Sunday, October 24, 2021

Caroline and Duval

This used to be the Cypress House but this hotel chain has bought up a bunch of places around town and calls them Klimpton. Clean tidy and freshly painted. 
Not everyone is ready for the well heeled masses. This is the sort of repair of which I approve:
The Curry Mansion soldiers on unperturbed by change overlooking Caroline Street:
They are tearing up and repairing Whitehead Street, which in the ordinary course of things would be a good thing during low tourist season. This year there is no end to the stream of visitors and I have no doubt next month when Canadians are allowed back half of Quebec will decamp to the warmer South, including Higgs Beach in their Volkswagens. Bloody van dwellers!
I liked photographing the working classes doing their thing on Duval Street. At work I used to get endless complaints from a few irritated shop owners rendered apoplectic by bad parking and endless unloading.
Cruise ship stores aren't recovering because cruise ships aren't coming back for the foreseeable. City residents voted against the former flow of 800 large ships a year and the state is fighting back and I've heard it said sip operators aren't keen to visit a town that doesn't want them.
There were lots of people forecasting doom and economic gloom without cruise ships and their money. Obviously pilots and ships agents must feel the shortfall but neither the city nor the budget seem deeply impacted. Maybe that will change over time.
I don't think the argument that cruise ships show prospective long term tourists a good time is holding water. Thousands of people are finding their way here every single week it seems. The recent mercy stop to unload a sick passenger gave a graphic aerial illustration of the pollution thrown up by the ship as it docked in the formerly pristine teal colored waters. The Citizen newspaper shows a lovely brown smear all round the ship as it docked. 
I saw a powerful off-road Jeep parked on Rose Lane. This is what I should have bought to drive the sand pits of Central Florida...
Finally I caught. glimpse inside the Casa Antigua without actually paying for a tour. Enjoy.
And indeed poor old Hemingway, that Key West symbol, stayed here when stuck by travel plans gone awry, in 1928 I think it was. He learned to like Key West but stayed half the time I did. He didn't need a pension though so he had that excuse for decamping to his favorite home - in Cuba. 2009 Finca Vigia Link.


Bruce and Celia said...

Bloody van dwellers indeed! You don't have to put up with that sort of seasonal decay. If I were you I'd move!!

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it the Curry Mansion was just sold to the Spottswood family.

Anonymous said...

Kimpton buys funky properties to make into hotels; they bought the old General Post Office/Tariff building in D.C. and turned it into the Hotel Monaco. They used to give you a goldfish to keep you company in your room if you wanted.

Hilton does the same thing with its Curio Collection; they did a beautiful job with the Hotel Roanoke in VA.

Anonymous said...

—and Hilton owns Waldorf-Astoria, under which brand they run Casa Marina.