Monday, July 13, 2009

Vignettes XXIII

I actually went up and asked this guy if I could take his picture. That's how much I wanted to offer this nugget for all those people in Pennsylvania (and elsewhere) who are thinking about listening to Cowboy Bill's Internet radio. Or whatever it was that guy was peddling around Key West blogs recently. I asked him his name. "Wyatt," he deadpanned. I could have called him on it but I was thinking maybe he would plug me full of lead. Duval Street is like that; you take your life in your hands every time you head down there, pardner.
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If you're looking for a fixer-upper check this out, on Eaton Street near Elizabeth.When you put down your hammer for the day you'll be just a short walk from all the Duval bars where you can get properly hammered. I hope the new price is really low because a pleb like me figures the sell-by date is long past.
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Ho hum another parrot out in public.
Key West, home of people struggling to be unique. All together.
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I am notorious for not giving a fig about fashion but this one got a double take from me.Surely not?
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On the subject of fashion I wonder when the fad for extra large, Saudi-friendly vehicles will start to fade? What, on these narrow streets? I've heard many positive things about this relatively new place on Caroline Street. However I include this picture just to point out there are lots of ways to waste energy.
My wife and I tried the first Braza Lena which appeared in the Upper Keys a couple of years ago. The bill was large enough ($75 each approximately) that we never went back.
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I am convinced that burning gas in cars or anywhere else, is going to get tougher as time goes by. The city commission is planning on rejecting a seven million dollar Federal grant (stimulus: where is thy sting? It must be in the terms of the ultimate payback), which could be used to build a transit center on Stock Island at the dismantled waste-to-energy plant. That was a loss, as it used to produce a nice lump of energy for the city, but that error by the previous commission is being compounded by the current commission. It is obvious to many of us that transit has a future in a community as compact as this one. However it is not obvious to the city commission that is clearly in the grip of some other lobbying interest. Oh well. Gas needs to get back to $5 a gallon for me to ditch the Bonneville for commuting. Then I'll wish there was a decent bus service around town.
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My buddy Bruce showed me his shade awning for his motorcycle when he was in the Keys last winter and I thought it was interesting. I saw this qwik shade on Eaton Street which seemed to do little more than keep the seat out of the sun. I remain dubious about it's value, but I am notoriously slow to change my mind. Using Old Glory's design for the purpose seems a little dubious also. This Yamaha looked pretty good, equipped with luggage attachments which gave it the air of a daily rider. However a closer look at the fuel tank offered up a blemish that reminded me why I spent 2100 reminbi to have my tank and front fender painted and why I think it was such a good deal after my wreck: The Bonneville looks just as it did before the June 1st slide, including a replacement set of fabric Triumph panniers (saddlebags to colonials). Not new, just well used at almost 27,000 miles (43,500 kms).
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I have been inspired to work on my sneaky picture routines (TM Scooter in Turkey) and I like to think the chihuahua was the only rider that spotted my camera: It was hot downtown but taking a break on the sidewalk on the 400 block of Caroline leaves one open to the charge of being a bum. However Key West's professional hobos like the bus stop as the place to wile away their endless empty days. This guy seemed to waiting for something:

They had no idea my waist high camera was capturing them in a reasonable facsimile of a properly framed picture. I hope they go home and tell everyone what a great time they had so we get some more deflated dollars (7 Chinese yuan to the buck at the moment) circulating around Key West in the summer.
Cool dude photographed below. It occurred to me this guy was old enough to have been skateboarding since the things were invented.
Well that was fun, pointless but fun. Wait, we aren't done yet.
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"Daddy, we need a Jack Russell terrier!" I heard the little girl importuning her father as they stepped out of a tourist shop where apparently the shop owner kept a dog. Daddy was unconvinced, but as they walked off down Eaton Street I could hear that high pitched refrain bouncing off the windows of Voltaire Books. "Yes, but does the Jack Russell terrier need you?" I wondered. I am not a kid person. I never much enjoyed my turn as a child and have never wanted to inflict the pain on a new generation. I like dogs though and I feel sorry for them when small children torture them or neglect them, as they inevitably seem to.
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I don't know what the passerby thought I was doing as I snapped this picture. I caught him staring at me like I was crazy for taking a picture of the Wendy's restaurant on Duval. Fair enough. What prompted the quick shot was the Snap-On tool vendor cruising Key West's main shopping center. I wondered if he was just taking a little detour down the main drag for a break from the urgent business of selling, or did he have a client down here? The maintenance crew at the hotel La Concha? I will never know. But The Snap-On tool van was definitely on Duval and I have the picture to prove it.