Wednesday, February 10, 2010

400 Julia

The skies have been far too gray lately, some pale winter sunshine is preceded and followed by cloudy rippled skies resembling nothing quite so much as a gray woolly blanket spread across the Keys.It is brought to my notice by indignant messages that temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, (21 C) are not properly to be considered winter at all, even though that is how low they go after a cold front has blown the humidity away. My suffering is as nothing when faced with people who are living with the deepest snowfalls in short term memory. Which may, or may not, be the case but which nevertheless ignores the obvious fact I don't like snow or cold or gray skies. Still it is Key west and the architecture remains the same impenetrable eccentric design whether the sun is out or not.The 400 block lies, as usual between Whitehead Street and Duval Street. I started at the Whitehead (western) end and strolled east toward Duval.For some reason the 400 block of Julia is blessed or cursed with tall skinny buildings that look oddly ambitious in a town which usually keeps it's architecture lower to the ground, or at least in proportion.I saw a cat, but Cheyenne didn't so the cat remained undisturbed. This is not a high energy street judging by the languid cat.This is more like it, a huge tree, a small house and bright colors.The passionate attachment to large vehicles never seems quite so silly as it does in Key West. A Nissan Versa would allow the driver to get out without stepping onto the porch, for instance.
One is tempted to go the Animal Farm route and chant "four wheels good; two wheels better!" but many people in the Southernmost City have figured that out already.Happily this block of Julia has some few residents with a desire to leave their mark with personal decorating choices:Santa Claus is confused no doubt, by the general lack of winter-like conditions:I expect it's just as well I don't live anywhere near these people as Christmas is not my favorite time of year and celebrating the season in February would make me unhappy. instead I look out across the rooftops from the street and marvel at the variety of the landscape, the broad sky and the wretched television satellite dishes. A blot on the landscape rotting the brain.And let's not forget my claim that 400 Julia is a block filled with tall thin buildings:Looking west toward Bahama Village on a sunny winter afternoon:
We must be closing in on Upper Duval, the 1100 block to be precise, as people are suddenly in evidence. People and their dogs. The pug was shrinking into the roadway in order to ambush Cheyenne:
There was no drama, we swirled past the crowd and there we were, on Key West's main drag:
We are told occupancy is higher in Key West than any other Florida City. Tourists are paying less for their rooms and bargains we are told are out there. But recession or no, people do want their southernmost vacations, which is good for us, even if it means Cheyenne and I have to negotiate crowds of people in Old Town. At least it's not Detroit.