Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blue Containers

In this area, Mondays are days for the collection of trash. These blue containers are used at street sides awaiting trucks from the waste management service that will come tomorrow. I am not sure that the trash removal crew will not complain because this house has not one, but three containers. It looks like a lot of tree trimming was done this weekend.

Trash Collection

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Safe To Stay

This oak tree lived here for decades, perhaps as long as 60 years or more, and is expected to be around many more years. Live oak or evergreen oak (Quercus virginiana) is a general term for a number of unrelated oaks in several different sections of the genus Quercus that happen to share the characteristic of evergreen foliage.

The name live oak comes from the fact that evergreen oaks remain green and "live" throughout winter, when other oaks are dormant, leafless and "dead-" looking. The name is used mainly in North America, where evergreen oaks are widespread in warmer areas, along the Atlantic coast from southeast Virginia and North Carolina to Florida, west along the Gulf Coast to Texas and across the southwest to California and southwest Oregon.

The live oak is the official state tree of Georgia. Us? We have the Orange tree, but we also have plenty of live oaks.

Live oak trees are protected by law and cannot be cut down if their trunks are larger than a given size depending on a complicated zoning rule. The idea is to recognize the unique role oaks play in the ecosystem. Oaks are a keystone species, functioning much like the hub of wheel. Over 5,000 species of insects, 58 species of reptiles and amphibians, 105 species of mammals and over 150 species of birds rely on oaks for some of their life cycle. If the oaks are gone, so are these associated species. Not to mention hordes of squirrels will become homeless.

Live, not Dead

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pollinate Me

I bet most of you don't know this: the red powderpuff plant (Calliandra haematocephala) belongs to the family of Moth-Flowered plants, meaning they are pollinated by flying insects such as moths, butterflies, bees etc... The fecundity in these Xenogamous plants depends in part to the interaction between their flowers and the pollinators. Multiple visits are often required to transfer enough pollen to achieve maximum fecundity. This plant has many fruits already and I have watched this one for a while today. There are a few bees buzzing around and busy at work at this particular flower. I am sure the multiple visits requirement has been met. I wonder if it will become a fruit, and when.

Busy Bee

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shades of Purple

The still blooming strong Chalice vine is seen next to the now in full bloom Brunfelsia australis, the Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow plant. This plant really blooms year round.

Purple and White

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Looking due South is a view of UM medical campus' Professional Arts Center that houses UM's department of neurology on the 6th floor. Parking for it is in the next structure to its left. The tall building to the left is the newly erected Clinical Research building. Across from NW 14th street is the pink building with the pyramidal roof which is the Applebaum MRI center. It can look into your body, head to toes.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lois Pope

This is the Lois Pope LIFE Center (Miami Project to Cure Paralysis) in the University of Miami - Jackson medical center. It is just North of NW 14th Street and East of 12th Avenue. The attending parking space is the Dominion Tower Parking Garage. In front of the Lois Pope building is Buoniconti Drive, named for the Miami Dolphin's player Nick whose son Mark is confined to a wheel chair due to a cruel spinal cord injury in a football game many years ago. Spinal cord research is conducted here in the hope to find a cure for paralysis. What a noble human endeavor.

Cure Paralysis

Monday, January 25, 2010

Grow, Baby Grow!

Pushed back by the recent cold weather, only now that the new growths on my Telosma cordata begin to resume activity. These will flower in September to greet this year new hurricane season. Time marches on!

New Growth

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Habla Ingles

Only in Miami that you can find these signs. And of course, the coconut trees flourish here as this young tree serves as a testimony.

Habla Ingles

Saturday, January 23, 2010

At Home

With so much attention paid to the tragedy of Haiti's earth quake, even I had texted a few times charging my cell phone. Closer at home, the local homelessness still hits you hard in the gut. Here he is at his "home," at the bus bench at the closing of a sad Saturday. There is a cold front coming overhead and it may soon rain hard, and tomorrow may be cold. Still invisible in the bright city light.

Bus Bench

Friday, January 22, 2010


Here is my number one place for my sandwiches: Joanna's, viewed from SW 67th Avenue just East of US-1.

Fresh Delicious Sandwiches

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Jackson Memorial Hospital (also known as "Jackson" or abbreviated "JMH") is a non-profit, tertiary care teaching hospital and the major teaching hospital of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. It is owned and operated by Miami-Dade County through the Public Health Trust, and is supported by Miami-Dade County residents through a half-cent sales tax.

Located in the Miami Health District, in the Northwest quadrant of the intersection of I-95 and FL-836, the hospital is the center of a thriving medical center that includes the Miami VA Medical Center, the University of Miami Hospital (formerly Cedars of Lebanon Medical Center), and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, with its numerous research affliates and laboratories - including the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital, the Diabetes Research Foundation, and the National Parkinson Foundation. The Miami-Dade Justice Center and Miami-Dade County Jail are also within a few blocks of the hospital. It is readily accessible via the Civic Center Station of the Miami MetroRail.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Halissee Hall

This is going to be a long blog, one I wanted to do for a long time. Today I finally did my homework. This beautiful structure is smack in the middle of the huge medical complex that is the University of Miami UHealth and Jackson medical campus. It is called the Halissee Hall - Sewell Building, at the address of 1475 N.W. 12 Avenue, Miami, Florida. Its original name was just Halissee Hall. This building currently houses the offices of the University of Miami School of Medicine. As with any structure in the US, it has a legal description such as:

The west 230 feet of the north 180 feet of Tract A of the plat of CARDIAC HOSPITAL SUBDIVISION, as recorded in Plat Book 75 at Page 46, of the Public Records of Dade County, Florida.

This structure has been proposed to be zoned as a Heritage Conservation Zoning District in a designation report dated October 15, 1982 of the City of Miami Planning Department to the Heritage Conservation Board. It is now zoned as a Historic Site because it has architectural, historical and contextual significance.

Halissee Hall is significant for its association with John Sewell, one of Miami’s foremost pioneer citizens and the City’s third mayor. The building is also an excellent local example of Neo-Classical style architecture and is particularly noteworthy for the excellence of its design, craftsmanship and detailing.

If you look closely, you will have noticed that it is built with limestone.

The building was erected in 1912-1918 and it is described as follows:

Halissee Hall is a two-and-one-half story rectangular structure with five bays across the south (front) façade. The building is topped with a truncated hipped roof and is constructed of oolitic limestone quarried on the site. The 18 inch thick exterior walls are faced with random-coursed and roughly cut limestone. The main feature of the building is a two story portico extending across the entire length of the south façade. The portico features six fluted columns in the Composite order and a flat roof defined by a masonry balustrade. This balustrade is echoed by a similar balustraded deck on the roof.

Halissee Hall was originally located on a 14 acre tract of land on the highest point in Miami. Today, the building is located in the middle of the Jackson Memorial Hospital Complex and is surrounded by modern hospital buildings and parking lots. As a result, the entire context of the building has been drastically altered, particularly by the construction of the National Children’s Cardiac Hospital directly in front of the main façade. The west façade of the building now faces N.W. 12 Avenue, and the south (front) façade, with its monumental portico, is practically obscured from view.

Sewell Building

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is a chain of restaurants in the United States and Canada specializing in burritos and tacos. It was founded by Steve Ells in 1993 and based in Denver, Colorado. The name Chipotle derives from the Mexican Spanish name for a smoked, dried jalapeño chili pepper, and ultimately derives from the Nahuatl language. This is their first store in South Miami and I can tell you this is not my kind of food so I won't come near it. Sorry about the car blocking the view but this is US-1, I am in the middle of traffic, and this is the best I can manage.

Mexican Burritos

Monday, January 18, 2010

Strip Mall

This small strip mall is on US-1 at 67th avenue SW. This is where the vitamin shop of yesterday's blog is. But, to the far left of this photo is my very favorite sandwich shop in the entire Miami scene: Joanna's market place. Its sandwiches are "to die for." You want to see a photo of it?

Delightful sandwich

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This is but one of the 400 + stores in the US that specialize selling vitamins and nutritional supplements. This is very big business and Americans spend about US $22 Billion a year buying vitamins and herbal supplement products. Efforts are being carried out to better regulate these products some of which are accused of containing much inaccuracies and deceptive commercial tactics to boost sales.

This store is in a small strip mall in South Miami. Come back tomorrow to see where it is.

Nutritional Supplement

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Here is an interesting ad for the Goliath of health care in Miami: Baptist health. I am not sure I would want to watch this live on the internet. Do you?

Prostate Live

Friday, January 15, 2010


The recent brutally cold spell in Miami seemed to help this plant blooming spectacularly starting now. There are dozens of these huge Cup of Gold Vine flowers. This is the first one that is wide opened. This vine, although it grows here just like a large plant, is Solandra nitida Zuccagni, aka Solandra maxima, the Chalice vine of the family Solanaceae. It is one of the ten known species recognized as S. boliviano, S. brachycalyx, S. brevicalyx, S. grandiflora, S. longiflora, S. maxima, S. nizandensis, S. paraensis, S. guerrerensis and S. guttata. I stay far away from this plant as all parts of it are poisonous if ingested. Not that I would ingest any part of it.

Chalice Vine

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tied Up

Drivers in Miami are so bad they manage to have accidents on a wide and freely flowing highway such as this one that is nearing the Miami's Golden Glade interchange. This accident tied up the traffic for a good while today.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Palmetto Headache

The South bound Palmetto expressway is always congested starting about mid afternoon when it nears the Miami international airport here. It is because of the oddly designed Dolphin expressway East West airport highway that dumps into the South bound lanes.

Traffic Congestion

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The twin condo apartment buildings as they appear today in Dadeland Village. This side looks due West and the view must be spectacular from the higher story units, but I am not sure they are all occupied.

Dadeland Village

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy BD, Mike

I can't quite figure out what happened to this car in the parking lot today. I thought its owner went for a joy ride in some mud pod in the Everglades, but the tires are too clean for that kind of event. It's really cold in Miami, but this cannot be frost or snow. So.... Mike must have po'ed his girl friend and she has spray painted his jeep to wish him a Happy Birthday. That must be it! Elementary, my dear Watson!

Mike;s BD

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Canes, 78 - FSU, 70

Boy, I really do not remember it ever got so cold in Miami. Today, the UM women basketball team hosted that of Florida state University, "the chop." It was a good game, and we beat the #13 ranked FSU Seminoles 78 - 70. Go Canes!

We Won!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


If you live in the US, you may have known that the American college football season was just over. It was a very disappointing championship game... So boring! With this brutal freezing weather in Miami, sport fans can get indoor for the University of Miami basketball games. This mural is inside the on-campus (Bank United, former Convocation) center that houses the basketball arena seating 7,000 people. I'll go see the game tomorrow when my team, the Canes will host its arch rival Florida State university. Go Canes!

Bank United Center

Friday, January 8, 2010


When they painted the yellow lines, they were not kidding. No parking allowed! If you defy that, this is what you get: booted! And a ticket on the windshield to boost. In this campus (or any other university campuses,) you must pay all fines before you can graduate. Ain't computer records grand? Can't outsmart them!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bus Stop

Cold but still sunny: that's life in Miami, not too often, but sometimes like during these days. We have an unusual cold spell for this week, but it is sunny today. I am not sure how this cart could be loaded into the bus when it arrives. The bus bench advertises for this health care service for the elders. They want your money, all of it!

Bus Rider

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Requiem for a Cold Day

Miami has a record low temperature for this date today at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the thermometer is going even lower tonight according to forecast: mid thirties! And they are worrying about global warming? Yeah rite! I want to move further South. Dead pine trees are being cleared out at this lot today. This is a lot of expensive work and the local ibis will have to do without these perching posts.

Dead Pine

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Local Diner

Inside the Allen's drugstore at Miami's RedBird corner, you can find this local diner that knows how to make good milkshakes.

Allen's Drugstore

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's not a real red bird, but it's the affectionate old name given to the intersection of Red Road (SW 57th avenue) and Bird Road (SW 40th street) in south Miami. At the SW corner is the local Allen's drugstore that has been here for decades. This is the place for milk shakes that are so gooooood.

Ancient Local Corner

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's Freezing Outside!

Technically, Miami is not freezing outside, it's in the high fifties, but it feels like it's freezing for me. It's just too cold so I am not setting foot outside at least today. They say with the wind chill, it feels like in the forties! Forties? It's for the eskimos. I am staying indoor and thus need to have something to show you. I got a new Shadok (the orange tall fellow on the right side of the screen on top.) Did you see my "NOTICE?" that's what I also got for Xmas. I am spoiled rotten!

I need to get new rechargeable batteries for my camera. Every time I take a picture nowadays, the current batteries give up the ghost, which explains why my blog is sputtering. Is this my new year resolution to get new batteries? What do you think?

Too Cold For Me

Saturday, January 2, 2010

TOG's gift

This is the orchid TOG gave me as a gift many years ago. Despite all my neglects, it keeps flowering year after year. If you do not know its name, search my blog. That's your homework for today. It's cold outside! Brrrr...

Keep Blooming

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wish Me Luck

This photo gives me some hope to get one or more new plants from this Telosma cordata. This is a new growth, and there are a couple more too tiny to be seen at this scale. It is very hard to propagate this plant, and I am determined to succeed. So wish me luck. I will begin this job in March and let you know by June if this works.

Telosma cordata