Finally! Goombay arrived last night! Fantasy Fest underway!

For those who attend events each evening, it will be as grueling ten days. Fun, however!

I did Goombay last night. Each year a bit better. This year more music. Cubby holes between buildings were filled with musicians and those listening. The food appealing, as usual.

I make it a habit not to eat the food. It suits me! However for me it is not easy to stand and devour an exotic dish with people crowded around me. If you have been to Goombay, you understand.

The end of Petronia, where the main musicians play, was crowded. I noticed more and better children’s rides. Robert and Ally go tonight. A big time awaits them!

It was Don’s Party last night. Goombay always is. A crowd gathers at Don’s Place. He orders a couple of big cabs and has everyone delivered to 801. I got the starting time screwed up. Arrived at the bar too late. The cabs had left.

I opted to walk to Goombay. In fact, I walked all night. Up and down Petronia for the festival itself. Then back to Don’s Place with a stop in between at Square 1.

On the way up Truman to the event, I came in contact with three African-American nuns standing in front of St. Mary of the Seas buildings. They are stationed now at St. Mary. There is a scarcity of American girls entering the nunnery. Catholics import nuns today. As they do many priests.

We chatted a while. Great women! They must have thought what a wonderful guy I was to stop and chat with them. Actually, I was tired and resting for the next part of my walk.

Met my group at the bar at 801. A drink and I felt better. A big glass of water, also. Seated outside 801 were Pittsburgh area friends Karen and Dan. Their daughter or son and spouse were with them. I cannot remember everything. Very nice young people. Costumed for the evening.

Don’s group meets at Blue Heaven’s outside bar to conclude the evening. Always packed. It is in the middle of Goombay.

I got there first. I can only walk in a hot crowded area so long. I grabbed a seat at the corner of the bar and watched the world pass by. I decided to leave just as the rest were arriving. I had had it. I was off. Made my good byes and thanks to Don.

I still had not had dinner. Thought I would break the walk back to the car. I stopped at Square 1 to get a bite at the bar.

Lovely Mandy bartending. Such a nice person!

Met Desmond and Sandy. Originally from England. Not happy campers! They bought a house in Key West two months ago. Previously, they had been living in Naples. Tough to talk with initially. Oozing with unhappiness. They did not like this, they did not like that. Sandy asked Mandy where the mussels came from. Never heard that question asked before. Who cares. Try them. If good, try them again another time. If not, do not.

I know people either love or hate Key West? Were they part of the hate group? I did not think so.

Desmond was in the newspaper business in England. He was a radio broadcaster in Naples. Sandy was part of the fashion industry. Desmond should meet Don who was in the hierarchy of a Buffalo newspaper and later a publisher in Ohio or Indiana.

By the time I left, we were friends and they had calmed down.

I know they are reading the blog this morning. My advice to Desmond and Sandy is they go to the Gardens Hotel tomorrow evening at 6. In the back/center there will be music, drinks and people. Most will be locals. Most sociable. A taste of Key West. You will enjoy. Do not be negative. These people love Key West. You will get your heads chopped off!

ML won! My choice for Queen. Congratulations, ML!

Syracuse this afternoon. against Wake Forest. Syracuse favored by 3-4 points. I hope we win.

Enjoy your day!



Bobby Mongelli owns Hogfish. Bobby Mongelli owns Roostica. Bobby Mongelli owns Geiger Key. The man is a genius! He deserves the success he is experiencing.

I lunched at Geiger Key yesterday. Keith is Bobby’s friend. Keith told me Geiger Key just got its liquor license. I had not been to Geiger Key in ten years. It will not be that long again.

The place is another Bobby Mongelli winner! A shack sitting on the edge of ocean  wetlands. A perfect site. Mongelli has expanded the seating considerably from what I recall ten years ago.

The food was the same as Hogfish. Exactly. Why change what works. I enjoyed fish and chips. Hogfish, of course.

The place is another Key West fun place. The people kept coming in. I could not believe the volume.

When I was last at Geiger Key ten years ago, I was with Howard Livingston. He was then a Chicago industrialist. Beardless, no mustache, no long hair. A conservative American!

We were both with our then wives. Time does bring changes. Howard has since divorced and remarried. To wonderful Cyndy. I too am divorced. Still alone, though.

We danced that night. Guess who was playing? Yankee Jack! His dog lying quietly in front of him.

Geiger Key is about ten miles up from Key West on US 1. There is a Shell station and large convenience store on the corner of Geiger Key Road. Take a right. About 1-2 miles down the road is the restaurant. About a 1,000 yards off the road. You will have to look for it.

I needed gas. I got it at the Shell station just mentioned. Explain the following to me. Regular was $3.70 a gallon at the Shell station at Key Haven. At the Shell station at Geiger Key Road, only $3.55. Ten miles made for a 15 cent difference? How we get ripped off!

Prior to going to Geiger Key, I took a ride on Stock Island. I was looking for the Stock Island Marina. Everyone is talking about it. Lovely! Terrific! Want to dock my boat there! All favorable comments.

I found the place way down on Shrimp Road. It was everything people had said. There are very few places on Stock Island that can be described as lovely. The marina is one of them.

I forgot yesterday to mention an interesting experience at bocce thursday night. I cut my index finger. By the nail. It kept bleeding. I did not have a band aid. I was drinking a Beefeater on the rocks. I stuck my finger in the cold gin. The bleeding stopped! Just like that! A new found cure! Additionally, my drink was now cranberry and gin. I threw it away, of course.

Matteo Renzi is the new Prime Minister of Italy. Latte resigned. Renzi was previously a mayor. He is 39. Renzi and Latte are of the same political party. Latte’s own party dumped him.

It will be interesting to see if Renzi can pick Italy up out of its economic doldrums.

A Milan friend wrote yesterday that American bonds are selling well in Italy. A recent thing. Italy is supposedly in recovery and is considered in some circles to be an emerging market. Another reason for the Italian investment is that South America is no longer considered a good place for one’s money.

I got into fracking yesterday afternoon. Spent several hours researching Florida and fracking. Fracking appears to be on the horizon. It is coming. Sooner to Florida than most think. Three counties are already doing it. Collier, Hendry, and Santa Rosa. Not yet Monroe.

I have a concern.

I am not opposed to fracking. We need cheap fuel, we need jobs. With appropriate safeguards, problems should be minimal. There will be problems. Nothing is without. The government has to strictly oversee and control the fracking.

My concern has to do with transparency. A bill recently came out of the Florida House’s Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee. The bill exempts from public disclosure the chemicals used in the fracking process. An immediate red flag! The public should be aware. Specify the toxins. Then all can make sure appropriate safeguards are put in place. To legislate silence is to tell Floridians that there is a problem and the government does not want you to know about it.

The people’s right to know continues getting kicked around.

Tonight, tonight…..Syracuse and Duke. At Duke. Seven o’clock. Should be a battle. It is a test of Syracuse, especially after Syracuse’s defeat this week at the hands of Boston College. I will be at Lukas’ Big Ten Sports Pub watching the game.

Enjoy your day!