Friday, October 7, 2011

Key West Recycling

I wonder what it is about Key West that the recycling center is right there on prime waterfront land.

I understand that this is city land and which is leased to the businesses at use it, but you'd think the recycling bins could have a found a less prominenthome.

Recycle your oil here and it's easy as pie. There is no way to claim that recycling used oil is complicated. There is no excuse not to and you'd think by now the point has been made.

But isn't it odd that this is where the transfer station found a home. Give the city credit it's not as chaotic or as ugly, as it might have been but still...

If you drive to Key West and decided to Dona curbside oil change while you are here...

Now you know where to drop off your oil, or your cardboard or your bottles and cans. It may not look like much but it's progress in a town that recycles seven percent of the waste stream.

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Key West Pix XI

The older generation tells us there was much ado about President Kennedy's Catholicism when he ran for the top job fifty years ago. That proved to be a non issue, not least because he took some of the Church's social mandates with a large pinch of salt. A thought that comes to mind when riding past St Mary's where flies the flag of a foreign potentate.

When I became a US citizen I took an oath not to submit to the authority of foreign "princes and potentates" (their arcane wording, not mine) and I have never flown the flag of a foreign power since then, not that I did before either. Catholic Churches are apparently not bound by the same code. Besides which the Vatican City State flag is even flying at the same height as Old Glory. Faux pas!

Golly gee willikins, the No Trespass signs are getting serious.

I loitered happily in the shade of this sign-free palm for a while.

Waiting for Godot. Some people do a lot of loitering and waiting in the Keys. The inability to show up on time is supposed to be charming, Keys disease they label it. I just find it irritating.

Pay attention! I can barely begin to imagine how uninteresting most of the footage must be next to then public bathrooms at The Bight.

It would be much prettier had they turned the camera on the other side of the building overlooking the marinas.

Monroe County spent almost 300,000 dollars last year removing abandoned boats from county waters. This year they are proposing some very mild legislation that would outlaw the anchoring of motor-less boats (hovelcraft in my lexicon) and require boaters to pump out their shit. Large predictable uproar to follow.

Live on a hovelcraft or live in Bayview Park. Not much of a choice for those seeking to corral the free spirits.

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Murray Marine

Murray Marine is south of Highway One, as vehicles arrive on Stock Island in the approaches to Key West.

The marina is what you would expect in such a facility at the southern end of the Keys.

Including a feathered greeter outside the office...

The marina basin opens to the east giving access to Boca Chica Bay, also south of US Highway One.

Racking center console boats is popular in Florida marinas.

They use a giant fork lift to rack the boats.

Though why boat owners what to rack their boats with their biminis acting as sails, I don't know.

It's a long way up there...

I ride by Murray Marine on Stock Island, every time I visit the city from my home up the Keys and its become little more than a part of the landscape. It's actually one of those useful facilities we would miss were they not the.

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Olivia Cemetery

Olivia Street between Windsor and Frances Street parallels Truman Avenue and it makes a pleasant alternative to the main street.

However it only works as a path out of Old Town as it is a one way street toward Frances.

One side of the street has classic Conch cottages while the other side of the street has rather less active residents.

They use European style burial vaults in Key West's above ground cemetery. These two vaults Got me grinning. Osmany took his nickname to the grave apparently, "El Tiburon means "The Shark" and Conchs do like to hand out nicknames.

The other vault reads "I'm feeling better now" which either is meant to indicate life after death is filled with less struggle, or perhaps it's a milder version of the well known epitaph "I told you I was sick."

It's funny to thing these little wooden homes were just a place to live when they were built but now they are character filled homes in a historic district.

Ty may be their guy but he was not re-elected to the Utility Board.

Some people find the idea of living next to the cemetery as being gruesome, perhaps because they believe that zombies and ghouls actually exist outside their own imagination.

I think I would do quite well living next too dead people.

I'd prefer a Conch cottage if I were in the market but a classic. 60's Florida bungalow may not be a bad thing either.

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Paseo, Seattle in Key West

A few years ago the Paradise Café closed on Eaton Street at Grinnell. It has now re-opened as an entirely different and quite delicious new sandwich shop.
PLEASE NOTE: For reasons known only unto themselves they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Heidi greeted me with great good cheer at the counter and explained, much to my surprise that Paseo has two original stores in Seattle The website is minimally useful to anyone in Key West; while it does show the menu there is no mention of their latest and only Florida store. What they call "loners" in Seattle are labeled "sides" in Key West. Much more civilized.

One in Ballard and the other in Frémont, neither suburb well known to me. Now they have a store in Key West, and what a great addition it is to the town.

I was going to try the West Caribbean Bowl with rice vegetables and a piece of chicken but Heidi said the restaurants fame rested it's sandwiches and those she was serving to other patrons looked delicious. So I went with the Paseo Press of nine bucks.

The sandwich was well within this week's planned ten dollar lunch exploration while I am training in Key West during the day. On the other hand some of the sides looked substantial enough to constitute meals and they were even cheaper.

I sat out on the bench at the front of the restaurant and watched the world go by waiting for my good eats.

The sandwich was fantastic, frankly. The pork was entirely Cuban, falling apart and moist, the Swiss cheese and ham were good quality but the grilled slices of onion combined with the banana peppers gave the sandwich a sweet delicious and quite unusual flavor. Plus it was big enough for two people. My wife was pissed I didn't take her half...but it was my lunch I kept insisting to her later! Sharing should be caring.

I wasn't alone in enjoying my meal. Heidi said the place opened a month ago and word seems to have got around. This is in fact a small corner of the Pacific Northwest where civility and recycling are the norm.

It is simply finished, sparsely even, but it is bright and cheerful and they even have a cup of coffee the perfect after sandwich drink. The only coffee drink they make is a double espresso (essentially acolada for Cuban fans) and it was just right.

The mist sprayers first alerted me to the fact that something was happening on Eaton Street across from the Old Town Bakery (think superb dessert...!) and I am so glad a reader told me to check it out.

As the economy continues to squeeze us the relatively cheap lunches and sandwiches offered by restaurants like Paseo will make eating out fun for those of us that are looking for value in a restaurant meal. Paseo rocks.

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Working Vampire

Finally my four ten hour days of sitting in a classroom at work are over. Not a minute too soon, despite the loveliness of the dawn sky over Cow Key Channel.

Learning to cope with the commuter traffic in the morning has been interesting. Of four days this week I showed up ten minutes late one day, thanks to stop-and-go traffic on Stock Island. The other three days by contrast I arrived in town with twenty five minutes to I stopped to take a few pictures. This lumbering commercial fishing boat put me in mind of the fact that lots of people do actually work during the day.

Others start their work day with fresh air and exercise, and a great deal of panted conversation along the seawall.

For me five years of dispatching night shift has been the best work years of my life. I get a leisurely ride against traffic following an afternoon of hanging around the house alone and walking the dog. In the morning my commute into the sunrise is once again in the face of the heavy traffic so my ride is always more fun and relaxing. I sleep till lunchtime and either prepare to go back to work or take two nights off as we work twelve hour shifts, two on two off and every other three day weekend. It is a blissfully schedule interrupted by a week of daytime training. Ugh!

People need to be kept in the dark about the pleasures of night shift or else they'll all want to do it.

Then I might have to work day shift and waste perfectly good hours of sunlight stuck indoors. I like being a working vampire.

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