Captured Moments – Glorious

We have been having the most wonderful weather in South Florida, with clear, sunny days and temperatures dipping into the 50’s and even 40’s for a couple of mornings. Needless to say, we have visited our favorite beach several times lately to enjoy a walk or view a sunset from the river side of the causeway.

In the past few weeks, we have watched the water color become the most vivid blue and green, as there are presently no storms churning up the bottom into a murky mess. Clean water coupled with a clear blue sky, low tide conditions and very little surf add up to one spectacular moment on a sunny afternoon.

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We think you will agree that this week’s Captured Moment is “glorious.”

 

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Behind the Doors of Palm Beach

Several weeks ago Malcolm and I took a slow, scenic drive along Highway A1A in Florida. I was on a mission to find a particular blue door that I had seen a picture of on Instagram. We began our drive at Palm Beach and ended it about sixty miles south. Unfortunately, we never saw the door.

Yesterday, we returned to Palm Beach to visit a sculpture garden that I had taken note of during the earlier drive. It takes about thirty minutes to stroll the entirety of the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden but you will want to sit and linger a while in this beautiful oasis. I had quite a nice conversation with these two fellows, who shared some weighty thoughts about the world we live in.

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We continued our drive down Royal Palm Way toward the ocean and this day, instead of turning South, we turned north. Well, wouldn’t you just know it! Within less than a quarter mile there it was. The blue door.

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For whatever reason, the image of this door spoke to me from the day I saw a photo of it on Instagram. It is inviting, but restrictive at the same time. That is the essence of Palm Beach – the land of the “haves” and the rest of us who admire the view.

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Once in a while someone will have left their doors open and we get a little peek inside.

When that does not happen, you could just be bold and walk up the driveway of a home under reconstruction and see something like this through an open door.

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Or maybe this…

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Palm Beach is filled with classic symbols of the divide between “them and us.” I wonder what Franklin and Winston would have to say about that growing divide. To see more beautiful doors, visit Norm 2.0, our host for Thursday Doors.

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Even their lawn ornaments make a statement!

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Christmas in Florida – Our Way

We love the hustle and bustle of Christmas, even in sunny South Florida where it still feels like summer. The calendar is filled with house parties, luncheons, dinners, charity events and lots of catching up with friends and family who we don’t see often enough. The extra busyness of decorating the house, shopping for gifts, sending Christmas cards, baking cookies and planning festive meals are activities that we welcome in December. Of course it was not always that way. Retirement  has added a stress-free dimension to  Christmas that allows us to truly celebrate the season, not just the day. Continue reading

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Captured Moments – Wing It

This week’s Captured Moment is from a beach photo shoot that I did with my husband a few days ago. The objective was to arrive at low tide and shoot from the beach with the coquina rocks as a backdrop. I chose black as our wardrobe color since I thought it would make a dramatic contrast to the texture of the beige rocks. Best laid plans….

The water, even at low tide was covering most of the beach in front of the rocks, which meant that we had to stay on top of them, rather than venture below as planned. It was also very windy – think sea spray. And, even though it was late in the afternoon (around 4:00) there were no clouds to shade the sun. And, did I mention, we were wearing BLACK! So….on to plan B, which I did not have. After a lot of moaning, mostly from me, we decided to just go with it. The result was a few, not so Christmas card worthy photos that I absolutely love in spite of the conditions.

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This week’s Captured Moment is titled – Wing It! When you are with the person you love most in the world, that is never hard to do.

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Florida’s Gold Coast

Next in our series of how Florida’s Coasts got their names, is the Gold Coast. You might notice a bit of overlapping on the map, but for the most part, the Gold Coast consists of Miami/Dade and Broward Counties. There was a time when the area included Palm Beach and Martin Counties, but those two counties more accurately identify themselves with the Treasure Coast. Personally, I don’t blame stately and sophisticated Palm Beach for wanting to disassociate from the glitz and glitter of Miami, but hey, that’s just one opinion. It’s a new money/old money kind of thing.

In as much as the Treasure Coast is about Spanish gold shipwrecked along the coastline, the Gold Coast is about new money, and lots of it. Every few decades there seems to be a new influx of cash that dictates the location of Miami’s latest hot spots, trends, and up and coming areas. From South Beach, to Wynwood, it’s like a movable feast.  Who’s in, who’s out – follow the money!

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The shinny new toy these days is Brickell Avenue. Now we’re talking glitz and glitter galore! Check out this recent article regarding high rise construction in Miami. Personally, I like what is happening on Brickell Avenue (it’s about time) and I am thrilled with the idea of a self-contained “walk-able” city. Not so thrilled with the high priced establishments and congested traffic getting off of I95. Why does there always have to be a downside to progress?

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I am somewhat enamored with the new Miami skyline and am repeating this photo from a previous post.

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The really neat thing about this latest cash infusion is that it is spilling over into historically depressed areas like Wynwood and Little River. Just a few years ago, Wynwood was plagued with prostitution and drugs and Little River was a run down warehouse/small business area struggling to employ decent people in a declining environment. Locked gates and barbed wire fences was the order of the day for any respectable businesses. In this case, “trickle down” is actually working.

After hearing about Wynwood Walls for a couple of years, we finally decided to see what all the fuss is about. It truly is pretty amazing and you can easily spend hours walking the streets and enjoying the biggest display of street art I have ever seen. Of course, where there is great entertainment there must also be great food, and Wynwood is clearly not short on options.

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IMG_5583Trust me, this is not randomly painted graffiti. Most of the pieces within the garden were painted by very well known artists, but the walls and buildings outside the garden are equally impressive. It seems as though the entire area has gotten in on the show and there is something unique around every corner. Bring your camera to this sensory feast.

P1560560 (2)It all comes together magically and can be enjoyed by anyone – for free. In fact, the day we visited, we saw families with small children, teens, older folks and even a group of dancers enjoying the displays. The young lady above allowed me to take a photo of her against this stunning tropical mural. I think I will call it Pink Flamingo!

When glitz and glitter cross the line to gaudy, I start to cringe, and that is exactly what happened when we drove down Collins Avenue on South Beach. No longer the shinny new toy of the 90’s, it is starting to show signs that there is a “new gang in town.” Even in the daylight it looked raunchy. Without the famous and still fabulous Art Deco buildings, South Beach would be just another beach in America. Maybe one day it will “glitter” again, but right now Brickell has the spotlight.

I will leave you with the one iconic image of Miami (trust me, there are too many to include in this post) that made me scream, “Malcolm, stop the car I have to get that picture”.

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And there you have it. Glitz and glitter make this the Gold Coast!

 

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