This is a continuation of my Key West winter 2008 blog. Part one is HERE
(and I wrote about Key West a couple years ago too, if you want to see that BLOG )
Video I made of this trip ^
So, I am staying at one of the Heron House hotels in Key West. GORGEOUS and expensive (the whole area is super pricey). I asked for the quietest room they have and I got the loudest room you can possibly have the first night. If you like quiet, do NOT stay in room 42 of the Heron House. It is directly over the office and the gate and doors are slammed every few seconds. AND it smells of serious mold. They moved me the next morning into another room which is extremely silent, no smells at all and is heaven on earth (squeaky wheel always gets the oil). This above is room 42. Awesome location, but as I said, smelly and loud (but very clean). Manager said most places smell of mold down here as it's so humid.
My feet are loving the sunshine and fresh air. If I could only find a massage here..
||I can't believe how big the tits are in the store mannequins here. wtf? The times they are a changin'|
Above ^ Duvall street, which is said to be the longest street in the usa (but I heard that about a street in Manchester, NH too.. hmmmm.
I've been here pretty much every night since I have been here. Creature of habit, microphone whore. This place has karaoke every night and the sound and crowd, are kickin'. If you like seafood, you will love it here, but I hate it and stick to the salad.
Brian is the Karaoke DJ, originally from Connecticut (one of the many that "escape" to Key West and start a new life). The dark haired guy got nuts singing "touch me" by the Doors and ripped his shirt off (amazing abs) but the bouncer made him get his top back on right away, booo! hissssss! He is from Ohio and came with his two female buddies (below). I hung out with them but I forget everyone's names.
Originally from Ohio, these cuties now live in Ft. Meyers Florida (they came together with the dark haired fellow up above). I will give them nick names and choose characters from Sex and the City that most suit their personalities. The girl on the left in the brown top would be Carrie, girl on the right (who can sing her ASS off) would be Charlotte for sure. Dark haired bloke, well, he would be Smith. Me? Samantha, of course (apart from the fact I HATE fashion).
Look how sweet Charlotte's feet are.
Even though Charlotte (and Carrie) is a school teacher and dresses really prim and proper, she was whipping that games ASS. Seems like she is no stranger to the rifle. Her voice by the way, is like butter.
Continuing along with the Sex and the city name game, this would be Mr. Big (aka Roderick easier to remember a GIANTS name) sitting on the biggest tree I have ever seen. He joined us. He is from Holland and is about 6' 4" so he towered over us, like this tree. LOTS of Europeans in Key West. LOADS. You would think it would be predominantly Latinos because Key West is closer to Cuba than it is to Miami, but it's not. In fact, Miami is loaded with Spanish speaking folks; not so in Key West. The music scene is really different too. I HATED Miami (lots of disco/techno/house music) and well, I was in on South Beach and it was just a heaving meat market which is fine for some, but I didn't like the vibe. Everyone is too perfect, too on display, too competitive. In Key West, people chill and the music, well, old time rock and roll rules. A bit too much Jimmy Buffet but it comes with the territory. In NYC you hear too much Sinatra; in Key West it's Mr. Buffet. (not a fan of either, although I do respect them).
Me looking like a snotty Fag Hag ^ shopping with Mr. Big (who looks a LOT like a German friend I know named Tarzan).
Typical sight on Duvall street. Anything for a buck. Naked Cowboy, look out, you have competition.
Actually, now that I think about it, I am SURE the real Naked Cowboy goes South for the winter (can't imagine him standing in Times Square at this time of year). THIS picture of the real Naked Cowboy actually looks like he is standing on Duvall street..
Duvall street ^
Duvall street has LOADS of performers, beggars, tarot card readers, body painters, tourist, BARS, shops and homeless folks who left their lives behind to live in which most people call Paradise. The homeless are kind of a drag as if you don't give them spare change, they snap at you and give you shit (try loudly to make you feel guilty). If you are here for a week, you can't give everyone on Duvall street spare change that asks you, or you will soon be on Duvall street begging for spare change too (same thing with Haight street in San Fran)
Most every bar down here has live music all day and all night, 7 days a week and this band was taking a break but their mascot was keeping the guitar case warm. CUTE!
There are free roaming roosters/chickens every where you look and listen here. They are protected by the law and some hate them and some love them. They crow all the time and I think it's sweet, but the locals seem to consider them irritating pests. You will also see several Geckos, Lizards and Cats walking around. This place is like a little zoo. purrrrrrrrrrrr.
A few blocks from my hotel is one of the beaches (Key West is an island, but some areas only have boats- no beach). Anyways, I walked here thinking I could have a swim, but instead I felt I was invading the homeless folks private beach. You can see them napping and hanging around and the men were trying their best to chat me up and get me to hang out and give them money and/or food but I had neither of those on me and just kept walking. They look really weathered and smell of alcohol, I feel really bad for them and wonder what each one's story is. Where they are originally from? How long have they been here? I read in a book I bought called "Quit your job and move to Key West" by Christopher Shulz that the "homeless get around $100 per day so don't feel bad for them as they earn as much as most bartenders do"
Lots of rich people come to play here. They spend their winters here and park their yachts in this area. Big contrast going on. Wealth and homeless. It HAS to get you thinking. If not you are surely numb.
Salt water, I love thee.
I met lots of people here so far and this cutie ^ is one of the hottest women I have ever seen. She is from Russia and a bartender at Ricks. GORGEOUS.
I think Rick's is where all the pretty ^ people hang out (Key West attracts lots of Gay men- I wonder if he is or not?) "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" The Beatles
Lori, a native (aka Conch) loves karaoke too and she and I have been singing together almost nightly since I have been here. I had originally planned to come with a few girlfriends (co-workers too) but no one could get time off or cough up the dough for hotel/flights so I followed through and came alone. BEST way to meet people is to go alone. It doesn't bother me one bit to be alone. I recently told one of my closest friends that I am never lonely or bored and he said "that sounds so cold!". What the fuck ever. If you are happy in your own skin, love your life and have enough to keep you busy, you shouldn't have time to get bored or lonely. Clingy, dependent and lonely does not suit me. Am I a freak? If so, oh well, I am a freak. I don't get lonely or bored. PERIOD. This doesn't mean I don't miss certain loved ones when I am not with them, it just means I enjoy the moment. If that is wrong, then I guess I am wrong. But I can't/won't change.
The bouncer at Two Friends is from Georgia (the country). I showed him the pic of me and his President and since then he has been spoiling me. He asked me to pose with him and also wanted a copy of the pic of his President and I to show his friends back home. Super nice guy.
The DJ at Rick's took this picture of me singing TNT (ac/dc) and just emailed it to me ^
|Will work for food?||"there may come a time you can even take your clothes off when you dance" FZ|
Remember how I said no one really notices Christmas down here? Guess I was wrong ^
But overall, this is the best place EVER to avoid Christmas stress. There are LOADS of Jews down here too by the way (they don't do Christmas either! :).. Straight from Israel too. Most of the shops are owned by them. Great time to get deals as no one is spending. I got a great pair of shorts for $5!
After reading more of "Quit your job and move to Key West" I thought about it but one thing would prevent me from ever moving there.. NO CONCERTS! There are tiny cover bands in every bar on every corner, but Ac/Dc or Steve Vai, etc, would never come play there as there is simply no venue for that. Closest would be Miami and I wouldn't want to drive 3 hours or catch a flight each time a band I love or have to work on comes to Miami. Pffft. See how much trouble music can cause? ha ha. Just kidding.
I made a few videos and will string them together once I get back to NYC..
Anyways, gotta run, literally- great place for jogging. OH, this place is perfect for rollerblading and bicycling too (you can rent bikes every where as well as mopeds). NO need to rent a car, the island is only 2 miles by 4 miles. Walk it baby.
I am back home in NYC now and my stomach is still feeling uneasy. UNFORTUNATELY I didn't get to the part of that book I bought until too late, that explains "All drinking water flows into the Florida Keys within a single 36-inch diameter pipe. Kind of like a giant garden hose". It also explains that the water is tainted with Fecal e-coli bacteria, etc.. hello!! I was drinking the tap water most of the time and my belly felt like there was a war going on inside. NOW I know why. SO if you are heading to Key West, please do NOT drink the tap water.
I decided there are 3 reasons I would/could never move there:
1) No rock stars: NO big concerts- the Who or the Stones would/could never play there. No space.
2) Drinking water is dirty. I drink so much water, I would have to get another full time job just to quence my never ending thirst
3) It is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit every day from May – September and the humidity will make you sweat like a pig the second you leave your house- some say without an air conditioner, you would die.
Oh well, guess I will be one of those winter visitors from now on