There are a few things I’m enjoying about my new city. One of them is that there is a lot to do on the cheap. Another is the people are pretty darn friendly. And another is that I can walk and bike to so many places.
Yesterday I biked to a donation-based community yoga practice held by Yoga in the Burg at Lassing Park. Lassing Park is a beautiful expanse of green right next to Tampa Bay. There is very little concrete in the park, which made it feel natural. Five others showed up for the community practice. Fortunately yesterday it was overcast, and there was a nice breeze, so it never did get too hot. Becky, the instructor of the day, let us through a challenging yet restorative practice. Two of the other instructors that rotate in offering this practice were there as well. I look forward to making this Saturday morning practice a regular part of my life in St. Pete.
After yoga, I went to explore the park a bit. A man named James approached me and asked me how the practice was. “Great!” I said. I told him it was my first time going, but I was impressed so far. I mentioned that I biked to the park, and he told me about some other areas nearby that I should check out. Then he offered to take me on a mini-tour of those places, since he rode his bike too. So James and I left and took a tour of the Driftwood neighborhood.
I realized while down there that I’d visited Driftwood before. There used to be some folks who had a house concert series there. James and I rode by the house that I’d visited for that Jesse Terry concert a few years back! I love how different parts of your life can collide.
We left Driftwood and entered the Oakdale neighborhood. We rode by some local landmarks, including the Christmas House . The lights were still up, though obviously not on in the middle of the day. I’ll have to take a bike ride down there closer to the holiday to see how it looks all lit up. I’m sure the picture doesn’t do it justice.
Today I walked to the grocery to get a couple of things. (Yes, I walked to the grocery! Love it!!) On the way back, and man and a woman passed me on bicycles. As the woman rode by, she complimented the back of my shirt. “Did you do it yourself?” “Yep! Thank you!” Not the hugest of deals, but a lot of times people wouldn’t say anything at all.
Sometimes a compliment from a stranger can make your day.
All of the stuff I’m describing here wasn’t quite there in Tampa. Things were just a bit too far away to bike to, or I didn’t feel safe biking to places even if they were close. People didn’t say “hello” in the street quite as much, or offer to show you something new. There are quite a lot of inexpensive things to do in Tampa, but you do still have to get to them…
I’m definitely glad I moved. My commute is going to be an adjustment, and I am going to have to be tighter with my money. But I love the energy here. St. Pete feels like home in a way that Tampa never quite did.