Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flamingo Crossing And Summer

The best ice cream in Key West is to be found on the corner of Duval and Virginia, and of that I have no doubt.My favorite flavor is soursop, which isn't sour at all but a gentle, perfumed vanilla flavor and quite delicious. For a low calorie refreshment I go for their puckeringly tart Key Lime sorbet which was what I should have done. Instead, lacking soursop, I was forced to enjoy a mango cone.Chuck pays altogether too much attention to my utterances and he it was who suggested we escape the awful burning heat at my favorite ice cream parlor.Wayne is known to complain about the heat this time of year but he was being a good soldier and acted as though he was as frisky as a lamb in spring. Ice cream helped.I like the Harley Road King with it's big bags and armchair ride. At $15,000 for a well used one I will probably never own one, and frankly I prefer the ease of use and traditional looks of the Bonneville but I would like to own a Road King before I die. Looking silly on a bicycle is not on my bucket list.It is time for summer fun in Key West when youngsters do what youngsters do across the Northern Hemisphere this time of year. Get a sunburn and embarrass themselves with the opposite gender.
Smathers Beach is bathing headquarters for impoverished youth who cannot spend the dollars to enjoy the facilities of the state park at Fort Zachary.Sun sand and palms for all on Smathers Beach.It's winter when Key West comes into it's own, when the rest of the continent is snowed under, but summer is a good time to be in town as far as I'm concerned.

Vespa Shopping

I spent a hundred bucks at the Winn Dixie on Big Pine and faced the arduous task of hauling my groceries home four miles by Vespa.They tell us we need an SUV to get the family moved around to and from it's various obligations, but I say leave the Labrador at home when it's 93 degrees outside and take the Vespa instead. Who needs four wheels?While my wife is away I get to play with her scooter. It would have been too easy on the freshly refurbished Bonneville which came home this week after a do-over of brakes, tires and fluids. The Vespa does just fine on the Overseas Highway and even on this trip we managed to startle, over loaded as we were, a distracted cager who was pootling along and admiring the scenery. I had to pass, as the popsicles were melting and speed was of the essence. You don't have to live in Old Town to take advantage of scooting but a motorcycle endorsement and a 150cc are recommended to take on highway traffic.

Keys Growth

Strolling the old Niles Channel Bridge with Cheyenne one reflective evening this week I was forced to wonder how it was Flagler got to build his hugely intrusive railroad in the Keys' fragile ecology.A hundred years ago there were far fewer people in the world, and until New town was built in the 1960s, with the advent of cheap air conditioning, Key West's population stayed steady around 12,000 souls from it's founding for the first 150 years of the city's existence. Big Pine Key I read had seven people living on it after World War Two, so that the arrival of the rails and subsequently the connection by uninterrupted road did nothing to attract more people.
For my own tastes, life in the keys only became a long term proposition when two factors coincided in my life. One was that I got older and more settled, which makes me able to live in this minimalist small village- minimalist by US standards, not the standards of Mali or Uttar Pradesh. The other was the creation of cheap, easy, and functional (high speed) Internet service which connects life down here with life Out There.
Otherwise I think life might restricted and constrained much in the manner of a land crab in a sandy hole. On the whole I think I might have applauded Flagler's technological intrusion into the laid back life of the early 20th century.