Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Seidenberg Lane

Here's something completely different, a lane that isn't in the historic old town part of Key West. Seidenberg Lane is a kind of alleyway that runs parallel to Seidenberg Avenue, which in turn parallels the main cross town street called Flagler, and while all these streets are paralleling themselves across New Town, little Seidenberg Lane goes almost unnoticed, not surprising when it starts off this busy street, imaginatively called First:From the hustle and bustle of homeward bound commuters to the little lane was a complete transformation, old world Key West in full force:Imagine that,kids just hanging out in the street (the lane actually) playing like we used to when I was small decades ago. There were adults keeping an eye on them from open doors (this is winter and thus considered not steaming hot) and I rolled very slowly through their midst. But such is the all pervasive influence of the pernicious television that I am sure I'd be taken for a pervert were I to stop and talk so I took a couple of surreptitious pictures and left them to it. I mean do they do this in your neighborhood streets, even in summer? Well, maybe they do this sort of outdoor playing Up North but all I hear is the lamentation that streets aren't safe for children anymore which seems a shame to me. Being outside was the best part of my unhappy youth. Be that as it may Seidenberg Lane gets very interesting (to a nerd like me) after it crosses Second Street:It becomes a grassy alley, and considering the shortage of lawns in the Keys I'm surprised some enterprising Conch hasn't set up a goat to graze on a chain down here. As it was the grass was mown and I had the alley to myself, me and tall fences of various sorts:Looking back the lane was bathed in a sort of light that brings to mind the long summer evenings of northern latitudes, especially with those kids playing in the alley. I couldn't believe it when one of them started twirling a hula hoop, like she thought it was 1950!Not all of the lane was fenced in and I got to peak a little bit and even though this isn't the fashionable old town neighborhood beloved of the trolley tours I enjoy the views:And then we have the eternal side yard projects:Eventually the lane dead ends unceremoniously into Fourth Street, no signs, not even any clear markings of any kind. If you didn't know it was there you wouldn't find out by looking:And after I had walked in a small circle to see if indeed the lane continued through someone's yard to a more natural conclusion on Fifth Street, which is a main artery, I turned around and strolled back. The kids were still playing in the light of the setting sun:And all was right with the world. As long as you don't read the financial pages...