Thursday, May 10, 2012

Southernmost Everything

Visitors ask where the Southernmost Point is and one is forced to reply that it is at the end of South Street of course.

The Southernmost Point of the Continental United States has spawned a whole bunch of side industries busy making money off the spot. The southernmost southernmost everything. Check it out:

This confection claims to be the Southernmost house and it belongs to a family of long time residents, noblesse oblige doesn't come into it and they fight like squires of old to maintain their southernmost birthright.

Perhaps this modest dwelling across the street, kitty corner to The Point is the southernmost southernmost southernmost?

Ah, probably not. There's The Point and there's the southernmost southernmost house.

These people don't seem to care who lives closest to The Point. They want their picture for their vacation album.

Trash is integral to the common experience. There are city trash cans nearby but the common sense of doing the right thing falls away in the face of the Southernmost. It makes you wonder why anyone would scramble to live next to this monument to bad taste.

Feast your eyes men.

This is actually more interesting, it's the place where the old Western Union telegraph wire came ashore from Cuba, decades ago.

But The Point is just one more notch in the tourist belt.

Funnily enough the actual point is on the Navy base behind the fence. The dish array spies on Cuba and having a daily trek of trash toting visitors would interfere with this last remnant of the Cold War. I listen to Cuba on my car radio, 950am Radio Reloj, Cuban news twenty four hours a day clearly audible here 90 miles away.

Southernmost rental scooters:

Southernmost Point Guesthouse and the southernmost angry parking sign.

It's a big place this guesthouse, stretching all the way back to Duval Street. The Gato name goes back to the cigar industry in Cuba that came to Key West. Gato long since left and took his business to the cheaper streets of Ybor City in Tampa. But the name connects the house to this city's well known past.

That's the southernmost game, sell the word and sell the thrill of being South. Hawaii has the actual US southernmost point and all they have according to pictures I've checked online is a marker on a dirt point on a spectacular cliff overlooking the Pacific. Key West is rather more crass.

Take a pretty fountain and fill it with a ticket seller. Like I said noblesse oblige doesn't come into it.

Take a private home and stick the world's southernmost nude statue in front of it. Or something.

And here is the southernmost Triumph Bonneville in the US. The entire Point is blotted out by the mirror!

Normally resident at Mile Marker 27 it's still quite a long way south, thank you. Kiss my ass.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


RichardM said...

Thank you for the trip to the southernmost point in the continental US. Now I can take it off my list ;-)

The northernmost point in the US is Point Barrow, about 10 miles north east of where I am right now. No marker, no road, no gift shops. Boring by comparison. A local tour company takes tourists out there with his H1 (original Hummer).

Conchscooter said...

One day I should like to see it. In winter when darkness and cold would make it feel as it should. This place is a Disney by comparison.

Anonymous said...

The southern most point in the US on the Big island in Hawaii is spectacular: ocean cliffs, blow holes etc. I had never really considered the northern most point. I now have a modest desire to visit Point Barrow. It's interesting how geographic extremes ignite the touristic impulse.

Conchscooter said...

With the news put officially today about Fast Buck Freddie's closing and owner Tony Falcone quoted as blaming mass tourism in part questions swirl in my mind about the future of tacky turism venues. Barrow and Big Island sound very different.

Anonymous said...

Although I liked visiting Fast Buck Freddies I never felt the need to purchase a dust catcher no matter how odd it may have been. Price may have been a issue too. Odd that those cheap tourist stores seem to thrive selling usless crap. At least Fast Buck had some interesting items.

Anonymous said...

I never really got the southern most point thing. I understand there is a place in North Dakota that people go to that is the geographical center of North America. That's a place colder than Montana, so I never wanted to go there.

Too bad about Fast Buck Freddies. I never bought anything there. The staff would follow me around like I was going to shop lift (never have, never will). It was a really uncomfortable place with lots of high priced junk. But then a person wearing t shirt, shorts and crocs really never fit in there.

Bob from Livingston Montana (it snowed here today)

Anonymous said...

Any business that's a one of a kind I hate to see go-- even over priced, crap ridden stores.
One day the only thing people will remember about Fast Buck Freddies is that the conchscooter used to work there. ;>

Conchscooter said...

Yeah, yeah. I'm gonna have to take some pictures at FBF.