Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yard-Sale Post-Op

Dear reader in Montreal commented:

"...Garage sales attract huge crowds and they are everywhere. It is not uncommon to see 20 sales in a street of 30 houses.
In the beginning I use to love Garage sales until I realize they are addictive. Now I rarely buy anything but I like to go see the people."

The First Annual Design District Artist Rummage Bonanza trial balloon was a resounding success, but few pickers showed up. Of the likely explanations, two top the list- the heat and the Herald. Realize that a one inch classified ad in the herald costs about 50 bucks and more so tip off the permit people. Then you'd be 60-70 bucks in the hole before even making a sale. But honestly it is so blinking hot here that folks just scramble for air-conditioned safety. Listing on craig'slist is free but not enough. When posting fliers in public spaces, people look at you like you're spraying graffiti, so plaster at your own risk. Miami is a "post no bill" kinda place. The social dysfunction runs deep. I wish Miamians would take a clue and wake up to the magic of garage sailing as a real down-home engine for the joys of social interaction with the people we share a town with. But the truth here is we are languishing with isolation in a sprawling air-conditioned swampy flat-land.

Teens are big fans of hand-me-downs.

This guy found his dream tropi-robe.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Yard-Sale Saturday 26th

Like apple pie and howdy doo , the all american pastime of picking through stuff at yards sales, garage sales, estate sales and swap-meets satisfies our primordial urge to rummage. In the spirit of trickle-down-stuff, not all towns are created equal. The best sailing to be had is in the summer in mid-western towns like minnesota where folks take the whole big shuffle of stuff very seriously, almost a micro economy. In Miami the sport is not so much played out. Our summer is like their winter, people hunker down, sales are few and far between. Here it's the heat that keeps people in, and the price of gas. The thought of picking thru tons of stuff to find a gem that you didn't know you wanted is the very art of resourcefulness.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gummy Lighthouses

A haiku film strip:

The winds that blows -
ask them, which leaf on the tree
will be next to go.

the morning paper
harbinger of good and ill
- - I step over it

the end.

Monday, July 21, 2008

from True Grit to Segways

For better or worse, John Wayne's acting style had an indelible lasting impression that epitomized the true grit that characterized American strength, fairness and justice.

Due to his enormous popularity, and his status as the most famous Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor, Senator George Murphy. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House.

TV classic Andy Griffith's character, sheriff of Mayberry, had the similar effect of reassuring authority but with a much more human tone. No one was ever evil enough to kill in mayberry.

Gomer the mechanic, Sheriff Andy, Deputy Barney Fife

F L A S H F O R W A R D 60 years and 911 .

How in blue blaazing tarnations did we get to this?
Skeletor Shertoff - head of the biggest baddest federal agency ever, homeland answers to no one.

... and this - shameful images of abuse - Pt. Lynn England with torture victim at Abu Ghraib prison...

... and this level of preparedness / authority worship.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Red to Blue to Orange

Intimately clowning... candid moment of Ileana and Jebi about to work the crowd.

Concerned locals have been attending various meet-n-munchies with Annette Taddeo. We had a decent exchange of comments, at the home of Hal and Val. Mrs. Taddeo spoke of her desire to work for the common folk on issues like health care for all children. As a business leader she is positioned to affect needed change. With a healthy appetite for honesty and fairness, she is a contender for a position of public service with tremendous influence that has been in the clutches of the BFEE for forty years.

So it is with little reservation that swampstyle asks you to support her candidacy for the 18th congressional district to unseat long seated incumbent Ileana Ros Lehtinen.

Time is ripe to mothball the moldy fear-mongers who take delight in what is happening here.

double N, double T, double D ....... She is our interim player.

Ileana and Laura chatting with the Dalai Lama... maybe about red to blue to orange.


Field of Dream Busters

From the mangled ruins, Miami history is being re-written...

Come rain or shine, when I was a kid my grandpa would take me to the Orange Bowl to watch the Dolphins play. I thought the whole thing was booooooring except for the time spent with gramps who loved sports. Today the place is an empty leveled field of nightmares and there is a power play in the works.

From the AP:

"Norman Braman talks about the lawsuit he is filing aimed at stopping a massive $3 billion public works plan in Miami which includes a long-sought downtown stadium for baseball's Florida Marlins during an interview in Miami on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008. The multimillionaire car dealer contends the financing is illegal because it takes money from accounts intended to cure urban blight."

photo Lynne Sladky

Drivin' Norman is no spectator, his art is the voice of reason. Our needed tax dollars should not be used to build a private stadium. He is not the lone opponent but certainly a champion for public interest and a giant pain in the seat for small men who we entrust with the business of the people. These little thirsty men, drunk on power and corrupted by OPM (other people's money), want us to spend millions on one loosing proposition after another, to benefit their buds. But when pressed on the hard facts , local polititan's devious plans crash like a house of cash.

Read below how mayor Alvarez is looking out for his constituents.
From the SunPost this week, our "strong mayor" is all about "I dunno":

"... Martinez asked the mayor why the Marlins couldn’t build their own stadium. “My understanding is they can’t afford it,” Alvarez said. He went on to paint a shocking picture showing a lack of due diligence by the county and city in stadium negotiations. Here are a few of the questions Martinez asked Alvarez:

“Have you seen financial statements from the Florida Marlins?”

“No, I have not.”

“Have you ever seen from the Florida Marlins any evidence of their ability to obtain the line of credit that is required of them to obtain in the baseball stadium agreement?”

“No, I have not.”

“Do you know whether they have any long-term debt?

“No, I do not.”

“Do you know if the Marlins have operated at a profit or loss during the last three years?”

“No, I don’t.”

Martinez then asked, “Have you considered taking a referendum, asking the citizens themselves if that is something that they want?”

“No, I have not,” the mayor answered.

Why should our precious tax dollars go to building this giant tin can of sardines just so a few fanatics can relish in the spectacle of watching knuckle-headed over-grown boys beat each other stupid with bats and small balls. why? because our elected officials say so.

Photo not related.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

summer sizzler swimwear meltdown

swim where?

My dear wife is a hotel concierge. She gets invited to parties all the time, but we often just lay low. So when she decided that it would be fun to go on a date with her work-weary hubby, swampthing showered, shaved and donned some decent threads to please diva... to get out of the house for some amusing distraction and a bit of complimentary SoBe fluffing. Our night began with a swimwear fashion show.

Today in the trendy shops you would be hard pressed to find the latest teeny-weeny-yellow-polkadot bikini bathing suit for less than 500 bucks. So it is not surprising that no expense was spared by the fashion designers and corporate sponsors who participated in the 2008 Swimwear Fashion Week extravaganza.

Hosted by the incomparable Raleigh Hotel, centered around the most beautiful pool in the universe, this event brings to the swamp what we really really want, tent-loads of moneyed mobs that come here to party, the leave. Eager fashionistas, gawking gents and paparazzi press are dazzled by a seemingly endless runway parade of perfectly lanky legged models and trunk-loads of buff beef-cakes, all practically naked and very easy to look at.

It's flatter to the giraffe that the girl models have to look like her.

There isn't just eye candy, the flood-gates of free liquor bars are opened to keep the party fueled. Giant air-conditioned rent-a-tents are appointed with sandy runways and illuminated brightly for the talent to sashay and bedazzle the often jaded or overtly awestruck crowd. Gals watch with the eyes of critical envy while guys just watch with Jackie Gleason eyes.

This is the kind of event that really sets the tone for amorous interludes. When the crowd dwindled the clock struck midnight and it was time for Mitch the bartender to pour a masterful tropical last call. We made a sultry scene at the bar, passed on an in to the penthouse after-party and bolted home. When we got there the anticipation overtook us so we laid on the rusty trampoline on the front yard for some blue moon spooning.

photo not related.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

the Thrill of Brill

My dear lady, Dianne Brill is featured in Paper Magazine's blog. She's always had the best of May West, with the smile to launch a battleship.

She was the It girl to end all It girls -- save for Madonna -- during the 80s. She was what people called "the babe who's everywhere"

Diane lashes out with an arsenal that is top secret and for sale. It is the American currency of mythic beautification that does not depreciate. It knocks men right out of their pant and leaves the boots on. To the girls of the world, it's the power of the feline hybrid. Brill could be our secret weapon in the coming global battle of the westernized beauties. One Brill is worth a thousand faces.

If anyone can save these dames, it's Diane Brill.


Trump the Chump

It is such a shame to see what Sunny Isles has become, just another obnoxious condo canyon. Giant towers cast swaths of shadows that stripe the beach like dark clouds that don't go away. Literally thousands of luxury housing units for world-crass investors has done little to benefit the quality of life on the ground. All you see from the street are cars and concrete, no beach in sight.

I have no idea what the architects were thinking when they made this bizarre entrance shaped like ass cleavage topped with a rhinestone tiara, the most inhospitable pile of concrete to date. No amount of sanitized landscaping will help. It has zero swampstyle.

I liked that stretch of beach the way it was before incorporating and selling out to developers. It was a charming and affordable stretch of motels adorned with humorous themes and lot's of fun in the sun. The Sahara pictured above is one of the few still standing reminders of what made sunny isles unique and inviting and hilarious.


sweat n sweatier

It's hotter than haiti in the swamp. But never too moist to throw-up another great mural. This one is in progress, an acid green montage of rock icons outside Sweat Records, adjacent to Churchill's Club (the CBGB of Miami).

... and this is just another classic example of Haitian handy-work.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Facebook vs Facetime

It's convenient to sit at home and socialize with our virtual friends on Facebook...

... but there is no substitute for the real thing.


Monday, July 7, 2008


Just when you thought people and car companies were waking up from the national car crazed petro nightmare and SUV's could not get any bigger or less gas efficient...

...feast you eyes on this extension of identity, the biggest Big Boy Triple Xtra Grande pick-up truck yet, it's a beastly bus for two. No doubt we'll see more of these autominations hogging the road soon. Let's hope the drivers of these over-sized hot-wheels can stay between the lines on I-95 after the lanes have been narrowed to make way for the pay-as-you drive Lexus Lanes.

Here is the White Albatross dwarfing an average SUV.

Fill-er-up and merry motoring,
our troops are busy over there taking care of business for the oil companies.


Movin' On Up, to the Eastside...

...We finally got a piece of the Swamp!.

Adorning a public commons in Little Haiti is an impressive and amusing bronze statue of the heroic yet diminutive Toussaint Louverture.

Toussaint Louverture played a key role in what was the first successful attempt by a subject slave population to throw off the yoke of Western colonialism. He defeated armies of three imperial powers: Spain, France, and Great Britain. The success of the Haitian Revolution had enduring effects on the institution of slavery throughout the New World. Haiti became the second independent republic in the Western Hemisphere. After being captured by the French general Leclerc, on the ship to France, Toussaint Louverture warned his captors that the rebels would not make his mistake in the following words:" [B]y overthrowing me you have killed only the trunk of the tree of liberty of the black people, it will grow back by the roots cause they are deep and numerous."

Today motorists careen along 79 street past a changing landscape.
In shades of greige and a disneyesque style, new construction towers for housing are dwarfing the old neighborhood charm. For better or worse miami is in a state of flux but the bucks have all but evaporated.

Construction cranes tower over dilapidated 'old miami'.

School of Michael Graves Art-itecture.
Only thing missing is styrofoam dolphins on roof.

The finished product.

What good is a new neighborhood without another ginormous Microwave Tower to fry young and old minds .

I totally enjoy images of the creative forces at play here.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Delusional Deluge: it's raining euphemisms

Always on the lookout for a blue-gold story.... Rebecca Wakefield of the Sun Post has the gist on our local BS situation:

It’s much worse than you think, but that’s not so bad

"... South Florida has major problems with water. We’re a big, swampy, subtropical sandbar, plagued by poor drainage and a shallow water table. We’ve always got either too much or too little water.

...The late, great George Carlin had an observation about how we like to kid ourselves with comforting BS. He talked about how we got from the term “shell shock” to describe what happens to soldiers in combat, to today’s euphemistic “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

This surreal-estate promo photo would have us believe there are no problems.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Like Ribbons

I like the smell of gun powder as much as the next person, but it appears no one is immune from global warming.

When we in the USA have had our fill of roman candles and ground beef, some aught to gleen the spirit of purpose from this bit of 2oo8 insight for a greener tomorrow.

"... Most of the Gulf city-states are building hallucinatory skylines -- and, among them, Dubai is the unquestionable superstar. In a little more than a decade, it has erected 500 skyscrapers, and currently leases one-quarter of all the high-rise cranes in the world...

....We're talking here of the prospect of creating green and gated oases of permanent affluence on an otherwise stricken planet.

... This super-charged Gulf boom, which celebrity architect Rem Koolhaas claims is "reconfiguring the world," has led Dubai developers to proclaim the advent of a "supreme lifestyle".

...Most of the Third World, however, probably prefers for the First World to acknowledge the environmental mess it has created and take responsibility for cleaning it up. They rightly rail against the notion that the greatest burden of adjustment to the Anthropocene epoch should fall on those who have contributed least to carbon emissions and drawn the slightest benefits from 200 years of industrialization...."

Responsibility for Smog is a growing problem in most big citied including Santiago, Chile.

"... in the current year, the government has declared six
pre environmental-emergencies, a state in which it forbids the circulation of 360 thousand vehicles, stops the operation of over 800 industries, and forbids the use of chimneys in households. But that seems not to be enough..."

Wonder what can we do before things get to this: