José Martí Park
I decided to check out José Martí Park in the Little Havana neighborhood of the City of Miami. This is an interesting park in a more urban setting than some of the past parks covered in this blog. It sits on the edge of the Miami River, and has a great view of the Miami skyline. One of the most notable qualities of the park is that it sits underneath one of the tallest parts of the I-95 expressway.
The park has a number of amenities, including a playground, a pool, an outdoor gym and basketball courts. The basketball courts actually sit directly underneath the expressway, which makes for an interesting aural combination of ball bouncing beneath and heavy traffic way above.
One of the coolest qualities of the park, in my opinion, is that it borders the Miami River. The river is a somewhat industrial, somewhat rundown body of water and this provides for a different kind of waterfront park. Many cities, such as San Antonio, have turned their river fronts into great pedestrian centers filled with shops, restaurants and a lively sense of community. In Miami, it seems like the river is more forgotten than anything. Perhaps José Martí Park could be a starting point for the same kind of river front evolution here.
The park was named for Cuban poet and revolutionary activist José Martí, a bust of whom appears towards the front of the park.
Overall, the park was very interesting, probably one of the more unique parks in Miami. It is very much an urban park, and given the fact that Miami is a quickly urbanizing city, placing a newly found emphasis on downtown living and a lifestyle more like that of a New York or Chicago, I think the park could become a focal point for a new kind of urban riverfront experience here. It serves as a reminder that not all the great parks in Miami are the ones that sit along Biscayne Bay or emphasize and “old Florida” nature feel, but that gems can be discovered in the most unlikely of places, such as underneath an overpass.
One final note: I have no idea why the quality of the photos is so strange. I guess the camera I checked out from the library had a diffrent setting that I forgot to change, but for whatever reason all the pictures ended up with the same quality of some 90s indie rock music video. Anyways, enjoy the rest of the pictures!