Thursday, December 07, 2006

Back in Paradise, Join Me

One of the first things I noticed returning to Key West after almost a year in Central America is the number of shiny new public buildings in town. Almost all public buildings in Costa Rica have a humble, flaking-paint shabbiness about them that seems to assure the locals they are not overspending to be bossed around. Here the government is living large, and bossing us around more than ever.

The US Weather Service Hurricane Shrine on White Street steps nicely outside the recent bombproof-bunker trend in government architecture, pouring tax dollars into a sculptural monument to bad weather. On the other hand, the Homeland Security building perched on stilts over the hallowed ground of the former Hukilau looks like a gun emplacement. Painting it pale yellow is the architectural equivalent of putting daisy stickers on your M-16. At the new Poinciana School cheerful tropical colors fail to mitigate an undeniable concrete authoritarianism.

I think of it as the Painted Trollop School of public works design, paint and plaster striving to hide a sordid truth.

Local politics continue to amuse. An apparent check forger won a seat on the school board while the county commission turned a Stock Island property owner into a lottery winner, paying millions for a piece of land the county doesn’t need and no one wants. The parcel features a tiny patch of waterfront remarkable for the number of floating fish heads that wash ashore and for a uniquely industrial sunset view. I understand the land and the dilapidated wood structure on it will be “preserved” for posterity.

On my first day in town a newly elected commissioner got some front page space for proposing to protect his own business with an ordinance that would drastically limit property rights. The good commissioner was wringing his hands over a possible dire shortage of drunks and wet T-shirt contestants if the appalling trend in condo conversions continues. Heaven forefend such a curse.

The commissioner needn’t fret, however, with a five year real estate inventory on offer and thousands of condos in the pipeline the frenzy to sell hotel rooms for $1500 a square foot should resolve itself into a frenzy of lawsuits against developers, realtors and mortgage brokers. This will probably happen long before the commish runs out of coeds with fake ID’s.

The commissioner’s proposal confirms one of O’Boyle’s theories of social trend spotting (OTOSTS). The theory says that government actions are accurate counter-indicators of social moods and trends. If a government agency or commission makes a proposal to take advantage of or limit a trend, you can be sure the trend has peaked and will soon be over. Since the commission is proposing to end condo conversions, it’s a near certainty they are doomed anyway.

Interestingly, the end of the trend the commissioner now thinks will continue forever, the Great Keys Real Estate Bubble (GKREB), was the inspiration for my family’s adventure in Central America. Returning now, I’m not surprised to see the GKREB deflating predictably, with enormous inventories of unsold property and a local government, woozy with windfall property taxes, expanding aggressively as the population shrinks.

Prices climb a wall of worry, as the saying goes, and slide down a slope of hope. Hope is palpable in the conversations I’ve had since returning, conversations that still swirl around the heady values imagined for a common mix of dirt, brick, nails and wood. Hope is a word that appears with surprising regularity in e-mails I receive from people with property for sale all over Florida and elsewhere. A lack of worry and abundance of hope is a clear trend indicator.

But for all that, I’m a great fan of hope. Though it can be ruinously harmful in making financial decisions, hope remains essential for facing an uncertain future and maintaining the eccentric grace and good humor I’ve always loved in the people who make this peculiar rock their home.

I’m enjoying seeing old friends and being back on this little island paradise that I fell in love with more than 30 years ago. I hope to induce those friends to visit or even move to my new love, Costa Rica, a place with much the same charm of a Key West now long gone.

If you can’t visit Costa Rica, however, I hope all of you, my loyal readers, will join me for the First Annual Hal O’Boyle Blue Paper Happy Hour and Bar Fight (FAHOBBPHHABF). My always encouraging editor, Dennis Cooper, has finally offered to compensate me for three years as house curmudgeon with a meal and a drink. Apparently the occasional letter calling for my beheading has not convinced him that very many people read this column. A good turn out will earn me another sandwich and a beer in three years.

It will take place at Seaweeds at the Blue Lagoon Hotel on N. Roosevelt Blvd., on Monday evening, December 11, at 5:30 pm. It will be my last night in Key West before returning to San Jose for what will probably be a good long time.

For your safety and amusement my stunt double will be tending bar and all attendees are encouraged to carry firearms. I hope you will join me to lift a glass to Key West past and future. I will not try to sell you a book.


Technorati Tags

8 Comments:

Blogger costa rica said...

Great investment opportunity at Costa Rica Pacific Coast, Preconstruction condos in costa rica ,
Condo sales in costa rica, Retirement property in costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.ramadajaco.com/

3/09/2007 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello it seems to me a very pretty pagina and very entrenidad, has a good service for all those people that visits many congratulations by a good site
I invite all that interested person to know a little on my Web site

Condos In Costa Rica.

What is a condominium?
A condominium is a type ownership where certain parts of the property (the units) are owned by individuals, and certain parts (the common elements) are owned in common by the unit owners, all of whom are members of the condominium corporation (the organization responsible for the operation of the condominium). Ownership of a condominium means you own the specific unit plus individual interest in the common property. You have ownership over all space and improvements within the walls of your unit.
It is very important to know that you are buying the condominium building first and then the unit, so make sure you like the building and its financial position. I will assist you with this.
What are condo fees and are there property taxes for condos as well?
A condo fee is a fee that each owner is charged to cover the expenses of the complex and individual unit. For example, in a high-rise condominium, the condo fee includes all utilities, plus building insurance, management and reserve fund contributions. When the plan is registered at Land Titles for a condominium, a separate title is created for each unit. And shown on each title is the owners share in the common property, which is expressed in "unit factors". This "unit factor" can be based on the units proportionate square footage or the initial market price in comparison to the rest of the complex. A budget is prepared for a condominium complex, and the fees are allocated according to the unit factor of each condominium unit.
There are also property taxes for condominiums, and they are also calculated based on the unit factor.
For but information it visits my Web site the following direction http://www.ramadajaco.com

4/09/2007 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good first that nothing is possible to say that to this pagina this very complete, is very interesting, and has everything what occupied to know, I entertained much visitanto and sailing in her. I invite to them that they see a little my Web site

Costa Rica Real Estate
Properties in Costa Rica Real Estate Company is located in San Jose, the capital city of this beautiful country. We are a group of professionals whose main goal is to provide you with clear insight into the meaning of investment and purchasing real estate in Costa Rica.
We are a proven resource for Real Estate in Costa Rica. Our expertise covers a wide real estate collection in ideal locations for living, retiring or investing in Costa Rica. Our real estate inventory features a special assortment of: Costa Rica beach properties, upscale residential homes for sale, condos, investment real estate, farms, mountain properties and vacation rentals.
We understand that relocating or purchasing a vacation property is not an easy job. Moving to Costa Rica and doing business abroad requires a lot of research and reliance upon the company you may be using. We provide you with trustworthy Costa Rica real estate assistance on every step of this process.
Properties in Costa Rica main goal lies in leading you to a successful real estate transaction. We can help you get the Costa Rica real estate property or investment of your dreams.
Our real estate listing in the Central Valley combine desirable locations in West and East San Jose such as Escazu, Santa Ana, Rohrmoser, Sabana, Sabanilla, Montes de Oca and Moravia among others.
You will also find attractive real estate properties in the Central Valley provinces of Heredia and Alajuela, where locations such as la Garita and la Guacima are very appealing because of their wonderful weather, nearby facilities, very nice neighborhoods, farms and homes.
Additionally, we provide you with real estate services in both, the Pacific and Caribbean beaches and coastal regions of Costa Rica. Find your vacation home in the beach and smart investment oportunities close to the ocean. We offer quality real estate for sale in Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and other special locations outside the Central Valley.
Costa Rica is a wonderful, peaceful and stable country, experience life at it's best!
We invite you to take a tour of our web side: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com

4/12/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I want to congratulate to them by its site of the Web of the exelente looks like entertained and very good very to me it elaborated. I invite them to that they explore a little on my site of the Web.
Costa Rica Real State
In our real estate listing, we offer a great variety of land properties of all kind all over Costa Rica, from nice city houses, including condos, lots, country houses and farms, to splendorous luxury properties with extraordinary ocean views or located in front of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica.
But we don’t just find those properties for you. We also give you all the legal advising regarding Costa Rica land properties regulations; our knowledge and expertise allow us to offer you a confident and dependable advice. Likely, we will advise you on how to make the best possible real estate investment anywhere in Costa Rica.

Our real estate listing includes great opportunities on Costa Rica Central Valley’s provinces such as San Jose, our Capital, with remarkable cities as Escazu at the west, or Curridabat at the east, experiencing a great development on both commercial and residential properties, making their real estate pricing highly attractive to investors; on other hand, Alajuela city gathers places with a very special warm weather such as Grecia, La Garita and Atenas, or beautiful farms for agricultural, cattle or nature preservation purposes as those located on San Carlos or Sarapiqui. We also offer land properties in Guanacaste, which is the province, along with Puntarenas, with the most beautiful tropical beaches on the Pacific Coast such as Tamarindo, Playa Grande, El Coco, Playa Hermosa, Nosara, Samara, Herradura, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Golfito, where the real estate business occupies the first place as the local economic activity.
We can’t leave outside our real estate listing, land properties of great beauty on the Costa Rica Carribean Coast like Tortuguero, Limon, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Gandoca Manzanillo.

We invite you to take a tour on our website, and if should more information is required.
Great investment opportunity at Costa Rica Pacific Coast, Real estate investment in costa rica ,
Retirement property in costa rica, costa rica hot market. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costaricaindex.com/

4/13/2007 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger costa rica said...

Hello I want to congratulate to you. This site is fantastic, looks like entertained and very good to me it elaborated. I invite them to that they explore a little on my site of the Web
Our real estate listing includes great opportunities on Costa Rica Central Valley’s provinces such as San Jose, our Capital, with remarkable cities as Escazu at the west, or Curridabat at the east, experiencing a great development on both commercial and residential properties, making their real estate pricing highly attractive to investors; on other hand, Alajuela city gathers places with a very special warm weather such as Grecia, La Garita and Atenas, or beautiful farms for agricultural, cattle or nature preservation purposes as those located on San Carlos or Sarapiqui. We also offer land properties in Guanacaste, which is the province, along with Puntarenas, with the most beautiful tropical beaches on the Pacific Coast such as Tamarindo, Playa Grande, El Coco, Playa Hermosa, Nosara, Samara, Herradura, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Golfito, where the real estate business occupies the first place as the local economic activity.
Great investment opportunity at Costa Rica Pacific Coast, Preconstruction condos in costa rica ,Condo sales in costa rica, Retirement property in costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com/

4/19/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Stivel Velasquez said...

A LOST GLOBAL CIVILISATION

Standard views of human history leave little room for a lost paradise. But it seems that each year brings fresh evidence suggesting that our knowledge of the ancient human past is sketchy at best. march madness For example, the recent discovery of a carved bone flute in a Slovenian cave, dated (by current estimates) at between 43,000 and 82,000 years old, suggests that humans have had music — and probably language and art as well — for a very long time indeed. What were people thinking and doing for all those millennia?
http://www.enterbet.com

3/04/2008 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

酒店兼職

酒店

酒店工作

禮服酒店

酒店兼差


酒店打工

酒店經紀

酒店上班

台北酒店



酒店pt

兼差打工

打工兼差

酒店正職 酒店賺錢 酒店喝酒 酒店消費 喝花酒 粉味 喝酒

9/25/2009 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Imitrex said...

guanacaste costa rica real estate

7/15/2010 01:05:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home