Saturday, August 27, 2011

Midnight in Key West

With only two nights to go in Key West, I wanted to post a quick something about this scene, nighttime on this section of the island, only hours after the bustle of the tourist-friendly Duvall Street closes and the customers and employees scatter.  This is the "Blanket," Key West style, and it is a time of night I've grown accustomed to while here.

It is in fact so safe to walk these streets late at night, that for me, it's a little unnerving.  The area in and around Duvall Street reminds me so much of New Orleans, with Duvall being closer akin to Bourbon Street, and the neighborhoods surrounding looking like parts of the Garden District.  But in no way would I consider taking to either one of those neighborhoods in New Orleans on foot after hours, especially when there seems to be not a living soul around!  It truly is amazing.  Where does everybody go?  Walking through the French Quarter for so may years has wired me to check for movement in passing car windows and to keep a steady, peripheral awareness that produces a special kind of tunnel vision.  Here, I lapse into that pinhole-size perspective, and it makes it quite hard to sightsee.

But the points of the late-night walks have been all centered around a certain centering, for processing the night on stage, for exploring the storefronts and points of interest for any daytime outings, and more importantly, for walking around inside of my writer's mind.  I felt like Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," and what a coincidence it was that I was in the land of Hemingway.  I was looking for that old Rolls-Royce around every corner.