Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reynolds Street

The Casa Marina Hotel, nowadays part of the Waldorf Astoria chain (though they don't call it a chain which is probably a very gauche term).Henry Flagler increase his oil drilling fortune (Standard Oil) by coming up with the excellent idea of building resort palaces along Florida's sunny east coast and pushing his railway line from New York to meet them. He had found that a rail line with no destination wasn't attractive so when his east Coast Railway Extension (which never turned a profit) arrived in Key West passengers had the choice of staying at the Casa, as it is now universally known in Key West, or hopping the ferry to Havana for some prossies and gambling. And fresh tropical fruit; don't forget the pineapples as they are always listed in the literature as the real reason the connection to Havana was so important. Under age prostitution came later with Meyer Lansky and now the implosion of civil society in the Socialist Paradise. This is an actual, unstaged picture of my dog sniffing a fire hydrant.In a free market paradise where mention of toilets in polite society is cause for swooning the cliché of dogs sniffing hydrants is rampant. Yet in real life I never see it. Until now. I wanted to take a quick whiz on this but if he does win he will be removed to the safety and impotence of the US Senate instead of running for governor where he could wreak severe havoc on a State that has done quite nicely under moderate Republican rule.Rubio is a 38 year old son of Cuban immigrants whose idea of social tolerance is putting leftists like me into hard labor camps and then using us as front line sacrifices on a remake of the Bay of Pigs. Florida term limits Governors so Charlie Crist, the closeted gay married Republican moderate feels obliged to seek other employment though he has been doing a good job of not tipping into radicalism. I doubt he will win as an independent this Fall though he gets my vote over the fatuous Democrat Meeks, he of the Democrat Bubba System. Where was I? Oh yes, hurricane shutters. These people are clearly away and one hopes they haven't forgotten to lock the front door as their absence is rather obvious. Even to a dog.This house in it's own forest I find rather appealing. The wall screams "Bugger Off !" Just how I like it. The Casa Marina district is the wealthy neighborhood in Key West, located roughly between Higgs Beach and the Varela Street more or less. You'll know it when you are in it. This is the intersection of Reynolds and South looking north toward United Street. Turn left here at the light and the Southernmost (More Or Less) Point is a few blocks...south.Casa Marina deals, not exclusively but a great deal in large homes, expansive lots and many trees.Because this is Key West, paying millions for a vast spacious home on several lots gives you no guarantee that your neighbors will be likewise equipped. 1960s homes survive in their more modest, though no less expensive,proportions.However planting lots of fast growing banana "trees" provides all sorts of luscious cover.
This rock home is a bit of landmark.
More privacy walls. Around here No Trespassing signs are not as necessary. Walls speak louder than cheap plastic placards.The Spottswoods will be happy to take your deposit for this slice of paradise. Act quickly before prices plunge again! Mind you, when prices plunge from several millions to a few millions it's not like most of us notice too much.My home has dropped from better than half a million to a recent appraisal of $330,000 though I doubt Wells Fargo could find a buyer at that price if I decided to seek my fortune elsewhere. An empty lot on my street (30 miles from Casa Marina) sold for $136,000 last month so there are still fools ready to be parted from their money. Welcome to the club I say, as the owner of home that will never see a half million dollar price tag on it again.