Friday, December 31, 2010

Vignettes XLI

We end the year with a photo of two brave souls on their vacation in Key West. Len and Heidi from Wassau Wisconsin came to town for a week to enjoy the sun and get away from their restaurant business for one short week.

We had lunch at Salute at Higgs Beach, fish on salad, one of my favorite Key West dishes and hard to screw up. It was a lovely summer day with a hint of outdoor air conditioning. We talked about life Up North in a small town versus life Down Here in a small town. We talked about the economy and how things aren't doing so well Up North but still seem okay Down Here. Len was amazed particularly by how busy local restaurants are.One has to wonder what the New Year will bring and the prognostications are nothing good for a lot of people. Unemployment is not going to going down they say, and Canada's economic bubble is supposed to burst any time now. All of which could mean fewer tourists for our visitor dependent economy. Yet Key West still has the weather and the ocean that it has always had and compared to the last Great Depression when the city went bankrupt this time around Key West seems quite strong economically speaking.Property values are dropping and will likely go lower but taxes are not, as a result dropping. By some mechanism that I can't quite grasp the State of Florida wrote a law to protect homeowners against rapidly rising housing costs such that if property values were to drop taxes wouldn't. It seemed an unlikely proposition a few years ago but the mechanism is keeping local government funded for the moment. Florida has no personal income tax and property taxes are the lifeblood of local government. No doubt the drive to wreck government at all levels will drive change on this as well. And with hundreds of foreclosures across the county property values even here will presumably have to continue falling which will put pressure on taxes.

Still, the sun continues to shine as freezing weather does it's worst Up North. The sun was shining on this astonishing offering at the Yamaha shop on North Roosevelt. I wonder where they found this lovely BSA 441 Super Victor An unwanted Christmas present perhaps? I wonder what my wife would say were I to ride this home in the New Year... With all the gloomy economic news I feel really lucky to be in a place where I enjoy living with a job I like and friends I like all at the same time. It has been rare for me to be so content in my very travelled life. My dog is really cool, my motorcycle is probably the best I have ever owned and I am still enjoying taking pictures and throwing them up here for people, 600 or more of you each day, to look at. Requests are always welcome by the way. On the subject of friends, Wayne and Chuck and I were out walking Sugarloaf Loop and Wayne burst out laughing when he saw this graffito:"I hope that doesn't sum up 2011!" was the thought as we walked by.