Monday, October 21, 2013

Perpetual Cleanup

No surprise that Cheyenne was thirsty early this morning after a long downtown walk through the wreckage wrought on party town.

Apparently a good few people were busy last night slaking their thirst after a walking dead ride from Stock Island.

My Crocs protect my feet but Cheyenne can pick her way through trash with ease and never comes to harm. I figure it's better she pick her own way rather than get distracted by my stupid concerns.
And then found the treasure trove, freedom fries and pizza such that on arrival at home she ignored her nourishing balanced breakfast and passed out almost instantly.
Luckily Cheyenne's heroic efforts to do her civic duty and clean up were ably supported by crews of workers with machinery ready to restore Duval Street to pristine cleanliness for another twenty four hours of more Fantasy Fest fun. This is the big Fall week in Key West and trash is the measure of a successful Fantasy Fest.

Getting there... mostly clean and rinsed.

Quality assured food service products were being unloaded from corproate trucks all over town.
I sure hope the quality is assured considering the prices when the food service products reach your table. I fail hopelessly when I try to imagine how Mahi Mahi can be worth thirty four dollars. I knew I should have worked smarter in my youth.

And here is the other side of the coin in the richest country in the world. I heard on NPR this morning that the average American is worth five times the average Chinese. Not so long ago the proportion was twenty times and soon it will be down to double. One has to suppose that more and more American children will need free shoes by that time. What a Dickensian future. I can only suppose most Chinese kids are a lot worse off, as though that were consolation.

I guess charity looks better than paying taxes. Checking Wyland Gallery on Duval one wonders at the vast space available for paintings. I understand these stores pay something around thirty or forty thousand dollars a month in rent. When local developers led by Ed Swift in the sixties came here to Duval they found shuttered store fronts and a town that was dying once again (bankruptcy struck in the first Great Depression), as the a navy withdrew and tourism waned. They rebuilt Duval Street and the rents reflect the work. Art galleries and t-shirt shops must make a fortune to survive here, if sales is what pays the bills.

All that aside silly parties populate the week, dressing up is the theme, color coded parties and costumes designed it seems to make the wearers look daft as a public spectacle. Dress in a tutu? Not bloody likely.

Dressing in tights? Even less likely. The theme of Fantasy Fest is super heroes which got them in hot water when their selected artist chose a design too close they said to well known copyrighted designs. A fifty thousand dollar error the newspaper said.

Barricades are a big part of keeping the Fantasy Zone in order. The Saturday night parade should be in good weather this year and the sidewalks will be packed to watch the floats travel down Duval.
I passed this dude breakfasting off a rather nice plate of to-go pasta. I was tempted to snatch it up but that didn't seem to be in the spirit of the required city clean up.

Besides he was nice to Cheyenne and that counts for a lot. And she was nice to him because she was full. Good dog.


Zombie Bike Ride, 2013

What else would you expect on Zombie Bike Ride but to meet a zom-bee?

They came in their thousands last night. As many as five thousand riders someone estimated.

There were so many zombie bike riders it was tough for the crowd to actually find enough room to ride. Don't have a bike? Rent one!

Don't have make up? Get painted at the start!

The zombie bike ride started in 2009 as a quirky idea. It has become so popular it may end up doing the usual Key West thing of losing its quirk to popularity.

It sure is popular, filling two lanes of Highway One from Stock Island to Key West.

It was a young people's party.

Mostly young people.

More or less made up:


It used to be the local's parade on Friday night that enjoyed a level of anonymity and simplicity which it has outgrown. We still go and I plan to this week also but it is hard to find a quiet corner of simple goofiness. Apart from the excessive numbers the Zombie Ride does a good job of do it yourself fun.



Megan and Fred above, Cathy below in the black dress. Occasionally people you know expose themselves in public.

Traffic control was busy trying to keep things moving. I parked the Bonneville on Cross Street and walked. Friends downtown said Duval Street where the ride ends was full of cyclists...


And then they opened the road...

I had a nice ride home in the gathering dusk, in the opposite direction.