Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Florida Keys Journal: Marathon
photograph of Seven Mile Bridge by Hallie Cohen
Marathon which lies in the middle of the archipelago is the
largest of the Keys and the Seven Mile Bridge between Marathon and Big Pine is the
longest. Parallel to it are the remnants of the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad conceived by the oil tycoon, Henry Flagler in l912, a feat of engineering and design (termed "the eighth wonder of the world") that would be
destroyed by the Hurricane of l935. Marathon was so named due to the speed with
which the original tracks had been laid. True
Lies and Fast and Furious both used
the railway line as locations. The oldest house in town was lived in by
Bahamanians who turned sea sponge into a birth control device. As you proceed southward huge billboards advertising Sandal Outlet where four tee shirts can be purchased for $10 are as ubiquitous as the Key Deer,
Lilliputian versions of the animals that account for the Adirondack hunting
season. These miniature creatures are so prized that a driver who hits one will have
his license taken away. There are dozens of small islands off the Seven Mile Bridge
which wealthy yacht owners use as a backyard for their boats. From the distance
you can see piers reaching out into the water from these otherwise uninhabited
spits of land. JZ apparently bought one for Beyonce. You know you're getting
closer to Key West when you begin to see cafes along the highway with names
like the Buck Tooth Rooster (roosters are ubiquitous in Key West) and you hear the fighter jets flying overhead from Naval Air Station Key West.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.