Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Key West Pix 11

There are times when I miss having a single lens reflex camera but mostly my pocket Canon, so to speak, does the job just fine. I like it because it's always here, literally in my pocket, whether I'm riding walking the dog or diving the car. However the shutter delay makes pictures of moving targets a bit iffy and the ease of use of the automatic focus makes manual focussing seem like a chore.

I couldn't get the camera to focus on then fuel truck at the airport and I was too lazy, grr, to refocus manually to get past the fence. So there it is.

Work has concluded on this building at then corner of First and Flagler and what a fine job it is, after years of sitting on the very edge of collapse. I guess it makes a decent advertisement for the builders that call it home. This next picture I snapped on my way out of town on Truman Avenue at the pedestrian light at Bayview Park.

Just out of sight there was a woman pushing a stroller, not that the SUV was worrying about piffling inconveniences like red lights. I wonder if he drives 45 in the Key Deer protectorate?

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Light And Shade

Help Yourself, has filled in the spot formerly occupied by a café with a model railroad running round the ceiling followed by some other place I can't recall, then an Indian fusion place that I liked a lot and then this vegetarian/vegan place which isn't actually bad.

I'm not a vegetarian but in the same way I describe myself as straight but not narrow (hardly) when it comes to poofs I am not averse to quinoa or tofu or a plate of vegetables when it comes to food. I am glad they seem to be thriving. Long may they do so.

Key West, home to giant trucks and SUVs is also home, as it happens, to weird Segway-like vehicles used by letter carriers. It seems they are also a tourist attraction. And I am forced to agree they are cute.

Key West is on the receiving end of so much sunshine it's not surprising homes are built the way they are, wide windows, shaded porches and lovely dark interiors.

And brightly colored exteriors.

I enjoy peoples' penchant for brightly colored bicycles too, though this one seemed to be getting eaten by the grass.

A sleepy bicycle on a Jeep.

Coconuts, a barrel and a sheet of plywood. You never know when all that stuff might come in useful. Fording a broken Vermont bridge perhaps.

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I was wandering the Key West Bight waterfront camera in hand when I was accosted by a stranger.

It turned out it was not a stranger at all but a former neighbor in one of Stock Island's former boatyards. Julian was working on her boat alongside ours a decade or so ago. She spent her days as a chambermaid factotum in several guesthouses around town and came back to her own little sail boat in the yard and evening by evening converted it onto a comfortable and functional home afloat. She wanted to know everything about her boat so that she could live on the water and not be dependent on anyone, not even her husband.

We have lost touch over the years, though she has had occasional encounters and greetings on the street with my wife but I was surprised as we talked that afternoon how much she remembered of our time in the yard all those years ago. It was quite flattering as, unbeknownst to me she not only asked my advice but took it apparently, and my advice stood her in good stead.

Julian is quite the character, which may not come as a surprise considering how she hammed for my camera. A decade ago she sailed the Atlantic with her then husband and came to his country from England. For Julian is an Englishwoman it turns out and speaks a form of English that might astonish someone who didn't know her. She peppers her speech with Northern-isms "owt" and "summat."

Key West has an odd habit of embracing some people and rejecting others, with no known parameters or reasons. Some people make their way to the Southernmost City as a lifelong dream and expect to be embraced by the fantasy. Others
And her almost by accident and never leave. How Julian managed to make it stick, living as she does on the margins I'm not sure but she's enjoying her own Key West.

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Porch Labor

Our rejuvenated porch is starting to look how we want it to look, clean and tidy and inviting. The wood is painted a very light shade of light blue...

Chuck was busy shaking paint in spray cans to make the overhead fans look new.

Which he promptly did very nicely, and they needed the paint as they had become quite rusty.

The great big sausage roll of carpet had to be cut to width to fit our twenty four foot by eight foot porch. The idea was to glue it down but calmer heads prevailed and we all decided it would work fine and when inevitably the carpet wears out tacks will be easier to remove when the carpet has to be replaced.

Chuck the fusspot told me to give it one more sweeping as I figured the porch was swept clean of paint scrapings...while he vacuumed assiduously.

Wayne the ex-carpenter was busy measuring twice and cutting once while Chuck made useful comments. They have been together longer than Methuselah was in high school, but happily for my heterosexual marriage the state of Florida doesn't allow them to do the same. Such immorality would put my marriage at risk obviously.

Mind you I haven't a clue how to lay carpet so I found this demonstration absolutely riveting. I dare say for most manly men laying a cart on Labor Day is no big deal but I learned a lot.

Cheyenne got bored resting comfortably in the air conditioning and came out to check on our progress.

Not everyone was sweating as they slaved away carpeting...and they liked to parade their ease on their way down our neighborhood's canal.

My house on the eastern side looks like a blizzard has blown through. I am thinking it might take quite a few hours work to clear up the debris.

The carpet isn't quite finished but Cheyenne looked quite at home on it.

She waits for me on the porch in the morning waiting for the sound of the Bonneville coming down the street. The new carpet might be as comfortable as the recliner she usually lies on, as she waits for her first walk of the day. Someone appreciated the boys' work.

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Walking My Dog

I am not a botanist but I know these things are edible,were edible, thus I know their name. In Key West they call them Spanish Limes, in the Caribbean they call them christophenes, and by any name they are delicious and here they are swishes into the sidewalk.

Christophenes are small round fruit with a big pit and soft tangy flesh rather like lychees with a citrus bite. I looked at the squashed fruit and the clusters high in the air above me and was glad I couldn't reach them to steal em. That would be bad for my much valued career.

Dog Fest. Most owners are scared to let their pets have any fun but in this case Cheyenne got to sniff a butt.

This dog I forgot to photograph until it was on it's way in the arms of it's loving owner. Sixteen years old she said and still likes to sniff fresh air.

Take a ride in Key West in September and enjoy the heat and quiet empty streets. Unless a Conch train is turning the corner of course. They never stop rolling and talking.

I love watching people walk and talk. It just looks daft.

Bad parking looks daft too, as I may have mentioned previously.... I blame this instance on Cheyenne who was in a hurry to get out and go for her walk.

I was following this cyclist for a while down the middle of the street but I cut him some slack after my miserable parking strategy.

But Truman was wide open for us to head home.

As it should be in September.

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