Thursday, February 20, 2020

Key West - the flowers come out

There's a whole row of these across from BOs Fishwagon
As you know, Key West is tropical, it has never seen frost. Nevertheless, it still has seasons when the flowers come out more so than others. They start appearing around the middle to end of February and then explode into March. They add an explosion of color to our afternoon walks.

Bien in Key West keeps these to add to the flower parade
I don't know the names of all the flowers, I just enjoy the riot of color that they add as we walk along the sidewalks of Key West. Perhaps one of these years, I'll look up the names.

Another example across from BO's Fishwagon
Meanwhile, I have a major task tomorrow in replacing the hose to the head. It's required every three to four years and it's time now. It's hardly something to look forward to so that will consume Friday. On the weekend, we have the Key West Art Festival which consists of artists from all over coming to Key West to show their works. It's like Ann being in a candy store. She loves to talk shop with the artists. Unfortunately, she came down with the same cold I had but it seems mild so we'll probably go anyway. Key West has lots of tourists coming to town, especially on cruise ships so we keep our distance as best we can. It's not a closed-up town like up north, everything is open-air so there's always a flow of fresh air and I would think that helps, we'll see.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Key West - Mangia Mangia, a fabulous restaurant

The inside is typical Key West - not a lot of space, the outside seating is much better
We had dinner scheduled at 6:30 at Mangia Mangia with Bill Spencer and Bill Washburn, our friends from the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club. We knew the place was going to be crowded, it always is, so we chose a Wednesday night thinking it was an off night. Bill got there ahead of us to get in line since they do not take reservations for parties of four.

It's great to dine with friends!
So we waited and waited, about 45 minutes at least. We watched a party of about 20 walk by (the group had reservations) and thought of all the dinner orders ahead of us! Naturally, the 20 person group took the coveted outside seats. In looking over the menu, it looked great and very reasonably priced in the $15 to $25 range mostly.

Our dinner arrived without much delay and it was fabulous. The restaurant is rightly famous for making its own pasta and they have honed their recipes over the years. Everything was just great. I would highly recommend going, just not on a weekend and it might be wise to ask if they have a party of 20 coming that night. The busiest time is 7:30 so 6:00 would be good or eat much later.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Key West - BOs gets a new roof??

That's a brave guy up on top, there can't be much under him for support
One of the most dilapidated establishments in Key West is BOs Fishwagon. Nothing is ever replaced, nothing ever wears out. You know when it's closed because they put a piece of rope across the entrance. The musicians complain that when it rains, their instruments get wet - and that can be an expensive problem for some.

I guess it's okay if the patrons get wet, it's part of the attraction and who cares about the musicians? However, if the cooks get wet, that's another matter! The "repair", if you can call it that, was located over the "kitchen" such as it is. The whole place is just a food cart surrounded by tables and chairs and trees that have accumulated over the years.

All that said, they stay in business because of the excellence of their fish sandwiches. They don't overload their sandwich with sauces and such, it's the fish fried just right on a great bread roll. We plan on going over on Saturday night to listen to Barry Cudo, we hope, if he's back.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Key West - Kapok Tree, BOs, and Dennis

The Kapok Tree - I've only seen one in Key West
You'll never see a Kapok tree much farther north than Key West. The biggest one I've ever seen is near the Green Parrot. The branches go in all directions and occupy an enormous space. It's one of the most photographed trees in the world. I think it's beautiful.

It doesn't look like much but then that's BOs for you - however, they have the best, pure fish sandwich in Key West 
They were working on BOs Fishwagon today up on the roof. It appears they were working to stop one of the many avenues of leakage available to local rainstorms. The repair started out with a blue tarp (what else!) I'm not sure if that's the repair or they intend making something more permanent - but then this is Key West and maybe that's the extent of the repair?

Dennis doesn't sail at night - but has great sails during the day!
One person we've known for the past 10 years is Dennis who runs a sailing charter called, Breezin from our dock. I think he holds some sort of record for five-star reviews, he always makes sure the customer is completely satisfied. If you ever want to get a personal taste of sailing in the Keys, you can't do better than Dennis at Breezin. He's on Dock E, right down our dock. He's a great guy.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Key West - The Green Parrot for jazz on Sundays

Good to listen to!
There are certain places in Key West that you must go to at some time. They are the essence of Key West. One such place is the Green Parrot bar on Whitehead Street. They always have live music but it's special on Sunday afternoons where they feature jazz.

Yep, that's a parachute over the bar
We always make it a point of dropping by Sunday afternoons to listen to their jazz band and whoever happens to drop by to do some solo jazz. This time we found a seat and could actually sit, a rarity at the Green Parrot, usually it's standing room only. I bought each of us a beer and sat back to listen to the music. They also feature free popcorn throughout the day so we had several servings of that too.

I hope they don't run out...
As it turned out, all of the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club members in Key West dropped by too and joined us. We had two former Commodores (Bill and Bill), and two professional party-goers that used to own a vintage wooden boat - well, you know about wooden boaters, not to be trusted after a little imbibing of the spirits. That left just the two of us to keep order in the house and we did just that, I think, the memory is a little fuzzy after the mandatory beers.

At any rate, fun was had by all and we plan on repeating the event next Sunday afternoon, drop by and join us. We'll get there around 1:30 or so and stay until 3:30 or later. Remember, if you're in Key West, you must stop by at least once to pay your respects to a very unique, open-air, bar.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Key West - We see Peter Vey and I'm feeling better

We both love his use of color and light
Today was a day of recovery and I'm feeling much better. So far, Ann has not caught it but it's still early for that and I don't want to jinx the outcome. Mostly, it was just boat work, slowly but progress nevertheless.

The gallery is beautiful but Peter Vey's paintings are the star
The big event of the day was for Ann to see one of her favorite artists in Key West, Peter Vey. He had a reception at Gallery on Greet Street which, by far, is our favorite gallery in Key West. Peter Vey's paintings sell in the $15,000 to $30,000 range so we cannot afford them but we like to look and admire.

Ann comes alive like nowhere else when talking shop with another artist
She was able to talk to Peter for about 15 minutes on painting and she enjoyed every minute of that. Peter paints in oils with a palette knife which gives a unique style to his work. You can see some of his paintings from the website link above. If you're in Key West, be sure to drop by the gallery, it's worth the trip.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Key West - Tiki Bar, still sick

Floating Tiki Bar!
Slept yesterday from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am! I can't remember the last time I did that. I'm still trying to fight it off and it does seem a little better today. So as I sat in a daze on the back of Fleetwing, I see this Tiki Bar come by. They didn't stop to see if I wanted anything... Probably just as well. He goes up and down the fairways in the harbor around sunset.

Meanwhile, I'm persevering. I think I can skip the 7:30 pm bedtime tonight, at least. We are starting to reconnect with people from the Poughkeepsie YC and friends we've known from Key West in the past. There won't be much activity here until I recover so bear with me.