Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cruise Ship Revival

My plan was a good one, to go downtown and wander early on a morning when there was no cruise ship in town, I could meander and photograph the sordid underbelly of the tourist areas.However the best laid plans of mice and men go haywire when there is unexpected weather in the Caribbean.Cruise ships get diverted when there is a chance of rough weather, this is high season for such events which is why tickets cost less now, and one such ship was unexpectedly in town.Imagine my surprise when I saw all the tourist shops starting to open and the trolleys and trains lining up.This place was closed at the early hour......but this guy was delivering bread anyway under the interested gaze of a bum perched nearby.
The rest of downtown looked pretty quiet. This city worker grinned when I said: "Keeping the city pretty for the visitors..."The pigeons crouched on the roof saying not much at all. The culprit:
An unscheduled stop brings the city a lot of extra money in port and landing fees. Mallory Square never quite seems to be free of people mooching around. Or people staring at the sea. Or of people trying to catch fish.
I liked this image of a rooster behind bars- it wasn't really, it was just lurking behind a municipal bike rack.
Cheyenne waited impatiently while I went to the loo. I have read some unfavorable comments about the public toilets at Mallory Square. Either I was lucky or early or something because they seemed fine to me.
The sculpture garden filled with heads of Very Important People. It's known locally as the Pez Garden. (Obvious enough if you know what a Pez candy dispenser looks like).
Finally a few tourists started to appear from the ship,wandering distractedly as they tried to make the most of their precious time ashore.
When my wife and I took a cruise to the Western Caribbean from Miami our ship stopped in Key West. I came ashore to buy a newspaper (my besetting vice is the desire for the day's printed paper) and then we took advantage of an empty ship to enjoy the adult pool for ourselves.
Lots of lovely people coming to town to spend lots of lovely money.
Some people argue they only benefit Lower Duval, the area closest to the dock.
Which does not negate their benefit overall I think, to a city whose economy is based on tourism and repeat visits.
I liked this shot of a rider on the trolley blocking her ears to lock out the commentary. I wondered why she spent her money to take a ride?