Does ‘being uniform’ mean boring? Being bland?   Leave a comment

Uniform before



A little over a year ago a new company took over the Gateway Terrace Apartments property and almost immediately an axiom ‘uniform’ entered the lexicon of the community.

With new owners there were changes to be expected and they started, it seems, the first day. Rules are rules and in many ways are good to have and live by but the rules being instituted seemed a little strange.

For years we had a competition of who could make the best Christmas displays and the property looked like a winter wonderland, even if it was 80 degrees outside. I took many pictures of the different displays and still have them. The first rule that affected all us was “No Holiday Decorations outside of the resident’s apartments including the doors and windows”. All was okay inside the apartment. As a Jew, raised in a Catholic neighborhood, I always looked forward to the Christmas holidays. At Gateway every December there was a large Cross and a Menorah in front of the house that spread a good feeling.

I could go on about the rules that were being invoked but two really hit me with the first being no plants, flowers, allowed on the walkways. Having lived in South Florida for a total of more than 50 years I am aware of hurricanes and all the destruction that could be caused with flying objects so I knew to take the plants in when warnings and watches were announced. I, also, knew the importance of having a clear way for medics when they had to take a patient from their apartment on a gurney. In no way did any of my pots interfere with that if it needed to be done. Okay I didn’t like it but I could live with it and brought the plants into my apartment.

The past two weeks another rule was being enforced and it was as if a hurricane hit. Without rhyme or reason beautiful plants and bushes, like varied colored Hibiscus or Frangipani trees, the latter just starting to bloom and send out their beautiful fragrance, along with stunning white and purple Bougainvillea plants, Roses in bloom and others were being torn out of the ground and just thrown away.

Ironically this happened the week leading up to Earth Day.

UNIFORM After collage


Yes the new company is making many improvements in our apartments but it seems as if they want the outside to look ‘uniform’ with those apartments having screen doors being told they must come down, just one of the many changes to take place.

We have no idea when or what will replace the many plants being taken out whether it will be uniform bushes or concrete but these little gardens, plants that residents brightened up their life and corner of the world has also taken away from their individuality. Being an optimist I am thinking they will come up with something spectacular to replace the spectacle that Mother Nature provided us with.

I will start my 19th year living here on June 1st and it is one of the best breaks I ever had in my life. We don’t have much say as to what the owners do but I hope they won’t put up a wall blocking off Karen Bay or make us all wear uniforms! Okay so those are rumors but where does ‘being uniform’ stop?

Hey this is Florida and I will not give up my shorts and short sleeved shirts nor will I wear pants in temperatures of 95 degrees!


Posted April 24, 2017 by greatmartin in GARDENS, LIFE, Uncategorized

“The Lost City of Z”–A Movie Review   1 comment

Twenty minutes into “The Lost City of Z” I was thinking of sneaking out and going into the auditorium next door to see “Colossal” but 30 minutes later you couldn’t pay me to give up my seat! Yes it is slow starting but eventually exactly what is happening and what can happen comes over you and peaks when the father and grown son look at each other and say “I love you,” which needed to be said.

Basically the story written and directed by James Gray based on the book by David Grann telling the true story of Percy Harrison Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) a British Major, a career soldier, who believes there is a lost city in the border areas of Bolivia and Brazil, in the Amazon. He leaves his devoted wife (Sienna Miller) and children, one being born while he is in the jungle, without what seem as a second thought and with each trip becomes more addicted to his search.

The movie shot in Ireland and Columbia with the former mainly done in English homes and clubs in dark tones while the latter in the jungles brings glorious colors and sights on screen. The times of the early 1900s to the 1920s are brought to real life in production values.

Charlie Hunnam, taking over a role originally slated for Benedict Cumberbatch and executive producer Brad Pitt, brings Fawcett to life and leaves a strong impression as the Major, as a soldier, a husband and as a father. Sienna Miller, as the wife, presents a strong woman who seems to want more but accepts her family as her first concern. Their eldest son is played by 3 actors with Tom Holland at the age of 20 who goes off with his father on the last trip and makes a strong impression.

Robert Pattinson, almost unrecognizable, is a loyal army comrade giving a solid performance while Angus Macfadyen as a wealthy, obese member of the second trek into the search for the village who almost blows that and future trips.

“The Lost City of Z” covers many subjects while taking its time setting up the main premise which will call for patience on the part of the audience member but the payoff is worth it. Be sure to stay for the end credits to find out what happened or didn’t happen.

The movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes and could have easily been cut 15 minutes while note should be made of the score by Christopher Spelman which is remindful of composers scoring epics in the past.

Movie Trailer

“Their Finest”–A Movie Review   Leave a comment

Sitting and watching “Their Finest” I wondered if it worth 120 minutes of your time to go behind the scenes to see how propaganda films were made in Britain during WW2? What about seeing a consummate performance by Bill Nighy as a previously lead actor now older and made to play supporting roles?  What about a supporting cast of top rate British actors whose name you might not know or even possibly their faces? Or would you be interested in seeing how women were treated in the 1940s even when the country were short of men who were off to war?

On the other hand are you willing to spend 100 minutes of those 120  sitting through a very slow moving movie where nothing really happens except for a scene now and then between Nighy and Eddie Marsan, the latter playing his agent, which is almost stolen from the latter’s dog? Is it worth trying to decipher very heavy British accents just to get a look on Nighy’s face when he discovers he will be playing a man way past his prime? (A definite yes to that scene!)

There is a somewhat love story that offers little interest, between Gemma Arterton and Jack Huston that becomes a triangle when Sam Claflin, as her co-worker, enters the picture. Also Rachael Stirling as a sort of Ann Southern/EveArden type of second banana offers some humor, and questions, as a member of the Ministry of Information division. Jeremy Irons has a cameo and Jack Lacy plays an American war hero who has to be, I hope on purpose, one of the worst actors ever!

Is it worth sitting through 120 minutes of “Their Finest” to see Bill Nighy? No, just look at the trailer and get an idea of how he elevates the movie just from his quick scenes here.


Movie trailer

April 16 2017 Welcome to my world   Leave a comment

In order for the property to look more ‘uniform’ sadly the owners are tearing out beautiful hibiscus plants, frangipani trees, flowers planted by residents, gardens, etc., but still Mother Nature offers a lot of beauty of her own.

Drizzling and quiet at The Point!

Looking North up at my apartment

Looking south from the walkway right outside my door

Posted April 18, 2017 by greatmartin in Uncategorized, LIFE, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

The Point April 15 2017   Leave a comment

If I still had a bucket list I would probably have ‘go to film school’ on it as I have always been fascinated by movies but never having really studied how to take a good picture most of my life it has just been ‘point and shoot’.

And it has only been recently that I started ‘playing’ with making videos but I still haven’t figured out how to narrate without the sound being muffled by the wind!

This is just a beautiful place to be and live.

 This video was made with my digital camera.


First video using my camera phone (A lot quieter than the one above!)

Posted April 17, 2017 by greatmartin in Uncategorized, LIFE, FORT LAUDERDALE

“Gifted”—A Movie Review   Leave a comment

A man, Frank, goes to court against his mother Evelyn for custody of his 7 year old mathematical genius niece Mary who he has been taking care of her since his sister, her mother, also a mathematical genius, committed suicide six and a half years previously. He wants his niece to have a normal childhood unlike his sister who didn’t have a choice except to live up to her mother’s expectations! Oh yes, let’s not forget his next door neighbor Roberta who is a mother figure for Mary. Let’s throw in Mary’s teacher Bonnie who discovers Mary’s brilliant abilities and Frank’s hunky looks. Let’s not forget a one-eyed cat named Fred and why not throw in some foster parents? With all this you have to go to court for the ‘who will win custody’—DUH!–suspense.

Do you hear the violins on the soundtrack? Can you feel/see the director Marc Webb and screenwriter Tom Flynn using all the cliches to manipulate the audience? (Darn it but they fail to explain a throwaway comment about why a professor quit a lucrative job but you will know..)

The surprising thing is that this movie works. It will get the laughs out of the audience and in a minute the tears will flow.The only thing missing are those violins on the soundtrack, instead getting some grating sounds here and there plus a pop tune when needed.

There is no faulting the acting with Chris Evans as Frank, Jenny Slate as the teacher, Elizabeth Marvel as the school’s principal, Lindsay Duncan as Evelyn, Octavia Spencer as the next door neighbor all delivering the cliches as if they are brand new, said and done for the first time. A special well done to MckennaGrace as the 7 year old Mary, here and there precocious when needed, who delivers with the tears, anger, smiles and mathamatical smarts when called for, whether she understood the problems or not!

There is one scene showing a couple of families welcoming a new baby which, though not necessary, add unexpected warmth.

Shot mainly in Florida,except for one Boston scene, the film is bright with even the cliche beach, boats and bird scenes looking fresh.

This weekend you will either go to the latest “Fast and Furious” franchise sequel or “Gifted” the touchy-feely ‘date’ movie. Guess which one I recommend?

Gifted movie trailer

VOO LA VOO Cafe–a bit of France in Fort Lauderdale   Leave a comment

VooLaVoo Collage

The ambiance–2 blocks from 2 major streets–takes you out of the city and puts you in a country atmosphere. It almost feels like you eating in a neighbor’s garden outside of Paris.

The food is excellent from the Ratatouille crepe ($11) with a crisp, crunchy crepe filled with eggplant, zucchini, red and green peppers in a tomato stew with basil and Swiss cheese and green salad on the side. I don’t remember ever having a crispy crepe but Philippe, from Paris, was with us and said that was the way his grandmother use to make them and that they were buckwheat crepes. He had, I believe, the Chicken Bechamel crepe (($12) while Allen had the smoked ham and cheese omelet ($8) and both finished every bite. We ended splitting a Poire Belle Helene sweet crepe ($10) made with chocolate syrup, pears, toasted almonds and vanilla ice cream which was delicious (though I didn’t taste or see the almonds).

This is not an easy street to find and when you do it sort of takes you aback as there are, possibly, 3 restaurants almost melding together, but I really couldn’t tell, on a very quiet street in the middle of the city.

I enjoyed this little bit of France in Wilton Manors but–and here is where I will get my head handed to me LOL–I will not go back. Why not?

It has to do with my preferences such as liking full service, not having to go to a counter, order my food and drinks, paying and then having to serve my own drinks and having no idea where straws are or getting a glass of ice for a soda or serving myself with thimble cups of warm water. I don’t like not getting receipts when paying cash.

Also I would suggest eating lunch after 2 PM because parking is a mess with numerous ‘no parking here’ signs during the lunch time and the ‘neighbors’, such as the yoga business obviously don’t cooperate with the restaurants as they had many empty spots and all had the ‘for yoga only’ signs. I can understand their reasoning but that deters people from coming to the area already having many private parking lots for people living there.

I don’t like eating outside but the alternative was sitting inside on tall, small tables. Luckily it wasn’t THAT hot today but I can’t see sitting outside from May to October.

I don’t mind, (and I often do eat,) eating in fast food restaurants, but I know what to expect and what to do whereas with this new ‘fad’ of part fast food and part full service, I very seldom return to part service restaurants.

Let me just end that I thoroughly enjoyed the Voo La Voo food and setting, will recommend it but will not return.

%d bloggers like this: