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Another reason I love Key West

Key West
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Another reason I love Key West

This is your chance. I'm about to inject abit of stream of consciousness. Flee this delusional paradigm. It's long and jaded. There are plenty of other forums to read. Okay then, have it your way...

I moved down here over 12 years ago for a job where I am still happy employed. Yes really, this has been my only job in Key West! Granted I moved to Key West without ever having been to Key West. This place is not for everyone as I found out, but it was for me. First tip: just because the bars don't legally close til 4am doesn't mean you have to be there every night. I only mention this because of the person who recruited me for my position lasted only 6 months in this town because he did not adhere to the aforementioned rule.

I only discovered this Trip Advisor Forum four months ago. I will be the first to admit I read more than I write. And what I have noticed is that there are an abundance of Key West diplomats (do you need to be personally named: Arnie,Seabus,Flattop, Jaywep, Ohio, oh there are dozens of you- I apologize for not naming you all) praising or even trumpeting the virtues of this fine city. Quite often I have found that people want to help you for their own benefit, disguising it as your benefit. So many of you take time with no personal agenda to lead people in the direction to have a positive experience where they believe you would have. Who does this in the real world? I find that some people only want the bad dirt. But Taking the time out of your own life to benefit others? I wish I were only so pure! Example: some people love Irish Kevin's- others would think sending them there would be like receiving a case of migraines. These Key West Trip Advisor Tour Guides are here so often, no matter how redundant the question may be-only to give proper response. I applaud all of you. People try to help you in this town to help you. No reason except that they want to see you succeed. How pure is that!

I grew up in Massachusettes but have lived most of my life in different parts of Florida: Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Key West, Sugarloaf. I will say this: I have never met a community such as this that would not judge on appearance. The first week I moved to Key West I happened to meet Shel Silverstein. On his physical appearance alone, one might have thought he had just roused himself from a park bench. It was as if he was wearing a hand me down toga. He had a distinct aura about him: everknowing. He was Bald but bearing a scruffy beard. And the thing is; no one judged him. Ah to be sterotyped...Case in point; my older brother who happened to be a math professor at the age of 21- (thanks for setting the bar bro) was looking for an apartment on a Saturday- granted he has long hair no beard, no toga- shorts and shirt- He does not receive eye contact at all. His application could have very well been written on invisible ink. He returns on Monday after school attired in his suit that he is required to wear, is met with apartment managers stumbling over one another to grant approval. This happens in Jacksonville, not in Key West. In Key West it is not even face value, it's human value. I walk through my neighborhood in Sugarloaf Key and people I have not officially ever met wave hello to me. For no reason other than to say,"Hi neighbor". And I reciprocate. Living in this town is like living through the 1970's again. I have lived in cities when walking down the street means that some individuals are sizing me up to try to jump me. No I am not exagerrating. This town will have our occasional scandal,(political or otherwise). But hey,what do you want- we basically have a week out of the year where we celebrate pushing public nudity to its farthest regions- but by and large this city is full of love and compassion. This is the life. This is desire.

We are Key West.

Athens, Tennessee
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1. Re: Another reason I love Key West

Well said! For us too, the allure of Key West is the people. The local friends and the rest of us who love Key West are the reason I visit here every day and try to get to Key West as often as possible.

Berwick, Maine
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2. Re: Another reason I love Key West

Very well written, you obviously feel the same way that most of us feel while visiting Key West except you actually live there.

In December while we were there, we walked into Ricks, sat down for a beer and started talking to a local that had just walked in behind us. He proceeded to tell us how much he hated Key West and everything about it. After about a five minute rant on the subject we had heard enough. We actually had to tell him that we were here on vacation becuse we love the place and were not interested in hearing his crap. If you don't like it here than move but we don't want to listen to it.

Our enthusiasm comes because of our love for Key West with nothing to lose or gain other them relate our feelings and experiences to either like people or new visiters.

Buster

Key West, Florida
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3. Re: Another reason I love Key West

The lovely Mrs. Seabus and I enjoyed one of those Key West evenings last night. Met some friends at Louie's for a drink and watched the people play in the water. The sun sank to the horizon and the Sebago Cat slipped into the pier at Casa Marina to take on guests. Two sailboats near the horizon seemed to be in no hurry to get anywhere other than where they were. The server was Victoria and we knew her a bit through other friends. It was nice to see her. A friend brought another friend who had recently been published with her first book. She was quite funny and it was fun meeting her. We decided to head across the island for Finnigan's Wake since we'd not been there in over a month. Usually, we eat outside or in front room but we felt like some quiet time and sat in the backroom. The food as usual, was outstanding, the drinks well-poured but we got a special treat and met KeyWestWake. We had a wonderful time just chatting about food, events in Key West and Key West itself. He's a truly good guy.

This is one of hundreds of reasons I love Key West. People take time out of thier day for you and you for them. The people here for the most part are genuinely interested in others. There's a feeling of the shared experience. It's almost NEVER what they can get from you or you from them (although we have a few scammers but they identify themselves quickly and you figure it all out)... It's actually a true caring feeling. Acquaintances become friends quickly here.

Anywhere else in the country I would think it would be hard to put an evening like this together... In Key West, it just happens over and over. I guess the short version to this would be as others have said... It's the people. (but the weather, natural beauty, activities, restaurants, bars night life, events and a ton of other things don't hurt.) Besides... I really like living someplace where lawyers and bankers are as valued a community asset as are good servers, bartenders, boat captains, tour guides, concierges, policemen, fishermen and a good marine mechanic!

Fort Myers Beach...
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for Key West
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4. Re: Another reason I love Key West

Very well written and very true.

As I was readind it I was saying to my self WOW this is how I feal about Key West, then when you said it reminded you of 1970s I said exactly!

I grew up in the 60s and graduated in 1972, now it's starting to make sence!!!

Cleveland, Ohio
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5. Re: Another reason I love Key West

Agreed.. Perfectly written and hope to be able to share a beer with you when we are down again in June/July.

As Tim points out as well.... Key West is made a special place for many different reasons. But it's the people that push it over the top. Well that and as Kenny Chesney says, I believe there is magic there.

Everytime I go down I seem to come back with a few more numbers in my cell. And not just numbers that get deleted in a week, but people I genuinely call friend and keep in touch with all year.

This forum is such a success because Key West feels like home to most of us. And as such, we want people to come to know and love it as much as we do. To get to know all the little ins and outs so that they can make the best of every trip.

As for me, if I could sell this darn house we'd be living down there within a week=) Too bad selling this house ranks up there as likely as finding bigfoot in my bathroom right about now=)

Key West
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6. Re: Another reason I love Key West

Sorry about the enibreated rambling. Drinking and typing don't always mix. I should have summed it up as such: People in Key West look to help each other without looking for anything in return. Honest generosity goes along without the,"So what's in it for me," attitude. Hopefully my above tirade gets deleted.

Cheers!

Key West
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7. Re: Another reason I love Key West

I couldn't agree more. It's a beautiful Island made even more beautiful by the spirit of the people who live here. It's not easy living here, and I think that helps foster a bond between those of us who do. People are always willing to lend a helping hand when necessary, and this helping hand is extended to our visitors. We want you to love Key West as much as we do, and we'll go that extra length to help you do so. It is a magical place, and we're happy to share it with all of you!

Limey

Richardson, Texas
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8. Re: Another reason I love Key West

And here you guys just reminded me why I love Key West so much. Thank you for sharing.

Our first time there was in August and we all fell in love. I told my best friend that I was quitting my job and moving to Key West. She told me I couldn't and there is NO WAY it's that great. As luck would have it, she was there with her family 10 days after us and she immediately told me her husband is quitting his job and they're moving to Key West. lol Both of our families are looking at the possibility of moving to the Keys and we've been there once.

30 more days and I'll be back in paradise and it can't come soon enough.

Maine
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9. Re: Another reason I love Key West

That was not rambling, and I hope the post stays here so I can refer folk to it! You put, marvelously, into words what so many feel. Whenever Key West comes up with friends or colleagues, I get this warm glow and begin trying to express what One Human Family, and the Key West state of mind, mean to me. If only I could put it as eloquently as you did!

Chester County, PA
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10. Re: Another reason I love Key West

You are dead on, and wrote as good of a description of that intangible magic that we fail miserably to explain to those who have never been there. I travel so much for work (in the Atlanta airport now) that I don't even bother updating my profile. Nowhere we have ever been comes close.

2 years, 2 months, and 7 days until I'm vested at work. Keep a light on for us.