Friday, February 13, 2009

Marine Inversion

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather synopsis for Key West:

SATELLITE IMAGES DEPICT SUBSTANTIAL SEA FOG JUST NORTH AND WEST OF THE LOWER KEYS. A LIGHT NORTHERLY BREEZE SHOULD ADVECT THIS SEA FOG OVER THE MIDDLE AND LOWER KEYS THIS EVENING AND EARLY TONIGHT. HOWEVER...THE LATEST DATA INDICATES A LIGHT EAST TO SOUTHEAST BREEZE DEVELOPING LATE TONIGHT...WHICH WOULD PUSH THE SEA FOG BACK TO THE NORTH AND WEST OF THE MIDDLE AND LOWER KEYS. THEREFORE...THE DENSE FOG ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL ONLY 400 AM SATURDAY FOR THE MIDDLE AND LOWER KEYS.I looked west as I rode into town and below the setting sun, bright in my eyes, I saw a bank of fog. Hmm I thought as I slipped onto Stock Island wedged in between rows of cars jockeying for position at the triangle. Hmm, this looks like a genuine California marine inversion layer, and I felt a cool blast of air hit my chest as I rode under the gray bank of cloud. It felt just like a summer day in Northern California. Behind me was the sun:In front it looked like the Sunset district of San Francisco:For me it was deja vu, for others it was an opportunity to get home without too much sweat:Or to get some exercise in an unaccustomed cool breeze taming the afternoon heat:When I got to work I talked to Noel who is certainly not used to these conditions, and he was marveling at how cool the air was on his skin. "Refreshing" he marveled. Out on the water it looked weird in a town used to unending vistas of blue skies and blue water:I was meeting my wife for cafe con leche in Searstown, at the end of her work day and the beginning of mine, and we marveled at how much the low ceiling sea fog reminded us of Santa Cruz, California.We neither of us liked it much, as we are both fans of crisp unadulterated sunshine, but like all less-than-perfect-weather in Key West, we know it will pass soon enough. It is a trial working police dispatch into the night though as the officers are grumbling at the lack of visibility and unaccustomed burden of "bad" weather:
It's not a blizzard or anything, I know that, but it is a bit weird when you're in the police station and can't actually see the fire station next door. I'm glad this is a temporary phenomenon.

Blog Roll

I am officially a bit freaked out as the numbers on my blog seem to me to be getting astonishingly high, with about 610 posts published so far and lots more to come. The numbers for January were 7,841 visits and considering last May the numbers were under 4,500, I have no idea where all these people are coming from. I guess pictures of sunshine in the northern hemisphere winter has to be an attraction but the numbers boggle my mind. So, let's mess with Sitemeter and everybody that reads this entry now has to tell at least one person they meet in the course of the day, to visit Key West Diary. There, that should freak the system out. It would certainly freak me out completely. Thank you for your attention.

Appelrouth Lane

Appelrouth Lane is a convenient short cut from Duval Street to Whitehead but it has oddities that might or might not be worth pausing for, depending on your tastes. Let the visitor beware!Appelrouth used to be known decades ago, according to J Wills Burke as Smith Lane and in 1981 it got a new name, in honor of a man described by the author as a Jewish merchant by the name of Billy Appelrouth. We get no more information on the man but I can't help but wonder if his appreciation for the peculiarities of this street would delight or appal him. From Whitehead Street Appelrouth is closed to traffic as this is a one way from Duval:Walking the wrong way one passes a guest house which according to friends who know better than I, prefers the company of men (though others are not excluded I am assured):I could hear the sounds of cheerful female laughter from behind the stockade as I strolled by...and made my way towards the back of the San Carlos Theater, the old center of Cuban culture in Key West. It had the air of a Spanish mission church in the early morning light, a touch of California I thought:Across the street is the abandoned remains of a funky old German restaurant called Martin's which is now in a spanking new modern building on Duval. I liked the funky slightly askew diggs that Martin's used to enjoy on Appelrouth:But closer to Duval things get a little kinky...which isn't something I am too knowledgeable about and if I were I probably wouldn't admit it here. Just thinking about a hairy man wearing these makes me feel a bit off kilter, but it does happen:I managed somehow to miss this festivity, though friends that take great pride as it were, in doffing themselves up for these events say you can see the most surprising people being led round the event on a leather leash...But if you feel the need for a leather, nail studded, speedo, Leathermaster can oblige:I am told this is also an excellent place to bring your bourgeois leather goods for repairs, bland things like sandal straps and handbags and the like. There are limitations though:There is also a handy rack on the street filled with straight, gay and lame publications for you to pick up and check out:And if all this leather fetish nonsense isn't enough there is a rather nasty place further up the street called Zoo, or something Teutonic like that:I have to rely on the word of friends who tell me you can meet perfect strangers here and take them home with you, if you like that sort of thing. It's not as seedy as the commercial parts of Amsterdam but you get the idea. They have a long "tasteful" spiel in the window if you need more clues and need to feel reassured that you can explore in comfort the more bored parts of your personality. Across the street is Virgilio's a clubby sort of bar and restaurant where everyone keeps their clothes on as far as I can tell, but I guess you might stand a chance of taking someone home from there too. Why else would you be in Key West? To enjoy the scenery? Only simpletons like me do that.And then happily you pop out onto Duval Street:
And there's the cheerful converted cinema, formerly The Strand, now called Walgreens, selling sun tan lotion and mugs with "Key West" printed on the side. Not a leather jock strap in sight, and thus safe browsing for the most reticent of visitors. Caveat hospes!