Dreaming of Paradise?

Posted on Tuesday 29 December 2009

“You live here? You actually live in Key West? It must be awesome! I am so jealous.”

I hear dozens of variations on this sentiment every day. Thus, I am curious to hear from my readers–is living in Key West your dream? If so, why? What do you imagine it to be like?

And, if you’ve visited Key West and still covet this locale as a place to live–what entices you here?

After six weeks here, I have my own thoughts, both positive and negative. I’ll share mine if you will share yours.

–RG

17 Comments for 'Dreaming of Paradise?'

  1.  
    PhilosopherP
    December 29, 2009 | 2:45 pm
     

    Well– I’m up in Minnesota — we have about 24 inches of snow on the ground, the driveway is 100% ice and it’s going to be a high of 7 today before it gets really cold tonight. Right now Key West sounds pretty good.

    Of course, the location is only half the fantasy — the other half is not having to work for a living, having interesting conversations when I want them and good internet service on a whim. Also — I don’t want to deal with tourists, alligators, pythons or hurricanes.

    I suppose the real answer is that I don’t want to live in Key West — although, on Saturday I’m headed to Orlando and probably Sebastian Fl for a visit with mom, auntie and grandma. Maybe the real fantasy is to have a relative who lives there?

  2.  
    mur
    December 29, 2009 | 2:51 pm
     

    Gosh, RG, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but KW would be my idea of hell. I’ve been there, and enjoyed my brief visit, but think to actually live there would spoil all the things that make vacationing fun. Everything seems vibrant and energetic – fun for a while, but not so great for quiet solitude or restful escape.

    I love the natural beauty – to me, the most tempting aspect of it – but the daily grind of living there and earning a living, not so much.

    I’d live on the Pacific coast in a heartbeat, though, especially the northern U.S. and parts of British Columbia. That is what makes my heart sing.

  3.  
    December 29, 2009 | 3:53 pm
     

    i’d love to visit, sugar, but hand to god, savannah is my little piece of heaven! xoxoxox

    happy new year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4.  
    December 29, 2009 | 5:02 pm
     

    I always imagine it being like my vacation there, but with 8 hours of work a day, which I’m okay with, because too much vacation starts to grate on me.

    Waking up everyday to a house full of friends, making breakfast, working on the laptop for 4 hours, going out for a snorkle, working for another 4 hours, then dinner and relaxation, with an occasional trip down to Key West for some excitement. (We stayed on Marathon, but if I went back I’d aim for someplace a little further south.)

    It sounds like paradise.

  5.  
    suzanne
    December 29, 2009 | 5:09 pm
     

    I’ve never been to the Keys or Key West specifically; but feel like it’d kinda be like going to NO for Mardi Gras and then thinking NO was like that all the time….I was bi-coastal for a number of years and have been living in the subs of DC for far too long! Miss the milder climate and when I can, I am seriously considering the gulf coast (Ft. Walton Beach area) as a new home. But maybe it’ll just be the SC coast, but wherever it is, it ain’t gonna be DC! BTW, been reading your blog for the last couple of years – keep it up.

  6.  
    Steve
    December 29, 2009 | 7:18 pm
     

    As a visitor from England, I stayed in the keys for a week. I visited Key West but was so disappointed with its commercialism that I didn’t even stop the car. I drove round it and headed back up the highway.

    I stayed at Conch Key but my favourite was Marathon Key. My second week in Florida was spent touring the mainland part of the state. I like Florida but I LOVE California. Europe is prettey good too but cold right now….

  7.  
    December 29, 2009 | 8:41 pm
     

    I’d love to move back home to California one day (grew up in Los Angeles), but while hubby’s job is in DC, that’s where we’ll be.

  8.  
    Sarah
    December 29, 2009 | 9:23 pm
     

    Hi RG,
    I lived in Pensacola for years before moving to Singapore and the idea of moving somewhere else with this much humidity does not seem like a move to Paradise–I think somewhere more temperate would be cooler.

  9.  
    Pepe
    December 29, 2009 | 9:59 pm
     

    We like Islamorada, but Key West has gone too far from what it was. I won’t ever be back.

  10.  
    TTFK
    December 30, 2009 | 12:05 am
     

    The entire line of thought can be summed up in one line:

    People want to be “There” because it is not “Here”.

  11.  
    December 30, 2009 | 1:04 am
     

    I once stumbled across a line, I believe by Ralph Ellison, that always got me:

    Unfortunately, it was Paradise.


    There’s just so many ways to interpret it- with melancholia, as in Yeah, in paradise, and yet in paradise lies so many potential caveats- yes indeed, unfortunately, it was Paradise. Or, for me, who got stuck in a queen-bi-t-ch of a city, Paris, I’d go more tongue in cheek; Yes… Unfortunately, it was Paradise. Or the Paradise I was meant for, for the time being, maybe because in living ‘in paradise’ we are forced into questioning it’s very physical existence, the concept as a whole, as well as (and the most important, I believe) what exactly one does in, with, and about “Paradise.”

  12.  
    December 30, 2009 | 6:21 am
     

    Never been to Key West, so have no idea. However, I love sunshine and warmth, but loathe tourist traps

  13.  
    Spaz
    December 30, 2009 | 10:38 am
     

    I live in lakeland, a cozy medium town smack-dab in the middle of Tampa and Orlando. Been here for over 15 years and I love it. I enjoy the FL weather without the touristy stuff in town but I can venture to Disney World, Daytona or even Key West on a whim if I’m in the mood.

  14.  
    Kim
    December 31, 2009 | 11:03 pm
     

    Living in my dream place on the Olympic Peninsula in the Great Northwest state of Washington ๐Ÿ™‚ BUT I always thought it would be cool to drive that long highway on the water and have little umbrella drinks on the white sandy beaches. Then go out for dinner and drinks at this little place I’ve read so much about ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year RG ! xoxox

  15.  
    Chris
    January 1, 2010 | 12:44 am
     

    I’d live in Key West as it was when I first visited, and I sound like an old coot, but it doesn’t seem that long ago. There was still a Cuban restaurant on Duvall, Cafe Exile was there, and tea dances were advertised more towards the south end. Is the Environmental Circus still there? Fastbuck Freddies? Had a friend visit recently and she had my emerald ring refurbished at the shop on Duvall; she said she wouldn’t return there, nothing appealing except for Louie’s Backyard.

  16.  
    Kim
    March 6, 2012 | 11:02 pm
     

    Very belated post, but came across the white while I was surfing for Cafe Exile…

    Anyway, I moved from Boston to key West in 1984, lived and worked there as a bartender/waitress/property appraiser until 1988. I moved up to Sarasota to return to school, and then moved back to Key West in 1991, and continued to live there for the next decade. The latter time I was there I married and we had a child, and we lived in the suburb of Key Haven, in a house on the water.

    All I can say is: it seems like Paradise, but it ain’t. One could never find reliable help–plumbers never show when called; schoolteachers abandon their students mid-semester and just head back up the highway; the constant whine of moped engines reverberate throughout the streets. I think KW is a wonderful place to visit, but as my husband, a 4th generation Conch who left the island when he retired says: “I wouldn’t want to live there.” .

  17.  
    chris
    July 17, 2012 | 6:40 pm
     

    I used to be a bartender and then the late nite manager. we were the only 24 hour joint beside the airport at the time. The owner had another spot in P-Town and had a pension to clean out the cash at 2am for a late night drug buy. I often saw deals go down for breifcases full of money. Once found a 5 gallon barrel of hash oil wah up by the pier and the entire staff got addicted to the brow liquid. I loved my 5 years in Key West and am sure it is now not the wild wild west of florida.
    Tough spot to be a straight male and always having to tell the men I loved women. Thats why I moved.

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