Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fleming And Simonton

This building is on the corner and I pass it so often I shouldn't even notice it anymore. But I do and it always strikes me as an exceptional view in a town famous it's wooden homes.

I've seen pictures of the 1909 hurricane that blew bricks across Key West from buildings like this one. I'm glad this exception to the rule is still here, and though not alone in town, it is among the most visible of brick buildings

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Stupid Scooter

Hey! How you doin'! He was shouting thanks to the illegal earpieces he was wearing. At least he had eye protection!

The exchange is common enough in a town where everyone knows everyone.

Smart stuff, huh? I don't care one way or the other but I hope when they do hurt themselves they will recognize the choice was theirs alone.

What hell. This is Key West and casual is the rule.

Lots of experience riding is the way to get away with this. When visitors try the casual approach, better yet with plenty of alcohol they frequently end up dialing 9-1-1. I shall keep the gruesome stories to myself.

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Demoralized Limestone

My wife came back from Turkey with stories and pictures of magnificent rock formations in Cappadocia. She and her Key West girlfriends flew above the pointy rocks in a hot air balloon and the experience fired their imaginations.

It's a stretch but these limestone formations put me in mind of my wife's stories of Turkish delight.


It is the effect of endless waves battering this pile of rock and washing away striations over time.

The effect is otherworldly.

I know of no other place in the Keys that looks quite like this.

This is the old pump house for the water main installed by the Navy in 1942.

World War Two ended Key West's dependence on rainwater and cisterns. I'm guessing the limestone was much more solid back then.

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Norton 850

I must be a glutton for punishment but I can't stand passing a classic bike and not taking a picture for my blog. Key West sinks under the weight of all Harleys all the time and while I have nothing against Harleys, except their prices, I would like a little variety.

A lovely 850, sitting on Southard Street.

Indeed it's not at all far from where I recently spotted a Laverda 1000, which I greatly admired and got a dose of foul grief from Laverda nerds when one of their forum discovered my highly complimentary essay.

So I offer these pictures of a lovely bike with no history lessons about the marque or my peripheral involvement with them in sure and certain hope that the pleasure of seeing a beautiful bike doesn't have to necessarily produce controversy.

Lovely yes, but I do like my modern 865 Triumph. Easy to start, easy to operate and easy to maintain.

Triumph calls these motorbikes modern classics and for someone like me they make a great daily rider, practical, easy and reliable. There's a reason I am closing in on 57,000 trouble free miles on my 2007.

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Downtown Dustcatchers

It's a funny thing but people do enjoy that which is familiar. One can debate which locally made ice cream is best, but one can wonder why people come hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles to eat what they can buy at home. But they do.

A convenience store with happy hour? Is that a deal?

For those that get confused and show up with winter clothing only, there is help at hand. Buy now, buy often.

Jewels anyone?

A souvenir photo might be enough.

I cannot imagine how one views Key West by climbing off a ship, and seeing this and going no further. Fried food and stuff from China is not the real Key West.

Is this what one buys to remember the Southernmost City?

There was a simpler way back when they fished off this wreck.

It's tempting to think those were the good old days, until you get toothache or the electricity goes out and you're sitting in the dark and your fresh food isn't so fresh anymore.

I stopped by to see Curt at the Conch Fritter stand, another cog in the Historic Tours machine. Curt lives his own life on his boat, saves his money from his two jobs, paints and watches the sunset from the deck of his home. He has the real Key West figured.

Curt is the link to his story.
And he provides weary visitors a place to take a break with his fritters.

I am not a shop keeper by inclination but what I ask myself, does fifty percent off mean? Off what?

For many Key West is dust catchers and bars.

For others it's a small town easily explored by bicycle.

For those that live here the bicycle is the commuter vehicle of choice so they can get down to this corner of the island and sell the visitors that which they want. And odd stuff it is apparently.

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