Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Pepsi

Junk food dispensers are everywhere, in Miami too. High schools start to fight to remove them from their school grounds, but the lure of $ is too strong and it's an uphill battle. There is a forever ongoing battle for the location to choose either Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola, never both. Clearly, Pepsi won this battle here. May be the enticements are more appealing.

Pepsi Won Here

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bird Bowl

A busy bowling day at the Bird Bowl of Miami where all 60 bowling lanes are active at the same time. Today is a bowling tournament day for the Special Olympiads of Florida. Close to 200 bowlers accompanied by parents compete in the tournament and more than 60 volunteers came to assist. Many of the volunteers wear the yellow shirts and all had a great time. The scoring is automatically controlled by computers. Hi-tech at work!

Bowling Tournament

Friday, September 28, 2007

City of South Miami

I found this seal embedded in a wall outside the City Hall of the city of South Miami whose motto is "The City of Pleasant Living." It could be 80 year old this year. Following is the information from this location.

"An early land owner of the area, W.A. Larkins owned property west of Red Road and Sunset Drive. He built the first grocery store in the area, and as the community grew, a post office was placed in the community. Larkins became the first Postmaster, and the community took the name of "Larkins". A depot was placed along the Florida East Coast Railway.

In 1926, area residents wanted to incorporate their area, and because of the booming city to the north of them, they chose the name of "South Miami". The original town boundaries were Red Road on the east, Kendall Drive to the south, Palmetto Road to the west (now Palmetto Expressway), and Bird Road to the north. The year 1926 also saw the first incoming class of freshmen at the newly chartered University of Miami campus, which abuts the city of South Miami eastern boundary along Red Road (SW 57th Avenue.)"

That was 80 years ago!

City Seal

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Outpatient Imaging

To complement the posh view blogged before, here is the matching reception desk. Again, it's very early in the morning but already there are quite a few patients who walked in for their medical imaging need. This is the South Miami Hospital (now Baptist South) Center for Women's Imaging where all kinds of diagnostic imaging is done.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In Your Face

Miami rainy days are rare (only when we have a lingering storm.) Today is an exception and it has been drizzling on and off all day. I was right behind this huge bus and can't help to see this big billboard. I had no idea what it is so I looked it up. It is an Emmy Award-nominated TV show. TWO AND A HALF MEN has been the #1 comedy on US television for the past two seasons. It’s a comedy about men, women, sex, dating, divorce, mothers, single parenthood, sibling relations, surrogate families, money and love. Nothing I would care about in any meaningful way. Never watched it and never will.

It's a Sit Com

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Selling Jeans

This is a very large clothing store inside Dadeland Mall in South Miami. The decor is quite relaxed as can be judged by the casually dressed sale person greeting customers in the photo. I would prefer a more curvaceous female model, but I guess they are trying to attract female buyers. This is high rent district so things are not cheap here.

Hot Model

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dream Wheels

Here is a poor man's dream car dealership. There is a large selection of affordable hot cars. Very reasonably priced. I couldn't find my Lamborghini Kuntach, so they didn't get my $.

Hot Cars

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happiness Pizza

Sunday afternoon in Dadeland Mall is not my usual place for a good time, but it is a good place for photos. Actually, I don't know about the other cities in the world, but some people here in Miami are quite paranoid! I took a photo of the BACK of two tiny kids at a tiny and "o so cute" tiny baby shoes kiosk. That was a great shot but that was enough for their hysterical Mom to raise both her eye browses and she gave me the dirtiest look I ever experienced! I had to show her my camera, delete the photo and convince her that the photo was "ERASED" from my camera. Phew! Call the cops! Arrest this guy!

OK. Now that's out of my system, here is another spy shot in the food court of Miami's Dadeland Mall. Here is the most happy boy in the world at this precise moment. He is looking at the flat screen TV overhead, but I am sure he's thinking about the pepperoni and cheese delicatessen in his hands.

Pizza Time

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Miami Twin Towers

Recently completed, the new high rise residential condo complex drastically changes the skyline of South Miami. At the center are the brand new twin towers of Miami: the 25-story Metropolis towers, the tallest buildings in new Downtown Dadeland, are located on two acres within steps of Dadeland Mall, a Publix supermarket and Metrorail. They were not here just last year. Each tower contains about 568 studios/apartments, priced from US $150,000 to 400,000. The leftmost old building in this photograph is slated for demolition to make room for yet another monster complex. The highway seen in the foreground is the feed to the North bound Palmetto Expressway (Hwy 826) from North bound US1.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Not For Me

Across my office complex is a small strip mall (where the Roasters 'N Toasters is; incidentally, I just learned today that it is the place often frequented by O.J. Simpson!) Once in a while, like it is the case today, I am chagrined to say I am coerced to get lunch here. This is NOT my favorite eating place, so, instead of savoring my unfavorite food, I took this photo of its patrons. It is amazing to me that this restaurant is doing very well. Every time I am here, it is full, just like today! What am I missing?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two bit for an hour

This is the South Miami public library. I rarely if ever set foot inside it until I discovered recently that it has quite a few movie gems in DVDs. So I come here once weekly to check out some good old movies. The parking is an amazing trip back to the good old days. Only US $.25 (that's two bit in case you do not know) for an entire hour! Anywhere else in Miami nowadays, I have to empty my entire piggy bank to get a couple of hours on the parking meter. Hospitals? I'll be $8 poorer after a mere 2 hours in their parking garage. I love this library parking system.

Public Library

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday on the Bay

Today, I wanted to take some photos of a restaurant on the edge of Biscayne Bay, the former Sundays on the Bay, but couldn't find it. It vanished. Actually I thought it was gone, but wanted to make sure. There's no trace of it here. The only thing left is the dock where boats used to park so people can come in, sit and enjoy a pleasant lunch watching the scenery. Instead, you get this shot of the boat marina near by. Rather expensive real estate abounds, don't you think?

Wednesday on the Bay

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Psidium Guajava Gone

Remember my July 2, 2007 blog? That was then, this is now. The guava has matured and it measured 4" across. I said "measured" because it's gone. I ate it. Not one worm inside. Delicious dessert. At the Publix store, these are sold for about $4/lb so this guava would have cost about $8. The bag really works to keep the fruit flies out. Yummy!

2-lb guava

Monday, September 17, 2007

Come 'n Get It

Here is a look at the Keitt mango tree today. It still has many mangoes and they are ripening, but not quite yet. These Keitt are ready to eat in a couple more weeks. But the neighborhood population does not care to wait and they are helping themselves. I have yet to catch an uninvited guest in the act. They could be the squirrels or birds that abound in the yard. It can't be easy eating these mangoes hanging on the tree like this, but there are quite a few fallen on the ground that were feasted on. Bon appetit!

Keitt for free

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Miami's Hideaway

There is a secluded local restaurant on the water edge in Key Biscayne that only locals know about and frequent. It's the Bayside Hut, not to be confused with the tourist trap named Bay Side in downtown Miami. It's next to the abandoned Miami Marine Stadium that is rotting away. The food is good and the atmosphere is very casual and so Key West! Fresh fish is served every day.

Bayside Hut

Saturday, September 15, 2007

3rd and 8

This is American college football in its second week of a new season. The University of Miami Hurricanes plays at home hosting Florida International University (FIU - Golden Panthers,) a newly emerging competing university among more established UM - Canes, University of Florida (UF- Gators) and Florida State University (FSU - Seminoles) in the state of Florida. The stadium is the Miami Orange Bowl, on its last leg of a long life as it will be demolished to become a baseball stadium for professional baseball teams. FIU is white, on the attack and Miami is Orange, on defense. This is the third try and FIU needs to advance the ball 8 yards (past the orange marker to the right) to keep possession of the ball and try to score. FIU lost today with a score of 23 - 9 Canes win! When you go to a college football game, the action is not only in the field, but it is everywhere in the stadium. I took about 4 dozens shots all of which deserve to be posted, but this is the only one that makes it. There is a guy (student) in front of me that was texting the entire second half and I have some shots of his cell phone's screen flirting with his girl friend in the dorm... Yes, I can read his text. In other words, lots of fun for a Saturday at the ball game. Go Canes!

Canes Win!

Friday, September 14, 2007


This is an inside look of the Hooters in Coconut Groves. For those of you who may not know, Hooters is a chain of fast food in America whose waitresses are attractive young women in tight shorts and sleeveless shirts. They specialize in chicken wings and is a quite popular eating place. No, I didn't eat there today. Got to put a lid on my fast food. That hurts! Put the lid on, and not the eating. The eating is mmm mmm so good.

Chicken Wings

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Inside this Best Buy store, you are in temptation land. All out efforts from the marketing sharks are working overtime to get your hard earned $. You have Nintendo? What's wrong with you? Here is your Wii. You still play station 2? Bad, bad, bad. Here is your PlayStation 3. Then there are HD DVDs, Blue Rays DVDs to replace the same movies you have on your now obsolescent low down "just DVDs." This store is at the North Dade metro rail station and they have started to sell Mac wares including the iPhone. No thank you!

Best Buy

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Rat!

At dusk, UM's main campus truly shows that students here know how to recharge. Many meet to eat dinner at the Rathskeller, a favorite place (mine too) to eat, drink, unwind, socialize to rewind for another day of tough college life tomorrow. Many 0f the students here are from out of town, and college life may feel lonely at times. The Rat is the place to combat the blues. Nice food and atmosphere too. I like the hanging and swinging chairs outdoor under the oak trees. Go Canes!

UM's Rathskeller

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Candlelight vigil

It has been six years, and today, the US remembers 9/11. The University of Miami students and local residents gather at the Student Union in UM main campus to remember with a brief memorial ceremony followed by a candlelight vigil. Candles are lit at the end and little flickers of light disperse as the event concludes.


Monday, September 10, 2007

MDC South

The students gather under the shades of oak trees to socialize/study prior to lunch at the Student Union court yard in the South campus of Miami Dade College. This is where are held occasional live concerts from amateurs or aspiring artists trying to make a name for themselves.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

NY Style delicatessen

One of the very best hamburger joint in Miami, the Fuddruckers changed ownership and the food quality went downhill to the bottom pit. We need a replacement so a friend of mine took us to his favorite hideout, this Jewish favorite eatery: The Roasters' N Toasters (see the insert at full resolution, and my friend is in the photo. He doesn't know it.) The shot shows the people waiting in line outside and how popular this joint is. We were given a hand held buzzer and it went off telling us there is a free table after 40 minutes wait. The food was good, but I wouldn't wait so long again to get it for lunch. I learned later it's like this every day, that they do take reservations and the wait would only be 5 to 10 minutes. This place is on US1 across Dadeland Mall. Still looking for a good FuddRuckers' caliber hamburger.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Dadeland Village

There are so many new construction sites in South Miami, around the Dadeland area it's hard to know which is which. Huge buildings appear as by the flick of a magic wand. The new condos are so huge it's impossible to take photos of them unless you are in a helicopter. But this is what I came up with, a shot from under the metro rail. The two new condos are to the right, and the rightmost is the Toscano Condos. If I have a chance, I will ride the metro rail to have a few better shots. That will be for another day.

Condos Condos

Friday, September 7, 2007

Miami Scoop

Is this an echo of the Big Apple (meaning New York city?) New York has its City's Dog Poop Law and that law is very succinctly summarized in this sign here in Miami. Miami is quite a clean city and we do not see this kind of sign very often. Actually, this is the first time I see it posted in a not very frequented area, paralleling the Metro Rail track.

Dog droppings are one of the leading sources of E. Coli (fecal coliforms) bacteria pollution: Each gram of dog feces contains over 20,000,000 E. Coli colonies. While an individual animal's deposit of feces will not measurably affect the environment, the compounded effect of thousands of dogs and cats in a metropolitan area would create problems due to microbe contamination of soil and water supplies.

No wonder Germany has problems when reportedly an estimated 1.4 million kilos of Hundekot are deposit daily on public property. The last time I walked around Sete, France, this was a major nuisance there too. Hope things have improved in these locations.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dracula's Lair

Every year, I do this at least once. And it's today: donating blood. After a tiny bit of discomfort (actually, I was really pampered by the tender nurses,) I felt great. The insert is the Blood Mobile in a parking lot in Coral Gables, which really is a part of Miami. So, technically, I had a date with countess Dracula today, and survived to tell.

Blood Mobile

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dig To Drain

There is a chronic problem in this office complex area in South Miami. When it rains, it floods. The new owners of these buildings are doing something about it. They are opening up the ground to install new drainage. I'd say it's about time.

Flood No More

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hammock Oaks

Here is the entrance to a house in Hammock Oaks. This is rather typical of the houses in this old gated (and very expensive) area off Old Cutler Road. For this house, you've got to squeeze through the tall palm trees along a narrow walkway to make it to the front door. On the left is the trunk of an old oak tree. It must be about 60 year old. The vegetation is truly luxurious in this area, just like a mini jungle. I am not quite sure what is the air born growth on the oak tree. I have lots of them on my oak trees, but never bother to look up their name.

Oak Trunk

Monday, September 3, 2007


I couldn't believe it when I saw this Fiat 500, the 500 Nuova (or new) here in Miami. Often called the Bambino it was one of the most popular cars to ever leave Italy and has become an Italian cult icon.

Originally, in 1957, the car was a two cylinder air cooled unit that provided a much lighter design and with only 13.5 hp, as much weight as possible had to be shaved off to get the tiny car up to the top speed of 85 km/h. This one looks like it's dated 1958 because it does have side windows that can be rolled down. Later models are 500D with 17.5 hp, 500F with 19 hp and top speed of 95 km/h and 500L in 1968. This is no Ferrari, but what a thrill to see this Bambino in Miami, at its tip top condition.

Italian Beauty

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Whitten Student Union at UM

A lazy Sunday afternoon at deserted University of Miami main campus. This is what is called a "long" weekend in the US whereas Monday is a national holiday: the US Labor Day. The photo shows the olympic sized swimming pool, but it hardly has any swimmers today. I counted three or four female students getting sun tan. In a normal day, this swimming pool is quite crowded and there are always swiming team members practicing competition high diving.


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Go Canes!

Today marks the first game of college football for the University of Miami: the Miami Hurricanes. We play at home and host the visiting team Marshall (a less well known adversary, but you always have to be vigilant because they can beat you if you are too over confident.) In the steaming heat of 95 degree F under the baking tropical sun inside the historical Orange Bowl stadium, 35,000+ students, faculty and fans came to enjoy a first kill: Canes 31 - Marshall 3 as it says loudly on the scoreboard sign at the end of the game. The skyline in the background is downtown Miami.

Canes Win