Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Water

A sunset stroll on White Street Pier. Note the lack of parkas.

The ramp next to Rest Beach.

The condo tiki hut would make a nice spot to watch the waxing moon over the water this week. You have to rent a condo to use it.

Or take a rest in a convenient hammock.

Key West is a good place to take a break from winter.

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Key West Rocks

At the Bocce Court.

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Seaweed And Cement

Visitors frequently complain at the sight and smell of decomposing seaweed when they want to visit the beaches in the Keys. the stiff breaks loose from I don't know where and drifts around in the ocean until it washes up on the beach. Then the sun gets to work on it.

The stuff gets thick and smells like sulphur when it's been laying about in the sun long enough to get cooked.

After a storm it mats the shoreline with a smell that I call the scent of survival, considering I'm around to smell it after a hurricane battering.

Whole lives get lost in the blankets of weed.

The sea never stops pushing it into land and there's no sensible or economic way to get rid of it all.

So it piles up, salty fertilizer which can be converted to compost I'm told. In fact it was suggested to me by an avid gardener that the way to get this stuff into the ground is to lay it out in some open space at the beginning of rainy season and let a summer's worth of rain wash the salt off. By Fall you get a pile of salt free compost. I must try this one day.

Meanwhile the flood continues.

Pushed up.

Wave by wave and all the cement in the world won't stop it.

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Lunch Break

I was called in for overtime on day shift (erk, I loathe working during sunlit hours) and had been deputized to fetch sandwiches for lunch in police dispatch where I work.

There are areas of Key West commerce that actually observe Sunday as a day of rest, in the western tradition. Family owned sandwich shops reduce hours or close frequently, but Paseo closes on Mondays and Tuesdays so on Sunday...pressed pork sandwiches were on the menu as far as I was concerned.

Sitting there on the edge of Eaton Street waiting for lunch I looked around and realized that Key West was once again passively intruding into my thoughts. Elsewhere in America one might be waiting for a sandwich in an anonymous strip mall surrounded by lines of parked cars. Check out these classic louvered windows:

In Key West the view was a surprisingly varied selection of shutters. I'm fascinated by the variety of window covers in this city threatened from time to time by strong winds and flying d├ębris in storms. This is a pukka hurricane shutter made of aluminum.

These traditional Mediterranean style shutters work too.

These are Caribbean style and are solid.

These angled shutters are called Bahamian and I think they look good if a tad impractical. A friend of mine says they can be noisy too in strong winds.

The pressed pork sandwiches appeared. They met with approval at work. 'Exotic Cuban pork sandwiches' was the verdict as my colleagues checked the large slices of grilled onion and the crispy peppers. They almost made a day off lost to overtime a pleasure.

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The year round population in the Keys is supposed to be close to 75,000 while Key West takes care of 23,000 of that. It's weird but the homeless population goes up in winter too.

It's weird because one expects the snowbird return each winter but the residentially challenged? Yup, them too. Figuring out to whom the errant back pack belongs to isn't my job.

Santa took a hit on Galveston Lane and deflated as a result. Poor bugger.

It's the Santa season all right but you wouldn't know from the dress of the people in town. This lot were modern using electronics.

These two were on my wavelength using paper. The weather has been perfect, not too cold with nighttime lows around 70 and daytime highs warm enough for t-shirts, even for locals.

A ride in a pedi-cab is one way to catch up with what's going on in each other's lives. My Bonneville has factory mufflers so there was no danger I would disturb their chatter.

I like to think I know what I'm doing on two wheels but scooter renters are as varied as anyone who can plunk down a couple of twenty dollar bills, produce a car license and take off after a frighteningly short briefing on the controls.

The best strategy is to curl up on a cushion on the porch and take a nap.

Neither camera flash nor inquisitive Labrador were enough to stir the cat on Margaret Street safe behind the picket fence.

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