Jump to Navigation
Our Columnists
Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Linda Cunningham's picture
Key West is my home. I can't stop climate change and sea level rise. I can't create jobs and tourist attractions that sustain the economy while protecting the environment. But, from newcomer's point of view, I can give voice to those who can.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 — Linda Cunningham

If you get all muggly snuggly over your resident iguanas, go read something else. Right now. Because …
Smashed. Dead. I am not sharing my Key West bathroom with an iguana.

It’s challenging enough to share it with four cats, a husband and the brown anoles with no shame about lizarding across my kitchen counters. The line is drawn this side of three-feet-minus-the-tail iguanas.

Monday, April 01, 2013 — Linda Cunningham


You know how polite people invite house guests to come stay a while? And, how polite people smile and say. “sure,” and never show up?

That’s not Key West. Nope, invite house guests to Key West and they actually come. As I told my husband, “Finally, we live in a place where people will show up.” I’ve got this refrigerator magnate that says: “Life on an island: Everyone says yes.”...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 — Linda Cunningham

Here’s the deal: If one be post-40 (I could argue for post-30) and were last on a bicycle at 10, then one ought not be riding one in Key West — or anywhere else for that matter.

Key West brings out wobblers and weavers. Those “how-hard-could-it-be” folks who believe riding a bicycle is, well, as easy as riding a bicycle. Off the cruise ships and day trips they come, heading straight for the myriad rent-a...

Monday, March 11, 2013 — Linda Cunningham

If Disney did chickens, they’d be Key West chickens.

Arrogant, independent, decidedly territorial and, OK, cocky, Key West’s 2,000 or so chickens — though who’s counting I can’t imagine — rank up there with the six-toed Hemingway cats as tourist magnets and the scourge of locals wanting to sleep in.


Monday, February 18, 2013 — Linda Cunningham

A good portion of Key West’s 2.6 million tourists stop to primp in my office window on Whitehead Street. They don’t realize the mirror effect for them means they’re just inches from my to-them-invisible desk.

I learn about their families, listen to their enthusiastic reviews of architecture, the bars and the Hemingway House. I watch as they dig out a map or smartphone to figure out where they are, and I...

Friday, February 15, 2013 — Linda Cunningham

Ker-flush. Gurgle. Clunk.
Ah, the sound of the neighbor’s toilet.
Or, how about skritch-scratch-purrrrr? The neighbor’s cat snuggles into the outside cubbyhole beside your bedroom door — and taunts your kitties into hissing killers in the middle of the night.

If one doesn’t want to share the neighbors’ lives, one ought not move to Key West — or Manhattan, for that matter. It’s an adjustment for...

Friday, November 30, 2012 — Linda Cunningham

Key West. Manhattan without the skyscrapers.

It’s a comparison helpful in explaining why Key West isn’t Florida. The cheek-by-jowl closeness of houses whose neighbors share their breakfast flavors and domestic squabbles.

The dissonance of a dozen different languages and a hundred regional...