Monday, December 12, 2011

Strange Scooter

I came across this unusual ride in Key Lime Square.

It appeared to be a water-cooled Chinese scooter though of what capacity I couldn't tell, but judging by the sophisticated water cooled cylinder and the huge exhaust I hoped it was something larger than just 50cc. The speedometer was digital so I couldn't tell what top speed could be hoped for. None of the numerous stickers indicated an engine size either.

Aside from that mystery this CPI looked fabulous, with it's tubular external frame, sporty riding position and total lack of urban practicality.

What every wild eyed youngster, such as I once was, needs to ride. Whatever it is.

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Pink Crocs

I have been living with orange footwear for a while unable as I was to locate fuchsia Crocs in size 12 for my plates of beef. Then the miracle happened and a new pair of Crocs arrived in the mail some time ago. Finally my orange footwear wore out and it was time to dump the old and don the new. Which was when Cheyenne decided to occupy the picture.

Amanda of BVI Blog read of my plight and scored a pair by mail order from her Caribbean perch. Most generous I'm sure.

And entirely comfortable even during a damp cold front:

The whole story explaining why a walking fashion faux pas.
like myself wears only pink Crocs is rather tedious. Suffice it today my wife issued a challenge and I rose to the occasion and I am stuck with the footwear as a result.

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Flaming Maggie

It's puerile I know but this alteration to a perfectly good road sign makes me laugh. Not least because the Island House is the building round the corner. Vive la différence

Fleming Street is named for one of the four Americans who bought the island from Juan Salas who had it endowed to him by the King of Spain. John Fleeming (sic) lives on remembered by some of us when we ride this street. That there used to be a gay bookstore on Fleming at Margaret gave me the idea for title of this post.

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Circling Jabours

The development boom killed off one the curious hold overs from another era downtown. It was called Jabours Trailer Park and it lived in what is currently a weedy lot between Elizabeth and Caroline Streets and the waterfront.

This picturesque view is up Dey Street off Elizabeth and has nothing to do with the open space I was walking around one recent evening.

Jabours was the city's only transient RV campground, hidden by fences and trees it offered lots for between 50 and 80 dollars a night, I'm told, just two steps away from Lazy Way Lane and the waterfront. What a deal!

It happened that land prices were sky rocketing and some keen local lads thought that turning this little RV idyll into a bunch of expensive town homes would be a good idea. The land bubble burst prematurely and all that got built was one model home. Jabours got out with a wad of cash, and the RV fantasy parking lot vanished forever.

Schooner Wharf's denizens started to worry that the town home gentrification plan would bring in a bunch of residents who would object to the live music that is a staple at the landmark drinking hole. All that worry was for nothing as it turned out.

I was attracted by the sign in the window at the dust catcher store further up the lane. Free coins? Lucky they were closed else who knows what I might have gone home with...

The Western Onion was off flogging the sunset to punters in the harbor. Ho ho ho, the hole it left at the dock looked very festive all the same.

And looking across the old trailer park we observe the back of the buildings on Caroline.

The missed and lamented Waterfront Market still sits empty. Plans mooted for a brew pub and restaurant or a bowling alley have come to naught so far.

And back across the lot another glance reveals the bright lights of Schooner Wharf, rocking into the cold night air.

There are some vague hopes expressed the open space might become a park. I'm not holding my breath but I wouldn't mind that at all. I very much doubt RVs will ever return.

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A Long March

We've had our second serious cold front of the winter. When I say serious we are talking in relative terms here and that means temperatures at night dropped close to sixty degrees and daytime highs could barely struggle past seventy.

Doesn't sound cold? Maybe but a cold virus has strafed through town knocking people out right and left. It's like peoples' immune systems fall apart under a combined attack by cold and bacteria at once.

That includes me, laid up at home coughing and spluttering and dreaming fevered dreams. Dr Norris fit me in at the end of the day and I took Cheyenne in with me as no way was I riding the Bonneville with a head stuffed like a tea cosy. That's how bad I felt. Cheyenne demanded a walk and well, I thought, I can cope as it's only my throat that hurts. I was afraid I was developing strep throat which I've had before and didn't much like.

We passed a bright orange motorcycle which helped remind me I hadn't ridden in a week. Then high atop Solares Hill I passed the old Royal Enfield which I've seen around town and seen on Chuck's blog, Old Town. I like idea of a 500 single but for $2500 less you can have a Suzuki 250 for the same performance and Japanese reliability, infinitely preferable to Indian approximation. I wish I had the skill and patience to keep an Enfield running.

The Conch Republic Air Force offers sightseeing tours, not bombing runs. CRAF

Boat trips are always on offer of course as well. Here's a discreet form of advertising behind the ticket booth.

Cuban cigars cannot be sold officially in the Conch Republic thanks to the US embargo but Cuban 'seed' cigars can be. Perhaps the seeds were exported before the ancient embargo was imposed?

This place used to sell falafels but it's all change on Duval and now it's seafood. Quite decent I'm told.

This cock-o'-the-walk was strutting on the fence in the back of the former Cuban Consulate, known these days as the San Carlos Theater.

It has the air of a Spanish mission even from the rear.

This building has been through a few restaurant styles on Appelrouth Lane, a lane named for a prominent Key West merchant of decades ago. Most recently the place was German then Hungarian and now I'm told something new and interesting and local is planned for the place.

They were busy working on it. Across the street Ruby's guesthouse has posted a sign for the delight of renters and interested passersby-by:

Who knew renting a bicycle was so complex? That was as much walking as I could manage but the dog was still tugging at the leash. She'd better hope I get well soon because her exercise program will be curtailed until I'm well. I'm popping pills as fast as I can and hoping the weather gets warmer soon.

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