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I live in Key West and its become a trashy disaster

Many years ago when I visited it was fun and funky, pristine and cool. Now it caters to tourists that are totally vile, middle-aged trashy rednecks who think Jimmy Buffet is still cool and come here to get drunk the entire time they are here. The main street, Duval, is a nightmare on the weekends full of drunken revellers hollering and puking and passing out right on the street, plus rental scooters and golf carts crusing around beeping the horns non-stop. The gay life has become almost non-existent. Real estate is outrageous, the rentals are like NYC. If you are thinking about coming here, don't waste your money.

by Anonymousreply 5108/02/2020

Do you know that chick who's the mayor of Key West's daughter who does lap dances for tourists? DiGenova or something?

by Anonymousreply 108/01/2020

The Mayor is a Lesbian with no children

by Anonymousreply 208/01/2020

I don't think that's a new development. I spent a month in Key West about 25 years ago and I couldn't bear the trashiness.

by Anonymousreply 308/01/2020

I went several years ago and was turned off by the lack of fine dining and no beaches. I don't need to go back.

by Anonymousreply 408/01/2020

The straights ruin everything! The World of Heterosexuals is a sick and disgusting life!

by Anonymousreply 508/01/2020

i went in 1983 or 1984 and loved it. Met some hottie muscle guy who lived there and worked for the weather station there. We had fun and i stayed at some little gay guesthouse. I 'm sure it has all changed, Flew in on some beat up old Martin 404 piston prop on Air Florida

by Anonymousreply 608/01/2020

Is it because of Bloodline?

That Sissy Spacek has a lot to answer for.

by Anonymousreply 708/01/2020

Bloodline was filmed in Islamorada

by Anonymousreply 808/01/2020

Good luck with that bullshit, OP.

by Anonymousreply 908/01/2020

My partner and I thought about retiring there back in the late nineties. We guessed it was turning into the mess OP described. Sad.

We still go every year to see whats changed.

Thanks for the confirmation OP.

by Anonymousreply 1008/01/2020

By the 90's Key West was turning into a tourist destination shithole. I had to fly down there to work frequently during the 90's and never enjoyed being there, crowded streets, rowdy drunks, expensive not so great restaurants, no beautiful beaches and trash & litter everywhere. An expensive dirty destination with warm sunny weather and no culture.

by Anonymousreply 1108/01/2020

Don't forget the homeless people who live by the pier where those enormous cruise ships used to dock.

by Anonymousreply 1208/01/2020

What was it like in its gay heyday?

by Anonymousreply 1308/01/2020

R13 it was a blast. Lots of rich gay men from up north had second homes here. There was an awesome Tea Dance at...I think it was The Atlantic. More gay bars, restaurants, guest houses and businesses. The architecture in the historic district is very charming and of course the gays came in and fixed it all up - unfortunately they all left and now its straight people living in those houses. I still don't get the cost of real estate - even a tiny 2 bedroom cottage will go for at least a million.

by Anonymousreply 1408/01/2020

You wish OP.

by Anonymousreply 1508/01/2020

Sounds like the French Quarter On an island . Nothing but , Alabama And Miss white trash.

by Anonymousreply 1608/01/2020

It was always a bit trashy and had it’s share of street scum. Tennessee Williams got beaten up on the street, though he probably did something to provoke it. I don’t think the cruise ships helped, dumping crowds on the streets. It isn’t quaint and Conch now, just another crowded beach bar place.

by Anonymousreply 1708/01/2020

Considering it's where Ernest Hemingway spent the trashiest era of his life, it makes sense. Also it's still Florida.

by Anonymousreply 1808/01/2020

Is Marathon any better?

by Anonymousreply 1908/01/2020

It is pretty there OP.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2008/01/2020

I stayed at The Atlantic in 93 I think. I visited for a week, and it was amazing. A gay sexual playground. I was by myself, and never felt alone.

Went later and stayed at Island House and still had a great time. Forget when that was, early 2000s?

Sad that it's gone so far down hill though.

by Anonymousreply 2108/01/2020

Years ago, when friends liked there, the locals all called Duval Street just "That Street." It's been noisy and trashy for years, and has likely only gotten worse, as it true for most all of Florida. The gays who live there just hide from the tourists and the trash. No thanks, who needs it. However, in the "Great Shift" that will now happen due to Covid19, everyone will be moving (or "shifting") to wherever they can afford, manage or tolerate. The homeless problem will be getting far, far worse... and food banks that are already stretched thin will likely collapse... leaving hordes of sad families and individuals with few options. Get ready... shift now while you can.

by Anonymousreply 2208/01/2020

There is a referendum coming up in November that will prohibit the big cruise ships - there's a group advocating "smaller, safer and less" cruise ships. I think it will pass - lots of public support. But there is a very powerful business group that is pushing back - they make their money off of the cruise ships (the company that owns the tour trolleys and conch tour trains). We haven't had any cruise ships here since March and it is so nice.

by Anonymousreply 2308/01/2020

I lived there in the late 70's. Before the new highway was built, the drive was precarious and kept out the regular RV seniors. Water pressure and electricity went out regularly. The roads were all in such bad condition, it was faster to take a bike than a taxi 6-6666, phone numbers were 5 digits. Many houses were in disrepair, no Home Depot, no cruise ships, many seedy characters, critters everywhere, big land crabs used to come up on the porch and eat the cat food. Not glamorous but a lot of fun. You had to want to be there. The 80's materialism, the double=wide highway and chain hotels and AIDS changed everything. When you went out, everyone you met that night was your best friend. Good times. I went back around 10 years ago, and sat next to a woman in a bar who told me a story she had told me 30 years earlier. I recognized 30 names at the AIDS memorial. SAD

by Anonymousreply 2408/01/2020

It will all be OK in a few months.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2508/01/2020

Yet another thing that Reagan and AIDS ruined.

by Anonymousreply 2608/01/2020

I miss "Numbers", the nude strip bar from the 90s.

by Anonymousreply 2708/01/2020

My brother and I drove down there two years ago from his place. He wanted to see it.

I hated it save for the Cuban food (love it!) and the architecture of the older houses. The rest of it was nothing but disgusting drunks, fighting and blaring music at all hours. Unreal.

I much prefer Big Pine Key with all of the smaller keys and wildlife.

by Anonymousreply 2808/01/2020

Oh, you have blacks, too?

by Anonymousreply 2908/01/2020

Key West has always been kinda trash.

by Anonymousreply 3008/01/2020

R28 - I love the Cuban food as well! I hope you got to eat at El Sibonney - totally great. One of the Cuban dishes I found here that I love is Picadillo - sounds gross but its ground beef, tomatoes and olives, total comfort food. And Cuban sandwiches are the best.

by Anonymousreply 3108/01/2020

Isn't the whole thing going to be underwater soon anyway?

by Anonymousreply 3208/01/2020

Provincetown is heading in the same direction just minus the cruise ships.

by Anonymousreply 3308/01/2020

R33 are the straight mommies invading after we created a safe paradise? They’d do the same to Fire Island Pines except they can’t live without the ability to careen around in an SUV to Starbucks.

by Anonymousreply 3408/01/2020

[quote] who's the mayor of Key West's daughter

R1 Why does Key West's daughter have a mayor?

by Anonymousreply 3508/01/2020

Stayed at gay guesthouse Colours on Fleming in 1986. An orgy had just gone down the week before with a big closeted Hollywood star (no one who participated would say his name). Divine was a The Copa. The Holiday Inn was still a shuttered old hotel, the Atlantic still had its tea dance, and the Dick Dock was active. Came back a few more times and by 1990 the owner of Colours was dying, Barbra Streisand was in town with Don Johnson for cigar boat races that brought in a completely new demographic. There was a clear dividing line on Duval between straight (by the sunset pier) and gay and it moved 4 blocks in 2 years. It felt like something was dying. 5 years later my parents started going and loved it. If that was the case, I knew what I loved about it was probably gone and haven't been back.

by Anonymousreply 3608/01/2020

Sorry about your happy place, OP. It’s happening to mine, too.

by Anonymousreply 3708/01/2020

No, r31 I didn't. But that picadillo sounds wonderful!

Where is that Cuban restaurant located? There was one near the cruise ship docks that smelled absolutely wonderful as we drove by but I didn't see the name of it.

There are zero Cuban places around here. We couldn't even find a good one near his place near Orlando.

It's really the only reason I'd ever go back to Key West.

by Anonymousreply 3808/01/2020

R36 What was the speculation on who the celebrity was?

by Anonymousreply 3908/01/2020

That's a shame. I've spent the odd month or three there and have loved it, but always feared this would happen.

by Anonymousreply 4008/01/2020

I drove down there from Miami on a whim 10 years ago. Met a guy in a bar on my first night and stayed with him in his pool house rental for a year. He managed a bar at one of the resorts. It took 2 days to discover that he and everyone else down there were alcoholic coke heads who were barely getting by.

I hated living down there. I honestly was just gritting, like everyone else. I met the trashiest of people with the most extravagant delusions of grandeur.

There weren’t many other Black people, and I actually ended up making friends with a few who lived in those projects on that back street. They were nice enough.

There was never anywhere to go or anything to do. All the gays in town know everything about all the other ones. Ultimately the guy chose coke binges over me and I was all too glad to move back to Nowhere, USA where I belong.

by Anonymousreply 4108/01/2020


by Anonymousreply 4208/01/2020

Trash. Flash. Tacky. Middle-aged daydrunk shopbottoms in neon thong bikinis.

by Anonymousreply 4308/02/2020

I visited end of May 2001 and could see what it was, and where it was going. I picked up a guy while sitting on a park bench so there must have still been some magic in the air along with the humidity.

by Anonymousreply 4408/02/2020

R38 - El Sibboney is on the corner of Catherine and Elizabeth, kind of out of the historic district but still in Old Town. Another good one is Fernandy's on White St - they also have a food truck permanently parked on Simonton. I'll definitely miss Cuban food when I move from here but hopefully I can have someone teach me how to cook a few dishes.

by Anonymousreply 4508/02/2020

R19 Marathon is bad too, Lots of meth use and homeless living on decrepit boats. My friend is a live aboard at the city marina, and last weekend, a live aboard shot and killed a vagrant in a dingy that he thought was trying to rob him. I think there was another murder in Marathon recently.

by Anonymousreply 4608/02/2020

Maybe a dying cruise ship industry or restrictions on docking can help resurrect Key West. I love the architecture, walkability, small town feel and restaurants.

by Anonymousreply 4708/02/2020

R47 - that's hopefully what will happen with the referendum vote in November. People recognize that KW cannot be so reliant on cruise ships and should diversify tourism.

by Anonymousreply 4808/02/2020

Key West? Is that Kanye's brother?

by Anonymousreply 4908/02/2020


There was also a great Tea Dance at LaTeDa, a hotel and restaurant complex. On Sundays it was old style disco, and fabulous.

Key West was over the moment the Cruise Ships arrived.

That's why the locals in Provincetown were fighting the Cruise Ships - though it doesn't much matter now. A lot of residents had experienced or witnessed what they did to Key West.

by Anonymousreply 5008/02/2020

The saving grace for Ptown is that it's seasonal. You can still enjoy early spring, fall and even winter with few tourist/bus people.

During the season it's less gay every year. Bus loads of mid-westerners clog up everything and act like they're visiting a zoo.

by Anonymousreply 5108/02/2020
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