Welcome readers of the It’s Only Key West (IOKW) discussion forum (and thanks to Kategoe for sending you here) – keep your suggestions coming in the comments below the post. I just came from Hogfish tonight where I sat between two people thrown out of the bar by 7:15 pm, one for regular old drunkenness and the other for nearly starting a fight. Cynical me wants to say they were paid actors. But the food was superb.
Seizing upon our new tradition of getting out of Dodge for the week before Christmas madness, the Family Pharmboy will be broadcasting this week from Key West, Florida, The Conch Republic.
Regular readers know of my fondness for all things Florida, from the Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin’ Festival, manatees, Florida folk music to state’s mostly-superb institutions of higher learning (Go Gators!), the infiltration by San Diego-based research institutes and civil rights legend, Stetson Kennedy (who, incidentally, just finished his own book early 20th century Key West).
With a northern part that just a southern extension of Georgia and Alabama, figuratively and culturally, and a southern part that combines a New York City mentality with opulent beachfront properties, Florida is indeed the paradox of the natural majesty, biological diversity, and unseemly characters and plots that can be found in the writings of Carl Hiaasen. The fringe element of the state has even been evidenced most recently on ScienceBlogs.com by evolution denialists and bizarre religious controversies at state-funded institutions (although Greg’s post reminds me that evolution denialism is sadly not an isolated behavior in the state).
With that all said, I’d love to hear from readers what we should do and where we should go while in Key West.
No doubt that you will find the Pharmboy at the Key West Topical Forest & Botanical Garden where blog colleague and famed conservationist, Dr Stuart Pimm, has a research partnership. I’ve already been to the Rusty Anchor on Stock Island and will certainly head down for some of the best Cuban food in the US at El Siboney.
But I’m also very, very cognizant from Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America account on the Key West working class that those good folks who support our stay face tough economic times every single day, not just during this current downturn. So rest assured that for any place you recommend, the Family Pharmboy will be tipping heavily.