Archive for June 2012



I am still in shock–this is the only restaurant I can remember that DOES NOT SERVE COFFEE!
We were the only party in the restaurant which is why I generally like to go out for lunch around 2:30. Kanya, the server (and as far as I can tell the only one working in the restaurant except, maybe, for a cook) came over to take our drink order and when she gave me the ‘no coffee’ news, and I came out of shock, I ordered a diet coke as did Allen and we both had the “All in Sandwich” which consists of pulled pork (or beef) on Texas bread (which should have been toasted) with Cole Slaw and sweet potato fries piled on top and BBQ sauce o-in a souffle cup. Kanya did ask us if we wanted the fries on the side but we said no–definitely should have! The sandwich was just okay and very sloppy.
We had a ‘new times deal’ for paying $15 for $30 worth of food. We ordered Peach Cobbler with ice cream. Again not listening when Kanya asked us if we wanted separate dishes of ice cream we answered no which was a huge mistake for 2 reasons: 1) being that an individual scoop of ice cream was way too big for one cobbler and 2) made it very sloppy not to mention that a scoop of ice cream was $2.95 plus the cobbler was $4. The cobbler wasn’t anything special.
Kanya was fairly new and didn’t know how to apply the coupon so she called (I believe the owner Jeremy Armstead) and without thinking I paid the $14.20 (plus a $6 tip) and, as usual, I asked if I could keep that copy of the check.
It was my bad for not checking the check then but when I got home a bell went off and I looked it over. The total came to $28.40 so why did I have to pay $14.20 when, supposedly, I was suppose to get $30 worth of food? I called the restaurant and Kanya answered and knew immediately something was wrong, apologized and asked for my name and number and said she would tell them to call me. I did get a call from Nicole (Bookkeeper? Manager? Co-owner?) who said I was right and that I should come in for a refund. I am unable to make it tomorrow and said she would be off but if I have any problem I should tell them to call her.
I ate at the restaurant the first week they opened and I wasn’t impressed then and
today’s experience was a complete turn off—back to Tom Jenkins for BBQ!

Posted June 30, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Men, when you …   Leave a comment

Men, when you go to this movie make sure a lot of women are in the audience as you will enjoy watching them from their reaction to seeing Magic Mike’s (Channing Tatum ) bare butt for the first time to the moment it shows a man using a pump to enlarge his penis. You will also need the ladies to explain a lot of things you thought you knew about sex and you thought they didn’t know.


The main difference between this film and the thousands that have come out of Hollywood is that this one is the role reversal. Based upon Tatum’s being a stripper at the age of 18 instead of the country girl coming to the big city and find success, only to get involved with drugs and gangsters, here we have Adam (Alex Pettyfer) dropping out of school, coming to Tampa and sleeping on his sister Brooke’s (Cody Horn) couch. He comes under the wing of the stripper with the heart of gold, Magic Mike, who he meets on a roofing job where he doesn’t know how to do the job. Magic Mike is a go-getter who is the star stripper at the Club Xquisite who wants to open a hand made furniture business. He takes Adam under his wing, brings him to the club which Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) owns and is planning  to move the whole operation to Miami offering Magic Mike a cut of the business. Adam isthrown on the stage, is a hit with the women, likes the money he makes, gets into pills and finds himself owing $10,000 for drugs he was suppose to sell.

The actors, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez bring all the right moves to the stripping numbers and while there are no surprises in the movie, well, maybe, except for male strippers, the breakout star is Cody Horn while Alex Pettyfer, as her brother, needs a few more roles to have any heft as an actor but he does excel in the Club numbers.

Ten years ago McConaughey would have been in the Tatum role but he still can put the ‘kids’ to shame though his face is showing the years. He obviously relishes his role and he knows how to shake, and show, that booty which got the women in the movie house whistling, laughing and hooting.

Tatum certainly defines the term of hunk plus has that impish smile and certainly knows how to dance. He gets more comfortable with each additional movie he takes on.

Director Steven Soderbergh lets the actors loose keeping enough of a reign on them while the screenplay by Reid Carolin introduces a lot of homosexual moves but doesn’t follow through, which might have added a much needed surprise to the movie.

I don’t know if the ladies, or the gay men, who come to see this movie for the strip scenes will think it is worth sitting through a 110 minute movie but all the men will keep on laughing listening to the reactions and laughter of the women along with a few of the comments they direct at the screen.

Posted June 29, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Everyone deserves to spoil themselves once in awhile–okay, okay, so I do it more than once in awhile–and today I did a few of my favorite things and high on the list was first. I discovered the Cafe Vico, not too far from where I live, during my birthday celebration. I got a ‘pay $25 for $50 worth of food’ from Groupon and so Allen and I went there for lunch. We had the pasta fagioli soup, rolls with a oil and garlic dip and the Linguini Pescatore, Allen having it in the marinara sauce while I had it in the garlic and oil–you still don’t want me breathing on you 6-7 hours later! For dessert he had blueberry creambule and I had carrot cake. What a good meal!Then off to the Dollar Tree and Supermarket–it’s a lie that you don’t buy as much on a full stomach!


Let me start off with the picture of the avocado plant. I gave it to my neighbor who planted it next to the library–come on over in 7-8 years and pick an avocado!

I walk into the Home Depot and my feet automatically go into the plant department–they always seem to have something ‘different–and there waiting for me was a Siam tulip–have you ever heard of it? I haven’t and then having to choose between 3 colors drove me crazy. I want them all!!! Though it isn’t a good picture I eventually decided on the pink one. Also got a couple of Vincas and a Purslane  to put in my big pot!


Posted June 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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6 weeks ago I bought packets of seeds at the The Dollar Tree store–this sunflower bloomed and in the pictures below you will see a few more–as the rest of the different seeds bloom I’ll post pictures. Right now all purple and red Poincianas are in their glory all over town and in the middle picture on the right is a tree with white blossoms in front of the Broward Performing Arts Center but I’m not sure what kind it is.

Can’t see them but now there are 4 sunflowers. I took the 2 pictures of the moon rising when I was sitting at The Point this evening. It was a little early but as long as it left the sun out I have no complaints.



Posted June 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized



I have a few suggestions to anyone who is reading this: 1) whether 17 or 70 if you don’t keep a diary start one right now  2) take pictures, take pictures, take pictures 3) in your diaries put down everything that is going on in detail and 4) on pictures put information with complete names, exact dates and locations and happenings.

I find reading my diaries 45-50 years later I have forgotten why, and who to, I put entries and on pictures I forget people, places and things. Alex was my roommate for almost 2 years and I can’t/don’t remember his last name!!! With Joan and Addie (I remember Addie’s last name–Kaplan–but not Joan’s!!!)  I remember wearing the red jacket, that in 2 pictures were were in Miami Beach and I assume the other was taken in their co-op.

There are  many references in my diaries to events that I have a hard time as to the ‘why’ of them or what happened. A good example are a few things that happened to, with and about Bernie!


Throughout my life I accumulated ‘families’, people I cared for and people who cared for me. From 1967-1969 my family consisted of Joan, Addie, Alex, Ronnie, Bernie, Joe, Albyn, Joe the Greek, Charles, Perry, Flo, Dick Hershey, Eleanor and a few others, not to forget Noel who I met on Christmas Eve 1968, brought home to Bernie as a Christmas present and it turned out he lived 2 floors above us! Over years some have died, in fact most have died such as Ronnie, Bernie, Flo, Joe, Albyn or ‘disappeared’ but I have never forgotten any of  them.

I was still in touch with my brother and his family going up to Suffern, where they lived, like on May 5, 1968, and then 2 months went up July 21st for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah (OMG! He is almost 60 with a family of his own–how did that happen?!?! LOL) or was it August 18?, but on an everyday basis–with Flo, Perry, Joe the Greek, Joe and Albyn living in Miami Beach–Ronnie, Joan, Addie, Alex and Bernie were the ones who made up the core of my New York family.

Skipping ahead a little when it came time for me to decide whether to move to Memphis, and go into business with Bernie, Joan, Addie and Ronnie were against it and when I decided to go they insisted I get in writing from Bernie exactly what I would be getting from the business. I didn’t listen to them which caused me a lot of problems a few years later but more about that when (IF!) I get to the 70s!


I’ve looked through my diary notes but I still can’t determine if I met Joan or Addie in one of my Weight Watchers classes, not that either was that fat, and then met the other but the three of us had a connection from day 1. Addie was a fashion designer and a ‘couckie’ one while Joan was the one in charge and reigned Addie in when she went to far. They owned a co-op (or was it a condo?) on 7th Avenue near 14th Street which is near the Village and we spent many weekends walking, and eating, down there. During the first 6 months I have many entries regarding the 3 of us doing things and, many times, Ronnie, Alex and/or Bernie joining us. They had us over for dinner and we reciprocated. It was a good, close friendship. I did the facebook, google searches but came up with nothing about them.


Bernie was doing a lot of traveling for Weight Watchers plus he had many weekends that he spent with his daughters so I had plenty of free time to get into trouble and I did! To a certain degree we had an ‘open relationship’ though more than he suspected or, I think, wanted to know.

The first ‘date’ I had with Bernie I threw him out of a cab on Fifth Avenue so our relationship had to go up from there and it did. On his birthday, June 19, I had a party for him inviting Alex, Ronnie and his ‘friend’ to have dinner with us at Dan Dowd’s and then went to the Latin Quarter. It wasn’t the first time I pulled this but I got drunk and ‘disappeared’ to the baths.

The next day Bernie told me he was thinking of leaving Weight Watchers and going into business with Irene and Florence-two ladies also associated with WW. I vaguely remember his using this as a ploy to get a raise at WW but instead he was offered a franchise with them and accepted without discussing it with me but that would come later.

Bernie and I went to Miami Beach over the July 4th weekend where he met Flo who, privately, put thumbs down on him. On July 15, 1968, I quit working lunch at Miller’s. July 26-28th came to New York to see shows before they took their yearly trip to Europe and we went to see the original production of “Boys In The Band” which was causing a sensation and Augsut 1 I started work at Dan Dowd’s .

I don’t know where, when or how I met Bernice and David Adelman–I think they came to one of my classes–but all of a sudden they were wining and dining me and my friends! Also on Sept. 8, 1968 I, and 5 others, went to see Olga Guiloot and Celia Cruz at Lincoln Center which brought back memories of Pepe who first introduced me to them.

And then 2 events happened in October that was to set me off on a different course 1 year later.



Posted June 26, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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A lot of discoveries, adventures and events took place from March 1967 to October 1969 that could take up a dozen or so posts but instead I would rather talk about the people I met along the way and how most changed my life. A few from that period remained my friend for awhile and then ‘disappeared’ while some, too many, have died but even in their dying they taught me much.

Events: joined Weight Watchers, lost weight, reached goal on August 3, started lecturing for them on September 14, left working dinner for The Brass Rail and worked lunch at Millers–met Bernie in November at one of my classes, and then we met Alex and then the 3 of us got an apartment together, met Charlie who came with Bernie to my class, Harry and I were a couple for a couple of months while I was seeing Charlie and started going with Bernie (don’t ask!), on Christmas Eve I dumped Harry for Bernie (another don’t ask!), Joan and Addie, spending New Year’s Eve, 1967, at Bernie’s where he lived with 4 other guys after his divorce and I wouldn’t let Ronnie leave (there are a lot of ‘don’t asks’!), bought my first lottery ticket on June 1 and haven’t stopped buying them for 45 years (and, no, I don’t want to figure out how much I have spent on lottery tickets since June 1, 1967 until today!)

When Charlie offered me a job (on January 31, 1968) I was very taken aback. Yes, we have been ‘seeing’ each other but we knew it wouldn’t go anywhere as he had a partner. Charlie had lost weight with WW and was also lecturing for them but he decided he wanted to open his own weight loss organization and he asked me to come for him. He thought he would rent rooms near, or at, the places I had my very successful classes. I turned him down and never saw him again! If I had ‘smarts’ I would have watched the mistakes he made and learned how strong a business Weight Watchers was back then instead of doing the same thing 7-8 years later. Wonder what ever happened to Charlie?

In addition to working for WW and Miller’s I took a part-time job at Dan Dowd’s restaurant on 47th Street which would help me in 1979 when I moved to Fort Lauderdale as  Dan immediately hired me to work in his place there.I was doing 6 classes a week so all in all I was busy but never to busy to get into ‘trouble’, get drunk, go to the theatre and/or go out to eat.  My diaries list restaurants like the Scandia, Mario’s on 58th Street, Lin’s Gardens and Luchow’s and I wonder if any are still opened or remembered?

Bernie and I picked Alex up at the museum on February 21 and 8 days later he helped me celebrate my 8th Leap Year birthday. On March 22 the three of us moved into 301 East 22nd Street. Bernie was doing a lot of traveling to Weight Watchers franchisees so I was busy making ‘acquaintances’ with so many names listed in my diaries that I don’t remember who they were let alone their names!

Over the years I remained very close to Joe and Albyn and whenever they came to New York we would spend time together. I will never forget the first time they came to New York ,after I lost my weight when I was still living on 75th Street, and when I opened the door seeing their jaws drop to the ground seeing me. There were certainly tears of joy along with the never ending love they showed me.

As I talk about these times I remember the ‘hot’ guy I had become physically– yes, I did–but I also remember how I didn’t change in more important ways. I was still using people, still lying to them, still cutting myself off emotionally and mentally. I still had so much unexplained anger.  It would take a few more years to start work on those aspects of myself but all the people I have mentioned along with some more I was to meet made that possible.

It would be a year and 5 months before I made a second decision that would change my life forever and I discussed, rediscussed and discussed again that decision with people who were important in my life at that time.

(To be continued)


Posted June 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized



I haven’t been to Bravo since they redid the whole restaurant from a typical Italian restaurant with red and white plastic tablecloths to a very upscale looking, dark wood tables and surroundings but their prices haven’t increased that much.
We came in for a late lunch about 2 PM and there were 2 other parties inside. They have a very inviting outside dining area but no way will you get me to eat outside in South Florida.
Marie immediately greeted us, took us to a table with plenty of room and asked what we wanted to drink and served them promptly. From beginning to end Marie was a professional and friendly server.
We started off with a fresh salad Allen having ranch dressing while I had the Balsamic vinegar and virgin oil cruets on the table. We had light garlic rolls served with the salad and Marie asked whether we wanted them with garlic or without. We had them with garlic which was lightly brushed over the top and not overbearing.
He had the Chicken Francese($9.95) with a side of whole wheat linguini with marinara sauce and I had Chicken Scarpariello ($9.95) with whole wheat linguini with oil and garlic sauce.
Allen liked his Francese but didn’t care for the marinara sauce on his linguini. Scarpariello is one of my favorite Italian dishes and though it wasn’t the best I ever had it was good and the side of pasta was hot and delicious.
It being Allen’s birthday we had 3 desserts–like we needed an excuse–having the coconut cake ($8.50), brownie bash (($9.95) and lemoncello ($8.50) with all 3 not that good and overpriced which is why I didn’t give Bravo 5 stars.
I had coffee ($2.75) and he had a diet coke ($2.85) with the check including tax and tip coming to $65.60 I had a discount coupon paying $20 for $40 worth of food so the total net cost was $45.60 instead of the $65.60 The dinner prices for the entrees are about $6 higher
I would go back for the Scarpariello and other main courses but would skip the desserts and instead go down the block to the Cold Stone Creamery!


Posted June 24, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized


Sometimes a week comes along filled with surprises that just bring a smile to your face and that happened to me recently.

I went out to Allen’s place to pick up his mail as he was out of town and I had his car and stopped at a thrift shop near where he works and found the above Hawaiian shirt for 50% off–total cost? $2!!!!!!

On the 12th I went to see “La Cage Aux Folles” and saw one of the best performances on stage I have seen in years–Christopher Sieber playing the role of Albin/ZaZa–truly memorable. When I got home on Tuesday there was a note waiting from him to me. All I will say is don’t forget he is giving me “All the best”!! {#basic-blush.gif}{#basic-blush.gif}

And last, but certainly not least, after seeing a movie on Friday I came home to find a box of brownie bars from Zest of Memphis and unless you have tasted them you don’t know what Heaven is!! Just go to and salivate looking at the pictures–as good as they look, trust me, they taste a lot better!

A new shirt–a ‘love’ note (oh hush, leave me alone!)–delicious melt in your mouth brownies–who needs anything else in life?!?!?!?


Posted June 23, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Can you walk into a movie theatre, park your logic at the door, and accept that a boy could be struck directly with lightning and just wind up with a dirty face and clothes? Do you think a 12 year old boy, not 15-16, would listen to a 12 year old girl describe a French kiss and ask for one without his going “UGH!”? Maybe “Moonrise Kingdom” is for you if you can sit back, relax and think both happenings are rational.


Wes Anderson directed, and co-wrote with Roman Coppola, this story of Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), 2 twelve year olds who have an innocent romance. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs, Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) have 3 other children, boys who appear to be triplets from their actions, all who seem apart from their daughter and sister. The adults in Sam’s life such as the foster parents who do not want him anymore, the social service (Tilda Swinton) worker who is determined to put him in detention and Sam’s Khaki Scoutmaster (Edward Norton) work against him while Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), the local sheriff, seems to be the only adult who cares for and about the boy. The other Khaki Scouts, boys Sam and Suzy’s age, are, at first, against them and then try to help the young couple.


Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are exceptional as the leads, the outsiders, while Willis and Norton, along with Bob Balaban as the narrator, add heft to the film. Frances McDormand really doesn’t bring anything to the part of the mother while it is time for Tilda Swinton to change her hairstyle! I never have understood the appeal of Bill Murray and his hang dog bull terrier  look in every movie but I know he has a big following.


There are a lot of illogical things happening in “Moonrise Kingdom” that in a sense make it a fantasy but I had the feeling this would be a lot better on a small TV screen than it comes across on the big movie screen in spite of the gorgeous Rhode Island scenery.

Posted June 22, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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We have an Avocado tree in the back of my building which yielded about 75 avocados this past season. I took 2 of them and planted the pits in May and now am only 7-8 years before I have 2 avocado trees loaded with them. Just think of all the guacamole we can make and have with chips!

The Parent Tree


The Tree Maker


Posted June 21, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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