Monday, October 30, 2006

Key West Real Estate Bubble At Risk of Bursting

If the laws of supply and demand are to be believed, then Key West's real estate market may be in trouble. Economic law says that too much supply in the market leads to falling prices.

Statistics recently released show that the number of properties listed for sale in Key West has hit a 5 year high - now over 1400 properties. This number is roughly three times the number of houses normally on the market, and 40% above a year earlier.

The rapid increase in the number of properties is astounding, but may be understating the weakness in the market. Many properties have been removed from the mls listings waiting for better prices. The wait for better prices may be significant, especially when the large number of developments underway begin to hit the market.

After the jaw-dropping rise in home prices over the past 5 years, there is plenty of room on the downside.

Currently, I've noticed Key West home prices have already been reduced by at least 20%, and the few that are selling are seeing increased selling times and further sales price discounts.

Next week is a well advertised auction for 22 Key West properties signaling the abundance of sellers.
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Key West Fantasy Fest Photos - Body Paint

Fantasy Fest, Key West's biggest party, is underway on the island. Last night Duval Street was packed with tens of thousands of people - many dressed in little more than body paint.
The cameras were crowding around every "pair" visible, and some of those unofficial pictures are now posted (thanks to the good folks at at Fantasy Fest Body Paint Photos
These may not be appropriate for work. Then again, maybe it is a good time to get a new job.
Enjoy - and don't miss it next year!
(Tonight is the big street parade with an expected crowd of 70,000. See you at the parade.)
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Funny! Key West Pets in Costume

Pets in costume were on display last night during the Key West Pet Masquerade. This is part of the weeklong mega-party named Fantasy Fest...Key West's biggest tourist draw, and it was a great time. This years new location was a little small for the normally huge-size event, but everyone had a great time and laugh nonetheless. Beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, and a lively party make Key West no wonder as one of the world's great places to hang out. And it never snows - so come visit when you catch a chill!

Cats, dogs, geese, and even snakes were present - along with other animals - dressed with their owners in hysterical costumes.

Here is a collection of my favorite pet costumes that I was able to capture.

A family of pirates, along with dogs and tiny puppies, prepare for the stage.

Spectators craning for a view.

A beautiful sunset, as a tall ship makes its way into the Key West harbor.

It's true - eventually you'll look like your dog.

Thanks to Dracula's tender touch, the cat had gave up on fighting, and enjoyed the show with her winged handler.

Here is a close-up of that cat - still trying to figure out how to fly out of here.

That's one happy dog. Now that's Fantasy Fest for ya.

Royalty was well represented by this regal pooch.

Someone even had a cow dressed as a dog! Very believable.

Dressed in Congressional Report newspaper. Maybe he's not paper trained yet?

Someone feels pretty.

Argggh. I want a treat says the dogs.

Again proving that owners eventually look like their dogs.

Not sure who is the owner and who is the dog, but these two looked adorable.

Imagine trying to paint your cats face? That is one cool cat.

One happy heifer.
More Fantasy Fest madness will continue this week. Check back for more postings and pictures.
And if you dug these photos, please DIGG it by clicking the link below. Thanks!
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Breaking News: Is CNN Broken?

Yesterday's reporting of the earthquake in Hawaii was the perfect example of how bad of a job CNN and the other major news networks are doing of keeping the American public informed. Of course the earthquake was newsworthy - but why did all the news channels turn into 24hour Earthquake Headquarters? Why is the news bent on scaring us? Why can't the news inform us? The major news networks are scared of the Internet taking away their viewers. I'd say they are doing more damage to themselves. The news today is broken.

Somehow the CNN, MSNBC, FOX are all hooked on the same monkey: don't tell the viewer in intelligent, distilled, salient, and verified report of the world's events. Instead, show them the most alarming event that they themselves don't understand (burning anything seems to work), then show a confusing and useless bunch of clips and guests who speculate on what is going on. No longer does it seem important to CNN to cover the days events. If anyone is dumbing down America, it must be the news.

It is such a fear driven news reporting style, that one wonders who is screwing this up this badly. Don't the reporters of America want more stories told? (by the way, why do these reporters speak like everything is a panic! somebody get Wolf Blitzer out of the situation room! His bullshit style seems to have infected all the networks. And please, end the Situation Room. Seventeen televisions playing at once is a moronic idea). The last thing I want to see is a reporter who knows nothing about a situation, spending too much time playing the same clip and guessing like a fool. If I wanted to see the live feed I would do so! I don't want the news to become the live feed.

Imagine if your favorite newspaper printed pictures and stories about things they just found out about, 5 seconds ago, without being able to confirm or figure out the story. How useful of a newspaper would that be?

Isn't there enough other things occurring in the world that we should hear about? Shouldn't the networks cover more? All the while, there are a zillion other things that are happening in the world and remain unreported.

What does this serve? Certainly not my hunger to know what is going on in the world. Certainly not the general American intellect.

And all the while, CNN has a flashing "Breaking News".
It should say "Broken News".
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Hotel Map for Key West Visitors

"Season", as the locals call it, is just around the corner. And that means visitors will be looking for hotel rooms.

Even though Key West is a small island, roughly 2 miles x 4 miles, there are lots of hotels to choose from, and if location is important to you - like being in the Historic District or by a beach, then it can be hard to decide which hotel is in the right place for you.

The folks at Key West Travel Guide have created an excellent solution - a Key West hotel map that shows you where each of the hotels, guesthouses, b & b's, motels, and other lodging choices are located. The map is a very cool view of the island - combining a satellite image of Key West with a map overlay. If you click on any of the map markers or hotel names, a "info window" pops up on the map showing you a picture and description of the accomodation. Plus, in the "info window" are links for more information about the property and discounted reservations.

This is a great tool for people planning a Key West visit. Stay where you want to stay and get substantial savings on your room reservation.
Check out the map at .
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Friday, October 06, 2006

TAMPOA Double-speak

I was checking out the TAMPOA website and was amazed at their ability to speak out of both sides of their mouths.

On their newsletter page, under the heading "Security and our Community", TAMPOA says:
"Please be advised that, although the Truman Annex and Shipyard communities are
gated, the general public is allowed to enter the property freely and to access
places such as the Little White House. Please note that the Association does not
monitor who enters or exits the communities."

But on that same page, Tom Tukey, president of TAMPOA, wrote in his "President's Message" that they were hoping to achieve just the opposite.
Here is what TAMPOA thinks the City of Key West should agree to:

"During the day, the traffic on Southard Street would be controlled and slowed
by “arms.” "


"...for the first time we would be allowed to install gates at both ends of
Southard Street and close them totally during the night. That meant that our
security would be significantly enhanced."

Doesn't sound very free and accessible to me. No wonder the citizens of Key West are so upset (me included).

To contact TAMPOA & let them know how you feel, here are the e-mail addresses of their Board of Directors, as published on the TAMPOA website:

2006 Board of Directors
Tom TukeyE-mail:
Jim HallE-mail:
Paula RyalsE-mail:
Harold BerryE-mail:

Frank SerioE-mail:

Phil WilsonE-mail:

Rebecca BaumannE-mail:
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Closed Door Session for City Leaders

The Key West City Commission will be meeting today in a closed door session to discuss the Southard Street/TAMPOA/Truman Annex situation.
It seems to me that TAMPOA is trying to control much more than Southard Street. Sounds like this is really about the Truman Waterfront. Does TAMPOA really think they are entitled to control what happens next door at the new Truman waterfront? Does Truman Annex not realize that the rest of the island has a say in what happens to the Truman waterfront. Personally, I would like to see a vibrant waterfront - with a marina, shops, a restaurant, some affordable housing, a new senior center, and a small park (I don't think we need a big park, especially since next door is the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.) Most of all, I don't want to see a big empty park that would further insulate Truman Annex.
I hope our commissioners see this whole power struggle for what it really is.
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