Tuesday, September 8, 2009

500 Duval

They were playing reggae at Willie T's on Duval and a small crowd gathered. Small in stature too:She isn't about to slug him, this happy babe in the picture below, she was wiggling her hips on the sidewalk which is probably frowned upon where she came from; it looked that way she was having so much fun:
This sort of industriousness, shown below with headband proper cycling gear, should be illegal in Key West. People used to yell at me in Santa Cruz California when they saw me riding my bicycle without a helmet. Key West is Freedom, man! Even to stroke out in one hundred degree (38C) heat.
Everyone's idea of Paradise varies and mine does not include this as an option. If when I die I find myself still conscious, eternity at Willie T's would definitely mean I've lived my life all wrong:I don't expect to exist after death and I've given up wondering why an afternoon spent getting one's ear drums pounded and one's liver pickled doesn't seem like such a great use of one's time remaining on Earth. Lots and lots of people disagree with me, and spend d all their free time in Key West doing just that. La Trattoria for dinner? Lots of people would advise you to go for it, lady.
I'd cross the street to 915 Duval but I'm no tour guide. The newspaper tells us that summer indicators show Key West had the highest hotel occupancy rate in the state, and it had seemed, empirically to be the case. But now it's September and the Europeans have gone home, American families are back in school and the town is dead. Check out the 500 Block at about 5:20pm on a weekday:
I lounged in the portico at the San Carlos Theater renewing my acquaintance with the former Cuban Consulate. This plaque advises any who bother to read it that a piece of the walls surrounding Havana was laid here to cement the connection between Cayo Hueso and the Cuban capital (a capitol is a building, a capital is a city please note).
Technically the building belongs to the Cuban Government still though if you bring that up you are likely to get death threats from the Miami Mafia as Castro calls them. I read in the paper they were issuing such a fatwa against a Colombian singer who is holding a "Peace Concert" in Havana later this month. Peace through Death; very Orwellian I'm sure. The funny bit is that Jose Marti who died in a battle in Cuba in 1895 is claimed by both sides as a martyr for Liberty. Castro's lot argues his was fighting the oligarchs, a job that Castro's army finished in 1959. The right wingers argue Marti was fighting to end Spanish colonialism in Cuba. So this weedy little poet ands orator becomes everybody's symbol of Liberty.
He also reputedly gave a speech on the subject of Liberty at a house up Duval Street that is named for him to this day- La Te Da is an abbreviation for Marti's Terrace (La Terraza de Marti) which claim is substantiated in J Wills Burke's excellent book The Streets of Key West. Now men dressed as women pretend to sing at La Te Da. Whatever. Some refreshment from the history lesson, a woman dressed as a woman riding a scooter:
A pigeon observing the scene. It makes you wonder what pigeons think if they do think at all about us beavering about down below. This woman had places to go and people to see.It was a slow day in the store so she stepped out for a smoke and had the added benefit of getting to people watch on the sidewalk:
It was a hot afternoon and food transport can make a man break out in sweat:
This guy I don't think would ever consider a bicycle as a proper means of getting around at home. He was wobbling horribly on his rental:
She on the other hand should consider moving here; she handled her bike like a pro. Oh wait maybe she is a local... we'll never know but she flew by straight as an arrow:
That's what I need in the living room. A bronze dolphin. D'you suppose my wife would mind if I spent two months mortgage money to drag that thing home?
Happiness is holding hands in Key West on vacation:
The folks above seemed to have appropriate foot ware, but I couldn't say the same for her. I'll bet she looks drop dead sexy when she's off the scooter though:
Youthful fashion puzzles me more so than even adult choices. I think that to cruise Duval this afternoon I will wear a black flowerpot on my head. Sounds about right:
$1:50 a minute and powered by high fructose corn syrup and fizzy water:
It was hot all right and who needs beads of sweat accumulating at the hair line? Much better to air it out.
Which reminded me my legs were swimming again inside my Kevlar lined Slider pants. Time to get to work and all that lovely air conditioning.