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Helping to bring “NORMAL” back!!   Leave a comment

The Old Gateway Theatre

Over half a century ago when I lived in Miami Beach we used to come up to spend a day in the country–then known as Fort Lauderdale–and would, occasionally, go to the Gateway Theatre to see a movie. When I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1979 it became a ‘tradition’ to go to the Friday matinee at that movie house and then in March 2020 an epidemic came and it closed. For more than a year I’ve been waiting and FINALLY got this in the news so donate to their GOFUNDMEPAGE (I did and I can’t afford to but then I can’t afford not to! Hey, you can always make a donation in my name!)

Can’t donate money–any sum accepted–then volunteer your time and get some free food and a movie–too late today? Maybe they will do it again! HELP MAKE “NORMAL” NORMAL AGAIN!

THE PLAN There is much to do! Here are our Renovation Priorities:

RESTROOMS Well they’re better than a bus station’s facilities, but not by much. We want to improve the appearance. Add some nuance to the Ladies Powder Room, move the sinks to create more space, burn the orange stalls, add a stall or two to the Ladies’, and generally revamp the Men’s

BAR/CONCESSION Presently it is just a concession that George Jetson would like. We want to get rid of the whole Mothership, and replace it with an actual bar with bar stools on one side and the other side Movie Concession. We will feature good wines and upscale spirits. And possibly add some small plate offerings to entice you to stay for a double feature. LOBBY Needs good cleaning, recarpeting, new ceiling (something celestial!),

LED flat screens. FIX MARQUEE & FIRE UP TOWER The beautiful marquee is still beautiful – we don’t want to change it, but much of the neon was destroyed when the building was tented a year or so ago. We want to re-do the neon in LED to achieve the same effect but cheaper to install, operate, maintain & power. And brighter. The Tower has not been used for decade, we want to restore it, re-wire it, paint it, add LED plus a searchlight atop.

EXTERIOR ENTRANCEWAY Love this area. We envision Red Carpets and paparazzi! But we could redo the sidewalk itself. In Cannes, surrounding The Palais, they cast hand prints & signatures of the stars that have attended. And it looks really cool! FOYERS of HOUSES 1 & 2 These could be enhanced also to make as separate areas. Perhaps a couple Tall Cafe tables, new carpeting and ceiling.

CENTER HALLWAY Maybe its just me, but this always reminds me of going into Star Wars HyperSpace. Not sure what we’ll do here, but throughout the entire cinema… We will maintain the existing curved walls and amplify the tie-ie with the beach.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: All the Interior Design will be created by Daroff Design. They are finalizing a LOA for us and we look forward to finalizing next week, I’m asking you to JOIN US and your friends & neighbors in this campaign to Restore & Reopen The Gateway! R

RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA HE’S BAAAAACK! George Kaspriske, newest FLIFF employee is also The Gateway’s longest serving manager, beginning in 2000 (which ironically was the year FLIFF was hosted at Gateway – and The Galleria).. With so many people wanting Gateway to resume as it was, we didn’t want to blow it and put the wrong person in the job. George knows everything about the building. Not only all the important stuff like how to turn on the lights, but also, and most importantly, we looked up the definition of the Polish word Kaspriske, and were delighted to learn it is a one word response meaning The Very Best Popcorn. Done! He’s back!

GoFundMe Page to RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA Here is the link to our Official Page. Any and all donations are appreciated! RESTORE & REOPEN GATEWAY CINEMA And to those who have not contributed, Join Us:


This Saturday, May 8, 10am – 8pm, FLIFF will host a Volunteer Clean-Up Day at The Gateway Cinema. At 8pm, volunteers that pitched in at least 90 minutes of help, will be treated to a Free Movie plus Pizza and Soft Drinks. Come grubby and help us get The Gateway reopened! If you have questions email Please sign the Volunteer Log when you arrive at The Gateway. We will have pizzas and sodas about 1pm – some kind of dinner at 7pm, and we think 3 different movies for you to choose from at 8pm. If you work 3 hours or more, you’ll get a FREE T-Shirt too! If you can. please

Posted May 8, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Mother Nature’s Revenge??? NOCARDIOSIS!!!   1 comment

I don’t know how, why, when, what or if anything particular made me fall in love with Mother Nature but I remember being entranced by no matter what she presented me with whether it was New York snowstorms, Florida’s hurricanes, California earthquakes, Tennessee tornadoes or roses in our Bronx front yard blooming or the white peonies in Lake Hiawatha spreading their perfume over Nokomis Avenue.

I still remember my first trip to Miami, getting off the train and being greeted by rows and rows of Birds of Paradise!Over the years I have had dogs starting with Butch in Pelham Parkway to having 50-gallon saltwater fish tanks in my Memphis office and  25 gallon freshwater fish tanks to at one time having 23 birds—budgies, cockatiels and finches (no one told me they were ‘worse’ than rabbits when it came to breeding!) who had free reign of my apartment.

Maybe it was after years of smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years but all of a sudden I couldn’t have dogs because their hair affected my breathing just as I had to get rid of my 23 birds because of their dander. Without any pets around I started my indoor gardens growing flowers, vegetables and enjoying each bloom. The pictures above I took 2 days ago with peppers growing, geraniums blooming and the ‘holiday’ cactus (upper right) blooming for Ramadam!!!

Long story short–I have had breathing problems for the past 6 months and, yesterday, finally, I was diagnosed with Nocardiosis which is caused by dirt, soil, earth dust–if you want to gain some knowledge just download google and/or Wikipedia–this is just a couple of lines from the latter: ” The Nocardia bacteria are found in soil around the world. People contract this disease by either inhaling contaminated dust or if soil containing Nocardia bacteria gets into an open wound.[” Without pointing fingers, I have been using bags of soil from the same company for decades and I just hope that wasn’t the cause of it.

I am starting to take 6 tablets a day–and they are horse-size tablets–of Sulfamethoxazole and may have to take them for 6 months to a year if not longer and first have to see if they will even work!
Do I have to get rid of the plants? I think I know the answer to that but don’t want to ask my doctor—yet!

Okay, Mother Nature what did I do to you? I’ve always praised you, posted pictures of you in all your glory, told people that no way could they be bored with all the pictures you made every day of the year–why after taking my dogs, birds, fish from you are you taking my plants?!?!?  WHY???

Posted April 13, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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April 2021 at Gateway in Fort Lauderdale   1 comment

I once figured out that before I moved here to Gateway in 1999 I never lived in one place for more than 5 years except, possibly, in my younger years though I remember we lived in 3 different places the first 16 years of my life.

When I first moved here I lived in the F building for 5 years and then in February 2004 I moved into this apartment and I have been here going on 18 years.

I could sit here looking out my windows (#s 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11) facing east, south and north with the scene constantly changing with yachts, catamarans, canoes, jet skis, kyaks not to forget Mother Nature doing her job for life.

Right now she is sprinkling those April showers that bring May flowers but if you look at picture #1 the week will be providing sunny, warm afternoons and cool (low 70s are cool in South Florida!) evenings.

Okay, once in a while you have to get out which is what the JMarks restaurant sign (# 7) is all about as we went for lunch on Thursday. I usually have their steak but because of teeth problems–let’s NOT go there!–I decided on a dish I haven’t had in a long time which is Mussels on Linguini. It was good but I would have preferred it being made in a  garlic and white wine sauce.

Mother Nature, food and me–no complaints from Gateway in Fort Lauderdale!

Posted April 11, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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April comes in like a lamb!   1 comment

1) Except for falling and hitting my head April has come to Fort Lauderdale but looking back over the years April hasn’t always been a good month for me–in 2016 I had to have a finger cut off!!!

2) We had a catamaran named Semper Fi visit and every Marine at Gateway had to stop by and say hello!

3) When people ask me how can I afford to eat out, go to the theatre, the movies, etc., all I have to do is show them this BUT sometimes it is just better to have a car like having to go to the doctor 10 out of 14 days but that is a whole other story!

4 & 7) Say hello to my 2 calendar dogs and, in #5) a beautiful heron stopped by to say hi!

6) Couldn’t ask for better weather the first week of April–now we have to hope April remains a lamb!

And on the 7th day of April I got my stimulus money!

Posted April 7, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“Dear White People”–a MUST SEE series!   Leave a comment

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A series on Netflix–3 seasons with a 4th coming–each season has 10 episodes–about 5 hours per season.

I was sort of hesitant about watching this as I really didn’t know who it was aimed for or what it was about(never having seen the movie it is based on) so I decided to watch the first couple of episodes and before I knew it I had finished the 30th episode and am waiting, impatiently, for the 4th season even though it hasn’t been scheduled yet and the third season was a little on the weak side.

What is it about? It follows mainly black college students at an Ivy League school. Mixed in with the many varieties of color there are a couple of major white students, one, Gabe (John Patrick Amedori),  the lead opposite Samantha (Logan Browning), who has a white father and black mother and are lovers.

It has a first-rate cast including Antoinette Robertson who is such a brat you want to slap her but you can’t wait for her next scene.  The characters run from black, white, every shade in-between, gay, straight, trans, smart, dumb, poor, rich, son of the Dean, etc.

It is funny, shocking, educational, touching, jaw-dropping, puzzling but, most of all, it will hold your attention even when discussing topics you think you might not be interested in or know all about.

One of the faults of the third season is that it is ‘too’ gay—and this is said by a gay man! Following the storyline of Lionel (played by DeRon Horton) as he comes out is interesting as is his becoming a reporter working with Samantha to find a secret society but the main writer of the series (who also wrote the movie screenplay)

Justin Simien spends a little too much time exploring the whole gay spectrum but then again he is exploring the whole race spectrum.

I really would like to hear from people who watch “Dear White People” and their reactions positive or negative!

Posted April 4, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Streaming reviews for week of March 21, 2021   Leave a comment

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1) “Mrs. America”–Hulu/FX–series–9 episodes–6 hours & 44 minutes–it is hard to believe that ERA didn’t immediately pass when presented and that was mainly the fault of women! This series clarified a lot for me while also will explain the 1970s to many under 50 today–excellent acting lead by Cate Blanchett–A MUST SEE!

2) “Audrey: More Than An Icon”–Netflix–documentary–1 hour & 40 minutes–an actress–an icon–a model–most of all a person who spent most of her life helping others–A NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN ONE OF A KIND LADY!

3) “Killing Eve”–Hulu/Amazon Prime–series–season 3–8 episodes–5 hours& 31 minutes–when I ‘cut the cord’ one of the very few shows I knew I would miss was “Killing Eve” and I am so glad it is back with the new season on streaming–Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer make this show sparkle and intriguing–SEE IT FROM SEASON ONE!

4) “The One”–Netflix–series–season 1–8 episodes–5 hours & 36 minutes–a sci-fi thriller where DNA can match you with your perfect partner–the series, so far, hasn’t made me want to see season 2 EXCEPT I WAS COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED WITH STAR HANNAH WARE!

5) “Yes Day”–Netflix–movie–1 hour & 29 minutes–Silly, stupid, doesn’t make sense, but, YOU WILL LAUGH, ENJOY IT AND THEN FORGET IT!

6) “Murder Among The Mormons”–limited series–3 episodes–2 hours & 40 minutes–the first segment and the last 15 minutes are intriguing and THE REST BORING

Posted March 26, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Spring Break March 2021   1 comment

(Pictures starting with #1 upper left!)

Pictures #1 & 11–if nothing else the Spring Breakers should feel comfortable in the bikinis and Speedos with the daytime afternoon temperatures in the 80s–I learned a long time ago to not go to the beach area this time of the year.

All is not well in Miami Beach where the Spring Breakers are getting wild–pictures # 3, 9, 10 & 12–and all we can hope is that they don’t move from Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale Beach!

The week before the ‘celebration’ we had another negative story about Florida–#8–which really wasn’t news to Floridians though for now most of the hate groups are in the North and middle parts of the State!

On a fun note it seems my friends in Maine took a wrong turn and their boat Semper Fi –#6 and 7–is parked outside my building!

Last, but not last, I treated myself for Spring Break first having a cheeseburger at IHOP–#5–and at night I grilled a T-Bone on my George Foreman grill and for dessert a slice of a very good piece of Carrot cake from Winn-Dixie–#4–so though the Speedo might be a bit tight I don’t go to the Berach anyway! LOL

Hope YOU aren’t getting too rambunctious during Spring Break!

Posted March 22, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Streaming Reviews week of March 14, 2021   Leave a comment

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1) “Sarah’s Key”–Netflix–film–1 hour & 42 minutes–told in two-time frames this film, like most about the holocaust, are hard to watch and moving as this is with an intricate story it is not a must-see but A SHOULD SEE!

2) “Operation Finale”–Netflix–fictionalized documentary–2 hours & 3 minutes–Ben Kingsley does a masterful turn as the evil poster boy Adolph Eichmann responsible for millions of people, mainly Jewish, dying during WW2 and who escapes and lives in Buenos Aires after the war until he is captured by a Mossad Israeli agent–seeing it on the same night as “Sarah’s Key” made for a difficult evening but it is also A SHOULD SEE!

3) “Love, Victor”–Hulu–series–first season–10 episodes–each about 30 minutes–total 5 hours–as a sequel based on the gay teen romance released by a major studio “Love, Simon”‘Victor’ is a light comedy regarding family problems, a teenager and ‘coming out’ in a suburb of Atlanta–PLEASANT SERIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

4) “The Sinner”–Netflix–series–3 seasons–8 episodes per season running from 40-50 minutes–each season revolves around a different, possible, murderer with Bill Pullman as the detective in each season–I found the first season a little hard to follow, the second interesting and the third starring Matt Bomer as a possible killer the most intense–FOR FOLLOWERS OF CRIMINAL SERIES!

5) “Pele: Birth of a Legend”–Amazon Prime–documentary biopic–1 hour & 48 minutes–everyone wants to watch a champ reach his goals–this one more than most which had a dictator telling him he must win–WINNER FOR FANS AND WINNERS!
6) “Evil Genius”–Netflix–limited series–4 episodes–3 hours & 8 minutes–a bizarre true-crime documentary THAT COULDN’T BE MORE BORING!

Posted March 19, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

March 15, 2021   1 comment

It continues to be a crazy world but in spite of some people, I ain’t going anywhere! LOLIt started off with a female blogger calling me a ‘ Nasty ol  FAG party boy’ not realizing how wrong she was/is in just saying it to and/or about anyone. It just gave me a good laugh because I saw who it was coming from!! I could call her a nasty Right-Wing fascist but I gave her the last word and we will leave it at!

Before I left to see my pulmonary doctor I received two packages I had ordered but didn’t have time to unpack/look at them.Won’t get into the whole doctor thing but my appointment was for 2:13 and he didn’t see me until 3:13 and 5-10 minutes I was out the door. (Allen you may have to take me to quest  on Thursday–no, not for blood!)

The saving grace for the whole day was the weather!! The Spring Breakers kids down in Fort Lauderdale are loving it. Speedos and bikinis all over the [place.The skies are sunny, bright blue and just beautiful!When I got home I saw my neighbor got a friend for their dog Lucy–a stuffed squirrel!! (See that rivergirl??? All you had to do was get a stuffed dog for Mrs. Squirrel and she would have left the roof alone!!)

thought I had ordered a padded toilet seat which I have used for at least 40 years but I was wrong? It was a pain getting the new one on but one of the maintenance guys came up and did it! I have a feeling I will keep it though its main part—a slow lowering toilet seat–means nothing to me.

Another item I thought would really be great but after about an hour I didn’t even waste time repacking to send it back! They are/were Zen Toes Metatarsal pads–4 pack of foot cushions! Forget wearing them with shoes!

Even with the bad–whether it be crude name-calling or bad orders—Betty gave me my philosophy of life in 1950 in Miami where/when I heard her sing:

Posted March 15, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

Streaming reviews for week of March 7, 2021   1 comment

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I took a month trial of HULU this week as they had a couple of films I wanted to see and would have normally gone to a movie house to see them. I, also, came across a couple of past movies/series they have and after watching them I’ll decide whether to keep HULU or not. I currently have Netflix and Amazon Prime which seem more than necessary but a lot cheaper than before I cut cable and went streaming.

1) “Nomadland”–Hulu–movie–1 hour & 48 minutes–every year a movie comes along that gets raves and is nominated for every possible award and wins a few–I will go see it and just shake my head and ask “Why?” This year it is “Normanland” and, to me, IT IS A WASTE OF FILM AND TIME!

2) “The United States Versus Billie Holiday”–Hulu–movie–2 hours and 10 minutes–the movie, unfortunately, doesn’t back up the performance by Andra Day–the last time I saw Billie Holiday was in Beverly Hills in 1954 when she was playing at the Keyboard and she was magic–it is hard to believe that many didn’t know about her ‘problems’–she would die in 1954–2 completely unnecessary performances are by Natasha Lyonne and Leslie Jordon and whoever made his wig should never be allowed to make a movie again! The screenwriter, Suzan-Lori Parks, and the director, Lee Daniels’ but they let Andra Day (and Billie Holiday) down–A MUST SEE FOR ANDRA DAY’S PERFORMANCE AND HOLIDAY SONGS!

3) “Fosse/Verdon”–Hulu–limited series–8 episodes–6 hours & 32 minutes–Do you have to be obnoxious to be a ‘genius’? Bob Fosse was both and Sam Rockwell as Fosse does a good job–too good, almost ruining the movie–while Michelle Williams is brilliant as Gwen Verdon–the series gives Verdon all the credit she deserves for making Fosse the star he became and she was–professionally it was a great relationship but personally, it wasn’t–A MUST SEE FOR MICHELLE WILLIAMS’ PERFORMANCE AND FOR THOSE WHO KNEW, OR DIDN’T KNOW, GWEN VERDON, THE STAR!

4) “Tell Me Your Secrets”–Amazon Prime–series–Season 1–10 episodes–I watched this until the end not realizing I had seen it before until the end! NOT WORTH SEEING THE FIRST TIME!

5) “Sweet Magnolias”–Netflix–series–season 1–10 episodes–8 hours and 3 minutes and
6) “Ginny & Georgia”–Netflix–series–season 1–10 episodes–8 hours and 5 minutesBoth series are about the friendship between women but both are different enough to be what they seem–whether it is dealing with business or personal relationships or their children–the first takes place in the South and the latter in New England–‘Magnolias’ revolves around 3 women, 2 who have children and ‘Ginny’ is about a mother and daughter–BOTH ARE INTERESTING, WELL ACTED AND FOR LOVERS OF “GILMORE GIRLS”–ISN’T EVERYONE?

On a last note–I plan to watch “Mrs. America” on HULU before I decide whether to stay with it or just cancel.

Posted March 12, 2021 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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