Colorful Characters In One Of The World’s Greatest Neighborhood Bars
By Raymond Dussualt, PubClub.com Lifestyle Blogger
It was a rainy day in Ft. Lauderdale, where I was on a business trip, when my Friday meeting got canceled.
I was not due to fly back to California until Sunday so I did what any visitor should do when “stuck” in South Florida for a weekend – I put on a Jimmy Buffett song, rented a convertible and, under a low-lit sky, drove down the Florida Keys and into Key West.
I slipped into Duval Street and found a hotel room just before the rain started to come down in buckets.
I found this little hole-in-the-wall hotel for 90 bucks and then slipped into the Green Parrot Bar on Whitehead and ordered a beer.
Now, the Green Parrot is the second greatest (behind the Dirty Bird, in Sacramento, of course) neighborhood bar in the entire world, and they have a big bench in the window there. Like every good tropically-located bar, there’s no glass in the window.
So I sat on that bench and watched the rain fill up the streets the way you fill a tub for a bath. You could feel the moisture in the air and hear the drops as they clattered down onto the street and the buildings.
I read William Faulkner (The Reivers) there all that day and the next. I met more people than I will ever remember and they all thought I was a local. One girl even asked me which neighborhood I lived in and I thought that was so cool!
I talked to some salesman-guy from New York that was very angry because people drive slow in the fast lane and a man whose boat had just sunk while his dive crew was trying to salvage brass from a wreck that had went down the year before (no, he didn’t seem to see the irony there).
And I met a woman (a real local) who claimed to have come to the Keys with her husband on vacation a decade before and then let him go back home to Ohio alone.
I met a pretty girl who said she was hiding from her boyfriend, who himself was in KW hiding from the cops. She sat in the window with me for several hours on the second day and told me all about growing up in one of the tougher parts of Miami.
Now I have been to Key West a big handful of times and I’ve had some wild adventures in that town. But this particular weekend, nothing at all happened except the talk and the rain, which was still coming down when I started back up the Overseas Highway.
It was still my best weekend in that South of St. Somewhere town ever.
Ahh, so rain ain’t all bad and life really is, as Buffett sings, just a tire swing.