Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prospect Alley

Someone wanted to know what happened to the hole in Duval Street's 500 block, next to the San Carlos Theater:The short answer is not much since the fire destroyed the businesses that used to live here. The fire last March was a rather big deal in the early hours:
As I recall there was an art gallery alongside the French pancake shop, whose remains are shown here:
Right now, between Margaritaville and the San Carlos there is some very attractive fencing and a large hole:
However in the absence of more established redevelopers taking this project on, local talent has done it's best to spruce up le grand trou, as a French pancake eater might describe this big 'ole:The odd thing is the big hole gives a certain airiness to the space with a grand view all the way down to Whitehead Street:
And here's the good news, I'm pretty sure, if you were the type you could win a bet here. The other end of the big hole is actually a city street, unmarked and mostly unknown, except to police officers and the people who hang out here at night trying to kip:
And while I am in a good news sort of moment let me add that the wheels of private development grind slow, but to paraphrase the Good Book, they tend to grind exceeding small:
I have a feeling this is one Key West development that will get no opposition, at least until some berk publishes the plans and then everyone will have an opinion about it, 83% sure to be negative. After five years no one will remember how it used to look except for a few elderly barflies mumbling about where "the old creperie used to be...." That's how it goes in Key West, you get street cred by knowing where things used to be. Here's a freebie: remember when Office Max used to be Pantry Pride?
Anyway back to the bet. This here is the 500 block of Prospect Lane.
I suppose technically it is one block long though it doesn't actually open into Applerouth Lane but you can certainly ride a Bonneville up Prospect from Fleming Street opposite La Concha (or The La Concha if you don't eSpeak eSpanish):
And as you can see it is unmarked, hence the bet suggestion. The one way sign actually refers to Fleming Street and points to Duval. If Prospect were one way it would soon get pretty jammed up.
Prospect is not, with the best will in the world, too terribly scenic. It is the backside of everything else. It's the back of the old Kress Building, which houses fast Buck Freddie's and Margaritaville:
And the back side of a department store isn't usually to be found decorating postcards. I spent many happy months here sorting out deliveries too and from Fast Bucks while enjoying the gastronomic leftovers from Margaritaville warming over in their dumpster nearby:
And the parking lot of the former Cuban Consulate is decidedly frosty as one might expect in a town where parking is at a premium. Appelrouth Lane is beyond the distant trees as shown in this previous essay: published here February 13th 2009.So, having won the bet worded to your best advantage about Key West's least known alley, there is more one question to be answered. Why did the chicken cross the street?
a) To check out the cool Bonneville.
b) To get legal advice from the Spottswood law firm.
c) To cross the alley?