Saturday, July 26, 2008

Take you on a natural joint

The groves may be a bit niggardly with the oranges, but the grapefruits down here are juicy and sweet, and are more like melons in size when compared to their citrus cousins.
While I'm in the kitchen, I may as well show off another round of Goodwill delights. For under a dollar I picked up this delightful addition to my Thermos collection, another manifestation of my love for all things 20-th century. Sir James Dewar (complete 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica online!!) is credited with the invention of the vacuum flask, and German glass makers began commercial production in 1904. While I'm not on par with these guys, I am happy this 70's Model 7402 made its way into my collection. I also snatched up this Chipette's drinking glass. While the girls did escape the disastrous CGI feature film , they are reportedly slated to appear in the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks II. Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die (Tennyson, sort of). Like Puff Daddy ten years ago, Hollywood seems intent on turning every 80s classic into regurgitated, polished nonsense. As long as they don't touch Heathcliff we're cool. By the way, why do most of the cartoons I like end up on furry lists?
When you live in a furnished rental in South Florida, you may have to make some alterations to make your living space more comfortable. For me, all it took was this pug portrait above the bed and a vintage LOL cat (like you don't already have that book-marked). Found this flyer advertising Michele Hart's latest romance novel. Her amazing website explains it all...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

So I Got with a Sick Ass Clique and Went All Out

Six Weeks in Port Saint Lucie: Miami Edition Caught this guy driving your dream car in Little Havana on the way to pick up some pasta sauce. My buddy, graffiti legend SHIE ONE, showed me around the MIA in style. We stopped at a wall he's currently working on...
with a couple other guys...

while we listened to dancehall on pirate radio station 96MIXX. Turns out Miami's airwaves are delightfully and directly snatched up by those opposed to the Babylon System. On the way into town, I found 89.1 FM, which was pumping an insane mix of serious Bass music. The set's climax was a beautifully layered Baltimore Club track, with the guitar lick from the Ohio Player's "Love Rollercoaster" laced over a syrupy bassline and an awesomely explicit vocal loop. Later on it was Gangsta Grillz mixtapes and an infectious hook concerning "a recipe for making money", which apparently requires copious amounts of baking soda.

We stopped by one of Miami's last record shops, Uncle Sam's Music, and though they specialize in house music, I was able to pick up a couple early-2000 reissue gems I slept on.

This 2001 "Enter the Dragon" soundtrack picture disc makes me have something in common with 499 other people in the world. I also picked up the '03 Ninja Tune/Sesame Street project, which features what is possibly the funkiest children's song of all times, recorded in 1975 and re-edited by DJ Food for its first vinyl release almost 30 years later. Check the steel drum solo at 2:07.
Shie surprised me with this joint, near 164th street SW in North Miami Beach. The mustard greens with garlic sauce will make any kid want to eat his veggies. On my own I visited Haulover Beach, a state park worth checking out just for the changing rooms.

When life hands you one of those brown road signs (scroll down for the science), follow it. I ended up at the Ancient Spanish Monastery, where the nice young lady at the counter apologized for charging me the five dollar admission fee before informing me that the monastery had at one time belonged to "some guy named William Hurst." Turns out Citizen Kane did in fact buy an entire 12th Century monastery for his California Castle. The stones were shipped to America, Hearst ran out of money, and the entire building sat in a warehouse until the 60s, when an investor rebuilt the thing in Florida as a tourist girl Mary was there, of course... and with the monks gone, these guys were running the show.

My friend John R. avoided falling into a similar Booby Trap in another town, and I barely managed to avoid the snares myself in northwest Miami...

Before I rushed back to the consistent comforts of Port Saint Lucie, I stopped to admire the moon over...well, you know.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Same damn 'lo sweater

Ambrosia- the power of citrus transforms a salad into a meal deserving of the gods. These orange groves are my office right now, abandoned by their keeper, yet still maintaining their charge to yield sweetness. These groves are perhaps among the only changes around Port Saint Lucie since I was here last in 2005, and they have only changed because they were left behind.
This is the Port Saint Lucie Lowe's. It actually may be new, a change, I can't recall. It is, however, directly across the street from the Port Saint Lucie Home Depot, which is right where I left it. I suppose I could have said the same thing about the Chili's and the Friday's, or the... I'll let you make your own inferences.

Highlights this week:

Exodus Coffee and Culture- yes, I suppose they can sell culture out of a strip mall these days. It was open-mic night. I've always felt that if you can't sing, Bob Dylan covers are a good choice. Most of the participants agreed. The black coffee was more than tolerable, and they serve a decent veggie wrap, which featured banana peppers. I'm founding a club based around a shared love for this jarred culinary delight (they don't even have their own proper wikipedia page yet!).

Mumble's Pub- I wish I'd taken a picture of this little slice of suburban heaven. Taking up two or three store-fronts' worth of space in a strip mall up the road from the coffeeshop's strip mall, Mumble's serves chardonnay on-the-rocks to the young ladies and beer to the fellows and those old ladies with leather cigarette-pack wallets. Your mother would probably be ashamed if she had to turn around in the parking lot. The entire bar did sing along when I turned off the country and played "Papa was a Rolling Stone" on the jukebox, so it really can't be all that bad.

The Dark Knight- although this film is by no means a local phenomenon, I did see it in a theatre called "RAVE", and I did get laughed at by middle-schoolers when I walked out alone. I'll always have a soft spot for the 1989 version, since Pops had to convince my mom that it was okay for me to see a PG-13 movie.

Goodwill- A Viewmaster projector with Laverne and Shirley reels? This may be the greatest, most untapped thrift store of all times. Oh, and I suppose there's also this...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Survival got me buggin, but I'm alive on arrival...

Had I not been trying to arrive in Port Saint Lucie in less than Mapquest's prescribed 8-hour drive time, I might have stopped for pictures of The World's Largest Peanut, Agrirama, or even one of Cafe Risque's "We Bare All" billboards. I'd rather show off one of the many souvenir displays inside a lonely filling station somewhere along I-75. This shop was close enough to the state line that it sold both Georgia and Florida shot glasses. As many times as I've made the Southbound sojourn to the Sunshine state, I am still always impressed by the shear number of souvenir shops, and by the variety from shop-to-shop. Generally, Florida t-shirts are advertised at "3 for 10 dollars." Surprisingly, this isn't just a racket controlled by a single screen-printer. It seems that everyone, from shell-statue crafters to alligator head shellac'ers, has their hands in the lucrative business of selling a piece of Florida's soul.