Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 Hurricane Season Over... Officially!

The Sun-Sentinel did it's annual hurricane season over article this morning and put out a great article with great images of the hurricane season and how Florida was pretty much spared. They do a great job. The Herald writers do also but they often are not given the space they deserve to write the articles they can and they are often buried somewhere. The Herald did do a story.. every paper along the Hurricane Coast did a story I am sure.

November 30th.. the end of the road..the end of the season.. all over unless some stray out of season storm erratically forms somewhere..which has happened a few times. But..the fat lady has sung across the land and the newspapers and bloggers are all a buzz... the Hurricane Season is over.

Texas got slammed. Florida lucked out.

Cuba and Haiti had one of their worst seasons ever and it will take years to rebuild. The loss of life in the Caribbean rivals those years way back when hurricanes wiped out Jamaica and other places.

Read the article..

And, may I say
Ken Kaye
does one of the best jobs
covering weather in South Florida..

He's good and I'm a fan :)

So..that's it for today as I have to go to a memorial service and I have to
visit with out of town friends who are still here and I have a Dolphin Game
to watch and somewhere, somehow I will try and make some sense of things
that you cannot make sense of but that just need to be dealt with and
never forgotten... a reminder of how terrorists in NY or Mumbai can
rock our world and how we must not let them get away with it.

If you are here for just the weather you can stop reading.. if you wish read on
as I am posting a beautiful letter by a friend and the link to one of many
places where you can donate money to help rebuild in Mombai.

A site to give money to rebuild in areas that were hit by hurricanes is posted as well.

Besos Bobbi


Dear Friends,

It is with a deep sense of shock and grief that we heard yesterday the terrible news: Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg, dedicated directors of Chabad of Mumbai, were among those brutally murdered in the attack on the Mumbai Chabad House.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all the innocent victims and their families of the brutal attacks throughout Mumbai, India. But this one strikes way too close to home.

Their son, Moshe, turned two years old Friday; a day on which he himself was miraculously rescued from the Chabad House by the Chabad House cook, a day which he will mark for the rest of his life as the Yahrtzeit of both of his parents.

Friday, Moshe lost his parents. Friday, Layah and I - and the 4,000+ other couples around the world who serve as part of the family of the Rebbe's Shluchim - lost a brother and sister. On Friday, the Jewish people lost one of its finest and most precious treasures.

Over the past five years, every Friday night, the Shabbat candles lit by the Rebbitzen shone brightly throughout Mumbai. Tonight these lights have been replaced by blood stains and wary void of these very special people.

In dark times like these, where there seems to be no answers to our legitimate questions, we were taught by our dear Rebbe, that our only option is to increase in bringing light to our world.

Today we ask of ourselves, and of each and every one of you, to emulate the shining example of Gabi and Rivky. To dedicate our lives a little bit more to goodness and kindness, to true and boundless love of our fellows. To take on one additional Mitzvah, so that each and every one of us, in our own way, create a personal Chabad House - a personal space of love and holiness.

We've been repeatedly asked: What can we do?

The Jewish people fight brutality not only with the might of justice but also with the fulfillment of MITZVOT. The lives of this rabbi and his wife were dedicated to Jewish deeds of kindness. Let us do the mitzvah of teffilin and Shabbat candles in their memory:

Men, (and boys over the age of 13) are asked to please put on Tefillin. If you have your own pair, great. If not, it will be my pleasure to help you. You can either come by the library any day during the week or I can try to come to your home or office. Just call me before. or (305) 770-1919. if you are already doing this Mitzvah on a regular basis, please help someone who isn't yet.

Women, light the Shabbat candles. If you don't have your own or need help, we will be more than happy to help. We will give you candles free of charge.

If you would like to participate in helping baby Holtzberg or rebuilding Chabad in Mumbai please visit

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Small Quakes Shake Arkansas? Something to Worry On?

For a few months before the stronger 6.1 quake in October there were dozens of smaller earthquakes and countless really small ones in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico region.

An area in Arkansas not known for earthquakes has had a swarm of small quakes. Geologists aren't sure why. What worries be is that it is not that far away from the region that gave us the New Madrid Fault Earthquake of 1812.

Often swarms of quakes are pre-cursors to larger quakes.. sometimes they are just quakes, the earth letting off steam.

It's something to think on and there are no tropical storms to watch we in the Earth Science world turn to other displays of earth's fury ... fury that is beautiful and sometimes sadly deadly.

Keep watching. As much as we worry on the San Andreas the strongest earthquake that rocked the United States across a large geographic area was in a region that that far away from these quakes. Except... years ago there weren't many people living in that region... today... it would affect so many more people.

So...keep watching if the weather outside is not so exciting.

Or keep watching the snowman cam.

Shabbos was good for me, beautiful actually all in all. Family meal, went to a class with friends, a walk with my boyfriend, relaxed.. hung out, went to Temple, saw my mother, saw old friends... tried not to focus too much on how much my heart was breaking for the people who died in the Mumbai Massacre. We talked, we thought quietly, we tried to find meaning or inspiration or a purpose in the madness.

And, we go on... memorial services tomorrow, plans to rebuild there and elsewhere so that the work goes on, their dreams do not die with them and the bad people do not win the war. They win the battle sometimes but not the war.

a few Americans survived the massacre in the hotel by agreeing not to speak English out loud and to speak some other language they knew. No words. A woman hid in a cabinet in the kitchen and survived. People died.

And, Pakistan doesn't want India to react or blame them. Boy, is that the understatement of the year.. 10 terrorists, most with Pakistani passports if not all.

Enjoy your Sunday. I will enjoy mine even if a part of my heart is breaking and my stomach is churning over the horrible thoughts and pictures that play through my mind of what that last moments must have been like for those in the Chabad House. A 59 year old Israeli mother of 4 died there along with the Rabbi and his wife as well as others. Some were bound before they died. My mind freaks at the madness, the tragedy... the horrors and yet... terrorists are not the only way we can be terrorized on Planet Earth. Sometimes...Mother Nature goes on a rampage and whether it's a volcano or a hurricane or it comes swiftly and surprisingly by a sudden earthquake... horrors can happen everywhere. As Jim Williams has said on a Hurricane City broadcast, we worry so much over terrorism and yet more people die around the world from natural events such as hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes.

So... hope these little quakes in the middle of America was the earth crying over the horrible events that took place in India where close to 200 people have died so far and countless people were injured. Let us hope these quakes are not a prelude to a strong earthquake in Arkansas because we don't want the nearby New Madrid Fault to wake up do we?

So... whether I worry on earthquakes or terror attacks I and everyone needs to go on, live life and be strong. Proactive and educated and aware of the dangers we all face in today's world.

Yes, I go on... we all go on. I am in love. I am Thank God so blessed. I need to make some sense of it for myself and think of what to do and I will do.

As I tell my life, enjoy it, love every moment and give thanks for what you have and do what you can to help others.

Thank you for reading this.. it's therapeutic for me to write it... it's my way of saying life goes on..

Have a beautiful evening... enjoy the conjunction in the sky of Venus and Jupiter, so close together putting on a beautiful light show at sundown.

Nite.. Bobbi

some links..

Friday, November 28, 2008

A song...

one of my favorite... brings me some sense of peace and ability to breathe better

cool here.. didn't realize a small front went through, was sort of distracted between the coverage on CNN and FOX and saying psalms and cooking ..forgot to watch the weather, go figure...guess we all have priorities...

and... beautiful song and very timely...

Get out, smell the flowers, feel the sunshine, tell someone you love them and do a good deed today.

Good Shabbos, Bobbi

Day of Good Deeds Requested..

The weather is here beautiful but my heart is somewhere else far away in Mumbai, India. And, I'm crying even though the birds outside are singing and there is a cool breeze coming through the window and I am thinking of what I need to make for Shabbos. The picture above is of the family during Lag B'omer a holiday where we make bon fires, picnics.. I was in NC this year and my son Zalmy helped build the bonfire with wood picked up by the children in the nearby pine forest. It's a joyous holiday.

I fell asleep last night trying to put out various visions in my head that were weaving their way in and out as I had heard a report from a reliable Israeli news authority that they felt the people in the Chabad House were dead. I hoped it wasn't true. But, the reports of baby Moshe being covered in blood and the maid seeing the parents and others motionless on the floor did not bode well. Amazing report below.

It's hard to think good and it will be good, but you are supposed to do so. Miracles do happen and the fact that little Moshe survive is indeed a miracle but his parents could be prepared for burial tomorrow on his second birthday and that is a great tragedy...if early reports are true. We wait for confirmation.

The whole mess is a great tragedy and my son Zalmy is upset that we in America only seem to be concerned on whether Americans died. It's not really true but he wanted to know why FOX was showing info on two Americans who were killed there as well when so many were killed. I told him because people relate to their own and FOX and CNN are America News Services who cater to American's who want to know if any Americans were killed. He is young... I had to show him pictures from the 1972 Munich Massacre at the Olympics when the Israeli/Jewish team was taken hostage and many killed. They don't talk about that much when talking on the Olympics do they now? I have to go talk to my daughter who is the same age as Rivka who died in India... my daughter is in Canada doing the same job and making the world a better place. I am so proud of her and her husband.

So... do me a big favor today please. Give charity, do a good deed, learn holy works such as Torah or Chassidus is a good place to start. Just do one good thing for someone today in the merit of the Rabbi and his wife who spent their lives far from their homes and their family trying to go deeds in a place far away and to be there for Indian Jews as well as Jews passing through around the world or working their on business. Do good deeds because in that way you will keep their cause alive, their goals... their life's purpose.

Feed someone who needs to be fed. Give charity. If you saved $50 by rushing to the store today and buying some new electronic toys on sale for a few dollars cheaper please give that money you saved to charity if you can afford it. Give it to Breast Cancer Research or MS or Diabetes or the Red Cross or Chabad or whatever place of prayer you go to... to a food bank. If you don't have money, donate food to a food bank. Everyone can do something to make the world a better place.

Whether they are found alive or dead... just do it, in their merit and for others or anyone in your life who made a difference and for which you are thankful for ...

Give thanks for those around you who are alive and well and happy and safe.

Give thanks for the little Starbucks and the ocean and a fire in the fireplace. Give thanks that you are reading this... give thanks for the big things.

Live life, savor it and do good deeds and Serve the Lord with Joy...

Find joy... do good deeds.

Good Shabbos... Besos Bobbi
stories below..
Good place to give charity to.. I give them every year, going to write a check today and go visit some people in a nearby nursing home.

Now is your turn... do something please..

Good Shabbos. Bobbi

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eerie Thanksgiving... A Day of Prayer and Thanks

Thanks that my family is safe here in America (and Canada) and not overseas where Americans are more subject to terrorism in countries where Islamic terrorists try to spread their web of terror and hatred to countries that have not embraced their hatred.

India is a beautiful country, rich in heritage and history... and constantly trying to stay sovereign and safe from the terrorism that surrounds their country. It leaks in insidiously. Pakistan and other regions that have become safe havens for terrorists who are all fed in philosophy and with weapons by Al Kaida. This is not brain surgery, this was a massive attack in size and scope and it wasn't some small sleeper cell who has issues that they want publicized.

One of the blasts was at the Chabad House or the building the Chabad House was in and the building was stormed with at least 5 terrorists. Understand it's called a "Community House" but it is a Synagogue in a home which is how Chabad and many groups to when they first go out with small funds and try to set up in a country. People can come, pray, learn, study and access kosher food and use the internet. It's like an overseas embassy of sorts of Israeli kids who when they get out of the army go backpacking around the world before going on with their lives. Jewish Americans or Europeans traveling throughout India know they can go to Chabad for Shabbos, for meals, for someone to talk to or to even call home if they need. This happens in India, in Africa, in Thailand, in anywhere there is a Chabad House.

I had one. Long time ago. My ex-husband and I ran a Chabad House. People would call up and say they were home in America visiting a relative who was ill and they got "stuck" here and had no place to go for the Shabbos (Sabbath) or for a holiday like Passover and they would come, sleep over, help cook, eat, talk... become part of the family. A girl from Israel visiting relatives who needed a place to stay and eat on Rosh Hashonnah..the Jewish New Year. Once a man and his son who were here from Israel and he was trying to get his son a special operation only available in America to give his son the chance to hear.. he was deaf. My ex-husband brought them home, they stayed all Shabbos and... he helped connect them with doctors we knew at Mt. Sinai who helped him get a cochlear something transplant and ... he could hear, a little anyway but the first time in his life. I cooked with my best friend soups for an old woman dying of stomach cancer who needed hot, warm, kosher food but whose kids lived overseas and could not help... she found the name Chabad in the phone book, called... voila, hot soup delivered daily.

I'm just saying... these people were targeted because they were Jewish and because they were foreigners. Rivka (the wife) is from Israel where her father runs a high school and her husband is from England.

The little boy who is barely 2 was taken out of the house by a cook or maid who grabbed him and ran. His pants were soaked with old blood, obviously after crawling around for over 12 hours or lying near his possibly injured parents.. his pants got a lot of blood on them. He is supposedly okay..or as okay as he can be. I'm sure he wants his mother and father.

It's been a day of rumors. She was hurt, she is okay. They were said to be alive, they were said to be unconscious. The terrorists were indeed using the Rabbi's cellphone to call out and give demands to the media. Unreal.


Rumors and prayers and cooking.

Went to a Bar Mitzvah this morning for a friend's son and my old Rabbi's grandson. Rabbi Glixman. Unreal man.

Then..came home and cooked with my boyfriend the meal, potatoes, vegetables... said Psalms (prayers) and watched TV. Having about 17 people here.

So... that's been my day. How's yours?

So sad... people staying in a hotel, on vacation, visiting... attacked, killed, held hostage. And, a day of thanks for my boyfriend (fun to call him that you know lol) and my kids and their friends and the beautiful blue skies and cool air and life in general.

Crazy news day. Let's pray for the beautiful young couple living in India doing good deeds and helping others who were targeted soley because they were Jewish, they were foreigners as were people staying by them and staying at the hotel.

I'm Lubavitch. I might be sort of Modern Lubavitch these days (silly term) but I am and when one of us hurts we all bleed, we all pray. We are one family, we know people across the world who know our kids, our friends... who I went to Seminary with and half my class lives in Australia or Israel as the year we were getting married that is where most the couples were going who worked for Chabad. I went back to Miami.. and then California. I have a daughter who is the same age as this young woman Rivka who works in Canada. It's a small world.. especially my world.

So... please do me a favor and pray for them.. pray for everyone. Give charity, whether it's .25 cents or a dollar or 25 dollars. Give charity, pray and do some sort of good deed today and give thanks, give thanks we live here and that our lives are not touched by such terrorism and pray we continue to stay safe from such acts of evil.

Do acts of goodness and kindness today to help offset the deeds done by evil people please. Please say tehillim/psalms or prayers for Gavriel Noach ben Frieda
Bluma who is the Rabbi/father. Rivka bas Yehudis his wife. And, their
little boy Moshe Tzvi Ben Rivkah should be okay.

Thank you... Mucho Besos Bobbi
best sources for info...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving... Some Lighthouses To Give Thanks On..

Seeing as there are no tropical cyclones or areas of disturbed tropical weather today I thought I would put up a link to a story that the Miami Herald did this week on a historic lighthouse.

Sort of vacation from storms this week as the weather is beautiful and I'm on vacation for thanksgiving.

One of the many things we should give thanks for from a historical perspective in a coastal culture of lighthouses.

We love them. We see them as destinations to go to on a Sunny Sunday or to keep children busy mid-way through summer. We pose by them like we reached some great geographical marker on a long distance vacation. We drive to Portland Maine or we drive to Cape Hatteras. We buy magnets or send postcards. If we are adventurous we climb all the way to the top.. if they are in good enough shape to climb.

But, do we really appreciate the historic value of these lighthouses that have withstand hurricanes, nor'easters and blizzards? They watched over boats and shorelines for years... their light always burning. During the war they would often be turned off as part of a strategy. We repair them.. we enjoy them but do we really appreciate the history that these lights have seen and witnessed?

Adding some hurricane history to this ... I remember after Andrew I went with my brother over to Key Biscayne to look around. The Australian Pines had fallen down, big hotels at the water's edge were smashed apart... there was talk of total devastation at the tip of Key Biscayne but supposedly the lighthouse stood strong. When the helicopter from the News Stations sent up helicopters to survey damage I remember the voice of the on air person in the air when he saw the lighthouse standing, he was so excited. But, we went and looked for ourselves. It was awesome. Talk about giving thanks. In the middle of tremendous devastation we made our way down towards Cape Florida. It was all gone. The beautiful canopy of trees, roof tops ripped at on the condos.. the northern part of the eye wall of Hurricane Andrew reached out and touched the southernmost end of Key Biscayne. Raccoons scurried about at the park's entrance scourging for food that locals were leaving for them. We got out of the car and stood there in silence, sort of in shock to see the beautiful park we loved so stripped of vegetation but oddly...the image of the lighthouse standing at the end of the park, the only thing left standing was more humbling, more amazing... the lighthouse stood.. like it has after every storm that has come and gone though none were as strong as Hurricane Andrew. But, still.. it stood.

It was awesome. Sad and yet exciting, one moment of triumph in that horrible disaster.

When I was young it was brownish red which I liked, similar to the Jupiter Light but they painted it white like it was long ago and is again.

Best book on Key Biscayne filled with lighthouse stories and hurricane stories!

So... if you are home and have some time this holiday weekend... enjoy the article and appreciate and be thankful for the role these lighthouses played in our coastal history.

I'll probably come back later and post the picture I can't find of Cape Florida after Hurricane Andrew but right now I need to go shopping for Brussel sprouts and onions and potatoes and all the various things we are going to cook and enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving and may you enjoy family and friends wherever you are and the weather you love the most!

Besos Bobbi...stay safe and happy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Invest 96 Still There, Still Here & A Lost Space Bag...

Okay, up early and doing some things. Just wanted to say the area of disturbed weather that probably will never get the name Rene is still there this morning, painted yellow and looking pretty fine. I'm beginning to think that Invest 96 has discovered the secret to long life and that it will stay down there until next April possibly becoming a named storm on May 1st, 2009! Actually, one of my son's best friends just moved to Panama. If he gets Rene I will never hear the end of it. I'll just tell him it's only a little rain and we are getting a cold front! Let's see, 14 years old... a Tropical Storm vs a Cold Front, hmmmnnn Tropical Storm Rene sounds more exciting than Cold Front Number Four!

Well, either way a cold front is coming down the continental 48 ... cool air coming down for Thanksgiving so we will all be in the mood to cook up a storm!

In case you are tired of watching those puppies online or my Snowman vs the Deer and Bear Cam... you can now watch the lost space bag circling the globe. Poor NASA, just when they wish a story would go away it takes new legs and becomes a cheap form of entertainment for people trying to save money and not do the movies so often. Grab some popcorn, a tootsie roll pop perhaps and a good pair of binoculars and sit outside on a cool night bundled up with your favorite partner and watch for the lost space bag to circle over your town! Seriously, when I read this I thought it has to be an April Fools Joke but it's not April Fools! Couldn't believe it. Now you know what us weather watchers watch when there is no tropical weather... ;) space weather.

From an email from

"ISS TOOLBAG: A backpack-sized tool bag inadvertently dropped from the
International Space Station last week is orbiting Earth and has been sighted
from the ground. The tool bag is surprisingly bright, about 6th or 7th
magnitude, which makes it an easy target for binoculars or a small telescope.
Today's edition of offers observing tips, sighting
reports and a movie of the bag in orbit.

Possible Northern Lights if you live far enough to the north.. otherwise, dream away or youtube them!

AURORA WATCH: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras tonight
and tomorrow. Earth is entering a solar wind stream and this could trigger
geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle."

As for me.. I'm gonna be looking for Kumquats today!

Besos Bobbi

Monday, November 24, 2008

Down to Yellow Again...

Seems we are safe from tropical development another day as the Orange Alert gave way to a Yellow One...

Warm tonight in Miami or rather warmer. Tried to get work done while the teenage princess had friends over for a study date for mid-terms. She's cute, they are cute, it's a cute, cute life.

Watched the deer playing around Mr. Snowman a while. I think they put food by that camera so that the deer come and stand there and pose. What do you think? Come on.. Seriously, been to a cool deer far in St. Croix in Wisconsin, took the campers there years back. They really are pretty. Well.. pretty in a park, not pretty when they leap in front of your car on twisting, winding roads in Iowa or Minnesota and take big chunks out of your vehicle like some sort of kamikaze reindeer looking for Santa!

I think it's somewhere near the Gan Israel Camp where my brother once picked cherries and played golf and kept kids up all night laughing at his antics with the silly night time activities he was in charge of.. Can only imagine as I run into people still today who remember him from that summer. Night Activities Director. Giggling. Well, this poor snowman must get the whole troop of deer on their nightly runaway to play with the snowman and grab some feed in the snow. Not as exciting I am sure as Zalmy's runaways to Walmart in Orlando this summer but... fun just the same. Cute cam, pretty part of the country far from the tropics but lots of snow.

I'm going to bed. Thought I'd post tonight as I may be busy in the morning and not sure it will still be there. Raining gently here tonight. Some big fight down the block seems to finally be over as they closed off the street around the corner while the police took charge of the mess. Nice... fun living in the Donut Hole of the Ghetto known as North Miami Beach.

Watching videos, going through papers and going to bed... enjoy.

And you'll all say:
Oh! Well I never! Was there ever
A cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

Oh! Well I never! Was there ever
A cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees!"

Hurricane Security Alert Goes Orange... NHC Watching the Tropics

Go figure that one. Even got a number 96L even if it doesn't become a TD we weren't just whistling Dixie watching it for so long. Just before I fell asleep last night a friend emailed me that they made an invest, I smiled, giggled and sort of fell asleep.

Reminds me of the classic song.. Do it to me one more time... every time you think the season is really over... another one forms and it keeps going on. Til the rain stops in the Caribbean.. it's not over, not yet. Do it to us one more time..

Really.... Been watching this for days now as it had potential despite very negative conditions throughout the majority of the Tropical Atlantic Basin. But, as they say in real estate and tropical weather.. location is everything.

It sat and sat and now may become a numbered depression or even the R storm though I think that would be stretching it a bit. I think this going to R is about even odds with the Dolphins getting into the playoffs. I might give the Fins a higher chance actually. Good young team learning the ropes whereas this system here is down on the ropes and is running out of room. How long can it sit? If it goes west it rains itself out. If it develops a bit it could pull further north. There is some divergence from the models on what it could do. But, hey the fact that the models are even playing with it is sort of amazing. are some pics and the official statement from the NHC:


Some important pics:

Models on 96L

You can easily see it sitting down there..pretty picture, love this view. :)

Loop to watch:

Prettiest loop and the one that shows you really how this developed and stayed in the game. There has been a nonstop flow down low across the Atlantic giving it one shot after another of warm, tropical moisture feeding into this system.

So... will it or won't it? Not sure.. keep watching. In Miami it rained this morning, a soft gentle rain that fed the flowers and glistened the pavement. My daughter asked me twice, you SURE it's not going to be cold today? In Miami this time of year we do the Miami Strip. We leave the house bundled up, the sun comes out.. we take our layers off. Enjoy the noonday warmth, walk around like we are living in the tropics and then late in the day when the sun goes down early we bundle back up again. I told her she did NOT need a heavy sweat jacket. Glad her little hoodie had a little hoodie cause not sure she got to work before the sun shower. Good thing the younger daughter didn't straighten her hair... never would have heard the end of it. You may all think my job is to give a heads up for tropical development and to muse on the news. Nope, not in my house.. the number one question of the morning is: "is it gonna rain, should I straighten my hair" only followed with "Is it cold enough to wear my boots?"

Life in the fast lane...

Got to run.. I AM doing my hair ;) and I am running out of time.

Could this be Rene or just a numbered Invest? Don't know..has to get off it's fence and make a decision. As for me.. I'm getting dressed and going to work, down to South Beach. It's a tough life but hey someone's gotta do it. Who knows where I'll be working next year this time?? Where ever I am working or living I will be watching the tropics and the loops.

Watch the loop to this great song by a great singer...

Besos Bobbi ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

1 PM Tropical Outlook.. Pick Your Storm!

Going to go off and watch the Dolphin Game now... read through recipes and take care of business. The area down by Panama is still there. Here is the text from the 1pm!


Here's the talk from Jim at Hurricane City.

"low percentage chance" but he explains why, but the main reason is Shear Down There....

In here in Miami we are watching the Dolphins... later I'll be hooking up to the hook up in Crown Heights where the Kinus is being simulcast later this evening.

Love this pic... a hurricane at the Kinus in Crown Heights. I'll be watching live later this evening.

Soo.... enjoy the sites if today is your day to decide what to make for the feast on Thursday.
Great recipes, thinking of using some pomegranate and tangerines to decorate the Turkey. Croton branches on the table... how Miami!

Some more kosher recipes to look through!

And...the Cooking Bible for us Southern Girls ;)
Have to use coffee rich in place of cream but it works ;)

If you are vegetarian or want some great side dishes??

So... Cook Up A Storm... Live life with passion...

Take the World By Storm ;)

Besos... Game Time, Bobbi

Cold, Cold, Cold VS Something In the Tropics..

Good morning November! Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday morning somewhere but most likely if you are on the Continental United States you are waking up to clear skies, colder than normal weather and dreams of turkey and stuffing in your head. But, down in the Caribbean...way down..down by Panama my little system is still kicking and actually has gotten mention from people in high official places.

Yup... still there after several days of people covertly watching it spin it now has it's own yellow box. Now, this may be it's very own 15 minutes of fame mind you or it may cause some trouble in Panama, or it could linger until conditions are better or it could even cross over into the Pacific but whatever it is doing I am not the only one talking about it... so is the NHC. Yellow. Small chances for development but chances none the less. Just goes to show you if a tree falls in the forest and you think no one hears it the National Hurricane Center is still watching thanks to the eyes in the skies up above.

Here in Miami birds are chirping, sunrise was beautiful and I think all my little chickies are home back where they belong except for Mendy who went to work at the Gap this morning. He came in to tell me that he wanted me to be happy because even though he went out last night and partied and still keeps his responsibilities and goes to work. Well.. I guess I've done something right lol.. you think? Not sure that will ever get me Mother of the Year but then again I am not trying to win any awards.

Shabbos was beautiful. Really beautiful. I miss my boyfriend... that wasn't so nice but he'll be here again soon and I'm surrounded by pictures and seashells and colored autumn leaves we've collected. My little white siddur from Neshei Chabad is not on my bookshelf and I am wondering if it's here in the house or somewhere in his dining room in North Carolina. Either way... it's safe, a trinket from Moshiach Convention in Madison Square Garden years ago... has all the pages marked with pictures.

So... reason for bringing up Shabbos (the Sabbath) is that I decided late in the day to take a long walk to walk off the incredible chocolate brownie's Mendy's friend brought to dinner Friday night. Thick, fudgy chocolate with incredible icing with coconut and some little candies on top melted in.. nougat like ... incredible. Did I say incredible? That would be an understatement. So... after watching the kids joke around in the afternoon in some mini-war with flip-flops being used as paddles and talking football to Jon and reading more magazines than you can imagine that piled up here the last few weeks... I took a walk.

This talk is the walk because it was clear that not only was Miami cloaked in blue skies but God has cloaked Miami in it's winter colors.

There is nothing like getting out and being with nature.. in nature to remind you of how time has moved on while you were commuting and working and shopping for food, foraging for fresh fruit in Publix that Miami is now dressed in Winter Colors.

First, I had to find something warm to wear as I knew it would be almost dark when I got back. I had to take a .... s w e a t e r. Really. My little black Victoria Secrets hoddie. Here is a picture... of the hoodie, not me. I do not do bear midriffs anymore. Nice hoddie... wear it around my waist or shoulders until I need it when the sun goes down in the winter. "In the winter" being the operable phrase here.

I decided since I was out for a "Shabbos Walk" and trying to get some fresh air and burn off calories all at once I may as well go to the Canal. Took a nice walk over, met my brother half way who was on his way to Temple for afternoon/evening prayers. Got a good hug and walked on... waved to friends, watched some parrots from the canal fly overhead, watched kids playing basketball in front of their houses, girls walking... was winter, everyone was suddenly out and about again instead of locked away in air conditioned houses. I walked over towards my old house impulsively and my old path to the canal. I realized that the orchid trees are in bloom. We call them Florida Orchid Trees though some call them "Poor Man's Orchid's" but either way they are heavenly, beautiful and DO plant them even though some say not to just know they are fast growers and they go over fast in a hurricane..they snap sort of in half which is sad, my mother lost a big one in Andrew but they grow back just as fast.

Florida orchids... a sign of winter for sure.

Another sign was the Mahogony Tree's have nuts on them... so many little signs of winter to a Floridian. Always love when those nuts appear..

Got to the Canal and decided to walk across the canal on the other side so that I could look back to the West and watch the sunset over the canal. That made it not a big walk but a really big walk but hey .. the weather was beautiful and the sun was beginning to set and turn the sky colors only seen in the winter time in Miami. Passed a Florida Holly or what some call Brazillian Pepper for the color of it's berries that turn red just around Christmas giving it the additional name Christmas Holly. Now THAT is invasive and worth cutting down anywhere you see it crop up which it does often as the little birds love the berries and drop them everywhere and they will take over your hedge or backyard faster than a wild ficus. Seriously, but they are beautiful when they are filled with berries and another sign it is WINTER. Robin's that flew south for winter in the old days would make their first stop these colorful trees, get drunk on our lawns and sound a lot like my son Mendy at a party and my mother would get worried and tell my brothers NOT to eat them EVER as they are VERY poisonous!! Florida Holly... one of the signs of winter in Miami!

I looked up at the sky, deep blue against the Austrailian Pines blowing in the wind and gave thanks that they have not ripped them all out and that there are a few left. Yes, I know they are invasive. Let me explain you something here... Miami IS invasive! The land here only exists because they dynamited the river, destroyed the falls, lowered the water table so that parts of the Everglades would drain off and they could build suburbs out west beyond 27th Avenue and then they leveled the new land, laid out subdivisions and began building. Except for Snake Creek which was widened and a few tall mound like areas where Live Oaks rest that may or may not have been Indian Mounds... nothing was here except sawgrass and a few Royal Palm Trees that were found across South Florida and in Cuba. I guess you just have to pick your invasives and take your chances.

Hey! I love Florida Orchids. I love Austrailian Pines. I love Florida. But, hey I may soon be an invasive Floridian in North Carolina so... I figured enjoy every moment of my walk and Shabbos and as Linda used to tell me "try not to think soo much" lol.

So.. I walked, watched the sun turn the western sky orange and thought a lot even though I'm not supposed to. I thought on past walks... one long, long walk on the canal I took with Yehudis Groner on my birthday a few years back. Leibel was in town for Hay Teves which is my Hebrew Birthday, it was deep in December and Yehudis wanted to see "the canal" and so we walked and talked on life, on history... she gave me her thoughts and I listened. Old friends who seem to show up just when it is most important and I remember talking about meeting someone, getting married, what I wanted for me, what she wanted for me (giggling) and what everyone else wanted for me. Was a great walk. One of the best long walks I ever took at "the canal" and a beautiful shabbos. Somehow it hit me that walk was a sort of metamorphic memory for me as I finally put into words the thoughts that had been swirling around in my head for a while yet hadn't quite wanted to face or think on and yet we did as we watched fish jump in the canal, birds play on the banks of the canal and watched the sun go down.

Shabbos walks. Shabbos talks. Nothing like them.

I walked over the bridge and back to my side of the canal, looked back to the east and saw that the setting sun was painting the cloud tops all the colors of a conch shell, mauve and pink and coral and white... just like the other night when Brian and I went for drinks and watched the sunset.

Winter in Miami.. it only looks like that in the wintertime. Something about the cold air, the high pressure...lots of reasons from a scientific viewpoint but I think some early Floridian like Captain Fulford or Carl Fisher paid off Mother Nature to make Miami look it's finest from November to April when the Snow birds descend upon our beautiful tropical land.

Was a sort of heavy walk in ways also. It was November 22nd. A year since Harvey died. A year without Harvey. I stood for a while where we used to do Tashlich way back when we first moved to North Miami Beach and Harvey took to spending the High Holidays up here with his friends who had invaded NMB :) I always have such a clear vision of Harvey on Rosh Hashonnah standing over by a cluster of trees and me and Sharon and Malka praying his prayers would get answered. Memories. I thought some, I said goodbye again and remembered. It was right, right place, right time..right thoughts.

Decided to go back by Bais Menechem and say some evening prayers, say some psalms, give thanks for all that is my life at this moment in time and in the past. Exhausted and now cold enough for me to put on the little black hoodie and rest my tired feet and overtired mind.

Walked inside... looked up and there was a picture of the Rebbe with a notice about a farbregen for the new month. I smiled. It said Rabbi Groner. Thought how funny and then more funny.. was his son, coming from North Carolina to speak on Rosh Chodesh Kislev. The circle somehow goes full circle. Time moves on and yet it doesn't really go anywhere or change that much. Our children grow up.. move on and keep in touch.

I got home.. my kids told me Brian called from NC.. and then my cell phone rang and when I thought it was Brian it was Uri.. my son-in-law who called to tell me that he had just been in the Rebbe's Room and had davened (prayed) and I was blown away. There I was in Bais Menechem thinking on 770, thinking of the Kinus, thinking on life and davening and there was my son (in-law) at the Kinus praying for me and "all my family" in Crown Heights.

Something beautiful about winter... it reminds of us change and yet continuity. It brings with it memories of the past and helps us make new memories.

Down in the Caribbean there is an area of tropical weather but in North Miami Beach winter has taken hold and we are going into winter with a new Hebrew month Kislev around the corner, December and a new year down the road.

Thanks for reading my thoughts... love you brother boy in Greece.. I watched deer playing around the little snowman last night, love the snowman cam.. there really are deer there.. :) Not here but there.

Love and kisses... blessings Bobbi
ps... Going to breakfast with Sharon ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Something Twisting in the Caribbean... Dream on? Worth Watching It Spin??

There is a famous scene in the movie White Christmas where they sing a song..
What do you with a General when he stops being a general.. For those who know the movie they know what I am talking about... if not... you can figure it out.

Every year during the Hurricane Season as it winds down from Cape Verde Storms and Caribbean Cruisers to wisps of white clouds twirling about on visible imagery as high pressure rules over the south and a dangling front hangs across the northern part of the Caribbean like white pearls across a ladies neck... Somewhere out in the ocean there is a wave that will get washed away, blown away or just zapped by winter moving on, moving down.. moving in.

Yet, every little will of a wisp or twisting cloud formation still catches your eyes even though you know there is a better chance of welcoming in the New Year from the top of the Eiffel Tower than that little cloud formation becomes the next named storm. Yet still.. you watch it twist and wonder why and how much longer will it still be twisting there. It's so hard to move on for many. You really need to breathe in, breathe out, move on ;)

And, yet I woke up today..went back online and peaked.

Still there..still there spinning just a bit.. an illusion or momentary delusion. Perhaps it's happy down there north of Panama.. in the Carib having fun and hasn't been watching Drudge or Bastardi and isn't even aware we have Christmas Trees of all colors and types being sold in the store before the first mouthful of Turkey has even been swallowed.

Enjoy it spinning.. it's either that or go youtube old storms and watch them spin.
Dream on ;)

Have a beautiful day wherever y'all are.. Besos Bobbi

Ps.. the sexy, smart weather girl on channel 7 Fox News says another cold front is "moving down and cool air with filter it's way down." Yes Ma'am.. keep those windows open and the AC off ;)and the boots on!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weather News Round Up :)

So...if you are missing watching hurricanes spin... start this tune that I love and has been stuck in my head for weeks... watch the record spin, wait for the song to begin and think on how many things in life spin.. go round and around. Cyclones, spinning balls, dancers, planets spinning on their axis and round and round the sun.
The center is the eye, a little cdo exploding into a hot tower and about to ramp up from category one to category three skipping over category two completely :) Looking good on enhanced infared... red.. hot..wannabe hurricane spinning around. The T storm... Tramp ;) Hurricane Tramp!

Are these great lyrics? Check out Frankie's special lyrics that he sings live at Madison Square Gardens in 1974. Howard Cosell at his best and finest. Sing the lyrics you know and watch the CD spin.

...adores the theater but doesn't get there late...loves California because it is cold and damp ;) lol.....likes the free, fresh wind in her hair.. she won't dish the dirt with the rest of the broads..she never bothers with anyone she hates...that's why the lady is a tramp

now the picture..the rest of the show ;)

Good morning world... a lot of weather going on out there this morning. There are sustained winds on Nantucket of over 20 mph. (Nope.. not going there lol, no there was a woMan from NanTuckEt lol.) Seriously.... it's cold and windy in New England, there is snow on the ground in West Virginia, fires are abating in California and there were tornadoes in Wilson, North Carolina this week. Lots of weather. Winter coming on with a vengenance. Cute little ITZ out there in the Pacific.. few clouds over US today but the front left behind rain, wind and snow.

One of those things I love about Drudge, he has a great visual mind that puts pictures together with the news and there is a soundtrack running in his head that he does not share with you all but it's there going round and round. Fast and furious the images spin and he weaves them in and out with history and his own perspective on happening history. That's what a good newsman does you know? Clark could get the story better using his special powers but Lois relied on her words. Howard Cosell could put a football game into perspective along with politics, history and what you would remember.

Super Bowl ... 1969.. Jets... Joe Namath...Miami Orange Bowl ... what do you remember?

What does Don Shula remember? There's a story for you. He had his most stunning loss at the Orange Bowl when his Colts lost to the Fabulous New York Jets starring Joe Namath and he had his most memorable wins there with the Miami Dolphins and the 72 Dolphins.

That is history. That is weather... whether you were a Jets fan or a Colts fan or a Dolfan or a FortyNiner... Football has supplied some of the best weather news in history.

Great link with pics and stories of football games in the snow.. so don't you fret Virginia, there may be no hurricanes but there is football and weather and there is always the news!

One thing I love about weather and news is that they go together like hat and gloves, turkey and stuffing, like hurricanes and storm surge like newscasters and the news :) Like Clark and Perry :) Giggling, two of the greatest newsmen I know!

Gotta get dressed, gotta go to work. Gotta go figure out what to wear on this frigid morning (giggling) when my suede boots are at work and my leggings are here but oh...what to wear???

Here's a tune from my brother in Greece who thought I would enjoy this wake up song this morning ;)

Yeah....good tune.

Watch the snowman, pray he stays safe from deers and bears!

Besos Bobbi

(I need cafecito now!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Transitions... Hurricane Season Gives Way to Christmas Season on Miami Beach

The colors of the season on Miami Beach...and I don't mean the Hurricane Season!

Silver Stars on Palm Trees and Red High Heels!

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

This blog tonight is about transitions. It's the Middle of November, the full moon has passed, the hurricane season is pretty much over and a strong cold front is bringing December like temperatures down across the peninsular. Again... we seem to be a few weeks ahead of schedule this year weather wise but that's just my own observation.

I went looking for shoes today at lunch. You know shiny heels, furry boots, something I might fall in love with and feel more ready for the winter season. It was 74 degrees at noon, blue skies and beautiful. Women were walking around in boots and sleeveless mini skirts and those were the locals! Flip flops and leggings. Guys with shorts and sweat shirts. Miami in the winter :)

Seems the Hurricane Season is taking a back seat to the Holiday Season on Miami Beach. The Car Show has come and gone, Basel Art is around the corner.

Yep...the spirit of the Holiday Season has descended upon Lincoln Road as the nice bucket trucks began putting up the silver stars onto the palm trees and stores are getting into the holiday season.

Tomorrow morning it's supposed to be 51 degrees. Very, chilly, chilly, chilly for Miami. My mother went to my brother's to stay safe in the deep freeze. People are searching through their closets looking for their winter wardrobe tonight. Really.
51!! Brrrr...

I think the Tropical season is probably over. Hard to imagine all those pretty Christmas decorations going flying in the wind.. Might have to take down a few of the hurricane maps and put up some Chanukah decorations. At least my little Pier One Blue Shell Lights... get out the blue and silver votive candle holders and decorate as soon as Thanksgiving is over!

I'm still lost somewhere between the Hurricane Season... Turkey Season and the Festival of Lights and Miracles as we call Chanukah :) Looking forward to lying in bed late and watching the Macys Parade and making stuffing or whatever I make and latkes in December and my birthday and New Years Eve! Gosh I love the Holiday Season. Cold fronts and Southern Living Recipes :) and their Thanksgiving Issue!!

And... I have so much to be thankful for and appreciate this beautiful November. We had an incredible dinner last night at China Bistro at the Waterways and drinks earlier in the afternoon at the Eden Roc where we watched the sunset. The colors of the sunset were reflected in clouds over the ocean in those soft tropical colors that you find only in the tropics or the inside of a conch shell. They make one of the best Pina Coladas around and they have the perfect view to sit and dine with someone you love.

Next time you are on Miami Beach and looking for a place to eat, drink or just watch the water by yourself or with a friend... Eden Roc, poolside..oceanside bar. Always been one of the best places... better than the Fountaineblue even... because sometimes too much really is enough... and the Eden Roc is and has always been one classy hotel. Renovated as well and a personal favorite always! boyfriend left Miami this morning and landed in Raleigh where snow flurries were coming down and melting as they hit the ground. Quite a transition from tropical sunsets to an early winter! Funny because just a few hours earlier people at work were talking about the day it snowed in Miami in the winter of 77. Snow seemed to be the theme this morning. My brother sent me this site where you can a snowman and deer and people who come to pose and I suppose you can watch as the snow gets higher and higher by watching the measuring stick. I haven't figured why this is such a big deal but if you like it.. there's a link to Christmas ornaments and some nice tee shirts :) Hey.. if you are tired of looking at the puppies on the webcam give Mr. Snowman a try!

Meanwhile.. I went over to Macys which we really like to think of still as "Burdines the Florida Store" even though Macys trashed the Burdines name after insisting they would keep it... (who can believe Yankees anyway??) so... walked in and this is what I heard ...

Except this is Miami... and this is what I saw...

no snow... but lots of stars.. stars seem to be the theme this season. From Miami Beach City Hall up above to the mobiles at Macys.

Which oddly reminded me of the way the Fountainebleau looked yesterday when we were there!

Anyways... lots of great sales, music, jingle jangling songs. Did some shopping! Took a walk on Lincoln Road... went to the chiropractor, got some delicious coffee at Van Dykes and walked back to work watching the men in the bucket trucks putting up the Gold and Silver Stars onto the Palm Trees.

So.... enjoy this time of transition while the little turkey decorations are in the store and their are pumpkins and mistletoe sharing the same space at the store and as employees race about putting up Christmas Decorations before the Turkey has even been thawed..enjoy it! While your favorite songs are on the radio ...enjoy it!

Make a wish list! Places to see... things you'd like and things you could maybe only dream on... Might be a hard candy Christmas for a lot of people this year but many things are indeed free...

music... ( and love and laughter, friendship and weather and memories that stay with us forever.

Whether you are old school or new school ... sing along and enjoy whatever makes you happiest.

Love and kisses... Bobbi

Old School:

My School:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dolphins Win.. Move to 6-4 Season... On Beautiful Day in Miami

What a day! Dolphins won despite that unreal 93 yard kick return (can we please improve on special teams) but... we won :)

Telling you...greatest way to watch a Dolphin Game is locked up alone in a room with your boyfriend. Enjoy the Game. Enjoy the Halftime! Enjoy the Victory! Try.. find a nice hotel room, turn the phones off... enjoy the game. Take a Football Holiday :)
Hey... beats trying to watch on a walkman or in a room with a bunch of people screaming "you bum" at the screen! LOL.

Gotta go.. going to dinner and drinks! Wonder if they make a Miami Dolphin Victory Martini???


Watch the Carib for one last blast of possibilities in a few days.. don't think anything can happen but you never what happens to the moisture from the front. Either it's over or there's one last chance.

Miami - THE Season Has Arrived.. Cold Fronts, Car Shows and Book Fairs & the Fountainebleau

Yup... Miami is open for business.. party and fun in the sun. Chandeliers are back on and the floor is shined and waiting for the people to come and party in style!

This is THE SEASON in Miami. A cold front barreled through last night just in time for everyone to get up, get out and get about town checking out their favorite vice be it books, cars or I'm not telling ;) mine!

Seriously, having a wonderful weekend here. My boyfriend's in town and God provided great weather! No late season hurricanes... though it was a bit toooo hot yesterday. Sorry, 88 in the sun in November is HOT!! One of the most beautiful full moons rising the other night on the way over to my brother's house for Friday night dinner. And, this morning... the wind changed, cool air suddenly was here again! Cool breezes from the North. Cool breezes that make you open the windows, smile and give thanks to the weather angels that sent this beautiful weather this way :)

Speaking of angels.. the Victoria Secrets Angels are in town. They've been all over Miami Beach last week getting ready for the show. You can tell they are Victoria Secrets as they are ten times more beautiful than the normal models and they all speak with some European accent and well.. they are beautiful. People at Starbucks on Lincoln Road just stare like they have never seen a beautiful person before and telling you as someone who was once called one of the "beautiful people" I'm awed. Amazed.

To the girls in this house a new VS catalogue is more exciting than a copy of Foreign Affairs Quarterly was to me when I was there age and that rocked my boat :) Yup.. my beautiful girls who inherited their mother's great curves and brains are hot, hot, hot and they sit and sift through it and argue which model is more beautiful and which outfit is best to order. Pink is a political party choice round here. ;)

Here she is in all her beauty... in the hotel whose designer once said "too much is never enough" :) I think he would be thrilled with the VS fashion show for the grand opening!

What you don't know about this bathing beauty is she is in fact a famous storm chaser! Yep.. this outfit can take you from the tropics to the north pole. ;)

One of my family members is involved with the hotel re-opening and has been working on it for a long while. She told my youngest daughter that Heidi Klum is so beautiful in person without any make up. She just shines. Some people do. I've seen models looking for coffee, shlepping little suit cases with them before being made up for shoots on Lincoln Road..they are not all works of art without the make up department. Bodies by God but faces like you and me... Others... truly do shine.

So... this blog has some of the Victoria Secret girls in town at the Fountainebleau and you decided. Here's Heidi!

As for the book show do you really need to see books? Come on now... If you live in Miami, go down to the book fair it is worth the money and a glorious day to browse through books.

If you'd rather stay indoors..there is the South Florida International CAR SHOW across from my main residence on Miami Beach :) Saw them setting up the fancier cars on Friday, very pretty... My brother went last night, they are going to buy a new car and well.. I mean how could you not go? Check out the old classics on Memory Lane!

Check out Dave Barry and his band .. one of the best attractions..

Take your pick! Go to the Mall, go to the show, go to the beach, open up your windows and make some great snacks and stay home and watch your favorite football teams play Fall Football. Heard Gators kicked butt last night.. my youngest son Zalmy seems to be a Gator Fan.. Nuff Said!

So... nothing going on in the tropics of the meteorological kind but lots of beautiful babes and books in Miami.. as always, the city that has beauty and brawn and the Miami Dolphins!!!

Besos Bobbi ;)

My favorite... Heidi doing the Tropical Can Can or as we say today.
Yes You CAN .. CAN CAN ;)

;) giggle.. just kidding.. cute song

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Tropics & Other Topics - Miami Fountainebleu Re-Opens

Hi. Not much tropical going on however there seems to be some change in the process over at the NHC because instead of long rambling Tropical Weather Outlook (TWO we call them) explaining nothing was going on in intricate detail we are back to our regular, normal nothing's happening comments. I looked down at my sidekick, read the email and smiled. After long rambling reports on areas that were not going to develop yesterday I was beginning to wonder if they were running training exercises for the new guys. :)

Nope..there is was.. Franklin at his finest:

For the North Atlantic... Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.


Forecaster Franklin

And, a good thing too seeing as in Miami the Fountainebleu is set to open this weekend with a big party and the Victoria Secrets fashion show in a short while. This opening has been put off and off while they waited for the City to sign off on various inspections.

Watching the re-birth of the grand hotel and the beautiful Eden Roc next door has been watching a work in progress. As they cleaned and finished off the old lines of those two beautiful hotels.

My daughter-in-law works for the parent company and I sat through many a Shabbos Meal hearing about which brand towels and robes she was picking out, the linens, the lines of the hotel... the various plans for the new improved Fountainebleu under new ownership... new, beautiful, trendy, fixed up. Ready to start over on a brand new period in her very grand and memorable life.

Built in 1954 and designed by Ted Lapidus, a man whose motto was "too much is never enough" it was the be all and end all of Miami Beach hotels.

Why am I writing this all this morning when I should be getting dressed?

Because yesterday on the way home from work, trying to get off Miami Beach we turned onto Collins Avenue at 41st Street and got stuck in a massive traffic jam. The permits were approved it seems and there were tons of trucks dropping off all sorts of every day items and landscapers laying out where to put the flowers so they will look fresh and beautiful on opening day. What caught my eye was something I haven't seen in a while now.. the big, bright, beautiful chandeliers all turned on, all lit up, shining in the main building, in the grand lobby... Lord it was beautiful!

Brought back memories.. had a prom there, went to concerts there, hung out in the lobby on Shabbos visiting friends and went to weddings there. I snuck in a few years back and wandered around a boarded up old ballroom and stared, remembered, said goodbye. I think a part of me never believed the never ending remodeling would ever take place and happen. But it did.

Great pics above of the old Miami Beach lapping at the hotel's pool and the new Miami Beach that also was rebuilt looking more like a tropical beach front.

And.. an old pic of the original construction.

Gotta go as my friend Sharon says... might post more on this later.

The old gal has been through a lot but she's had a face lift and is looking good. Nice to know that beautiful old girls can be cleaned up by new owners and have a new life again...

Besos Bobbi

The New:

Bio of the man who built it..

Good article in the Miami Herald today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Tropical Review & Thoughts On Miami Beach's Veterans & Old Hotels

To start off with there isn't much going on or expected to go on in the Tropical Atlantic. As a matter of fact, it's temporarily quiet everywhere this morning.

NRL still has the invest up on Paloma but as much as I respect life.. I think it's time to pull the plug guys. Not happening. And, a new cold front is expected to blow through the South in a few days and wipe the board clean. Out in the Atlantic east of the islands about mid-ocean is a bright spot of color that is just there.. not sure what dynamics are painting the map so pretty but it's not mentioned by the NHC discussion this morning whereas an area further north in the Atlantic is mentioned (near the Azores) but not expected to develop. Either way...something could develop in the Pacific off the West Coast of Central America but wondering more on the El Nino question than tropical development but for so much warmth to be there late in the year (their season usually starts and ends a few weeks before ours) it makes me wonder.

I wonder a lot. I wander also.

I took a walk over to the beach yesterday at lunch as friends online had insisted the winds were really strong. Strong is an understatement. A saw a pigeon having problems flying in the wind tunnel that is Lincoln Road east of Washington Avenue. The wind whips through there violently sometimes, tourists struggle against the wind clutching onto their bags filled with suntan oil and trendy snacks they bought at the Walgreen's on the corner open all night for anything a tourist could possibly need.

Nice walk. Miami Beach had it's flags out, up on the poles flying in the breeze. Stores trying to sell refurbished electronics on Lincoln Road were all sporting electronic flags on their over priced gadgets. There was a real sense of patriotism in the air as the barely dressed European tourists rushed about stopping only to take pictures of themselves smiling and posing. I saw a rich tourist walking back from Walgreens to the Ritz hand a street person sifting through the trash looking for food a brightly wrapped piece of bazooka bubble gum. The bum with the bubble gum was extremely excited, thankful.. just goes to show you that never know what will rock someone's boat. I saw him offer him gum and thought.. "right, he's giving the bum gum? I think the bum would rather have food or money" but the bum was thrilled with the gum. Miami Beach has some of the nicer street people around, not sure where they live but some of them have been around for as long as I can remember.

So... that was my lunch time walk while I took odd pics of myself and people and places and thought on Veterans Day. A veteran riding by on his motorized wheel chair with the flag on the back blowing in the breeze. If you look hard in the pic you can make out the little flag he carries against the building equally down on it's luck after the Economic Wars of 2008.

Rich Europeans sunbathing on tropical beaches spending their Euros in the land of the liberty and justice for all. Rows of buildings that are only half remodeled because the economy changed and they ran out of money. Boarded up and looking forlorn ..they were better off rented out and filled before some investor with dreams ripped them apart and then stopped leaving eye sores up and down Collins Avenue. I wonder if a hurricane ripped through would it help that they have no windows? Would the wind rip through them and leave them alone or would it rip apart at the structure? I guess maybe the tourists think they are broken apart like that from some strong hurricane they missed on CNN European Edition? Not sure but boggles my mind that someone bought the Ritz Plaza for $24 Million Dollars several years back, started ripping it apart, left a cess pool in the backyard hidden by a high fence and it has been there "under-construction" since I started working at my job in July of 2006. Just sits there.. a beautiful building with great lines ripped apart going nowhere as if time is standing still waiting I imagine for the economy to turn and some investor with dreams and money decides to start hammering away again at her insides and figures out how to repair the lake that was her pool once upon the time.

The Ritz Plaza herself is a veteran of World War Two in ways. You can learn so much on Wikipedia. I didn't know this.. she was opened by the Grossinger Family (wiki says) and used during WW2 to house high ranking Vets while Clark Gable stayed just down the street at the Cadet. I know from family stories there were USO dances during the war at the Ritz and it was a busy place filled with soldiers, then re-opened after the War when many a honeymooning veteran took his new bride to Miami Beach to the honeymoon capital of America in the 1950s. Soldiers who had "sand in their shoes" from being stationed on Miami Beach during WW2 came back to honeymoon and then often came back to raise families in the new suburbs buying homes on VA Loans.

The Ritz in all her glory...

Now an old veteran, faded, boarded up with only memories..

Clark Gable was stationed here ..there is a plaque on the side of the building on James and 17th Street if you want to stop and read more.

There you go a real veteran of both wars and hurricanes waiting for someone to come along and give it another chance on life.

Something to think upon on this wet Wednesday morning in Miami when a passing shower woke me up before sunrise sounding like a brief squall in a passing storm.

Have a good Wednesday, may you all be blessed with love and memories and dreams that come true.

Besos Bobbi :)