Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Star 200

I read in La Repubblica, a leading Italian newspaper a review of a new scooter for sale in Italy. Be still my beating heart! Star in Italy is ironically the name given to LML scooters built in India that are known in the US as Stella which is Italian for "star"! The 200 is a four stroke 200cc 12 horsepower scooter similar in all respects to the 150cc version they are trying to get ready for sale in the US.I always wondered why Genuine Scooters, the US importer didn't geta 200cc version of the original two stroke 150cc, as the 200 offered much better performance than the 150. In the event the 150 two stroke I owned was a ridiculously unreliable scrap heap which died after 2800 miles so I rather lost interest in the Indian scooters. Still I really like the P series Vespas which is what these are more or less and somewhere deep down I wish they worked. At an estimated top speed of 100kmh/63mph a Star 200 would be similar in performance to my wife's lovely Vespa ET4 150cc four stroke automatic. And there's the rub: the ET4 is fun and fast and reliable so why would I ever give it away for an unknown quantity? Dream on...

Key West Express Ferry

A seat with a view under the sun and above the water sounds about perfect.It was not a spaceship but a glimpse of the Fort Myers ferry.
I wondered when they started the service how long it would last and they seem to be doing fine. Originally the ferry service was supposed to run from downtown Fort Myers but the twenty mile trip up the Caloosahatchee River from the beach at idle speed made the trip excessively long. These days the ferry leaves from underneath the bridge that connects Fort Myers Beach to the mainland.The trip takes three hours and they have the usual food drink and television on board. It's for passengers only, no pets no vehicles and I don't know about bicycles. The basic fare is $146 for an adult round trip, less for seniors and even less for children. You can knock the adult fare down to a the kid's rate of $119 by booking in advance. You can get a cheaper trip by taking the ferry from Marco Island which is closer to Key West but that only runs through the Winter.The ferry leaves Fort Myers Beach daily at 8:30am and leaves Key West each evening at 6pm for Fort Myers Beach. The journey takes three and a half hours. It's time I tired the experience but that means leaving Cheyenne at home. Boo hiss. Clearly the ferry service across the southwest corner of the state makes sense as it has been going for quite a while and Ferry service to Miami has never been successful. I've concluded the Ferry's website link as well.

Key West Library

The pink building on the corner of Elizabeth at Fleming Streets is the oldest public library in Florida and very splendid it looks too. Like ant public building I guess it doesn't get as much attention as it deserves but the shelves are filled with books, there are computers for Internet access and of course in this era there is free wi-fi.Sometimes I like to duck into the library and peruse the shelves. I snatched one book on canine behavior and the treatment of dogs that seems to accord with my attitude of total canine involvement.Cheyenne was deprived of stimuli in her former life but I am trying hard to make up for that. Stimulation for people as well as dogs.I used to enjoy sitting out in the garden in back but lately it has been locked. Doubtless an anti bum device that punishes us all.There has been talk of opening the library on Mondays and of course some embittered soul in the Citizens Voice made a complaint about that plan saying the physical plant should be spruced up first. Always there is a critic.

This is an older longer essay I did on the library:
http://conchscooter.blogspot.com/2008/11/700-fleming.html

730 Southard

Len it was who asked about any possible progress at 730 Southard Street. This used to be the home of Bonnie Albury who died almost four years ago. Time passes in a hurry sometimes. Apparently the house has sold and work has commenced though Sisyphus isn't in it when the building is this big.I had a phone relationship with Bonnie Albury but I never actually met her, nor have I ever actually seen a picture of her. She used to call the police, frequently irate owing to parking violations, noise and other abstruse violations of her privacy which included people setting up easels and painting her evocative Key West home.For generations of Key West students Bonnie Albury was a strict but fair teacher much committed to the studies and welfare of her students. Her home is getting a face lift and I suppose by extension the memory of her must be fading.I wish I had had the nerve to walk up to her home and introduce myself back in those days when I sued to work the day shift, but I could never imagine her face to face. That opportunity is gone to my infinite regret but I shan't forget my conversations with Bonnie Albury as I ride past her former home.