December 31, 2006

and the weiner is...

What better finale to the year of the dog than a parade? Okay, so the Chinese year doesn't end on December 31, but we can pretend... like everything in Key West, I suppose this parade was, well, just because. What more reason do you need?

December 30, 2006

December 28, 2006

unlocking the senses

Its hard to have a bad day in Key West. I'm here with my friend Myron from Dallas. We both got stuck doing work for a good bit of the day. (Our friend Tres, who couldn't make it this year, would be so dismayed. Last year he would come up from the pool and find us both buried in our laptops and exclaim "what are you doing?!") We finally ventured out in search of a Cuban Sandwich, finding excellent ones at a little joint called Jose's Cantina. We wandered without any plan, which was best part about it. We stopped in a gallery or two and got Mojitos from streetside stands. We capped the day with dinner at my favorite place from last year, Santiago's Bodega. Its some of the best tapas I've ever had. They even just started carrying a new Weiss beer - Tucher - which had a great spicy taste - I'll have to look for it elsewhere. Even a lazy day without a plan always ends up being a feast for your senses in Key West.

December 27, 2006

conched out

Well I made it down to Key West. This place is so removed from daily life that it feels like a foreign country. Man I love it here...

December 26, 2006

dayz in tha hood

I walked down around the corner from my folks house the other day to run an errand, I was suprised what a short walk it seemed to be from when I was a kid. I used to have to make that walk all the time to go get milk when we were out of it. It always seemed like such a big chore then. Now it seems only a matter of steps.

The Shamrock Laundromat down the corner is gone. Well, its still a Laundromat (now the Braddock Street Old Town Laundromat. Good grief.) They used to have this awesome neon sign. Thankfully the shamrock is still there, but the wonderful neon type is gone. I also was kind of tickled to find the cracks in the sidewalk were the same. I used to ride my Big Wheel up and down these sidewalks years ago. I remember this patch shown in the picture. It's hard to make out, but for some reason as a kid I always thought this looked like a dog. Thirty years later the pattern hasn't changed at all.


Some snapshots from Christmas Day at our house... believe it or not, i was the second one up in the morning (though it really was just from paranoia about not holding everyone up by being the last one awake!) The kids have a little of their Uncle Jon in them - they finally had to be woken up to come down in the morning!

Hope you had a great Christmas, too...

December 25, 2006

twas the night before...

We went down to my sister Jayne's house tonight like we often do for Christmas Eve. There was the Redskins game in one room, with the Ravens in another, though most of us were upstairs talkin and hangin out (and trying to help while she and her husband Mark cooked tons of great stuff). The dog in these pics is Colby, Edn's brother and another son of Phantom's. The hat was actually a gift for my nephew, Evan, but Colby seemed to like it just fine.

December 24, 2006


My friend Chris in Chama, New Mexico sent these pics a couple days ago of the views around his town that day. WIth a lot of people around here complaining about how warm it is (not me!), I thought some people might appreciate shots of a white Christmas.

December 23, 2006

down town

These are some shots of my hometown's downtown. Its funny how big "downtown" seemed when I was a kid. When I was in kindergarten, they turned downtown into a pedestrian mall and named it "Loudon Street Mall". I'm not really sure why.

In high school, a typical indoor mall opened up on the edge of town and the department stores left downtown. They renamed downtown "Old Town Winchester" (with an awful logo, now replaced by an equally awful logo) as if that would make it more attractive. It didn't work, and downtown died.

Oddly, now the mall has died too as about eight big-box centers have been built near the mall, a new one added every year, it seems. Today the mall is half vacant except for odd trinket stores like the ones that first filled downtown when it died. Downtown has never fully found its way - a lot of stores are vacant (or torn down) but in between are nice craft stores and coffee houses. A few stores that were there when I was a kid even still remain. It is cute, and its nice to see them preserving the old buildings - well, some of em.