GREATMARTIN's SparkPeople Blog GREATMARTIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community END OF SUMMER PARTY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> How do we know it is the end of Summer? It was only a high of 85 degrees and it even went all the way down into the 70s in the early morning! Welcome to Autumn in South Florida! <BR> <BR> Once again the Residents Association came through in spite of new rules by the new owners. They are no longer allowed to post notices up in elevators and on bulletin boards around the property so it is now... Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:08:38 EST "SICARIO"---A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “A thriller set in the world of drug trafficking evokes the high stakes and high risks of the drug trade”--a synopsis of the new movie “Sicario”? Actually this is the first line of the 2000 movie “Traffic” but describes both movies. <BR> <BR> I had heard good word of mouth about “Sicario” and with 7 new movies opening today I put a question as which one to see on the film buffs facebook pag... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 20:58:06 EST "ONCE"--BROADWAY TOUR REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> In the 1970s the Broadway hopeful had to know how to dance sing and act while in the late 1990s a new talent was added in that they had to know how to play an instrument. In the touring production of “Once”, that opened at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday evening, another dimension was added which was of precise movement in tandem with the rest of the players and what they all w... Fri, 9 Oct 2015 10:44:21 EST I AM FINALLY USING IT!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I always have the good excuse of “I’m old. I forget dates!” and no one can argue with me. I honestly don’t remember when Chuck and Terry (Were they together when I was 16? Hey, I’m old!!) or was it just Chuck, on the advise of Gino (Now why do I remember that?) that he (they?) gave me a George Foreman Grill for my birthday? (No that wasn’t the reason I started giving out “What... Wed, 7 Oct 2015 06:32:53 EST BROADWAY COMES TO FT. LAUDERDALE & MIAMI & I'LL BE THERE! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (PHOTO FROM "ONCE" BY JOAN MARCUS) <BR> <BR> Our Fort Lauderdale and Miami Broadway touring season officially opens tomorrow evening at the Broadway Performing Arts Center in the former with the production of the 8 Tony awards winning, including Best Musical, “ONCE” and I will be there! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Some of the shows coming are: “Kinky Boots”, “Cabaret”, “Dirty Danci... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 13:27:41 EST 70 YEARS AGO IN 'DA' BRONX <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Christine stopped by and left a bag on my kitchen door. It consisted of the New York Times yearly Sunday “The New Season” which is in 3 sections with the first dealing with theatre, the second with film and the third with TV, Art and pop. I will read each section slowly devouring each word, especially about the theatre. As I was looking at the front pages of each section my m... Sun, 4 Oct 2015 13:29:12 EST "THE MARTIAN"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In “The Martian”, botanist astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is presumed dead after a sandstorm on Mars forces the mission to be cancelled and the crew must return to earth, without him or his body. Being alive but wounded he quickly takes care of himself and makes an inventory of what he has food wise and what he has to do to stay alive until the next space mission arrives on... Fri, 2 Oct 2015 21:17:15 EST SEPTEMBER 2015 RESUME IN PICTURES & WORDS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> “Living well is the best revenge” and I do my best to live well under the circumstances! <BR> <BR> September was a good month even though the rainy season, late arriving, hit with a bang for a few days. It has now settled down to the usual heavy rain in the morning, clear in the afternoon and, maybe rain in the afternoon . <BR> <BR> I love going to the movies and eating out and ... Thu, 1 Oct 2015 11:58:01 EST AN ADDENDUM TO MY "STONEWALL" REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Memory can play many tricks on you which is one of the reasons I am glad I kept diaries (and still do). <BR> <BR> I don’t know when it started but I started to think that the Saturday night of the Stonewall riot Bernie and I had been at a play on Broadway and when we got home I heard about it on the news and the next day read a blurb about it in the paper. At the time we lived on 33... Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:54:28 EST "STONEWALL" A MOVIE REVIEW--A MUST SEE MOVIE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> While “Stonewall” is not an ‘award winning’ film it is certainly a MUST SEE film for an audience of young LGBT people and people who have heard of Stonewall, don’t know what it is, and knows very little, if anything, about what was a major point of reference in the fight for equal rights and for older LGBT folks who might need a refresher course in their history and who helpe... Tue, 29 Sep 2015 18:46:30 EST "A CHORUS LINE"--SEPTEMBER 29, 1983 A DAY TO REMEMBER <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> THE FINALE OF “A CHORUS LINE” THAT AFTERNOON SEPTEMBER 29, 1983 (if you look quick Bob and I are in the orchestra--stage right--as the camera pans from the mezzanine!) CLICK ON YOUTUBE ICON LOWER RIGHT <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR><BR>PYI <BR> <BR> Thirty two years ago I stood with that audience applauding until my hands were swollen and yel... Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:42:26 EST "THYE INTERNET"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Anne Hathaway glows in “The Intern” whether she is leading 200+ employees of a company she founded or getting drunk and throwing up into a dumpster or crying when she has been betrayed or any of the many emotions she experiences in this 2 hour movie. On the other hand it is time Robert De Niro gave up broad comedies as he is only repeating every movement and mugging face he has made sinc... Fri, 25 Sep 2015 19:03:20 EST END OF SUMMER 2015 FORT LAUDERDALE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Summer 2015 started on June 21 at 12:38 PM and here it is ending on September 23 at 04:21 AM and even though it has been a long time since I was in school it still feels as if the summer ‘vacation’ wasn’t long enough!! Autumn is here and our temperatures will fall down to only a high of 86 degrees!! <BR> <BR> In any case I took a few pictures to keep the memories of what I saw and the... Wed, 23 Sep 2015 09:08:15 EST RAINY DAY, RAINY SEASON IN SOUTH FLORIDA <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The rainy ‘season’ in South Florida usually starts mid-May, late June but this year (global warming?) it didn't hit until this past week and it hit hard. Some areas got 3 inches of rain another area had a tornado and even with a light drizzle the property at Gateway doesn’t take to rain easily and when it pours watch out! <BR> <BR> Most of the land in this section of Florida is/was bu... Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:00:04 EST "BLACK MASS"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Johnny Depp, the actor, is back! In “Black Mass”, whether fixing a friend with an icy stare from his blue eyes, to the pure joy he shows giving his young son ‘life’ lessons while silently quieting his girlfriend or choking another woman with his bear hands to strangling an informer with a rope, this is Depp becoming the psychopath James ‘Whitey’ Bulgar, not a caricature or using ... Fri, 18 Sep 2015 19:44:34 EST PETER PAN DINER--A RESTAURANT REVIEW (FOR THE RECORD I LOST 20 POUNDS EATING HERE--THIS WAS A MAINTENANCE MEAL) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In 1979 I arrived back in South Florida at the same time the Peter Pan Diner opened and here we both are 36 years later still going strong. <BR> <BR> Though near the railroad tracks Peter Pan is more a restaurant than the definition of the diner being in the shape of a railroad dining car. It is basically 3 diff... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 11:05:49 EST CHUCK: THE ARTIST AT GATEWAY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> There is so much talent among our community residents and it shows up in many ways whether it be in growing a garden, nursing a plant, painting pictures, modeling various forms out of wood and even at pot luck dinners! <BR> <BR> I have already posted slideshows of Irene and Bill’s gardens and some of John’s artwork. This slide show is an example of just some of Chuck’s work. Whe... Mon, 14 Sep 2015 13:02:08 EST I DID SOMETHING STUPID! YES! ME! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (YES, THIS IS A RESTAURANT REVIEW BUT KEEP ON READING!) <BR> <BR> I really don’t like being hard on a brand new restaurant that isn’t even finished but from what I experienced I don’t think I will go back. <BR> <BR> The shopping plaza that the new Buenos Aires Café has opened in has recently been renovated and this particular storefront is a little hard to find especially since they... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 22:57:04 EST "GRANDMA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “Grandma” is a movie for every woman, grandmother, mother, daughter, any man who has been involved with the aforementioned, and definitely any fan of Lily Tomlin. She has been a force of nature from her early days in “Laugh-In” from 1970-1973 to winning a Grammy for her comedy album in 1972 to an Oscar nomination for her film debut in 1974 in “Nashville” and winning a Tony Award... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:07:29 EST "MISTRESS AMERICA"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> Have you ever sat through a movie asking yourself, “Why am I watching this?” Has an 86 minute movie seemed like 6 hours without any of the embellishments of being an epic film? I know the answer to the first question as I always hope the movie will redeem itself before it is over. “Mistress America” doesn’t do that! <BR> <BR> With a screenplay by Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig that seem... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 11:38:35 EST JOHN, THE ARTIST, AMONG OTHER THINGS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In talking about Bill’s garden I briefly mentioned the artwork, the wood carvings, the birdhouse, that John contributed to the garden. Though it may be hard to see there is a lot of detail in his work. Did you notice the actual bird house is in the shape of a bird’s head? With the exception of the first piece which is in his apartment, and that someone recently bought, John’s work can ... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 11:58:32 EST "LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE"--MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In “Learning To Drive” Wendi (Patricia Clarkson) is a successful writer and book critic who we meet as her husband (Jake Weber) is leaving for another woman. Darwan (Ben Kingsley) is a driving instructor who is an American citizen after looking for political asylum having been a prisoner in India. In addition he is working a second job as a taxi driver and is about to embark in an arrang... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 19:12:40 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 4 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (WILD PARROTS) <BR> <BR> There is no doubting that August in Fort Lauderdale is HOT! HOT! HOT! And let’s not forget the humidity but I love it all. I especially love walking around and just enjoying all that is around me whichever way I turn. <BR> <BR> 1 & 2 Some residents make gardens out of the property in front of their apartments while others make patios and this is just two of them-... Wed, 2 Sep 2015 10:20:19 EST MY AUGUST 2015 RESUME IN PICTURES <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (BANANA TREE IN BACK OF MY BUILDING) <BR> <BR> Aside from ending on a slightly sour note--see my post on Saturday’s call from my vascular surgeon!--August was a good month. I started off with my getting rid of the cast for my knee, retiring the wheelchair and being dismissed from the orthopedic surgeon’s care <BR> <BR> I saw 6 movies, ate out in restaurants, had Allen’s car for 10 ... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:49:53 EST PAYING FOR THE SINS OF MY YOUTH! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At 7 PM on a Saturday night your vascular surgeon calls to tell you that results of your c scan shows your carotid artery is now 80-90% blocked. <BR> <BR> Since I can't handle MRIs he will arrange to have a CTA (I think?) but knowing me he said he wouldn't tell me not to worry as I wouldn't anyway! <BR> <BR> If another doctor called me on a Saturday evening I would be concerned but I kno... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 12:19:37 EST "WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS"--A MOVIE REVIEW PLUS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is going to be a review of two films, the first being the movie I saw on the screen called “We Are Your Friends” and the movie I was making in my head called “Wes & Zac, Where From Here?” <BR> <BR> “We Are Your Friends” is about a DJ, his 3 friends and electric dance music, learning more about the latter than I knew or need to know but, as I have found lately with a few mov... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:13:36 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 3 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yes it is HOT and HUMID in Fort Lauderdale at this time of the year but just by walking around you will feel a breeze and be cooler--or so I tell myself! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. In the title photo and this first photo is Biscuit--Richard’s dog--who is scratching his own back since his owner is busy in the swimming pool! <BR> <BR> 2. It is very rare to look up and not see a bird somewher... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:12:21 EST "ANT-MAN"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hesitating to make 2 statements, feeling they will come back to bite me in the butt, I still will: 1) “Ant-Man” is the first Marvel comics to screen that I really enjoyed and 2) “Ant-Man” is a very funny movie! It is funny in its ridiculousness, in its insensible, illogical, crazy screenplay and the incredible special effects has too many to mention moments. This may all be a reactio... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:56:05 EST "THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The past few weeks I have seen a couple of entertaining movies like “The Gift” and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”, a few okay films like “Phoenix”{ and “Ricki and the Flash” but I knew, from experience, it would all come to a screeching halt and it did today with one of the worst movies I have seen this year called “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”. It is one of those mo... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20:06:28 EST "I GOT ME A CADILLAC CAR" <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Looks like I am going to be running around town in a 2014 Cadillac ATS charcoal gray car for about 10 days! Allen is off to see his daughter, son-in-law and twin grandsons so all I do is take him to airport when he leaves and then pick him up when he comes back. Oh I check his place every 2-3 days and get his mail but aside from that I will be here, there and everywhere! <BR> <BR> It ... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:34:09 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 2 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (VIEW FROM MY WINDOW--YOU JUST MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT THE PADDLER JUST LEFT OF THE MIDDLE!) <BR> <BR> When you live near water the scenery is always changing. At any time of the day--or night--you can see small, large, old or new boats docked or cruising on the water along with people in canoes or on paddles. (Pictures 1-7) <BR> <BR> It is also nice to live in an area where a neighbor c... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 12:24:29 EST "THE GIFT"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For the second time this week I want to start off a review with “They DO make films like they did in the old days” no matter what seniors say and “The Gift” is such a movie. <BR> <BR> Simon (Joseph Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just moved from Chicago into a modern home in Los Angeles. He is up for an important job at business and she is recovering from a miscarriage and th... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:15:46 EST SUMMERTIME 2015 PART 1 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I open my door, walk out and I just feel good seeing the baby morning glory vine purple flowers and the Cuban Butterfly yellow flowers (picture # 8) and I immediately get a spring in my step. Yes it is hot and humid in Fort Lauderdale in August but I would rather be here than in NYC, Boston or D.C. We always have that breeze coming from the Bay and across the canal! <BR> <BR> No matter wher... Thu, 13 Aug 2015 10:45:37 EST "PHOENIX"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “They don’t make them like the did in the old days, “ is the cry of many senior film buffs, including me. In “Phoenix” the director, and co-writer with Harun Farocki, Christian Petzold certainly tries. With bits of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” here, Kander and Ebb’s, with Fosse’s, “Cabaret” there, this movie, as film noir, cries out for a Barbara Stanwyck or Lana Tu... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:27:44 EST LE BONN CREPE--RESTAURANT REVIEW NOT FOR YOUR DIET OR BUDGET! LOL <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It has been awhile since we went to Le Bonn Crepe but Groupon was offering a coupon so off we went. <BR> <BR> Le Bonn has been a mainstay on Los Olas Boulevard for many years but I stay away from that area because of the parking situation but we lucked out this time, mainly because Allen has a handicap placard. <BR> <BR> Le Bonn Crepe is deceptive in t... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 12:56:00 EST "RICKI AND THE FLASH"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> When the best acting in a movie starring Meryl Streep is done by Rick Springfield you know the film “Ricki and the Flash” is in trouble. Unlike other scenes where either screen writer, Diablo Cody, and/or the director, Jonathan Demme, were afraid to go one step further and make it interesting, the one between Streep and Springfield is emotionally moving. <BR> <BR> Meryl Streep is ... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 17:17:25 EST FARMER'S MARKET AT GATEWAY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This past Wednesday I bought: (see 3rd picture) 3-1 pound packages of mushrooms, 4 tomatoes, 2 packages of Romaine lettuce (3 heads each package), 2 pound package of seedless grapes and a head of cauliflower for a total of $12.50 On Thursday, while in Winn-Dixie I got the prices for the same items: 3 boxes of mushrooms $9, a head of cauliflower on sale $2.95, 4 tomatoes $3.49, 2 poun... Thu, 6 Aug 2015 11:03:19 EST ACQUA FARINA OSTARIA--A RESTAURANT REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> Osteria Restaurant 1 july 30 2015 <BR> Does Fort Lauderdale really need another Italian restaurant with the so many we have? Yes if they are as good as the Ostaria Acqua Farina Restaurant! I had heard about the restaurant and we always passed it on the way to 17th street. On Thursday I suggested we have Italian food suggesting either the upscale Café Vico or the down at home Big Louie’s, both m... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 11:27:27 EST MY JULY 2015 RESUME IN PHOTOS <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As in most months there has been good and bad. I did see 4 movies (pictures 4-7) ate out in at least 6 restaurants (pictures 8-12) including a new and excellent one which I will post about this coming week. At the beginning of the month I was still in a cast for my knee and using a wheelchair while in the middle of the month I was going to physical therapy and by the end of the month I was d... Sun, 2 Aug 2015 13:04:57 EST "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE--ROGUE NATION"--A FILM REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From the opening bars of the memorable theme along with Tom Cruise hanging from a plane door taking off “Mission Impossible--Rogue Nation” is a winner. Checking your logic at the theatre door as you must in any action thriller--come on, 6 guys shoot at Cruise and he walks (well runs) away while he gets 4 rounds off and kills 4 guys!--the chases whether by cars, trucks, motorcycles and th... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:44:02 EST BILL'S GARDEN AT GATEWAY <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There are many different gardens around Gateway and it really wouldn’t be fair to say one is the best but a resident, Bill, has spent a lot of time and years growing his garden in the courtyard of building T. I thought I had a picture of when it only had the fan palm tree against the back of the elevator but I don’t so you will have to imagine how it looked before he started to work on i... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:16:54 EST MOTHER NATURE VISITS GATEWAY, WHERE I LIVE <img src=""> <BR> I have many reasons for loving and living at The Gateway Terrace apartments and one is just walking around and being surprised. It could be a sunset (photo #s 1-4)--nothing spectacular but beautiful anyway with reds, pinks, grays, blacks all changing as the minutes go by. <BR> <BR> Just walking along you can all of a sudden come across the bright eyes of one of the owned cats who stroll around as... Sun, 26 Jul 2015 13:17:10 EST 'MR. HOLMES"--A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I first became aware of Ian McKellen as a gay activist when he publicly came out against a law in England in 1988. I was aware of his being an admired stage British actor who occasionally made films and then, after he came out, I saw him in “And The Band Played On” and “6 Degrees of Separation” but it was 17 years ago in a movie called “Gods and Monsters”, for which he won an Osc... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:10:05 EST A LUMP OF COAL! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For the past decade I have been trying to dispose of ‘things’ that I don’t NEED! I have gotten rid of many things I want but aren’t necessary to my daily living. Yes I love to read and I use to collect books as I really couldn’t/wouldn’t throw them out. For many years I would pack up my books and lug them with me to wherever I moved. It was the same with tapes, DVDs and everythin... Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:35:03 EST "LOVE LETTERS"--WITH ALI MACGRAW & RYAN O'NEAL REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> From the moment Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’neal stepped on to the stage at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale there was a warmth exchanged between the actors and audience that lasted until the actors took their bows and walked offstage.It was if all were old friends seeing each other after a long time. <BR> In the play “Love Letters” Ali MacGraw is Melissa ... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:11:56 EST Still not doing IT after 7 years! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It is really hard to believe that 7 years ago this week I had my last cigarette. I had been smoking since I was 12--to appear older and sophisticated!!--59 years. Though I started out slowly after the age of 17 until 2008 I smoked 2-3 packs a day!! <BR> <BR> I never even thought of quitting. In fact over the New Year’s weekend of 1999-2000 I had congestive heart failure and as soon as I r... Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:44:58 EST I LIKE IT IN THE DARK! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (4 PM RAINY SEASON IN FLORIDA) <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I have slept through earthquakes in California and Japan. Through tornadoes in Tennessee, hurricanes in Florida and, not to forget, loud next door neighbor’s parties in New York City BUT I don’t/can’t/won’t fall asleep if there is any light in the room!! <BR> <BR> I moved into this apartment in February 2004 and the first thing I... Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:10:15 EST A CAR EQUALS FREEDOM! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s a whole new world when you have a car! For those who don’t know I had a red Chevy 1971 convertible with a 454 engine which I got in 1981 and had until 2004 when I couldn’t afford the repairs and insurance. I have been without a car since and getting around Fort Lauderdale isn’t easy without a car. Luckily Allen has been good enough to take me shopping on Thursdays and we g... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:54:20 EST "TRAINWRECK"---A MOVIE REVIEW <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “Trainwreck” centers on Amy Schumer’s character, also called Amy, who was taught by her father (Colin Quin) that monogamy is not realistic or normal and we next meet her 23 later when she is the male version of most leads in romantic comedies such as Jim Carey, Will Farrell and that ilk. She is rude, crude, very promiscuous and doesn’t believe in spending a whole night with any of h... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 22:34:09 EST GARDENS AT GATEWAY PART 1 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Most of the buildings here at the Gateway Terrace have a small plot of land in front and back of the ground floor apartments. Many residents will spend time planting their own little gardens to be shared by all while some just have the hedges that Gateway planted and the lawn maintenance crew takes care of. <BR> <BR> My neighbor downstairs, Irene, takes care of both the front and back... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:05:06 EST