No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, April 26, 2019

“You can never win or lose If you don't run the race…” -Psychedelic Furs

April 25, 2019


“You can never win or lose
If you don't run the race…”
-Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs are one of my favorite bands ever, I have quietly over the years been to about twenty of their live shows, dating back to the mid-eighties when I saw them numerous times during what was the peak of their career. In recent years, the band has toured pretty much non-stop and I have seen then perhaps six or seven times in the past decade. It used to be that I would have to travel to Ft. Lauderdale to catch them at the Culture Room, where they seem to play every tour. 


Since the opening of the Key West Theater, the band has added Key West as a stop on their tour itinerary and they returned once again this year. I of course, had purchased my usual table 4 at the Theater for that front row experience and was thrilled to once again have the band back in my hometown. 

The evening prior to the Furs show at the Theater, Kathy and I were out at MaryEllen’s Bar for their weekly fundraising event, the Vibrator Races. This week the beneficiary of the event was a charity that Kathy has been volunteering for during the past few years, Little Pink Houses of Hope.  The charity provides week-long retreats for the families of those dealing with breast cancer and many of these families take their retreat week here in Key West.

The vibrator races are a crazy and fun way of raising funds and have in the past year and a half raised well over $100,000 for various charities. Patrons place bets on which of the multiple and varied vibrators will win each of six races held over the course of the evening with the winning better receiving half of the total money raised each race and the other half going to the charity.

Kathy and I are thankful to a number of our friends who choose to come out and support the cause and bet on their favorite vibrator. The charity raised over $1000 in a couple of hours in what was a successful and fun evening of racing. The races are held each week in support of a different charity and are well worth checking out for what is a unique, fun and silly Key West experience.

Kathy was scheduled to work for Little Pink Houses the next evening as well at the Full Moon Party which unfortunately was rained out. The bad news was that I had already given her Furs ticket away, the good news is that she was able to join us pre-show with our friends the Fords at Misohappy for some yummy sushi. I had invited our friends Greta, Caitlin and Cale to go to the show and even though we got caught in a drenching rain, we still made it to our seats before the band went on.

Cale and Effie

The show was yet another excellent performance by the Furs, marred somewhat by truly terrible sound quality, especially on the lead vocals of singer Richard Butler, which is perhaps the most important part of the Furs sound. It improved somewhat as the show went on, but not enough to matter that much. It was a real shame that you could barely hear his vocals for much of the show.

Still it was a great evening and it is always fun to introduce people unfamiliar with a band to them, thankfully all my guests seemed to enjoy the show. Hopefully the band will be back in Key West for their next tour as well. I know they are doing a major summer tour this year with the band James that would be worth checking out if it should visit your hometown.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Taste of Key West

April 20, 2019


A Taste of Key West

One of the most anticipated events on the annual social calendar in Key West is the amazing yearly food festival known as a Taste of Key West. This year marks the 23rd year that the annual foodie fest has taken place in Key West and this year it was once again held right downtown at historic Mallory Square, which is the site of the nightly Sunset Celebration.



Over the years the festival has moved around the island to various locations, but now it seems to have found a permanent home with the fabulous Key West sunset as its backdrop in what can only be described as happy circumstance. A couple of years ago, construction at its former home at the Truman Waterfront predicated the movement of the festival to what was thought to be a temporary home at Mallory, but it has worked out so well that it may be held there for the long haul.


The event which brings together a collection of some of the finest restaurants in the Keys, who each serve up small but yummy representative selections for the assembled masses, also includes a wonderful selection of fine wines, craft beer and yummy desserts that satisfy even the most difficult to please foodie.


For years the event was mostly the purview of locals, who flocked in massive numbers to what has always been one of the more popular events of the year. You would always run into to just about everyone at Taste of Key West, including many people who you seemed to see only once a year at the event. The move to a larger and more popular public space has opened the event up to a much larger percentage of tourists, many who may be heading to Mallory Square to catch the sunset, not even aware that the food festival is happening.


While this may take away a little of the locals only feel of the event, it has allowed it to open up and expand as this year marks the largest collection of food booths ever at the event. More people and more food means more money raised and since the event is one of the biggest fundraising opportunities for AH Monroe, the local AIDS Help charity, it is really a wonderful thing.

Larry and Prue

My friend Nadene and her crew at We’ve Got the Keys was once again the event organizer this year and they seem to go above and beyond year after year in producing an amazing fun, tasty and successful event. Just about perfect weather did not hurt and the diversity and plethora of fine food options was unsurpassed. It was a huge success and I came away full, even having to give away some of my food tickets as I was not able to stay for the entire event as Kathy and I had tickets to see “Rent” at Tennessee Williams the same night.


Trying to pick a favorite among all the wonderful food presented at the event is just about impossible, though I have to give a special shout out to Chef John Correa of Café Sole. Every year since I have been attending, which is most years, I always get a bowl of the amazing Portobella Mushroom Soup that they serve. This year in fact, I returned three times for more soup, so if that is any indication, I think it is pretty damn good.



But all of the food is excellent and there are also almost always new beers and wines to sample as well. It is just such a joy to have access to such a wide and delicious variety of Keys cuisine in a truly beautiful setting. We never make it down to Mallory Square unless we have out of town friends in town, but it is always nice to enjoy a sunset there. There is a reason that thousands of visitors head there each evening and every once in a while it is nice to see what all the fuss is about.