Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cedar Key Streets

Cedar Key has a population of a thousand people, which is rather fewer than the 25,000 permanent inhabitants of Key West. The city is two square miles, where Key West is twelve. And yet the proportions offer similar variations on mainland living. Here one is asked to share the road with golf carts:The homes remind me of the wooden cabins of the Pacific Northwest, under the arching oak trees:
It's hard to say what this town would be like in winter, busier no doubt, but on an August Sunday morning Cedar Key was as quiet as the grave and quite delightful. These streets are set on a small rise, this is a hilly town by Florida standards, and covered in greenery:
On the waterfront the stilt homes sprout and they are quite tall, even by keys standards. Cedar Key has had some notable hurricane strikes over the years, battered in 1950 by the misnamed Hurricane Easy that wouldn't make up it's mind to make landfall. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico get pretty hot in summer and this coastline is a hurricane magnet.
A lot of people think the Keys are vulnerable, and so they are, but the Gulf Coast is like the bottom of a bag to me, the place where storms land when they are at their strongest. In the end of course it just takes one storm to ruin your life. But there are some hardy survivors around:And Cedar Key is not apparently immune to the heady developments of the boom years, with it's own share of McMansions:
There is no getting away from the water even if one wanted to on this sized island:"Look!" my wife said, "there's a monster." And so there was:
In Key West rental bicycles and scooters are identified by the placards they carry on their baskets. In Cedar Key rental golf carts have signs on their roofs:And they can be seen all over the island:We drove from one end to the other, which is a about two miles. In the middle there is a bridge off to the south...
...which leads through the sandy pine trees......to the George T Lewis Airport. Which looked pretty much like the Sugarloaf Key runway to me. I suppose it was too much to hope for a terminal and a control tower:
I expect it's a great convenience for snowbirds and their private planes:This Key West mansion is for sale, stilts and all, for nearly $700,000 with an open water view:
And a neighbor who is clearly not someone who has read the sixth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St Matthew.Thus it is that Cedar Key's downtown is the last piece of the island to reveal itself... next.