The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 12, 1986 · Page 32
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 32

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 12, 1986
Page 32
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Travel The Salina Journal Entertainment Sunday, January 12,1986 Page 6 By WALTER LOGAN The New York Times Key West is suffering from growing pains, and there are some who fear that continued development will turn it into a sea of expensive condominiums that blot out the sunsets and cut off access to public beaches. For now, at least, the town remains a relaxed American- Caribbean semi-tropical place of gingerbread houses and tin roofs, rough streets and rougher sidewalks, palm and banana trees and a laulty drainage system that sometimes has people canoeing down Duval Street after a downpour. Key West has a year-round population of only about 40,000, but gets an estimated million visitors a year and has a winter population of more than 100,000. The city is sophisticated, with many good restaurants, more than a dozen first-class art galleries, parks and museums, at least three ambitious theater groups and a large homosexual community. The town is geared to tourism, which is about its only industry. There are Civil War forts plus an array of boutiques and such points of interest as the Hemingway House and the Audubon House. There also is Mel Fisher's treasure trove taken from a Spanish galleon sunk in the 15th century — tons of silver and copper ingots piled in neat rows, great gold chains that once graced Spanish noblemen, a gold poison cup, a cross of gold and emeralds big enough to retire on, as well as gold ingots. The trove is at 200 Greene Street (telephone 305-296-9936). Admission is $4, $1 for children. The real tourist season starts with Old Island Days, usually Feb. 1. A highlight of these celebrations, which end at Easter, are public tours of the city's most beautiful houses. The first house and garden tour this winter is Feb. 14. The best house tours are at night when visitors travel by Key West's Conch Trains and the houses are floodlit outside and sometimes candlelit inside. The Conch Trains are a series of three or four small open cars pulled by a Jeep dressed up to resemble a locomotive. The house tours usually cost $5 a person, including the train ride. Boarding is at Mallory Square. The arts What's doing in Key West plays. Prices at the Tennessee Williams Art Center vary; a reading of a new play costs $5; most other programs from $6, $8 and $10. Ocassional musicals have a top of $12.50. Boutiques Key West International Airport Key West has a flourishing art colony attracted by the light that seems to intensify colors and contrasts. There are a dozen or more galleries, of which the leading one is probably the Gingerbread Square Gallery. The gallery, at 910 Duval Walter Logan, retired foreign editor of United Press International, lives in Key West. Key West is a city of boutiques and probably the best known is Peaches at 513 Duval (305-2962650), where the designer Susan Rafferty specializes in swimsuits and related sportswear. She has been designing for some time for Saks Fifth Avenue in New York where her swimsuits range from $40 to $180. Other boutiques of note include Swept Away at 210 Duval (305-2948027) where Kerry Carperter designs sportswear. There are .perhaps 100 offerings; a big seller for this winter is a hand-painted cotton summer shirt. Prices range from $28 to $34. Bay Trading at 501 Duval (305294-5939) has both men's and women's sportswear. This winter the emphasis is on hand-painted cotton batik fabrics in traditional Indonesian patterns. Prices run $60 for a jumpsuit, $50 for a dress, $25 for shirts and $8 for a simple sun visor. Street (305-296-6076), boasts that almost 90 percent of the artists showing there live in Key West. At the barnlike Guild Hall Gallery (614 Duvall, 305-296-8900), visitors can see the works of 14 local artists displaying everything from paintings and watercolors to soft sculptures and stained glass. The East Martello Art Gallery and Historical Museum, a onetime Yankee-held Civil War fort at 3501 South Roosevelt Boulevard (305-296-3913), has a collection of painted woodcarvings of old Key West scenes by Mario Sanchez. Admission is $1.25. Restaurants If you were to try to name the best restaurant in Key West you would certainly get into an argument, but over the years the Pier House (1 Duval, 305-294-9541) has remained No. 1 for many. A popular dish is the fresh catch of the day (usually yellowtail snapper) sauteed with avocado and mango in Key lime butter ($17.95). Another restaurant of note is Louie's Back Yard (700 Waddell Street, 305-294-1061). The special- ity is a new American cuisine that might include grilled tuna with ginger, coriander and Macadamia nut butter ($17.95).' A place consistently popular with residents is the Buttery, 1208 Simonton Street (305-294-1061). One speciality is bay scallops en papillote — scallops, carrots, snow peas, scallions and mushrooms lightly seasoned with jalapenos, fresh lime, white wine and butter and baked in parchment ($14.95). Henry's, at the Casa Marina (1500 Reynolds Street, 305-2963535), also is excellent. Stone crab claws, a Florida Key special, is served cold with a Dijon mustard and cream sauce or drawn butter at $7.95 or hot as an entree at $17.95. Food at the Rooftop (310 Front Street, 305-294-2042) includes Caribbean prickly shrimp as an appetizer — chopped shrimp with various spices rolled in fine noodles and deep fried with soy sauce and scallops ($5). Rooftop Shrimp in a main course; it is shrimp rolled in herb-seasoned bread crumbs and broiled ($14.95). All restaurants named take major credit cards; reservations are recommended. Prices given do not include wines. Most popular is California chardonnay at around $25 a bottle. Duval Street is lined with night spots. One of the most raucous is Sloppy Joe's at 201 Duval Street (305-294-5717), where Ernest Hemingway is supposed to have done his drinking. Actually, he drank more around the corner at Captain Tony's Saloon, then called Sloppy Joe's. Captain Tony's is at 428 Greene Street (305-296-9417). nental United States. March and April are considered the prime months to watch. But the comet should not distract from Key West's main event — the sunset as best seem from Mallory Square. There are acrobats, jugglers, fire eaters, high-wire walkers, pickpockets and, this year, a cat that jumps through hoops. When the sun sinks into the sea there is an appreciative round of hand- clapping. Theater The heavens Halley's Comet is best seen in this country in Key West, the .southern-most point in the contj- There is a flourishing theatrical world in Key West. The best of these groups probably is the Red Barn Theater at 319 Duval Street (305-296-9911). "A Souvenir: Tennessee Williams Remembered" will be repeated every weekend during the winter at Saturday and Sunday matinees. It consists of readings from the works of the author, who once lived here. The Waterfront Playhouse on Mallory Square (305-294-5015) plans to end its season April 21 to May 5 with' 'Torch Song Trilogy." The most prolific theater is the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center on Stock Island, the first island next to Key West. Its program runs almost non-stop through the winter and visitors should check with Bill Anderson at 305-294-6232. Tickets to Red Barn productions are $10. The Waterfront Theater charges $10 for musicals; $8 for Water sports Almost every type of water sport abounds in Key West. Windsurfing rentals are available at almost every beach at $8 to $15 an hour. The glass-bottom boat Fireball journeys frequently to the nearby coral reefs. Cost is $8, $3 for children (305-296-6293). Snorkeling is big business. One shop sponsoring trips to the nearby coral reef is Reef Raiders at 109 Duval (305-296-3387). Others are the Princess Fleet at 1 Duval (305-296-3387) and the Key West Pro Dive Shop at 1605 North Roosevelt Boulevard (305-2963823). Rates usually run about $15 to $20 a person. Fishing is the principal sport for many visitors and there are a score or more of charter boats for hire at Garrison Bight, an anchorage inside Key West proper. Some captains do not have telephones so it is better to go there in late afternoon and dicker for the next days. Trips into the Gulf Stream 20 or 30 miles out (blue martin, sailfish, etc.) cost around $75 a person for a one-day outing. Hotels This 2-by-4-mile chunk of coral island has around 110 hotels, scores of guest houses and such motels as bays Inn and Howard Johnson's. It is difficult to find a double (See Travel, Page 7)

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