White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Beach Walk, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



It was a warmish day for late February in New England and people came out for walks on the beach at the midday low tide.



Shadowman even made an appearance but, seemed to startle this beach-goer.



Pretty soon there were walkers everywhere!



At the end of a walk, even little dogs with little legs can scramble up the 100+ steps from the beach. There must be a treat waiting for him when he gets home.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Deer in the Morning, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA



On this morning, I was treated to a pretty snow-backed scene as these three deer wandered somewhat close to the house.



They made a good silhouette for this image.  Then, they skittered away after observing my presence and movement inside the house. Do deer "skitter?" Perhaps, I should have said "skittered and sproinged away."

I always get a kick out of seeing wildlife wander or race by - deer, turkeys, foxes, squirrels, hawks, heron, otters, raccoons, and others. I am a guest in their world as they are in mine and they have learned that normally, the human race is not their friend.  That's no surprise - we hunt them down and kill or imprison them or their offspring. No wonder they run from us.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Mirror-like Reflections, Doral, Florida, USA



This apartment building somehow looks more like an architectural drawing. It is not. It is just a normal apartment building reflected in a still pond.



A balcony railing at sunset reflected in a glass-topped table.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Visit to Everglades National Park, Part 2 of 2, Shark Valley, Miami, Florida, USA



I think the alligator grin means, "Come a bit closer my pretty, I want to eat you for lunch."



Someone needs a manicure.



The alligator babies like to ride on mom's head and back.



An ideal spot to watch and learn about the world around you.



When mom alligator reared up and picked up this little one with her mouth when it swam by, I thought she was scooping up her own offspring to protect it.



Wrong - I don't know if it was one of hers or not but - she proceeded to eat it!



I think I'll walk on the other side of the road.......


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Visit to Everglades National Park, Part 1 of 2, Shark Valley, Miami, Florida, USA



The Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve at the southern tip of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species.

The road/path shown above is the access into the Everglades at the Shark Valley entrance. 

Mostly, along the road, it's just humans on foot, bicycle, or tourist tram........



Sometimes, however, other species like this Great Blue Heron can be seen walking along, too. Although these are animals in the wild - in their natural habitat - they are accustomed to seeing human visitors to the park and I think tolerate a closer proximity than I would have expected. All these images were captured along the road's edge with my point-and-shoot camera that has a 28-105 zoom.



A Great Egret looking for food in the water.



I enjoyed watching this Great Blue Heron high-steppin' across the water as he began his takeoff run.



Airborne.



And away he goes.



Meanwhile, this Anhinga, a bird who swims under water for food, was warming and drying his wings as a Black-crowned Night Heron sat nearby.



This turtle also enjoyed soaking up the warm sunshine from the relative safety of his hard shell.



A Purple Gallinule punctuates the greenery with a bright splash of color.



Another Black-crowned Night Heron just hanging out.



If you arrive early enough, you might catch one of the Everglades nymphs watering the flowers........



......or visiting with a friend....... but they must be careful.......



....since not all the critters walking alongside the roadway are friendly.


Monday, February 20, 2017

A Walk Along Calle Ocho, Little Havana, Miami, Florida, USA



I have long been interested from afar in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami but, until now, had never visited. Little Havana calls "Calle Ocho" (8th Street) the heart of it all. I've imagined old men playing dominoes in the park, a driving Latin beat spilling out of bars and restaurants and open windows, rapid-fire Spanish spoken widely, all-in-all a vibrant sense of "foreign" right here in the homeland.



I was not disappointed. At Maximo Gomez Park/Domino Park, there is a long tradition of domino playing and this day was no exception. Hands, eyes, and tiles - and mostly men of a certain age.  I got exactly what I expected - a wonderfully transporting experience - old men playing dominoes as they have done for a lifetime together.



I should use this photo to stage a caption writing contest.........



I don't know the nuances of dominoes but, all four of these men seem taken aback by the opening two tiles.



Next door to Domino Park, at Old's Havana Cuban Bar and Cocina, these two musicians were creating a wonderful Latin sound for patrons and passersby.  I got exactly what I expected - a wonderfully transporting experience - live music with a driving Latin beat.  It requires you to move your feet and dance with a stranger on the sidewalk. (Yes, I did - and I'm afraid Amy will make the iPhone video available when I least expect it). Nothing like that smoky, sultry, life-affirming, driving tropical beat woven through the music.



When the place doesn't have live music, they can rely on the old time Wurlitzer jukebox behind the musicians. This duo's powerful and moving music had a crowd of people dancing and gathering on the sidewalk just outside the open doorway. Such a joyous sound!



A mural on a random building.



Construction work remodeling a pedestrian mall area opposite Domino Park.



I popped into another open air bar/restaurant, as this wonderful band was just starting their set. The band's pastel percussionist let me play his shaker (the little red barbell) for a few bars of music - I think much to the dismay of his fellow musicians.



I love to see musicians just oozing joy at creating their sound.



I don't think I could carry off the pastel look - his pants were the same color as his hat - but he sure did - he was rockin' it!



All that walking made for a hungry lunch time. Oddly, we popped into this happening hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant just before the line grew outside. Yes, Thai instead of Cuban. It was barely wide enough for the kitchen and a row of counter stools.

The man in the back, right corner in the black/white striped shirt filled a role sort of like the "Soup Nazi" of comedian Jerry Seinfeld's well-known creation - he directed all phases of the restaurant, the comings and goings of patrons, he assigned the seats, he took the orders, and he made clear to each patron that they were only permitted to order one time, no lingering, no second chances - eat and leave, others are waiting.

Of course, as expected, it was a wonderful culinary experience!



There is something special about being up close and personal with the kitchen when eating out. Everything is on display: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes a patron will violate the "fourth wall" and speak with the chef but mostly, it is performance art with delicious food as the result.



This ice cream store marquee sure made it look good but, I didn't eat any this time. (Ice cream is seldom vegan - although I sometimes give in - I'm not a perfect vegan but I try pretty hard).



This bar wasn't hoppin' just yet but, the bartender was getting everything ready for later when it will be.



And passing by another curbside chicken, we headed on to our next destination.

Ah, Miami - I am smitten by all your charms!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Vegan Lunch, Plant Food + Wine, Wynwood, Miami, Florida, USA



Amy found a wonderful vegan restaurant, Plant Food + Wine, for us to have lunch on Valentine's Day after our visit to the Wynwood Walls. It was more expensive than our budget normally allows but, for this special occasion we decided to indulge. Everything was raw and natural and fresh and delicious in a beautiful outdoor garden setting! (Like almost all of our meals on this trip, we were able to sit outside - perfect temperature, no bugs.)



Our appetizer was the Thai lettuce wraps with a citrus-almond pate, red cabbage, carrot, red pepper, and daikon, with a tamarind dipping sauce with jalapeno slices.



For the main course, Zucchini Lasagna (thin zucchini slices instead of pasta) with heirloom tomato, spicy marinara, macadamia ricotta, and basil-mint pesto.



Amy brought along one of her photographer friends to record the event. He liked to get real close.

The restaurant website says: "Recently awarded 4 stars from Miami Herald, Plant Food + Wine features cutting edge, plant-based cuisine set in The Sacred Space Miami, in the city’s Wynwood neighborhood. The restaurant’s vibrant menu blends innovative technique with seasonal, local produce, and includes many of Matthew’s classic raw food dishes. Miami’s tropical climate and its broad cultural influences are ideally suited for the restaurant’s clean, modernist approach."

Definitely a winner! And as always, no animals were harmed in the making.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wynwood Walls, Wynwood, Miami, Florida, USA



What does one do with a rundown industrial area of a major city? Well, in the case of the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami...........turn it into art!

"The Wynwood Walls was conceived by the renowned community revitalizer and placemaker, the late Tony Goldman in 2009. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, and he arrived at a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex of six separate buildings, his goal was to create a center where people could gravitate to and explore, and to develop the area’s pedestrian potential."



"The Wynwood Walls became a major art statement with Tony’s commitment to graffiti and street art, a genre that he believed was under appreciated and not respected historically. He wanted to give the movement more attention and more respect: “By presenting it in a way that has not been done before, I was able to expose the public to something they had only seen peripherally.” In 2010, building on the momentum of the year before, Goldman Properties added 10 more artists to their roster of Walls. They opened the Wynwood Doors, Tony Goldman’s nod to traditional portrait galleries and expanded the mural program outside the Walls.

The Wynwood Walls has brought the world’s greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art genre to Miami. Jeffrey Deitch co-curated the first successful year of the project in 2009, collaborating with Tony before his appointment as museum director of MOCA Los Angeles. “We have strived for a diverse representation of both American and international artists that encompasses everything from the old school graffiti artists to the newest work being created around the world. The project has truly evolved into what my friend Jeffrey Deitch calls a Museum of the Streets,” Tony had summarized.

Since its inception, the Wynwood Walls program has seen over 50 artists representing 16 countries and have covered over 80,000 square feet of walls. They have become must see international destination, with media coverage that has included the New York Times, BBC News, Vanity Fair and Forbes, who mentioned them along with Wynwood on their list of America’s hippest neighborhoods. The Walls were also a focus of the docu-series Here Comes the Neighborhood, which chronicled the creation and evolution of the Wynwood neighborhood.

With each year the Wynwood Walls endeavors to expand its breadth, introduce well known and emerging artists and bring world class art to the community."

Source: http://www.thewynwoodwalls.com/



For some of these images, I included the periphery to give a sense of the scale.



The humans below are posing in front of a small part of the above mural.







The walls and neighborhood are a popular destination for photographers.















This one is painted on a roll-up garage style door.







Visitors rest in the rock garden.



I am not sure if this piece was "tagged" after the fact or, as part of the artist's design. It is an interesting idea - to graffiti on graffiti.







The palm fronds are real plants.



There is also an onsite gallery for regular hang-on-the-wall art pieces.



This painted motorcycle was one of the works of art for sale.



As was this wild and interesting piece.



Murals can be found on random buildings throughout the neighborhood - on industrial buildings and.....



...even on this apartment building! What a wonderful way to revitalize an urban area!!

I have always liked creative/managed/artistic graffiti in public places. This visit to Wynwood reminds me of a trip to Charleston, South Carolina a few years back. Here's a link to my blog post about it. The scale here is much grander but, in either case, graffiti as art is art.