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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Un-Real Real Estate in Key West



I have written  about Ronny Bailey before. He is a former Key West builder who turned in his "trade" to become a folk artist extraordinaire.  In stead of building big houses, he now creates paintings and small art installations that depict real Key West cottages, homes, and commercial businesses.


Some of Ronny's current works will be on display at the Key West Craft Show this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) on Whitehead Street between the hours of 10:00 to 5:00.  If you are in Key West you really need to stop by and take a look at his work. He puts so much love into each piece. You can tell that by looking at the pieces he has created. His art preserves a part of Key West that cannot be re-done with marble or stainless steel nor Hardiboard siding. Every piece that Ronny makes is fashioned out of wood - even the "metal roofs" and red fire engine are made of wood.

I had the  opportunity to photograph two of his pieces on Friday morning. As I was taking photos people that were walking by stopped to take a look (or photograph)  and marvel at what this man has created.  Those of us who love Key West's great architecture hold Ronny to be a treasure in his own right. The two pieces shown are the Historic Key West Fire Station #3 located at the corners of Virginia and Grinnell Streets and the Old Town Bakery (the former Salgado Brother's Grocery) at 930 Eaton Street. Take a peek and then go take a look at the real thing at the craft show. Tell Ronny you read about this on my blog. He gets a kick out that. And so do I.



By the way the actual Old Town Bakery has the best home made pastries in town. I am on a perpetual living diet so I can't eat the great goodies they make there. (Well, I did cheat a couple of times.)  Stop by some morning and buy a couple of pastries and coffee. It's a treat. CLICK HERE to view 930 Eaton Street Click the link - I'm proud of these pics.
 
The second floor sleeping quarters photos did not come out the way I had hoped. That floor has similar detail as the main level and facade. The names of old Key West fire fighters like Chief Bum Farto, Bethel, Gates and others line the wall. Theses are the surnames of current Key West residents. After you have lived in Key West a while you begin to sincerely appreciate the heritage Conchs and freshwater Conchs (like me) have for the families who have lived on our little island for decades. CLICK HERE to view the FIRE STATION. Click the link - I'm proud of these pics.


Viewing old buildings through the perspective of Ronny Bailey's eyes gives the viewer a real sense of appreciation for the un-real real estate the artist sees. On each piece he creates you will see three simple words:  Joy, Love, and Peace. And I guarantee you will see lots of whimsy as well!  Instead of buying a lot of tee shirts or hot sauce, buy a painting, a lithograph, or even an art installation like Old Town Bakery or Fire Station #3.  And then call me to buy a house.




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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.