Monday, October 22, 2012

Conch Fritters

They look like hush puppies, balls of corn meal scattered through with bits of green pepper and conch meat. Conch (pro: konk) is a mollusk and the meat is rubbery and white and flat when removed from the shell and pounded to give it some tenderness. Some people eat it raw, "cooked" in lime juice and they call it conch salad but I prefer conch fritters where the corn at least gives some flavor. Steaks are best because the conch is dipped in delicious batter mixture and deep fried. Well, anything tastes good when fried. Personally I'd rather let the conchs alone and leave them to wander the sea floor very slowly and deliberately minding their own business in their shells. If not you can buy Honduran conch in Key West, Honduran because local conch have been fished almost to extinction. Now we do the same to the Central American variety in the name of tradition involving some weird meat that tastes like a bicycle inner tube. Go figure.

People On Duval Street

Some random shots taken as I strolled Duval Street. The Five Guys Burger and Fries downtown is doing well at Duval and Truman and now they are opening a second spot at Overseas Market where the old Key West Diner all-you-can-eat place used to be. They still see the need to advertise.

Flying by bicycle, the best way to see Old Town. Unless you like to walk. Or ride a scooter.

This guy, doing a valuable job in the heat of October, looked incongruous waiting at the light with his cart, negotiating the intersection as though he should have been making "Vroom! Vroom!" noises as he pushed.

Trader Joe's grocery chain is reaching critical mass I think. My wife loves the fact that they are as close as Naples, and expected to move into southeast Florida before too long. A chain one can like, I suppose. We lived and died by Trader Joe's in Capitola when we lived in California and you will still see all sorts of products from the chain around our home. Trips out of state have always netted a quick visit to Trader Joe's in Atlanta or Chapel Hill or Chicago... I had a friend suggest Trader Joe's should move into the old Waterfront Market!

Burly mountain man riding Flatistan looking around for..? Curves on women...men...or roads? Who knows.

The relief of shade. Even now in mid October temperatures are in the mid 80's and there is only a hint of a chill breeze after dark.

The body as canvas, if you like that sort of thing.

The body as cushion:

See those naked backs? I told you it was hot, even inside the Bull.

Hot enough to be wearing only shorts and no one bats an eye on this street. Pretty soon shorts will seem excessive for some fantastically minded exhibitionists.

Children and Fantasy Fest don't really mix but I bet I will get some pictures later this week of weird nudity and children all on the same street. Some parents haven't a clue.

I saw the black dude who dresses like a pirate in a leather tricorne like this one. He was cycling home on Stock Island so I'm thinking this is another pirate fantasist. Pirates never roamed Key West in history but they are all over the island these days.

This is one way to earn a living:

That pink bag would be a perfect match for my Crocs. I wanted to steal it but...middle class morality prevailed.

June Keith on her blog www.junekeith.com had a devastating critique of Hemingway the Man, which made for interesting reading and I couldn't get it out of my sad as I watched them crowd "his" bar which I don't think would've quite to his taste as it stands.

But that's what it's all about, the fantasy, the image, the escape. And here it all is, the famous street, the heart of Key West's escape, in glorious technicolor.