Closing in on the end of the year and nothing much changes in the countryside of the lower Keys. No frost no smokey wintery mornings. Mangroves stay mostly green so foliage doesn't change color or fall off the branches. Everything stays the same.
The city has drawn up a plan to raise parking rates by a dollar an hour which should go over a treat in a town where pretty soon breathing will become a restricted activity. I visit other cities and laugh when they charge 25 cents an hour and shut the meters up at 5 in the evening.
In Key West the parking controls are in operation from 8 am to midnight 6 days a week and on Sundays its noon to midnight. No exceptions. Now at three bucks an hour seven days a week you'd think the message is loud and clear: don't park downtown. Last year's revenues amounted to 6 million bucks from parking machines which have replaced meters. That's where you insert a credit card and get a permit to park which you can can use in any paid spot on the street or in a parking garage or lot owned by the city. The system is very good and flexible but three bucks an hour seems quite a lot. The answer is to walk further or ride a motorcycle which still gets free parking in designated spots.
And parking is just one more reason to live the suburbs where you park under your stilt house with no problems. And you get easy access to the peace and quiet of the backwoods.
Parking rates mean you have to keep out of the Duval corridor and trust that you will find free parking on Whitehead Street or Elizabeth Street. Don't come looking on my street- we're all full up in suburbia with no desire to turn into Old Town Key West...