Where Clay became Ali…Miami Beach–

Close relative of Ali’s old gym.
Vibrations of ‘The Greatest’ live on.
Trainer/manager keepin’ the vibes alive.
Glorious memories.
Certainly one way to approach things.

BOOM! Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali down here in these parts of Miami Beach in a joint called simply the 5th St. Gym…let’s check it out.

The current 5th St. Gym is located a couple of blocks from the original location. The original was in a building on the corner of 5th Street and Washington Avenue–a new building has been built here that now houses a CVS.

The new location is in an alleyway just off the corner of 5th Street and Lenox Avenue…every morning you can hear the sound of gloves hitting heavy bags out in the alley…fighters are inside sparring, shadow-boxing, working out, etc….this place is full of the vibes of professionals going about the business of training to box…the manager, Dino, is extremely welcoming and friendly–he invites us to wander around inside, take photos and soak up the energy…a woman behind a counter is equally friendly and inviting…everyone is willing to talk about Ali and any other fighters that we might want to discuss…WOW…surprisingly lots of fun to visit here.

Yes, Ali is long gone, this is a different location from the original, the Dundees no longer have affiliation with the gym, but there is warmth and professionalism and willingness to share in the air that makes it well worth the effort to find this place and pay respects to the noble art of boxing and all of the larger-than-life men who dared enter the ring to become somebody worthy of respect and admiration.

I send you hardworking vibes from the current 5th St. Gym…feel them…they are good for your character.

It’s lovely out there.

Yakitori time…NYC–

Gateway to goodness.
Tasty start…mmmm.
Remember your veggies.
Yakitori master…thank you, chef!

Yakitori is simply pieces and bits of chicken and veggies cooked on skewers over an open flame…the guy at a joint called Torien is a master of this thing…get on over here and check it out.

It doesn’t sound like much, but the flavors and textures that Yakitori masters can achieve will dazzle your taste buds and gobble sensors. . .wash everything down with crisp and cold glasses of draft Asahi and maybe a bottle of dry sake, and you are good-to-go. . .hai!

Enjoying the passage of time is easy when the atmosphere is this soothing, the grub is this delightful, the drink is this exhilarating and the staff is this welcoming. . .Torien. . .remember this joint…even better, get on over here and do a gobble session…you will love it all, I gar-ron-taaaayy!

To see more stupendous images from around our little planet simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog…dive on in…you can go just about anywhere you like right here, right now.

It’s lovely out there.

Art and cocktails…lovely!

Attention must be paid.
Really see things…Jasper Johns.
Time keeps on ticking…Philip Guston.
Bloody ‘ell!

Jasper Johns is being shown over at The Whitney at the moment…lots of pieces, lots of fun!

Philip Guston is on display over at Hauser and Wirth…lots of intensity, lots to contemplate.

Jasper is still alive working in his studio up in Connecticut…in his 90s now…gotta feel somewhat good to have survived so long and to remain capable of working…must feel a little good, right?…maybe??

Guston died back in 1980…especially love his pieces with the big eyes…smoking cigarettes…contemplating what?–painting, life, time, existence, humanity, the absurdity of it all, etc.. . .small ‘yes’s amidst the vast ‘no’s of the universe.

So much to meditate on…perfect time for bloody marys with my sweet love…chit-chat about it all while doing our best to enjoy the passage of time. . .mmmm, aaaahh!

I send you arty and bloody vibes from somewhere in the West Village…feel them…they can help you grin and bear it.

It’s lovely out there.

Latin Thai grub…most wonderful!–

One of everything, please.
Seafood tartare…YES!
Lunch poser.
Cool and delectable.

Nai-Ya-Ra…a totally delicious mish-mash of northern Thai grub and SoFlo Latin flair. . .we love this joint!

Chef Bee opened this place about 5 years ago…he comes from Chiang Rai up near the Laos-Thailand border…his family moved to Florida when he was a child…he went to university, he studied cooking and restauranting and now he is a prominent dude down here. . .

. . .and Nai-Ya-Ra is part of his legacy.

This joint is full of flavor…lovely flavor. Ribs, popcorn shrimp, tartare, prawns, chicken wings, fried whole fish, etc. and so on…all served with delightful dipping sauces–prik-nam-pla, anyone?–at whatever heat level you can handle, just keep adding the minced red peppers until your hair stands on end. . .mmm, aaaahh–all good!

Tasty cocktails, crisp wines and, most importantly, fabulous staff who are welcoming and helpful all add up to make this a must-visit joint for din-din over in Sunset Harbor.

Tricky times call for wonderful food and drink. . .so get over here NOW…you will love, I gar-ron-taaaaay!

I send you tongue-tingling vibes from Nai-Ya-Ra. . .feel them. . .they will make you smile real big-like.

It’s lovely out there.

Great decision…LUNCHTIME!–

Ok, if we must.
Come here, pretty burger.

Lunchtime is the right time for martinis, seafood tartare, and pretty burgers. . .we will gobble them all if we must, and we most certainly MUST–jaaaaa!

This joint is called Hillstone…you can Google it to learn more, but all you gotta know is that it’s inviting here, chill here and oh-so soothing during these tricky times.

Tricky times call for research and planning…our research reveals good food on these premises…and our planning involves full-on ingestion of everything they put in front of us. Keep things simple…and all is well.

Maintaining proper nutrition allows our bodies and minds to function at peak capabilities…very important while doing our best to make great decisions moment-to-moment. . .let’s see. . .hmmmm. . .

. . .we are hungry for lunch. . .

. . .what to do?. . .

. . .EUREKA!…I’ve got it!. . .

. . .let’s head up to Hillstone for beverages and grub.

Good idea!. . .such smart boys and girls we are. . .mmmm, aaaaahh!

This critical decision moment is brought to you by soothing Hillstone vibes…feel them…they will help you figure everything out.

To see more magnificent images from around planet Earth simply visit the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .click on any location of your choice. . .and enjoy the ride.

It’s lovely out there.

Cocktails and dumplings–

Delightful thirst quenchers.
Delectable dumplings.

Lunch at Hutong makes us go, “mmm, aaaahh!”

We got wonderful decor…we got helpful and welcoming staff…we got magical beverages…and we got mouthwateringly good grub. . .hao-hao!

Social distancing is easy here…especially downtown at lunchtime…few folks are around…just the way we like it.

Maintaining social distance requires concentration and energy…dumplings provide all the energy anyone needs…and concentrating on these babies is easy when they are this tasty and satisfying.

So, keep eating and drinking well…all of this baloney will be over before we know it…and I mean ALL of this baloney.

I send you nutritious vibes from one of the world’s great dining joints…feel them…they will help you grow big and strong.

It’s still lovely out there.

Key West, baby!

Stay here.
Eat here.
Eat here, too.
See this.
Do this.
Drink here.
And walk by this.

BAM! It’s Key West, baby!! Here are the key things to see and do whenever you pop into this hardscrabble town.

The number one hotel has got to be The Gardens Hotel on the corner of Angela and Simonton Streets. This place is tucked away behind a wall just a block away from ‘famous’ Duval Street and about a ten-minute walk from the old Hemingway house…in fact, it feels a bit like the Hemingway house–lots of lush grounds, multiple old houses and cottages on the property, cats walking around here and there, a swimming pool and oh-so cozy and private. If you stay here, request the Eyebrow Cottage–it is separate from the main house, crisp and clean and comes with its own private parking spot…LOVELY!

For good Key West grub head on over to Eaton Street Seafood Market…it’s on, you-guessed-it, Eaton Street, they serve outstanding conch chowder, wonderful grilled fish and delightful crab…wash everything down with bottles of sauvignon blanc, and you are good-to-go. . .jaaaa!

For clams and lobster rolls, do D.J.’s Clam Shack on Duval Street…lots of hustle ‘n’ bustle here cuz Guy Fieri hit this joint once, but the clams are tasty, the lobster roll is generous and the beer is icy-cold. . .enjoy!

Then you gotta do the Hemingway house and the Southernmost Point…pop over to poppa’s old house on Whitehead Street…this is a must-do if you are a literature fan on any level–all the furniture is from his time living here back in the 1930s, the grounds are lovely, the vibes are tranquillo and your imagination runs wild as you walk where the great writer once walked and hung out while jotting down some of the greatest American short stories and novels ever written…do it, you will love it!

And the Southernmost Point because…well…why the heck not?!

Finally, you gotta have a drink in the original Sloppy Joe’s–now known as Capt. Tony’s Saloon…and the present version of Sloppy Joe’s–now known as ‘tourist joint A-number-one’. Pop into both, sip an icy-cold brew then move on with your life…you have other things to do, doncha?

So, Key West is always beckoning for you…it’s a rough town…don’t expect too much pizzazz or magic…just chill, enjoy being at the end of ‘merica, soak up the warmth and enjoy the passage of time.

It’s lovely out there.

Dolphins galore!

I love THIS one.
Side-by-side forever and ever.
“Let’s go!” say the dolphins.
Ciao…until we return again.

BOOM! It’s the Dolphin Research Center somewhere here in the Keys…let’s check this baby out.

This is a wonderful stop on the way to Key West…it is chock-full of dolphins swimmin’ here, there and everywhere…mmm, aaaahh!

You can just stroll through the facility and learn about dolphins as you watch them swimming about…or you can sign up for an encounter in the water that includes photos with dolphins and actually swimming with them yourself if you wanna burden one of them with that. . .eh, we choose to just observe from a distance and let the dolphins do their thing without us gettin’ in their faces and stuff.

This center rescues dolphins that have run into bits of trouble like being trapped in nets or getting injured by boats, etc. They rehab the animals and all get trained to perform tricks for paying customers like us. We would always prefer to see any animals out in nature with no fences or barriers keeping them in, but in this case it seems that animals are saved from nasty situations and at the same time used to entertain and educate whoever drops in…gotta raise funds somehow to keep the joint going…why not put on a show and keep the animals well-fed and safe…not a bad gig, not a bad gig at all.

So, stop in at the DRC the next time you are hangin’ out in the Keys…pay some money, see a show, learn a bit about these wonderful creatures, and know that you did a good thing to keep the good work funded here.

I send you aquatic vibes from the Dolphin Research Center…feel them…they will help you move along swimmingly today…jaaaa!!

It’s lovely out there.

Major gobble joint–

We have arrived.
Early bird gets the best table.
Jamon and pan tomate…gobble!
Truffles for the win!
Don’t forget your veggies.
Serene sorbet.

We want to be soothed…we want to be pampered…we want to be well-watered…and we want to be well-fed. . .so we head on over to Casa Tua. . .mmmm, aaaahh!

Early dinners are our thing now, and these folks are ready for us. . .whisked to a lovely corner table in a sparkling yet cozy room…niiiiiice, real nice.

We are thirsty…ice water and Negronis pleezzzzzzz. . .no problem.

Next we dive into some appetizers. . .jamon iberico with tomato bread and some grilled octopus do wonders for us. . .oh yes.

For our pasta we do a taglione thing smothered with truffles and a cacio a pepe thing smothered in cheese and pepper with perfectly al dente noodles. . .bellissimo!

After this, since it is hot and steamy outside we gotta do some hot and steamy osso buco while dining inside. . .delectable, tender and totally gobble worthy.

All is washed down with a volcanic Sicilian white from the foothills of Mt. Etna. . .stupendo!

Casa Tua makes us happy…real happy. Great atmosphere, great staff, great drink and great grub all add up to an experience that we want to have again and again as time keeps on ticking into the future. . .magnifico!!

Keep enjoying everything you can NOW…cuz NOW is where it’s at.

It’s lovely and delicious out there.

Hmmm, what’s for din-din?

Dreaming about…
…and tamago.

Can’t stop dreaming about delectable tidbits for dinner like crab and tamago.

Crab…sweet, luscious and delightful.

Tamago…moist, light and eggy. . .mmm, aaaahh!

It is soothing to remember that there are many foods prepared in a wide variety of ways that can provide a tiny sense of order and calm amid the bits of chaos that pop up here and there.

Chaos is the way of the universe. . .we simply mask and rationalize it through our various day-to-day activities. . .but it is always there, chaos is. . .so bring on the wonderful food and eat it all, for it helps us enjoy the passage of time on this topsy-turvy ride.

Give us the crab…give us the tamago…give us the sunrise–give us all you got, Ms. Nature…and we will roll with it all as best we can. . .let’s go!

I send you daydreamy vibes focused on all the good that can be found right here, right now…feel them…they are good for your digestion.

It’s lovely out there.