Archive for May 2014

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Restaurant dining near the Broward Performing Arts Center is limited to about 6 overpriced places and now the Public House has joined them. This has already been the spot for about 5 restaurants including a gay bar and all have gone belly-up.

The Public House is wide open with sliding doors, a large square bar in the middle and tables on 3 sides. There are also high tables outside.

We seated ourselves as the hostess wasn’t at her station and the place was fairly quiet with a new show opening at the BPAC.

We had a nice table but couldn’t avoid the eyes watching the TVs on the opposite wall. A very bubbly, accommodating server Gabrielle greeted us and when I asked for recommendations she suggested a few items and I took the turkey and Brie panini with hand cut waffle fries ($14.00) and coffee ($3). The fries were served hot but being cut the way they were they got cold very quickly. The sandwich was okay but the bread was cut way too thick.

Allen had the Rocket salad made of strawberries, baby argula, almonds, feta and white balsamic vinegar ($14) adding chicken for another $4 and had a soda ($3) which he enjoyed.

Our check, with tax and tip, came to $50.

The Himmarshee Public House seems more like a drinking pub than a restaurant and though comfortable to sit in I found being near the sidewalk distracting. I am one who prefers indoor air conditioning away from gas fumes and crowds passing by.

I have eaten at all the restaurants on this strip and the only one i have found consistent with food and service plus a wide selection on their menu is the Tarpon Bend so unless a new restaurant opens that is where we will head the next time we go to the BPAC.

Posted May 25, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST”   Leave a comment

When does a ‘special effect’ stop being special? The first time Jennifer Lawrence as a blue lady, “X-MEN: DAY OF FUTURE PAST”,  turns into a male soldier it is a special effect and then when she turns into a beautiful woman it is special but the twentieth time she morphs into another person it isn’t special anymore.

When Hugh Jackman steps out of bed and shows full male back nudity that is special and may have an effect on the audience but it happens only one time making it a ‘special effect’. Michael Fassbinder, who hasn’t been shy when it comes to full frontal nudity in other films, stays dressed in this one and the first time he puts on his helmet and suspends everyone, and everything, in the air it is a special effect but the 4th or 5th it is a “So what?” Are Jackman’s ‘nails’ surprising anymore?

Is it surprising that the White House takes a battering or panes of glass of are smashed robot like transformers walk around killing people? I didn’t think so. How many mutant X-Men and X-Women are too many? Or do you just stop talking after Wolverine (Jackman), Mystique (Lawrence), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Storm (Halle Berry) Magneto (Ian McKellan future, Fassbender past) Professor X (Patrick Stewart Future, James McAvoy past), Blink (Fan Bingbing), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Rogue (Anna Paquin) or the 50th X-Men or is it when you suspect Richard Nixon (Mark Camacho) might be a mutant?

There are as many story lines (screenplay by Simon Kinberg, story by Jane Goldman, Mattew Vaughn and Kinberg) as there are X-Men, X-Women and mutants but all are easy to follow, if you are interested in following any of them. Director Bryan Singer keeps the 2 hour, 11 minute movie going at a fast pace with all the special effects.

It is easy to see that paying the extra dollars to see it at IMAX and 3 D would probably be worth the money but, as far as I am concerned, this is my last foray into Marvel comic movies and other films that are mainly special effects that stop being special.

Posted May 23, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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This being the 20th Friday of 2014 it means I have seen a minimum of 20 new movies and “Belle” without a doubt is, so far, the best movie of the year. It combines a beautiful love story with a realistic look at the society of that time plus a law suit that could change history. “Belle” is based on a true story.

There are 3 main story lines in the film, each of equal importance, so to say one is the main story is misleading. The first introduced story is that of an illegitimate daughter, Dido Elizabeth Belle, (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of a white British naval officer, (Mathew Goode) and a Negro woman who dies when Dido is still a child. The father, Sir John Lindsay, acknowledges the child as his and brings her to his uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and aunt Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson) who are already raising another niece Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon). Dido and Elizabeth are treated as equals by their uncle and aunt but not by society.

We see that Dido will have a substantial dowry from her father and Elizabeth will have none, it is the latter who gets many privileges while the latter, strictly because of being a mulatto, cannot enjoy a dinner with guests but can join the company and that is just a minor consequence of society of that time—the 18th century.

Another story line involves Lord Mansfield, as the Chief Justice of England and Wales, having to rule in the Zong massacre case that could change the course of slavery and bringing it to an end or continue what the British Empire has always done and is accepted as the right of the  privileged.

The third story line is of the love affair between a vicar’s son, John Davinier (Sam Reid) studying the law and Dido.

Okay, full disclosure–I am a cry baby and couldn’t stop crying the last 30 minutes of the film!

Like most British films every part is cast perfectly from Miranda Richardson who will forget color when it comes to ensuring her sons (Tom Felton and James Norton) future to Penelope Wilton as the ‘old maid’ aunt who is a governess to the girls.

While Sam Reid shines as one of many of Dido’s suitors it is Gugu Mbatha-Raw who is definitely the breakout star and there is no justice if she doesn’t win many awards for this film. Aside from beauty, eyes that reflect everything she is feeling and the absolutely mesmerizing way she holds herself she will not fail to touch you.

Only the basic facts of Dido’s life are known–be sure to stay for the credits and what happened to the people involved–the director Amma Asante who wrote the script based on a screenplay by Misan Sagay makes an almost perfect picture.


Posted May 16, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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You have never seen an ‘event’ like the “Blue Man Group”, that was started 27 years ago off-Broadway and has since gone global.  It is a combination of music, satire, humor, a rock concert, modern art, strobe lights, special effects and modern technology all rolled into one.


Audience participation is an important aspect of the show whether it is getting them up to ‘shake their booty’ or pushing giant colored balloons all over the auditorium. In the middle of the show the three Blue Men, Mike Brown, Benjamin Forster and Scott Speiser, come into the audience to bring, in this case, a woman on stage to dine on Twinkies and in another case a young man who they put in a jump suit to use his body to make a painting.


There are liquids all over the place, used for various reasons in various ways, not to mention string confetti falling from the ceiling and the first 3 rows in the orchestra provided with panchos, just in case. Some of the funniest lines are before the show starts when signs on each side of the stage have running messages. By the way the three blue men never talk but they sure can catch food in mid-air!.


Whether it is setting a camera on someone who has come in late for the performance and being taunted with “You are late. You should have been here 20 minutes ago,” until they get to their seats or taking a live oral exam with a camera, for everyone to see, of an front seat audience member or climbing the back of seats up to the boxes you never know what to expect from the Blue Man Group.


There are 8 actors in the Blue Man Group plus 8 musicians, the latter mainly dressed in skeleton outfits, and, as fast as technology is growing, I am sure the show will be as different in 27 years as it was 27 years ago.

Posted May 15, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

VEGGIE GARDEN REPORT MAY 11, 2014   Leave a comment


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It looks like I lost the radishes. I went through the whole pot and not a single ‘growth’. I brought the squash pot in and thinned it out just as I did the string beans and peas.

I am hoping the string beans will grow bigger but even if they don’t I will put them in some recipe. I am giving them another week or two. If you look closer in the middle of the peas picture you will see some forming. I had always peas grew on a vine but obviously there are different kind of peas that grow different ways. There were a lot of ‘brown strings’ that I cut out giving the remaining stems room to breathe.

I know the pot for the squash is pretty small so I may have to ‘thin’ it out more but I am hoping to see some growth.

By the way the picture of the gladiolas in my Mother’s Day post are the ones I grew in a pot but of the bulbs this is the only one that has produced so far–I’m waiting for the others! I think Mother Nature decided this one would grow to salute all mothers!!

Posted May 11, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“Fading Gigolo” has Sharon Stone, crossing and uncrossing her legs in a very short skirt–anyone remember “Basic Instinct”?–along with Sofia Vergara showing ALL her assets. It has a threesome between the two women and John Turturro, who also directed and wrote the screenplay, and a gigolo (Turturro) along with a pimp, the latter being Woody Allen. With  all this you would expect a lot of sex or what goes on behind the ‘business’ but the sexist scene is a kiss in a park in Brooklyn with Turturro giving the kiss. (Hey he wrote, directed, stars in the film–he can do whatever he wants!)

Hidden in all this is a sweet love story triangle between Fioravante/Virgil (Turturro),  Avigal (Vanessa Paradis) and Dovi ((Liev Schreiber). Avigal has been a Hasidic widow for 2 years, is the mother of 6 children and is in a religious Jewish sect where women are invisible. Dovi is an officer in a Brooklyn Hasidic neighbor watch with special cars and uniforms who has loved Avigal for years but it is Fioravante who brings her alive with innocent touches and that kiss.

The setup of Turturro and Allen as gigolo and pimp is quickly set up but really isn’t necessary to the film except with Stone and Vergara added to that part of the story extends the film long enough to be a featured film. Whether Turturro would be considered sexy enough to be a gigolo, get paid $1,000 and get Stone plus Vergara I’ll leave up to you. He is sweet enough to get Paradis’s attention.

Vanessa Paradis steals the movie from all with Liev Schreiber as the sincere suitor who doesn’t know how to approach the woman he loves.

Instead of the whole ‘sex for sale’ idea if more time had been spent on defining how a ‘trial’ can be held and the procedure that takes place, along with explaining more of  Avigal’s life it would have been a better film.

This is a small ‘independent’ ‘art’ film that shows a woman becoming alive because she receives attention that she had never gotten even with 6 kids. It might also spark more interest in the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn.

“Fading Gigolo” is a film that would be better being seen on the small screen but should be seen on a movie screen to see Vanessa Paradis’s face and acting!

Posted May 9, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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MY FIRST TIME—WITH PICTURES!!!   Leave a comment



I got a new crock pot—thanks bubblews–this week and having never used one I am ready to give it a try! Here goes:

Okay—I have chicken quarters–2 large carrots–a very large onion–a can of Healthy Choice (I just love looking at that lying label!!!) chicken with rice soup–cup of noodles–Progresso chicken tortilla soup–onion and garlic pistachio mix–rice—going to throw them all in the crock pot (but I do/will remove the skin from the chicken–don’t need the EXTRA fat), I put it on low last night just as I was going to sleep and I woke up this morning to a great smell coming from the kitchen! It was done and looked great. Surprisingly to me I didn’t even taste any. I drained most of the grease off, will let it cool off and then put it in fridge.

It being Friday Allen and I will be going to the movies–new Woody Allen (he acting) directed and co-starring John Turturro (see review this evening–
in “Fading Gigolo”) have lunch, come home around 4 or 5, relax, put the crock pot on warm and around 8 PM sit down, make a salad, put some of the chicken on a plate, add some of ‘soup’ over it and see how my first crock pot meal tastes!!

Any recipe suggestions for me to try?

Posted May 9, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized



At one time is seemed there was an Italian restaurant on every other block in Fort Lauderdale but now with chains and franchises it seems they are on every block– and I have tried them all. My favorites (and I have written reviews on both) are the Casa Vico for elegant Italian food and Big Louie’s for that eating at home food and feelings.

Carrabba’s is not poor and not excellent but indistinct from hundreds of other Italian restaurant.
Allen had the lunch fettuccini with shrimp, mushrooms and garlic ($11.90) and had a side salad ($2 more) along with a diet soda ($2.75). I had the lunch lasagna in a meat sauce ($8.90) a side salad with crumbled blue cheese as they didn’t have a bc dressing ($3.50 without the server telling me of the extra $1.50 for the blue cheese–which is a charge I haven’t faced in 30 years) and a cup of coffee for $2.75 We were also given a generic Italian bread with a dish of oil and what would looked like capers for dipping.

The restaurant has been completely redone since it was a Bobby Rubino’s years ago and another restaurant since then. It is done all in dark browns and black, has an open kitchen in the rear, a bar with high top tables on the right and tables on booths on the right.
The server made a couple of mistakes with one being not telling about the extra charge for the blue cheese crumbles another with a mistake on the check.

With tip and tax the check came to $40.

The restaurant reminded me of a steakhouse while the food didn’t make me want to come back.

Posted May 6, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Batman is a man and Superman is a man but as portrayed by Andrew Garfield in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” he is more of a boy who could be graduationg from from high school instead of collage. Emma Stone, younger than Garfield in real life, looks and acts more mature and is certainly prettier than Garfield!
There are a few villains in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, one or two too many, just as there are too much of everything from web flying to electric charges via Jamie Foxx as Electro to a high police car count of crashes and shootings..
As any super hero movie these days special effects are over done as is glass breaking and the running time.Just cutting back all the hugs Dane DeHaan gives Garfield would shorten the movie.Also we are all of a sudden in the world of Transformers with Paul Giamatti as a mechanical rhino!
This is not one of the better super hero movies and at 2 hours and 22 minutes is way too long


Posted May 2, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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UPS AND DOWNS AND LIFE!   Leave a comment


One thing about life is that whether up or down it is interesting. On Tuesday at 6 PM April 29, 2014, I was having a blah dinner in a new restaurant in downtown Fort Lauderdale called the “Public House” (which I will review this weekend) and two hours later was seating in the Broward Performing Arts Center watching the stage musical of the movie version of “Ghost” which I posted the review yesterday–April 30, 2014–at 8 AM.

Three hours later I was in the pre-op room of my eye surgeon for cataract surgery and it wasn’t until 2:40 PM that I was finally wheeled in to the operating room to have the cataract surgery done on my left eye. It was only 9 months (yes it was cataract surgery–I wasn’t giving birth! LOL)

At 4 PM I was at the IHOP having a cheese omelet with a short stack of pancakes–and all this took place within twenty fours. It is now 10:15 AM and I wait patiently—well not too patiently–as I wait for my 1 PM appointment to have the ‘plastic’ (yeah, no romantic pirate black patch!) taken off and which I will only habe to wear for week and only when I sleep.

Cataract surgery is one of the easiest procedures I have ever been through and I suggest anyone who is faced with the possibility–and we all get cataracts as we age–to not hesitate and have it done. I do know that my right eye improved tremendously and I am looking forward to the same the same thing with the left eye.

After the doctor’s appointment it will be on with my normal Thursday—Allen and I will go to lunch then The Dollar Tree followed by my food shopping for the week at Winn Dixie, then CVS and back home to catch up on my email and bubbling.

Tomorrow it will probably be the new Spiderman movie unless we can find something else to see and lunch afterwards.


Posted May 1, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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