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But on Duval Street, the pulsing artery of the tourist’s Key West, slantwise across the street from an open-air bar where not a minute of the day passes without the accompaniment of live acoustic guitar, are the towering wooden doors of the San Carlos Institute.

There’s a large two-story house just north of 36th Street on the borders of Little Haiti and the Design District painted Port-Au-Prince baby blue and surrounded by unruly bougainvillea, morning glory vines, and empty cognac bottles. The downstairs has been claustrophobic since the windows were covered with concrete; the wood floors have gone scuffed and scratched and a steep, groaning staircase leads to the rooms on the second floor.

With last year’s publication of Zona, his book on Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, Geoff Dyer has further established himself as someone who can write about just anything. His subjects have included the Venice Biennale, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Burning Man, and World War I statuary. Here, he talks to Hunter Braithwaite about boredom, a writer’s youth, and “inhaling the dead.”

Magical times have perhaps waned, and hopes for a real dragon would be absurd, but the children need some sort of payoff. The circus is in town. Specifically, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents “Dragons.”