Friday, November 19, 2010

Bits Of Old Key West

I was walking Cheyenne pretty much at random, in town for an event we were going to later, when the advertising phrase preferred by Schooner Wharf Bar sprang unbidden into my mind. "A last little piece of old Key West" is a superb slogan for a bar which wants to sell itself as a spot that claims to be funky, old time, down at heel, anything goes the spirit of a fondly remembered Key West that may or may not have existed. I find these kinds of slogans a bit vexing because I know damned well not many people alive today would be the least bit happy to be transported back to the Key West of Hemingway's To Have and To Have Not, a place of no money, little charm and lots of hard graft. But I digress, Key West has always been charming and I am just made grumpy by advertising slogans. Aeroplane! Remember that life in Old Town consists in putting up with lots of noise from various sources. Old time Key West might have been a lot quieter at least.
I am not a great fan of the food at Mangia Mangia, I like my Italian-American food to resemble what I think of as Italian food, but I am alone in this. The restaurant building qualifies as Old key West and very pretty it is too.Electricity in old time key West was a rough affair, coming and going pretty much at will. I remember outages used to be much more frequent, but in those days electrons mattered less, I had no computer and land line phones worked independent of electricity. Nowadays Keys Energy has installed big power poles made of cement and things seem much more reliable. I photographed this scooter ridden by a man who saved walking five feet by occupying one of two handicapped spots. The other one was available but it seemed rather chintzy of him, especially as his scooter has no placard.
This sign looks rather silly like this but it is intended to keep the door free of parked bicycles when it's closed. Finnegan's Wake used to be a much nicer Irish pub before they went all sports bar and installed millions of TV screens. That's just the sound of me grumbling again. Life in key west is all about change.I do not have the imagination to take some old colored glasses and turn them into garden ornaments, but I do like them when I see them.
This next sign cracked me up...."circa 1925." Circa used to be used to measure a span of time in antiquity, "around the fourth century," or some such. In Key West where history is buried in an alcohol induced blur 1925 may as well have been when Athens and Sparta were at loggerheads it is so remote a date.
Now here, further down James Street we have a true piece of old Key West. This shed is now fenced off where once it was open to anyone who wanted to bed down in the grassy area in the back. And they did bed down there with their beer and their bedrolls- hence the fence.My accountant doesn't have a bird cage in his window and he certainly doesn't have one with a dead fish inside. I'm guessing CPAs in Kansas don't either. But in Key West this one does.
This car might be pretty old considering it's got shrubbery growing out of the back door. An old time piece of Key West? Maybe. Old Key West is cute. That's why there are so many visitors filling the city coffers.
Cheyenne loves the old homes propped up on rocks instead of being built modern style on a cement slab. There is food lurking somewhere under here, old unconsidered trifles of mouldy cat kibble.More old Key West. This is not the first time i have photographed this divine shed on Lopez Lane but I really like the way it looks. This would be a perfect man hut with naked women calendars and a fridge filled with Boddington's and Yuengling and Smithwick's and a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir. You could sit in here sweating and listen to the rain dripping down of a summer's afternoon.
The old sponge market on Fleming Street looked pretty in the crisp sunshine and the dark blue sky in the background.And the figurehead appears once again on my blog. About as much nudity as that crass old toad riepe will ever see here. The more he grumbles the more I dig my heels in.
Whoa! A new sign! Change comes crashing down about our Key West ears once again. Silly billies, just about every street in Key West is a bike route. I wonder what it means.We were having a great walk and Cheyenne wanted more and I was happy to oblige, but those pictures will have to wait till Monday.One more picture, I liked this one. "Active member" means get out of speeding ticket free, perhaps?
It seems a bit blatant to me but what do I know? I have an Iron Butt tag holder on my Bonneville, "world's toughest riders." Hardly, but hyperbole comes in all shapes and sizes doesn't it. "A last little piece of old Key West..."
Post Scriptum: On making the Friday rounds I find myself filling in endless word scrambles. Is mine the last blog comment page that doesn't require you to spell out nonsense in order to tell me I make no sense? Comments on entries older than five days get moderated which is how I eliminate the spam. I just filled out a word scramble that spelled "balls." And it wasn't on riepe's blog. I need a strong cup of tea.