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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Florida Keys Sunset of the Week: Idle Speed

This is one of those sunset pics that almost didn't happen! The sun had already gone down; I put away my camera. Then, I looked up to see that the water had turned into a glowing orange reflection of the sky. I grabbed my phone, and got the shot. It turned out to be the perfect cover image for my friend and local musician, Scott Youngberg, who recently released a new album, "Idle Speed." 

"Floating nowhere, feeling fine
No destination on my mind
Where I'm at is where I'll be
All I need is idle speed."
© Scott Youngberg 2011

Click on the album cover below, and listen to the song. You'll wish you were out on the water!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nashville's Top Artists Migrate South for Key West Songwriter's Festival

Photo: Nick Doll / BMI
Key West is going country this May, as Nashville’s finest artists embark on their annual pilgrimage to the "Southernmost City" for the Key West Songwriter's Festival. Trading in its usual tropical tunes, the island will host more than 180 songwriters from "Music City," who will take to the stage for over 50 shows in May.

Presented by international performing rights organization BMI, the lineup is stronger than ever this year. Big names like Sara Evans, Anders Osborne, Kacey Musgraves, Robert Earl Keen, Kree Harrison, Matraca Berg, Tony Joe White, Dean Dillon and many more round out a packed schedule. Shows run May 7-11 this year. Bonus: Most of them are free. Read More...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo Essay: Technology in the Florida Keys

I'm co-hosting #FriFotos--a weekly photo forum centered around a theme--today on Twitter. Today's theme is technology. At first I was stumped. People visit the Florida Keys to enjoy the stunning waterfront vistas and abundant wildlife in an effort to escape technology. But after searching through my photos, I realized that the Florida Keys were pretty high-tech back in the day.

Key West has a strong maritime history as the "Gibraltar of the West," and the technology used in wrecking made it the largest and richest city in Florida by 1860. Henry Flagler even went so far as to develop new technologies while building his Overseas Railroad, which was dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World." Here are some of my favorite photos featuring technology in the Keys past and present.

Today sun-worshipers enjoy the beach underneath the Bahia Honda Bridge,
once part of Flagler's Overseas Railroad.
The first Key West lighthouse is a 65-foot tower that was completed in 1825.
It had 15 lamps in 15-inch reflectors.
Hemingway used this old-school technology to write
some of his finest works in Key West.
In a nod to Key West's wild rum running era during Prohibition:
copper still at Key West Legal Rum Distillery
Photo technology allowed me to catch this dragonfly in action.
Technology makes it easy to visit the remote Dry Tortugas these days.
The Florida Keys today: No technology required.
Related Posts:

Rooms With a View in Key West Photo Series 

Photo Essay: Exploring Key West Architecture


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Build the Perfect Tropical Wardrobe at These 10 Best Key West Clothing Stores

Packing for a Key West vacation can be a bit of a challenge. If you've never been to the Southernmost City, you may be scratching your head and staring at your empty suitcase. In the Florida Keys, the year-round sizzling temps and the laissez-faire attitude call for loose comfy clothes with a touch of tropical panache. Luckily, the island is packed with expertly curated boutiques, which focus on natural fabrics and figure-flattering, flowy styles. Colorful accessories inspire ideas for layering with chunky necklaces and graceful scarves. Read more for the 10 best clothing stores in Key West.