Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random Sunday

There is a certain silliness in photographing it but because I missed noticing the passing of the 40,000 mile (60,000 kilometer) mark on my 2007 Bonneville, when this almost symmetrical measure came up on one recent night ride, I took the time to stop and note it. And I still enjoy it every time I climb aboard for one more commute to work. I recommend daily riding as a great way to enjoy the mundane but there aren't many of us that do.

My theme today if there is one at all is a reminder that not all Key West is picturesque...Poinciana Housing used to provide homes for the Navy then they handed them over to the city which uses them to help people live affordably in this most expensive city. A gated community for the workers. I have mentioned how plans have been shelved to build a convention center at the entrance to Key West and I noticed the Florida Blogger had a pithy comment to the effect that Key West hardly needs one more hotel. True enough, but as I recently left the city on the Boulevard (North Roosevelt Boulevard) I took three pictures of the mess that currently exists at this place, this first encounter with Key West that drivers get as they arrive on the last island in the Florida Keys.Too the left, the north, are the waters of the Gulf of Mexico lined with palm trees along the bike path which does double duty as a pedestrian sidewalk. The street itself is five lanes wide with a turn lane in the middle, a turn lane whose actual purpose seems to baffle many drivers who manage to use it and still block traffic in the travel lanes.
Up ahead we see the sky riding signs for US Highway One north (left turn) and Florida Highway A1A (straight ahead) which curves around the south shore of Key West. The building underneath the aerial signs is the Beachside Marriott. Too the right we see a continuation of the urban mess that currently lines the Boulevard.And here is the triangle, turn left for US One north, go straight for Smather's Beach. To the right, flying the rainbow flag is another anonymous chain hotel, in this case the Holiday Inn, I think, which used to sit where the Beachside sits today. While it's true a full blown convention center offering the "Key West experience" minus the panhandlers and the day old smell of beer on Lower Duval might be an odd sort of improvement it seems like anything could be better than this series of architectural disasters currently lining the Boulevard. Probably any replacement would have to show off the delights of tall mud brown walls just like the Beachside, designed apparently by someone other than Pritam Singh's architect who uses the "key West style" to good effect in Tranquility Bay ion Marathon and the old stand by, Truman Annex, itself a walled pale reflection of the truer and messier Key West tourists seem to crave.
Next year Key West will be stimulated for two years in a row when the Boulevard is torn up and redesigned and will be designated for outbound traffic only during construction. Already complaints and suggestions for improvements are bombarding the Citizen's Voice. That sort of road work will give people endless subjects to bitch about.

Oil in the Gulf? Key West commercial fishermen say they hope for high prices and less competition according to a recent newspaper interview. The fishing around here is oil free.

For now.The weather has been hot, as it should be in August, up around 95 degrees but recently we have enjoyed a spate of southerly breezes that cooled things off significantly. Cheyenne has been quite active considering the time of year. Short frequent walks and lots of resting, here on the bridle path. No matter what the temperature she is not one to let a good garbage can go to waste. In this case at Smather's Beach. The economy may be depressed but cruise ships keep coming and people keep bitching about the money they bring to town.
Like the sign says I live where others vacation. Keep bringing the cash down, please.