Archive for the ‘FLORIDA’ Category

Going to the Mall   1 comment

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I don’t remember the last time I have gone to a mall! The Galleria–high end–Mall is less than a mile from where I live and I don’t remember the last time I was there. Luiz came down from Pompano and we decide to go there as Julie was cleaning my place and I didn’t want to be in her way.
The first thing that struck me upon entering the mall was how quiet it was. I’ve read, that because of online ordering, malls were closing all over the country and many name stores no longer anchored malls. (Saks and Neiman Marcus are gone from this mall and a lot of stores I never heard of have opened.)

The next thing that hit me was that my legs were in worse condition than I thought as I had to stop many times due to the pain in my calves BUT it didn’t stop me from making it to the chocolate shop (photo lower left corner) where they were handing out ‘samples’! I did behave myself and had only 2 samples!

They had redone the whole food court area but one of my favorite sit-down full service restaurant was still there–Seasons 52–so we decided to go there for lunch (last 3 photos) and they didn’t let us down–good food, reasonably priced, excellent service.

I did love browsing in the ‘art’ store where I could have bought the parrot (4th picture) for ‘only’ $4,000 BUT I wanted the full standing horse (3rd picture) though I was afraid to ask the price! LOLIn the center of the mall they had a welcome desk and were giving out coupon books but what got me was seeing a Western Union section–I don’t remember the last time I saw a Western Union office anywhere!

In the first picture you can see Luiz buying out the soap store!I took 2 videos on my phone but as much as I try I am unable to download them!In any case this Galleria Mall may soon be out of date because I just saw this on their home page yet I don’t understand why they would make a big change as this section of Fort Lauderdale will soon be under water as many are predicting but aren’t doing anything to prevent it!

In any case with good company, a good lunch (and let’s not forget the chocolate samples!) it was a different, pleasant afternoon!

Posted July 30, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

FOOD, FLOWERS AND FLOODS   Leave a comment

With “variety being the spice of life” I must admit that the older I get the less ‘variety’ I have in life—unless you call visiting 10 doctors variety and I don’t, including getting up in the middle of the night for a dentist visit!!–as I find myself following a routine every day BUT even within a routine I vary things a little bit!

I may go to JMarks restaurant (first and seventh pictures) and have the steak each time I go but I do vary the potato! Then on other days I may go to IHOP (pictures 4 & 6) when I want something ‘light’ and will usually order either the cheeseburger or cheese omelet but this time I ordered off the ’55+ menu’ and I won’t do that again! A half a sandwich and 2 onion rings? No thanks.

I do love the variety of blooming flowers I have in my apartment (second picture) as there are always new blooms every day and I really don’t do much except water them once a week and they reward me with colors!

It is THAT time of the year in Florida! We have had a very ‘dry’ rainy season but was reminded that it is also hurricane season by the yearly handout (third picture) of the “Hurricane and Flood Guide”! September and October are usually when we get hit with a hurricane though we have been lucky for the past decade as the hurricanes have missed us. There is a dangerous sign this season though because one of the  names on the new list of hurricanes is Martin!! (PS I ain’t evacuating!!)

With that in mind I guess I will just have to eat the box of a dozen cookies (fifth picture) that I ordered for someone else!!

Posted July 26, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE

Am I just a grumpy old man or ???????????   1 comment

What does it mean when menu prices are no longer giving me sticker shock? What is it doing to me mentally when I am seriously thinking of not eating out anymore? Am I finally ‘POOR’ or just a grumpy, cranky old man??

This past week we went to two old standbys that we hadn’t been to in a long time and I was unhappy with both for different—but I think justified–reasons!

On Thursday we went to Pomperdales–a ‘New York type deli’–that I used to go to AFTER I got weighed at my primary doctor’s office which was next door and no longer is. All the years I went to my favorite deli in New York I never remembered waiting on myself and yet here I place and pick up the order, get a drink (in my case water) and have to clean up after myself ! And this cost me $18.49 and tax coming to $20 but that’s not what I am complaining about (well, at that price I am not happy waiting on myself!)—hope you are sitting down because I am sure you never expected to hear this from me–the sandwich was too clumsy to hold and eat because it was so thick! I had ordered a Reuben and between all the meat centered in the middle of the rye bread plus the sauerkraut plus the thousand island dressing with each bite part of it fell on the plate or on me! It was sloppy and, consequently, not enjoyable! Putting half the amount of meat or even just spreading it out between the 2 slices of bread more evenly would have made it a lot more enjoyable to eat!

Oh yes, that $18.49 sandwich was for 8 ounces of corned beef while you could get one for $23.49 for 12 ounces of corned beef–at a little bit over $2 a pound for the meat I would have been very happy getting 6 ounces of meat!

Okay, if you are over the shock of me complaining about too much food how about if I told you I didn’t have a piece of the great carrot cake at Lester’s where we went on Friday?! Lester’s is a landmark diner in Fort Lauderdale not far from where I used to live and go to all the time! (Before I forget–they have a Reuben Sandwich for $12.99) They have done a lot of renovations and it is all sparkling metal and glass now with red accents.

I ordered the seafood platter which came with Stuffed Shrimp, Shrimp Scampi and Tilapia for $21.99 including soup and a side dish. Since I was having the Scampi I asked for linguini as my side dish. It is a full serve restaurant and our server Lisette was excellent. The soup was good, served with crackers, though a bit salty. Ah, remember the old days when you got a basket of bread and/or rolls and butter when you ordered platters? In any case the dish looked good when it came. The Tilapia was a good sized piece  while the shrimps were big and though the stuffing was just piled in a scoop over the shrimp tasted good. The Scampi had a good garlic and oil covering but it all laid on a dish of cold pasta! Yes, I could have sent it back to have the pasta warmed up but didn’t instead (lesson learned as a server–never return food!!  That’s another post!) telling myself I would have the carrot cake afterwards but I didn’t because the cold pasta just turned me off plus, as much as I don’t like to do it I was concerned about what it would cost these days because they do have a great carrot cake and serve a big slice. With tax and tip lunch—in a diner!–came to $60!!

I love eating out but how many lunches can I afford to spend $45-50? ($20 Thursday and $30 Friday!) That plus going to a movie would eat up my Social Security very fast. As it is not going to the theatre (and miss seeing touring shows) plus eating dinner out has ‘saved’ me money to a certain extent.

So do I 1) give up eating out?  2) Just be a grumpy, cranky old man? Or 3)??????????????????

Posted July 9, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE

Last Week of June 2022   Leave a comment

1 to 3) Wilton Manors is home to THE GAY PRIDE PARADE every year and this year thousands showed up to show off! Wilton Manors is a small ‘island’ city adjacent to Fort Lauderdale and is known for   it is also know for its “Love Wins” bridge  It has the Gay Rainbow Flag colors and is near a high school so I am surprised the Florida governor hasn’t signed a law banning it—yet!!

4) No that’s not me but I get a kick out of it every time I see it!

6) A typical weather week in Fort Lauderdale in June–and, by the way, our weather meteorologist is Bette Davis!

7) Indoors or outdoors I never get tired of Mother Nature whether it is growing peppers from seed (first picture) or clipping a stem of a bush and putting it in a pot and growing the Cuban plant and the bright  living 24 hours, yellow bloom or the striking Queen Crepe Myrtle tree outside my window.

8) We have lizards all over the grounds and a lot of the times you can’t see them–this one caught me eye running away from me–the tail starts at the tip of the arrow–can you see it?

9) Last but not least what’s a week without eating out here and there? Ice cream at Baskin Robbins, a cheeseburger at the Quarterdeck and the best pizza in town at Big Louie’s–my last job before I retired and one of the very few restaurants that I ever went back to eat in after I stopped working in it!Now waiting to see what July brings!

Posted June 27, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE


Walking in the door the first impression was that Rossini was a new place, sterile-looking, with no warmth and certainly not Italian!  We were greeted by 2 servers telling us to sit where we would like. Very quickly we were brought a large bottle of water and glasses filled with ice plus a basket of bread and side dishes each with oil and Balsamic vinegar on each.
We ordered an Antipasto Di Pesce (Shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari in a tomato sauce with spices) $17* for an appetizer, which was served beautifully but looked better than it tasted. It wasn’t bad but nothing special.
I ordered Lasagna $18* which was just okay while Allen had the Ribeye Con Gorgonzola E Tartufo $36*. He said the steak was very tender but he didn’t care for the topping so scraped most of it off. Again the plate was served looking beautiful
In addition, he had a diet Pepsi $3.50 so with tax added after the 50% off promotion our check came to $39.87 plus a $15 tip bringing the check to $54.87 to $24+ each for lunch.

* We were there for lunch–about 1 PM and though they advertise 50% off for lunch and dinner we were given the dinner menu–the appetizer was $2 more than the lunch menu as shown on their web page as was the Lasagna and the steak wasn’t on the lunch menu.

I have sort of gotten used to sticker shock seeing restaurant menu prices
but if you are advertising something I would suggest changing your web page and just say 50% off the menu all day 11 AM to 11 PM. Also, this is the second restaurant in 2 days that I have seen “Pay with cash and save” printed on the check, assuming they will charge the customer what the credit cards charge the business but there wasn’t a charge added on either restaurant check.

Bottom line: the service was fine, the dishes presented nicely but the food was just okay and at regular prices plus tip would have come to $92 for lunch  
which is too high.

Signs of May 2022   Leave a comment

First sign of May at Gateway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are the Queen Myrtle Trees start to bloom! We used to have dozens of them but many were taken out not to mention other signs of May that I miss like the blooming hibiscus that were all around the property.

Of course another sign are the weather predictions when temperatures in the 90s start appearing but considering we have been in the high 80s since February it isn’t a surprise.

What would May be without Cinco De Mayo which is celebrated more in the USA than in Mexico where it is acknowledged as the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the battle of Puebla in 1862. I believe it is also celebrated more in the South then in the North but then we have so many Mexican restaurants in this area not to mention any excuse to drink Margaritas!!

We went to the Tequila Sunrise restaurant where they were preparing for a big party outside and it was busy, as always inside! We had a Chicken Chimichanga which is a tortilla filled with meat and then fried. It is always served with refried beans and brown rice and is delicious, not to forget filling!

Also—I think it got mixed up–my Christmas cactus bloomed  to help Mexico celebrate!!
And who are the building C cat, and me, to not enjoy the sun, warm weather, he looking out the window and me strolling along the walkway to my apartment?!

Welcome to May, 2022!

Posted May 7, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, GATEWAY, SEASONS

WELCOME TO MAY 2022   Leave a comment

April went out and May came in with   but I have a feeling it was cut back because a) I didn’t hear the continuous barrage of noise over our buildings and b) there was on and off rain though none really that heavy.

#2 pictures–I walked around Gateway along the canals and down to The Point and even though it was Spring since we had mainly temperatures in the 80s since February it was like a summer day–the grounds were wet but not a drop of rain all afternoon and the sunny was out and bright!

#3 pictures–Spring or not the plant on my kitchen ledge consisting of the yellow Cuban flowers and the pink Geraniums were blooming! All from little snips of older plants and just stuck in a pot of dirt and left alone to do their thing!

#4 pictures–talking of blooming and Spring my 5 pots of pepper plants started showing flowers towards the end of April and on the first of May I had a few peppers to use in my dinner tonight. I don’t know why out of 15-20 blooms I only get about 6-7 peppers and they are very small (but enough to flavor a recipe!) I suppose I should cut them back, have less branches and the results would be better and bigger but I love seeing the blossoms and since each plant seems to rotate in producing peppers I am not really complaining!

Do I really have to explain the two unnumbered pictures? I didn’t think so!Here’s to May 2022 on the way to summer.


I was really looking forward to seeing “The Duke” for many reasons from the fact that it starred one of my favorite actresses, Helen Mirren, and her co-star, Jim Broadbent, always gives a good, sometimes great, performance. They were the leads in this film based on a true story and was being billed as a British comedy which is always a plus when it comes to movies! Also, in its favor it was only 1 hour and 36 minutes which meant it had to move fast. Last, but not least, there was included a story about one man fighting against the system with social overtones and, to a certain degree, showed how the British government did, or didn’t, work.

I was ready to relax and enjoy all the above.

The true story is interesting but not worth 96 minutes! Oh yes, that 96 minutes seemed like 4 hours. There was only one time I, or anyone else, laughed but I won’t tell you because might as well leave you something to look forward to. There is a twist that unless you know the story you won’t see it coming and might not believe.

Mirren and Broadbent are good but there is a whole story between them that is only touched on and could have made for a more powerful story.The trial section is entertaining to a point but not as funny as the spectators, the lawyers, judges, court personal and the prisoner to to think it is.

“The Duke” is really slow moving, not funny, not dramatic and not really a movie worth seeing on TV as it certainly is not worth paying admission to see it in a movie house!


I LOVE #6–don’t remember where I first saw it or who originally posted it and where but I have never forgotten it!

#2 I have been going to the Gateway Theatre for so many years I have forgotten how many! We used to drive up from Miami Beach for a day in the ‘country’ also known as Fort Lauderdale. We did come up to see the opening of the movie “Where The Boys Are” and that was in 1960—OMG! 62 years ago–and I have been coming at least once a week since I moved back to South Florida in 1979 (43 years ago doesn’t sound any better!)

In any case new owners took over recently and I donated to their GOFUNDME campaign plus got a membership. They are a nonprofit organization and I was taken aback when I saw they raised their prices, even for matinees, including for seniors. I know COVID has really hurt the movie-going business but raising prices in not the answer nor is only showing Marvel movies as they are made for the BIG screen showings not for an intimate theatre like The Gateway. On the other hand the movies they are showing don’t attract people to matinees so why raise prices for those shows?

I will NEVER stop going to movie theatres to see movies but why should I pay over $9 for one movie when I can pay $8.99 for Netflix and see 100 movies? Theatres charged higher prices for the new Batman so why not charge lower prices for ‘art’ movies? I’m afraid—and hope I am very wrong—The Gateway won’t be in business too much longer.

#s 4, 7, 11, 12 are just a few pictures I have taken of The Point on Karen Bay. I think I have taken more pictures of The Point than I have taken selfies!! Really! It is just an ever changing great sight to see any time of night and day!

#s 1, 8, 9, 10 Ah yes, my indoor Cuban and Geranium plants are always a joy to see and how can you not smile when you are walking around and see a bird #3 just standing around and looking at the same view you are?

Posted April 17, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

The Cactus, The Point, Food and Me!!   Leave a comment

Whether it is my birthday or not  my “Christmas” Cactus doesn’t forget me and always blooms in February and March!

The weather has been so perfect I have started to go to The Point more often which is always a pleasant (if now slower) walk with an ever changing seascape.  From canoes to million dollar yachts, kids in tires being towed all over Karen Bay until, at least, one falls into the water to catamarans which are docked all along the canal it is always a delight!

Oh, yes, after those l-o-o-o-o-n-n-n-n-g walks one does have to refuel! Not really as these meals are/were being eaten on Thursdays and Fridays when we go out food shopping, run errands and now, occasionally, a Friday movie. 

We hadn’t been to The Outback since the COVID virus started so we decided to go there. Allen had a Filet Mignon and I, was torn between 3 items and after asking the waiter I ordered the shrimp and chicken on a bed of fettuccine, which was good but steak should be ordered in a steakhouse! Oh well, next time and there will be a next time as we are very seldom disappointed when we go there.

On the left is a picture of the shrimp, beans and rice plate with a salsa topping I had at the Tequila Sunrise restaurant, a place I have been going to for over 30+ years and that was before I moved into Gateway where the mother of the owner lived! It’s a tie between Jalisco and Tequila Sunrise which is the better neighborhood Mexican restaurant though to be honest there are many I haven’t tried in Fort Lauderdale. There are a lot more now than there was when I first moved here.

All is good and tomorrow I will be going back to my former cardiologist and even though I know he won’t/can’t answer them all I have a list of questions for him because I have been in a fog since last November when I had an operation and then in December when I fell and got a ‘infected blood’ diagnosis and still don’t know if that is what is changing my whole body with itching, very dry and rashes plus new meds in addition to the 12+ I am already taking!

Looking out at the sunset and just feeling good!

Posted March 8, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

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