Archive for the ‘Florida connection’ Category

Ken Davis of Estero, Florida, breezin along with the breeze. By Paul Goldfinger

Ken Davis of Estero, Florida, breezin’ along with the breeze. By Paul Goldfinger.     2013 Re-post.


We met Ken Davis at the Causeway Islands Park which stretches from Ft. Myers to Sanibel Island.  It is a remarkable  park where you can just pull over and drive onto the beach.    We saw Ken pull his 4-wheel drive up to edge of the Gulf of Mexico. His car was filled with wind-sailing gear.

It took him quite a while to put his wind-sail together. It was a breezy afternoon, but he shook his head and said that there wasn’t enough wind to get a really good result.  Nevertheless, he got on board and aimed for Cuba.  But a short while later he returned toward shore and then headed out again.  That’s when I got this shot.

Ken is a “local” and he was there with some friends who huddled on shore to keep warm. Soon it would be sunset, but we were gone after getting this photo. Ken was still cruisin’ around when we departed.  Sunsets are corny, but you already know that.   —Paul Goldfinger




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Loggerhead turtle washed up dead on Christmas Day 2020. San Carlos Bay, Florida. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©. Click to enlarge.



LUCIA MICARELLI.  From her album  Music From a Farther Room.


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Dec. 25, 2020. San Carlos Bay. Bunche beach. Ft. Myers, Fla.  Southwest coast.  Paul Goldfinger photo. Click on image to enlarge.

Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor Blogfinger.net

Nature knows no holidays. I went to the beach at 8 am on Christmas morning hoping to find someone in a Santa hat.  As I walked towards the beach entrance, I met a tall young man heading my way carrying a serious photo rig identifying him as a nature photographer.  His lens was about 15 inches long. He came up to me, seeing my camera, and he said that a dead loggerhead turtle had washed up and that it was a very rare finding. He said that this time of year would be unusual for a loggerhead to show up because it was their nesting time.

I walked onto the beach and saw the creature immediately.  It was about 3 1/2 feet long. There were red marks around the head and neck.  A Ranger was also on the scene.  He thought that the animal may have been about 50-70 years old, but he couldn’t say if it were male or female.  Its life expectancy is up to 80 years.  In general these sea turtles are survivors having been around for 100 million years—or so they say.

He turned to rush back to his Jeep to make a call.   He and his colleague would move the animal to a special lab where it would be autopsied with the tentative cause of death being “red tide” which is found in Florida now, but not as bad as last year.

Then a young couple appeared while I was photographing.   They told me that they were active in a group which travels around concerning itself with survival of turtles and other oceanic wildlife.  She showed me her colored bracelets signifying marine places where she has gone to help the cause. These big turtles are considered endangered.

The loggerhead seemed so sad to me, partly because it was Christmas morning, and the couple said that it was not there yesterday. They also agreed with the red tide diagnosis.

The first image was intentionally obtained in color and to show the turtle’s size and its location on the beach.

But then I switched to a monochrom camera with a portrait lens.  This creature seemed like it was dignified in its way and maybe I could reveal that with a black and white photograph.  (see below–next post)

The face of the turtle revealed big dark eyes which almost seemed to be staring ahead.  It’s body was encrusted with barnacles as if it had reached old age.  But it looked strong and well nourished, so maybe its luck had run out in a cruel natural oceanic world.   There were signs of violence on its body, and that clashed with the idea of “peace on Earth” which prevailed today.

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Tropicana Park in Ft. Myers, Fla. Golf cart parade for Christmas. Dec. 20, 2020. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


Tropicana Park Christmas Parade. 12/20/20. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


–CANADIAN BRASS from their album  “Christmas Time is Here”   (Brass quintet with percussion.)


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In person gets the message across better than email or text. Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger monochrom image. ©  Click to make the point.


MICKEY GILLEY:   “Talk to Me”


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Restaurant BT:

Restaurant  BT: “Authentic, healthy and French.”   Tampa, Florida. PG photo.  Original post 2013.  See comments.  Re-post 2018 and now 2020. ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net   (Don’t miss the comments—wonderful celebrity stories!)

Yesterday was a bit chilly by Tampa standards. About 60 degrees in the evening. The three of us were going to spend our last meal in Florida going to a trendy gourmet eatery.

Restaurant BT is in an artsy neighborhood. Michael, our youngest son, who lives in Tampa, parks his Jeep Wrangler in their private lot, next to a long BMW sedan—black and exquisitely shiny. Eileen tries to climb out of the back seat of his Jeep. It is a terrifying thing to watch, but we finally help extricate her.

She regains her composure, and we sashay into the restaurant, a very fine French-Vietnamese place where sophisticated people go.

The crowd is in its 30’s and 40’s. Three young couples sit at one table, but the three women huddle together at one end, laughing and chattering. They all have straight long hair, and the blond wears black with a plunging neckline—plunging in the back. Many of the men wear jackets. Glasses are clinking all over the room, and the music is so subtle that all you can hear are the swishes of a snare drum.

I’m very sensitive to music in restaurants. This place wants to appeal to your subconscious. The decor is minimalist/elegant. The menu is exotic and complex. The chef, a tiny but beautiful Vietnamese woman, circulates around the room in her short white cook’s jacket.

The host, dressed in a suit, seats us in the corner, but it is a small place, and you get a good look at everyone. A couple walks in. They are dressed in black, head to toe, but he is wearing a T shirt and some cut-off pants with flip flops. He is a giant who could easily be an NFL lineman. She is stylish and she is all over him. “They should get a room,” whispers Eileen. “Why,” I said, “They’re just having fun.” Michael takes it all in. He says nothing but sees everything. It’s the nature of his work. We order—just ordering is a sensory experience because of the menu descriptions.

Kobe beef with hand made noodles. PG photo

Kobe beef with hand made noodles. PG photo


The food is marvelous—who cares about the price?—-gulp! This is a special night. But then, something happens that changes everything.

A group of 3 walks into the place and heads towards the bar while their table is readied. I look at them (I am an unrepentant people-watcher). The man in the middle, also all in black, is short but has a commanding presence. I study his face—BAM! It’s Emeril Lagasse. No doubt .

I grab Eileen’s arm. As he walks by our table, our eyes lock, and I know instantly that he knows that I know. The moment ends in a flash, and he sits at the bar, back to us. I look around the room. No one has noticed.

Then, as if someone has set off an alarm, the room comes alive as most everyone looks over at the bar. Emeril is very cool and seems oblivious, chatting with his friends. Evidently he has recently launched a TV show about Florida cuisine. He now lives in the Sunshine State.

Emeril Legasse (Internet photo)

Emeril Legasse (Internet photo)

Soon, as they lead him and his party towards the best table—the one near the door—the three sophisticated ladies jump up simultaneously and, like teenagers at an Elvis concert, they grab Emeril and insist that he pose for a photo with them. The heck with the men at the table—it’s Emeril and them. They shoot two photos and then he moves on. I noticed that as he posed, he did not stretch his arms around them. The ladies sat down and began to post on their Facebook pages.

Of course the staff catered to him, and rightly so. This was his second visit to BT, according to our waitperson who was taking care of us.

As we left, I didn’t dare take his photo or even look in his direction.   I wish I knew what he ordered, but no way. After all, we Grovers are also very sophisticated.


Editor’s note: Did you ever spot a celebrity in a restaurant ? Please comment below. –PG


EARL HINES plays “Sophisticated Lady” by Duke Ellington.

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Captiva Island, Fla. 2013. By Paul Goldfinger. © Left click for front row seat

Captiva Island, Fla. 2013. By Paul Goldfinger. ©Click image for front row seat.


BRAHMS. “Ronde de Jambe…Hungarian Dances.”   For ballet class.


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Eileen is the Mad Hatter at the Bubble Room on Captiva Island, Florida. If you love music , you can order "Duck Ellington"

Eileen is the Mad Hatter at the Bubble Room on Captiva Island, Florida. If you love music, you can order “Duck Ellington” at that restaurant.  Paul Goldfinger photograph. 2013.


After this photo, Eileen ran around saying to everyone, “What a regrettably large head you have.”

KATHRYN BEAUMONT  From the original soundtrack of Alice in Wonderland:   “Pay Attention/In a World of my Own.”

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Paul holds an alligator. It feels like a chicken. (That means it wants a chicken).

Paul holds an alligator. It feels like a chicken.  Eileen Goldfinger photo © 2014.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

They say that you should never smile at a crocodile, but this one smiled at me, so what the heck avenue should I do?  If you go to the Everglades, you can get to meet crocs.  We saw one munching on a large Anhinga (bird.)

The little guy seemed harmless enough, although I held him/her only long enough to get this photo.

And, from Peter Pan:

“Never smile at a crocodile

No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile

Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin

He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin

Never smile at a crocodile

Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile

Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day

Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile.”

OK, here’s a joke  (get ready for special instructions:)  An elephant is drinking in the river. A crocodile swims  over and bites off the elephant’s trunk.  The elephant looks down and  says (pinch your nose) , “Very funny, very funny.”

Everglade’s air-boat. Takes tourists on a wild ride through the Everglades Wilderness Waterway. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Riding around the Everglades in an air-boat driven by a local denizen, you can get close to a crocodile.  (I guess it could be an alligator…not sure)   I think the guides have a deal with the neighborhood crocs who secretly get pieces of meat to come near the boat.

Hello. What's that ticking sound? This one came to the boat. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Hello. What’s that ticking sound?  This one came to the boat looking for spare change. He wanted to go for coffee.  I suggested Starbucks.   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


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Sanibel Island, Florida. By Paul Goldfinger.

Family.   Sanibel Island, Florida. By Paul Goldfinger.  Click for full view.

BILL FRISELL   from his album  When You Wish Upon a Star.   “The Shadow of Your Smile.”


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