Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Never Say Never

Remember what I said? No iTunes allowed? Things have drastically changed. Not only I got an iPad, but also an iPhone 4! Can't believe I did that! I have been I-Tuned! I-Crazy? Attenuating circumstance exists though... I do have a very good excuse for this extravaganza. It must be because of this banner on US-1 going North that I can't help but to see every time I pass by. Hate that iTunes!

Hate that iTunes

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Golden Shower

The golden shower trees are beautiful flowering trees that display long pendant clusters of bright yellow flowers at this time of the year to complement the red poincianas. Unfortunately, they are prone to being toppled by high winds. Hurricane Andrew destroyed the majority of them in Miami and this is one of the few survival of this species.

Golden Shower

Monday, June 28, 2010

For Lease

The economy is still dismal and it is being told by many signs telling tales of empty office space. For Lease... Please!

For Lease

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Litchi chinensis Sonn.
Common Names: Lychee, Litchi, Leechee, Lichee, Lichi.

Distant Affinity: Akee (Blighia sapida), Longan (Dimocarpus longan), Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), Pulasan (N. mutabile), Fijian longan (Pometia pinnata). This is to say that lychee is a cousin of longan, but prettier in red. They are both cousins of rambutan, which is red and hairy... and you can also find it in a former blog here. Search for it.

Origin: The lychee is native to low elevations of the provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien in Southern China. Cultivation spread over the years through neighboring areas of southeastern Asia and offshore islands. It reached Hawaii in 1873, and Florida in 1883, and was conveyed from Florida to California in 1897. Here it is at home in Miami, fruits ready to be picked.


Saturday, June 26, 2010


"If bling is your thing, then these foiled Ecko Unltd polo shirts are ready to rock with all the looks in your weekend rotation," for a mere $38.00 each. That is how Ecko Unltd markets Falling Rhino's polo shirts here inside this Macy's department store.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Fragrant Clusters

This photo illustrates well how Telosma vines flower. The small nightly fragrance flowers come in clusters that spring from new nodes of the rapidly out reaching new growths.

Clustering Habit

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rough Life

If you think you have a tough job, consider this: This truck is for a roofing operation. Workers need to spend all day, for several days on a roof. In this hot climate, it's no fun. Moreover, this is how they typically get to work, in the back of a flat bed truck. If you have never been in Miami in hot summer months, you can't imagine how hot it gets in there, stuck in traffic mid day.

Tough Job

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm no entomologist

This is what I'd call having a "Dolce Vita." I spotted this fairly large moth on this screen early morning... wanted to take a snap shot but got lazy and forgot all about it... At 7PM, it's still there at the same spot! So I thought it was dead... but no... it's not. After a few gentle poking, it flew away and came back at the same spot. After a few tries, it decided to move away. If I knew entomology, I'd know its name, but I don't, so I'll call it the "Lazy Moth" of the day.

Lazy Moth

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Micro Business

At the entrance of Miami's famed Jackson memorial hospital, you can find various assortments of mobile carts selling different wares, many of which are food, drink and fruits. I am sure somebody is making money selling permits to these micro enterprises.


Monday, June 21, 2010


Miami has been sizzling these days, and this is one more proof. This is 4PM and we are on Kendall drive going East. Demasiado caliente!

Too Hot

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Old House

If you walk around South Miami, you will discover many old houses such as this one, which was probably built in the mid 50s. In this area, homes sit in large parcels of land of half an acre or more. Until quite recently, houses sit bare and now many of them are surrounded by walls.

Old House

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Longana euphoria

Just a quick update to show you how the longan trees are doing in the heat of Miami. They are doing just great, thank you! This may be a great prelude to sinfully good longan ice cream.


Friday, June 18, 2010


In Miami, drivers are not shy to display their bias. I am sure many of you know about the soccer (the real football) world cup that is raging in South Africa. This is clearly a display to support Italy, in group F. Italy tied 1 to 1 with Paraguay and they will play New Zealand next on June 20, then Slovakia on June 24 this year. I am not a real sport fan of soccer so I don't follow this closely. Besides, the buzzing Vuvuzelas drive me nuts.

Real Futball

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Right On

This year, this epiphytic orchid is right on time. Last year, it was late and bloomed at the end of July.

Veggie Cart

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mobile Veggie Cart

In Miami, the Jackson Memorial Hospital, although chronically in the red, takes care of all kinds of people in need of health care. There are many local and mobile business set up in carts to cater to the large variety of people who circulate around this area. This vegetable and fruit cart is on NW 12th avenue close to 14th street.

Veggie Cart

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Bistro Bisou is a quite new addition to a strip mall across from Datran center in South Miami. Looking at the menu chalked into a blackboard outside, I think I'll try this some day. Did you see the Eiffel tower out front?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Mexican Grill

Miami is truly international when it comes to foodstuff. Beside carrying names that are exotic , this one on Kendall and SW 124th Avenue is named straightforwardly: "On the Border" grill. I walked inside for a visual inspection today and still cannot bring myself to like this kind of food. Sorry!

Mexican Grill

Sunday, June 13, 2010

By George, I've Got IT

In my blog of Friday this week, I said I was too afraid to look... I did this morning. Eureka! There are strong new roots in the soil. I did it! This is no real victory because it turns out to be quite simple and "easy." Piece of cake as one would say. I think I will send this baby plant to a person in New York as I promised I would. If you read this, please send me your address.

In the mean time, this is how this plant looks on the upside. It is beginning to flower profusely... meaning the hurricanes are not too far behind.

New Buds

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Qi No No

According to ancient history, Empedocles thought the universe has four dominant elements: earth, air, fire and water. Equally ancient, the Chinese culture has Feng Shui which is a system of aesthetics leveraging Heaven and Earth to improve one's budget of "qi," whatever that may be (scientifically, that could very well be the dark energy, or the Higgs field, or may be a bunch of Calabi-Yau?) Incidentally, feng shui literally translates into "wind-water." So, technically, it only takes into account 2 of the 4 easily visible elements. I don't know why that is. May be it's easier to deal with 2 than with 4.

Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s, but has since seen an increase in popularity, particularly in the United States.

What does this strange talk have to do with this beautiful home in South Miami, you ask? Well, I am waiting for the traffic light to change to green here, and facing the house directly. That is a BIG feng shui No No. You will never be able to sell this house to a feng shui disciple, unless that person also has learned skills in real estate to buy low and sell high. Me? I probably won't like the incoming headlights if I were staying up late meditating about the meaning of life in my living room here.

Qi No No

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nuevo Telosma cordata

This is an ongoing pet project of mine... trying to get plants from my Telosma cordata. Two of the fast growing new leads were bent and passed under the soil inside several small pots. This one was clearly excited as it produced two new shoots... and I am too scared to take a look under the soil to see if it has any new roots... Without new roots, these keikis will not survive the separation from the mother plant.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rangoon Creeper

Quisqualis indica, also known as the Chinese honeysuckle or Rangoon Creeper, a ligneous vine that can reach from 2.5 meters to up to 8 meters, is a creeper with various shades of red flower clusters and found in Asia and in many other parts of the world either as a cultivated ornamental or run wild. Other names for the plant include quiscual (in Spanish), niyog-niyogan (in Filipino)), Madhu Malti or Madhumalti (in Hindi), Radha Manoharam(in Telugu). The genus translates into Latin for What is that? This one really earns its "creeper" name. It's all over the place here.

Quisqualis indica

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Royally Miami

If you were in Miami this time of the year, this is what you see almost anywhere you go. Spectacular!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dying Breed

Farm Stores was a recognized institution in Florida and highly regarded in the marketplace as a provider of high quality dairy and grocery products. Founded in 1935 in Miami Beach, Florida, as Land O' Sun Dairies, Inc., a manufacturing operation producing high quality dairy products for the South Florida market. In 1957, Farm Stores drive-thru outlets were created as direct full-service retail outlets for the dairy operation.

This is one of the few places where you still see the cow logo. This store is closed as I can imagine how impossible for it to compete with the giant corporations operating many of the local giant food stores.

Cow Logo

Monday, June 7, 2010

Simply The Best

Miami used to have a panel of judges to declare one best royal poinciana of the year. I now proclaim I am such judge, and this is the best royal poinciana in Miami. Not the biggest, tallest and carrying most flowers, but simply the best. What do you think?

Best Poinciana

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Miami Street

On a kind of stormy June Sunday afternoon like today, it is just so beautiful and restful to look around through royal poinciana scarlet blooms. The rain drops drooped the young bamboo branch all the way down almost touching the street tells you you should come visit Miami this time of the year to get a cure from the hubbub of life.

Street Scene

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Now You See It

Please don't ask me what I am doing here today. Suffice to say that duty calls and this is NOT for me. This is on the second floor of Miami's Dadeland mall's Macy's. I like the name "Poof!" That conveys some magic event. However, if you really do some research, you'd find that this is not such a good choice for a name... Luckily, this is not the UK.

Now You Don't

Friday, June 4, 2010

Purple Delight

Jacaranda mimosifolia are grown widely in warm parts of the world. They are beautiful with showy blue or violet flowers and attractive, oppositely paired, compound leaves. This genus includes about 50 species. These are spectacular late spring flowering trees, which create washes of purple through many towns and suburbs each spring. In particular mass plantings of jacarandas along the street create a river of purple as well as a carpet underneath the trees when the flowers begin to fall. Jacarandas are large trees which grow to 30ft tall and up to 30ft wide. My tree was badly damaged by hurricane Andrew in 1992, and is only now beginning to start flowering again. It is so tall now it is very hard to get a good photo of the flowers.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

High Class Sign

New artsy and expensive looking sign for upscale shopping complex Village of Merick Park. This is on US-1 where it meets Ponce deLeon boulevard.

Deluxe Sign

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Draw Bridge

It's opened. I complained that I was too slow. Today, this draw bridge was caught in the open position. Of course, everyone waiting was cursing the pleasure boat owner that tied up the automobile traffic.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This is English humor... Take it for whatever it's worth...

English Sign