Sunday, November 11, 2012

Touristy Key West - Hemingway would be appalled

Occasional glimpses of the old Key West
If you really, really, really! concentrate and get to your inner self and use your imagination you might feel a bit of the funky, laid back, American writers in Paris in the 20’s feel if you skirt the masses, stick to the back streets, avoid weekends and high season, and tour Ernest Hemingway’s house.   And it is quite pleasant to eat in one of the many open-air Caribbean style bar-like restaurants.  And I suppose the hordes and busloads of tourists carousing and shopping and eating their way ala Las Vegas and New Orleans is just an evolutionary jump but one that I wish hadn’t been made.   I will try to find movies filmed in Key West during a more “traditional” time period and just pretend.   (The Rose Tattoo, Beneath the 12 Mile Reef, License to Kill, PT 109, perhaps will take me back.)

However, if you go:  Like New Orleans and Austin, Texas, I have a feeling there are some real gems to be found if one concentrates on music and investigates and checks out the various bars and restaurants with live bands and performers.  And as I’ve mentioned, Hemingway’s house is fascinating and the tour is a must do.  There are 40 cats in residence and many are descendants of the original six-toed (or polydactyl) cat named Snowball, which was given to Hemingway by a ship captain.   Apparently six toed cats were considered good luck on ships. These cats roam the property and seem to own the place.

The Conch Republic Seafood Company overlooking the docks right in the middle of town is a great stop for lunch. Good food and atmosphere.

Fun Facts: 
  • The highway that ends in Key West at Mile Market “0”, US Highway One, is 2,209 miles long and runs from Fort Kent in Maine.
  • The nearest Wal-Mart is 126 miles away.
  • Key West is the southernmost city in the United States. The city is closer to Cuba than it is to Miami.