Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keys Pix 5

The full moon from a couple of days ago is just a memory, it'll be back in a few weeks but I'll miss it.

The entrance to the Navy Base on Whitehead Street is closed to civilians. Unless they are chickens.

Foreclosures exist in Key West, businesses close, houses go on the market. Homes have always turned over in this city, people come and go all the time. A parking space that is turning into a meadow looks out of place. Signs of despair? Who knows.

When there was money pouring through Key West people I talked to, a decade or more ago, used to bitch about the change brought in it's wake. Not me, I liked to see people making money. Foreclosures suck and they suck a lot worse Up North than they'd here. Lucky us.

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Eccentric Key West

Miniature mansion for sale on Duval. Any takers? You get lots of columns and excellent street side seating to watch drunk tourists stumble by. Not for misanthropes like me, even if I had the money.

On the other hand the new mansion owner will be just around the corner from...It was too early in the day for me to stop by for an El Gaucho Ernesto spicy burrito, which fact didn't stop from wishing.

Love that mixed up brilliant Key West architecture: a Parisian garret window. Am I mad or am I in 19th century Paris?

Nope I'm in Key West where people jog early in the day. Those people who aren't nursing hang overs.

So if you have a mail box you don't want to use it what to do? Remove it? Nah, just put a note on it instead. Luckily letter carriers can read! I love this town.

I like floating on a noodle sometimes when I'm out on the boat, but I really like seeing a noodle put to different use. This one is protecting the public from close encounters of the uncomfortable kind. I have no idea what it's covering either.

What a well behaved dog. I wonder if her gets to walk snout in gutter? Cheyenne never misses the chance to root around so we rarely walk down the middle of the street where there's hardly any tasty trash.

A nice picture of one's hotel is a nice souvenir to take home at the end of a nice vacation. I screwed up my shot of him so I'm hoping he did a better job of his shot of his vacation spot...

How great is it to walk past a flourishing banana tree and know it will be there next week or next month as will you?

Banana trees may seem eccentric plants but around here they are just another leafy palm giving life and color to this small tropical town. Lovely.

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Quiet Key West

Bus lines in Key West are named by colors and I enjoyed seeing the Green Line bus stopping to pick up a tennis player on Whitehead Street.

One of Key West's secret economic engines is the military which provides a huge amount of money to the city and also, thanks to low military wages, reliable workers looking for second jobs when spouses work in the city. Base housing can be pretty nice too, quiet and secure behind fences, even though many military elect to live in the city.

Willie Ward Park next to the community pool is a pleasant little spot usually reserved for the idle homeless, and off limits to my industrious furry friend.

This is one reason why people like Key West: great architecture and lovely vegetation.

Key West even makes the stereotypical white picket fence look alluring.

I have always liked bamboo type ferns and I've never had any growing in my garden. So I look at and admire and envy other peoples'.

Even on a gray day Key West has it's own color.

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Sombrero Beach

It was a dark gray day yesterday over the Middle Keys and I was looking for somewhere to walk my dog. Sombrero Beach in Marathon is an oldie but goody so off we went. They've cleaned the place and tarted up the street since I was last here. I like traffic circles but impish they'd use them instead of traffic lights, not as a turn around for a dead end street.

The parking lot is huge and brilliantly laid out alongside the park so for people who are naturally averse to walking, that would be most Americans, cars are never too far from an entrance to the gated park and beach.

And dogs are welcome. Cool! It's too bad owners have to be reminded repeatedly to pick up after their animals.

The sandy beach is decidedly not appetizing on a rainy summer morning but when the weather is right this place will be packed on a weekend. It's got nice swimming and there is a child's playground and the whole thing is wide open and free to all.

The restrooms are clean and there are lots of them. They even provide facilities for the dogs.

The park is nicely laid out with winding paths and mature trees and looks good to the eye.

This is a really nice park in a town with not much going for it visually.

Marathon's coastline is pretty severe and uninteresting. There are no indentations or islands you can call destinations or even lumps of land to break up the skyline. Look out to sea and it's all water. Except for this thing:

Sombrero Beach is full of signboards explaining and illustrating wild life and attractions. There's the light house on the horizon, barely breaking up the straight line.

Sombrero Beach is full of landscaping and care, something that is horribly absent from the rest of the city.

Marathon is a wide spot in Highway One, ten miles of no landscaping, urban planning or any sort of eye catching beauty. It's miles of strip malls, light industry and giant cement poles carrying the electricity from Miami to Key West.

There's a Publix, a K-Mart, a fabulous city marina and Sombrero Beach, the nicest public park and free swimming beach in the Keys. Why no one in Marathon wants the rest of the city to live up to the promise of Sombrero Beach is beyond me.

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