2016 REAL ESTATE SALES DIP

Running late. Slept late. Feel good.

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran a major story regarding real estate sales. They fell in 2016.

Since 2009, real estate sales have increased each year over the previous year. Not 2016. Key West sales dropped 17 percent. Sales in the lower Keys outside Key West 8 percent.

There is a message. Real estate prices are not realistic. People have become aware. Prospective buyers are reluctant to spend the dollars required to live in  Paradise. Especially when they can buy better and significantly cheaper on the mainland.

More and more homes were listed last year with asking prices of $1 million and more. Some, several hundred millions of dollars.

What’s the saying…..Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. The goose is being killed. By piggish exorbitant prices.

The next to feel this experience will be the hotels. Tourists will go elsewhere. To Florida vacation sites with cheaper hotel facilities.

I have seen the high price impact over recent years. People staying in high end hotels going to their rooms at dinner time with a pizza and six pack.

Next to suffer will be the restaurants. High prices and smaller portions will not be tolerated. Even alcohol costs.

All will happen because Key West became a pig. A gluttonous one.

Treated myself yesterday morning. Eggs benedict at Camille’s. Sat at the bar. Read the Sunday papers. First time in a couple of years I have been to Camille’s.

Last night, Don and Chris. My friends from the Syracuse area. Both world travelers with their work. Don primarily South Korea and China. Chris, Europe and Asia.

They are snowbirds. Visit 3-4 times a year. Love Key West!

They had a major announcement for me. They are getting married! Wonderful! Both around 50. This will be a second marriage for both. Two better people cannot be found. Last night, two happier people could not be found.

The wedding to take place in Key West. March 24. That’s next year. Chris advised that it had to be that far ahead. Venues not available that fit into their schedules.

We met at the Chart Room first for a drink. Then to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. A good time throughout the evening. We chatted about everything. Especially Syracuse basketball. Die hard fans as I.

Dinner over, I headed home. Don and Chris left me to take a walk down Duval. The difference in our ages responsible for our different paths.

My Facebook quickie video had to do with matelotage yesterday. Sailors marrying. In pirate days. Gay marriages. Generally the French. The English and Spanish frowned on homosexuality.

Rules/laws applied. If one partner was killed, the surviving partner automatically was given his share of the bounty.

The gay marriage bit began in the early 1600’s. Sex partners were scarce. Pirates in port would import for a time a ship load of prostitutes from another island.

Final Four tonight. How exciting can it be?

Cow Key Channel Bridge Run yesterday. A new record. Fourteen seconds. The previous, 21. A tough 350 feet to travail.

Key West has advised Lyft to cease and desist. Otherwise, drivers will be arrested. Per local law passed last year to protect taxi drivers to the detriment of the public. The Bubba system in operation.

Leotards. Credit therefore attributable to The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze.

Jules Leotard graduated from law school. Decided not to practice. Wanted to be an aerial acrobat. Not yet known in those days.

He joined the circus. Invented the aerial trapeze in 1859. Two years later, The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze was written in recognition of his aerial activities.

Leotard’s clothing was loose and dangerous while doing his aerial act. The clothing also failed to show off his exceptional physique. He designed what today is known as the leotard. Tight fitting with long sleeves. Initially called a malliott. Twenty years later, became known as a leotard in honor of its designer.

Trump says the U.S. is ready to act alone on North Korea if China does not take a tougher stand against North Korea’s nuclear program.

Suggests a pre-emptive strike.

Scares the hell out of me!

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Secreting unpaid tax dollars a big business. There are 214,488 offshore tax haven entities.

Enjoy your day!

 

NEARLY 5 MILLION VISITORS A YEAR

In a Letter to the Editor in this morning’s Key West Citizen, the writer stated that Monroe County’s annual visitors equal 65 times the number of permanent residents.

Checked the numbers as best I could. Appear correct.

The population of Monroe County is 75,000. Key West makes up 25,000 of that number. Sixty five times Monroe County’s 75,000 permanent residents totals nearly 5 million. Key West’s share 1.65 million.

I have commented in the past I could not understand how Key West has not sunk under the tourist burden. Space problems alone past the breaking point.

The Keys are guilty of gluttony. Going after more and more tourists every year. The pleasure of the islands being lost along the way.

Strange day yesterday. Did not feel right. Stayed in all day.

My pleasure came from the Final Four games. Terrific! Oregon better than most thought. Lost to North Carolina by only one point. Gonzaga/South Carolina another good game. Close, with Gonzaga winning.

Monday night should be wild!

To err is human. I prove the adage frequently.

Twice this week, I commented on the Cow Key Channel Bridge Run. Said it was Saturday. Saturday was yesterday. No run. The reason simple. The run is today.

So there is yet time for some of you to make it. Noon today.

Yesterday’s race was the Seven Mile Bridge one.

Interesting that one day a 7 mile run and the next a 300 foot one. Only in the Keys!

Both races will have between 1,000 and 1,500 participants.

We are spoiled by modern conveniences. Like running water. William Hackley reported that this day in 1856…..There was no water in the tub or well, so I could not bathe.

A day without bathing ugh!

Russians protested in 99 cities and towns last weekend. Against corruption in government. They are back this weekend.

I ask now as I did last week whether the Russian protests are an extension of the Arab Spring. Is Putin’s foundation crumbling? Could be. He is killing those who could top him all over the world.

Don and Chris in town. Plan on having dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

SPAGHETTI GROWS ON TREES

April Fools Day was born during the Middle Ages. Which means a lot of people have celebrated the day. Even George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And Donald Trump, of course. I am sure our President has a sense of humor beyond the guillotine and tweeting.

Periodically, an April Fools joke is created which exceeds all others.

Like the 1957 BBC aired spaghetti grows on trees news report. The BBC had discovered a Swiss family that was harvesting long strands of pasta from spaghetti trees.

Thousands were interested. Though the news report was for real.

The BBC continued the joke by advising callers that all that was required to grow spaghetti was to place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.

A 1998 advertisement by Burger King hit big. Burger King took  a full page ad in USA Today. Announced a new menu item. A left handed burger.

Thousands ordered the left handed burger over the next few days.

A date for drinks with Callie last night. At Louie’s Backyard. The place we met last week.

Three hours of good company. I enjoyed, she enjoyed.

Callie runs a catering business. Small dinner parties and cocktail parties. She previously was pastry chef for several years at Louie’s. Got bored doing the same thing every day.

Her company is Provisions of Key West. She can be reached at 305-433-1677.

Callie knows everything about food. Its historical derivations, different ways to prepare, etc. I was impressed. We got as far back as Greece 1300 B.C.

I have been on a diet. Eleven pounds in 12 days. Hate it! Eating little and walking more. Yesterday, I only had two hard boiled eggs and some cottage cheese before meeting Callie. Four drinks later, I had to eat.

Stopped at Outback on the way home. A six ounce filet mignon, sweet baked potato with nothing on it, and steamed vegetables.

Robert has bartended at Outback for years. We have become friends over that time.

As I sat down, he immediately started telling me how his 4 1/2 year old was sick. Down. Experienced me told him not to worry. Children are always sick. They need to get sick to build up immunities to various diseases.

Robert looked at me as if I was crazy. I thought he was a new father. Did not understand me.

I did not understand him. He was talking to me about his dog. A large tumor growing on the dog’s upper gum.

The big race today at noon. The Cow Key Channel Bridge Run. All 300 feet of it. Over 1,000 costumed participants. Record time 23.1 seconds. Several seeking to break it this year.

Such is what we do in Key West! A 300 foot bridge race! The distance is evidence we are normal. The abnormals are those who do 15 Ks and 26 mile marathons.

Following the race, a party at Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens Beer Bash.

Lobster season has ended. Not good this year. Not bad. Mediocre.

Lobster is a $50-70 million dollar business in the Keys. Why the drop off this year?

First, the weather. Too warm. Cold fronts are required to move lobsters forward. Warm weather screws up their normal migration pattern. The result fewer lobsters caught.

Second is price. The Chinese and Japanese are big buyers. Especially prior to and during their holidays.

The Chinese and Japanese smartened up. Learned how to play the game. Became better negotiators. Resulting in less money in the pockets of the fishermen.

Stock Island’s Rusty Anchor has been closed two years. To reopen in May.

The owners of El Siboney bought the restaurant. Fish will be the mainstay of food served. Prepared as Rusty Anchor used to. A few El Siboney Spanish dishes will be on the menu also.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

COW KEY BRIDGE RUN

Two marathons tomorrow.

One is the Seven Mile Bridge run. A 7 mile marathon.

The other is the second annual Cow Key Bridge Run. The Cow Key Bridge is the first a person crosses on US 1 after leaving Key West. The bridge is 300 feet long. For those who might not have the physical dexterity to make the seven mile run. It is also for persons of good humor. Those having a Key West mentality.

At the mid-point of the bridge (150 foot marker), there is a water station. The run starts at on the Marriott side of the bridge. Runs north til the end of the bridge. It is anticipated all participating will finish. In good time. Well under 5 minutes.

Pets with Humans lead off the race. Followed by the Walking Cow Stampede, the rest of the runners.

At the end of the race is located the Hurricane Hole. Runners will receive the first beer free.

Registration for the race is being held this afternoon at the Green Parrot. The race is a charity fundraiser. Tee shirts and # bibs will be available. Registration tomorrow morning at the race site also.

Record time is 25 seconds. Some are committed to beating it tomorrow.

Only in Key West!

My yesterday began with a physiotherapy session. Tough! However I can see where it should have benefit. I was exhausted once again afterwards.

I followed physio with a manicure at Tammy’s. I had difficulty staying awake as she did my nails.

Bocce last night. I knew it was going to be tough. We won 1 and lost 2. I played the first game. We were down 13-5. We came back. Not enough, however. Lost 16-13. The second game was a disaster. Lost 16-1. We won the third game 16-5.

The breeze across the bocce courts was terrific. Especially over the court we were on. Court #1. Two hundred feet off the Atlantic.

I received a surprise yesterday. A friend up north read of my love for casserta. Italian Easter cake. Lisa made a vanilla one for Easter which was delicious. The one I received was chocolate. It arrived packed in hot ice.

The casserta was my lunch. Not good for the diet!

Enjoy your day!