Winter has beset Key West, the first real cold front of winter is upon us. Nighttime temperatures almost hit sixty degrees and daytime highs yesterday barely reached seventy. Quite a few people were wearing long pants and jackets around town during my afternoon lunch break from work.
Thanksgiving had its own neutralizing effect on the city. Sandy's 24 hour Cuban cafe was closed though Andrea snuck down there before the three pm closing time and brought reviving con leches to the communications center. The rolled down white door is a sight rarely seen on White Street.
It was generally a gray day yesterday, reminiscent of California's summer time marine inversion when cold sea air mixes with warm desert air and the day disappears behind a gray wooly blanket. Colors were muted, an unnatural condition in Key West. It wasn't actually snowing but it felt like it should have been.
The lowest temperature recorded in Key West was 41 degrees and I have seen 42 official degrees in town and it seemed frigid. Snow has been seen, feeble enough and momentary in Miami. But frost has never been seen in Key West. Winter temperatures in Northern Florida can dip to freezing, but down here never.
I take pleasure in the first drops in temperature that break the cloying heat of summer. Yet I soon tire of the cold.
I was astonished by the large crowds lined up for a "sunset" cruise on such an overcast blusterous day as was yesterday. On the water, the chill is even colder. I wonder if the tourists were aware of that?
Waterfront dining at Conch Republic Seafood is usually an open air affair, but when needed they can close off diners from the cold.
I expect the sunset cruisers were having fun out there. They probably saw an iceberg or two.
You might be forgiven for thinking that Kermit's Key Lime place on Elizabeth Street had snow shutters, but it was just styrofoam ably camouflaged.
What an odd sentiment to use for advertising I thought as I strolled by. I expect it works as I know nothing of business.
Every time I walk downtown and I see cruise ships towering over our little town I wonder how our leaders could imagine that vessels even larger admitted to our docks could benefit this modest island.
And now Thanksgiving is past and so it is on to the next holiday, Hanukkah for my wife and her people, Kwanzaa for African Americans, Christmas for Christians, and shopping wildly for everyone else.
For me, lacking as I do any belief in anything I cannot see or touch, I now face the long dark winter lived Up North, thrusting people down here to find sunshine, a fact that needs no belief, and I am not even a shopper. Soon I shall start to look forward to summer's heat and peace and quiet, even though tomorrow it should be close to 80 degrees, sunny and properly pleasant once again. Cold and gray is all very well, but the sooner the sun returns the better. Enjoy your seasons Up North.