The last post was Eve’s view, and it was good, but mine is harsher.
The entire area around the major theme parks in the Orlando area have the appearance of a city that cares. Granted, we stayed pretty much in the International Drive area, which is home to Sea World, Ripleys, Universal, and all three major outlet malls, but still, it personified everything I would expect in an area trying to attract major tourism. It made you feel safe, it was well landscaped (every freaking inch!), and offered a comfort zone worthy of its reputation.
Busch Gardens is just the opposite. It is ghetto. The ghetto starts where Gunn Highway turns in to Busch and runs all the way to 56th Street. The closer you get to Busch Gardens, the more Ghetto it becomes. All of it. Every inch oozes “trashy neighborhood”. Never mind we have Adventure Island there, or Busch Gardens…but we also have the University. Historically the area I am describing (zip code 33617) has one of the highest crime rates in the Greater Tampa Bay area, and even has a local name: “Suitcase City”. This moniker is descriptive in that most people who come here do not stay long enough to unpack their suitcase before they either leave for fear or jump rent.
Sad that we have a city council and mayor that believes the City ends at Kennedy Boulevard, with token attention given to Carrolwood and New Tampa. Busch Gardens deserves the same attention paid to International Drive, but, alas, will never get it. They throw up a couple of Palm Trees and pave it every now and then, but in the end, you are just painting a turd purple.