Vaga Bond: Street Life
I promised to answer any questions, and the first one out of the gate is “Don’t you get nervous moving into these unknown places?”
The answer is Yes. I do still get a little nervous the first day or two, a little flutter of anxiety when I’m in transit and trying to locate the street address of my new digs. Luckily, I have digital world GPS and my Honda CR-V knows the way. For now, I’ve made it a practice to stay local in St. Pete. This helps because in general I know the neighborhoods so that when I start searching for my next new location, I already have an idea of where I want to be and what I want to explore.
Currently, I’m renting a VRBO in St. Pete’s Grand Central District. The area is super trendy, hip, and young; a completely different vibe from my previous location in the more established and reserved Crescent Heights/Crescent Lake/4th Street neighborhoods.
Here on Central Ave, I’m surrounded by hipsters on scooters and motorized skateboards. A local bar offers a dog park. There are tons of Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants and a store offering something called plant-based ice creams that I simply must explore. Ferg’s Sports Bar and Haslam’s Bookstore, both local institutions are within walking distance although the rumor is that Haslam’s has sadly shuttered its doors.
As I take my daily 1.5-hour walk, I’m seeing a different, younger, and more vibrant side of St. Pete. COVID-19 dampened the town’s spirit but during this new peak season St. Pete has returned to life. The greatest benefit of exploring on foot is seeing St. Pete from the slower pace of the street. Peering through boutique shop windows, I see racks of vintage clothing and CBD oil bottles on shelves. Leaning over a crumbling causeway, I’ve discovered Booker Creek. I’ve explored a backdoor tunnel leading to Tropicana Field.
Who knew? I never noticed any of these things before driving past them in my car.