Miami Herald: Key West sheds Jimmy Buffet image

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Elrod
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Miami Herald: Key West sheds Jimmy Buffet image

Post by Elrod »

DOUGLAS HANKS wrote:Key West sheds Jimmy Buffet image

BY DOUGLAS HANKS
dhanks@MiamiHerald.com

Twenty years ago, Norman Van Aken made the big mistake of bringing pricey haute cuisine to Key West. An early clue: Diners at Van Aken's Mira didn't quite grasp what to do with their teaser amuse-bouche course.

'We'd put them on the table and guests would say, `Wait a minute. I didn't order this,' '' he recalled. 'We'd say, `It's a gift.' And they'd say, 'Oh, we'll take a plate of them.' ''

The sunburned, margarita-soaked Key West populace soundly rejected Mira and the elegant take on Latin dishes that later made Van Aken one of South Florida's star chefs. But now he's back to try again, confident Key West's shift to a more upscale destination will sustain both his New World menu and its New York prices.

More...
"Room rates are up 37 percent this year from the start of the decade in Key West, and up 46 percent across the island chain, according to Smith Travel Research."

Crazy Navy Flyer
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Post by Crazy Navy Flyer »

So sad. :( I hate to see the continued destruction of the islands.
Back to livin' Floridays

SchoolGirlHeart
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Post by SchoolGirlHeart »

:cry: :cry:

And while shedding the laid back image, they'll also shed me..... :(
Carry on as you know they would want you to do. ~~JB, dedication to Tim Russert

Take your time
Find your passion
Life goes on until it ends
Don’t stop living
Until then

~~Mac McAnally

Crazy Navy Flyer
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Post by Crazy Navy Flyer »

SchoolGirlHeart wrote::cry: :cry:

And while shedding the laid back image, they'll also shed me..... :(
Same here. Just modern day pirates.
Back to livin' Floridays

cdnkeywest
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Post by cdnkeywest »

SchoolGirlHeart wrote::cry: :cry:

And while shedding the laid back image, they'll also shed me..... :(
Unfortunately it will probably affect how often we travel to Key West.....

Maybe it is time for a visit to Bahamas!!!
Toronto (x7)
Las Vegas (x3)
Tampa Bay (x2)
Orlando (x2)
New York (x1)
New Orleans (x1)

drunkpirate66
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Post by drunkpirate66 »

Jimmy Buffett started vacationing and eventually living up arou nd New England about two decades ago. Places like Nantucket, the Outer Cape like Truro and Wellfleet, as well as places like the North Sure of Massachusetts out by the Parker Reservation are all preserved land with miles of unspoiled beaches open to public mostly for free . . . I am not trying to sell New England to anyone but I am trying to say that perhaps Florida should've done something similar to the Keys and Key West.

They are nothing more than a gigantic mini mall with condos and hotels blocking the land from the water.
the hit and run is as good as any religion around this time of year . . .

RinglingRingling
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Re: Miami Herald: Key West sheds Jimmy Buffet image

Post by RinglingRingling »

Elrod wrote:
DOUGLAS HANKS wrote:Key West sheds Jimmy Buffet image

BY DOUGLAS HANKS
dhanks@MiamiHerald.com

Twenty years ago, Norman Van Aken made the big mistake of bringing pricey haute cuisine to Key West. An early clue: Diners at Van Aken's Mira didn't quite grasp what to do with their teaser amuse-bouche course.

'We'd put them on the table and guests would say, `Wait a minute. I didn't order this,' '' he recalled. 'We'd say, `It's a gift.' And they'd say, 'Oh, we'll take a plate of them.' ''

The sunburned, margarita-soaked Key West populace soundly rejected Mira and the elegant take on Latin dishes that later made Van Aken one of South Florida's star chefs. But now he's back to try again, confident Key West's shift to a more upscale destination will sustain both his New World menu and its New York prices.

More...
"Room rates are up 37 percent this year from the start of the decade in Key West, and up 46 percent across the island chain, according to Smith Travel Research."
37% is about the compounded rate of inflation for the period 2000-2007...

Catch&Release
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Post by Catch&Release »

I've been to Key West once. That was in 1997 and that was enough.

It may have had a glorious "pirate" or "drug runner" past but that seemed a lifetime ago.

The chickens running around town was the only aspect of its former semi lawless past. I understand they've even rustled up the chickens.
I don't want to live on that kind of island
No, I don't want to swim in a roped off sea.
Too much for me, too much for me
I've got to be where the wind and the water are free.

RinglingRingling
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Post by RinglingRingling »

Catch&Release wrote:I've been to Key West once. That was in 1997 and that was enough.

It may have had a glorious "pirate" or "drug runner" past but that seemed a lifetime ago.

The chickens running around town was the only aspect of its former semi lawless past. I understand they've even rustled up the chickens.
Once you get off Duval, it is a bit easier to see what it was, but the area around Front/Duval, etc. and down... the t-shirt shack after shack, and the chains out on Roosevelt Rd., it isn't quite as magical as it probably was when Jimmy first rode into town in the Packard.

OystersandBeer
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Post by OystersandBeer »

RinglingRingling wrote:
Catch&Release wrote:I've been to Key West once. That was in 1997 and that was enough.

It may have had a glorious "pirate" or "drug runner" past but that seemed a lifetime ago.

The chickens running around town was the only aspect of its former semi lawless past. I understand they've even rustled up the chickens.
Once you get off Duval, it is a bit easier to see what it was, but the area around Front/Duval, etc. and down... the t-shirt shack after shack, and the chains out on Roosevelt Rd., it isn't quite as magical as it probably was when Jimmy first rode into town in the Packard.
Or when Hemingway went by boat.

RinglingRingling
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Post by RinglingRingling »

OystersandBeer wrote:
RinglingRingling wrote:
Catch&Release wrote:I've been to Key West once. That was in 1997 and that was enough.

It may have had a glorious "pirate" or "drug runner" past but that seemed a lifetime ago.

The chickens running around town was the only aspect of its former semi lawless past. I understand they've even rustled up the chickens.
Once you get off Duval, it is a bit easier to see what it was, but the area around Front/Duval, etc. and down... the t-shirt shack after shack, and the chains out on Roosevelt Rd., it isn't quite as magical as it probably was when Jimmy first rode into town in the Packard.
Or when Hemingway went by boat.
well, there was a bit more magic then.. but only because Truman was hanging out there too. :D

chalksoperations
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Post by chalksoperations »

Here's what I've thought for quite some time, although it would never happen (not by something other than an act of nature)

Blow the bridge. Not all of them, just a few. Make being there and getting around there something that you must really want to do.

The quality of life in Monroe County was much better when it took a day or two to get from Elliott Key to Key West.

Aquaholic101
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Post by Aquaholic101 »

But Van Aken, who also presides over Norman's at the Orlando Ritz-Carlton, says he is reconciled with Key West's shift from plastic tablecloths to fine linens. He sees the evolution as erasing some of the island's tequilla-shooter vibe and sliding back into a more elegant setting.

Yea but I like the tequilla-shooter vibe. Thats one of the reasons we visit...

Thats why I stay at the little places off the Duval path quaint down to earth and not stuffy and stuck up..thats what these places represent.

Longboardn' ASEL&S
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Post by Longboardn' ASEL&S »

In college I was always looking for the warmest place you could drive to for X-mas break, and camping in Key West was it.
I started going back 10 years ago, when driving the family to FL at that same school vacation yielded only cold and rainy boring-to-my-kids expensive theme park days, while Key West offered warmer sunshine and a little bit more character.
Now we camp there, at $110 a night to set up a tent and have parking for one car. Bring a second car so various family members at a time can visit the grandparents while a few of us kick back in the Keys? Add a lot more $ for the extra people and vehicle.
Still the warmest place you can drive to, but kind of expensive for the tacky T-shirt selling community it's become.
Still better than the golf course condo the in-laws live at, but not by much.
The fishing and kite-boarding still is much better though.
You can't change nature THAT fast, although the fishing is nothing like it was even 20 years ago.
ImageImage Old Man in Tank Top, Boardn' the Blacktop, Still chilln' after all of these years

barefoot gecko
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Post by barefoot gecko »

If you know where to look, the old Key West is still there!
I'd rather be here, drinkin' a beer, than be freezin' my ass in the north!

drunkpirate66
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Post by drunkpirate66 »

barefoot gecko wrote:If you knoe where to look, the old Key West is still there!
I humbly and respectfully disagree. I lived there for over a year. In that time met many old men and women who had lived in the Keys or Key West for many years . . . one individual who I remain in contact with has lived in key West and has owned the same house there for over half a century now. These wonderful have told me wonderful stories and have shown me pictures of the old Key West days and have brought around the island to crazy hidden little roads and corner bars and diners that I hope the Cruise Ship People will never find.

For those who care . . . these people did see Jimmy perform. They claim he sucked. Don't kill the messenger.

But these places are not the same . . . they are great places!!!! but they are not old Key West . . . that is dead. Sorry.

I started a Key West sailing thread here and I think 1 person responded to it. The water . . . the Key West waters . . . away from those little moped things that drive the locals crazy and the vendors selling Sunset Cruises for hundreds of dollars and the stupid t - shirt places and Duval Street Boutiques like Margaritaville and Sloppy Joes . . . the water, the sailing, is still the same. I feel. Based on what people who are smarter than me told me.
the hit and run is as good as any religion around this time of year . . .

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