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Archive for the ‘Florida photography’ Category

 

Internet photo of Mar-a-Lago. Getty image.  Palm Beach, Floridaty

 

Ocean Boulevard, a few blocks from Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla, Paul Goldfinger photo. Feb, 2019. ©

 

By Ross Anzaldi, Esq.  Special to Blogfinger.net.

It was a sunny Florida day, when I received a call from an old friend inviting us to join them for dinner on the following evening.  I should have been prepared for the unexpected when he told me that I needed to wear a jacket, something not usually required  in Florida.

We were to dine at Mar-a-Lago., the “Winter White House” of President Donald Trump.

1100 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, is situated between the Lake Worth Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach.   It was the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post (the Post cereal heiress) and it is now a country club, a National Historic Landmark, and the “Winter White House.”

With anticipation, we drove across the bay into Palm Beach and rode along the Ocean admiring the many grand estates facing the Atlantic.  We suddenly slowed and made a sharp right turn under a stone archway into a narrow driveway.

In front of us was Mar-a-Lago, a grand estate of a Spanish/Moorish architecture.  It was over three stories high with a bell tower and numerous chimneys rising  into the sky.  A croquet court was to our left and a large American flag was in the center of the lawn.

Our car stopped under a stone portico, and valets opened all four doors at once.  As we exited the vehicle we faced a wrought iron doorway bracketed by a stone archway and columns.  We entered a small reception area and were reminded by the receptionist to turn off our phones and that no pictures were permitted.

We were then escorted into a high ceilinged dining room.  About 20 tables were set for diner.  Fresh flowers were on each table.  The windows were surrounded by heavy drapes and were lace covered.  The Spanish and Moorish decor was maintained throughout the dining room.

We then continued into an intimate club bar area.  We sat by the fireplace and enjoyed our cocktails and then returned to our table.

Dinner was buffet style.  This evening it featured seafood.   The serving area was outside under another portico, protected from the elements.  The view was onto the Intracoastal Waterway and bay.  The buffet was arrayed over 30 feet of various serving stations.  Whole lobsters were cracked— the meat removed and plated.  Shrimp, crab legs, oysters, clams, Dover Sole, in addition to filet mignon.

The salads included hearts of palm, anchovies, and various type of dressings.  A wide assortment of cheeses and breads rounded off the fare.   So many choices, so little time.  After making my salad choices, we returned to enjoy the lobster.

The dining room began to fill up; about 50 guests were present, yet we were able to enjoy and hear our conversations.  The service was solicitous, and the dining room opulent.

Desserts were displayed along two walls of the dining area.    So many choices, and restraint was difficult.

An elegant location, an excellent meal, and a once in a lifetime memory.

 

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT  (Live at Carnegie Hall)   “Putting on the Ritz”   (Written by Irving Berlin 1927)   From the concert soundtrack Rufus Does Judy.

 

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Bunche Beach. Fort Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo © April, 2016

Bunche Beach. Fort Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo © April, 2016. Click to enlarge.

 

 

STUART MATHEWMAN   “Amapola.”

 

 

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Parmagiano cheese wheel at Mario's Italian market in Fort Myers, Fla. 1/27/16. Blogfinger.net photo. ©

Parmigiano cheese wheel at Mario’s Italian market in Fort Myers, Fla. 1/27/17. Blogfinger.net photo. ©

 

By Eileen Goldfinger and Paul Goldfinger,  Editors  @Blogfinger.net.  Photography by Eileen Goldfinger.

 

If you think that you can’t get authentic Italian cuisine in Florida, you haven’t visited Mario’s Meat Market and Deli in Fort Myers (southwest Fla).  This remarkable food store has customers taking numbers and  lining up at the counter where you can get incredible breads, meats, sauces, homemade sausage, cheeses, wines, desserts, and custom sandwiches.

For example, one of their specialty heros is called  “The Italian” and consists of salami, pepperoni, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, hot peppers, oil and vinegar on a superb role with sesame seeds.   Some people can’t wait to get home, so they chow down at tables arranged outside.

The people at the counter were remarkably helpful and cheerful.  Some of them are professional cooks, so they will tell you how to prepare, for example , an authentic meat dish “braciole.”

We were there picking up supplies for an Italian dinner that Eileen was planning and we stumbled on a “rare” culinary event.  Representatives from a large cheese manufacturer (“Leone”) from the mountainous Verona region of Italy were preparing to “open” one of their huge wheels.  They were readying a parmigiano cheese called Monte Veronese, made from cow’s milk,  specially prepared for Mario’s.

 

Getting ready to open the wheel. Mike Tuccillo (sales manager for Leone L.) Mario Pica store owner, Gabriele Leone R.) © Blogfinger.net photo. Ft. Myers, Fla. 1/27/17

Getting ready to open the wheel. Mike Tuccillo (sales manager for Leone L.) Mario Pica (store owner,) and  Gabriele Leone R.) © Blogfinger.net photo. Ft. Myers, Fla. 1/27/17

What was unique about this wheel was that it had been aged for five years, much longer than most cheeses from that northeast region where much of the Italian cheese-making occurs.  The storage facility is kept at 80% humidity and 61 degrees F.

No one knows how long wheels have been the motif for storing cheese, but this variety has been made for nearly 900 years.  To open the wheel requires great skill and experience if it is done in the traditional way—- manually with knives.  Usually they use machines.

Gabriele Leone, the owner of the Leone company, brought out some special tools.  He worked very carefully, but after watching this demonstration, I was amazed that he still has all his fingers. He was cheered on by the company’s bilingual American representative Mike Tuccillo and by Mario Pica, the owner of this remarkable store.

 

Eileen Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net 1/27/17 ©

Eileen Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net 1/27/17 ©

 

When he finally opened the wheel, it was a very special event and the performance received a round of applause.  Then Gabriele began to offer chunks of the parmigiano, which is a hard cheese that tends to crumble. It is usually sold as wedges or grated.  It should be stored in the refrigerator where it can last for up to 6 months. If a little mold begins to appear, just cut it off.  We tried some, and it was delicious:  fragrant and tasty.

 

Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net/ 1/27/17 ©

Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net/ 1/27/17 ©

 

Mike explained that the company is beginning to export their unique aged products to America.  Thanks to Mike, Gabriele and Mario for giving Blogfinger access to this very special event.

 

DEAN MARTIN:

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Paul Goldfinger. Ft.Myers Florida. Edison Estate. 2019. ©

 

HANS ZIMMER, GEOFF ZANELLI, AND BLAKE NEELY—–   “Honor.”  This is the main title theme from the HBO Miniseries The Pacific.

 

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BZ’s bar and lounge in the lavish Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande Fla.  (1909.) Stop for a drink and a snack from mid afternoon to late night. In the morning you can go deep sea fishing.   Paul Goldfinger photograph 2015. © Click to enlarge or just put it on your tab.  The public is allowed here.  We came to take a gander at the place where people like J.P Morgan, Henry Ford,  Katherine Hepburn, and the Bush family stayed.

MAUDE MAGGART:

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Micanopy, Florida. Settled 1821 after Spain sold Florida to the US.  One mile square former Indian village.  Pop. 638  (2016)   Now on the National Register of Historic Places   Paul Goldfinger © December, 2017.   Micanopy series:  #1

 

CAROLINE WESTFALL:

 

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Boca Grande. A perfect place to watch the sun set. Paul Goldfinger photograph. 2015. ©

Boca Grande, Florida southwest.  On the beach. A perfect place to watch the sun set, to sip a daiquiri , and to share some moments while playing Ernesto Lecuono on your iPhone.    Paul Goldfinger photograph.  ©  Click to enlarge the estate.

 

 

ERNESTO LECUONO   “Maria la O.”     From his album of Cuban Originals

 

 

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Naples Botanical Gardens. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Naples Botanical Garden. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

 

TERRY BLAINE and THE MARK SHANE QUINTET (Live in concert)

“The Louisiana Fairytale”

 

terryblaine2

 

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Sanibel Island, Fla.. Fashions for the summer of 2017 in Ocean Grove.

Sanibel Island, Fla.. Fashion preview for winter in southwest Florida,. Paul Goldfinger photo. Feb., 2017. © Click for cheeky view.

 

MAX RAABE AND DAS PALAST ORCHESTER  ” Cheek to Cheek”  (Live at Carnegie Hall 2007)

 

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Great White Egret. Sanibel Causeway between Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo © Jan., 2013.

Great White Egret. Sanibel Causeway between Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Can be found as far north as Canada.

 

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND:  “Georgia On My Mind.”

 

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