June 20th was the official first day of summer, but it’s felt like summer for weeks already. Many of us dread the humid days when we can barely walk to our cars without breaking a sweat. Writer Nancy Klingener has learned to appreciate summer and the off-season in Key West. Her full essay is below.
Nancy Klingener describes herself as “a recovering journalist, aspiring librarian and addicted reader” living in Key West, Florida. She’s also the writer behind the The Bone Island Book Blog.
“Our cars get dented form being parked on the street, and faded from sitting in the sun,” says Nancy Klingener in this essay on bike culture in Key West. “But our bikes, we take care of them… ” Their bikes are so beloved, some people paint them up into “art bikes,” like the ones in these photos. These are all painted by Key West artists for a show at The Studios of Key West , and ridden in the Fantasy Fest parade.
Twin sisters Carrie Guise of Tampa, Fla., and Mindy Magrath of Raleigh, N.C., came to Key West to celebrate their birthday, not talk politics. But when #FLDispatches discovered the sisters had parted political paths, an impromptu debate was too good to pass up. Sisterly banter ensued and political persuasions were reassessed.
Journalist Frank Deford’s stories have appeared in Sports Illustrated, HBO Real Sports and NPR. He and his wife spend every winter in Key West, where Deford says he breathes in the island’s different air.
It’s very possible to dismiss Key West, as the British say, as just too much by half. I mean, you arrive at the airport and it says WELCOME TO THE CONCH REPUBLIC – and everybody is quick to let you know that Key West really isn’t Florida … which is to say: it’s too good for Florida, or, for that matter, too good for any mere state of the union.
Journalist Frank Deford spends every winter in Key West with his wife. They rent a house, take long walks and breathe in the island air. Under the Sun producer Sammy Mack listens to Deford marvel at the view from his front porch, a relic of a bygone era. He loves the lushness of the island, so green and beautiful. To him, Key West is soft and peaceful. But above all, it is a warm escape.
Inspired by the peerless film Sahara (starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz), listenerMichael Laas wondered about the treasure hunting possibilities in Biscayne Bay. He submitted his question to us.
There are forty known shipwrecks in Biscayne Bay and hundreds more in the Keys. Under the Sun producer, Sammy Mack, found out more about what lies beneath these attractive, but dangerous waters.
Episode 2 of Under the Sun explores the theme of South Florida as the “End of the Line.”
We bring you an audio postcard from Alabama Jack’s, a legendary bar and restaurant at the tip of the U.S. mainland. Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books talks with author Les Standiford about Henry Flagler’s unflagging desire to build a railroad to Key West.