What a beautiful day we’re having in downtown Fort Worth. The sky is a brilliant blue with no clouds. The wind of last week has departed, leaving only a slight breeze to tickle the Bank of America’s huge American flag. The top branches of the live oaks across the street in Burnett Park are barely dipping as they salute the 62 degree temperature. From my balcony, I can see business people, worker bees, entering and exiting the multi-floored Burnett Plaza Building, attending to whatever work needs to be done. I am grateful for retirement and my absence from that hive. I no longer need to be heeled, hosed, suited, primed, and adrenalinized. I’ve had more than my share of 5:30 AM alarms, hour commutes, parking fees, shared van or bus riding, packed lunches, deadlines, projects, papers, briefings, and the like. Perhaps, it’s the same with you, Lucky Retiree!
Maybe today you want to just savor the day as it is, after all, the present–a gift that you can enjoy on your own time in your own way. Why not have a picnic in the park—Burnett Park? Located at 501 West 7th. Street, the park is a haven of peace and quiet in an urban setting. Oilman and early civic leader Burk Burnett gave the land for the park to the citizens of Fort Worth as a haven for mothers and children. His exact words are carved in the curving stone behind the large cutout of a man with a briefcase.
Pack your own food at home, or buy something from Planet Sub or Subway, both in buildings across the streets from Burnett Park. If the tempting odor of barbeque stimulates your taste buds, tiny, hole-in-the-wall Bailey’s BBQ is open for lunch, too, but you’ll need to duck through the parking garage to reach its Taylor Street door (right across from the Federal Building).
Parking is available on the street. Be warned that you really do need to feed the meter, as the Parking Police are extremely vigilent, patrolling the area every 10-15 minutes. My visiting niece from McKinney couldn’t figure out how to get the printed parking sticker from the machine. Before we could walk over to her parked car from my condo, she was the recipient of a genuine Fort Worth parking ticket. Kaching–60 bucks. Parking is free before 8 AM and after 6 PM as well as on weekends.
Ride your bike or use the City of Fort Worth’s biking program. There is a station across the street from the park where you can return one of the pretty red bikes. All have baskets!
The #2 bus has a stop right there at Burnett Plaza. A senior citizen can purchase a lifetime bus ID card at the Intermodal Transportation System that guarantees a reduction of the regular fare. Please check it out and get the card before you board the bus.
Walking is another option. What a variety of transportation options we lucky folks have! Oh, yes, the noontime schedule includes a stop for Molley the Trolley, another free mode that makes a loop that includes Sundance Square.
Tables with chairs, free WIFI, shade, and even some wildlife (two and four legged) await you today in Burnett Park. It’s a perfectly safe place for a picnic, a cup of tea or coffee, or a slow paced hour to contemplate your navel, if such is your preference. Occasionally there is entertainment, too.
Annie Ambles at Burnett Park