Born 150 years ago today–

Happy 150th birthday to Frank Lloyd Wright…a dude who many consider to be the greatest American architect of all time.  The greatest?–maybe…the most ornery, fascinating, and strong-willed–most definitely.

Celebrations are planned for the entire summer throughout Wisconsin, but today here at Taliesin–his main home for 50 years or so, on his actual birthday, things are quiet and serene. . .mmm, aaaahh!  A few folks are here taking advantage of the half-priced tours that are being offered this week, but mostly I have the place all to myself. . .just me and the ghosts of the Wright family. . .WOWEEWOWOW!

Frank was born just a few miles from here in a town called Richland Center.  His family owned large swaths of land in Spring Green on the banks of the Wisconsin River…he chose a hill in Spring Green overlooking the surrounding hills and valleys to build his dream home, Taliesin, and a dream home it is.  Great place to visit. . .magical place to wander and drive through seeing, smelling, and hearing what Frank saw, smelled, and heard as he developed and refined the Prairie-style approach to architecture that made him famous.

Please come on out here some time and see this place before you pass to the other side with Frank. . .you will love it, I gar-ron-taaaayy!

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It’s lovely out there.

#1 Cuban cuisine…Miami–

BOOM!  Here we are at the famous Versailles in Miami, Florida, and this place is delicious. . .yes, it is!

Versailles is where all the politicians pop into when courting the Cuban vote down here in southern Florida…the Bushes have been here, Clintons, Obama, Trump, etc.  Gotta stop in, have a cafe con leche, and press the flesh while getting an earful or three on what to do with U.S.-Cuba relations, how to help the Cuban population in southern Florida, where to buy the best cigars and so forth and so on. . .but on top of all of this is the fact that this place serves GREAT FOOD…oh yeah!

During our visit we gobble Cuban sandwiches–this one is my favorite so far down here…we gobble meat-filled croquettes–totally delectable…gobble a bunch of eggs with pappas–YUM!…and suck down multiple cups of cafe con leche–really strong black coffee with lots of milk, my favorite in all of Miami…jaaaa!!

The staff are solid and welcoming…the atmosphere is lively and bustling…and the history is palpable–apparently lots of folks have used this restaurant over the years as a meeting spot to plan the overthrow of Castro…but now he’s dead, and his brother is retiring so what-to-do, what-to-do?

I strongly recommend a visit to Versailles the next time you visit Miami. . .you will be treated well, you will eat well, and you will leave with a real taste of Cuba in your mouth and in your soul.

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It’s lovely out there.

Fabulous Cuban grub…Miami Beach–

POW!  Here we are gobbling away at a place called Puerto Sagua one block off the strip in Miami Beach, Florida, and this place is OUTSTANDING!

They do all things Cuban here: sandwiches, fried fish, cafe con leche, cerveza Hatuey, tamals, meat croquettes, Morro rice, etc. and so on. . .but the biggest star may be a dish called pernil asado–this is an extremely delicious version of roasted pork…totally DELECTABLE…jaaa!

Eating pernil with Morro rice is a wonderful dining experience–nothing is better, only different, and they serve wonderful versions of these dishes here. . .whenever you find yourself down in Miami Beach you gotta make your way over to Puerto Sagua on the corner of Collins Avenue and 7th Street and gobble this stuff…sip a couple of ice-cold Hatueys with everything, and you will be good-to-go.  You can thank me later…salud!

The people here are welcoming…as you can see above. . .please be unafraid to reach out to your neighbors no matter their look, skin color, hair style, clothing, etc.. . .give a little respect and get a lot of respect back. . .great food, great drink, great people–this is a big part of what Miami is about…reach out and ENJOY!

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It’s lovely out there.

 

Livin’ by the sea–

Livin’ by the sea is niiiice…real nice.  We got the bloodys by the pool…we got the sweet sunsets…we got time for contemplation…and we got the ocean washing away all existential blemishes. . .mmm, aaahh!

The more time we spend here in Miami Beach the harder it gets to make our way back north.  So what if the seas rise…we can just move our shack inland a bit.  So what if the temperatures rise…we can just sit in the shade a bit longer.  So what if the universe is incomprehensible…we can just meditate on it a bit deeper.

Some days it storms, some days the sun shines, some days the wind blows, etc.. . .no matter–there is no such thing as a bad day at the by the sea.  If only all troubled folks on planet Earth could spend some time here and go “aaaaahh.”  If only…

I send you smooth and easy thoughts from Miami Beach. . .feel them. . .they have the power to soothe whatever ails ya.

It’s lovely out there.

A Miami Beach institution–

BOOM!  You gotta eat at Joe’s Stone Crab when you visit Miami Beach…no questions, just do it.

This is the “first eating house on Miami Beach” according to the message on their bibs…opened in 1903…still going strong…serving delectable stone crab claws…serving extremely rich and tasty crab bisque…etc. and so on.  The place is a bit of a factory with the waiters efficiently managing all of us wide-eyed and slightly sun-burned visitors, but it is easy to overlook this and soak up the history of the place while pleasantly gobbling away and sipping rose…if only this were the biggest concern that we ever had, if only.

Please visit Joe’s Stone Crab down here in Miami Beach some time. . .you will die a slightly more satisfied person for having done so.  Can’t get a more powerful recommendation than this, right?  Right.

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It’s lovely out there.

Off the strip…South Beach–

BAM!  You gotta get off the Ocean Drive strip when you visit Miami Beach, and here is a great spot to do just that: Las Olas Cafe on the corner of 6th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Las Olas Cafe is laid-back and chilled-out. . .they serve outstanding Cuban grub to the mostly Cuban local community–though the occasional gringo makes his or her way here, too, and all are welcomed–most wonderful!

We gobble some Cuban sandwiches, some meat-filled croquettes, some fresh-pressed tropical fruit juices, and of course, a couple of large cafe con leches. . .all of this stuff is good, served with a smile, and totally easy on the pocketbook…mmm, aaaahh!!  Plus, we get to listen to all of the old Cuban dudes discussing this ‘n’ that out on the street as we sip and gobble away. . .the temperature is warm, the breezes are light, and the pace is slooooww. . .we love it!

Please consider popping into Las Olas Cafe the next time you visit South Beach. . .there are a lot of fascinating vibes to be soaked up beyond the shiny Ocean Drive strip–you will love it here, I gar-ron-taaaayy!

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It’s lovely out there.

24-hour grub since 1988–

Always gots to stop in at the News Cafe on 8th Street and Ocean Drive smack dab in the heart of South Beach for some cafe con leche and a snack or three when visiting Miami Beach.  This place has been rockin’ it since 1988, and it appears to be still going strong…jaaaa!!

The best thing about News Cafe is that it is open 24-7-365, baby. . .lots of fun to pop in here at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday night/Monday morning to gobble some snacks and see who else is out and about. . .there is always some kind of kookiness going on here late at night and early in the morning. . .though these days we prefer the occasional mid-day excursion when it is 90 degrees out and we get the whole outdoor area to ourselves cuz it’s just too damn hot…mmhhmmm!  Never to hot for us. . .oh yeah–KABOOM!

I send you scorching vibes from the News Cafe in the South Beach section of Miami Beach. . .feel them. . .they will help your skin stay smooth and moist.

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It’s lovely out there.