Archive for the ‘FORT LAUDERDALE’ Category


#1s) It looks like the ‘Christmas’ cactus is getting ready for Halloween–there are about 25 buds ready to bloom and 5 already have–mostly white but an orange bloom here and there!

#2s) There is a bench behind building B that I seem to be the only one whoever sits there as I did this afternoon reading a book and watching people in boats, canoes, etc., plus I can look down to The Point and see the yachts, catamarans that line the canal–it is just so peaceful.

#3) You might see it if you look very closely but that have the driveway all marked up for the repaving they are going to do the coming Tuesday and Wednesdays. The new company may not give us all the benefits we got the the previous owners but they certainly keep the property in great condition!

#4s) One is the yearly certificate I get for a donation to the Boys Town charity and the other is my web receipt for “Ticket to Paradise” that I saw last Thursday and I still have a smile on my face.

#5) Last, but not least, is the weekly donation my neighbor Cathy makes for me so I don’t get too thin!!

Posted October 23, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE


1) Bette Davis, our weather forecaster, told us we would have a beautiful evening with low humidity but the King tides would be in the next day 2) and she was right. When I woke up in the morning the water from the canal was high enough to start flooding our back yard.
3 & 4) By the weekend the cooler weather started to come in with evening temps going down to the 70s, the dark clouds on Saturday and the rain all day Sunday and to continue.

5) About 6 years ago I grew an avocado plant in my apartment and then when it was about a foot tall I planted it outside only to have the new owners cut it down. Last week I bought some avocados on sale 6 for $5 and after eating them I decided to grow a couple to keep indoors and got them started.

6 & 7) My pepper plants are producing peppers like crazy–red and green peppers with no reasoning which would grow in which pot though they all come from the same pepper!

8) The Cuban plant bloomed though I have never been able to figure out its schedule!

9) In the back of my apartment is a tree that was almost destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 came back greater than ever and at the first sign of Autumn (yes, we have Autumn here–humidity and temperatures go low and the rains come!) the seed pods start showing themselves (that white/gray ball in the middle of the tree). By the way  I call the tree Wilma! (Who said I wasn’t clever?)

10) What can I say? It’s not a new month if I don’t bump into something that cuts my skin and I start a never ending bleeding and changing bandages episode–this month my left arm!

11) What’s a better way to heal a wound than to have a carrot cake—that’s on sale! (The cake was delicious but too much icing and the icing wasn’t cream cheese so I had to ‘force’ myself to eat it!)

12) I’m in heaven!! I am back to reading books! After reading the books that were sent to me last year I stopped and I don’t know why! I love to read but I have been letting newspapers, magazines and, yes, the #%^&^*()_(&^%$# Internet divert me. I decided to buy myself a gift and ordered Michael Fierstein’s “I was Better Last Night”, Viola Davis’s “Finding Me”, Mary Rodger’s “Shy”, “Lord Knows, At Least I Was There: Working with Stephen Sondheim” by Paul Ford and then I was surprised by David who I met on the Internet recently with “Later My Life At The Edge of The World” by Paul Lisicky, “Seth’s Broadway Diary” by Seth Rudetsky and “Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time” by Ken Bloom & Frank Vlastnik (keep them coming David!) and I wanted to read them ALL at the same time BUT I am reading them one at a time, slowly and thoroughly enjoying a habit I had for many years. I do cheat a little–I read about 1 of the 101 musicals every morning with my coffee BUT I DIDN’T skip ahead to “A Chorus Line”!!!

Posted October 9, 2022 by greatmartin in FLORIDA, FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE EVENTS, WEATHER

THIS ‘N THAT SEPTEMBER 2022   Leave a comment

1) The much needed rains have come–7 inches in Miami and 4inches in Fort Lauderdale yesterday and the rains are coming today and where the rains are the Herons follow! It seems the only times we see them is right after a heavy rain as if they know there will be insects for them nibble on!
Talk about ‘nibbling’ I try to get to Big Louie’s a few times a month for their pizza (2)–it is the only restaurant that I have gone, and go, back to eat that I have worked in–am seriously thinking of having my 22nd Leap Year birthday party there in 2024! Hard to believe that I retired 20 years ago and I must admit I don’t miss working though I did enjoy being a waiter when I did. (Only mistake I made was NOT declaring all my tips–would be getting more Social Security now!)

On the subject of food someone sort of indicated that it seems I am always eating out but not true–I usually eat out twice a week, generally on Thursday & Friday, though restaurant prices seem to be going higher and higher and portion sizes smaller and smaller! In any case I usually cook/make 5 dinners and 5 salads (4–the dinner plates on the bottom shelf and the salads on the middle shelf) on Saturday for the week so all I have to do is heat the dinners. As a rule I do ‘behave’ myself Saturday through Wednesdays–won’t talk about the other 2 days or the other meals!!

Talking about eating out–last Thursday Allen felt like having something light so we went to IHOP where I usually will have a cheese omelet but this time I decided to have a cheeseburger (photos # 5) and, trust me, no way did it look like the one on the menu! For the burger and coffee it was $14—no, I won’t be an old man and say I remember ‘in the old days’ when a cheeseburger cost a dollar and change!! :O)

Before the rains came we had record breaking heat (3) for September with Miami reaching 93 degrees when the normal is 90 and Fort Lauderdale was 94 degrees when the normal is 89 with only Key West being lower than normal. Today, with the rain, the high was 82 when the normal is 9 degrees and in 2019—no rain it hit 95 degrees. When it gets above 90 degrees it usually means we have ‘feel like’ temps of over 100–now though cooler the humidity, because of the rain, will be over 75%

.Food and weather–guess I covered it all! LOL

Posted September 18, 2022 by greatmartin in birds, FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, WEATHER

“SNACK TIME”   1 comment

No matter how many times I pick up a restaurant menu and get sticker shock at the prices I still have this ‘need’ and so I spoil myself and fill it!

I haven’t been to Panera’s Bread restaurant in at least 10 years because no matter how fancy they make it up it is still ‘fast food’– not that I have anything against fast food places as you will see it is just if I am going to pay higher prices I expect to be waited on, served while I sit at a table and server takes my order, serves it and then gives me a check.

When I go to a Subway (picture upper left corner) or Arby’s (picture below it) I usually have a coupon and the meal will come to less than $10 so I don’t mind ordering at the counter, picking it up there, getting my own drink–basically waiting on myself!

And then if I have a pizza delivered (second and third pictures on top) I know there is a delivery charge plus, of course, I will tip the driver, but that is convenience more than service—plus I know better–never order a Domino’s or Papa John’s pizza when you have a Big Louie’s less than a mile from you!

Getting back to Panera’s–the 4 bottom pictures–I had a chicken sandwich (smaller than the palm of my hand–seriously) which came with a bag of chips plus I had a coffee and a bear claw–the latter a decent size and it came to $18. I guess I shouldn’t complain as I got a paper napkin with it.

On the other hand I sat down in the Outback, had a server take me order, bring me my drink plus a loaf of hot dark bread and then served me a Filet Mignon, 6 chicken wings, a baked potato with sour cream, cheese, butter and julienne cheese on the side in addition to a side of broccoli (3 middle pictures) plus had a cloth napkin, steak and butter knives and 2 forks (and another loaf of bread!) and the check, with tax and tip came to $20.14

Now don’t get me wrong I am as comfortable eating in Subway as I am in the Outback but one is having ‘lunch’ while the other is ‘dining’–and both are franchises!

Bottom line is that I will probably not go back to Panera’s for another 10 years if then! :O)

Posted September 6, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE

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

J. Alexandre’s/Redlands Restaurant Review   Leave a comment

If a review was based on just service Jessica would get 5 stars but this is a mixed review with my taking a lot of the blame for what I ordered.

I haven’t been to J. Alexander’s since they changed the name of the restaurant to Redlands. I have been wondering what that was all about and decided to have lunch there today.
It started with my knocking over a glass of water! (Never a good start!) Jessica immediately gave us another table. The menu didn’t look much different emphasizing beef before the name change. Anticipating the answer, which I didn’t want to hear, I asked the server if the Prime Rib came on the bone and the answer was”no.” I still should have stayed with a beef choice.
Looking over the menu I saw “Mr. Jack’s crispy chicken platter South Carolina low country recipe with french fries and Southern cole slaw 23” and ever since my friend in North Carolina mentioned his cooking up a mess of fried chicken for dinner it has sort of been on the back of my mind so I decided to go with that but I should have asked if it came on the bone–it didn’t! (On the check it was listed as ‘chicken fingers’–if it had been listed like that I never would have ordered them!)
Sorry but the whole dish was a big disappointment–from the very thin, tasteless f(small f)rench fries to a ‘Southern cole slaw’ and I have never tasted such a dry cole slaw while the ‘breading’ on the chicken was flavorless which is why I think they offered 2 different sauces in addition to the ketchup.
Next time I will stick with beef and even though Allen’s Filet Mignon was very small, and buried under the fries, he did say it was very tender and tasty.
Last, but not least, anyone who knows me I would kill for a piece of carrot cake but the ‘carrot cake’ I was served is so bad I left half on the plate!

Lunch cost, with tax and tip, $85. In the future I would rather stick with JMarks or the Quarterdeck for a good lunch!

PS Still don’t know why they changed/added the name to Redlands on the restaurant front unless it has to do with a business decision.

Posted July 1, 2022 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANT REVIEWS

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.

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