Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Winter Cemetery

In winter on a  sunny afternoon there is nothing more restful than a walk through the bright ever colorful, evocative above ground cemetery.
 "Born in Cuba, 1839....Died in Cayo Hueso, 1887"

 Maybe I'm not paying attention but a bright orange iguana with a bizarre tail took me by surprise. 

 Like everywhere else in Old Town the cemetery is the flight path....
 Above ground graves as the water table is very close to the surface.
 Beautiful mower work.
 The cemetery has its own beauty of course but the pain of loss can hardly be overstated. 
 Am automotive rite of passage, but for some the passage never comes; eternal youth is their portion.
 The cemetery is undergoing some energetic restoration. Signs are everywhere.

I saw a ghost wandering the graves ahead of me. Where s/he came from I'm not sure. Not sure where s/he went either, except out of my life, if s/he was ever in it.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Lanes Alleys And Colors

I couldn't help but compare the home town cemetery to the one I saw a couple of weeks ago in New Orleans. If you tried to buy and sell plots in the key West cemetery like the plots  were bitcoin on eBay I can only imagine the uproar. That's what they do in New Orleans. As the tour guide explained the bartering of graves you could have knocked me over with a  feather. Tomorrow I'm posting a page of photos from the cemetery itself.
You could have done the same to me when I was strolling past the cemetery on my lunch break. This really is a beautiful little town when you look. It's winter now so the climate is ideal, so much so people are doing their winter thing here and boy do they ever have a lot to complain about!
Now that I'm in the 911 center during daylight hours I am exposed to the full range of angry neighborhood annoyances that drive people nuts. Parking and noise and all those things that ruin the serenity. It was great to get out for an hour and cast all those things aside for a while.  Look at these colors:
When I worked nights you will remember I spent a few lunch breaks wandering around with my camera set on black and white shooting moody pictures of a Key West Sam Spade might have felt at home in. Now I'm on days I get to see purple gates and stuff like that.
My wife and I were talking about the forthcoming winter season in Key West and now that swimming season is over it's time for live plays. That's what we always hope to get done because winter visitors include players from Up North of some talent escaping the cold by prancing about on the stages in Key West. 
In fact we  don't  get to enough live plays. Work interferes and scheduling becomes a secondary consideration...and I'm sure this doesn't just happen in Key West. Besides that I'm not interested in musicals of which we get a lot. On the other hand I suspect musicals make much more money for the theaters than solid dramas so I don't begrudge them another rendering of Hair or Grease or Rocky Horror or whatever. 
I like looking at Key West through my lens, it takes away the noise of daily living, the stresses of work and it reassures me I have a stack of memories of this place. It's hard to believe I started this page on June 7th 2007 and here I am still finding joy on the streets just by observing shadows and light.
I'm not riding my scooter much anymore. No one would blame me after the Catastrophe but it isn't that directly. Partly I don't like modern traffic with so many distractions and so many drivers here unable to find their way, oddly enough. I would generate contempt and compassion fatigue were I to get knocked off again and I wonder how well my pelvis might be rebuilt for a second time. But aside from that I also want to spend more time with Rusty and my wife and less alone. Riding has always been a solitary pleasure for me and I simply don't feel like disappearing all by myself at the moment. 
Life changes and we change with it. I want to explore but to explore with a camera and no dog makes as much sense as a goldfish without a  bicycle...No wait...what I mean is...I guess I don't want to ride right now. That is all.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Graffiti Bridge Pensacola

I want to pause  a moment and think back to my few days out of town. Therese gave us the run of her house which is where my wife and my dog came to hide from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Rusty ran up to the gate eager to be back and you can see why.
A cool winter day in the Florida panhandle is ideal for sunbathing and people watching from the porch:
 Or just laying around in the grass:
We took a walk and I found a rather interesting sand dune by accident when checking out a local landmark. It was there among the brush a fellow hum and  and his dog popped up. The dogs did not get along too well after a good tart and it soon became apparent to me that little Jock was defending what constitutes his home.
We talked across an open space and he told me he was living there, known to the police he hastened to assure me, and away from people who he doesn't much like. I liked the hermit a lot and was annoyed the dogs couldn't allow us to get closer but the conversation was pretty much over and he returned to his encampment and I went back to going someplace else. Notably past Kismet's grave, apparently a much missed dog.
He was a laid back dude and wasn't at all freaked out by the dogs arguing which I liked. Most dog owners think bared fangs indicate a fight to the death whereas its just a sign of dominance and Rusty wasn't going to be dominated by the little dog who thought he was defending his home. For Rusty this was just a  very cool public space...
We were taking an early morning Thanksgiving walk and at the Graffiti Bridge (look it up on google maps if you like) I came across this message:
We wandered around  and eventually crossed the bridge, no train could be heard... and eventually walked the dune on the other side visible to the right in the picture:

This is simply a public space where any painted message can be sprayed. Amazingly the messages are often artistic frequently boring but never obscene apparently.  
 Human nature sometimes has the capacity to surprise us.
 You have to wonder what it is that fascinates him. Clearly not the painting.
That the city positively encourages this wildness is amazing. There for all to enjoy and I'm told changing daily.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Bahama Street

One of those jobs you don't know if it constitutes eternal boredom or eternal opportunity to the holder. Watching out for the scofflaws attempting to sneak park in Fausto's parking lot on Fleming Street which is for grocery customers ONLY:
Other things are forbidden in downtown Key West, sometimes in not one but two languages. I never put Rusty to urinate anywhere, rest assured. 
Old world charm still exists:
Winter sunshine, lovely:
Bahama Street connecting distant Southard to Fleming Street at this end.

Duval Street seen down the alley on the 600 block where Onlywood has it's original location serving Italian food. 
Warm enough for bare feet apparently, though not for me.
Winter sun: my favorite.