Going to Key West tomorrow.

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    Nov 09, 2015 8:12 PM GMT
    And staying till Saturday.

    I'm not really much for the bar scene, but I'll have my BMX bike with me if anyone wants to hit the trails or skateparks (already googled and found them).

    Oh and I'm totally down if someone wants to come over to watch Netflix and chill. icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 09, 2015 8:32 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidAnd staying till Saturday.

    I'm not really much for the bar scene, but I'll have my BMX bike with me if anyone wants to hit the trails or skateparks (already googled and found them).

    Oh and I'm totally down if someone wants to come over to watch Netflix and chill. icon_wink.gif


    So staying where? We arrive Friday afternoon, remain until Thursday the 19th. Come to Bourbon Street Pub at 724 Duval around 5 PM Friday, walk straight through to the back door and look for us at the poolside Garden Bar. Buy you a drink.

    Too bad you're not staying through Sunday, when we're hosting a brunch featuring C***'s quiche he's baking that morning in our duplex's kitchen. Served out on our veranda overlooking Duval, might have about 6 friends.

    I didn't know Key West had any real bike trails. But the SMART Ride arrives Saturday from Miami, pedaling down Duval to the White Street Pier beginning about 2:30 PM.
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    Nov 09, 2015 8:38 PM GMT
    Thank god I'm flying there instead of driving so I don't have to go around all the cyclists! icon_lol.gif

    I don't know which hotel I'll be staying at yet...gonna get there and just find one. I'll definitely meet up at the pub on Friday for a drink or thirty, though.

    First order of business is fly the banner around the beaches and stuff, then head straight to the bike shop after work and find out where the BMX guys hang out to ride. That's sorta become my usual routine now when traveling with my bike. icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 09, 2015 8:40 PM GMT
    Oh and I'll take my DSLR camera to get some aerials of the SMART group.
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    Nov 09, 2015 9:33 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidOh and I'll take my DSLR camera to get some aerials of the SMART group.

    Not much to see during the ride, which is single file, spread out over 20 miles at any given point along US 1. Not a race like a Tour de France with big mobs of bikers on closed roads.

    It isn't until the ride arrives and forms up again in Key West that there's a ceremonial parade lap through Key West, 2-abreast with police escort to the White Street pier, where the AIDS Memorial is located on the Atlantic side. That could be a good photo opportunity. The riders get there about 3-3:30 PM, over a thousand people on the pier with a stage, out in the open with no overhead foliage cover.
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    Nov 10, 2015 1:21 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidOh and I'll take my DSLR camera to get some aerials of the SMART group.


    Time for a D-750 ?
  • ChicagoSteve

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    Nov 10, 2015 2:03 AM GMT
    Do you guys know, is the Island House still there? I thought I had read somewhere that the owners were going to sell and it was going to possibly become a straight property.
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    Nov 10, 2015 2:59 AM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    paulflexes saidOh and I'll take my DSLR camera to get some aerials of the SMART group.


    Time for a D-750 ?
    D700
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    Nov 10, 2015 3:04 AM GMT
    Sounds fun, I wish I could escape.
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    Nov 10, 2015 4:38 AM GMT
    ChicagoSteve saidDo you guys know, is the Island House still there? I thought I had read somewhere that the owners were going to sell and it was going to possibly become a straight property.

    Yes, to my knowledge it's still there. It's also true it was in the process of being sold to straights, but the deal went sour last year and the property was removed from the market. The gay owners decided to keep it operating as it was, at least for now.

    I'll learn more next week when I'm down there. We have gay business owner friends who are pretty current on the Key West scene, although we don't know the Island House owners themselves.
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    Nov 10, 2015 5:22 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    ChicagoSteve saidDo you guys know, is the Island House still there? I thought I had read somewhere that the owners were going to sell and it was going to possibly become a straight property.

    Yes, to my knowledge it's still there. It's also true it was in the process of being sold to straights, but the deal went sour last year and the property was removed from the market. The gay owners decided to keep it operating as it was, at least for now.

    I'll learn more next week when I'm down there. We have gay business owner friends who are pretty current on the Key West scene, although we don't know the Island House owners themselves.


    "but the deal went sour last year"

    Hmmmm. I bet I could find a buyer for that.
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    Nov 10, 2015 4:27 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    Art_Deco said
    ChicagoSteve saidDo you guys know, is the Island House still there? I thought I had read somewhere that the owners were going to sell and it was going to possibly become a straight property.

    Yes, to my knowledge it's still there. It's also true it was in the process of being sold to straights, but the deal went sour last year and the property was removed from the market. The gay owners decided to keep it operating as it was, at least for now.

    I'll learn more next week when I'm down there. We have gay business owner friends who are pretty current on the Key West scene, although we don't know the Island House owners themselves.

    "but the deal went sour last year"

    Hmmmm. I bet I could find a buyer for that.

    I'm not sure, the new owners would likely want to be trying to attract a straight crowd. That's how Key West properties are going now, the gay guest houses disappearing, nothing new gay. Island House is OK for gays, but some liabilities for others. For instance, did you know, in case you've never been there:

    Some bedrooms are just that - a small room with a bed, with no plumbing, no bathroom! There's a communal hall bath instead.

    A nice bath, all marble tile, immaculate & attractive, with adjoining sinks, and gang showers, very old-school dormitory in usage. A great opportunity for gays, especially singles. Maybe not so attractive for straight couples. So that would all have to be redone.

    Location's a problem. It's at the very far end of Fleming Street, at the corner of White. With little parking, most on the street. If you take your car anywhere you'll lose the spot. And downtown you'll have trouble parking, too. So you either walk, which is a real hike, or you're always taking a cab. Some people do rent scooters or bicycles in KW, but not to everyone's taste.

    There's a spa, with hot tub, sauna and steam room, plus a large gang shower. And a single locker room. But all designed for same-sex. Adapting some of it for mixed sex would present some challenges, mainly the showers and the locker/dressing room.

    The entire place is "Key West Ramshackle" as I call it. Old houses connected together, with crooked hallways and no 2 rooms alike, old faded wood or painted in 40 coats. It's authentic Key West, with its own charm, but not what straights from Ohio want. They're interested in the cookie-cutter, fresh-washed Marriott look, just like back in Ohio. They would say they were being ripped off and want their money back.

    The unverified word I heard was that the offering price wasn't good enough, and the potential buyers started making last-minute demands the owners wouldn't accept. Who knows? Island House is a great gay oasis if you mainly want to hole-up there (not a pun), and only do a little of the local touristy stuff. Maybe another gay buyer would have interest, but Key West is becoming less gay every year. icon_sad.gif
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    Nov 10, 2015 5:07 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    freedomisntfree said
    Art_Deco said
    ChicagoSteve saidDo you guys know, is the Island House still there? I thought I had read somewhere that the owners were going to sell and it was going to possibly become a straight property.

    Yes, to my knowledge it's still there. It's also true it was in the process of being sold to straights, but the deal went sour last year and the property was removed from the market. The gay owners decided to keep it operating as it was, at least for now.

    I'll learn more next week when I'm down there. We have gay business owner friends who are pretty current on the Key West scene, although we don't know the Island House owners themselves.

    "but the deal went sour last year"

    Hmmmm. I bet I could find a buyer for that.

    I'm not sure, the new owners would likely want to be trying to attract a straight crowd. That's how Key West properties are going now, the gay guest houses disappearing, nothing new gay. Island House is OK for gays, but some liabilities for others. For instance, did you know, in case you've never been there:

    Some bedrooms are just that - a small room with a bed, with no plumbing, no bathroom! There's a communal hall bath instead.

    A nice bath, all marble tile, immaculate & attractive, with adjoining sinks, and gang showers, very old-school dormitory in usage. A great opportunity for gays, especially singles. Maybe not so attractive for straight couples. So that would all have to be redone.

    Location's a problem. It's at the very far end of Fleming Street, at the corner of White. With little parking, most on the street. If you take your car anywhere you'll lose the spot. And downtown you'll have trouble parking, too. So you either walk, which is a real hike, or you're always taking a cab. Some people do rent scooters or bicycles in KW, but not to everyone's taste.

    There's a spa, with hot tub, sauna and steam room, plus a large gang shower. And a single locker room. But all designed for same-sex. Adapting some of it for mixed sex would present some challenges, mainly the showers and the locker/dressing room.

    The entire place is "Key West Ramshackle" as I call it. Old houses connected together, with crooked hallways and no 2 rooms alike, old faded wood or painted in 40 coats. It's authentic Key West, with its own charm, but not what straights from Ohio want. They're interested in the cookie-cutter, fresh-washed Marriott look, just like back in Ohio. They would say they were being ripped off and want their money back.

    The unverified word I heard was that the offering price wasn't good enough, and the potential buyers started making last-minute demands the owners wouldn't accept. Who knows? Island House is a great gay oasis if you mainly want to hole-up there (not a pun), and only do a little of the local touristy stuff. Maybe another gay buyer would have interest, but Key West is becoming less gay every year. icon_sad.gif


    "potential buyers started making last-minute demands the owners wouldn't accept."

    Sounds like Middle Eastern buyers?

    And no it wouldn't be Ohio buyers. It would be Californians, looking for something somewhere where it isn't 60 million or so an acre.

    This is what happened toward the tail end of the last boom when investors were looking outside of the state for cash flow and to avoid the extent of the crash which we all knew was coming.

    And yeah, it would be a straight developer looking to redevelop into retail and condos.

    We're losing all of the 'historic' gay places in LA to redevelopment (French Market, Arena, Studio One, etc.) so its best to leave this one alone unless it's that gay developer who Todd knows, and I know of, who did the Mickey's rebuild, Abbey, etc. I don't know if he'd tackle something in the far corner of the country.

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    Nov 10, 2015 11:25 PM GMT
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxXrPZo2FsQqb0FlSlQtUFBLU1U
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    Nov 10, 2015 11:27 PM GMT
    I'll let y'all figure out how to see the pic posted above. I'm on my iPhone and it doesn't work well with RJ. It worked perfectly with every other social media site I posted it on.
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    Nov 10, 2015 11:51 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidhttps://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxXrPZo2FsQqb0FlSlQtUFBLU1U


    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxXrPZo2FsQqb0FlSlQtUFBLU1U
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    Nov 11, 2015 6:52 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    "potential buyers started making last-minute demands the owners wouldn't accept."

    Sounds like Middle Eastern buyers?

    And no it wouldn't be Ohio buyers. It would be Californians, looking for something somewhere where it isn't 60 million or so an acre.

    This is what happened toward the tail end of the last boom when investors were looking outside of the state for cash flow and to avoid the extent of the crash which we all knew was coming.

    And yeah, it would be a straight developer looking to redevelop into retail and condos.

    We're losing all of the 'historic' gay places in LA to redevelopment (French Market, Arena, Studio One, etc.) so its best to leave this one alone unless it's that gay developer who Todd knows, and I know of, who did the Mickey's rebuild, Abbey, etc. I don't know if he'd tackle something in the far corner of the country.

    I was referring to straight Ohio tourists, or similiar, not property buyers, who would reject the Key West Ramshackle look & experience. Meaning any new owners would need to extensively renovate Island House, or just tear it down, in order to attract those straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know. But any new owners would still have a location problem at the corner of Fleming and White streets.

    I don't know who made the failed offer on Island House. The biggest recent gobbler-up of Key West boutique lodging, including several gay guest houses, is a Swedish group. At last count they've acquired something like 6 or 7 properties in the last 2 years, and made them all straight, family oriented.
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    Nov 11, 2015 7:58 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    freedomisntfree said
    "potential buyers started making last-minute demands the owners wouldn't accept."

    Sounds like Middle Eastern buyers?

    And no it wouldn't be Ohio buyers. It would be Californians, looking for something somewhere where it isn't 60 million or so an acre.

    This is what happened toward the tail end of the last boom when investors were looking outside of the state for cash flow and to avoid the extent of the crash which we all knew was coming.

    And yeah, it would be a straight developer looking to redevelop into retail and condos.

    We're losing all of the 'historic' gay places in LA to redevelopment (French Market, Arena, Studio One, etc.) so its best to leave this one alone unless it's that gay developer who Todd knows, and I know of, who did the Mickey's rebuild, Abbey, etc. I don't know if he'd tackle something in the far corner of the country.

    I was referring to straight Ohio tourists, or similiar, not property buyers, who would reject the Key West Ramshackle look & experience. Meaning any new owners would need to extensively renovate Island House, or just tear it down, in order to attract those straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know. But any new owners would still have a location problem at the corner of Fleming and White streets.

    I don't know who made the failed offer on Island House. The biggest recent gobbler-up of Key West boutique lodging, including several gay guest houses, is a Swedish group. At last count they've acquired something like 6 or 7 properties in the last 2 years, and made them all straight, family oriented.


    " straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know."

    Any particular reason for the gratuitous insult?

    "The biggest recent gobbler-up of Key West boutique lodging, including several gay guest houses, is a Swedish group."

    That would likely be a pleasure compared to what I've tried to work with lately.

    "6 or 7 properties in the last 2 years, and made them all straight, family oriented"

    We're seeing this all over LA, and frankly, Columbus. It's all mixed these days and I don't like that for everything. Highest and best use isn't a gay bar, I guess. I'd like to see some of this preserved.
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    Nov 11, 2015 8:12 PM GMT
    I stayed at Island House on vacation last December. I really enjoyed it and hope it doesn't turn mixed gender or straight. BTW -- The food in the Island House restaurant was surprisingly good.
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    Nov 11, 2015 8:33 PM GMT
    duluthrunner saidI stayed at Island House on vacation last December. I really enjoyed it and hope it doesn't turn mixed gender or straight. BTW -- The food in the Island House restaurant was surprisingly good.


    I agree. I'm not going to do anything with it. It'll likely happen, but I don't want my name involved with turning a historic gay place into something else.
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    Nov 11, 2015 9:30 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know."

    Any particular reason for the gratuitous insult?

    "The biggest recent gobbler-up of Key West boutique lodging, including several gay guest houses, is a Swedish group."

    That would likely be a pleasure compared to what I've tried to work with lately.

    "6 or 7 properties in the last 2 years, and made them all straight, family oriented"

    We're seeing this all over LA, and frankly, Columbus. It's all mixed these days and I don't like that for everything. Highest and best use isn't a gay bar, I guess. I'd like to see some of this preserved.

    "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know" is an accurate description of the demographic that is now a major market in Key West. And so outside businesses are transforming Key West into Middle America.

    Island House as it exists doesn't fit their image of bland, look-alike conformity at a good price. It's much too different from what they know. Even installing some trailer-park-quality, tacky faux-brass lighting fixtures in overly ornate 19th-Century style wouldn't do the trick.

    What that Swedish group has done with their properties is introduce a kind of chintzy faux New England look. Which has some remote connection with Key West, initially having been settled by sailing people heavily from New England. But Key West developed its own style, in reaction to the climate, materials and land.

    But the tourists love it, something they kinda recognize as "Americun" and imagining it's authentic Keys. So if they're not staying in a look-alike room in a chain hotel just like those back in Youngstown, Ohio, they can be charmed by a fake New England look not native to the island, either. Or maybe go to Southermost Point off Duval and be thrilled with a phony Caribbean motif, also not original to Key West. icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 11, 2015 9:39 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    freedomisntfree said
    "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know."

    Any particular reason for the gratuitous insult?

    "The biggest recent gobbler-up of Key West boutique lodging, including several gay guest houses, is a Swedish group."

    That would likely be a pleasure compared to what I've tried to work with lately.

    "6 or 7 properties in the last 2 years, and made them all straight, family oriented"

    We're seeing this all over LA, and frankly, Columbus. It's all mixed these days and I don't like that for everything. Highest and best use isn't a gay bar, I guess. I'd like to see some of this preserved.

    "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodgers, who only understand what they already know" is an accurate description of the demographic that is now a major market in Key West. And so businesses are transforming Key West into Middle America.

    Island House as it exists doesn't fit their image of bland, look-alike conformity at a good price. It's much too different from what they know. Even installing some trailer-park-quality, tacky faux-brass lighting fixtures in overly ornate 19th-Century style wouldn't do the trick.

    What that Swedish group has done with their properties is introduce a kind of chintzy faux New England look. Which has some remote connection with Key West, initially having been settled by sailing people heavily from New England. But Key West developed its own style, in reaction to the climate, materials and land.

    But the tourists love it, something they kinda recognize as "Americun" and imagining it's authentic Keys. So if they're not staying in a look-alike room in a chain hotel just like those back in Youngstown, Ohio, they can be charmed by a fake New England look not native to the island, either. Or maybe go to Southermost Point off Duval and be thrilled with a phony Caribbean motif, also not original to Key West. icon_razz.gif


    This "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodger" would much prefer to keep the character of what's been there for a century or so .... in the spirit of Ernest Hemingway. Why have it look and feel like any other area in the United States. If it did, why go there (other than the weather of course)?
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    Nov 11, 2015 10:12 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    This "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodger" would much prefer to keep the character of what's been there for a century or so .... in the spirit of Ernest Hemingway. Why have it look and feel like any other area in the United States. If it did, why go there (other than the weather of course)?

    Ah, now we're on the same sheet of music, Mr. Midwesterner. I just wish more of your fellow midwesterners felt the same way, and didn't expect the rest of the US to be made into a replica of their own hometown.

    Because each place should retain its own character. When I go to Key West I want authentic, and as much as possible, original Key West. When I go to the Caribbean I want Caribbean. In Europe I want European. In Manhattan I want Manhattan. And in Youngstown, Ohio, I'd want its own natural style, too.

    But I don't want a mishmash of incongruous styles and experiences. I remember considering a restaurant in Provincetown, Cape Cod. But I checked the menu and it was all New York-style steaks, nothing seafood. And the decor, while posh and very attractive, was right out of midtown Mahattan.

    Well, I was in P-town. I wanted something local, not displaced NYC. I have that experience when I go to Manhattan, but now I'm on Cape Cod.

    And that's my gripe with these corporations and investment groups turning places like Key West into tourist traps, by making them into something they're not, and never were, erasing their unique history & local flavor.
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    Nov 11, 2015 10:31 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    freedomisntfree said
    This "straight-laced, rigid-minded midwestern lodger" would much prefer to keep the character of what's been there for a century or so .... in the spirit of Ernest Hemingway. Why have it look and feel like any other area in the United States. If it did, why go there (other than the weather of course)?

    Ah, now we're on the same sheet of music, Mr. Midwesterner. I just wish more of your fellow midwesterners felt the same way, and didn't expect the rest of the US to be made into a replica of their own hometown.

    Because each place should retain its own character. When I go to Key West I want authentic, and as much as possible, original Key West. When I go to the Caribbean I want Caribbean. In Europe I want European. In Manhattan I want Manhattan. And in Youngstown, Ohio, I'd want its own natural style, too.

    But I don't want a mishmash of incongruous styles and experiences. I remember considering a restaurant in Provincetown, Cape Cod. But I checked the menu and it was all New York-style steaks, nothing seafood. And the decor, while posh and very attractive, was right out of midtown Mahattan.

    Well, I was in P-town. I wanted something local, not displaced NYC. I have that experience when I go to Manhattan, but now I'm on Cape Cod.

    And that's my gripe with these corporations and investment groups turning places like Key West into tourist traps, by making them into something they're not, and never were, erasing their unique history & local flavor.


    "and didn't expect the rest of the US to be made into a replica of their own hometown.
    "

    Exactly. Celebrate the differences. It's why I love to travel.

    Although I can't write worth a shit, I want to at least feel like I'm Earnest Hemmingway when in Key West. I'll take that house too.

    "And in Youngstown, Ohio, I'd want its own natural style, too."

    I guess if you're iron deficient, that would be the place.
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    Nov 11, 2015 11:19 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    "and didn't expect the rest of the US to be made into a replica of their own hometown."

    Exactly. Celebrate the differences. It's why I love to travel.

    Although I can't write worth a shit, I want to at least feel like I'm Earnest Hemmingway when in Key West. I'll take that house too.

    "And in Youngstown, Ohio, I'd want its own natural style, too."

    I guess if you're iron deficient, that would be the place.

    Would you take all the resident 6-toed cats along with the Hemingway House? icon_wink.gif

    A survival skill I had to learn was to "thrive where I was planted".

    Because the US Army was forever "planting" me all over the place, in locations I really would never have chosen of my own volition, where I had never guessed I might someday be. But I rarely had a lot of choice in the matter, until much later in my career with increasing rank.

    So I learned to thrive where I went, to learn a place's pluses, avoid its negatives, make myself as content as I could. Why would I allow myself to be miserable? I was gonna be there for a while.

    And perhaps that's part of the reason I learned to appreciate the uniqueness of different locations, and why I hate to see when they're replaced with some kind of "homogenized" & "sanitized" corporate image of the US, built solely on bottom-line profit.

    BTW, while it still exists, we'll be staying at a truly ramshackle Key West gay hotel, one of the last, where I hope to meet paulflexes again for evening cocktails, I think on Friday. He's in Key West now, flying his airplane. And hoping to ride his BMX bicycle when he's on the ground.