Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Higgs Beach People

I am finding that Salute at Higgs Beach is becoming my preferred place to stop for the pause that refreshes. We were in the middle of discussions about what to do about the dying Nissan and my wife said "Let's have the appetizer plate at Salute!" So we did.
Like Gilbert and Sullivan's Lord High Executioner I had a little list, not of society offenders who never would be missed, but of used cars I had seen on line for sale Up North. This was a good place to ponder so that was what we did.My wife is in the fortunate position of having tenure in the school district but there are many other heads that are rolling as next year's budget is slashed. She has been under a fair bit of pressure at work and sitting on the beach waiting for a glass of wine was just the moment for her to vent. Luckily I had my camera to hand to record the moment.These floating things are gaining popularity as they allow the occupant to float while being cooled by the water rising up through the mesh. Or you could just get a boat to float your...boat. I have never been much of a fan of lying on the beach in the sun but I am alone in this, and I know for many this is the epitome of a proper vacation:Higgs beach offers all the usual beach accoutrements, including lounge chair rentals, bicycle racks and palm trees:And women sitting around in their underwear talking on the phone. One gets the impression she may be rather more dynamic then him.I was not the only observer though I was sitting in the shade with a glass of red and a larger glass of iced water so I was a lot better off.Key West is not known for it's beaches not least because there isn't much to them but also owing to the rather shallow water all round the island.I wonder how some people coped before the advent of cellular telephony. I coped just fine and I planned to ignore my phone should anyone have the temerity to call.Here's another of those weird fads, standing on a surfboard and paddling the thing.
All the disadvantages of skiing with all the disadvantages of surfing and none of the pleasures of kayaking. I deduced that the bloke in the next picture lives aboard someplace nearby and as he prepared to close the concession stand for the day he was readying his boat for his commute.
Here's another way to get home and avoid studying the scenery as you flash by:It's faster by bike though that may not be the point. And more damnable cell phones.
Despite the fact that Higgs beach is right in the middle of the city of Key West it is in fact a county park and the Monroe County Sheriff's Department has instituted an off duty detail for the beach to keep order and encourage citizens to use their beach.Many years ago there used to be two deputies assigned daily to patrol the beach and after they were cut to save money the local population of bums took over the park and made it untenable for people not interested in drinking and fighting as beach activities. The situation got bad enough that the patrols were re-instituted to bring order to the park and it seems to be working nicely.The county has tried to tempt the city to buy the beach (for a buck) but the city has estimated upkeep at a quarter million dollars a year and promptly replied No Thanks. The beach is actually named for Clarence Higgs, a former mayor of the city and there are still Higgs' living in town.
Nowadays it's an orderly and pleasant place to spend a sunny afternoon. Try it, you might like it and I don't think a plate of nibbles at Salute will go down the wrong way either.