Archive for the ‘Florida connection’ Category

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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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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Gasparilla Island, Florida. 2013 © By Paul Goldfinger ©

 Gasparilla Island, Florida. 2013 © By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.

BEVERLY KENNEY.   The beach begins on this side of that wall.  After the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, that’s the time to build the stairway:

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Pastels. Gasparilla Island,  Fla. by Paul Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net    Click to enlarge.


From the Buena Vista Social Club: “Dos Gardenias.”

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Causeway Islands Park, Fort Myers, Florida. November 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo

Causeway Islands Park, Fort Myers, Florida. November 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.ner


We had parked at one of those beaches along the causeway to Sanibel Island.  A van was resting by the water’s edge. A woman was fishing. She seemed so relaxed, just looking out at the water.  After a while she went inside.  I was curious and walked over, not approaching too closely. The license plate said Quebec.   Just then she came outside and lit a cigarette.  She looked in my direction.

“Hi,” I said.  She smiled and said hello.  I asked her how the fishing was, but I quickly found out that she spoke very little English. I managed  to muster up a little high school French—bonjour, oui oui, ou est, tres bien, avez vous, smile, smile, etc.  I learned that she was from France—she was having fun here, but the conversation soon fizzled.

But it was nice to meet her anyhow; I was impressed with her mode of vacationing and how much she was enjoying the simple pleasures of Florida.

We were in France a few times, and I found the French to be pretty laid back.  That’s thought to be partly why they have fewer heart attacks–i.e. “the French paradox”—even though they do smoke a lot over there.

Here’s a little something in French—by Eartha Kitt

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By Paul Goldfinger. FEb. 2015. ©

By Paul Goldfinger. Feb. 2015. ©  Click to enlarge.


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They're not all farmers. This booth is Coastal Driftwood Decor. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©

They’re not all farmers. This booth is Coastal Driftwood Decor. Lakes Park Farmers Market.  January, 2015.  Ft. Myers, Fla. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge. 

DUKE ELLINGTON:  “At a Dixie Roadside Diner”

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Naples Mercantile Exchange 1919. Photos by Paul Goldfinger

Naples  Mercantile Exchange 1919. Now a restaurant (La Campanile) 5th Avenue. Naples, Fla.  Photos by Paul Goldfinger. 2013 re-post. Blogfinger.net 2020.

By Paul Goldfinger, roving Editor.  Winter, 2013.

We’re reporting live from the west coast of Florida.  There are quite a few Grovers who hang out down here in the winter, but we won’t give them away. We are in the southwest area—Fort Myers, where we have an immobile home. We wander around among Minnesotans and Canadians, searching for a one-liner and a good bagel.  But the weather is fabulous.

One of the places we like to visit, for comic relief, is one of the ritziest towns in the world:  Naples, Florida, about one hour south of us, down the Tamiami Trail (Route 41.)

Naples is a very classy and beautiful  place with a zoo, a museum, golf courses, botanical gardens, country clubs, and a symphony orchestra.  Oh, and they also have the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s lots of money, celebrities, expensive cars like Bentleys, and beautiful houses, but it is fun to walk around and soak up some of the international flavor.   You can hear multiple languages spoken as you go window shopping along 5th Avenue or 3rd Street. But sometimes that international thing isn’t so alluring.  We were eating lunch outside when a European couple stopped in front of us and proceeded to smear suntan lotion on each other.

The stores are fancy-shmancy—you feel like you are on Fifth Avenue in NYC.  It’s fun to window shop. You can also walk around and look  for a condo;  we peered through a metal barrier fence to view one. There was a brochure—it was about $2 million. We passed on that bargain.

Cafe Luna on 5th Avenue

Cafe Luna on 5th Avenue

There are quite a few good restaurants.  We had lunch at a crowded  Cafe Luna at 467 Fifth Avenue.  You can sit outside  (or in) and people watch.  We had salads.  Mine was with Norwegian smoked salmon (actually, it’s just lox)  and garnished with apple slices, strawberries, and asparagus. Eileen had a simple small  Italian salad. The prices were reasonable.

I saw a few silver-haired guys with young blonds, but what’s wrong with that?  Actually I was with a blond with a retro-hat made of bark cloth. Two people asked her about it.


Eileen in her Liza Doolittle hat.

Eileen in her Liza Doolittle hat.

Then we found a  sidewalk cafe where the coffee was great and you get a cranberry/orange muffin and a chocolate scone, both for the price of one. Eileen ate nothing. She has will power.  I ate half the muffin.  I have will power, but it is limited.

Our favorite store there is Tommy Bahama.  He has a men’s shop and a women’s shop separated by a restaurant.  I treated myself to a pair of shorts made of ultra-soft-thin cotton that fit just right, and that’s not a simple thing to find. Eileen bought nothing, so I got off easy.

SOUNDTRACK:  It’s Maude Maggart singing Irving Berlin. I don’t think Irving would feel at home in Naples, but I could be wrong.  After all, he wrote “Easter Parade.”

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Naples, Florida. 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Naples, Florida. 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©

SIMPLY RED   “Every Time We Say Goodbye”   from his album Simplified

This is one of my all time favorite songs. Words and music by Cole Porter for a stage show in 1944.

The lyrics are appreciated viscerally and down to your soul. One of the cleverest lyric lines in music occurs when it goes, “There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor, every time we say goodbye.”

If  you listen carefully you might be able to appreciate the change in chord progression during that line from A flat major to A flat minor—a brilliant musical moment where the music and lyrics match exactly and the meaning is deepened by the chord change.

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