Saturday, October 26, 2013

Masquerade March Part 2, Fantasy Fest 2013

From Friday night's Masquerade March, known as the local's parade. More pictures tomorrow.













Masquerade March Part 1, Fantasy Fest 2013

The King and Queen of Fantasy Fest Stephen Sunday and Diane May raised the most money this year for Aids Help, the beneficiary of all of this madness. They led the Masquerade March down Fleming Street, Friday evening.
The locals' parade known more formally as the Masquerade March starts the Friday evening of Fantasy Fest Week from Frances Street and takes two routes to Duval Street. My wife and I prefer to hang out on Fleming, a narrower more intimate street than Truman Avenue, which is the other route. This year it seems most of our friends chose Truman but we had lots to see and photograph as what is arguably the best part of Fantasy Fest strolled past us at William Street.

The Zombie Bike Parade is gaining massively in popularity but this walk shows off a lot of home brewed costuming talent, not necessarily gory or sexual in nature. It was very mellow and laid back this year, great fun especially as no spectators around us were obnoxiously drunk. That was nice and the costumes were great fun.

The horses were real, and we'll behaved of course, which made the daft buggers shown below all the funnier:

You could argue that the viewing platform shown at the Fleming House is prime viewing but I would disagree. Sure you can look down and see the length and breadth of the crowd, which filled Fleming Street for blocks, but you miss out on getting to dive I to the marchers and get them to pose for your camera.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this year's march. My phone camera was astonishingly flexible and I enjoyed the ease of focusing and the rich color and texture I got from what were literally snapshots.

The boulevard road works came in for some criticism and it is well deserved. Finally the two way traffic system is back and despite fears of chaos (mine included) the single lane in each direction is working well. It took the contractor long enough to get at least some of the work done and there is one more year of this nonsense to live through before it's finished.

Nudity isn't the theme here, the parade route is outside the Fantasy Zone, which is Duval Street and one block either side on the cross streets. The locals' parade is a place to show off the theme of Fmatasy Fest, this year a celebration of comic books.

Official Fantasy Fest Website - Key West, Florida

Some costumes reflected better known heroes and villains, others went"beyond," whatever that meant.




This one wasn't locally themed but I really am enjoying the TV show Breaking Bad so I appreciated this outfit. I watch the show on netflix so I still don't know how the series ends and I plan to keep it that way until the show appears on Netflix.

I will have several more photo essays from the Locals' Parade over the weekend. For those that find it dull I will also post a regular Key west Diary essay each day. Normal service resumes Monday. I am working all weekend so my ability to see any more of Fantasy Fest has to yield to reality. I have enjoyed this year more than I expected, though I don't go to balls and parties, and my only regret is that I missed the Pet Parade at Casa Marina. I'd never humiliate Cheyenne by dressing her up but I wished I 'd taken pictures of other people's efforts. Anyway there will always be next year...I hope you like these pictures for this year.

Upper Duval

It was a lovely dawn the other day all overcast and ready for rain that never did appear. The second cold front of winter lowered temperatures enough that it almost felt cool even though it was actually 76 degrees by the thermometer.

The palms were waving wildly in the north wind. They call the trees palms I am reliably informed because when they wave in the breeze they resemble human hands with fingers splayed. Possibly. Maybe. It doesn't compute for me but I was never accused of being over endowed with wild imagination...

I love this sign below, "Modernly Equipped." As ungrammatical as it is it also has a certain 19th century tone to it. I imagine maidservants running to and for with buckets of hot bath water and livery servants curry combing horses in back while dim electric bulbs glow in the hallway. Modernly equipped indeed. Wireless Fidelity? Wha' that?

This guy was working hard practicing his levitation. I hadn't the heart to tell him it was unlikely to manifest. He looked at me as though I were weird simply walking a dog. My pink Crocs have worn out and I am temporarily shod in black so that wasn't it. He kept skipping and hopping.

It used to be the Cuban Club and now it is in name but it's not reserved for Cubans, just anyone with cash who wants to sleep under the distinctive roof line. Key West Cuban Club

A spare coconut is not to be sniffed at. They charge dollars for these things with a straw in them sold as a drink. My supply has been reduced by quite a bit since we had to cut down the tree that sat over the septic tank blocking it. However there are more coconuts in my life than I shall ever have to pay for. It's all in the image I guess. By a coconut, be in the tropics.

Fantasy Fest week is a bit like a hurricane, in as much as when you are living this week of anticipation of madness, as when you wait for a hurricane to make landfall, the daily business of living Clem's as a bit of a surprise. The rest of the country isn't taking off its clothes and I dare say there are quite a few million Americans who are completely unaware of te rules of ody painting in the Fantasy Zone, yetfr those of us caught up in the to-ing and for-ing of semi dressed crowds it comes as a bit of surprise to see the mail continuing t be delivered and parking tickets to be issued and termite tents being erected and all that stuff. It feels as though the rules of daily life should e suspended. Certainly they aren't stopping work at the Count Social Service offices in the Gato Building:

When hurricanes threaten shut downs are scheduled and trailer dwellers are advised to evacuate. This lot won't need to worry about that. The Diocese of the Minor Basilica of St Mary's sold the park to a developer amid profuse promises that thepower would be taken care of. Apparently that promise got a bit lost in the shuffle of the pieces of silver and these families will be out on their ears soon enough. Brother's keeper? Say what?

I am my dog's keeper and if she wants to traipse endlessly up Olivia Street,

...who am I to say no?