Thursday, January 22, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Monday, January 19, 2015
Sunday, January 18, 2015
It was lucky for our evening out that my wife had bought our tickets ahead of Friday night's performance at the Red Barn Theater. We enjoy live plays but sometimes there is an enormous mental block that makes the effort not worth the candle and a night in, with the dog and Netflix seems infinitely preferable to a thirty minute drive to arrive and then be crushed by a throng of eager theater goers.
That said The Last Night of Ballyhoo was entirely worthwhile. It was written by the author of the better known Driving Miss Daisy and also deals with being Jewish in the South, this time in Atlanta in 1939. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, funny and poignant by turns, especially as the play opened a window on a time and a place and a culture not well known to us. The cast was splendid and I found myself absorbed by the story. A great night out.
After the play we strolled Duval looking for a drink for my wife ( I was driving) before heading back to the car a few blocks away on Eaton Street. Our friends were hungry and took off on Caroline Street after hasty adieus so we had time to wander. After we nearly tripped over a party of drunken revelers and were momentarily blocked by a man the worse for wear who mistook a tree for his wife and refused to let "her" go, we decided that Friday night on Duval Street really wasn't our scene and we turned and took the short route back to our car.
That took us past the old abandoned theater on Eaton, said to be haunted. Haunted no more, for now it is to become home to Key West's fourth theater company, if you include the peripatetic fringe group of no fixed abode which performs in found spaces. These fine people with powerful bios listed, are working to organize the space and with two weeks to go they will have their work cut out. I look forward to seeing what they can do with "original Key West" plays.
It was a pleasant night for a shirt sleeved walk, a cool north breeze prompting my wife to complain she was almost cold which goes a long way to explaining why we live here...
...that and the 19th century architecture rendered mysterious by the night.
We paused by Hilltop Laundry to remember our adventures bringing our clothes ashore from the boat, hauling sail bags filled with salt encrusted rags accompanied by our two dogs when we lived anchored in the harbor. The good old days tinged with the unhappy reality that living like that may be no longer possible nor desirable at our advanced ages.
Bollocks. If I wanted to I would go back to anchoring out. But driving home to be greeted by a happy dog and a glass of wine and a comfortable couch in a home battered by winds, yet planted entirely stationary was an entirely worthwhile place to be. Besides it's much easier to drive to the theater on the highway than get in a dinghy, cross a dark wet windy harbor covered in spray and outboard smoke and be forced to do it all in reverse hours later, just to get into a rocking pitching bed. Good old days indeed!
Saturday, January 17, 2015
What a strange winter we are having. Out and about it suddenly starts to rain, at random out of a cloudy sky. Days are hot and frequently muggy with all the moisture in the air. Nights are cool and breezy and pleasant. The cold fronts we were used to have faded from memory, just as four dollar a gallon gas has faded, replaced by fuel hovering between $2:30 and $2:80 a gallon, if you know where to look. It all seems to mitigate against the humble bicycle:
But the town is packed with snow refugees, people who now find themselves living in the path of powerful winter storms and they ride bicycles not as gas savers but as temporarily liberated souls, bohemians in a place south of reality. No kidding "south of reality" like this one bed, one bath = $715,000. But it is a pretty little eyebrow home in the part of town least likely to flood in a storm.
Some elements of local architecture haven't been updated yet:
There are odd spaces, dirt unused, which is odd in a town where everything costs so much.
And with it come odd little signs, "please use the little path" made me smile. I chose not to but the sheer good manners made me want to.
Key West, possibly made worth while by Cuban cuisine (and soon it seems Cuban rum and cigars) and pink taxis:
And ancient cultural symbols mostly forgotten in the rush to pursue the latest fad.
Key West: since 1828.