Monday, September 28, 2009

Early Duval

A few early morning pictures of Duval Street should probably start here because, if you are familiar at all with Duval Street, you know it can only go downhill from this wholesome portrait of a mother strolling her child:An early morning (between 7:30 and 8:00 ante meridian to be precise) cup of coffee while communing, not with a palm tree actually, but someone standing neatly behind the tree trunk:
"Custom boring and stroking" and I guess someone will buy this and wear it proudly to Home Depot on a Saturday morning as a reminder of a vacation in Key West:This is a Proper Photographer, with a real camera and a multiplicity of lenses. I keep wanting a single lens digital reflex to get "better" pictures but I end up thinking what the hell, this is as good as it will get and you can't haul one of those things around in your pocket. My Canon SX100 does me quite nicely I find:The morning after the night before. He was quite polite when we crossed paths, he made eye contact and everything. I wanted to ask him where he spent the night because clearly Officer Biskup couldn't find him... Like I said at the beginning, wholesomeness on Duval is a difficult commodity to spot. You want wholesome you need Disney, where the Pirates of the Caribbean don't suffer from body odor issues, I'm told:
Let's not forget it was above 80 degrees at this early hour and lots of people feel they do need to cover up their natural wholesomeness with powders and lotions "as advertised on TV" - the ultimate accolade for CVS pharmacy products:
The busiest dude on Duval. I was quite surprised to see the windows at Sloppy Joe's getting a clean. You'd hardly think anyone would notice or care by 6pm. This guy was so into his work I couldn't catch him standing still:
And this by contrast has to be the least busy man on Lower Duval. I thought he looked like a rather down-at-heel holy man from the Indian subcontinent. I saw them when I was a kid on the sidewalks of Calcutta (known as Kalicut I think in these anti-Imperial days) and they had an innate dignity that this guy surely seems to lack. Perhaps it's just the cultural perception. Or the alcohol:As if you needed the confirmation, cause and effect:
This next one is for cpa1234 who, we discover, likes women's bottoms. I don't of course but I thought they looked like a very wholesome and energetic pair of visitors. Riding a bicycle in Key West is not necessarily a way to burn calories. It can just be a way to get where you are going while saying "hi!" to your neighbors as you roll by:
I should have saved this next picture for use in the dead of winter when the rest of the country has been immersed in gray for months, but then I thought, there'll be lots more pictures of sunshine by then. As you can see the sun is strong enough this early to completely burn off the face of a visitor who is not used to the sub tropical sun. His companion seems better adapted to the climate. Either that or I had my camera on the wrong exposure setting:
If you listened to my wife's friends, mine is "pain-in-the-ass-with-a-squeeze-box" but perhaps they'd prefer this one: It's hard to imagine there are pests on Duval. I wanted to point out a couple sleeping in doorways but he didn't look like the type to appreciate an early morning existential extermination joke:
Rush hour was building. It is legal to ride on sidewalks in Florida as long as you yield to pedestrians.
But mopeds and scooters have to stick to the street. Even ones carrying large laundry bags:
What could they possibly be selling in this store?
Harry Houdini preparing his sunset act: "Escape from a Toolbox."
This dude from earlier needs to understand that the equipment means nothing if you are going to go looking for photographs carrying a con leche. I saw him walk at least 50 yards (48 meters) without taking a single picture. Size means nothing if you don't use it.
The sun is up and it's long past my bedtime because the former Wachovia building is by now fully illuminated.
The space is for rent if you want to try your hand at selling t-shirts with rude words printed on them, like "Investment Bankers Suck" and "Private Health Insurance Is A Scam" or if that sort of language is too strong for your shop you could sell t-shirts that say "I Like to Fart" and "Chick Magnet" because those sorts of things do a land sale business apparently. All part of the color of Duval Street, throbbing heart of the Conch Republic, at all hours.