Friday, January 28, 2011

Emily's List

No, not that Emily.  Tonight, this Emily wrote to me in comments:
Hi Rob. My name is Emily, and I have enjoyed reading your blog. i"m coming to Key West for a wedding from Feb.2-8. Could you suggest some fun, "real Key West" things to do and places to go. I definitely don't want to do the touristy route, and it seems like you have a lot of info. Thanks!
She said some kind things about this blog, which made me ashamed of how I've neglected it.  Facebook has a negative effect on this business of talking to other people using the currently "hot" technologies of FaceBook  and Twitter.  They have their advantages, in that they are quick.  They have their weaknesses, one of which is not being able to be expansive.

So, Emily, thanks for making me want to put something in here, for only the second time in 2011.

Here are some things that people do in The Real Key West that are somewhat removed from the touristy route:
  • Drop in at the Coffee Plantation on Caroline Street for coffee and something from the Bakery there.  There's usually a gaggle of locals there at various times of the day, along with tourists who've strayed off of Duval Street.  Wireless internet, if you need it, or rent their computers if you left yours at home.
  • Wander by the Cuban Coffee Queen any time during the day for con leche and good Cuban food.  I particularly like to get the Sunrise Special for breakfast, or even for lunch. $3.99 for meat/egg/cheese on a half-size sandwich of toasted Cuban bread.  Eat it sitting on the steps of the now-vacant Waterfront market next door and watch the world go by.
  • Mallory Square at sunset is de rigueur for tourists. Real Key West people usually go there only when they have visitors in town, but if you haven't been there, it's worth at least one trip.  I prefer to go in the morning.  It's very uncrowded, and there are at least a few places to sit down to gaze upon the waters, watch the pelicans, and see one or a few of our residentially-challenged denizens.
  • Take a long walk through the neighborhoods to the west of Duval Street, surrounding the Key West Cemetery.  Best time to go is late-afternoon into early-evening.  If you're lucky, you'll come upon some night-blooming jasmine after dark, an intoxicating aroma.  I wish I knew how to bottle it.
  • Visit the Studios of Key West on White Street at Southard.  It's an eclectic place where artists of all kinds hang out, and do and show their art.
  • Go to the Green Parrot at the corner of Southard and Whitehead Streets.  Best times are Friday afternoons when locals flock to TGIF (and hope for a "sound check" performance at around 5:00), and Sunday afternoons, when some of our best local talents strut their stuff.
  • Find the Gardens Hotel on Angela Street, near Simonton on Sunday afternoon.  Jazz and cocktails, wine from their high-tech wine bar, all between 5:00 and 7:00 PM.  Another flock-of-locals kind of place.
I might also have mentioned the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, but it's on Stock Island, and I've focused on places that are within walking distance in Old Town.

I don't know if I hit Emily's target for non-touristy things to do, but I thank her again for spurring me to get this post up.

Hope that you enjoy your visit.


JerryP said...

I, too, enjoy the 'real Key West' point of view, and want to thank you for getting back on track. It is such a great place and always want to hear about the new and different discoveries that are the real Key West. I just don't get there as much as I want, but still, my hear is there.
Thanks again.
Jerry Pirkl

Anonymous said...

Rob--Thank you sooo much. These are great suggestions. I will definitely let you know how it goes.


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