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.
I live in Key West and its become a trashy disaster
|by Anonymous||reply 51||08/02/2020|
Do you know that chick who's the mayor of Key West's daughter who does lap dances for tourists? DiGenova or something?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||08/01/2020|
The Mayor is a Lesbian with no children
|by Anonymous||reply 2||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 3||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 4||08/01/2020|
The straights ruin everything! The World of Heterosexuals is a sick and disgusting life!
|by Anonymous||reply 5||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 6||08/01/2020|
Is it because of Bloodline?
That Sissy Spacek has a lot to answer for.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||08/01/2020|
Bloodline was filmed in Islamorada
|by Anonymous||reply 8||08/01/2020|
Good luck with that bullshit, OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 10||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 11||08/01/2020|
Don't forget the homeless people who live by the pier where those enormous cruise ships used to dock.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||08/01/2020|
What was it like in its gay heyday?
|by Anonymous||reply 13||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 14||08/01/2020|
You wish OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||08/01/2020|
Sounds like the French Quarter On an island . Nothing but , Alabama And Miss white trash.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 17||08/01/2020|
Considering it's where Ernest Hemingway spent the trashiest era of his life, it makes sense. Also it's still Florida.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||08/01/2020|
Is Marathon any better?
|by Anonymous||reply 19||08/01/2020|
It is pretty there OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 21||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 22||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 23||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 24||08/01/2020|
It will all be OK in a few months.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||08/01/2020|
Yet another thing that Reagan and AIDS ruined.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||08/01/2020|
I miss "Numbers", the nude strip bar from the 90s.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 28||08/01/2020|
Oh, you have blacks, too?
|by Anonymous||reply 29||08/01/2020|
Key West has always been kinda trash.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 31||08/01/2020|
Isn't the whole thing going to be underwater soon anyway?
|by Anonymous||reply 32||08/01/2020|
Provincetown is heading in the same direction just minus the cruise ships.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 34||08/01/2020|
[quote] who's the mayor of Key West's daughter
R1 Why does Key West's daughter have a mayor?
|by Anonymous||reply 35||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 36||08/01/2020|
Sorry about your happy place, OP. It’s happening to mine, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 38||08/01/2020|
R36 What was the speculation on who the celebrity was?
|by Anonymous||reply 39||08/01/2020|
That's a shame. I've spent the odd month or three there and have loved it, but always feared this would happen.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||08/01/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 41||08/01/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 42||08/01/2020|
Trash. Flash. Tacky. Middle-aged daydrunk shopbottoms in neon thong bikinis.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 44||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 45||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 46||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 47||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 48||08/02/2020|
Key West? Is that Kanye's brother?
|by Anonymous||reply 49||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 50||08/02/2020|
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 Anonymous||reply 51||08/02/2020|