Saturday, March 20, 2010

400 Frances

It is supposedly the start of Spring but in Key West we have only just got winter properly underway, with cool breezes and finally plenty of sunshine. My wife nagged me for not putting on enough sunscreen. I shrugged- I've lost the habit. I needed sunscreen on the 400 block of Frances Street.Frances is a good alternative to the better known White Street, if you want to ride from Eaton to Truman across the east side of Old Town. Below we are looking west on Eaton Street towards Duval. Frances Street is marked here by the Albury Court guest house on the corner of Eaton, but my eye was caught by the rental sign, offering a cute one bedroom, one bath apartment at $1500 a month plus utilities, no pets no smokers. Cheyenne and I won't be moving to this noisy street corner when my wife kicks us out for smoking and living riotously. The economic recession has not yet struck rentals in this city, apparently.The view across Frances is classic Key West, eyebrow home to the left and an old Conch cottage ready for refurbishing if there are any wealthy yuppies left out there.I had been walking Cheyenne quite a lot and much as she enjoys city street walks she was ready for a rest apparently. I just wanted a picture of the dark green door; she wanted to get out of the sun I guess.I passed Elgin Lane ( ) and caught this evocative moment:
Another place to stay apparently attracting Germans, Heron House: Obviously I don't stay in hotels around Key West so locating a lot of the guest houses is impossible for me without the help of my computer at work. We have all businesses located so if I enter "Heron House" the computer will tell me instantly where it is. If the computer goes down it takes a lot more work to locate a business if I don't know it in my head. People in emergencies get panicked obviously and one technique we use is to ask them if they can see a business. At two in the morning you might not know this is Frances Street, never mind the 400 block, but you would see "Heron House" and I'd know right away where to send the ambulance or the cops.
I never tire of street walking Key West. I do it for fun, sometimes I do it to make sure I am familiar with neighborhoods for work (especially if I get a call and can't visualize the location) and then I do it to immortalize my generation's Key West in pixels. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the glorious off street parking some people have available to them:This wouldn't be an ugly front door by any means, if you can afford the rent, as it were:
Closed circuit TV? Whatever it takes!
Theft in cute little Key West is endemic and annoying. People wake up and find garden furniture stolen, they lose the weirdest things to thieves with decidedly odd taste from time to time. This guy locked his bike right in front of the house he was in (with the front door open) and very wise he was too.
The gingerbread trim is lovely, even the broken piece:
I love these wildly painted bicycles in the style of the late great Captain Outrageous ( and they are daily riders too:
Cheyenne loves to sniff where other dogs have been and though the lovely little flower bed was clean it is apparently used by canines who can't read:
You have to admire the commitment of a neighbor who puts out bags for dogs, but the message to me is to let the flowers grow in peace. Cheyenne sniffed and, like the well read dog she is, moved on with no need to leave her own mark. I am proud of my pound survivor.
This Harley, photographed above is a classic with chain final drive, a tachometer and an owner who prefers to take up an entire car sized space rather than walk from a motorcycle spot. Even riders all too often have a cager mentality.Blue sky, blue flag ("we seceeded....etc") and green palms. What more do you need?A painted mail box of course