Thursday, September 15, 2011

Visiting Key West

Lower Duval is called that for some reason I don't know. Perhaps because the street numbers start at the northern end and thus the numbers are lower. It goes against my instinct, because this is the North end of the street, and thus somehow "uphill." However this is the end of Duval Street that appeals to the lower...appetites of visitors.

Pirate Soul a museum that closed, was around the corner just off Lower Duval and the building is still empty and unused. The associated rum bar is still there and functioning, as one might expect. It seems people in St Augustine, Florida's first city appreciate the museum approach more than the bar approach.

And while Horne's Harley Davidson on Truman closed down years ago, a victim of exhaustion not finances, leaving Key West without a dealer you can buy Harley lifestyle accessories on Lower Duval. Great - no actual bikes, just bandannas!

For all that it is dedicated to alcohol and nasty t-shirts and pointless shopping Lower Duval could be pretty enough were it allowed to be.

Ah yes, alongside Harley Lifestyle Accessories we see surfboards on Lower Duval. They remind me of the story of the sailor tired of the sea, last seen walking inland with an oar on his shoulder. When asked why he replied, when I get to where they ask me what it is, I'll know I have arrived.

Waves in Key West are pathetic thanks to the extensive reef system. Just how we like it when hurricanes threaten. This next sign adds to the ambiance of Lower Duval.

No, really? You mean we aren't going to reward thieves with frequent flier miles and an all paid night of love with one of the beauties from Teaser's strip club? Or you can buy something for five dollars if you have drunk your spending money and don't have the nerve or stupidity to shoplift.

"I shit rainbows'" the ideal sentiment for Lower Duval. Anyone who sells these t-shirts should be made to wear them at all times in city limits.

I have no doubt Shortys, the only sensible useful store in this part of the world, sells fine meals to go, but it's too bad someone didn't proof read their very elderly sign. Perhaps a new sign will get occassion spelled correctly next time. And they don't have autocorrect to blame either!

I loved this correctly spelled sign "Cuban Leaf." I hope not because we don't want to break the embargo and trade with Godless Commies do we? Not Cuban ones anyway. Chinese Godless Commies are fine. Cuban leaf probably comes from the Dominican Republic or something...

'No port left in the bottle,' left is red on a ship's navigation lights but it's 'red right returning' in the Americas for buoys marking channels. In Key West the lights mark the outline of a store seeking a nautical motif.

Well, look at that; the customs house has spouted a smoke stack. Not exactly, it's just a cruise ship unloading a few thousand bright eyed t- shirt customers.

I am told, repeatedly, that many people who come to Key West, even on repeat visits, never see more than that which is contained in this essay. I can hardly believe anyone could imagine this is all there is to Key West.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conch:

It's good to have personal goals as well as professional ones, and I am penciling in my ride to Key West for the last week in April, 2012. I'll be due for a change by then.

I'd like to see the smoke stacks of cruise ships over Duval Street myself.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Anonymous said...

I don't care much for the Lower Duval area, but I hear there's a great new bar called the Smokin Tuna on Charles Street. It has a nice web cam that is focused on the entertainer, kind of like the Hog's stage camera. One of my favorite places on that end of KW is the Customs House. Really nice museum and it seems none of the tourists go there so it's really nice and quiet.

Bob from Livingston Montana