Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Key West - Green Parrot and the Myles Mancuso Band

The Myles Mancuso Band
The Green Parrot had a special band tonight, the Myles Mancuso Band which was very good and the place was packed for the event. Once again, it was the Poughkeepsie YC south meeting with I six of us in attendance. I think we'll form a Key West chapter.

He's the lead singer and guitar player
On the way home, we stopped in at Schooner Wharf for a fish sandwich and took Hoolie with us. Many places in Key West allow dogs, especially the ones with a gravel floor like Schooner Wharf. The waitress brought out a bowl of water for Hoolie with ice cubes. He spent the evening eating the ice.

The entertainment was a one-man show, not so good but it kept the place alive. The McKeever's are hosting their going away party at lunch Wednesday so we will celebrate with them on Stock Island. It's just busy, busy, busy having fun.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Key West - Boat work and a fast boat

I wonder how fast it is?
Evidently, there are those that like to travel fast. We saw one such boat at the fuel dock (where else?) at our marina. I know they race them in the ocean but I wouldn't want to be on one with 4 to 6 ft waves! I'm surprised it has only two outboards.

More boat work today with the forward head, enough said about that. My articles for Waterway Guide were published today. Here's a link if you want to see what I wrote at Waterway Guide magazine.  My articles are there on pages 28 and 40.

We are finally getting over our colds so how we will start planning our eating out better. The Green Parrot has a promising band Tuesday night so we'll go and see what the fuss is about. After that, we'll mosy on home and have dinner at Schooner Wharf, probably a fish sandwich, they do it pretty well.

Turtles Races!
In taking Hoolie out tonight, I came by the Turtle Races held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. at Turtle Kraals.  They put four turtles in the race with each one numbered and they "race" up an incline to a checkered finish. One turtle got within 1 foot of the finish line and stopped! Every yelled and coaxed him to continue which he eventually did to the cheers of everyone.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Key West - A new tradition, The Green Parrot on Sunday afternoons

Our band for the afternoon
Every Sunday morning we have donuts or at least pastries. There's a great bakery nearby, Old Town Bakery of Key West. They don't really have donuts but rather pastries such as sticky buns, cheese danish, scones, and other varieties typical of a bakery. it's always fresh and there's always a crowd so be prepared to wait if you arrive around 8:30 to 9:00.

A good crowd but not packed wall to wall as usual
Our second tradition on a Sunday, at least in Key West, is to take the free shuttle to The Green Parrot to listen to jazz in the afternoon. We get there around 1:30 and stay for a couple of hours. They have a great band on Sunday afternoons and we enjoy the music. I'll buy Ann and I a Belgium beer along with the free popcorn and just sit and listen to jazz.

We had a little excitement on the way back. We were waiting for the free shuttle to arrive when it pulled in and clipped a car behind it. (Note to self: don't park your car next to a bus stop). Everybody had to get off the bus to await the arrival of the police. After a 15 minute wait, the next bus arrived and we proceeded home, no problem.  Another day paradise!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Key West - BOs Fishwagon on a Saturday night with Barry Cuda, a tradition

Lots of art at the Key West yearly art show
The Key West art show was today. Artists from all over set up shop on Whitehead street to sell their wares. There was even one guy from New York ("what's that white stuff in your painting?") who went through a very elaborate process to transfer drawings to aluminum. They were quite good.

We stopped at Sloppy Joes on the way back, too crowded, not a seat to be had
The rest of the artists were of varying quality (that's artist speak for, "not very good"). Still, it was fun to walk along and view the different styles. Every artist seemed to gravitate to a particular style with all their painting done a certain way.

I counted five chickens within five feet of our table. BOs is open-air and all rea invited.
At five, we took advantage of a reception at a real art gallery, the Gallery on Green Street. The paintings usually go for the $1000 to $15,000 range, far outside our affordable budget but they are wonderful to admire. Ann had some shop talk time with the featured artist.

Barry was holding forth as usual, in fine form
To close out a perfect day, we had fish sandwiches at BOs Fishwagon with Barry Cuda playing at the piano with saxophone accompaniment. He clearly enjoys what he doing and it shows in his crowd interaction and music. We even got a table this time. There were people dancing in the aisles to his music. It was just a great evening, I highly recommend going there Saturday nights when Barry is playing.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Key West - New things

Used to be a parking lot
When we first came down to Key West, there were lots of empty lots but as the years went by, they were replaced by condos and restaurants. The hotel pictured above used to be a vacant lot where cars were parked. We came back one year and found The Marker hotel in its place.

Moved from Duval Street
Just a 1/2 block away is another new establishment, the Only Wood Grill restaurant. It used to be near Duval Street but moved this year to the waterfront. They feature a massive wooden grill imported from Italy. We haven't eaten there yet but we'll give it a try later on. Key West is booming. It has to be one of the best places to find good food anywhere.

The winds have arrived. They are due to blow in the 20's for the next three days and since they are from the north it will cool things off a bit, but only into the 60s at night. Based on past experience, we expect to see the locals in full hoodies and long pants if not down-filled parkas. Your blood thins out in this tropical weather.

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.