There is something a little different in town here lately. Something decorative and Fancy. Things with exquisite attention to detail. Pretty things! It's Mermaids and Seahorses! And They Are Everywhere! Well ok, not everywhere, but there are a lot of them. Fifty-Two as a matter of fact.
It's a project that our town does roughly every 5 years or so. I know that a lot of other cities do the same thing. Mermaids and Seahorses suit a beach town such as ours quite nicely but I remember it being cows when I lived in the Ft Worth Area of Texas which also makes sense.
When this particular art project was announced in the newspaper, I was interested. And as updates were printed, I became more excited about it. When the artistically completed statues, each painted by a different artist, with a different vision and therefore a completely different end product finally were released for viewing, I was kind of beside myself. I am so easily amused.
All we knew for certain was that there were, as I said, 52 statues, a mix of mermaids and seahorses and that they would be placed here and there around town. And we wondered where they would be? Would all of them be on island? We talked about where they might be placed and how they might be painted. And then I read that there was going to be a map released that indicated exactly where each Mermaid and Seahorse stood. Well that feel a little bit like cheating to me!
We decided that a fun idea might be to find each of them. All 52. Without the map. Just get out there and find 'em. Like a treasure hunt or a scavenger hunt perhaps. Why not? It's something to do that's a little different. And so one evening after dinner recently, Tim and I hit the bricks, camera in hand and the game began.
We knew from what we had read that most of the statues would be placed in the general down town area. And of course since we live here, we had already seen a few of them just running errands. But that's ok. It's different to view it from afar and to see it up close.
As it turned out there were, indeed, quite a few of them right in the downtown area. About 35 of them in fact. Whew! That's a lot! Some of them were easy to spot, right there on the big wide sidewalks in front of shops and restaurants. Here are a few of them:
Others were a little more hidden away and trickier to find. There was, for example, one tucked up close to a building in a little alcove area that was completely decorated with shells. I mean totally 100% covered! Wow! And another by the kids fountain area where we never go because we have no little kids! We found some in front of murals, which are already pretty darned decorative on their own and almost acts as camouflage for the statues. (A few more:)
We found them in both expected and unexpected places. By the Theatre, in the Fountain Park at the top of Miami Drive and by the gazebo in Centennial Park and just about everywhere else you can possibly imagine. (yet more:)
The backs were often as pretty as the fronts and sides. There was so much work and effort and imagination involved. We were plenty impressed. (more!)
By the time we had thoroughly covered the downtown area, the sun was beginning to set and it was time to walk back home. But we weren't done. Not by a long shot. After all we had not yet found all 52 and them's the rules. Hey I don't make the rules of the game, I just follow them. oh wait, I guess I did make these rules. No matter, when the sun sets that means it's time to go home. We would search again another day.
And so we did! This time by car. I had a notebook and pen so that I could write the location of each statue as Tim drove. We notated all of the ones we had already found and then set out to locate more of them. And we found at least ten more, still on the island just a little further afield. By the time we finished, we had located and notated 45 of the 52. Maddening! We were missing 7 statues. Where the heck were they?
We continued to search as days went by. We would talk about it over dinners and come up with an idea then check to see if we were right. (we were not) It was a puzzle for sure. We had run out of places on island to look. So we began a tentative search off island and came up empty. Dang.
Finally out of desperation, we gave up trying to find them on our own. I tried to find this mythical online map which was supposed to be downloadable. Except that, the page said, "Coming Soon". Well how soon is soon? The statues are all there. All of them. Where the heck is the map? I groused about that for a few days and the map continued to not be there. Eventually I stopped checking and assumed it was one of those sorts of mysteries that I would never know the solution to. And I realllllly hate that.
Tim, however, did not give up. And yesterday afternoon he handed me a print out of the map. Finally it was on the website as promised! We scrutinized it as if we were solving the mystery of the ages. But there were the answers. Right there on the map. So naturally we had to see these last 7 statues with our own eyes. Obviously, after dinner, we jumped in the car and off we went.
To be fair we only laid eyed on 5 of the remaining 7. Two of them, although we found them on the map, we did not actually see them. Yet. We will. One of these days soon, we will see those remaining two statues, and then our mission will be complete!
There is no prize for finding all 52 of the mermaids and seahorses. Just the satisfaction of a job well done. And honestly, that is good enough for me.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.