Category Archives: Welcome to Florida
The perpetually Sunshine State may be all about miles of white sandy beaches, warm aquamarine waters, and stately palm trees but, it also is the
Bug Capital of the Region.
“La Cucaracha” was a song we sang in 8th grade Spanish class. Here, they are your roommates.
Our backyard is a vast tropical expanse. There are a dozen palm trees of varying sizes and a massive Star Fruit tree that drops bitter yellow blobs at an alarming rate.
Forget about sitting quietly and meditating while gazing upon this lush, green paradise. Everywhere you look, slithering on every tree, table, chair fencepost -are lizards, geckos and chameleons and the occasional black snake. They say the snakes are benign and supposedly good luck, however, that rising up like a Cobra-thing they do before they dart and gobble up lizards is gross.
Early on, the perpetual optimist, I thought I might take up gardening, and tame our backyard. Naïvely, I gently lifted a dangling vine, only to uncover a huge, shiny, 3-inch, brightly colored red and green bug. All aspirations for gardening ended then and there…
To the mall and beyond!
Carl Hiaasen writes for the Miami Herald…
which is funny, because the newspaper is funny. Funny in a sensational, superfluous way. Some call it “Newspaper lite.” Gertrude Stein might have described it as ‘A no there there newspaper.’ Hence, a large proportion of Floridians (who rolled down the hill from New York) subscribe to the New York Times for real news and they read Carl to be entertained.
Hiaasen also writes books. Really great books.
The Bonus: Florida has Carl Hiaasen.
On the Right coast, Carl Hiaasen is legendary. He is revered nation-wide – but, in Florida he is holy grail guy. Witty, urbane, irreverent and the author of a couple dozen best selling books. Truth be told – The Bad Monkey Book Club – a homage to CH reports that he is so compelling- so famous – women straight out of an ‘I Love Lucy’ episode, scour Florida hoping to find him, his home – just to spend a little time with him.
‘Skinny Dip’ takes on a whole new meaning with him. He is a rock star – loved by millions.
When Carl Hiaasen speaks, people listen. The native son of Florida is well aware of the myriad oddities, the bizarre behavior and rampant corruption. And so he writes thinly veiled, clever as hell, fiction about the sins of the sunshine State.
“I think in the old days, the nexus of weirdness ran through Southern California, and to a degree New York City. I think it’s changed so that every bizarre story in the country now has a Florida connection.
I don’t know why, except it must be some inversion of magnetic poles or something.” Carl Hiaasen
If you have to drive anywhere – a Hiaasen book-on-tape will make your journey laugh-out-loud-more-fun. Welcome to Florida.
See Here: Carl Hiaasen Books
I Love Lucy en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_I_Love_Lucy_episodes
Welcome to Myammy
South Florida – home to a plethora of restaurants – surely decorated by Baz Luhrmann, in a fit of Not-so-great-Gatsby.
“Florida Decor can be very theme-park and over-the-top or subtle and suitable. Take your pick.
One does have to adjust to the fact: ‘Everything is located in a strip mall’ – including, the cleaners, the upscale restaurant, the hardware store…
Welcome to South Florida
My Best of MyammyBest Dine-Outside– Argentinian – Intracoastal-View – Superlative Service- Restaurant – Kaluz
Best H’Wood Bakery – Chocolada - skip the restaurant –go to the divine Pastry display- oh la la!
Best Movie Theater– FTL the Classic Gateway No glitz – just charm; big selling point:no previews.
Best H’Wood French – Le Comptoir – famed for Mussels and Pomme Frittes, Steak
Best Over-the-Top-Big Décor Very Good Italian – Brio Tuscan Grille– Bisc. Blvd at Gulf Stream Race Track
Best Seafood Lunch Two-fer on the Intracoastal- Blue Moon Seafood Co FTL
Best Oil Change-Sam’s Garage–a well-respected institution for decades -1021 NE 44th Ct, Oakland Pk
Best Pancake Restaurant –The Original Pancake House – 2125 Bisc. Blvd, Aventura
Best Dentist – Dr Maureen O’Flannagan -Deerfield Beach – 2nd Generation DDS /UOP Grad
Best Sunday Brunch Restaurant –The Sea Watch – Lauderdale by the Sea – Beware the lines- enjoy the Sunday scene- ocean view- plams swaying, waves crashing
Best Library: Alvin Sherman Library on NOVA Campus -FTL (Bonus: Peter Max and Dale Chihuly Exhibits)
Best Downtown Miami Restaurant – City Hall- Gold Stars: superior food, and service
Best Hardware Store– Ace Hardware 5 Star -If they don’t have ityou don’t need it17811 Bisc. Blvd.
Best Chinese – Silver Pond – 4285 Florida 7, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319
Best Ladies- Lunch with a View – FTL – Hilton Hotel- S3 – steak, seafood oceanfront
Best Dollar Store – Clean, Pristine, Sea Ranch Shopping Center – Lauderdale by the Sea
Best Target – Hollywood Park Branch – a best kept secret – no lines, impeccable
Best Miami Museum – The Perez- Allocate an hour to view the Ai Wei Wei exhibit. Fabulous.
Are you with me? Tell me about it…email@example.com
There were two women sitting across from one another, at a famed Miami Plastic Surgery suite of offices.
Both were thumbing through glossy magazines and chatting while glancing up at the long list of “Miami’s Dr. Marvelous’ Menu of Augmentations and Services” dancing on the huge, sleek, black, wide screen TV across from them.
Breast Augmentation – Breast Lift | Breast Reconstruction – Breast Reduction – Brazilian Butt Lift- Liposuction | Male Breast Reduction – Nipple Procedures – Tummy Tuck – Mommy Makeover – Ear Surgery – Eyelid Surgery – Facelift – Facial Implants | Forehead/Brow Lift | Fat Grafting | Necklift | Nose Surgery | Hand Rejuvenation | Injectable Facial Fillers | Laser Skin Resurfacing ….
Woman #1 Says: There are two things you never ask for in this office.
Woman #2 Says: Really? Tell me – this is my first time.
Woman #1 (without missing a beat) Says: “Never ask for a ‘Kim Novak’ or a ‘Liza Minnelli’
Women helping Women
one day at a time…
Berkeley – a mere Bridge away from San Francisco – and a world away!
A veritable mosaic of contradictions –
Berkeley: Down with up!
The beauty of Berkeley
Walk to the coffee shop for a latte, cross the street for your Hatha yoga class. Right next-door is the wonderful independent bookstore, steps away from your $10.00 manicurist.
Next, pick up a bouquet from the florist across street and stop in at the salon to get your bangs trimmed by Gracie who you’ve known for 10 years.
Walk one block to the Gourmet ghetto and pick up the kale, Salmon, berries and clotted cream, and those spices you need; get the sharpened knife from Sur le Tab, a bottle of wine, and a hostess gift at the cute, little, gift store four doors away.
C’est fini and c’est bon!
No Strip Malls.
California here I come!
Welcome the South Florida – AKA there goes the neighborhood.
Neighborhood rumors are that the great-grandfather fashioned a raft made of mannequin body parts, used the mannequin arms as paddles, and in the dead of night, the family escaped Cuba and arrived on the beaches of Florida.
The legend goes, the waters were treacherous, and usual dancing dolphins not did shepherd them – but a phalanx of alligators escorted them – day and night -to freedom. A bounty of ripe coconuts bobbing by provided food and drink. Tiny, tasty fish jumped from the sea onto the raft for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Despite those ‘miracles’ they report their harrowing story makes Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea look like a canoe ride in Central Park.
Welcome the Neighborhood
The Loud Family – not the PBS special
On the Fourth of July our traditions involve red, white, and blue Bunting, strawberries, blueberries, and sparklers.
Theirs involve guns, Sky Flyers, Roman Candles and Screeching Rockets. And, more guns. Why does anybody shoot at the sky?
Our Christmas celebration involves a tree, colored lights and tinsel and Bing Crosby crooning Mele Kalikimaka…
Their Christmas celebration involves a month long production of decorating every square inch of the exterior house with colored lights, so bright that you can read a book at midnight by the light of their decorations. Neighbors have taken to buying blackout curtains to use in December.
For some reason, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ inspires more loud Salsa music, guns and shooting at the sky. (Hey! Santa Claus is up there!) The symbolism is lost on me.
Our Easter involves colored eggs and lots of chocolate. Their Easter celebration involves 10 cars and several motorcycles parked on their front lawn; barbecuing a baby goat; loud Salsa music for two days; gales of laughter; clouds of cigar smoke and more guns. Again, with the shooting at the sky.
The legendary, loud family – is very friendly and extremely gracious, and, at one time, they invited all the neighbors to their various celebrations. The guns were a buzzkill.
Home Sweet Home?
In South Florida, you see many homes with two chairs on the front porch. When the weather is cooler, people sit on the porch – perhaps, sipping iced tea? Our friendly neighbors have six chairs, a keg, a boom-box and a tiny disco ball.
There goes the neighborhood…
We heard today that the neighborhood has gotten too quiet for the family and they are moving to South Beach. Evidently, Great-grandpa owns a few condo buildings in Miami and he will move the families. Go figure.
Grandpa had a small department store in Cuba and each evening he would bring home a mannequin part to his tiny garage. He fashioned a raft using bits and pieces of the store mannequins.
The day of the great escape, each of his sons playfully carried one quarter of the raft to the beach. Each of the daughters nonchalantly carried mannequin arms to the getaway point on the beach. The story goes, the 10 family members boarded the body raft, used the arms as paddled and they landed in the Florida Keys.
They caught a wave, the phalanx of alligators escorted into the shore and they walked to Miami. Grandpa arrived with a quarter clenched in his teeth.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Oh wait, yes you can.