Thursday, October 27, 2011

Downtown

Threats from Hurricane Rina seem to be fading and this year, unlike years past, city officials had the great good sense not to hype up the whole hurricane-death-drowning routine. This year they simply said they're keeping an eye on things and we shall see. At last word Rina was curling up and dying, very satisfactorily for Fantasy Fest goers.


You pays yer money you gets yer choice of places to view the parade Saturday night. I'll be dispatching well away from the loonies and the drinkers and the naked people.


Fantasy Fest is smart marketing as it doesn't much clash with traditional Lenten festivals and all that Mardi Gras stuff that's going on in the Spring. People come to Key West as winter is starting to close in Up North while down here a motorcycle makes a comfortable couch as a place to see...


...or to be seen. This ape hung, candy decorated "biker" was losing control of his jaw as he discovered his loud pipes were no match for exposed breasts in the Fantasy Zone. Suddenly he was no longer in Miami, man.


As the night progressed a person here and a person there became a flood of humanity rippling back forth like sea anemone in a tide pool. The crowd got so thick Lower Duval was closed to vehicles for much of the night.


For visitors it's all great fun, a special time to visit. For locals Fantasy Fest can get overwhelming. I had a slightly surreal conversation with a food delivery guy who you'd think would be excited by the influx of potential customers. Instead he was cursing up a storm about inconsiderate people and how they ruin everything for residents etc...etc...I wondered how his tips might be if he went around fulminating everywhere on his delivery scooter. I'd be grumpy too if he appeared at the door with my fish sandwich.


Traffic on the highway has been gnarly this week, with people driving like they are escaping a war zone. I have been cut off more times than I can count, run off the road and nearly obliterated like a bicycle in a Grand Prix. But it's all part of what goes on about now.


Sensible people take a vacation this week if they can't stand the event. Me? I'd rather have Thanksgiving week off for a short road trip and put up with the slight inconvenience of large freewheeling crowds spending money. At least it's not going directly to the banks.



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