Monday, March 08, 2010

Whither The Quiet?

Under a previous mayoral administration, “Those kids” were responsible for everything from The Crucifixion to any empty abandoned beer bottle within a mile of the city limits.

But when the college students were away on break, or for the summer, some college-dependent merchants either shortened their hours or even closed for the duration. That’s what is going on right now: we are into Spring Break. Many of our students are away doing service work, while others are lying on beaches or job-hunting for the summer.

Reminds me of the situation in Key West, residents vs cruise ships. The land of milk and honey, not to mention a Mr. Hemingway, likes its traditional lifestyle which includes guys trying to look like Ernie. It’s a town with a negative income, dependent on outsiders to keep the fantasy alive.

The main financial prop is water-born tourism. Cruise ships bringing in loads of people flush with cash, these big boats which pay port charges and taxes and, pretty much, keep the place afloat. But the locals don’t want this; it disturbs their idea of what Key West should be like. The ships gotta go, they say.

Until the day the ships went. Three of them could not land because of the weather. That meant a huge loss of port charges, taxes and shop income. It really hurt, badly, and said locals got a taste of what happens when the fantasy stops. Watch what you wish for; you might get it.


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