Friday, March 25, 2011

About Key West

Louie's Backyard
A mojito with a view at Louie's Backyard.

Key West is one of the most awesome places on the planet. Many people come here to visit and never leave.  At one point in time, it was the richest per capita spot in the U.S., thanks to the wrecking business. As a passing point between the Caribbean and Latin America by the Florida Straits, Key West has seen its rich share of history and characters.  Tiny but full of spunk (and no, not that kind, you mongrel), Key West has a charm and hospitality all its own. Never mind the tshirt shops on Duval Street or the college kids at the bars -- there's something here for all jaded adults to unwind and have fun without the pressure and plastic of South Beach.

The south easternmost point of the continental U.S. is actually in Elliott Key near Miami.  But this year, we'll be at the southernmost point of all.

Here are some morsels:

A forum thread about the destination at Miami Beach 411, led by @vicequeenmaria.  Here are other posts about the Florida Keys at Sex and the Beach.

And don't forget the official Florida Keys Visitor's site for more information.

Parking Info

Parking at Eden House is limited, on a first come, first serve basis. However, there is free street parking around the residential area surrounding the hotel. Visitor spots are clearly marked; there is one visitor spot for every two residential ones.  A municipal lot is located on Caroline and Grinnel Streets and charges a $13 a day maximum. For more info, visit Key West Florida Park and Ride.

If you are not familiar with Key West, do note that if you come here by car, you will NOT need your car throughout your stay. It's better to walk or take a cab.

Schedule of Events


Lazy day for anyone arriving early. @vicequeenmaria plans on being there. PALO! will be playing at The Green Parrot (that's also an official pub crawl stop on Saturday) and singer/guitarist Deblois Milledge will be at the Smokin' Tuna.


Key West Pub Crawl


Chevy SxSe Caravan returns to Miami! Can't make it to SxSe on Saturday? Join us either at Porky's Bayside BBQ in Marathon for lunch (10% off food bill only for SxSe wristband wearers) or at Rum Runners in Islamorada for sunset refreshment (specials TBA).

Remember, SxSe is an unconference with a loosely organized schedule! Join for all or some of the fun.  Other things we may or may not do at some point over the weekend:
  • Anytime at Island Dogs Bar: SxSe wristband wearers get 10% off their food and drink bill Friday - Sunday
  • Drag Queen shows on Duval Street
  • Stop by The Rum Bar at The Speakeasy Inn to say hello to Bahama Bob
  • Desserts at Better Than Sex
  • Optional sailing, snorkeling and other recreational activities plus tours of local museums and attractions (please make your own arrangements)
  • The usual shenanigans, including the signing of the big panties

Getting to Key West

If you are flying into Miami or Fort Lauderdale, please ping @vicequeenmaria for transportation options.

If you decide to fly directly into Key West, a taxi from the airport to Eden House should be about $20.

For locals, we have some group ride options as well. Check out the Chevy Caravan.

Room Reservation Info 2011

The Eden House is Key West, Florida's original  hotel.

Greetings SxSe'rs! We are pleased to announce that the Eden House in Key West will be our main hotel headquarters for this year's event.  Eden House was gracious enough to give us great rates at a location fair stumbling distance from Duval Street and Mallory Square.

"Built back in 1924, the hotel has been owned and operated since 1975 by Mike Eden. Now fully renovated, the original art deco hotel building is joined by several renovated conch houses."


Here is what you need to know to reserve your room. Do it asap as rates are guaranteed up to Monday, July 18th, but not availability!
  • call 1-800-533-5397 and say "sxse tweetup" (that's south-by-southeast) when you make your reservation
  • room rates for SxSe -- for semi-privates to quadruple occupancy suites, range from $105 to $290 with 15% off plus tax
  • there are NO resort fees
  • you will be responsible for your own reservation, which requires a 50% deposit
  • cancellation policy is up to 20 days before your day of arrival, after that you get a credit in the amount of your deposit to use for up to a year

  • complimentary happy hour 4-5 pm
  • 20% off breakfast and lunch at Azur Restaurant next door
  • free limited parking -- first come, first served (more Key West parking info here)
  • access to pool, jacuzzi, sun deck and hammocks
  • free wifi by pool and lobby (it's not guaranteed in rooms)
  • spa discounts at another hotel or in-room massages if your room is big enough (sorry, no happy endings)
  • discount cards for restaurants around the island
  • bike rentals on premises for a modest fee (deposit required)
The Eden House is located at 1015 Fleming Street. If you have any reservation issues regarding the rates, please tweet @sxse.

What happens if all rooms get booked at Eden House? Don't worry. Please look at other properties in the Key West that best suit your budget and needs. The SxSe main tweetup will take place at a local bar on Saturday, July 15.  For more info, check out the Pub Crawl.


What is SxSe?

It all started in 2008. A few folks from around the country, connected by Twitter, decided to get together with their mutual Twitter pals in South Florida. This happened in April, about a month after the acclaimed conference in Austin known as SXSWi (South by Southwest Interactive).

The event name SxSe (South by South East, rhymes with sexy) is simply a spoof; had we been located in Bum F*ck Egypt, we might've called the event BFE. SxSe has nothing to do with SXSWi whatsoever -- it's just a big-ass party taking place in the nation's dicktip. There are no panels, powerpoint or keynote addresses; however, there is plenty of great discussion, bonding and friendship. If there's anything professional about SxSe, it's a very high standard of olympic-quality mojito drinking.

What's up with the giant panties?

Well, in 2008, @annohio was traveling around the country going to many tweetups. She took a Giant Panty with her every where she went, to be signed by the many wonderful Twitter peeps she met along the way. The Giant Panty was kind of like a Flat Stanley, or as the geeks would say, "a social object." The first Miami Giant Panty signing took place in 2008 at a Jeff Pulver social media breakfast, where the idea of "social tagging" was already featured in the form of sticky notes.

The next day, more participants signed the Giant Panty at Monty's. At one point, @vicequeenmaria grabbed the panty and asked @dearyvette to hold the other end. It was at this moment that the Giant Panty Limbo Dance was born. Giant Panties, as well as bras, briefs and crocs, played a prominent role in SxSe 2009.  It's most likely that the tradition will continue every year.

What should I expect at a SxSe event?

We have a bunch of fun things planned for the weekend.  You can pick and choose; come to one or all. It's really up to you. You'll make new friends or reconnect with old ones. Laugh, dance, drink, eat and be generally merry.

Again, there will be no panels, unless you consider a "panel" to be the heavy-duty weaving on the crotch area of giant panty. As a matter of fact, we may well have an unpanel during which we impart no information whatsoever.

Important social media subjects such as ...
  • how to properly hug someone you've only ever talked to on Twitter when you meet in real life
  • fine-tuning your social media douchebag radar
  • avoiding dating within your Twitter circle
  • why your BMI is more important than your Twitter follower count

 ... and so on, may be discussed spontaneously poolside over cocktails.

SxSe is your blank canvas for fun. Nobody cares about pimping social media bullshit here, which is what makes it particularly, brilliantly and truly social media.

If there are no geeks and social media panels, what the hell am I gonna talk about?

Since the middle ages, clerics and wise men have asked: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? At SxSe, we can discuss: how many mint leaves should be muddled in a mojito? ... and so forth. If you want to drop abbreviations like "SEO" and "ROI" all night, that's fine -- everyone is welcome to discuss what they please -- but we can't guarantee such talk will get you a lap dance. (Dropping trou won't guarantee that either ...)

Good grief. I hate dancing. Do I really need to know how to pole dance?

Ay caramba! We don't care if you want to spend the entire night like an ostrich with your head stuck in the toilet, although that kind of foolishness, admittedly, would not be fun. Chances are, however, that if you're reading this, it's because you're into social media, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to hurry down to your closest Fred Murray studio. If you're choreographically challenged, no worries! Leave the ass-shaking and pole-grinding to those of us who thrive on the threat of blackmail!

Do I have to be on Twitter to attend?

No. But it sure as hell helps. Basically, the whole innernets is welcome to attend the events announced in the itinerary. If you're not on Twitter, you'll miss out on keeping up with all the great new friends you'll make in South Florida.

WTF is Twitter?

In a nutshell, Twitter is an online social space where people share information in short bursts of writing -- each message is no longer than 140 characters. You follow a group of people with whom you share conversations and over time, this motley crew of friends begins to care about each other and want to hang out.