Sunday, November 15, 2009

BPK Flea Market

There is a large open space on Big Pine Key, and it's not really all that open. That's because every Saturday during the winter people operate stalls here selling dust catchers, foods, plants, clothes, sunglasses and all sorts of stuff. It's quite the place to be of a Saturday morning in the Lower Keys:This is the place to be find all that stuff you think you need and lug it back to the car in one of the many packed parking lots that surround the selling ground in the middle. My wife loves this dude who sells vegetable plants that seem to be properly adapted to Florida's climate.
His flourished last year where Home Depot's plants were rather hit or miss. He comes down Friday night, sets up, sleeps under the stars as he puts it, and has all his stock sold well before noon on Staurday. But there is a ton of stuff to be found at the flea market. I took these pictures as we wandered yesterday:
I wanted to tell this woman to keep her hands off the pink ones, but then I remembered my own rubber shoes are at home doing fine for the time being. Perhaps her husband needed a pair. My wife took me home to a nourishing curried chicken salad. I'm sure these were quite horrid:
More plants. We got Cuban oregano here and normal basil.
Cars were jammed in on all sides around the selling area.
In between the selling frenzy on weekends it looks somewhat desolate:And, in some respects rather forbidding. The place is owned by a rather repulsive reverend I had the misfortune to meet once. He claims the rights to the roadway around here and has put up signs to that effect.Before jack riepe gets on my case about being a low life socialist, let me just say private property is a fine and noble thing, and one has the right to barricade one's private roads. My questions about this place come in two parts. One: Is this really a private road?And if it is, in the second place, is this sufficient to close it?
I don't want to get tragic here but if some dude (like me) comes by here on a bicycle or a scooter or even on a Triumph Bonneville could he (or she) not run the risk of decapitation? And think about what it looks like at night: The flea market is not well lit at night and these so called "private roads" connect public roads, places where people have every right to travel, and if I were to tell you intoxicated people sometimes ride bicycles on Big Pine Key would you be surprised? Someone not aware of the "reverend's" penchant for closing roads with pieces of string might easily run into these dangers.
There had been talk that the Flea Market might get sold to a retail developer, my wife hoped Target might move in (she's only half joking!) and I wouldn't mind a Whole Foods just because I'm a yuppie. But back in the real world (where I don't much like flea markets anyway, though people sell excellent plants here) I wonder about this ability to just say "This road is mine!" and get away with it.
If this really is private a proper gate needs to be installed if the owner wants to close it off. Guillotining trespassers just seems a little much, even for a reverend.