Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amelia at Simonton

A summery intersection in old town Key West, she's riding south on Simonton, he's waiting for a break in traffic at Amelia Street.I like this stretch of Amelia Street, not least because it is an anomaly.It looks normal enough, houses, cars, two wheeled traffic...Even some elderly political graffiti, which isn't exactly common in Key West, surprisingly enough.And there is of course a nice house or two,in the key west style. I put the Bonneville in front for effect.And there was even a Silly Sing, which makes a refreshing change from the key West staple of "No Trespassing" or "Trespassers Will Be Devoured."These modern town homes are across from the intersection of Calais Lane and Amelia, again more or less in the "Key West style." Very popular that is.No the anomalous nature of this block of Amelia Street comes from the fact that there are still real businesses holding on here.By real, I mean places where people make things and might even get their hands dirty doing so:
Yes indeed this place is one block away from the fleshpots of Upper Duval Street:It's right across the street from the former cigar factory called the Gato Building which is now used for county offices. The county wants to get rid of it and there had been a rumor that they might rent it to the city for a dollar a year,or sell it outright. Which could be good news because the main city offices on Angela Street are in an advanced state of disrepair. I'd hate to have to work in them, especially since they got moldy after Hurricane wilma flooded them out in 2005. Some people wondered if the city might not move it's people here. Instead the plan is to build an eighteen million dollar replacement building on Angela Street and the way the city communicates its plans this one has got lots of people riled up. Anyway the Gato Building ("cat" in Spanish named for the original owner) is sitting there all pretty and everything and possibly even for sale, though the county hasn't put a sign on it. I think it would make a magnificent City Hall but I expect it would take quite a bit of money to adapt it to the city's needs, assuming it's even big enough.Meanwhile across the street is the other astonishing hands-on business, an ironworks and welder's shop:
It was Friday evening when I took these pictures and the workers were going home but this is an active yard during the day.
A few more random shots of this block of Amelia, the heart of Old Town's light industrial neighborhood!
I should have brought a chair and set up camp under this spreading canopy.