[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Experience at the Carnival Center - Part Deux

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Experience at the Carnival Center - Part Deux

In a previous post on my initial experience at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, I focused on the Opera and Ballet House and the acoustics. My review of the hall and the sound was definitely positive, and the employees polite and mostly enthusiastic.

My wife and I visited the CCPA again last Saturday to see the Florida Grand Opera's performance of Samson et Dalila (Samson and Delilah for you non-French speaking peoples out there). Same quality sound and performance as the first time for Swan Lake, but this time I want to talk about an issue the CCPA has been criticized heavily for: parking.

In brief: Parking was nowhere near as bad as the stories you've heard and read.

We arrived at the $15 parking lot right on NE 2nd Ave right across the street from the Ballet Opera House about half an hour before the start time. Getting in was no problem, and the walk to the center was quite literally a breeze. Granted, it wasn't a packed house last Saturday (I would estimate about two-thirds full at most), but I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy the parking and walk was to the center.

The next test was leaving. Getting through the valet area was a chore...the negative stories about the valet parking are 100% correct. Once we got through, however, another easy walk across the street to the parking lot. In all, it took 15 minutes from the time we started down the stairs to the time we left the lot. From there to the Dolphin Expressway was very quick and easy.

Bottom line: even on full nights, if you arrive early, you should have no problem finding a parking spot one block away from the center (two blocks to the Concert Hall). If you want to arrive at the last minute like so many people tend to do, then you'll likely have to park farther away or deal with the mess that is the valet parking.

So, stop complaining and arrive early!

Michael Hardy, CEO of the CCPA, added his thoughts a couple of weeks ago. His comments on the valet and parking agree with mine.



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