Monday, August 15, 2011

Upper Duval

It comes as a surprise to some visitors but a town as small as Key West is divided into distinct neighborhoods. New Town, Old Town and even, some say, Mid Town. Casa Marina, The Meadows, Bahama Village, Truman Annex. And even Duval Street is divided, into Lower and Upper divided by the gay bars in the middle. This is Upper Duval.

I spent my formative years getting an expensive English boarding school education so I always love to see the South Duval art gallery sign. Sod You indeed, puerile humor rules.

SoBe in Miami encourages visitors to spend money in South Beach and SoMa entices the cool spenders to South of Market in San Francisco. Sod-U doesn't ring quite the same chime somehow. Around here they don't lock up their daughters, they lock up their bicycles.

Upper Duval, the end of the street furthest from all the bars on Lower Duval, which is paradoxically the north end of the street, prides itself on being a bit nicer than all those raucous noisy roustabouts making chaos before bar closing time at 4 am. So I have to ask myself how did this to go cup get left here?

There's a sign, below, one doesn't get to see too often. The first word is underlined so I am forced to wonder what the criteria are, and do impostors frequently present themselves as locals?

"When pigs have wings..." and here's one that does.

T-shirts are a vexing issue for some who visit Duval Street. Lower Duval specializes in penis jokes and drunken jollity on their t-shirts. Upper Duval does a better line in casual wear.

Cigars and t-shirts are on offer and if the 1970's were the high point of your life you too can emblazon the era on your chest.

"Let us take your picture and put on a t-shirt." Let us all take pictures and put on t-shirts.

Do owners look like their dogs? I hope I don't radiate the happy hopefulness of a Labrador.

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