Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dark Streets

I managed somehow to get to work early one recent morning and stopped on the way to take a few pictures of the serenity of the night. College Road is annexed to the city of Key West which uses it to house useful buildings including a school, a marina, a college, the SPCA, the bus facility, a hospital, a  rehab facility of no great repute (hence my own rehab in Miami) as well as the Jail and Sheriff's headquarters and a golf course with the original reason for the annexation: a housing development at the private golf course. None of that massive amount of useful activity shows at 5:20 in the morning. Nor, I dare say, should it.
I usually get up at 4:30 and take Rusty to "check the mail," a brief neighborhood walk to see what other dogs have been out and about in the twenty four hours preceding. I try to leave the house by 5:15 and generally fail spectacularly rushing down the stairs at I hope some time before 5:25, the absolute last minute not to look like a pill and arrive at work at exactly 6 am. The overnight shift as I know from long experience does not look cheerfully upon their morning relief if they show up technically on time but with none to spare.
It was a windy morning and I tried to catch the essence of the invisible air overhead. I'm not sure if it just looks smeared but anyway there was a fair bit of movement. It has been delightfully windy spring with lots of cool, not to say cold air blowing away insects and humidity. 
Moving on I took Flagler Avenue instead of the faster North Roosevelt as I wanted to save stopping and photographing the Boulevard another day. I had so much time in hand I could afford to hang around here and try to capture the night and the sense of emptiness in the middle of new Town.
These days looking at the roads I drive daily and have driven for two decades has an almost banal air to it, like those pictures one sees of daily life lived, except they are from a different era entirely. I have all too few pictures of my sixty years of daily banal living up to this point so in anticipation of things changing I have been trying to make a conscious effort to photograph the memories of daily life. Before the virus I was trying to capture the essence of my commute in pictures, trying to find a way to express the crowds, the traffic lights, the hold ups and the open roads without slipping into the obvious. It was much harder than I expected. These days these few pictures pretty much sum up my drive in to work. It is bizarre. 
Even at six o'clock in the evening when most people have gone home, the few that still have regular desk jobs, the road out of towns wide open. Even with the road work proceeding relentlessly slowly at the Triangle, the Cow Key Bridge as it is properly known, reflow quite smoothly through the winding traffic cones. How odd it is to find small pockets of advantage in the presence of this virus lock down. Empty streets that feel destined never to be filled again.