Thursday, August 11, 2016

Primary Colors In The Village

Rusty's urban training program continues apace and he is getting better at coping with the noises and sudden alarums on city streets. I am told by people who have been watching his progress that he is gaining visibly in confidence and self assurance. He carries himself well, apparently. 
I took him for an afternoon stroll through Bahama Village and he was a champ. I started to notice the bright colors I was surrounded by...on all the buildings. Island color! The VFW on Emma Street:
 The wall of the Douglass Gym named for Frederick Douglass the noted abolitionist:
 Mustard yellow suits some people, I prefer lemon yellow but that's neither here nor there.
I like the colors even if the homes can be a bit run down.
 This old place I must have photographed half a million times, I exaggerate, but it still stands at the corner of Olivia Street at Emma. I can't get over the shutters every time I pass. 
 Your basic Key West white.  A  street scene like this is a healthy reminder that Key West does not look like the rest of the Keys.
 Oh, and there's bougainvillea  too.
The Conch Cottage concept is alive and well in Bahama Village, often refurbished as a mark of advancing gentrification: 
 But not everything has been modernized:
 Even the cars look brighter under an almost-tropical Key West  sun.
At first I though the sign below read: "No Dogs Allowed" which didn't seem right. Maybe they aren't allowed either, who knows. I'm one of those people who isn't terribly interested in you if you don't like Rusty. 
Even the public housing has  got a bright coat of blue paint:

 We took a good look round did Rusty and I. Honestly he was feeling the heat as much as I was. It seems to have a been a hot summer so far.
 Nice colors, I say.
 Watching the world go by and resting as a hot dog should:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Angela Street

This used to be a local business, on the 500 block of Angela Street:
Rexall had been Consolidated Electric Supply and the old signage came to light as the renovation of the building got underway.
The huge AME  Church on Whitehead Street came into view as I strolled down Angela Street toward Bahama Village but funnily enough the entire structure got masked by a modest poinciana tree. It's all in the perspective:
Moving across Whitehead toward Mickens Lane I saw a balcony worthy of fair Juliet. She wasn't there.
"Unauthorized vehicles will be..." We will never know what their designated fate might be. Repainted? Scrapped? Sold at auction? I know the hardware store has a crappy nasty plastic replacement ready to uglify the building.
Happiness is a scooter on a  sunny day:
Heading toward Chapman Lane:
And there's the other end of Chapman at Petronia, and I took the picture to play with the light on the side of the RV:
Mr Chapman appears to be back in his old home after much noise about his being thrown out of the home he had owned for much of his life. His tricycle was there at least ready for his evening illuminated, musical ride down Duval.
Old homes:
New rentals:
It won't ever stop will it? Building, change, more and more, world without end.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dog Day

Dog Beach is a one block square of sand where dogs can be off leash in the city. You can also go off leash between the West Martello Tower and White Street Pier, but this little spot is more picturesque. I let Rusty run loose in far more open and interesting places than this.
I meant to take a picture of the veranda in this building which belongs to Casa Marina Resort but I accidentally got the spikes on the gate. Upon reflection I rather liked the threat they implied so I didn't have another go. I like to check my pictures as I go, editing for clarity or discarding pictures I don't like. It makes the posting decisions later so much easier and quicker. Which makes one essay a day possible, even in the dog days of summer.
I read a comment on Facebook about how Key West  felt less gay friendly to a visitor who got gruff comments from bar tenders, wait staff and cab drivers and I wondered about that. After all that is a provocative comment for a town that still tried to pride itself on being open to all and so forth and perhaps a couple of unhappy people gave that long time gay visitor a bad impression. Or perhaps it's true.
I have spoken to younger gay visitors  disappointed by the elderly nature of the gay scene in Key West, a town not affordable to young people of all stripes. Besides these days there are tons of communities welcoming to gays and those that aren't are now in a minority who sit on the wrong side of history. 
There's not much free stuff worth having in Key West so money is always a source of stress and the uncomfortable feeling of living in the edge gets to some people too, so I am inclined to attribute public bad manners to that more than anti-gay feeling. But I'm not gay so perhaps things are changing. 
I saw a car neatly parked more or less in the lines...except they were yellow, easily mistaken I suppose in the dark. I hope s/he didn't get a ticket. Below I noticed (as Rusty inhaled, at some great length a few deep seated scents) that the city is proposing to create a new sign ordinance. If it is true perhaps it's a small step to beautifying Old Town a little which would be nice. But as always changes comes as a threat.
The casual rider looked at his ease but his shouted telephone conversation revealed another story. He was actually speaking to the owner of  the motorcycle as he waited for the man, the "Dude!" to show up. Far from being at his ease he said he had tried to roll the beast and he found it far too heavy. How, he wondered, does his friend roll the bike around? what a good question; get a scooter!
Rusty is enjoying city walks more these days. When I first got him six months ago he jumped at every noise and was constantly looking over his shoulder. Six months off the streets and he has become much more confident and walks nicely on a leash. 
And then he goes home and sleeps.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer's Heat

The sign says Mangoes restaurant at 700 Duval will be back this fall after some massive renovations. 
I caught Rusty crossing the by-now-crusty rainbow pedestrian walkways in front of the Bourbon. They looked pretty when new. Now they look worn out and nasty; $4,000 not well spent.
It has been hot lately, and I've asked around and got lots of agreement though I don't know if I am feeling less heat tolerant than usual or if it really is hotter than one might expect.
It usually stays stifling until late October so we are in the middle of the hot season right now and there is lots more to come.
Duval denizens unable to cope:
Seeking refreshment on the water:
A cel phone and a dark booth can be enough to escape the heat, maybe:
I wondered how Cuban seeds could still be 100% 60 years after the embargo was imposed but who knows. Below we see the classic Key West station wagon:
"No Dogs Allowed"  Wot? Not even Rusty?! Lucky I had no plans to do laundry on Center Street. 

A traffic jam. The scooter rider from out of town did not cut and thrust as I had expected him to.  He sat patiently as though he were driving his SUV.  I walked past the delay.
This guy had no dog attached so I guess he was good to go, as frantic as he looked:
Rusty decided this shady spot was a good place to pause. It's hot enough even my little energizer bunny slows down considerably.
I wondered if there were enough signs explaining this is the Wicker Guest House.  Probably not. Vacation makes people lose all shred of self assurance or common sense sometimes.

As we stayed in the shade resting my furry friend and I I looked around and took a few pictures of Key West under a hot summer sun.

Some things defy easy explanation:
And home after a rest in the air conditioning saw Rusty sitting outside enjoying the heat once again. 
He came in through his private dog door only when he was good and ready.