Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is Miami's Bongo's Cuban Café, inaugurated in April of 2000. It raises two stories at the plaza level of The American Airlines Arena and overlooks the port of Miami, Biscayne Bay, and the downtown Miami skyline. Bongo's can be spotted from miles away because of the giant pineapple, which rises from the roof. It is seen here from the American Airlines Arena. The 16,000 square foot restaurant by day, disco by night blends Cuban cuisine and romantic atmosphere of old Havana for Miami. The wide highway you see is the Port Boulevard (NE 6th Street) leading to the Port of Miami, one of America's busiest ports.

Cuban Cafe

Saturday, February 27, 2010


"With Wade sidelined, Bucks gives Heat another thumping," said USA Today in their on line sports section. Sadly, as I said I would, I was there to witness: Milwaukee Bucks 94 - Miami Heat 71! What a beating, and the Heat's star Dwayne Wade was sidelined by injury for this game. Milwaukee is 3-0 this year against Miami, winning by a total of 50 points so even Wade wouldn't of much help. Rats! This shot captures some quite interesting facts about the US professional basketball sport. This is at the very end of the second quarter and the Heat called a time out with 1.6 second left. You'd be amazed what can happen in these games in a fraction of a second. The shot is that of the giant TV screen overhead. Major sports in the US are truly supported by highly sophisticated science and art. No wonder the players command so much income to play their games. Of course, your pocket book takes a beating if you want to watch these games live.

Miami's AA Arena

Friday, February 26, 2010

No Top Nor Bottom?

Stir Crazy is a Nude Strip Club in Miami. This one is on US-1 at about SW 124th street. It is reported to sport: • Beer and Wine • Full Bar • Lunch • Dinner • DJ • Stage Dancing (Bikini) • Stage Dancing (Topless) • Stage Dancing (Nude) • Lap Dances (Bikini) • Lap Dances (Topless) • VIP / Champagne Room Rice... No, no, no, I did not go inside to know all this. Trust me. I am surprised to see that they do not offer Happy Hour today, which is TGIF. Do you know what TGIF mean? Google it if you don't.

Stir Crazy

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Taco II

The other Taco Bell is further North of Miami, but South Miami has this one on US-1. See the announcement of their US $5 box to watch your professional basket ball games? I am supposed to see such a game this Saturday between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks. The problem is that you are not allowed to bring food into the arena. Bummer! Wait a minute, I don't like this kind of food anyway...

Mexican Food

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Macy's

Marshalls has thousands of brand name fashions for up to 60% less than department store prices. Every day. That is what they are saying. This store is off US-1 at about SW 160th street. You can say this is the poor man (or should I say woman)'s Macy's.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Allergy Season

It's that time of year in Miami again. Drive almost anywhere and you can see this view: mango blooming. This is my Okrong tong tree, and it will look like this in mid May. Guaranteed!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Mile High

A clarification is in order. In my "cigar" blog of August last year, the photo I showed gave the impression that the cigar store was huge, but it is not. The large store front is actually the "Mile High Karate" place. I guess the name suggests their kicks may send you in the stratosphere if you are not respectful, which I am. Now that they have their sign up, that clears things up for me.

High Kick

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Museum Material

The plate in the front says this is a 1926 Chrysler. It looks old enough to be of that vintage. I have no idea if this car is still drivable and how it got to this spot. It may belong to a museum some day.

1926 Chrysler

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cultural R Us

March is a quite culturally active month in Miami although Miami is not known as a great cultural city. We are trying hard! This sign announces the yearly International Film Festival to take place from the 5th to 14th of March this year.

March Film Festival

Friday, February 19, 2010


Way deep in the south of Miami, there is not much construction going on except this warehouse that is taking its sweet time to completion. With this horribly disfunctional US economy, it may take a while to finish and may remain empty for some time as well. This is US-1 past SW 232nd street, at 132nd Avenue. Technically, this is Princeton. As I told you, Miami is a big area.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rotary Art

In Miami, advertisers display their prowess on small eye catching banners on heavily traveled US-1. This one announces the yearly South Miami art festival on February 27 and 28, which are the Saturday and Sunday of next week. Because this event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of South Miami, it is named the "South Miami Rotary Art Festival." Do you know what Rotary is about? Take a look at one of the many local Rotary clubs: the Rotary Club of South Miami.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A new business is coming to this small strip mall on 84th Avenue south of Bird Road. Its name suggests exotic and exciting prospect for customers. Shanghai, hmmm...


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Heavy Lifting

Rice bags piling up in a oriental grocery store in south Miami for sale. This looks like a lot of back breaking work to me.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Serious Toons

I was spying on students at this college to see what they are learning every day. Please do not laugh at this young person. Contraring to what you may think, he is not just playing around but studying hard on art subjects. What do you think?

Serious Studying

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jam in Grove

Plymouth Congregational Church, founded in 1897, is located in beautiful Coconut Grove, at the intersection of Main Highway and the left turn Devon Road, affiliated with the United Church of Christ. This photo only shows the beautiful coral rock outer walls and it does not do justice to this church that has a beautiful example of early Spanish influence in South Florida architecture. That photo has to wait for another day of my errant. Today's photo shows the traffic congestion in Coconut Grove due to the Art Festival there. Actually we are stuck, and Grove downtown is a good mile down stream! Many cars like this one has to make a run for alternate ways to get out of this jam. Me too!

Grove Church

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Mercy hospital is one of the few remaining hospitals in Miami that has not been swallowed by Baptist Health. Sitting on a large prime real estate on the water on South Bayshore drive/South Miami Avenue, this is the only Catholic hospital in Miami-Dade county which is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine, Florida. Mercy hospital has been in operation for over 50 years, and is still going strong today.


Friday, February 12, 2010


If you watched Mr. Brooks' crazy movie "Men in Tights," you probably know what I am talking about. This is not the luxury type you can find at exclusive places in the US, but this is an average "John" at a modest college. One admirable fact about life in the US is the attention paid to the people with handicaps. It is required by law that special arrangements be made available to make life easier for persons with special needs, made visible by the display of the "person in a wheel chair" logo. You see that sign in the large "John" in this photo.

Average John

Thursday, February 11, 2010


In many locations in Miami, one can find people raising money to help Haiti that was devastated by a major earthquake. This is an effort to sell house and office plants to raise cash for Haiti. The sign that was obviously made immediately after the quake is in error. There are actually 230,000 and certainly more people who perished in this catastrophe.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Concrete Men

Even concrete wears out. These workers are repairing the concrete slabs all around the campus of Miami Dade College. It is hard work especially for the back, just like laying bricks.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

La Dolce Vita

This photo must make the people living up in the North Eastern of the US feel depressed as they are going through horrible blizzard weather. This is Miami and you are witnessing one good way young students do class assignment. Ain't life great? Can you make out what kind of tree these are? They are full of fruit clusters but I am sure not edible for us human.

Life's Great

Monday, February 8, 2010


Serving the South Florida community since 1960, which begun as a humanitarian service to help refugees from Cuba, Camillus House is a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian services to men, women and children who are poor and homeless. Camillus offers services that includes food, shelter, housing, rehabilitative treatment, and health care. There are several Camillus locations in Miami. This one is off I-95 just South of the Dolphin Expressway.

Camillus House

Sunday, February 7, 2010


This CompUSA computer store in Dadeland Village came back from the brink. It went bankrupt and was revived by Tiger Direct. Slowly, it came back to life and the store now has a good selection of computer products. Not sure what they mean by "Guaranteed Lowest Price" and how that works. Today is Super Bowl day in the US so the streets are quite empty. Most of us are preoccupied with the biggest football game of the year about to happen at the Sun Life stadium. I am very confused with the name of this same stadium that has changed its name several times recently.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Old Meets New

We are here at the very heart of Dadeland Village. A couple years ago, all the pinkish new high rises seen on the left were not there. The old building in the middle is the home of many medical professionals and it now also houses the sale office for the new TownCenter One office building to the right. I am not sure of the fate of this old building as I can feel the temptation to have a new high rise mushroomed from this spot.

Sale Office

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mei Lan and Tei Shan Food

Bamboos are mainly a group of perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the tribe Bambuseae. In bamboo, wheat and other grasses, the internodal regions of the plant stem are hollow. In East Asia and South East Asia bamboos are used extensively in everyday life as building materials, as a food source and as a highly versatile raw product. Bamboos are also the fastest growing plants in the world. They are capable of growing up to 60 centimeters (24 in.) or more per day due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. I can testify to that as I walk through this area quite often, and I have seen new growths sprouting out at an amazing rate. This place could be the home for 3 year old Mei Lan and 4.5 year old Tai Shan, the two giant pandas that were Fedexed to China yesterday. They'd love it here.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Miami Heated Pool

This is the Toscano condo in Dadeland Village. It has a heated swimming pool! For Miami? What are they thinking?


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Street Side Climber

Philodendron is a large genus of flowering plants in the Araceae family, consisting of close to 900 or more species. This genus is the second largest member of the arum family.

Philodendron species can be found in many diverse habitats in the tropical Americas and the West Indies. Most occur in humid tropical forests, but can also be found in swamps and on river banks, roadsides and rock outcrops. They are also found throughout a diverse range of elevations from sea level to over 2000 meters. Species of this genus are often found clambering over other plants, or climbing the trunks of trees with the aid of aerial roots. Philodendrons usually distinguish themselves in their environment by their large numbers compared to other plants, making them a highly noticeable component of the ecosystems they're found in. They are found in great numbers in road clearings.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chez LuLu

This now familiar billboard announces a new sidewalk cafe in Coconut Grove in April of this year. In any location, restaurants are always needed, but in Miami, they come and go at the drop of a hat. Restaurant is not the kind of business that can easily achieve long staying power here. I would like to know which one LuLu will be replacing.


Monday, February 1, 2010


It's all wood! This is my prized long time possession: a chess set made out of wood. It's not 100% wood because the trimmings are in brass, but the board and the chess pieces are all hand made wood. It's not quite an antique piece, but I won't part with it for all the oil of the Persian gulf. I used to play this chess game but was not very good at it. But that was years ago, now I wonder... Looking for a player? Place a comment here. The wood underneath is the hard wood floor in my house.

Chess, anyone?