Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kaya What?

"Soon Come" gets the point across but it is an odd way of putting it, if you can actually read the pale blue and white writing on the turquoise banner as you whizz by at 60 miles per hour.




Knickerbockers, a sports bar, was built here years ago, after Hurricane Wilma blew through the islands. So they put a big generator upstairs, we were all a bit flood-wary after Wilma, but the sports bar failed. Now, despite the dim economic prospects for the world at large, "island eats" are coming to a nicely refurbished building at Mile Marker 15.




There's a new pizzeria opening up the road at the Sugarloaf Lodge. I hope they all know how to hire professional waitstaff to back up whatever good food they decide to churn out. Even if I never eat there, there's something bracing about seeing people ready to open businesses, buy homes and carry on as though there really isn't a recession nagging at us.

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Margaret Street

I had a great walk on a bright sunny morning. It's always good to see Cheyenne enjoying herself and I was taking my own pleasure alongside my happy dog.


I saw a porch set up that looked like it might be a pleasant place to sit outdoors. It put me in mind of my own happy fresh porch at home.


Dust catchers come in lots of different shapes and there was a yard filled with statues and decorations. This one struck me in particular. Five Whole Miles Per Hour? God forbid! Much better this sign stay as a dust catcher in my opinion.


House, check. Trees, check. White picket fence, check. Blue sky, check. Scooter, check. Must be a Key West homestead, perfect in every detail.


More trees, more shade...


...more lovely Key West.

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Roadworks

I read that Clarke County, Wisconsin is joining other communities across the Midwest in returning paved roads to gravel. In the long run gravel costs more to maintain but in the short term paving is more expensive than communities can afford in this, the Great Depression of the 21st century. If you believe the mainstream press which loudly trumpets the political line that we aren't in recession, you aren't paying attention.


Have no fear though, the lifeline through the Fabulous Florida Keys called the Overseas Highway is getting a facelift, a mile at a time. Last night I worked a short shift in police dispatch and found myself at Mile Marker 18 at 2:30 in the morning. On my way in to work a few hours earlier I was held up for some time waiting for traffic to flow the opposite way so when I was stopped on my way home I knew I had time to whip out the camera and record this bean feast of repaving in a world gone poor.


Since my fall in Big Coppitt in June 2009 I dread the sign that says lanes are uneven. I fell off the Triumph at 45mph owing to a step in the roadway I could not see and slid down the road as a result. That ride home after I picked up the bike and myself was rather less fun than usual. I like to ride this highway and I look forward to the smooth new pavement but signs like these are the price we pay to get there. A price the state of Florida can still afford to pay somehow.


The "new" highway was built in 1982 and it has reduced the drive to Miami by half from the old drive on the converted and narrow railroad bed originally built by Flagler's engineers. It is well marked, lighted frequently and lined with reflectors, and is thus easy to drive even in the worst rains, or the darkest of nights.


Night riding is a blast on the road when traffic is sparse and you find yourself alone in the dark, flying through the warm night air. Roadworks tend to gum things up, leaving you standing in the middle of the roadway twiddling your thumbs and wondering how much they can re-pave before the money runs out.


This crappy picture is a hand held reminder of how beautiful this recent full moon was, shining silver on the water either side of the road, illuminating the clouds hanging low in the sky.


I don't think riding the newly graveled roads in the mid west would be half as much fun in the dark.


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Another Sunny Bridge Walk

When Fat Albert is on the ground it's a sign of either impending bad weather or recently passed bad weather (or perhaps maintenance issues?).


The sun was out and things were looking lovely to my way of thinking.


Boats were on the water again, no longer dodging the dreaded thunderstorms.


Roger's Earthball was successfully facing the open waters of the Florida Straits.


And the KOA marina was open for business on a warm sunny morning.


Fat Albert got in the air later in the day ready once again to guard the southern approaches against smugglers and infiltrators.


I love the sunlight reflected off the water.


Cheyenne was enjoying sniffing everything in sight.


There were no other cyclists, pedestrians or anglers on the bridge.


We had the open road on the old Flagler Bridge all to ourselves.


It was great morning to be out.


It's corny but I think sunshine makes things look better.


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Colors And Shadows

A fine bright morning in Key West, just one more in an endless string.


As though there weren't enough color on the streets some people feel the need to air their dust catchers outdoors to brighten the place up.


What a weird door for a realty office. I think I like them whoever they are...though how they got this collection of scrap down here who can say? This isn't the kind of countryside where people abandon agricultural implements with any kind of frequency.


You may not know what this is but I have used this kind of thing (shown below in close up). It's a guide for a grass mowing blade. At six feet long it's not used for your average lawn, but to cut hay on Old MacDonald's Farm. Just like the ones we used when I was a kid in Italy. Weird but true.


The green building used to be Bogart's Irish Pub and the it was closed down when plans were mooted to create a super duper gay night club complex that's outraged the neighbors it got abandoned and Bogart's came back. Now mots something else. Things just keep changing in Key West.


If you have some pocket change you'd like to drop on a nice house in Key West they are still charging 2005 prices. $700,000 a mere bagatelle! Unless you need a bank loan in which case you are shit out of luck these days. Try Dexia, it took two governments to bail that Belgian bank out of it's Greek loan obligation bankruptcy!


Or flee the whole scene if your creditors are hounding you. Buy a Conch Republic passport.


It's not real but rumor has it the passport has worked on some gullible Third World borders. That and hard cash has always worked in any world.


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