Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Immediately after Thanksgiving, Christmas trees are up for sale. People always buy Christmas trees because that is a real American tradition. It would be very interesting to learn about the growing and cutting down of these trees for this yearly commerce.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US. All stores advertise big sales and open real early to lure bargain hunters to their stores. This year cannot be so good as we are all broke thanks to the tanking economy, but there are still long lines in the stores.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Today is a beautiful cool day as the cold front has pushed through. This view shows three of the newest buildings in Dadeland village: the blue TownCenter One and the twin yellow office buildings on the right that began construction in March 2007 and finished in June 2008. These office buildings are pretty much empty at this time due to the poor economy.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here is how Miami looks in a pretty drab morning of a rainy day. It rained all day today, which is not too often in November. There is a pretty potent cold front coming to Miami, but this one moves too slowly so it will rain again tomorrow. Tomorrow night, the temperature will drop a good 15 - 20 degrees Fahrenheit... So watch out for my Dendrobium crunematum, the "cockroach orchid " that will bloom in about 12 days. May be I'll show its blooms again here then.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sitting high above traffic on US-1 is this new large billboard advertising for the six eateries in Coral Gables. There are literally hundreds of places where you can eat in downtown Coral Gables/Miracle Mile, but these six must feel this is a good time to have their names recognized by the mass. In the US, advertising sales, a concept I have a hard time to comprehend.
Monday, November 23, 2009
In the older days, highway and street light posts, telephone and electrical power posts came mainly from pressure treated pine trees' trunks. Gradually, they are replaced by concrete poles like these that are transported to their sites. It's quite a job to manufacture, transport and erect these heavy objects. They have a much better chance to stay put under hurricanes that Miami is so prone to have. Speaking of which, none occurred this season that is about to end in about one week. Now, weather experts, you who have predicted a number of canes and so many of them "major" canes this year. What do you say now?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
There is a Miami Hurricanes (that's the University of Miami's football team) game today at Miami's Land Shark stadium, and that's against the Blue Devils of the Duke University from Durham, Nortth Carolina. Because the Hurricanes has already lost three games this year and therefore has dashed all hopes of championship, only the die hard fans attend the game. We still had a great time today and luckily, the Canes won 34-16.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Here is a sad portrait for you: a lonesome kitten. So skinny, sad and all alone. This stray kitten will need to find food to survive and it won't be easy because there is virtually no litter here and the trash are in controlled containers with lids that are placed out twice weekly for collection.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This is Coconut Grove "downtown," at the end of Main Highway, merging to Grand Avenue straight ahead and McFarlane Road to the right leading to the marina. This is a great place to hang around in this time of the year. The weather is just perfect.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Miami has many speed breakers like this one. Regular intersections are remodeled and circles are built with quite narrow driveways that motorists are forced to slow down to get through them to not breaking a wheel or two of their cars. I think that is an expense well spent. Besides, these have very attractive landscape as bonus to the city.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here is what I think a very brave Miamian commuter, riding on his tiny motor scooter. In about 20 minutes, it will get dark, as we are now rushing through the year's remaining days. Rush hour traffic is very busy here on Sunset Drive near 97th Avenue. When it gets dark, I know I won't see his scooter very well and he may get run over by the crazy drivers of Miami.
Monday, November 16, 2009
1 liter, 3 cylinders Smart car from Smart Center of Coral Gables. This is the Smart ForTwo, perhaps the smallest car in America. French made in Hambach, France, in the Lorraine region, it comes in coupe and cabriolet. These cars are not painted, but they are powder coated! Believe it or not, the exterior surface is made with Trespa, a material 80% of which comes from fast growing European timber. Really? I can't imagine this Smart car colliding with an American monster like the HumVee.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
This scene is quite unusual but it illustrates a point about life in Miami, that may or may not be representative of other states of the US: a wheel chair moving about in the streets. Here, disabled individuals who need to use wheel chairs have their lives simplified a bit thanks to a uniform law requiring facilitating movement of wheel chairs by use of curb cuts. Steps are removed and replaced by small access ramps everywhere in the city so wheel chairs can navigate around. This man is pushing an elderly woman in this wheel chair crossing a busy intersection near Dadeland mall. Seeing a wheel chair in this fashion is quite rare and it is also quite dangerous, giving the way some drivers behave in this city.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We are in mid November, and this place is gearing up for XMas. Year in and year out,
that never fails. In a couple of weeks, immediately after the American ThanksGiving holiday on the last Thursday of November, Christmas trees will be up for sale here, near the K-Mart on US-1 at 124 street.
Friday, November 13, 2009
This Chic Children's Boutique is one of many specialty stores in South Miami. I think the only way these small individual stores can survive is that they carry special items that the large department store chains do not have. This cozy little shop fits that bill. It's on Sunset Drive just East of US-1.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This used to be the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fast food place. It has closed and this new fast food (again!) store just came into being. Another pizza place to compete in the already large crowd selling this very popular American junk food. This location is near the corner of Red Road (SW 57th Avenue) and US-1.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Miami weather is so nice, especially at this time of the year. November is my favorite time in Miami. It must be grand to ride around town on a motorcycle, but I think this young person cannot be too comfortable. This is US-1 North bound near SW 27th Avenue, paralleling Miami's metro rail.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
People get sick regardless of how the economy fares. So hospital needs to expand to care for the ailing population and to make money, not necessarily in that order. Here is a nice modern new building belonging to the mammoth Baptist Health in Miami at the corner of Sunset Drive and SW 64th street.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
If you wonder how the construction workers cut open the concrete or asphalt streets to lay cables and pipes, this is one tool that they use. The tips of this tool must be very hard and powerful to muscle their way through the tough material.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The LandShark stadium now replaces the Miami's former Orange Bowl stadium that was demolished recently. This is now the shared home of major Miami's sport teams, including University of Miami's Hurricanes football team. Today is the football game between the Miami Hurricanes and the University of Virginia Cavaliers. Fans tailgate (for those of you not familiar with American sport traditions, tailgating is the parties that sport fans organize before and after games. It's a big deal as you can see here fans enjoying BBQs and games before the noon time football game today) outside before the game here. Cooking the food themselves outside save the fans a big chunk of loose changes because everything costs a pretty penny inside the stadium. I was baked under the Miami sun today for more than 3 hours but didn't mind because we won big.
Friday, November 6, 2009
A new overpass interchange in the making near the Palmetto expressway. This overpass flies above Miller Road and I am not sure where this is going to. Obviously, the money comes from the stimulus to help the US economy limping along as unemployment rate soars to 10.2% I think that is an underestimate. It feels and is much worse.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Indulge me! I am in a fast food mood. This is Little Caesars pizza. This store on Miller Road (SW 56th street) close to 87th Avenue has a special large pizza for ONLY $5.00 (plus tax, of course.) These pizzas are light on the pepperoni and too salty. Each must have an ocean of salt in it. Not so good! But what does one expect for a mere $5.00 lunch in the US of America?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Here is a rather newer addition to the Miami fast food selection. This is in the Target/BestBuy metrorail Dadeland station shopping center near Kendall Drive. This chicken a la Colombia style is less than so so for me. Too dry and it ain't cheap.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
You look away, turn back and barely recognize the Miami's sky line. I rarely have a look at Miami downtown from this angle, viewed from the Miami Jackson hospital complex. The tallest court house building of the 50's is now buried among the newer buildings that grow taller and taller as the years pass by. There is a limit on how high buildings can grow here due to hurricane risks so we will never look like New York. Good for us.