Thursday, December 8, 2011


Chuck was just bursting with good cheer at the Holiday Parade.

Every day should be that good, and sometimes I suspect for Chuck, a refugee from St Louis, down here it is.

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Doors And Porches

It looks more Northern than tropical with the dark paint-free wood.

Key West is all individual shapes and angles.

And Christmas makes an inevitable appearance this time of year except there is no frost. Ever.

Simple and crisp adorned with palms.

Busy with the all important bicycle, the most useful set of wheels in Old Town.

Two seats side by side to watch the world go by.

Mosquito netting needs to be complete tom work but around here I doubt they have as many bugs in Old Town as we do in the island suburbs. They might dispute that...

A perfect porch on a modest scale.

Not more perfect but a good deal larger.

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I was looking at the big picture and reveling in the open sky, the line of clouds paralleling the horizon, the rocks peeking above the pools of tidal water and generally thinking this was a good day to be alive.

The joie de vivre was not mine alone. A band of sandpipers was hanging in the foreground admiring the same view.

Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.

Before I knew it they were gone and the seascape was all mine again.

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Steven Avenue

Key West realtors split the city into a third segment between Old and New Towns and they called it...Mid Town. Whatever.

Just because the homes are modern and built of solid materials that don't leak or bend in a strong wind doesn't mean they can't be made to look pretty, and vegetation is everywhere.

I saw this strip of loam and I have to say I was quite surprised by how rich and dark it looked. In the land of pea rock and limestone this stuff looks like it should be cultivated with food crops.

Cheyenne had a blast and I was much more relaxed walking her on the wide New/Mid Town street.

Off street parking, greenery and privacy.

What's not to like?

Construction! Always a good sign in a stuttering economy.

Key West Almost International Airport has the runway perfectly aligned to send planes right over homes, not over open water. Where the noise wouldn't be heard.

But a scooter is commuter enough to get all around town from here.

Compared to no offsets and overhanging neighbors this part of town is wide open between homes.

I like these homes outside the tourist zone.

All American white picket fence and a sidewalk.

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Rest Beach

In the world ranking of great beaches Rest Beach isn't anywhere in sight. For a start It's got more signage than sand.

No this no that and absolutely none of the other. It's all common sense in the end.

Rest Beach was spruced up after Hurricane Wilma trashed the waterfront and it has filled out year after year since 2005.

Not without incident.

The lush growth behind the sand and the sea oats is a haven for typical Key West wildlife.

Feathered and non.

The tiki huts tend to collect the residentially challenged and their extensive and complex baggage.

You can hardly blame them for wanting to hang here, it's so pretty. I am in the group that prefers egrets and ibis to chickens when it comes to cleaning up bugs around town. The native birds don't dig up dirt, don't make noise and go about their business with a restraint and dignity the invasive messy chickens simply can't emulate.

It's a funny little strip of sand that is known as Rest Beach which the guide books will tell you is called C B Harvey Rest Beach, though if you tell that to a local you will get a quizzical look in return. "Oh, you mean Bottle Beach?"

No bicycle parking say the signs but Key West is the city of signage and reading all those words exhausts some residents.

Rest Beach used to be the place where they landed cattle and slaughtered them for the residents of Old Town. It may be hard to imagine but this side of Key West was fields and trees and wilderness crisscrossed by white gravel roads.

The old timers call it Bottle Beach because the beef slaughter on the beach rendered it also a bit of a tip, and last generation's trash became the new generation's treasured dust catcher. I don't think you can find antique bottles around here anymore but sometimes a hopeful treasure hunter brings a scanner for a search.

He looks grumpy but he was entranced by Cheyenne and gave her a big grin. She stumped on by looking for unconsidered trifles cast into the bushes and there ripened enough to make a fine Labrador treat. Anyone would think I starve my dog.

This is why I like Rest Beach:

And no one stepped up to keep it clean?

And there it is, delightful in the golden setting sun.

And they never even stopped as they drifted past Rest Beach.

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