Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day in Key West

(Above: Collection of antique dolls at the "Oldest House" in Key West. Click on this or any image in this post to enlarge.)

It is really easy to lose track of time while in the midst of an artist residency. I've described this sort of experience as "a month of Sundays dream-come-true" ... and this is very accurate. It is also very much like "every day" being a "Sunday". Thus, I really didn't realize that yesterday was "Saturday" ... much less "St. Patrick's Day"!

One of the other artists-in-residence here at The Studios of Key West is Anne Ireland. She's a landscape painter from Maine. Her husband flew in for the week yesterday. I loaned her my car to pick him up at the airport. She returned saying, "Avoid Duvall Street at all costs. It's St. Patrick's Day and it's a mad house. People are wearing green tutus and their hair is sprayed florescent green!"

That was enough to send me directly to the heart of the action within the next few minutes! I had a total blast! Everyone seemed willing to pose for photos except the two "ladies" wearing shamrock pasties on their breasts. (They wanted a tip! I didn't want the photos that badly!) From college students on spring break to senior citizens in leprechaun boxers, everyone was having fun. Even the police seemed to be taking the antics and frolics with more than a grain of salt. (I think their task was simply to prevent people from hurting themselves!) My favorite 27 photos are on a Flickr! set HERE ... or as a hilarious slide show HERE!

At one point, I even got into one of the photos!

Yet, this wasn't the only thing I did on St. Patrick's Day. Right there at 322 Duvall Street is the oldest house in all of Southern Florida. It is operated by the Old Island Restoration Foundation and is free to the public. It was wonderful to wander around the building with the noise of St. Patrick's Day held almost at bay outside the front door.

(Above: Key West, The Oldest House ... living and dining room areas. Click on image to enlarge.)

I was most impressed with the vivid colors ... atypical for anywhere else I've ever visited showing early 19th century living quarters. It seems that the tropical environment, the sun drenched days, and the luxury of deep hues affected the interior design choices ... for the better!

The bedroom was lovely ... though it was hard to think of a family with nine daughters sharing the space!

Like many places with very warm, summer climates, the "kitchen" was a separate building ... a place outside the main structure for all the heat associated with cooking. Though I actually hate to cook, I love looking at antique kitchens!

I love the utensils, the storage units, the essential elements that are associated with food and cooking. This place did not disappoint!


Kim Bendillo said...

That's a Very interesting color for trim! I don't think that would fly in any of my SC projects!! Loving your photos! ;)

Wanda said...

Very nice museum depicting the 'way it was'. I sort of like the separate kitchen thing. I forgot it was St. Patrick's day completely. You didn't even have green show pride in all that Irish blood! ha ha Nice pictures and I am SO enjoying this adventure with you!