Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sawyer Lane

I worked in Fast Buck Freddie's warehouse for a almost six months on William Street and never bothered to take a walk down Sawyer Lane, just across the street from me. The entrance to Sawyer off William is pretty enough in the usual Old Town sort of way. By day:
And by night:The house on the other side of the entrance is less fancy but equally Key West-ish:The porch has an emphasis on outdoor activity, required no doubt in a small house. The porch becomes an extra space, a place to store stuff or get stuff done, more than just sitting in a rocking chair and drinking lemonade.This house is also framed by some yellow plants which I cannot identify, but I am reliably informed are the tropical standard frangipani:What struck me about Sawyer Lane was the greenery and the flowers all over the place. The lane is but a block long and full of stuff sprouting:
I think the pink plants are hibiscus though I could be wrong though I should know if for no reason than that they were blooming in profusion:Sawyer Lane is a bit of a canyon as the homes seem very tall and they in turn are overshadowed by old growth trees:J Wills Burke in Streets of Key West says Sawyer Lane is named for one Benjamin Sawyer, mayor of the city from 1844 to 1846, which seems a short enough term to have accomplished much. Preferred candidates are General Abe Sawyer a famous dwarf who lived in the city and is now buried there. famous for what other than being short isn't specified. There are also two Sawyer bothers buried in the city cemetery, James and John who Wills Burke identifies as being the oldest residents therein. James' death occurring in 1829 and John in 1843. Who knew...
I did spot what I thought was an exceptionally tall eyebrow house, one of those constructions with large overhangs in front:I've mentioned it before but the idea behind the "eyebrow" was to allow windows to remain open out of the way of rain or sun but the overhang apparently traps hot air. It still looks pretty:White picket fences are frequently derided as suburban stereotypes but on Sawyer Lane the picket fence looks perfect, naturally also displaying a plant or two:This fence was unusual in that it was a double row of pickets, for what purpose, if any, I know not. Wills Burke notes that Sawyer Lane meets Roberts Lane at the end of the block, which in Google maps is shown as Roberto Lane. Mind you they also show Sawyer as Sawyers Lane so there is room for extra vowels and consonants in their mapping, good though it is. While I walked the two lanes I parked the Bonneville at their confluence:Roberts Lane comes off Caroline Street next to Key West Marine Hardware known to boaters locally as Cuban Joe's, with the store's long private driveway parallel to Roberts:Which ends in a gravel driveway to a large parking area, which, not to put too fine a point on it doesn't look like a public roadway:It always causes me to wonder how such a small crowded island has all these unused spaces. Long may they stay that way. A final view of Sawyer Lane at night:Dark, leafy indistinct, as it should be on a warm tropical night.