Monday, December 14, 2009

800 Eaton Street

It's that time of year again, the happiest time of year! Attractive Conch ("konk") homes are cluttered with bunting for Christmas; other homes are showing off realtor signs:Holly, ivy, mistletoe and pine boughs all seem oddly inappropriate in the land of tropical greenery, but traditions don't die easily, even if they were born in the Nordic north, land of snow and darkness and ice.
Another attractive eyebrow home where the roof line descends over the upper windows to allow them to stay open in rain and unintentionally trap hot air inside the house.Eaton Street is a main thoroughfare into downtown Key West and it carries a great deal of traffic that turns off North Roosevelt onto the causeway over Garrison Bight Marina. That street, called Palm Avenue, runs into Eaton, and this is the 800 block of Eaton Street.Next to the stately mansions and Conch cottages there are a few businesses here. This used to be Chodzin roofing until the owner decided abruptly he'd had enough and quit the business. The building stood empty for a while but now it is a seafood market in the art deco structure:I caught a glimpse of a man riding a bicycle in bright yellow crocs. I wonder if he gets as much grief as I do for my pink ones.Cheyenne liked playing photographer's assistant until she tried to investigate a porch a little more thoroughly than I thought was appropriate. The leash ran out and she wasn't amused.This is the Island City Hotel:The yellow building on the left in this picture:There are always overhanging trees on the streets of Key West, along with over sized vehicles: There are porches and decks:According to J Wills Burke's "The Streets of Key West" Eaton Street is named for one John Eaton, a multi-faceted man who represented Tennessee in the Senate, worked as Secretary of War and wrote a biography of President Andrew Jackson. Eaton apparently became Florida's second territorial governor in 1834 following in the footsteps of William Duval. Eaton was not a distinguished man in the grand scheme of things and Wills Burke is puzzled as to why he got a street named for him, especially as it was named before Eaton served as governor. He speculates it may have to do with indications that Eaton owned property in Key West early in the city's formation.You too could own property in Key West, there is tons for sale, some at lowered prices though I don't see much in the way of a bargain:This is the land of outdoor living, witness the standard lamp on the porch. Just the job to supplement the moonlight for those warm December nights you want to sit outdoors and read:Too bad if you live someplace where it snows, but there again the notion of a Christmas tree looks odd to me in this town. Some people take their sense of humor to the business of decorating. Check out this tree in the flamingo-style of decoration:The best way to get around old town is on two wheels, and the scooter-phobic can always rent a bicycle, including from Eaton Bikes:This building used to be home to Florida Yacht Charters but they have gone. Perhaps because they didn't hire me. I did fine without them, they did not so well without me I guess. And on the subject of vehicles unsuitable for Key West streets, I wonder what one does with a machine like this:I am reminded of the saying that it is more fun to make a slow bike go fast than to make a fast bike go slow. There is a moral in that saying for everyone, but what it might be I couldn't rightly say.