Monday, April 20, 2009

Pohalski Lane

Truman Avenue is the main drag into the heart of Old Town Key West. Before President Truman decided to make Key West his preferred winter base of operations, the street was called Division Street, and in those halcyon days most of Key West was crammed into Old Town with Division separating that heavily populated part of the island from the outer reaches. The fact is these days Truman is an arrow pointing straight at Duval Street, the hallowed goal of the motorists chugging down the Overseas Highway. Yet along the way I find the odd side turning for my own amusement.Pohalski Lane is a block long and is easy to miss, even though for a change this short street is well marked. As I recall the brown building used to house Hornes, the last Harley Davidson dealership in Key West. He decided to retire and no one took up the flag in his place.Considering Key West is almost entirely swamped by Harleys I find it surprising, though you can rent one at Hurricane Hole on Stock Island, and Jiri at JK Motorsports also on Stock Island does a land sale business repairing and maintaining them :

For a half hour or so, this is Bonneville country, just behind the Chevron on White Street:

And I found a Conch cottage in a rather nice shade of sky blue for a back drop:

I was pushing the Triumph up the alley, stopping to take pictures as I went and somewhat to my surprise I got into a lost tourist situation. I had taken an empty car spot while I tried to photograph this Dade Pine excellence:

When a blue car, driven more tentatively than the width of the lane demanded, pulled alongside. I gestured and offered to move the Triumph out of the spot thinking they were looking for a stopping place. Instead they were tourists with a map who had rather enterprisingly turned on Pohalski to find Ashe Street and their guest house. So I managed, unwittingly to help some not quite lost tourists. My good deed for the day. My other good deed, for myself, was to be out and about enjoying an extremely pleasant breezy afternoon. It's extraordinary how late the cold fronts are this year, and even though they are weak they freshen everything up one more time, including the vegetation:

Pohalski Lane invites life to be lived outdoors, with lots of plants and enough activity, bit not too much considering how close to the main artery it lies:

The architecture is the usual mish mash about which I can never get blase. It is my misfortune I cannot stand the crowded life that Key West requires, but these homes have an appeal that cannot be denied. Even this rather plain facade was made amusing to my jaundiced eye by the color coordinated car:

The porch on this house actually faces Olivia Street which is why the sun is setting on the unused outdoor furniture. It looks across Olivia Street to this home which has nothing to do with Pohalski Lane except that I liked the look of it!

And it's for sale, though probably not at a price the rest of the country would consider reasonable. I would be remiss if I left Pohalski behind without checking out it's greatest claim to fame.

The Coffeemill Dance Studio, made of corrugated iron sheeting puts me in mind of reclaimed industrial spaces I've seen in other cities, usually large warehouse districts not single buildings (!). After my wife came home to tell me she had taken a Zumba class on Cudjoe Key, not here, I observe this activity must be a new exercise fad because it seems to be poping up everywhere. Are Pilates passe, I wonder? Like I have a clue about any of this stuff...

And to my delight I discovered an alley within a lane, which I had not previously noticed. It runs behind the Chevron Station to White Street, and because I am a collector of such minor oddities here is a picture:

And thus we come to the Olivia Street end of Pohalski:

Taken from Ashe Street, where I trust, the tourists found their bed for the night.