This email is in response to the latest "Hard Candy" article in the Gabber.
Cathy S. is one of my favorite Gabber writers. However I feel I need to comment on her opinion that In order to be beautiful We should pave the alleys and beach front parking lot.
I am a landscape painter and find lots of material for light filled,color filed paintings in the beach"art district "area of town. I love the lumpy old alleys and the sand and shell parking lots visually but of great importance to us as well should be concerns over flooding. I have to say that not only do I consider paving ugly and hot,I also realize that paving makes it impossible for nature to right itself properly.
And in regard to the alleys, the consideration here is not only better water absorption but also,down here by the beach the lots tend to be smaller and the alleys become a good place for kids to to ride bikes,dogs to be walked and neighbors to congregate. A nicely paved or leveled alley can be a tempting "speedway " for cars and motorcycles going too fast.. alleys now contain natural speed bumps in the right places.
Please consider the idea that people come to Gulfport FROM neatly manicured generic locations to enjoy a town that has become popular because it is not. It is unique.This sense of place visitors find appealing has developed over years of residents loving this town for what it is as it is.
Having said this I realize that cleaning up and picking up rubbish all over Gulfport should be high on everybody's priority list. The alleys or yards should never be dumping grounds for old couches and mattress, and all other kinds of hideous looking refuse. Nothing is more off putting to visitors or residents than neglect.
I want to be proud of Gulfport and the way I and my neighbors care for our city. However,if you look closely at this situation you may see there is a fine line between respecting our home and destroying it with quick "fixes" like blacktop. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Hilda Neily, Gulfport Fl. and Provincetown Ma.