Going out with the inside tracks of the islanders

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Mimi McDonald and David Black at the premiere of ‘Quarantine For Two’ at the Red Barn Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO

In this series, we tap into the comings and goings of eclectic locals to find out what they do, eat, read, watch, and maybe even purge themselves of their daily escapades in “paradise.”

Compose your own itinerary with the help of these islanders inside the tracks.

This edition features post-quarantine theater offerings, happy hours with a focus on food (because, really), and even the one-person quick dish that’s always a late-night crowd pleaser.

A “quarantine for two” and global readings from Key West

—Scott Burau, senior executive and literary guide

Reading: I get way too many magazines in the mail. On the coffee table right now I have the winter copy of The Paris Review, this week’s New Yorker, and a quarterly review of Threepenny. Over the past few weeks, I’ve savored Alex Dimitrov’s incredible collection “Love and Other Poems”. Go read “New York” now to (re)fall in love with the city – and its work. I’ve been on a kick from Key West with the last two books. Two weeks ago I finished “Southernmost,” by Silas House, and I’m almost done with Megan Marshall’s biography of Elizabeth Bishop.

Scott Burau, senior manager and literary tour guide, says he enjoys the pizza at Onlywood Grill.

Scott Burau, senior manager and literary tour guide, says he enjoys the pizza at Onlywood Grill.

While eating: We had visitors in town last week and took them to some of our favourites: Bel Mare for their fantastic prawn orecchiette; Onlywood Grill for excellent pizza; Antonia is for a Manhattan at TK’s bar. It’s hard to beat the happy hour water views at Louie’s and Four Marlins, so we recently made stops at both. I’m going back to the kitchen next week and picked up some new Vietnamese and Thai recipes, made possible by a little trip down to Tindahan on Big Pine.

Involvement: I absolutely loved settling into a Red Barn seat for Hy Conrad’s fantastic ‘Quarantine for Two’. Opening night was the first indoor crowd since March 2020. It was wonderful to laugh with so many friends in attendance. Before that, we sat in the courtyard to see the Steve & Eydie tribute “Walking Happy” and the season opener “Cats Talk Back.” We can’t wait to see upcoming productions across the city.

Scott Burau has collaborated with The New Yorker, The Paris Review and other literary publications.  COURTESY PICTURES

Scott Burau has collaborated with The New Yorker, The Paris Review and other literary publications. COURTESY PICTURES

A treat for late night crowds

— Diane May, funmaker at Shenanigans I love to cook! I love hearing how much people appreciate what I do for them. Throughout my life, I have collected and modified recipes. I am currently having fun with chocolate in the kitchen. I love mole sauce. The Cincinnati chili is amazing. Grilled cheese sandwiches with dark chocolate instead of cheese are a treat for late night crowds. And they all go wonderfully with red wines. I also like to make salad dressings. You can never go back to the bottle! I like to share recipes.

Good ‘Ole Pride and theater

Grilled cheese is the ultimate late-night crowd pleaser for fun-loving She-nanigans Diane May.  PHOTO BY ASNIM ANSARI

Grilled cheese is the ultimate late-night crowd pleaser for fun-loving She-nanigans Diane May. PHOTO BY ASNIM ANSARI

— Fritzie Estimond, KWBG Events Coordinator Involvement: Obviously, I’m going to be a little biased and say Pride! Specifically, although we were able to hold Pride last year, we weren’t able to hold our parade, which is my favorite part of the festivities. So I’m really excited to have the Pride Parade back. Oh and the theatre! It was really exciting to be back in the theatre. I’ve seen so many good ones, but Fringe Theater’s “August Wilson: How I Learned What I Learned” was phenomenal! I saw it shamelessly three times.

Listen: I have a good balance between daily podcast listening and hip hop, R&B and pop music. I try to stay on top of the latest music as it comes out, but it comes out so fast now. I don’t really have time to sit with some of the music like before, but I still enjoy it.

While eating: Since the pandemic, I have been cooking a lot. I usually go out to eat occasionally. If I go out for anything it’s usually for lunch and I really order from anywhere. It all depends on the mood. Anywhere from Fausto to coffee. I love Sugar Apple once in a while, White House Subs and even Misohappy on occasion.

A singer and her livestreams

—Libby York, jazz singer Listen: I just got back from singing at the Jazz Forum in New York and really enjoyed hearing Billy Stritch at Birdland while I was there. Also, I have to listen a lot to the songs on my new CD in depth since we are mixing the recording. And if there’s one good thing about the pandemic, it’s that I’ve gotten used to listening to great live streams such as pianist Emmet Cohen’s Monday night broadcast.

Rediscover: I always like to walk around the cemetery in Key West, which is close to my home. And my daily swim at MLK Jr. Pool or Fort Zach. Exploring by bike is the best!

The joy of happy hours

—Jordan Upchurch, hospitality While eating: I’m a big fan of happy hours! They offer the best food at the best price. And who doesn’t want to feel like they’re enjoying an affordable menu? My favorites include Half Shell Raw Bar, Boat House, Onlywood and Off The Hook. At Boat House, I enjoy the overall vibe of the place because it’s big, lively, and has one of the best bars in Key West. I also love the coconut shrimp, mushroom and steak skewers, and the bread of course.

Listen: I really enjoy the Durtbags at Rick’s and Ross Brown. I also went to a concert a few weeks ago with The Red Not Chili Peppers on the Sunset Pier and they were amazing! ¦

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