Thursday, June 23, 2016

Crossing The Seven Mile Bridge - A Manual

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


We said goodbye to Pensacola but only after I cracked a crown.  
I broke a front tooth riding a mountain bike in California 30 years ago and it has been nothing but an irritation ever since. Chewing corn off the cob was bloody stupid in that condition and I paid the price. 
Jack Riepe described this as my vacation face. I joked  while I bled and they stuck me with needles and glue. All is well if temporarily and my insurance kicked in for half the 200 dollar bill. Onwards!
Rusty was the epitome of patience on his bed in the back seat, popping up from time time to look around and then curling up for a nap. I love his curiosity at every stop no matter how mundane. He loves life.
I know we overdo the mileage on these road trips but there is so much to see and so many people to meet that destination gets piled on destination. Riding the folds of land last night across Tennessee I couldn't help  but wonder how the non- freeway roads must have twisted and undulated but we had to arrive so we drove  75 with bursts to 80 inbetween blue flashing lights, of which there were too many and I achieved my goal of not talking to a cop for a day.
Schloss Sadler in the dark of a full moon forested night. Instead of being greeted by vampires and creaking doors we ate chicken and biscuits and cobbler  and beer and conversation and Rusty could hardly contain himself when he saw the woods. Good things come to them as wait. 
Gary and Barbara melted away to do the jobs that got their kids through college and raised them in these corner of a different Paradise than thet say is Key West. Gary lists after Key West and now I'm here I wonder why. 
Watching Rusty prowl the woods and sit in the lush grass to watch the world goby I know where he'd rather be. I can't fault my dog for his common sense. 

Louisa Street Pocket Park

It's located at 616 Louisa Street, roughly behind the First State Bank on Simonton and Catherine Streets. If you had a strong arm you could toss a rock (a very strong arm) into Abbondanza Restaurant, though why you want to I couldn't say. Rusty and I took refuge there from a  rain storm.
Cheyenne's last visit was to take refuge during winter heat. The pictures I took of her in January 2014 I remember like it was yesterday. Well it kind of was.
Rusty was a huge consolation for me after Cheyenne died in February but he has grown into much more than that. I enjoy his company a lot and he has a very different character from her.
 I got Cheyenne when she was eight in 2009 and she was not only stubborn but she was also much more laid back and stand-offish
Cheyenne is gone but the silhouette of a cigar maker's cottage abides:
 It was put up in the spot where those workers used to live to mark their passing...the factory was in the county building called, by no coincidence, the Gato Building. 
The Gato Building is a tad bit more monumental than the cigar worker houses... and ironically these days houses the Monroe County Public Heath department among others. 
One of the pleasures of key west is that getting wet, unless you are on your way to work of an office type, is no big deal. I sat and spluttered and waited for I don't know what.
 It was entirely comfortable for my dog and myself.
There is a geocache out here somewhere and I have hunted high and low for the damned thing but I cannot find it. Yet.
 Abbondanza is visible in the distance, across Simonton Street.
 The giant representation of a cigar is the largest of its kind we are told.
 And this is where we are told:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


I quite liked Pensacola, the historic district, the waterfront, the fresh fish, the beautiful cool June breeze. There's lots of greenery interesting shopping and nice architecture.  Combine that with affordable living and you have quite the Florida town.
We walked the town, Rusty and I early in the morning. 
We took a drive to Alabama half a hour away, at most, and we entered a world of fields woods and filling highways through small towns apparently miles from salt water 
And we found s roadside restaurant, Jesse's in Magnolia Springs for lunch.
Delightfully old fashioned and courteous on the outside the device was prompt and the food delicious. 
A great pause on the afternoon drive to Fairhope. I like this part of the world. 

Petronia And Around

I took a wander along Petronia and Olivia Streets on a sunny afternoon, enjoying the brights colors of Key West. Petronia is named for Petronia Martinelli Wall and she was the mother of Olivia so there are a few street names taken cae of in Key West's genealogy...
I take pleasure in the shade of large trees and this year the newspaper is carrying a ton of comments about the city's tree commission failing to protect them. Just by my reading it seems to hate mail about tree cutting is out stripping the anger over cyclists and parking combined.
Some days I feel like key West will erupt into civil war, most uncivilly over parking or tree cutting while the rest of the country hunkers down and opens fire over religion or politics or some other perceived slight. Rusty and I say a pox on all their houses.
The Blue Macaw (LINK) is relatively new in Key West and I've heard people like it. It looks good if you are into the bright theme that appeals to me and the indoor/outdoor seating with live music and greenery looks to be very pleasant. Checking the menu I was surprised by how many vegetarian plates they offer in a  town that hasn't embraced the concept as imaginatively as one might like.
 Rusty is getting much better around people and vehicles and crowds that are not too thick. I wanted to go to the Gay Pride Parade with him and watch from the sidelines but it was a large crowd that filled the sidewalk, even to the end of Duval and I couldn't justify putting him through that. So we walked the back streets and worked up a sweat.
This building on Petronia's 300 block used to be an iconic barber shop and now it's an art gallery, a fine symbol of the transformation that is sweeping Key West.
 The exterior has changed juts a little but the interior changes are profound. Recently the city commissioner representing Bahama Village, Clayton Lopez was lamenting in the newspaper that only one business on Petronia Street is now black owned. He is trying to figure out ways to increase African American entrepreneurs in Bahama Village.
Looking pas the public housing on Whitehead Street north towards the AME church that looks so imposing. A symbol perhaps of the endurance of the community that surrounds it, pressed on all sides by money and gentrification.