Archive for the ‘FLORIDA’ Tag


Someday I will figure out how to have a clear narrative without it sounding like a hurricane is taking place when I make a video!

In any case it being the day after Good Friday and the first evening of Passover and a day before Easter Sunday the Gateway Resident group had a Hot Dog day with real dogs invited!

Being Passover they also had matzos available for those who didn’t eat bread. I counted about 23 people (plus a couple ‘carried out’) and about 6 dogs. There was all the condiments you could want and chips.

It was a beautiful day, sunny, with temperatures in the low 80s, a breeze off Karen Bay. It did surprise me that there weren’t any boats out on the water or paddle boards riders.

Any wonder I keep on raving about where I live at Gateway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida??

Posted April 5, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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Folks up in the NorthEast please don’t hate us!

First I have to apologize as I forgot to put my finger over the audio when I wasn’t speaking! Okay now on to The Point!

The Point is at the east end of our residence property overlooking Karen Bay. It is the ‘backside’ of the pool and offers a place to sit, talk and relax. On the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve it is the place to see fireworks from Fort Lauderdale Beach, Pompano Beach, Hollywood Beach and downtown Fort Lauderdale. In May, when it happens, we can watch all the planes fly over for the plane and boat show.

We use to have a lot of parties there but for reasons unknown they don’t happen much anymore. A group of folks generally will come out around 4-5 PM, some bringing their dogs, and just have conversations about where they have been and what they have been doing.

I will go out at midnight just sit and look up at the sky with all the stars and the moon with clouds now and then passing overhead. It is about 5-6 blocks away from the city (in the video in the opening shot you may be able to see Sunrise Boulevard) but you feel as if you are in the country. Sitting here there is no way to feel any stress or anxieties.

Next I want to talk about the ‘senior citizen health group’ and the dog ‘park’ that isn‘t really there!

Posted January 27, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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I had bought myself a new pocket digital camera last month and taking a walk on Sunday, January 18, 2015, I decided to test it out by making a new video.

There is a canal behind my building and across the way are million dollar+ homes–though the first one you see in the video doesn’t look it!

It was a perfect Sunday with a blue sky and a few wisps of clouds. The sun was shining bright, it was about 76-77 degrees with a light breeze.

I realized right away that I should have walked in the other direction–where the fancier homes were!–in order for my shadow not to show in the grass but I kept on going.

It is just a slice of my life in a minute and how good I live–not in a home worth a million+ dollars!


Posted January 26, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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DON’T LAUGH AT ME!   Leave a comment

Big chill this weekend: Temps could fall into 40s

Yes, that what all the weather people in South Florida are shouting about, whether on television or the newspaper!! Tonight it will only go down to the 50s. Of course we also turn the clocks back tomorrow so it will get darker earlier and without the sun colder earlier.

The thing is I get no sympathy from you people up north. In fact most of you laugh at me but folks you have to realize that low 40s is COLD, VERY COLD, in South Florida. We don’t mind an occasionally low in the mid 60s but that’s low enough.

Now I am not going to moan and groan like those people who moved down here from Minnesota a couple of years ago and cry “My skin is thin and I get colder now being old.” Yeah and I have been taking blood thinners for 14 years and this time have lived here 45 years but just as I don’t care how hot and humid it gets–and it does–I don’t like/want the temperatures going below 70!

Don’t laugh at me when you are busy shoveling snow, scraping the ice off your car windows, slipping, sliding and falling on the sidewalks and/or someone hits you in the head with a snowball because if you laugh at me now I will send you a card when you have your next snowstorm or it is below freezing that says:
“Don’t YOU wish YOU were here?” with a picture of me sitting on the beach!

One thing about cold weather–I get to wear my 2 favorite cold weather shirts–these photos were taken 6 years ago.

Posted November 2, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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In 1948 I discovered South Florida when my parents took me and my brother on a vacation there. On and off I would live in Miami Beach for a year or two until I officially moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1979.

In the 50s I explored my sexuality along Ocean Drive where I would meet my ‘parents’/mentors/friends Joe and Albyn and I became one of their kids along with Perry, Joe the Greek and Bernie–and until the day they died they looked after, and were concerned about, us.

In the 60s I lived there for a year during my ‘drunk, party, cruise and the hell with everyone’ period. (By the way, in the 50s and 60s Miami Beach was wilder than it supposedly became in the 90s.)

In the 70s, while living in Memphis, I came down on vacation with lovers (first Bernie and then Johnny) so Joe and Albyn could meet them.

In 1979 when I had to leave Memphis I was coming down to relocate on Miami Beach but Joe and Albyn said I would be better off in Fort Lauderdale as Miami Beach was the pits then. I have now lived here for 34 years and have loved every minute of it–including the ‘down’ times.

Yes, we have a hurricane every now and then but 6 in 34 years isn’t a bad record and we haven’t had any the last eight. Yes, the humidity is high during the summer but from October to May we have temperatures during the day in the high 70s, low 80s and at night in the high 50s, low 60s. There are about 5-6 ‘cold’ days when it might get in the low 40s, high 30s at night and ‘only’ 70-71 during the day.

I don’t remember the last time I wore a suit and tie or sports jacket or sweater–only when I go to the theatre do I wear a shirt, trousers, sock and shoes–other wise I am in my uniform of flip-flops (shhhhhh—don’t tell my doc as he doesn’t want me to wear them!), short sleeved shirts and shorts.

I love the sun, the ocean, the sunsets, the people and the slower life I lead down here.

I have only ONE complaint about South Florida–you don’t dive into the ocean to cool off in the summer as the ocean is warmer than the land! :O)

We are having economic problems down here recently–more so than the rest of the country–but we don’t worry about heating our places in the smmer (in fact most people will wear sweaters to restaurants, theatres, movies, museums or other indoor places) wearing/buying ‘winter’ clothes and, MOST IMPORTANT, we see ‘eye candy’ 12 months a year!!!

Adding up the ‘cold’ days, hurricane days or heavy rainy days, maybe, we have one month of bad weather and I can live with that!

We also have people from all 50 States and from all countries around the world living here which makes for interesting friendships, festivals and culture!

And though there is no such thing as global warming—HA!–with a full moon coming we will have some flooded streets which waters the lawns and plants!

I am very thankful for living in South Florida.

Posted October 17, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Gateway spelled out in hedges

There are 260 apartments holding a little over 300 people–efficiencies, small one bedroom, large one bedroom, 2 bedroom apartments and one 3 bedroom apartment. The complex is owned by the Family of Westminster Communities of Florida Services on the most desirable property in Fort Lauderdale .

During WW2 they were used for barracks and then after the war they became condos only to be converted to the current day apartments and to become government subsidized housing.

Above–the walk way on the south side of Gateway

The basic requirements to move into Gateway are that you be over 62 and make less than $14,000 a year income from all sources in order to be eligible for section 8–for section 202 you can make a little more money. There are exceptions as one man has his ‘caretaker’ who is younger, a lot younger, than 62 and a few make more money.

When you first move in, if you are single, you get an efficiency or small one bedroom apartment than after you have lived here for a year you get on the list for a large bedroom apartment. Couples, whether nongay , gay (yes, gay–we have anti discrimination laws here in Broward County) or someone with a caretaker move into a 2 bedroom apartment There are mother and daughter, father and son, husband and wife, husband and husband but the majority of people are single of which 24, that I know of, are gay.

Residents range in age from 40+ to 101, male, female, gay, nongay, all religions and atheists, various nationalities, races and from all economic levels. Some still have family while others have none. Some were ‘famous’, ‘well to do’, entertainers, business owners while others never had anything.

Included in the rent, which is based on 1/3 of what your income is from all sources minus medical deductions, is electricity, water, 60 cable stations for $29, a $14 credit on your phone while most get $14 in food stamps each month. Along with this are government canned commodities such as fruit, vegetables, etc., every other month. Every Monday to Thursday morning there are pies, cakes, cookies and bread delivered to the community room and once a month, if eligible, a 50 pound box of various foods.

Looking out from my living room (bottom)and a ‘backyard’ (top)

On the premises are a library, country store, hair salon, 1/2 a dozen laundry rooms, a community center where luncheons, dinners, special events, parties, dances, health meetings and free Wheel On Meals are served.

The staff consists of 4 ladies in the office who handle all social and special services, a maintenance crew of 7 and many volunteers. Lisa is in charge of the whole operation, Babs the social worker while Valerie and Alicia handle everything from the apartment aspects.

There is a swimming pool and a picnic area over looking Karen Bay. We have a breezeway where barbecue’s and exercise classes are held and some people get together around sunset just to talk and, once in awhile, have cocktails.

There are alcoholics, smokers, addicts, ex addicts, alcoholics, smokers. There are young 70 years olds and old 70 year olds –some people use walkers while others don’t, the ‘in’ thing now is an electric wheelchair so you have to be careful when you are walking. Many are bicycle riders while others walk a couple of miles a day. States of health range from remarkable to almost ready to be moved to a nursing home.

Gateway Terrace apartments/Karen Bay from the air (left)

My backyard looking from my window

As diverse as the community is most everyone gets along and respects each other but like in every community there are those that complain and are unhappy. They don’t realize how fortunate there is a place like Gateway for them in their old years instead of being homeless or living with relatives who don’t want them.

Personally I feel it is the best thing that could have happened to me when I was on the verge of being homeless, getting old, being alone and having no where to go. I have been here now for 10 years, starting my eleventh year at the end of May, and I haven’t a single complaint.


Posted August 16, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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