Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Top

If you ask me, this is the best place from which to view Key West's famous sunsets, though even of a sunny afternoon it's a pretty pleasant spot to hang out for a while:

La Concha hotel guests have access any time with their room keys in the hotel elevator, but the elevator will take anyone, even without a key, to The Top after 3:00pm. The bar opens at 5:00pm and you can watch the world go by in style, if you don't mind drinking your wine from a plastic cup:

I usually drink red wine but tradition has it that suicides who choose to leap from The Top are found to have left behind a glass of Chardonnay. If you don't believe me take the Ghost Tour which leaves from La Concha's lobby at 8:00pm, they will tell you the unvarnished truth. I took myself up to the The Top, and there took a moment by myself, on graduation day last week, so it seemed churlish to spoil the evening by taking a swan dive. I drank the wine and admired the view, including St Paul's Cathedral spire and Fleming Key:

A trawler chugging through the harbor en route to the Gulf via the Northwest Channel:

A tourist with Mule Key in the background:

The harbor:

As you can tell Key West is pretty much surrounded by boats at anchor which are most likely lived aboard:

One soon to be occupied by the fish is the Vandenberg:

There's Duval Street driving straight for the Gulf:

And here are some visitors touring the town on scooters, at Duval and Eaton, with a delivery scooter in pursuit:

A less energetic visitor enjoying a book on one of the terraces inside the building:

My colleague Noel described this as the coolest apartment in Key West, and as it's on top of the Kress Building I speculated Jimmy Buffett may have kept it for himself (he shares ownership of the building with Fast Buck Freddie's owner): I wasn't alone in enjoying the views from the top:

I decided to walk back down to the ground floor, but once you decide to take the stairs management makes sure you know there is no going back:

Until you are back in the lobby, pausing a moment:

Before you step out into the heat, noise and confusion that is downtown Key West.