Boys and Girls Club. It has something for everyone, whether you're interested in sports, leisurely walking, or just sitting under the trees. Miami Beach is a dense, unique city, with plenty of cultural activities. Plus, there's also the ocean. Still, it was refreshing to see, even with all the other recreational activities available in the area, a public park remain so prominent in the area, filled with people. A great experience from a park I had previously known little about, despite my living in the area!

More images after the cut.