Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Mallory Square

The Nao Santa Maria has returned to Key West which arrival has been duly photographed and so forth. When I strolled by last weekend I was reminded of the effort it took me to get aboard on it's last visit to Key West. I was using a cane and relied on my arms to pull me around the ship as my legs were not very functional. I enjoyed ambling by just like anyone else with two legs, on this fleeting sighting.
The ship is a re-creation of the vessel the Italian Christopher Columbus used to discover the land named for Amerigo Vespucci, another Italian explorer. The irony is that Columbus discovered the Bahamas for his Spanish patron and colonized, not very well and with great brutality, islands in the Caribbean but he never set foot on the country we call America. Unlike Columbus the modern Spaniards have electronics, mechanicals and modern appliances to a degree. 
I'd rather ride a modern motor boat if that were the choice between the Santa Maria and a modern power boat. Even though sailing has progressed over the centuries, particularly since the creation of plastics, the fundamentals remain the same. Sails, ropes, balance and weather predictions are all parts of the equation. I enjoy sailing as an intellectual pursuit but I find as time runs out I want to travel and see places up close. I find it stimulating to think Columbus sailed the course he chose because of the prevailing winds and a modern pleasure sailor would do the same to avoid head on confrontations with wind and wave. One hopes climate change will not soon change those patterns.
The modern way to chase fish is to drive hard through the water. Altogether different.
Jesus loves you, and yet the rest of us stroll past with no idea how to behave any differently. Homelessness in Key West waxes and wanes with the seasons but there is a hardcore group who prefer to live outdoors and avoid the free shelter and all attempts to tame them. I think life on the streets must be incredibly boring but the homeless I have talked  to look at me as though I am crazy when I say that.
19th century brickwork at the Clinton Square Mall, a former warehouse for the traders docking at Key West. I trust it too will outlive us.
A decorative motif from the same building:
And this terracotta I noticed, really noticed at the Custom House on Front Street just around the corner. And no, its proper name is not Customs House. It is singular.
I can't make up my mind if it is pretty or angular and ugly. It sure does look uncomfortable from any angle. Good luck to those young people aboard.