Marilyn Monroe Statue In Key West

IMG_9675The famous picture of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent was shot on September 15th, 1954 filming The Seven Year Itch. The scene infuriated her husband, Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio, who felt it was exhibitionist and divorced her shortly after.

She was born Norma Jean Mortensen (Baker), she had a tragic childhood with her mother institutionalized at age 5 sending her to a series of foster homes where she was neglected and abused. She quit school at 16 and got married as Norma Jean Dougherty.

In 1944 she worked as a paint sprayer in a defense plant where she was spotted by a photographer becoming a popular pin-up girl. Newly divorced and working as a model she signed with 20th Century Fox in 1945 but dropped her after one film, Columbia signed her also dropping her after one film. Unemployed, she posed nude for a calendar for $50 that cemented her rise to fame. Fox re-signed her in 1950 giving her feature roles like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953, Bus Stop in 1955, Some Like It Hot in 1959, & The Misfits in 1961. She attempted one more film, Something’s Got to Give, but was fired for frequent absences from the set which many believed to be related to drug addiction.

On August 5th 1962, at the young age of 36 she died from an overdose of sleeping pills ruled a possible suicide. Her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio continued to send flowers to her grave every day for the rest of his life. Since her death, her popularity and mystique have endured spawning movies & songs paying homage to this blonde sexy bombshell including a 2011 film My Week With Marilyn and Elton John’s 1973 Candle In The Wind.

You can find this Marilyn Monroe life-like statue in front of the Tropic Cinema at 416 Eaton Street just 1-block west of Duval Street.

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286 Year Old Shipwreck Cannon Found

IMG_1422There’s literally 50 or more cannons unmarked on US-1 over the 128 mile trip down the Florida Keys. There’s one in particular that’s at least 286 years old and historically marked on where it came from and how old it is.

Seen here is the original cannon on a replica base complete with bronze plaque on its left stating the historical data which reads: “Salvaged in 1970 from the shipwreck site of the San Jose’ de las Animas July 15, 1733 southeast of Tavernier”.

Now on to where you can find this recovered cannon on display, it’s located at Mile Marker 28.3 oceanside near the entrance to the Little Palm Island Ferry. On US-1 turn onto Pirates Road where you’ll see a subdivision sign called Jolly Roger Estates with the cannon directly behind it on the right.

While there, take 2 more minutes and go down to the roads end after the curve and look out into the Atlantic Ocean where you’ll see a real Dragon Boat if they’re not out practicing or off competing somewhere.

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Danger Falling Coconuts

8676819935_dec66df1df_bI love this sign ‘DANGER FALLING COCONUTS’. There’s only one thing that could make this sign even funnier, that is if it were located in a parking lot… hmm, it is a parking lot! 🙂

I’ve been here twice and yet to see a car parked here. Forget about your car, this could do some serious damage to your head if nature intervenes and down comes a coconut upon your coconut… ouch! If your nickname is ‘Black Cloud Billy’ or ‘Bad Luck Bobby’ then I suggest that you photograph this from a distance! 🙂

In finding this oddly placed ‘Danger Falling Coconuts’ sign pull into the parking lot of Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen at Mile Marker 99.5 bayside where you’ll see it beside the restaurant.

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Civil War, Fort Zachary Taylor (part#1)

I’ll start out this blog by saying that 99% of tourists have NO IDEA that Key West has a Civil War Fort… and WOW are they missing a great attraction! I’ll tell you right now to dig deep in your pocket and splurge by paying the $3 or $4 a car load price, it’s worth more than that I assure you.

This blog, part 1 will be on its history and exterior only, which in itself is a marvel of wonder for your eyes and cameras as you can see by the top photo. Below you can see different angles of all sides of the fort walls and moat… yes I said MOAT! Here’s a portion of the historical marker posted just outside of the fortress walls: Fort Zachary Taylor – Constructed in 1845 as part of the Third Tier System of Defense which called for the establishment of masonry fortresses constructed along America’s coastline to prevent sea attacks upon the United States. This fort was an important defensive structure for the United States because of its command over the waters of the Straits of Florida & Gulf of Mexico. When completed, the fort was three stories tall, held 140 cannons and home to almost 450 soldiers. Fort Taylor remained under federal control (Northern Army, Blue Coats, Yankees) during the Civil War. Fort Taylor continued to defend the United States during the Spanish-American War, World War I (WWI), and World War II (WWII). The fort’s service to the nation ended in 1947.

As you can tell, this fort is rich with history and even more alluring to the eye. Wow, I told you it was awesome! This is one of our favorite places to go in Key West to get away from the crowds and enjoy a well-earned sunset and gorgeous views of a Civil War fort.

You can find the Civil War historical relic exactly beside the Old Navy Pier about 4 blocks west of Duval Street at the ocean’s edge. See you soon for part #2.

         

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Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

Happy-St-Patricks-Day-Free-Clip-Art-23-5-465x251Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you of Irish descent… and the billions of people who claim to be Irish one day a year! 🙂

As you know, today is all about shamrocks, leprechauns and pints of green beer! Here’s some little known fun facts that may end up wining you a bar bet of Irish Guinness! (PS – Multiple web-sites have several different variations on the list below so grin and drink up!)

1) It’s shortened nickname is St. Paddy’s Day NOT St. Patty’s Day.

2) It’s ONLY a public holiday in Ireland, Newfoundland, & Montserrat.

3) Eating corned beef and cabbage today is no big deal in Ireland… but Americans love it!

4) St. Patrick is believed to have been born in Wales or Scotland.

5) The color green was adopted ONLY after the Irish Rebellion, before that believe it or not it was BLUE.

6) The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in the USA in 1737, not in Ireland, they didn’t have one until 1931.

7) St. Patrick was credited with banishing snakes from Ireland, truth is, there’s NEVER been snakes there.

8) One percent of the world’s annual beer consumption happens on St. Patrick’s Day. That’s about 528 million gallons or 4.2 billion pints! I’ll drink to that! 🙂

So, you might ask “What does this blog have to do with Key West and the Florida Keys?” Well, that’s easy “We’re Irish Too!” (that is, at least today we are) 🙂 And YES… that’s me in the photo below!

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Sugarloaf’s TINY Airport

IMG_1432This just might be the Florida Key’s smallest manned public airport! Yes, the tiny wooden A-frame shed is the airports office… I told you it was small! 🙂 If you’re lucky and time your visit just right you might be able to see a plane takeoff or land. On this day we were super lucky and saw a skydiver touch down! (That’s another blog!) 🙂

This is worth the 5-minute side trip it would take to find it. I’ve driven down this road many times never turning that last corner… I’ll call that “A lesson learned”. I found this from yet another tip from one of our many loyal readers James W., thanks James, keep em’ coming!

While here, check out one of ONLY three Bat Towers left in the WORLD on the same road to the right… you can’t miss it! It’s now laying on its side blown over by the last hurricane to pass through but it’s still AWESOME to see this rare structure!

You can find this tiny public airstrip located about 3/4 of a mile off US-1 at Mile Marker 16.9 bayside at the large Airplane Rides sign shown below.

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And That’s NO BULL!

4553996622_55f8093a9d_bWhere in Key West can you find a bull protruding halfway through a building’s outer wall? Don’t guess, I’m going to tell you! Hmm… I wonder what’s on the inside of the building behind this portion of the bull? That’s another tale (or is it tail) in this case it may not matter! 🙂

This is easily one of Key West’s most famous, beautiful and recognizable historic structures in ‘Old Town’. This architectural eye-candy consists of three totally different bars: The Bull, Whistle Stop, and the clothing optional Garden Of Eden. 🙂 I can’t wait to I write that blog having already been granted total access to its upper level and patrons! 🙂 Think baseball, think baseball… whew that was close, now back to this blog. 🙂

You can find this bull blasting its way through the lower level wall on the corner of Caroline Street & Duval Street… and that’s NO BULL!

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