Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hawk Missile Base

In the Cuban missile crisis this was the center of defense plans for the Florida Keys.

Then towers carried radar scanners to detect Cuban aircraft and the missiles were on mobile launchers parked in bays protected by berms of earth that still exist. They had to store ammunition somewhere, so where better than a human made cave?

I walk Cheyenne with a plastic bag in my pocket but it seems some people need to be reminded. One of the paradoxes of owning a dog is that you are first in line to step in other dogs' shit as your dog likes to follow along and sniff their passing. Which makes me rather fanatical about picking up.

The lines of trespass are happily not too clearly drawn around here. As far as I can tell the city doesn't want visitors to Little Hamaca getting tangled up in empty buildings which is a requirement easy enough to oblige.

I noticed some creosote glistening in the sun on a fallen pole. I wonder if they still use such antiquated stuff?

From the top of the berm I could see the apartment complexes that line the east end of South Roosevelt Boulevard.

And overhead an F-something practicing taking off and landing from aircraft carriers or whatever it is they do.

And a passenger airliner landing at the Key West 'International' Airport.

Little Hamaca is a park squeezed into New Town, said to be the last hump of slightly raised dirt above the mangroves around here and thus home to plants that live in dirt and not, like the mangroves, in salt water. I find it can be a surprisingly serene spot.

Cheyenne needed shade.

If it was trespassing it was not done with any ill intent.

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Harbor Life

I wandered the waterfront with no aim in mind.

I photographed what I saw, on and off the Boardwalk at Key West Bight.

It wasn't about bars or recording studios or any particular landmark.

I was missing the sights and sounds of a busy waterfront.

The draw of fish chasing advertised brightly.

The mis-spelled signs that make me smile.

The clutter of a sailing boat.

Not sailing.

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Wine By The Taste

My wife the social butterfly wanted to enjoy an evening out and a colleague of hers is she said, an accomplished pianist. So we made our way downtown to the Gardens Hotel.

They have an outside bar by the pool and a wine room inside with some newfangled dispensing system that has arrived in the Keys, in this very room. Take a glass and start tasting at will.

To pay, simply put money on a plastic card and with glass in hand you are free to wander and taste as the fancy takes you.

The instructions are pretty simple and they pop up on a screen.

Select your wine and press the appropriate amount.

Brilliant, huh?

The actual reason for our presence was Michael, formerly a professional entertainer and now happily employed as a very respected tutor in the school district.

The Gardens just a block off Duval Street on Angela is a million miles away from the rowdy bars of Lower Duval.

I showed this picture to Chuck and he demurred, "It looks rather gay," but that being the case nothing lost we agreed.

I hope this erection isn't gay, but whoever glued a million sea shells to whatever is underneath deserves a round of applause for patience if nothing else.

The Gardens is a good place for relaxation so we did just that.

Michael was joined by another Michael and the duets flowed as freely as the wine. The ability to get a spritz of wine in the glass means you can actually taste a wide range of wines one might not otherwise venture to try.

It was a warm and inviting evening.

Darkness was falling and we had dogs at home that needed attention. Chuck had Wayne too but we hoped the dog keeper knew how to look after himself for a few hours.

It's very pleasant to have one more civilized place to have a drink downtown.

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