Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

As Earth spins, we in the United States are awaiting while some of you are already with the New Year 2008, so... it's not too early for me to send all of us at CDP my greetings with a new photo from my backyard. The water droplets you see are not dew, but from an early morning watering of the plants.

Happy New Year 2008

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year Bow Tie

Here is the first flower from the vine I recently got for my backyard. This flower is still growing and will get larger. This vine had no name tag and I am still looking for its name. For the time being, I'll call it "Bow Tie" vine, and may use this flower to go with my rental tux if I am invited somewhere to a New Year Eve party. Wishful thinking, really! I'll end up blogging New Year Eve. I'll wish you a Happy New Year then.

Bow Tie Vine

Saturday, December 29, 2007


The Miami NorthWestern High School Marching Bulls getting ready for the annual Junior Orange Bowl parade in downtown Coral Gables tonight. Every year, I volunteer to stage these bands and bounce them to the correct slots in the parade route. This is very exhausting work but getting to see these bands practice and perform makes it worth it.

Marching Bulls

Friday, December 28, 2007

Casual Miami

Casual life in Miami, Coconut Grove style.

Casual Grove

Thursday, December 27, 2007

XKE of the 60s

Saw this vintage 60's Jaguar XKE at a South Miami body shop today. The interior looks like it came from prehistoric time. The body needs untold amount of work so it seems. Perhaps one day, this will be restored to its original beauty. At least someone thinks so.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Noname Epiphyte

A nice thing about Miami is that there are so many living things everywhere you look. all year round. Here is a tiny epiphyte thriving on the bark of a tree outdoors. There are so many of these plants that it's impossible to know their names... so this will remain... nameless, for now.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Choco Gone!

I am ashamed to confess: my six Christmas Day sins:

Almond, Raspberry, Dark Chocolate
Milk Chocolate, Coffee, Cherry

It didn't take long! They are all gone! In a flash! Yummy!
A big "Thank You" to the sender!

All Gone

Monday, December 24, 2007

Red Christmas Tree

If you celebrate Christmas (not every one does) this is my Christmas tree for you. It's not green, but red so there is not so many of this kind. If you do not celebrate Christmas, this is one of the bromeliads that grows in my yard. Meet Bromeliaceae Aechmea Fulgrens. This could also be Aechmea Ramosa, or a cross between it and Fulgrens. I can't tell. This bromeliad is native of Brazil and is known as "Coral Berry." It's beautiful, and this photo does not do it justice.

Coral Berry

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Xmas Time in Miami

A 2 year old boy anticipating Christmas during a family backyard party in Miami. Notice that there is no snow, but the ubiquitous full bloom bougainvillea bush displays its splendor in the background.

Party Time

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wash Me Please

This is a very popular car wash at the corner of US1 and Bird Road in Miami. Weekends are always bumper to bumper crowded and the cheapest wash sets you back $15 + tip. The "Works" will cost you a lot more. This is a lucky shot because the traffic light happens to be red so there is no cars coming to block this view from across the highway.

Car Wash

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bougainvillea Glabra

Bougainvillea is a native of South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina. It is named for Louis Antoine de Bougainville, an admiral in the French Navy who discovered the plant in Brazil in 1768. Bougainvilleas are popular ornamental plants in most areas with warm climates. They flower most heavily in winter and early spring. The colors are found in tones of purple, lavender, carmine, scarlet, red, pink, orange, yellow and white. Some of these colors are seen on this wall in my neighborhood.

In Miami, they are spectacular at this time. It's a big chore for me to trim these fellows around my house because they are so thorny. I'm glad I only have to do that once in a blue moon.

Paper Flower

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Homeless Holiday

Life is not all fun and happiness in Miami. Here is a glimpse of a poor, old, lonely, homeless woman haunting a public park surrounded by wealth. She just took a drink of water at the fountain on the left. So sad!

Sad Life

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Boys learning to skateboard in Peacock park on a very pleasant Miami afternoon.

Peacock Park

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


This is a scene often seen on the highways of Miami, a boat in tow. But today, it's a rarely seen catamaran, on US1.


Monday, December 17, 2007


If you own a boat in Miami, you have several choices of where to keep it, all expensive. In your house/yard then you have to tow/drag it to the ocean to use it; or in the water at various piers. The price to rent a pier is quite high so some people choose to keep their boats moored in the bay, just like what is seen here in Dinner Key. Some people do live in their boats, and some only use them occasionally. It's a chore to get to these boats because they are moored in the middle of the water, and a small boat is needed to get to them from the shore. These boats form a tiny but close knit community, and people do keep watch on their neighbors' boats to prevent crime.

House Boats.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


This is the art work seen from the West side of the Coconut Grove's Mayfair Hotel & Spa on Florida Avenue, across Virginia street. This hotel has mixed reviews and quite a few complaints because of the noise from a disco across the street that stays opened until 2 or 5 AM.

Art Sculpture.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fast Boats

These two fellows had a hard time to hitch this boat to the trailer after their boat ride today in Dinner Key. This is a boat ramp that sees a lot of activities daily. The majority of these guys seem to be non English speaking Latin men. Huge boats and powerful trucks with large trailers come and go during these outings. I have no idea what these fellows do out there in Biscayne Bay. I don't see any fishing rods nor women. They do drink, but the brews look more expensive than beer.

Boat Ramp.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Coconut Men

Meet two hard working men of Miami. They go around parks to collect coconuts, free of charge. These coconuts are sold as delicious cold drinks at the corner of Red Road and Flagler street, which is in the heart of little Havana in Miami. You probably can guess how heavy a large trash container full of coconuts can be. It's heavy! Believe me. They should use a container equipped with wheels, but these do not.

Heavy Load

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Here is a shot of Coconut Grove's CocoWalk open air market gearing up for the Holidays. You can see Christmas trees sprouting up everywhere in Miami these days.

Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fresh Market

This is a nice fresh produce marketplace on Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove. It has high quality foodstuff superior to run of the mill grocery stores in Miami. The prices are higher but well worth it.

Fresh Produce

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Forced Labor

Two vines, two beds of impatiens and one mini marguerite. I am out $60 and my back is going to hurt for one week. Why am I doing this?

Two Vines

Monday, December 10, 2007

Buy Me, Please!

Offices at Grand Bay Plaza on S. Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove: Office Condos for sale. Twelve floors plus two Penthouses and one Mezzanine, overlooking the ocean at Dinner Key. With the real estate market in the US the way it is... good luck!

Office Condos

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Big Bad Honda

This is a BIG Honda motorcycle parked on McFarlane Road in Coconut Grove. The reflections in its chrome show the intersection of Grand Avenue, Main Highway and McFarlane, which is the CocoWalk, heart of Coconut Grove. This place is always full of activities on Sundays like today. The weather is picture book perfect.

Cocowalk Reflections

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Puppy Love

Spotted in a Miami shopping mall.

American Puppy

Friday, December 7, 2007


This load of bricks arrived recently to pave the front walkways of a brand new office building that is being finished to open soon near my office. In case you don't know, laying these bricks is hard back breaking work, especially in the Miami heat, even in November. I often wonder how they can prevent unscrupulous persons to come at night and help themselves with these very nice and expensive construction material. Very trusting people.

Future Walkways

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Brunfelsia Australis

I have a few of these Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow plants in my yard. The flowers start dark purple then fade to lavender then to almost white. All 3 colors are displayed on 1 plant simultaneously. These plants blooms for a long time during the warm weather, and in bloom right now.

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

X Citrofortunella Mitis

This is a calamondin tree growing in a small planter pot. Its flowers are richly and sweetly fragrant; in a word, out of this world. Native to China, it was introduced to Indonesia and the Philippines where it became the most important citrus juice source. It is widely grown in India and throughout southern Asia and Malaysia. This is a common ornamental dooryard tree in Hawaii, the Bahamas, some islands of the West Indies, and parts of Central America. Dr. David Fairchild introduced it into Florida from Panama in 1899. It quickly became popular in Florida and Texas. Since 1960, thousands of potted specimens have been shipped from southern Florida to all parts of the United States for use as house plants. The fruits look very pretty on the plant, but I love the smell of the flowers. A few are still on the tree as can be seen in this photo.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monster House 2

Here is another look at that "mansion" being built in South Miami. The first photo I took was on my May 18th blog. It has been more than half a year, and it is just about done. The tile roofs were recently laid and I think all it needs is the landscape. One thing I can say is it's not mine, and if it were, I wouldn't be able to afford the tax on it.

Monster House Revisited

Monday, December 3, 2007

Miami Sunset

Not a very pretty sunset, but this is a real one at 5:30pm Miami time, from the 6th floor of my office building.

Real Miami Sunset

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunset Place

Another view of the "forbidden" open air mall Sunset Place. This is the ground level. On the right is the AMC 24 theaters in the upper level, above the Mayor's jewelry store.

No Photos Allowed

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Miami Bridge

Today, the first day of December, has the theme month of "Bridge." I know that there will be many photos of "bridges" on the DP, so here is mine.

This hand of "bridge" can be called An Intriguing Trump Squeeze. North deals and opened with 1 Club. How would you bid?

Trump Squeeze

Friday, November 30, 2007

Here it comes, ready or not

Christmas season is here. Immediately after Thanksgiving, in Miami, tents start to spring up where Christmas trees begin selling. We still use a 30 year old artificial tree. Can't tell the difference when the tinsels are on it, and I don't have to worry about dumping the tree after December 25th.

Christmas Trees

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spider Web

This could be the floor of a house that belongs to Spiderman, but it's not. This is the pavement in front of an upscale building in Miami. Pretty clean for a sidewalk.

Squeaky Clean Sidewalk

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Shadok

DP community, meet my Shadok. It lives in my office in Miami. I wish I had a Gibi to keep my Shadok company. I hope I can find a Gibi for sale some day.

Missing Gibi

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lonely Benches

Deserted courtyard on a slow college morning.

Concrete Benches

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ceiba Speciosa, The Sequel

Here is another floss silk tree in South Miami. This one has no thorns on the lower part of its trunk as the one you saw on November 8th. You can see that the branches tend to grow horizontally and what its flowers and leaves look like.

The Sequel

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No. 13

This is inside the Dan Marino's Fine Foods & Spirits restaurant in South Miami, inside the Sunset Place. Dan Marino was the famous quarter back wearing the No. 13 jersey of the professional football team Miami's Dolphins in the 70's when they were champions. His restaurant chain is also found in St. Petersburg (Florida, not in Russia,) Orlando and Las Vegas. I was pleasantly surprised that the food was very good. I expected to see a rowdy crowd of football fans and big screen TV games everywhere inside this restaurant, but its customers of today is mostly quiet family type and elderly people. There was only one medium size TV set on the wall. Can't figure why that is so. This shot was clandestinely taken just before the crowd arrived.


Saturday, November 24, 2007


This car dealership is on South Miami's US1. It always has a large supply of spanking new Chevrolet Corvettes, which are the American darlings of sport cars. They always blast horribly loud music to attract customers. This view is from the top of the Target/Best Buy shopping complex across the highway. Today, the new attraction is the 0% interest for 5 years. More debts, anyone?

Sporty Chevrolet

Friday, November 23, 2007

Amy Billig

This memorial is at the Peacock Park in Coconut Grove, a nice place to take a leisurely walk in a vast open space.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


Imagine that every one of these boats you see here has a turkey dinner being prepared onboard, if you are American or live in America. If not, this is a peaceful view of Dinner Key harbor, a favorite corner of mine in Coconut Grove. What a beautiful Thursday this is. Happy Thanksgiving, or simply, Happy Thursday!

Turkey Day

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One-Armed Bandits

AKA slot machine, fruit machine or poker machine. They are called "bandits" because they are responsible for about 70% of the income for casinos. These are found on the Imagination cruise ship and they are the most popular gambling method on board. Because gambling is still illegal in Florida, these machines can only be operated after the ship is off the US territorial waters (12 miles and beyond off the coast line.)

Gambling Ship

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sweet Tooth

Sugar Canes, anyone?

Sugar Canes

Monday, November 19, 2007

Exotic Fruits

Shinko Apple-Pears (or Asian Pears) and California grown Persimmons fresh from the growers to the trucks to the distributors to the retailers. This is a load ready to get to the consumers via the van behind. The mark up is substantial at the consumer sites so there is a nice profit margin in this business.

Fresh Fruits

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday in the Grove

A glimpse at typical street scenes on a Sunday afternoon in Coconut Grove where life is good.

Good Life

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yard Sale

In Miami, because the weather is so good, week ends are favorite time for yard sales. It is just like a ritual, Saturdays and Sundays see yard sales spring up all around the city. Here is a big yard sale in Coconut Grove. This one is a bit different than typical yard sales because it has many large pieces of furniture for bargain hunters. I don't know what they would do in case of rain, but again, this is supposed to be perfect weather here. You can see that all the convertible cars are coming out in force and no rain is in the forecast.

Bargains A'Plenty

Friday, November 16, 2007

Latin Jazz

A free outdoor concert night for students of Miami Dade College. Latin Jazz Festival week kicks off tonight to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the college. Miami is unusually chilly from a potent cold front and it was too much to wait for Arturo Sandoval to show up so I left early. Why do they always keep the audience wait so long for the main event? Too cold, sorry!

Arturo Sandoval, Not

Thursday, November 15, 2007


This shot taken today at the cruise ship terminal D in Miami again got me in trouble. A guard gave me a "no photos allowed here" hand signal with a severe hostile look. He even stopped his truck to watch me to make sure I fold my camera down. What are these people thinking? The terrorists will stroll around town with a Canon G5 to take picture of targets? Give me a break! That goes to show how smart the security leadership is. Pathetic! Single digit IQ! This ship is about to sail for a 4 day cruise. I went on board (through many layers of security check) for a brief time to inspect, but it did not meet my high standard for high sea pleasure. Sorry to say.

Carnival Imagination

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sunset Place

South Miami premier open air shopping mall at the intersection of Sunset Drive and Red Road.

Red Sunset

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

US Presidential Politics

In the US, presidential campaigns begin earlier and earlier every year. Although the election for a new US president is more than a year away, the debate starts to heat up as campaigns for the primary elections are kicking into high gear. The primaries are for the two major political parties to pick their best candidate they think can beat the other side in the general election in November 2008. It's more complicated than you think, and as can be seen on the poster in their campus, the University of Miami's students have begun to pay attention to the politics that will affect their lives for the next 4 years or more.

Political Debates

Monday, November 12, 2007

HAL 2007

Inside this reflective dome is certainly a security camera. This is one of many inside this Baptist South hospital complex. The photo shows the front desk of the medical imaging record department. They probably have a recording of my flash going off taking this picture today. This eerily looks like HAL of the 2001: A Space Odyssey fame, except that it is not red.

Big Brother