Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Florida Keys Day 3, Part 3 | Sunset is a big deal in Key West

While the sun approached the horizon, most people watched and took photos as one performer took a break between acts.

I'm not quite sure what it is with sunsets in Key West. Maybe they're so special because it means people are allowed to drink more once the sun goes down. It's certainly not because the sunsets there are any more spectacular than they are in other communities facing the Gulf of Mexico.

Nevertheless, watching one was one of those more touristy things I just had to do during my short stay in Key West. In this, the United States' southernmost city, people celebrate the sunset nearly every day. In the early evening, performers gather in Mallory Square - dancers, escape artists, tricksters - hoping to collect cash from gullible tourists.

I am not sure what this red-shirted guy's act was. I took one photo and moved on.

Many sunset cruises are available from Key West, and several of them are on sailboats, making the spectacle more interesting for those on land.

A small sailboat cruises behind an island off Mallory Square, as storm clouds on the horizon obstruct a direct view of the sun.

I stopped and watched this performer, only because he was set up in an area that had the best view of the sunset. His name is Will Soto, and he has been at this for a while. He juggled and walked a tight rope, which is visible behind him. Soto said the spectators could boo when he messed up, so that's why they were booing when this photo was taken.

The juggling became more daring as the sun went well out of view.

Soto juggles fire, a knife and an apple that he had just taken a bite from.

Like with the first act I saw, I stopped to take just one photo of this man trying to escape from chains.

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