It was a hot morning in Key West and Cheyenne was ready to go home. She likes to end her walks with a little sit down, watching the world go by, getting her breath back and thinking those profound thoughts that only dogs know. I find less peace meditating on a public bench early in the morning when the street activity is such that I can even get bored observing nothing very much happening.
On the bench under the awning in front of Finnegan's Wake I happened to see a familiar face. For some unaccountable reason she had tried training in my office to be a dispatcher but hers is another path and she, a young Conch with talent it seems, got an internship in France learning fashion for her career in design. My rather pedestrian outlook requires me to think that a secure government job in an uncertain world is the better path, which is absurd for if that were everyone's path invention and accidental advancement would vanish from the Earth.
In this same world where everything is available online a paper magazine has to offer something that grabs your interest off the page and weekly magazines in Key West have passed their zenith with the passing of the age of easy money. They are for the most part vehicles to stroke large egos in a small town and to display advertising, they are not for the most part designed to display words or pictures that grab my interest. These days health "tips" and "lifestyle" advice and so forth substitute for wit and information and that interests me not one jot. I have novels on my pocket telephone, a tool that gives me access to the newspapers of the world, which is amazing to me. New York Times Review of Books or Konk Life while I wait for my dog to catch her breath?
On my blog pages I have a long list of Key West blogs that are still around but they come and go, mostly go, when it becomes obvious that in a world fed by fame and fortune blogs produce neither. The author of his column that caught my eye in the discarded weekly used to have a blog celebrating the stereotypical Key West "lifestyle" Bitchin' Paradise but as you can see it died a while back. But here it is in print., and it so happened the topic caught my eye. The corporate owner of La Concha wants to replace its iconic rooftop bar with a spa and salon and the bitch in paradise correctly thinks this is a bad idea. I like her vision of The Top as an indoor outdoor space, a comfortable space that might encourage people to gather to view the city by night rather than simply to get drunk on Duval. I has completed mourning the passing of The Top as when once money talks city planners walk and I don't expect anything to change that. The author apparently hopes public opinion can change corporate lust for money. Very quixotic!
The cause of all this fuss is Key West Diary: The Top. It's open at three pm while the bar opens at five. To get there take the elevator inside La Concha and hit the clearly labeled button. Do it while you can and meanwhile, keep smiling.