New Year's 2006/2007
|We had breakfast at Jimmy's, a diner that serves up fine
blueberry pancakes and where one of the Brothers Gibb used to eat
daily. I can't remember which Gibb it was, but he's dead now so
we sat at his table.
|We headed for South Beach
to show EM the sights and lounge by the sea.
No, she's not hiding from the camera,
she's hiding from the wind as she tries to light up. ("I am not
an animaaaaal!" I joked.)
Personally, I love South Beach. The water is lovely, there
are often topless women displaying themselves, and the
gorgeous deco motels and buildings serve as a backdrop. It's not
secluded or private in any way, but it's a fun visit.
|After a couple of hours basking in the sun we trekked inland
a few blocks in search of a record store EM had spotted. I can't
remember the name of the place but she wasn't impressed. We
headed back toward the car, stopping off for a slice to fuel up
for our next destination.
As we sped out over the bridge the sun was setting
behind us, turning the sky all sorts of Miami colors.
Jimbo's Fish Camp, out by the sewage treatment plant, is one of my
favorite Miami destinations. Jimbo himself was there, brimming with
after being in the King Mango Strut, a goofy parade that trekked through
Coconut Grove earlier in the afternoon. Jimbo's float, a classic Caddy
complete with bimini and fishing poles, was still parked out front.
A rag-tag group of musicians were cranking out some
sloppy Black Sabbath, complete with a triple-necked guitar.
Unfortunately, the three headed monster got packed away before I
got a decent photo.
|A couple of guys played bocce ball while we sipped canned
beers and watched a documentary about the place. Apparently the
city recently wanted to take over the property but after a small
uproar they have left it as-is for now.
|A half dozen kittens roamed the grounds, each climbing their
way down this wooden signpost to find mom hiding under the table
looking for scraps.
|We sat around the table chatting with some rather colorful
regulars. Unfortunately, Jimbo's stops selling beer at 7:30 so
there was no late night New Year's Eve action to be had.
|That didn't stop Swampfoot, the guys on the makeshift stage,
from rocking on in to the night. But the later it got the
drunker they became and each member apparently had a different
idea of what they were playing. Southern rock oozed in over a
Sabbath riff while the singer belted out a few bars of random
tunes with quite the eclectic range. It was almost like avant-guard
noise. Someone launched off a few fireworks at random, adding to
|But only a few yards away on the other side of camp it was
comparatively quiet. The moon was shining down, trees whispering
in the breeze, water lapping at the boats - lovely.
We headed back to the house to change and decide what to do for the
night. We wound up back at The Deuce where things were somewhat sedate
|But at 11:30 they switched the TV from football to Dick
Clark (who I am convinced is now an animatronic robot created by
Disney for use until they can complete a realistic CGI version) and dumped
boxes of noisemakers and hats and other party favors onto the
bar, by which point most folks had gotten enough booze in them
to make the atmosphere considerably more festive.
|A bit before midnight a bunch of folks rushed out the door
to head to the beach to watch the fireworks. We opted to stick
it out and countdown with our newfound... uh... "friends."
Midnight came and we watched the animatronic Dick Clark ring in
the new year. A few minutes later the folks came back from the
beach, disappointed. Apparently the fireworks had been canceled
due to high winds.
|A couple of hours later my companions were determined to
take their first dip of the new year. As designated driver, I
was considerably less motivated. But a few minutes of watching
them hop around with abandon made me abandon my inhibitions, and
clothes, and dash after them. It was chilly but tolerable.
|JN had gotten a bit too festive so we had to stop on the way to the car to get a bite. We found a 24-hour Cuban
restaurant and everyone ordered their faves. Beans and rice for EM, a
tasty steak for JN, and pork for me, in the form of chops with
But not everyone was feeling as perky as I
at 3 AM...
New Year's Day we didn't have any plans. We knew many businesses
would be closed but my folks had the day off so they drove us through
the swamps to Alabama Jack's, a water-side restaurant/bar that
serves up fried fare from the sea.
|A band was doing Jimmy Buffet and Patsy Cline while the
place bustled with activity.
|So if you're in Florida and you see someone using a camera
out by the water make sure to report it to Homeland Security.
I spotted all sorts of suspicious characters so let these photos
be a record for you enforcement types out there - be on the
|We cruised back through the swamp as the sun set, taking a
scenic route. But the Everglades are interesting for about 5
minutes, then you've seen plenty of brown grass as far as the
eye can see, interrupted by islands of scrubby trees.
We tried to catch a movie that evening but after debating what to see
for an hour then hauling our butts to the mall we found everything sold
out and weren't motivated to stick around for an hour until the next
show, so we called it a night and returned to the house to veg in front
of the TV.
|The next morning was dedicated to thrift shopping. We hit
Flamingo Plaza, a shopping mall packed with thrift stores, and
scored a few good finds. Then for lunch we cruised around the
block to Stephen's Deli for massive sandwiches, homemade pickles
|By the time we got back to the house it was too late to see
the museum I wanted to see (The Wolfsonian) but JN was
determined to get kicked out of The Fontainebleau, a la Hunter
S. Thompson, so we headed back to the beach. Coincidentally, we
caught a James Bond flick, Goldfinger, that afternoon that
featured a bunch of scenes from the famed hotel.
Unfortunately, those days are gone. The
Fontainebleau was under massive renovation and the restaurant
and bar were closed. The bar with the underwater view of the
pool was gone. Even one of the buildings had vanished, a
half-constructed high rise in it's place. The only thing we
could visit was the poolside bar.
We had a few overpriced drinks and gazed at the pool, empty in the
cold, rainy evening, but there was no reason to linger. Eventually
succeeded in getting escorted out by security, but only because you couldn't get back
into the building to leave the compound without a room key to get the damn
Back at the house, CN cooked up another delicious meal. I think we
were too pooped to party so we retired early. In the morning we packed
and headed for the airport, flying out over Fort Lauderdale and back to
comparatively chilly Atlanta.