Thursday, July 9, 2009

Key West - the key to my heart?

July 8, 2009, 8:30 am

The Douglas House – room #15

I’ve been in Key West for four days. I love it here! Danny, my friend from training, has been my local connection, and he has been a fabulous tour guide. His friend set me up at a dog friendly hotel a half block off of Duval Street, the main drag (and that is meant in many ways) in town.I moved this morning from Room #7 to a smaller, less lit and more expensive room. I understand that it is considered nicer because it’s been upgraded, and it is lovely with new slate floors, a granite-topped wet bar, and a lovely bathroom. This room, however, doesn’t have the kitchy kitchen and wonderful windows that I had in room 7.  But it’s still very nice and Higbee is welcome, and that’s enough for me.

Key west is really wonderful, and about half of it is for sale. Seriously, nearly every other house in old town has a for sale sign on it, and Danny said that the prices have dropped by about half. The local residents are once again able to afford to buy a home. That’s good! But I’m not quite sure who’s going to buy all this very hurricane prone property – at its highest point, the island is only about 10 feet above sea level.
I practiced at the Bikram studio on White and Truman yesterday and the day before. Danny taught a good class – he is definitely true to the dialogue and used it well! I understand where he gets his guidance, as yesterday I took a class from Terri, the studio owner and she kicked. my. ass. Between her strong encouragement, the heater beating on my back throughout the class, and the intense humidity, I was really overwhelmed. I sat out several poses – I can’t remember being that affected since training! Terri went to training with Diane Ducharme and wow, she teaches a very strong class. I’m impressed and am convinced that Danny will grow with Terri’s encouragement in his teaching and in his practice.

Took the day off of yoga today and spent the morning with Higbee swimming in the Atlantic.  She really had a good time until I made the mistake of pulling on her tail while she was swimming back to shore. I used to pretend I was drowning with Ripper and she would swim out and then let me drag behind her. I guess Higbee is not a lifeguard – she was miffed and wouldn’t come back in the water for a while! Well, I won’t do that again! Came back to the hotel, gave Higbee a bath and then swam in the pool. Read under the tree and then cleaned up myself and while Higbee slept, I went for a bike ride around the island. Even though it was super hot and humid, it was nice to be on two wheels. I was too late for the Hemmingway house tour, I’ll make sure to do that before I leave this place, but I did make it to Mallory Square for the sunset. Everyone on the island goes there to watch the sun set in the ocean, and cheers when it hits the water, but at this time of the year, there’s an outer island in the way. Even so, it was beautiful, and some lucky girl got an airplane proposal just a few moments before the moment!!! I wish I could have seen the couple – I’ve never seen (or participated in) a proposal.
Met Danny for dinner for a vegetarian lasagna – it was made with the meat of Brazil nuts, and lots of vegetables. Delicious, filling and good for you! By the time I rode home, it was dark, and I was able to smell the night jasmine – there’s something magical about the pungent smell of flowers at night – only to have it ruined by the equally pungent smell of rotting garbage. The beauty of a hot and humid place!!

Here are the things I love about Key West and I would like to have in the place I choose to live and open a studio: First, the colorful atmosphere – the buildings are friendly and cute, there are bicyclists everywhere, and the people are relaxed and happy. Second, the gay population. I know I’m generalizing a lot here, but I really enjoy being among a community of artistic, strong, and intelligent people who are often DINCs. Danny put it well when he said that the transvestites in town have suffered so much in the past, they just don’t give a shit and they’re out to have a good time.” I’m not happy that anyone suffers, but I am glad for the resulting attitude of enjoying life. Third, the wonderful flora – there are orchids growing in the trees, there’s lush growth (and in the evening, lushes) all around. It’s so comforting to be under beautiful trees and plants. Fourth, the sense of community this place has. Having the advantage of being with a local, I can see how everyone knows everyone else and gets along. Last (for the moment), the ocean. It feels so good to have a large welcoming body of water nearby. Of course I know that all of these observations are made as an outsider and I am not involved in the details and dramas of day to day life here. But it feels good at this place. I’d like to find something similar to this somewhere else. The strange thing is that I was driving around a few days ago and realized that this place reminds me of Sausalito! It’s obviously a lot cooler there than here, but there are a lot of similarities. So who knows? Perhaps this great big trip around the US will land me back in my own back yard. We’ll see.

Sending love to all.

1 comment:

thedancingj said...

That is an awesome picture of your dog!!! Key West sounds fabulous. I am vicariously enjoying this road trip of yours! Took a road trip last summer with a friend and reading about your travels is giving me a little itch to do it again... ;)