Monday, May 31, 2010

Blow Dry

Some public bathrooms use paper napkins, some high class hotels use cloth napkins, but I prefer blow dryers. This is the best and most powerful dryer there is. It makes you want to wash your hands many times over.

Blow Dry

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chez Lan

Don't I wish! No, this is not my place. And I still have not had a chance to try this restaurant out. Every time I try, it's on a day that it is closed. This restaurant is in the large shopping complex near Metro Rail SouthDade station.

Chez Lan

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Exotic Supplies

This is a very popular oriental grocery store in Miami. It's on Sunset Drive near 97th Avenue. If you like to cook in your exotic oriental flavor, you've got to come here often.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Local Drugstore

Health care in America is big business. For goodness or badness, medication is easily available, if you can pay for it when you need it. Medication is plentiful over the counter or by doctors' order and a large number of stores compete for this lucrative business. Walgreens is one such chain of stores.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monster A'Plenty

There are so many of these monster trucks in the street of Miami that I am usually surrounded by many of them, from all sides. This is a clear sign that Americans are absorbing the high price of gas, and the love of big cars wins, regardless.

Big Bad Brother

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stairway to Heaven

This escalator leads the way to the sinfully "bad" food court, typical of all Miami's shopping mall that we all love to hate. Yummy bad food.

Take Me to your Food Court

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hovering Security

The Brandsmart store in South Dixie Highway (US-1) has a peculiar way to implement their security apparatus. It is inside this box, air conditioned no doubt, high up in the parking lot overlooking their large building. I wonder if the guard was watching me taking this photo and report me to the police?

Brandsmart Security

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sparkling Poinciana

This spectacular poinciana tree deserves a second look today. Under morning bright light, it sparkles like thousands of tiny suns.

Yellow Delonix regia

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monster Truck

There are plenty of big, bigger, biggest and huge trucks running around in Miami's streets, but I think this one is the biggest of them all. Can this Dodge Ram 3500 pick up truck be the "Mother of them all?" It sure looks that way. I probably will need a ladder just to get into this one.

Ram 3500

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Summertime in Miami

I can never have enough of royal poinciana, especially the yellow ones, showcased in the Miami sky. This magnificent young tree, already huge, comes from tog's tree that I think has recently died. This is still very early and the flowers will be more spectacular as we inch forward into the hurricanes season that starts June 1st. The vertical branch shooting up as if wanting to touch the cumulus cloud belongs to a bamboo tree. It is huge too.

Miami Sky

Friday, May 21, 2010


Have you ever seen the interior of an air conditioner repair truck? Here is one... fully equipped, wouldn't you say? Now, tell me... why A/C always quit working when it's really hot... and always at the end of Fridays when the labor charge goes into overtime mode? Life is never fair... It could be fun, but never fair! Need that cool air here in Miami and you can't live without it!

Cool Breeze

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Babies "R" Us

It began years ago as Toys "R" Us with the odd "R" in mirror image reflection. That caught on quite well, and many other business copycat the "R" Us logo. I often wonder if that would be basis for some juicy law suits. After all, this is America where the law reigns supreme. More recently, the new Babies "R" Us came along with everything your hearts desire for your babies.

Babies R Us

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ace SkyWriter

This ace of a pilot did a great job spreading his message over the early Miami sky today. Lucky it's not windy at all. I am wondering who is the lucky person at the receiving end.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Summertime, and the growing is easy. You can be sure it's time the royal poincianas bloom and the mango trees bear fruit. This is the trusty yellow poinciana on the left and the wonderfully delicious Zill on the right.


Monday, May 17, 2010


Panera Bread, formerly Au Bon Pain is a company that operates franchises in the US and Canada. There are more than 1,300 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in 40 US states and 17 facilities that deliver fresh dough to the bakery-cafés every day. There are at least 3 such restaurants in Miami and they sell breads, sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, and organic foods.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Still Empty

On May 2, 2008, Linens 'n Things filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed 120 stores. This was one of those stores, which is across from Dadeland Mall. In 2009, Linens 'n Things announced that the website will remain open for business following the conclusion of the primary online liquidation sale. This store has closed since then and the store space remains unoccupied as of today. This car coming so fast into the scene and spoiled my shot today, but that's my favorite make, so it stays.

Empty Space

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Le Big Mac

Another look at "Le Big Mac." These fast food chains are always busy inventing new items for their menu. Because of the intense competition, they must be on the move to survive or raking in the money. Don't let the photos fool you. The food and drinks look fantastically appealing, but reality is quite different.

At McDonald

Friday, May 14, 2010

Come On In

A new sale tactic is frequently used by many of the fast food chains here in Miami in battling each other: US $1 for a quick meal. Today, Burger King invites you in for a burger for a mere US dollar. It can be a Whopper Junior, or a new invention, the BK@ "Buck Double!" What's a Buck Double?

It's "The brand new BK® Buck Double is two flame-fresh beef patties topped with pickles, ketchup, and melted American cheese. All for just $1*. If you've got a buck, you're in luck. * Price and participation may vary. Prices higher in AK & HI."

Did you notice that all ads sport the ubiquitous "*?" That's the fine print that modifies the lure to get you into the store. The bet is no one is inside just to spend one dollar to buy just one thing and run out. It will cost you much more than that. Only in America!

Buck Double

Thursday, May 13, 2010

AA Hub

Here is Miami International airport as seen from NW LeJeune (42nd Avenue.) This side is the home hub of American Airlines and this is where you see a large number of the jet planes of its fleet.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May Gardenia

In a couple more weeks, the gardenias in Miami will be in full blooms. This one is barely shedding its protective green sheaths yet the fragrance is so powerful it attracted my attention and that of this ant visiting it.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mickey Mouse

In case you have never seen this up close, this is what the seeds of the Ochna serrulata look like after flowering. They look like the beloved Walt Disney mouse, and these germinate very easily into hundreds of baby plants.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Can Eat Off the Floor

I am always impressed with the cleanliness of Miami's hospitals and clinics. You probably can't find any dust here. Also, there are hand sanitizers everywhere and hand cleaning becomes an obsession. But that's good.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ready To Go

This is a very familiar scene in Miami on weekends. Here food from a local Kentucky Fried Chicken place is being loaded into the truck towing this power boat for a Sunday afternoon cruise in Biscayne Bay. That's a lot of salt (Na+ from KFC) and vitamin D (Florida sun) in a day.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tropical Park

Summer is here. Trust me, it's here. Hot and not quite humid yet, but it's getting there. This is a nice spot inside Miami's Tropical park, a large green space between Miller and Bird Road, just West of the Palmetto expressway. On a hot Saturday like today, many come here for a good time to picnic, exercise, riding the bikes around, or simply enjoying a good quality family time at a reflecting pool like this one.

Reflecting Pool

Friday, May 7, 2010

Harp Lager

Friday has happy hour and it is usually time for many people to get beer after work.

Harp Lager was first produced in 1960 in The Great Northern Brewery, Dundalk as a bottled beer. By 1961 it was brewed under an alliance of the brewing companies, Courage, Barclay & Simonds, Scottish & Newcastle, Bass, Mitchells, & Butlers and Guinness. These companies grouped together under the name of the Harp Lager Ltd. By 1964 it was being sold on draught and quickly became the category sales leader.

In 2005 Harp saw a makeover, Diageo Ireland separated the brand from Guinness and gave it a new look, the Harp logo.

Mix Harp Lager and Guinness for an authentic Half & Half! Since I do not drink beer, I don't have much to say, except: TGIF.

Light Beer

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Longana Euphoria

A surprise crop of longans is on the way this year. Quite unexpected.
This is what my longan trees will look like in June-July.

Baby Longans

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Party Time

Here is a look inside a party supply store on Kendall Drive. It has thousands upon thousands of all kinds of interesting things for a party. This wall has a large choice of helium filled balloons.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I am sure all of you knew about the Apple's iPad craze. That frenzy has died down quite a bit. This area in the Best Buy store on South US-1 has 4 iPads in display for demonstration purpose. That young kid with the blue shirt is having fun playing a driving video game. I don't allow iTune near me so this is definitely not for me.


Monday, May 3, 2010

New Shopping Center

At the intersection of SW 117th Avenue and 104th Street is this brand new shopping center. This was nothing but a large empty lot not too long ago. This Walgreens drugstore looks ready to begin business here.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bariatric Surgery

If you can't eat right, can't exercise and your BMI (That's Body Mass Index, whatever that is) is out of control, you will need this: Gastric Banding! Mega Yuk! See it for yourself, LIVE on May 20th. Only in America, and you can see it live when it's done in Miami. Can you guess how much your hospital bill will be? You'll also be in shock!

Gastric Bypass

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Heavily Abridged Oriental Mythology

So you want to see statues? If I were in Paris, I would go to the Luxembourg garden for some very nice nude statues, but alas, I am in Miami. We have all kinds of things, but statues are not very popular here. However, I can easily get access to plenty of other kinds of statues... So here we go...

From left to right, first is "Ong Dia" aka the Earth deity. Annually, the 2nd day of the second lunar month is the birth anniversary of "Phuoc Duc Chinh." That's his earthly name once when he was a mere mortal. He protects your real estate properties and also brings you lots of dough if you worship him. If you don't have him in your house, that may explain why you may be in foreclosure. I tested this theory and sad to say it does not work for me.

"Di Lac Bo Tat" who, according to oriental mythology, was a mere mortal in one of his many life cycles like all other deities. "Bo Tat" is a disciple of "A Di Da Buddha," read on below... Mythology certified that he was a jolly large man with an above average waist line, joking around while he traveled the land. He later became one of the five deities in line to succeed "Thich Ca Mau Ni," which is the next statue.

The next two statues (Buddhas) are brothers once when their lives coincidentally occurred in the same time frame of the universe.

"Thich Ca Mau Ni" turns out to be the brother of the next deity. Mythology believed he was the son of an ancient king, who succeeded to become "A Di Da" Buddha (not shown) after many life cycles doing good deeds.

The fourth and last statue is "Quan Thế Âm" or "Kuan-Yin" or “Avalokitesvara” which is the savior of humanity, as the name literally means "listen to the call for help." Many of you may not know this, but this deity is really a male appearing as a female. Note that this is controversial, whether this is a male or female deity. Following a quite tortuous reasoning, the justification for the female rendering is completed. As in Christianity, it's not easy to be admitted into the inner (read higher) circle if you have the wrong gender. In this case, know that this is an impersonation to illustrate motherly love. So, in one of his lives, he was the son of the king and "A Di Da" Buddha, and brother of "Thich Ca Mau Ni." This goes to prove that gender ambiguity does exist in ancient time as well as now.

Confused? Me too! But you got to view four statues and some fun reading this, I hope.