Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Truman Waterfront Desert

I stopped by Truman Waterfront to check the status of all the construction and found a desert of grit and dirt and fences and signs and all that goes with change. Lots of Danger too, though it didn't look dangerous...
There is still access to the floating museum that is the Ingham Coastguard cutter though it's hidden behind construction fencing. The traffic you see in some of these pictures is mostly people going to Fort Zachary Taylor  State Park.
There has been tons of controversy with half the city coming down in favor of a new amphitheater which opponents (the loud half of the city) fear will bring too much traffic, too many concerts with loud music and so on.
Personally  I'd have liked to have  seen a park in the old fashioned sense, grass, gumbo limbo shade trees and benches to sit and contemplate the menaing of life, but that ship has sailed, big time. And check out these roads which look more like freeways to my jaundiced eye...
 I used to walk Rusty in the grass on the north end of the waterfront area which is now fenced off...
 ...and this is  only phase one. There is access to facilities but as far as park stuff goes there is nothing for the time being.
 I  stuck my  iPhone over the fence and recorded what I could not see directly. The old Navy warehouse is still there at least for now which is cool:
This a big project. Whatever you think about it. 33 acres of former Navy base being torn up and rebuilt.
It's been almost fifteen years I think since this was Navy property and the city has been wondering what to do with it.
After the Navy guard houses came down we all knew change was going to happen sooner or later and now the change is on. Cheyenne liked walking this area too so I have some nostalgia:
Out with the old and in with the new. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Boca Chica

Last week it was cold, tide was low and it seemed a good day to see the beach without hordes of accompanying mosquitoes.
 I got a bunch of pictures, the same place a different mood.
 One human family is Key West's motto and the free bumper stickers crop up everywhere. The concept of One Human Family has been stretched all over the place and anytime someone feels excluded, or their parrot or a tree or something the motto crops up angrily. 

The thing about Boca Chica is that it attracts builders. People come and go and leave their mark. What wasn't here this month may be there next month.
I have no idea what point it has if any. I didn't  go too close because given a summer storm it'll be gone to make way for some other creative soul.
 This lot hangs out all winter it seems like on the reef:

 Low low tide, looking toward the Naval Air Station.
 Out to sea:

 Remains of the old State Road 4A pilings with yet more stone construction in the background.

And Rusty couldn't be excluded. He wanted to run:

 All the shoes on the fence have been removed and someone appears to have started a fresh collection. Weird:
I was there last January.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Daylight Savings Time

If I'm going to be honest, and I'd better be, I think this collection of pictures is distinguished by the way they illustrate so clearly my inability to catch humans in sensible poses. I need to work on it. Studying his cellphone though you'd never know it naturally as I took the picture:
The scooter riders are hauling on Duval Street, but honestly I'm not at all sure what I was photographing...Spring Break is ruining my concentration.
Somehow Robert and I connected at the Tropic Cinema in the middle of the downtown chaos. I rode my scooter, Robert parked his car in the middle of town and rode to the theater on his bicycle. I got there first which is a testament to the availability of the free two wheeled parking spaces. Everyone should ride.
 It was cold so I had a coffee while I waited for Robert to catch up. The Tropic has a pleasant seating area to hang out in so I was okay. The movie we planned to see was Paterson by Jim Jarmusch a man who has a history of offbeat independent movies. Maybe I am maturing or possibly he is, but I found this (one of) his best.  A meditation on words and routine and perception the story is simple enough, that of a bus driver in the New Jersey City of Paterson who writes poetry on the side, lives with a clingy rather irritating dreamer of a woman with a dog of no great talent. Nothing much happens in the course of the movie, though there are a few incidents of note and the story ends much as it began. Very satisfying all round actually and I had no idea there were so many poets associated with Paterson, or anarchists and assassins either. Robert slept through much of it. I liked it.
One nice thing about daylight savings time is that when we came out of the four o'clock show it was till sunny outside. Continuing my path of photographing people badly (this has to get better with practice) the homeless beggar below seems to be putting off the tourist on the right. Actually they were having a  cheerful conversation so I got that completely wrong. When the guy approached me and asked where Key West was I got lost for a reply- uncharacteristic I know but my head was in Paterson.
Usually when approached by lunatics I adopt a tactic I learned from the village idiot where I grew up in Italy. She had an obsession with underwear and would cock her head and get inside your space and ask right up close what color underwear you were wearing because everyone wears underwear don't they? I ask the same question when some street conspiracy theorist comes up and starts talking contrails or surveillance or some other thing and they back off terrified. Works every time. Thank you Carlotta for the inspiration. This lot were a bunch of tourists from Quebec. Enough said I still haven';t got over last summer's hospital stay in Quebec City so the hell with them all.
This one backed off before I could pose the underwear question out as I waited (again!) for Robert to show up at his choice of dinner place. Big John's pizza place at Key Plaza. People always ask where do locals eat and now you can add this place to the list.
And they've painted out the designated scooter parking so I took a whole space. The trick when parking a scooter or motorcycle in a car spot is to park at the entrance to the space so you avoid having a  car swing in, thinking its empty, and thus crushing your ride. This way the space is clearly occupied though I hate using a  car space for a two wheeler.
 Robert deserves a better portrait than this. Mind you the other pictures made him look positively demented, flinging his arms around as though attacked by swarms of insects. This picture is the best of a bad lot. Oh well. 
The pizza was good. And that's what matters.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Breaking Key West

Consensus in my neck of the woods is that Spring Break is busy this year. Which is surprising considering you'll be hard pressed to find a room for less than $400 in town. But students are resourceful of course and they tend to pack the over priced rooms the way previous generations packed Volkswagens for a stunt.
 Everywhere you go in and around Key West are packs of young people, and the local bums spot them coming. This guy got a cup of coffee and a cigarette from the kind or fearful young woman he cornered in the passenger seat of the car:
Friday was St Patrick's Day which combined with Florida itself being on break meant Key West was extra busy. I am not a great fan of this weird New England holiday but there agian Hallmark holidays as a whole tend to leave me cold. Especially as I was answering 911 calls Friday night.
Like I said Spring Breakers are everywhere, where you least expect them. At least this one knew how to ride her bike and avoided killing me or my dog.
Daily life plugs on, boaters included, seen here at the dinghy docks getting ready for the chilly ride out to their boat in the windswept anchorage:
Locals have been wearing jackets boots and scarves this past week thanks to strong north winds and temperatures near 60 degrees. Visitors remark on the pleasant weather and show off their short sleeves, not otherwise put to use since Thanksgiving in the unforgiving climates they inhabit.
Schooner Wharf Bar only looked desolate as it was breakfast time and not yet fully populated by people not used to eating breakfast in a bar. The temperatures left me slightly surprised the vegetation hadn't withered.
 Local subject in jacket:
 And another one.
 Visitors in shirt sleeves:
 Cool it may have been but the rain was long gone and the sun was shining on Lazy Way Lane:
 Breakfast al fresco for the future leaders of America:
 And they have another generation already breathing down their necks:
 Rusty is learning to read. I think:
He is a very smart dog. I know because he didn't put his butt in the hammock.