I woke Rusty up on my only night off this past week and we got to Key West around 5:30 in the morning. Aside from a few bodies sleeping in awkward spots, like the wall of the library (below) the city was silent and empty.
Rusty has taken to eating pizza crusts. Perhaps he needs more starch in his diet but he gets down and dirty in Key West, reminding me of the late lamented Cheyenne who was a vacuum cleaner on Greene Street where drunks spill pizza all over the place after they leave the bars. I prefer the lighting effects of black and white at night so I found myself standing around playing with the camera without being in a hurry to keep up with my dog.
This one merited color, a lucky moment of stillness on Fleming Street where the Food Palace hove into view nicely reflected in a puddle that was perfectly smooth. Often the clever pictures require you to be awake, not smart, to snag them.
I was thinking about the owner of the food store Jimmy Weekley one of two votes opposed to a new park proposed at the south end of Duval Street. On the face of it the proposal to run a dirty seaweed strewn dead end into a park with seating and possibly a food truck (in a town that hates food trucks!) seems like a good idea. A no brainer you might say. However Weekley and Sam Kaufman were the two city commissioners who voted no to the proposal. The reason as far as I can tell is opposition to the city privatizing the park and allowing the Southernmost House owner to create the park with a million of his own bucks. Key West is having budget problems at the moment thanks to slow Federal reimbursement for hurricane damage and a million city dollars to create a park seems out of reach. Privatizing a city street seems a dubious precedent to me especially as the neighboring beach is actually public, between Duval and the Beach Cafe. Some citizens complain that several parking spots will be lost as well. That seems less of an issue to me as I'd rather see Duval Street turning into a pedestrian zone anyway. This park thing looks like its leading the city down an awkward path, but they approved it anyway, did the city commission.
The fence around the women's club on Duval continues to provide me cheap amusement. Signs sprout here as long as they are ugly and installed by the owners of the fence...
And this is an empty storefront for a not so recently departed restaurant. Nothing screams welcome to Duval Street like construction crap piled high and dust and filth everywhere. What a mess.
I wish Duval Street were different, thinking back to Pensacola and Palafox Street with local stores, flower planters and clean sidewalks. Here we are, stake beer and not a power washer in sight.