Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jet Ski

Jet Ski rental at Bay Side. You pay here, then you walk a few steps to the bay to enjoy the thrill of speed on tropical blue waters. Well, not quite blue in the shallow bay. It's rather greenish. I am not sure what kind of skill and insurance you need to show to rent these power boats but it's not a toy for amateurs.

Jet Ski Rental

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Strange Attractor

This store just got a face lift, I guess to attract customers in order to stay open. It's puzzling to see how this specialized kind of business can compete with the internet where sometimes free surfing can be done in private with almost anonymity. Almost, because your IP is always tracked by who knows what. So, watch out!

We're Open

Monday, March 29, 2010

Who Are You?

I give up! Is this Calliandra, or is it Mimosa? I am sure many of you will say "Who Cares?" But I now know one more thing after many a minutes looking around...

Plants are complicate things. For this pink powder puff here, know that it comes from the Kingdom Plantae, Subkingdom Tracheobionta, Super Division Spermatophyta (what's that you say? It means they have seeds,) Division Magnoliophyta (they produce flowers,) Subclass Rosidae, Order Fabales, Family Fabaceae (they produce peas.) You are still with me?

Then come the Subfamily Mimosoideae, Tribe Ingeae.

Now come the two Genus: Calliandra and Mimosa! They are cousins! I really looked but can't find a good clue to tell them apart. I should have been a super charged bio-botanist, if there is such a species, but sadly, I am not. DNA, anyone?

How Can You Tell

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Curvy and Bright

These brightly colored objects could be vases, found in display at Crate and Barrel in the Falls shopping complex West of US-1. I wonder what I would use these for, hhmmm...


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Miami Youth Fair

If it's March in Miami, this must be the annual Youth Fair. Here is an aerial look at a representative slice of this huge fair. It looks the same everywhere: food stands and rides. I had to ride the Polar Express today and it darn near killed me! Every year, I vow: Never Again, but every year I have to do it! Never again! The food almost killed me too. Too much salt and too expensive! Please don't ask about the price of parking, admission and rides.

Rough Ride

Friday, March 26, 2010

Telosma Delayed

This year's weather in Miami is colder than usual so many sensitive plants had a hard time. I am very concerned for my favorite yellow poincianas because many took a beating and some are looking seriously ill. Thankfully, it's not so bad for my Telosma cordata vine. I planned to begin getting new cutting starting March, but the growth has been seriously delayed. This is how it looks today, making not a whole lot of progress from a few months ago, back in January.

Slow Growth

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Green Fractals

Miami technically has subtropical climate. This means if left alone, everything grows, and grows well. Here is water in a container left outside in a typical backyard. Nature has a way to build very interesting growth from almost nothing. Do you discern what we call fractal patterns in this dense population of green algae? Look closely and you shall see.

Fractal Algae

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Falls

This photo taken today is in the Falls shopping center in South Miami, across from the Bath and Bodyworks store. There is hardly a dozen persons walking around at this time which is about 3 PM. Not sure how these stores can survive here.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Smoking

The American Airlines arena in Miami downtown has a huge electronic billboard out front and this message gives you a prelude to things to come soon in Florida: smoking is not cool anymore. In fact, more public locations are declaring to be tobacco free where you can no longer light up for a smoke. In fact, the entire Miami Jackson hospital complex is now smoke free.

No Smoking

Monday, March 22, 2010


This is America. This is Miami. This is a street scene you can see in some areas. This man appears to have one leg amputated and he probably is homeless, here navigating precariously among moving cars for a rare donation of changes.

Hand Outs

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bikers for Animals

I wish I had a fish eye lense, but I don't so I only can snap a small part of this event. There is a huge rally by macho bikers here to ride for animal rights day. There are perhaps up to a hundred bikes gathering behind Betty's Best Hamburgers to be escorted by police for this joy ride today. The animals should be thrilled seeing this, but they'd better stay out of the way and only watch on the sideline.

Animal Defenders

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Miniature Pony Ride

In general, American kids do live very well. They are well fed, well taken care of, well entertained and to a certain degree, well educated. Well, there are exceptions, but in general, they are pretty well off when compared to numerous other countries in the world. I am sure many will disagree with the statements above, but here is one support: On Biscayne boulevard, downtown Miami, outside of Bayside is this business that provides some happiness to kids, petting and feeding farm animals; and riding miniature ponies. For US $4, they are given food to feed the animals, and for $5, they get a short pony ride.

Feeding Farm Animals

Friday, March 19, 2010

Try Me

US Federal law requires that every medication must go through a series of clinical research trials before being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for consummation. In addition, approval is required by an independent Research Ethics Board. It is said that Clinical research trials are critical in the advancement of medicine and making available new and helpful medications. However, this involves a myriad of health care issues that are raging in the US and they are so complicated, no one understands them.

Talking about understanding, I can't understand this billboard because it's in Spanish! That's the price I pay to live in Miami, so I looked it up. This is near the huge Jackson medical complex in Miami (which is having huge financial problems,) advertising for a clinical trial research outfit. If you are female, and you are experiencing hot flashes while in menopause, they want you. A warning though, everything has a cost so you really need to be knowledgeable in order to navigate the health care systems in this country, especially when you need the use of medication.

Clinical Trials

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I went to lunch, for this??? Guess what portion I ate: 1/10? 1/9? 1/8? 1/7? 1/6? 1/5? 1/4? 1/3? 1/2? Don't you dare say I ate the whole thing.

Monster Lunch

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Snow Birds

These two "snow bird" big guys from the cold are here getting a break from a rainy morning in Miami at this local gas station. They appear to ride their monster bikes from Quebec to sunny (not this morning though) Miami and must be very brave to have done that. The cute looking black two wheel wagon is hitched to the big black bike, a twin of the white one seen on the left.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

25 Roses

Usually, we talk about a dozen roses, but this person sells 25 of them for US $5. I think that's a good deal because it costs you a lot more if the roses were sold from a flower shop. The job of selling flowers in traffic is pretty hazardous and I am sure they are minimum wage jobs.

Street Vendor

Monday, March 15, 2010


Bus shelter ads throughout Miami have lines like this one saying "Your Abuela Will Pee Herself." That's something about the Second City Loco, a newly formed all-Hispanic off-shoot company of Chicago’s world-famous Second City comedy troupe. The Second City Loco is making its debut at the Carnival Studio Theater this week with "El Show Mas Funny," a collection of comedic sketches created especially for Miami audiences—in Spanglish! In the tradition of the 70s sitcom "Que Pasa U.S.A." The dialogue will move back and forth between English and Spanish, creating bilingual comedy in a hybrid language that most Miamians can understand. But that is a sidetrack from my original intention to show you this Montessori school on Sunset Drive near SW 74th Avenue.

The Montessori method is an educational approach to children based on the research and experiences of Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. It arose supposedly from the discovery of "the child's true normal nature" or self-directed learning activity. Truly, I am not sure what to make about this method, but it's here, and it tickled my curiosity.

Special School

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Welcome To My World

On a day like today when Calle Ocho is blazing in sound, music and food a' plenty, I opted to show this man who is a permanent fixture at this bus bench simply because he lives here. It looks like he has accumulated more belonging since the last time he was spotted.

Still Homeless

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2010 Calle Ocho

One week each March, Miami transforms itself into a traditional Latin street festival. Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) becomes the scene of Carnaval as spectators gather to celebrate in the city’s largest annual party. The 2010 festival began on February 26th with the Carnaval Miami 8K run and continues through the grand finale tomorrow on Sunday March 14th with the Calle Ocho block party. The festival closes off 24 blocks of SW 8th Street to host dancing, food, drink and multiple stages of live entertainment. In 1988, this festival was the scene of a Guinness World Record, as 119,986 people joined in the world’s longest conga line! Not sure I'll have the courage to brave the crowd to shoot some pictures. May be, may be not.

Miami's Little Havana

Friday, March 12, 2010

SW 27th Avenue

It must be getting close to opening time because LuLu is getting a new face lift. I can't wait to see this new addition to the Coconut Grove scenery. Did you notice the street sign depicting SW 27th Avenue? There is what I think a real bad habit in Miami that adds new names to existing streets. This has two new names. I am not sure anybody cares at all. Not me.

27th Avenue

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Little Havana

This high rise building at the heart of Miami's little Havana is an Emporis building, numbered 156565. It is technically in West Little Havana, at the intersection of SW 27th avenue and Calle Ochos (SW 8th street.) This building was sold for about US $26M in 2007. Some tenants include Miami Dade College and the US Department of Children and Families that manages the local Medicaid system. It was fully occupied back in 2008, but now I wonder if it has lots of unoccupied office space like many other office buildings in Miami.

Interamerican Plaza

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eight and a Half, Nine

I first thought this was a shooting scene for some commercial advertising, but it was not. These are University of Miami's seniors, whose campus is nearby this Red Bird Allen's drugstore, hard at work for a movie making project for their school degree. I did not ask, but they are perhaps preparing for graduation sometime this year. You probably remember in an older blog of mine that said this place has great milk shakes. That's why I am here again.

Movie Directors

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Balado Tires Store

In this typical small business in little Havana (meaning SW 8th street,) you can see a typical business operating in a mean and lean way. Usually, you see no glitz and glamour, but the business is carried out quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, it is done with cash, but your credit cards are welcome. These expensive looking tires are being mounted on high performance alloy wheels and they need a special tire mounting machine as it is being used here. This is the Balado National Tires store near SW 67th avenue.

Tire Service

Monday, March 8, 2010


This is the very attractive entrance to the South Miami hospital, now a part of Baptist Health. You can see beyond the entrance the recently erected Medical Arts building also part of Baptist Health. To the right is SW 62nd avenue on which you can see at a stone throw the very small pinkish Larkin Community 122 bed hospital. I wonder how long this small hospital is expected to stay independent in this tough economy. Its ownership has changed five times over recent time.

Community hospital

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Hibiscus

It's a cold day today in a quite cool few weeks. Let's take a break from the driving, the building and the stores. The backyard has less blooms than usual at this time because of the lingering cold weather, but this hibiscus is not shy to show its beauty. A march hibiscus.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fresh Fish

This is the weekend and these deep see fishing boats are ready to set sail perhaps as far as to the Gulf Stream taking tourists out for a fishing day they won't soon forget. The captains return in the afternoon and sell the fish for extra income. This is one way you can find "can't be any more" fresh fish in Miami. Come here to Bayside at about 4 or 5 PM when they return. These fish swam in the Gulf Stream this morning.

Fresh Fish

Friday, March 5, 2010

Exotic Drinks

Miami is subtropical so we need to have subtropical and tropical drinks in the streets. Here is one place you can get exotic drinks. The coconuts on the counter are too small and picked too young. These merchants go around town to pick the coconuts and sell them at a handsome profit. I can tell you that is not easy to get the coconuts from their trees. Did you ever try to climb coconut trees? I did and now would rather pay to have these drinks. The sugar canes are inside that plastic bag. Oh so good! The pineapple too! We have more: papaya, sugar apple, guava, mango, litchee, longan... Yum!

Cocunut Drinks

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Power Toys

Here is a look at some power toys of the super rich and perhaps also powerful residents of Miami. Their multimillion yacht are docked here at the dock seen from Bayside. You can see from this view the Port boulevard leading to the cruise ships, the tall tail of one of these ships can be seen on the right.

Rich Yatches

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Port of Miami

The Port of Miami is among America’s busiest ports and recognized throughout the world with the distinction of being the Cruise Capital of the World and the Cargo Gateway of the Americas.

The Port contributes over $17 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helps provide direct and indirect employment for over 176,000 jobs. This marker on Biscayne boulevard just North of Bayfront Park at the heart of downtown Miami is at the entrance to the vast highway bridge leading to the port.

Port of Miami

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This is the focal center of Bayside, downtown Miami, heavily frequented by tourists. Live bands perform free of charge at the covered stage on the left and the boat tours are always bustling with activities to the right area of this photo. The main boat tour takes tourists to circle the rich and famous people's homes on various exclusive islands close by.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Pot O' Gold

At the end of a rainbow, you'll find a pot of gold. So, when I see this rare occurence of a rainbow here, I hurried to get the pot of gold before others beat me to it. After a long walk, I gave up. But, all jokes aside, do you know the real shape of a rainbow? It is not an arc of circle at all. Rainbows are true circles when they are seen from space. Here on earth, the horizon makes them look like arc of circles. So... if you do hope to find the pot of gold, good luck because there are no ends on a circle. In this photo, you would have thought the pot of gold is just behind this Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant at Bayside. You can find excellent shrimps inside if you are tired looking for the gold. I found the shrimps.

Rainbow's End