Take a walk through this city and be amazed by it all. But to be amazed you first have to know and to know you must see, to see you must look. Look at the hundreds of years of history through the eyes of an explorer; feel the heritage of the Dutch, the French and the British and be part of it all.
Take a walk in the Garden City: the oldest signature name for Georgetown and fitting because of its sparkling ponds and canals, tree lined avenues and roadways, flowering plants, hedges and lawns and public gardens. From the air it is obvious how green the city is, from the ground it is colourful. If you want the greenery of the city then may I suggest a walk?
Start from Parliament Square on High Street, one of the newest gardens. After sitting on the bench get up and stretch. Walk north along and past the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, wave hello to St Andrew’s Kirk, one of the oldest buildings in the city and one of the first churches in Guyana.
Cross over Croal Street to Avenue of the Republic and you will get a glimpse of the towering Stabroek Market but don’t stay for too long. Keep walking on the eastern sidewalk along the Avenue and already you can see it. A canal splits the avenue into two halves. There are trees lining the canal.
To the right is a green lawn and behind it the Supreme Court, formerly called the Victoria Law Court. Queen Victoria stand regally on the lawn despite having lost her nose and an arm some years ago.
Keep walking and you’ll soon pass City Hall, very shabby, like a broken old man, but you know that with some sprucing up, it will look just as new. Blossoming flamboyant trees line the avenue and decorate the compound of City Hall, these trees make the sides of the emblem of the city of Georgetown. Cross over the Avenue at Regent Street to the Western sidewalk and keep heading north. Walk to the junction of the avenue at the head of Main Street, east is the Non-Aligned Garden. A small open space with green grass and a few trees surrounding four bronze heads of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. Beyond that is the famous St George’s Cathedral, one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world. This is a beautiful junction in the city: the Bank of Guyana squats boldly behind you, the new NBS building borders the Non-Aligned Park, further down is the cathedral, in front of you is the National library with its beautiful architecture and a little in front is the Cenotaph Memorial Monument.
Walk along the Main Street Avenue and breathe in the massive green, towering trees around you.
This is my absolute favourite walking route in Georgetown and I take it at least once a month.
At Middle Street, turn right and at the next corner you will see the most beautiful garden in the city, the Promenade Garden to your left and just across the street, the Independence Park.
You haven’t even seen half of the Garden City, but you will want to stop here. I always do. Go inside, walk along the paths and stumble on the grass, run under the trees and sit in the bandstand. Put a flower in your pocket and hum with the birds in this city-block sized garden with fountains and ponds.
If you still want more greenery, hitch a ride to the Botanical Garden but try not to get lost. It is gigantic and has a jungle-like feeling with its massive ponds, towering trees, trails hidden by vegetation and shrubs.
The newest garden, the Indian Monument Garden, has low growing trees and Caribbean fauna vibes. If the Botanical feels like a jungle then here feels like grassland.
And from this garden on Church Street, you can walk along the Camp Street Avenue, laid out just like those on Main, Waterloo and Carmichael streets.
Georgetown truly is a mega garden and it is very important that we maintain the greenery of the city. Plant more, upkeep our lawns, concrete less and have a green parapet.
Dispose of garbage properly and keep drains and canals clean and flowing. The Garden City must always look like that – a garden, get rid of the improper title the Garbage City; it is an insult to you the citizens. (Jairo Rodrigues)