Saturday, August 22, 2009

Knowles Lane

I was quite disappointed when I showed up at Knowles Lane on Catherine Street and found some officious person had bothered to paint a street name on the pole. In the good old days (snore) this tiny alleyway was unmarked at both ends. You had to look for it deliberately and I'm sure the residents, like this mother parking her vehicle...and her child... ...would have preferred it stay anonymous. One slow night when I was at work Sergeant Blasberg who was the watch commander that shift, came by dispatch and for some reason we got into a discussion of obscure Key West places. His candidate was Knowles Lane, which I couldn't quite place, but whose location I had a vague idea of, thanks to a chase I had dispatched once early in my career, following a hit and run on United Street. It's not a bad alley to use to run away from your responsibilities. Blasberg said most people would never notice this lane "because it's unmarked." Well, that was challenge enough for me and my camera. He forgot to mention it is full of stuff growing like crazy:The window unit was rattling like it was in its death throes, working to keep the heat and humidity of August at bay, and inside the lights were burning brightly in late afternoon sunlight which was shut out thanks to all the bushes and stuff covering the little cottage. Outside the sky was burned a dark shade of blue, where a snowbird had closed up the house forgetting to put away the bath tub for the summer:And some other paraphernalia a lot of people would probably not leave lying around outside for all to see. A mattress? A hot tub cover? An implement of bondage? Probably not but whatever it is I doubt it will be much use for anything come winter, after six months moldering outdoors:In a world comprised of wide, post industrial streets it may come as a surprise but Knowles Lane is a two-way alley though it's not easy to picture a Chevy Suburban and a Hummer passing side-by-side here. Two Vespas might have difficulty if their riders weren't confident.This lone cyclist managed to pass me with feet to spare, but I'm almost certain he was quite sober:
Hurricane shutters, and a muscle car protected by a cover; what more does the active snowbird want to find upon a return to Key West?
Remembering my flame tree essay from early June, a few poincianas are still blooming, in this case above the rather irritating TV cable, which is another reason to abolish the boob tube culture.A person's home is their castle especially if they have a decent fence and imposing gate between themselves and the harsh, unforgiving world outside:
Cats get everywhere and this particular specimen did not look impressed by the human encounters he'd had that afternoon. I adjusted my collar and looked away as soon as I decently could, sorry to have let him down:
I was greatly tempted to just open the gate and let him in, but somehow I felt that might be intrusive no matter how imperious was the cat on the mat:Knowles Lane is only one block long, and come out on United Street next to this old style Conch house with bars on the windows and a cement brick wall in classic Key West style:
You probably could pass Knowles Lane a million times speeding by on United Street sparing hardly a glance at what looks like just another driveway:
Looking east on United toward Glynn Archer School:And even on the United Street end the city stencilers have been busy where before the lane enjoyed perfect anonymity:
I think Sergeant Blasberg had a point, because even with the name printed at each end this is not an alley that sticks out and makes a spectacle of itself. Not that is until Conchscooter and his Bonneville and pocket camera comes by to destroy the peace and quiet of a summer afternoon.