Thursday, November 14, 2019

Simonton Street

I really have been enjoying black and white shadows and light.

And some color slipped in among the flowers in front of Sarabeth's Restaurant.
I was strolling down Eaton Street allowing my glance to fall where it may. 1976  was a banner year apparently:
I titled this picture below as a walk on the wild side on my Instagram among the foliage surrounding the Methodist Church at Eaton and Simonton Streets.
Feet dragging scooter riders, a good way to limp the rest of your life if you damage any small bone in your foot:
This cyclist caught my attention when he was riding down the street with an arm held out rigidly at right angles to his body signifying an imminent left turn. It's the exact right thing to do but no one does it in Key West. Ducking and weaving is the cyclist way. His arm made him unusual:
Shadows and light everywhere!
Me, reflected:
The Federal Building whence will come my Social Security check one day!
Good riding weather on Simonton Street:
Good telephoning weather too:
Somehow I caught his blue shorts the blue door one picture.

A shady rooster on Rose Lane:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Duval Pocket Park

It has been noted that the rather crass pedestrian only sign planted in the middle of the new pocket park at the end of Duval Street does detract somewhat from the generally pleasing urban garden atmosphere of the place. 
It was not always so. I took a couple of screenshots of Google Street View, nothing high resolution but on the history slider you can go back as far as 2011 though the street scene doesn't change much. 
 As you can see if you aren't familiar with the way the south end of Duval Street used to peter out it was a block of parking, no urban planning and a lot of dead seaweed pushed over the seawall by the prevailing wind direction. Not exactly a delight.
Naturally there was so grumping about the loss of parking spaces. Parking is always an issue in Key West whether it's at a tourist site or in residential zones. There is to hear people talk, never enough car parking. Sometimes though seating can be a nice replacement. I took advantage to put my feet up myself!
 The original plans called for a public private partnership to create an outdoor cafe associated with teh Southernmost House hotel visible behind the trees to the left:
However it seems now to be a simple and rather attractive bricked walkway with raised flowerbeds and plants that will soon no doubt arch up and give lots of shade.  
 It is combined with a public cement pier that sticks well out over the water and is quite popular: 
You can get some nice views here if you feel like avoiding Mallory Square crowds and performers at sunset. 
My rules, self imposed, about ocean swimming call for a first attempt when we start daylight savings time in the Spring though it is generally a bit too cool for comfort with all swimming wrapped up by the end of summer time and a return for standard time in the Fall. Tourists and hardier people from Up North ignore my feelings about cold ocean waters.
I heard it said many many years ago that an acquaintance of mine viewed himself as an 80/80/80 kind of tropical human being. 80 degrees air temperature, 80 percent humidity and 80 percent water temperature.  Sounds good to me!
 It was mildly windy when I was there which produced modest waves. The reef surrounding the southern and eastern sides of Key West are very useful barriers to building seas especially in hurricane season. The result is poor surfing conditions and not spectacular wave action photography. Oh, and limited effects from massive ocean waves crashing into people's lives during massive storms.
The pocket park does actually have an entrance to the Southernmost House so who knows what might develop. A scenic gate perhaps.
 Blue on blue. I've been seeing a lot of this in one form or another:

And still you see the local architecture looking over the new garden park. It must be better for them too, the new landscaping. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bicycles And Awnings

The thing about walking the streets of Key West is that you just start seeing stuff. I don't necessarily mean in a hallucinogenic sort of way. certainly not as I was on my lunch break in this instance...It's just that wandering around people do things, beauty appears in the most unlikely places and sometimes you put them all together. I started out thinking a  black and white reflection might be fun.
 And then I realized the Italian restaurant (open only for dinner) has a rather attractive color scheme.
I was standing in the bank drive through across the street preparing to walk down Simonton Street to the left to check the waves on a windy afternoon. And then I found myself wondering why I had never noticed the colorful building before. 
 This guy on the scooter didn't notice it. I have no idea how you ride and read your phone at the same time. An award for daring? Bravery? Stupidity? All Three?
 It was a lovely afternoon, perfect for a bike ride refreshed by a cool breeze.
I caught sight of a tandem bicycle and for a second there I understood the pleasure of being in the back, looking around and enjoying the relaxation of not having to think about getting where you are going:
This bicycle got in my way actually as I tried to capture the pleasure of an afternoon in the sun but I thought his laid back tropical style deserved a note. No snowbanks around here!
Winter is coming, but you wouldn't know it!

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Cold Front At Last

It felt as though it was a long time coming but finally we have an official cold front over the Keys. There was a day of high humidity as is usual when cold weather Up North pushes down and drives the colder air into the southern latitudes. 
Of course Saturday was my first day off in a while and when Rusty finally rolled me out of bed not only was it daylight but it was also threatening rain as the cold front closed with the islands. 
I had planned a city walk in the morning but toward Key West the skies looked black and I could yet see some blue skies over Big Pine to the east of my home on Cudjoe. So I made a last minute executive decision as we drove down Spanish Main and I turned right onto the Highway joining a busy flow of cars. 
The clouds closed in but I was determined we should have an expansive walk together on my sole day off. Usually I get up at 3:45 and walk Rusty round a neighborhood in the dark on those days when I work so walks in the woods are now limited to my days off. 
From across the bay I could see rain clouds closing in and clearly we weren't going to escape the usual downpour that precedes the arrival of the cold air. It was just a  matter of timing and rusty was no help at all in figuring out our turn around time.
I was in no hurry, I had a plastic bag to put over the camera and my umbrella was secure in the car so I was ready for any eventuality, eventually.
At last Rusty decided there was nothing left to see in iguanaland and i had taken advantage of whatever photographs came to mind though when you walk a  dog with a camera photography can be rather on the fly with little time for pondering.
It is the time of year and instead of my car being all alone in the parking lot there was a line of vehicles for me to choose among. Solitude will be hard to find for the next eight months. And indeed judging by the drop on the lense the rain had started already.
We started to drive away but because I am an optimist and because the rain eased up after an initial flurry I stopped for a moment at Horseshoe Cove to feel the north wind which can be bracing in these conditions. Instead I found the bay waters pushed high up on the beach submerging the whole area. 
The good news now that I am back at work is that cold fronts, even mild ones are usually followed by a period of cool breezes and bright sunshine. It's not terribly cool but daytime temperatures have dropped briefly below 80 degrees so that doesn't feel too bad at all. The next cold front will one hopes be cooler and perhaps stronger.