Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Key West - Walks in the shade and alleyways

Eaton Street Seafood Market still has takeout but no eating outside
We always go out for a walk in the morning before the heat of the day. In this day and age of social distancing, the walks are somewhat modified. We were headed away from the docks and as we walked on the sidewalk, we saw one person headed our way. As he got closer, he stepped out into the street (there's no traffic!) and walked by. When I looked back, he had returned to the sidewalk. He had maintained the requisite 6 ft easily and then some.

It's becoming a common occurrence on our walks. We even do it. We saw a man walking a dog towards us so we crossed over the street with Hoolie on the other sidewalk and continued on, it's become second nature. When standing in line at the bakery shop, the people stand 6 ft apart. It looks a little strange but as time goes on, it looks less strange every day. Such as the times.

Schooner America 2.0 is locked up tight, waiting for the virus to subside
We use Winn Dixie's home delivery today to get groceries. Our "shopper" identified herself via IM and we chatted back and forth as she looked at our list and tried to find the items we had specified. It's in real-time. She couldn't find a few of the items and even said the bagged salad I had listed didn't look so good. I told her to buy what looked best and to substitute similar items for other things on the list if they didn't have them in the store.

When she was done, she texted me when she was leaving so I met her at the end of the dock and loaded the cart. The cost by the month was $15 and there was no extra delivery charge above that if the total of the groceries was above $35, we easily passed that hurdle. However, I did give her a good tip. We are really loaded up on boneless chicken breasts. It's like a universal meat and there are a zillion recipes for dinner with chicken breasts.

We continue to bide our time, watching the news occasionally, we can't take the news all day, just in small doses. The route into Key West is still blocked and they are turning away hundreds of cars with people that are not residents of the Keys. As one person said, we are the nation's largest gated community. The virus ought to die out if the people that have it are isolated and no new cases are allowed in. We'll see.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Key West - Statues as art?

A nice addition to any yard, I can see it in my front yard now...
Key West is home to a number of would-be artists. They try to make their own mark, some are good, some are something other. As I was walking around the harbor walk, I sampled a few of the local tries.

On the other hand, it's hard to picture this anywhere - but Schooner Wharf
Several are by the Marker Hotel and one was by someone associated with Schooner Wharf. Our custom continues to walk in the shade since the sun is so hot at this latitude.

By the Marker Hotel
The statues make an interesting diversion along the way. I don't think I would want to buy one for New York but in Key West, it's fine, I guess.

Waterfront decoration
We continue to press on. The governor of Virginia just announced a stay at home order carrying through until June 10th! That is seriously impacting our plans since we wanted to be at Stingray Point Boat Works at least by June. We normally get there by May 15th but with the delay, we were hoping for a June arrival.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Key West - Wyland, birdhouses, yellow flowers

Wyland's art on the wall as well walk in the morning
There is an artist that paints sea scenes all over the world, Wyland and he has a mural in Key West too (see photo). His murals are all over the world and he periodically renews the paints as they fade with age. We see this one every morning when we go out for a walk. We will occasionally walk down Duval Street to see him at work when he's in town.

If one is good, why not eight?
We took our usual walk on the shady side of the street and Ann took photos for use in her paintings. We've fallen into a routine of Ann taking an art class from Great Courses that's free if you have a library card from any public library. You can download Kanopy as an app to your smart TV or Roku or Amazon Firestick and take any of the Great Courses for free. It's a great way to learn a new skill. All the courses are taught by college professors or leaders in their field and are professionally done, highly recommended.

I liked the illumination from the back
For some people, one birdhouse is not enough but then some seem to go overboard! At least there's no shortage of housing down here for birds. While Ann takes a Great Courses study, I just catch up on all the SiFi titles I've missed over the last two years. Altered Carbon is one I'm into now, a great series while Ann takes the How to Draw from a professor at Washington State University.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Key West - What do the charters do when there are no tourists?

What to do all day if you have no business?
We've been here 10 years and we've known Dennis for the same length of time. He runs a sailboat charter called Breezin that takes tourists out for a sail three times a day when there business. He has a five-star rating on TripAdvisor with 208 reviews where every single one is the highest possible rating of "Excellent". So what does Dennis do now that there are no tourists to take out for a sail, well just look at the photo. He's been in Key West doing this for the last l7 years, he's not hurting.

Nice beach, no people allowed
The beaches are closed for the most part. We have such wonderful weather and yet the beaches are closed. It's all for the best, I guess. Key West can be isolated by cutting off entry via US1 so it should be a test case of how to control an outbreak. If you can't stop it here, you can't stop it anywhere. So far, we have 19 cases of the virus, most travel related but not all. We'll see how it goes. At this rate, it may be June before we head north although we're hoping for a much earlier date. It all depends on how things progress. At any rate, we feel very safe here, not so much on the way north.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Key West - Places with Takeout - The Dirty Pig

It's nice inside with a large area for the Blues band and plenty of seating
Restaurants come and go in Key West. Some stay around longer than others but new ones are always popping up. A welcomed addition is The Dirty Pig which is a barbeque restaurant serving North Carolina style BBQ. They are located in a place that must attract the local residents in order to be successful since they are off the main drag. They specialize in Blues music and they attract a crowd.

The most important part of the restaurant is the BBQ cooker which starts up at 6:00 am every day.
However, like everywhere else in Key West, they are currently only doing takeout. Well, actually, almost all restaurants are closed, only a few are continuing to do takeout and The Dirty Pig is one of them. They have a number of trophies on display from awards they've won in touring competition. From what I've had (before the shutdown), the awards are well deserved.

It will be cook's night off Saturday or Sunday and we'll take a plate of BBQ over to Fleetwing and dine looking out over the water in 77F weather. We are quite isolated but well situated, it's just wait and see what happens. US1 was closed off today which only furthers the isolation. No boats are allowed into the Keys so we ought to have a very controlled environment which ought to be a good thing. We're biding our time.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Key West - Bien and takeout

Bien - A common theme, order at the counter - take out
If you want to eat out, take out is the only option. However, the choice of restaurants is very limited, only a few offer takeout. For most restaurants, especially the upscale ones, there's not enough business to justify staying open. Bien is the second-highest-rated restaurant in Key West. It always comes out near the top in all rankings. It used to be a gas station but it was converted into a restaurant of the highest quality food.

They never did have much of a seating area - but the food made up for it
They have remained in business to offer take out and we'll be partaking of their Caribbean menu over the next few weeks. You can no longer eat outside due to the town restrictions but we'll take it to the cockpit of Fleetwing and have a feast.

For those that thought you would get away without a flower photo - think again! These are all over one side of Bienh
The US1 roadblock goes into effect on Friday. No one is allowed in except residents. The coronavirus total now stands at 12 for Monroe County which includes Key West. I expect a few more cases before things level off. At least there are no more people coming in.

As you would expect, the weather is stunning for going north but we won't be able to take advantage of the favorable winds. Here we sit until things settle down, hopefully by the end of April. We have our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Key West - A virus free zone, again - I like flowers!

I remember these from two years ago, stunning in person
The virus news is never-ending so we took our antivirus walk this afternoon and admired the flowers of Key West, it amuses us - maybe not our readers so much - but that's how it goes. This time of the year, we plan our walks so we're in the shade most of the time. The air temperature may be in the high 70s but when you're in the sun, it feels like 100.

A very popular flower in Key West, it's all over
Unfortunately, when we walk in the afternoon, the sun aligns with the streets. You're in the shade on one street but when you turn the corner, the sun is directly on you, no shade. Now, if only we could have convinced the city planners to rotate the streets about 45 degrees, then that would suit us just fine for our walks.

The old standby - by BOs Fishwagon across the street. They have been blooming for at least 10 years. 
I don't know the names of any of the flowers, if they're pretty to look at, I'll snap a photo. It takes our mind off the virus news. If you really want local virus news, just Google the local newspaper.