Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stock Island Yachts

The car needed an oil change and I needed a new perspective on Stock Island so while Mike did the honors on the car I wandered off. Mike is from Santa Barbara in California and moved to Key West as we did from Santa Cruz, just up the coast. More important than that faint connection, his location across the highway from my wife's job makes it easy to drop off the car and he takes appointments and honors them and is easy to deal with. I approach new businesses that drop into these narrow islands with a jaundiced eye as so many fail or lose their way. When you find a good one you hold it close of course.

Hogfish has been around for a while and they sell a nice line in "old Key West" under the relatively new huge tiki roof. The food is okay off a large menu and it's reputation is such that visitors love to come here "off the beaten track" and eat next to palms with the sun reflecting off the water. Bobby Mongelli's new place Roostica further up the road is doing land sale business with locals and I like that Italian eatery a lot despite it's inland location in Stock Island's industrial zone.

You can see why Hogfish fills a need for people with a certain idea of what Key West should be like, authentic commercial fishing boats tied up alongside, the sun glimmering on they water like I said. See?

After I picked up the car I went over to the Stock Island Yacht Club where we have renewed our membership for a winter of swimming in their heated pool. A family membership is sixty bucks a month for access to the pool, sauna, gym and restaurant. They don't serve Red Stripe any more and their beer list is weak in this age of fashionable craft beers but I do like the atmosphere of genteel gentrification (ahem!) and the fact that the pool is divided strictly between adults and noisome offspring. I get to swim among adults even though they can be rather crass snowbirds down for the winter to show us how it's done.

They have a marina as well with fuel docks and a ships store and covered storage for boats. They also allow liveaboards in the marina and they also get access to the club. It's actually quite a sweet set up, and even though I have been ragged for being the only Democrat in a Republican strong hold I point out the Key West Yacht Club, terribly exclusive and reclusive on North Roosevelt Boulevard is where the city power brokers hang out. This place is actually a refuge for middle class families, snowbirds who want to see and be seen and don't have the credentials for the real thing, and a few eccentrics like me that like the facilities without the folderol of watching sports on TV and making small talk at the rather nice wood and brass bar. The food is actually quite good and happy hour is extremely reasonably priced.

The views are pretty nice too.

Worlds collide on Stock Island, and moves to increase the proportion of places like this will put strains on worker housing on Stock Island. The Yacht Club used to be called Peninsular Marine a place where boats were hauled out of te steer and repaired in an atmosphere as unlike this as its possible to imagine. I used to bring my oat here to to do woe and I was intimately familiar with the cold water shower and seatless toilets of Peninsular and standing in line petitioning for office time. Peninsular was home to homeless who made a life among the hulks permanently propped up in the dirt and gravel of the old boatyard. I remember groups of boat dwellers making fires in old oil drums during cold fronts standing around under the hulls of their boats and sharing beers and talking boat talk watching the flames flicker and hold the cold at bay.

Is it better now? I don't know but I can move between both worlds and I take them as they come.



Anonymous said...

Dear Editor:

You wrote:

"I used to bring my oat here to to do woe and I was intimately familiar with the cold water shower and seatless toilets of Peninsular and standing in line petitioning for office time."

Why the hell you you bring your oat here? I'm assuming "oat" is code for the "piss tube" or something.

Apparently, your "oat" was the "woe" of seatless toilets, in which you were somewhat intimate.

What the hell is going on here? Reading between the lines is both a challenge and a mystery. Is it still possible to get a Brazilian Monkey Smother for $2 in the back alleys?

Margrave Henry Eden
HMS Pollywog Oooze

Anonymous said...

Dear Conchscooter:

Is that your real name? I was recently down to Key West and our "engineer" on the "Conch Train" said your real name was "Hildago Pomeridge," and that you were an ex-pat Cypriot who came to the Keys to hawk cockles.

We took the Conch Train 15 times in one day, waving and calling out to the waiters and waitresses working in the outdoor caf├ęs. We'd yell, "You Whooooo.... It's us again."

Well, I think we must have been voted the #1 couple from Pine Ridge, NJ in Key West that day. By trip #8, many of those folks recognized us and just raised the #1 finger when we went by.

My husband of 67 years, Artie, went to use the Port-O-Pottie on the corner of Belle Meade Street and White Shoes Boulevard. Do you know there was an unconscious man sitting in there without his pants. He had a rooster sitting in his lap. What is that all about? Is that another Key West tradition?

Yours truly,
Greta Fitzferligwiggan
Pine Ridge, NJ

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

Go ahead. Answer that broad's questions. I dare you. I want to hear what you have to say.

I don't think you have the balls to say anything.

Turley Semple
The Mayor of White Shoes Boulevard
City Hall/ The Port-O-Pottie
Corner of Belle Meade and WSB

Anonymous said...

Dear Current Occupant Or Valued Constituent:

Thanks to your timely lead, we were able to register the individual living in the Port-O-Pottie on the corner of Belle Meade and White Shoes Boulevard as a voter.

Your diligence and concern in this matter is appreciated. As a bonus, your name has been added to a mailing list entitling you to receive periodic reminders of how good local government is to you.

Thank you again,
Heywood Jablowme
Department Of Exciting News
City of Key West