Denizens of Duval, Key West
There really are lots of chickens in the streets of Key West. You can hear roosters crowing on almost every street. We saw several chickens with babies on the sides of some streets. I found it a little strange to see so many chickens running wild when you consider that there are also many cats that live in the streets of Key West. And then of course there is the woman in the chicken suit we saw on Duval Street. My camera actually captured this so I know it was not something I saw from drinking too much.
The name Conch Republic was adopted by the Keys residents who, in 1982 in response to a US Border Patrol blockade set up in Florida City. The Keys' residents felt they were being discriminated against. In response, the Keys suceded from the Union and the Conch Republic was born.
The wackiness didn't end there, but the rebellion did. The conch republic immediately "surrendered" to the US government and, in true "only in America" fashion, demanded one billion dollars in aid and war relief. Despite the surrender, the independence of the conch republic is celebrated every year in the Keys.
duval street is home to a number of street entertainers looking for tips. you will run into "pirates" with parrots and other costumed street characters. pictured is a guy who tells dirty jokes for a dollar. i normally don't give money to street beggars but i found his pitch clever so i gave him a buck.
The best time to shop on Duval St. is at 3:30. Everyone is getting gussied up for the Sunset Celebration, or dinner. You will have the shops to yourself!