I need to remind myself from time to time how lucky I am to have the time and the canine encouragement to get up before dawn and head into Old Town with my camera and Rusty.
I mentioned over dinner with some people who only visit briefly in winter that after a while a Keys resident genuinely forgets what winters are like. In a couple of weeks I am going to visit my sister in Scotland and my wife and I have to go in mid March as that's Spring Break week for Monroe County Schools. Great stuff of course, but there was snow on the mountains and the air was, shall we say, brisk.
I get walk these streets in the dark with a vest if there's a cold front but normally I am in shorts and a short sleeved shirt year round. I am not looking forward to learning to cope with the cold after I retire. I have a feeling after our travels are done that we will be back looking for a boat to live on. We've talked about it, something simple and easy to take out to a sand bar or an islands and go swimming. My friend Webb the inveterate sailor says my plans for a stink pot without sails are...not what he would ever countenance. Sails forever!
Key West sells itself as a party town but the world I enjoy is shaped very differently. Now that our staffing changes have taken effect and I'm not needed for overtime for a while I am getting to enjoy live performances of the cultural offerings that overflow every winter. I really like that part of Key West and the constant grind of work gym and sleep has been annoying.
The other relaxation for me is walking Rusty and I love Key West at night when no one is around. Now that street photography is fashionable I find the sort of pictures I have been taking for this past 13 years are actually documentary photography. Street photography according to the fashionable voices loudest on the subject involves taking pictures of people in the street. Consequently we now see tons of faces, shadows and lines all out of context and with no sense of place to satisfy the new street photography imperative.
I like seeing places and I enjoy learning about the context of those places depicted. Shooting a red umbrella in a crowd or a businessman striding across a ray of sunlight says very little to me. There he goes...
I suppose sticking so close to Key West is limiting but for now I feel a powerful drive to record the streets and places and for my memory the people I meet in these last couple of years as a working stiff here.
It may not be street photography but I enjoy photographing the streets of key West. Especially in the silence of the lonely night.