Saturday, October 29, 2016

Local's Parade

The Locals' Parade is known these days as the "Masquerade March" because there aren't as many locals as you might think participating.  I overheard a witch riding a bicycle tell her cohort, a madly pedalling pixie, they would do best to go by "South Hard," which is one of those street names that separates locals from visitors (Sim-Onton is the other). Heather and Steve, decidedly locals, were fondly remembering the past: 
Katherine, a local, was doing something Mexican with a  bamboo pole but it was a bit too noisy on that section of the street for me to grasp the full import as she explained it to me:
Which brings me to the dreary parts of the evening, one being the weather which has been windy and rainy with more to come, but that leads on to the fact that the light was terrible. I am pretty good at steadying my camera but in this case I had great difficulty. The parade looked much smaller than usual so instead of milling around everyone was in motion all the time and it was hard to get people to stand still and pose which was also unusual this year.
With work beckoning I had to get my pictures and move on so I didn't have the luxury of checking everyone's effort.  But I didn't see (m)any costumes aimed at local issues, politics or social gaffes of the last year which is usually what gives me a chuckle. All in all it was not what I wanted, whether because I was pressed for time, or because of the weather and the poor light (I hate using the camera flash).
Aside from my own unaccountable churlishness the participants clearly had fun as usual so maybe they can speak for themselves without my commentary in the pictures!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Around Frances Street

I posted this picture on Instagram ( a service I prefer infinitely to Facebook), and called it life and death, the cyclist full of vigor pushing past the graves of the Key West cemetery.
Some people don't much like to live around cemeteries but I am of the persuasion that the dead make great neighbors, no noise no fussing, no aggravation.  A white picket fence, a nicely restored house ina  quiet neighborhood...
 ..or even a house rather less restored:
An afternoon on a  porch on a house for sale. A buyer..? A seller..? A realtor..? But Rusty swept me past in hot pursuit of a fresh scent.
 Albertson's used to be where the New Publix is today, in Key Plaza, where Kmart is, and how this cart got orphaned from the  supermarket and ended up on Ashe Street I couldn't say, but here it was:
 I love the louvered windows of old Florida homes:
I traced this conga line of padlocked cables from the light pole to a Yamaha Zuma scooter covered in luggage baskets. Zumas are very popular scooters and often stolen. 
 More louvers:
 And the Rick Worth tree stump on Catherine Street has had a fresh coat of paint...
 ...and has thus undergone a slight transformation with more tentacles and more eyes:
 ...and some inconsiderate slob's left over bottle of beer:
 A house undergoing a renovation, just like the octopus.
Key West renewal., just like the controversial solar panels at city hall up the street:
The vegetation will hide them, cars will park in the shade and city hall will generate its own electricity. How modern!  Too modern for some people who find solar panels objectionable, so they are banned in old town where they would disfigure old homes we are told. Makes no sense but there we are. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pet Masquerade

I was glad to donate some money to Lower Keys Friends of Animals, a group that helps strays and impoverished pet owners. Plus I've long wanted to check out this event at Casa Marina. Yesterday I made it and learned that neither Rusty nor I were cut out for the crowd.
It was quite the crowd too on the beach and I was not the only person to bring a non-competing dog...not at all. And lots of dog owners in one place fills the air with anxiety. I am of the school that thinks that dogs if left to themselves will find their own pecking order. The problem when they are leashed and restrained is that they feel protective expectations are in order. So they defend the person in the leash. Rusty felt surrounded and was not happy. I edged to the edit after we had saloon at the crowd...
...and the table laden with expectations. 
HonestLy it wasn't easy taking pictures but I took a few while keeping an eye on my little man. Here they are:
The dogs and owners generated intense interest: 
Poor guy got some love as we waited for a clear shot out the gate: 
Like so much about Fantasy Fest it's a good cause and in a week devoted to adult costuming it's nice to cater to kids and pets. I'm glad I went and can check this off my to-do list. 
Rusty preferred Duval Street. He's an adult dog after all. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tutu Tuesday

A friend of mine suggested Tutu Tuesday is the most popular Fantasy Fest event for locals, vying with the local's parade ("Masquerade March") on Friday for the title of most desirable event. After my walk around yesterday I'm wondering if I shouldn't get a tutu next year for my dog: Rusty had a blast.
I saw the crowd pictured above on Whitehead Street but I held out little hope of finding parking for the Fusion. I drove up Greene with a no hope attitude, especially when I saw these old goats dragging their feet on their Harleys, imitating the scooter rider above who was actually stopped. Foot dragging to me is a sign of not being in control of your machine and riding badly while I'm stuck in a car (sorry Rusty) is slightly aggravating. Put your feet on the floorboards and learn to control your machine with your balance. Rant over.
 Walking back to Duval Street from Greene and Simonton I stopped some kind folks and asked for a picture. Like this lot:
Rusty was sniffing bushes and drains, as you do, while I was talking toa friend when a nice lady came up and made a fuss of the dog. She said she read the blog but didn't want to be "on the Internet" (too late for that methinks in the modern era) so I deleted the picture of her rather nice smile and offer these fine folks instead, in the spirit of Tutu Tuesday. In these situations I ask myself what their neighbors would say Up North if they knew these upstanding citizens were parading around in public in toile and crepe chinoise and showing off the tops of their legs?
 I lack the necessary nerve to dress up like this but it does seem to be a popular way to spend a Tuesday afternoon with assorted bars offering venues for night time parading around in inappropriate clothing.  My surprise was Rusty. Six months ago he was a timid little street dog afraid of every sound and squeak. Yesterday he turned in another bravura performance as Master of his Domain.
He strode among the freaks and tutus with aplomb, tail up high like a feathery flag fluttering between the legs and precariously carried drinks.
When he meets other dogs, especially his own size or larger he used to get defensive but he was on Duval to party yesterday. His tail fluttered like a flag in a gale and he pranced like he wanted to play and run. I'd never seen that before especially in such a crowded noisy place. 
He practically started purring as the bouncer chatted about fake IDs for youngsters and how he spent a fortune treating his old rescue dog's teeth. Nice guy he had a tattoo of his 17 year old animal on his bicep. I'm not doing that!
 French tutu exponents:
 I don't know what to say. Everyone was determined to look ridiculous. It was very laid back and fun.
And here he was again, and I wished we in an open space like a field where they could have run and chased each other as much as they wanted too.
 Perfume seller trying to get Rusty to take  a sample. He was not playing. I wasn't either when they suggested their grossly over priced wares make good gifts. These stores are a disgrace to Key West famous for over charging the unwary and taking advantage of incautious shoppers.
One good thing about tutus compared to other more elaborate costumes is that you can ride a bike or scooter in one.
 Or simply go for a walk.

 Key West being the town it is Rusty had his own comfort stations posted along the sidewalk.
Alcohol nudity and crowds of people unused to either, yet it was a serene cheerful afternoon for all concerned.
The only thing that did freak Rusty out was this idly wandering human cockroach. His nerves got so jangled he wrapped himself round a lamp post and we had to have a little time out.
 These two left him indifferent:
 It was time for some rest and for once I happened to be walking with a ten dollar bill in my pocket.
Half of it went on this bottle and if you think that's expensive you should check hotel prices during Fantasy Fest in Key West. They'll make you want to put on mascara to hide your tears and a tutu to jolly yourself up.