Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vignettes XXXIV

Want a winter home in the Fabulous Florida Keys? Here's your chance:It's a bit suburban for my taste, right alongside Highway One on Cudjoe Key, two rows of cookie cutter town homes behind a safe and secure locked gate.I can't imagine they will be anything like affordable but who knows, perhaps someone will get lucky. These buildings haven't been here very long but apparently someone's grasp exceeded their reach and now they change hands. If you are optimistic here's how you fund your new pad in the sun:Living full time in a vacation rental resort would get extra-old in hurry for me. Your choice, not mine.

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I took this sunrise from just around the corner from those homes. It's not like this every day but...
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I was riding my Bonneville when I took the sunrise pictures.
I include this picture as there is a thread of disbelief about my desire to ride and my daily use of my splendid motorcycle. So there.

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This is not a picture of my motorcycle. This is my laundry line under my house.

Our cheap off-brand clothes dryer died after eighteen months of valiant service and we decided to do without in the spirit of the New America where self denial is an expression of acceptance of the slow descent into serfdom. Besides, we live in a climate where a clothes dryer is really not that necessary.

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The Monroe County School District is finding some budget difficulties not previously reported. Funds have been moved around, not illegally but in a way that leaves egg on the faces of the District leaders. I was walking Cheyenne on Trumbo Road and I noticed this sign doesn't actually carry the name of the organization based here. Odd but true, check it out:I guess the big yellow buses are the hint that reveal what offices these might be. None of which explains how the missing and moved 2.9 million dollars will be replaced. More drama will follow doubtless. You'd be amazed how many people have filed to take the place of the odious Steve Pribamsky who represents Key West on the school Board. They are people who just like headaches I guess.

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Lovely Key West viewed from Trumbo Road. Before Big Gummint regulated the discharge of crap in the water for us, this place was called The Toxic Triangle. People lived here on their boats for free and it was gross.

It isn't toxic nowadays and young people can fill their lungs with clean, fresh air.
I am not a skateboarder but I am a motorcyclist so I do enjoy the sight of a hard working motorcycle like this tough little Honda Rebel.
Many years ago I met a boat captain who lived in Key West as the old Tank Island was being transformed from a disused navy storage area into a very expensive private resort. The captain told me about the work that went into preparing for the change as the resort hired captains and crew to operate the new ferry service to the exclusive island now renamed Sunset Key. The captain needed the work but he didn't much like the gentrification that was buying his soul. Like this young man painting the cargo ferry, an elderly tank landing craft, that services the island, the captain helped paint the passenger ferries in those good old days."We painted a new name on the back of the boat," he grinned as he told me the story of how Sunset Key came into being. "We painted Tank Island Whore for the new name. Unfortunately the resort owners came by the boatyard to see how the work was progressing." He paused to laugh out loud. "We thought it was funny. They didn't."
The boat captain moved north to make way for the brave new world coming to Key West. Maybe a few more years of economic disaster will bring him back, if he' still alive.
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An essay about Key West without one of these signs isn't a proper Key West essay, so here it is:
In the background you can the ferry terminal originally designed by an Argentine company called Buquebus which planned to run boats between Ft Myers and Key West. Predictably Buquebus went bust when Argentina did the same but the building remains and another company runs a ferry from Ft Myers Beach to here. So you'll see people like this humping luggage in the sun down Caroline Street toward the guest houses downtown:The notice behind these lost souls says the Welcome center behind them stores luggage. Handy, no?Somebody dropped a Snickers bar in the street making my dog very happy. Yes, I know chocolate is bad for dogs but I wasn't putting my hand in there thanks. Her mouth is gooey and sticky and she survived the chocolate encounter just fine. I am frequently amused by the sincerity of dog owners making all the right choices for their animals while indulging themselves with all the forbidden vices. Walking your dog reduces your risk of heart attacks but quitting smoking helps too. No chocolate for the dog they say piously as they bite into their double bacon cheeseburger. Ah, irony.I don't feed Cheyenne chocolate but I don't panic if she snuffles some out of the gutter. I do like the occasional burger myself. Now we're even. Oh, I'm really weird because I don't use a tach or a GPS when riding my bike even as i don't panic if my dog eats chocolate.
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More wildlife pictures, from James Street. I was half thinking I deserved a glass of Guinness at Finnegan's Wake up the street. Chocolate for the dog, extra stout for me. Instead I piously walked away and came upon these critters.Remembering our last encounter with a broody hen, when Cheyenne got attacked on Angela Street, I prudently decided to cross the street:
These hard core spring breakers ooh'ed and aah'ed as I knew they would:
Chickens as tourist attraction. I make no comment.

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I passed this old picture of Key West Bight in a property company's window on the street.
It doesn't look like this anymore, the harbor. As we saw earlier it still looks good in it's own way.
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Vignettes within a vignette essay. Woman reading a book on an upstairs porch in evening sun:

Chimney on a house, useful this winter, if it works.
Smart tourists, stuffing their faces, on high calorie delights. Sandy's Café on White Street.
Lucky them.