Archive for January 12th, 2011

January 12, 2011

My college days in Florida USA-ERAU

I was visiting Florida since 1973 from my home state of New Jersey. When it was time to choose my university studies, leaning towards a career in aviation ,hopefully with an airline, and by reference from a friend who was going to the US Navy, I heard of ERAU=Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida ,USA.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship or love with the state of FL. I was admitted to the school fairly quickly and arrive at Daytona Beach, ERAU campus by August 24th 1977. In time to get me into dormitory No I (later call Doolittle) and began freshman classes.

I was totally new to the place, the area, the habits, so my first year spent going to the beach, “the worlds most famous beach” almost daily, becoming a beach bum ::) Going to the Daytona Connection, Mocambo, Big Mamma, and Oyster Pub greatly enhance my feeling for the area.  Seeing my first Spring Break in the spring of 1978 was awesome, never seen so many girls in one place !!!! I quickly learn the best way to enjoy the area is to have your own place off campus. The school has limited space on its campus dormitories so changing was easy and the area landlords were nice to us, we had a nice “reputation”.

My second year or sophomore, I was already renting a house by Winchester St, Holly Hill an inland community just to the north of Daytona Beach. This was a 3 bedroom home so I found myself 2 roommates to share the cost, and have a whole room for myself, plus lots of more freedom. Great place to study too, the school demands were very heavy, focus on learning and little space for entertainment or sports inside of it. I was on the Aviation Management degree curriculum for a BS=bachelor of science degree.

While hanging around a field that look like a soccer field, kicking my soccer ball around, a grey older men approached me and ask me if I had previous experience playing soccer/football. I told him learned with a team call Real Madrid in Spain lower divisions, played with ethnic leagues in New Jersey semipro and with the high school, so he immediately sign me up for the team, he was the purchasing manager, named John C Butler, from Leicester ,England and a former player of that city’s team. From then on we had an interesting relationship, one of which ,was getting together at the end of each year to schedule my classes for the next year so my free time was available for the soccer team.

The school soccer/football team was composed of many international students like England, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago,Iran,Portugal, Venezuela, Spain,etc all playing for the love of the game, no scholarships. We played NCAA div 1 and 2 team on an open schedule, by the end its was club level as the school ERAU refuse to sponsor a team for lack or simply not wanting to offer funds. We organise the games ourselves with the other schools. I did played in the Central Florida Soccer league out of the Daytona Beach YMCA complex (which was actually in the city of Holly Hill).

My third year began at a new rental house closer to the center at Magnolia Avenue and Charles Street. It had two bedroom and the other was rented to a friend from the soccer team so we both can have same interests. School was taken its toll as the subjects became more complicated and more study time was needed, however , the soccer continues and trips to the beach and other parts of Florida. the Razzle disco was on as well as the country music place Finky’s on Grandview. The weekend trips to the Nickels alley place in Gainesville home of the Univ of Florida was great escapades with lots of fun dont want to go into it ::) I was checking out the same chain Nickels alley in amelia ave, Orlando too as well as going down to Miami at Tiffany’s in the Sheraton at Bal Harbours, and Limelight by the Hollywood dog track area. Participating in spring break activities was great, in addition to our Spring FLing festivities on campus, I visited the Univ of South Florida River riot festivities by the Hillborough river. As well visiting my family in the Miami area for the weekends, the Christmas breaks were still spent in New Jersey with my parents, and some summers too.

My last year or senior year, again was the time to try another housing, and closer to the action, so I moved to a two bedroom house in Hollywood ave and Main Street, Daytona Beach surrounded by bikers Lol! My neighbors were the Pagans gang from NJ and I guess my car plates were from NJ so they were friendly ::) I could use their hoses to clean my car Lol!!! I was by this time very involved in the school with the Management Club, and was its Treasurer my last year there. Under me and with the help of Professors Rudi Knabe , our club advisor, William Chamberlain ,our accounting prof and Peter de la Rosa, our Finance prof; I was able to implement a scholarship doing fund raising events to help pay our members book expenses while investing the proceeds with Merrill Lynch, and did established the club as a non-profit organisation.

The soccer/football continues at the club level playing by mutual agreement with other Universities in FLorida under our new coach who had played for the Seattle Sounders of the old NASL and was from Liberia, but unfortunately forgot his name; this was our last year as a school team.  Playing with the Daytona Beach team in the amateur league as well. Another popular activity was playing intra mural volleyball and softball where we finish second place on both sports as the Management Club team.

The school had gone thru some transformation and new buildings were erected, the student body reach 5000 on campus and they had purchase another campus in Prescott ,Arizona, (near Phoenix). The city had some lesser crazy spring breaks as the city fathers decided to put more efforts on family vacationing. Of course, the Daytona International Speedway was always a great event to go to, and my Chevy Monte Carlo was a sight in fire red in and out Lol!!!

Graduation came eventually on April 24 1982 at the Peabody Auditorium ,Daytona Beach, where 396 of us graduated with college degrees. What it seems so yesterday, it became a reality we were now going into the “real world”. I went back to New Jersey for work at EWR  Newark International Airport, Newark, with an outfit called Butler Aviation an FBO doing ticketing for charter flights from England and Greece as well as the UPS second day air delivery contract. This only lasted for about a year, as I realised I missed Florida !!!!!

The following summer I took myself my spring break visiting the area alone, and then on January 5 1985 arrived for again this time living at Seaside Drive, Ormond by the Sea (North peninsula) on a house my parents had bought for their retirement ::) Beach bum boy was using it first Lol!!! Living was great as I could use the school library ,and became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986.

My jobs went from the initial stint at the ABC wine and liquor store in Yonge st, US 1, Ormond Beach under the able JD Brandy as store manager. Great group of people and lots of experiences especially with the wine, as I was in charge of stock and orders for it. Finally my break came while being hire by the Aqua Sun Investments Inc timeshare condo builders/management as assistant to the controller Mike (who crashed his Ferrari on Anderson Drive against a tree !!)  and later collection manager, Arthur ,whose wife was my bank counselor at Barnett (today Bank of America). This took about a couple of years before moving on to Senior Supervisor with the Equifax ARS in Holly Hill (part of the Credit bureau organisation in the USA); working with a group of people who donated a Bond EE for my son’s birth I never forget it the folks like Barbara,Terry, and Angie. Once they closed the office I move to Miami with Equifax and thats another story.

While living in this beautiful area of Daytona Beach where by now its a sweet history for me, I encounter in one of my trips a nice lady from Meaux, France, we were married  December 26, 1990 at City Island govt building in Daytona Beach. We had our first son at the Halifax Hospital on March 9, 1992. We all moved down south after Equifax office closing.

So even thus I am now far away, I want you all to know, I love you Daytona Beach, you have been very good to me and my family and we always mentioned you, never forgotten all the folks we encounter there and many still keep in touch,so if you read this; this post is for you.


some links, like Daytona Beach tourist office at

Daytona Beach welcome center at

ERAU Daytona Beach campus at

ERAU alumni link at

Volusia county where the cities mentioned are in Florida, official webpage at

Daytona, Flagler webpage for the YMCA at

The Daytona Beach area newspaper, DB news  journal webpage at

January 12, 2011

Some news about France VI

well just got off as wednesdays is half day of school ,decided to come home with the family lol!!! so off to my blog I go, well the visitors have been inmense beyond expectations really, but the comments are a bit off, dont be afraid make my day!!! No tengan miedo de escribir en Español dejen sus comentarios en todo. Vous sont trop timide de laisse vos commentaires mais je sais beaucoup de visiteurs déjà !  feu vert n’a  pas peur d’écrire des commentaires!!!. Sei que você é muitos para ler o meu correio mas não temer escrever os seus comentários!!!!

So here are some updates gathered in my trip to the city of Paris today.

The first fountain giving sparkling water or gas water is allow in Paris. The 1 rue Albinoni, 75012 in the jardin de Reuilly, the fountain is call La Pétillante. It is totally free !!!!

Many ask for family activities in Paris and France, well my kids are now adult teens but the experiences here are great, the first site dedicated to children, family activities is out (AlloFamille or hello family) , in French, of course, but all is here original, if need help let me know.  In association with the movies site AlloCiné you can see the webpage here 

Some wonderful exhibition of the boat FRANCE, from the old cruising lovers, will be on displayed at the marine museum or musée de la marine. The dates are from February 9 to October 23. more info tel +33 01 53 65 69 53. webpage  you can ask for the program by hitting “demandez pour le programme” on the above link.

In Versailles, the opera will host on the 14 january CARMEN, and also, many activities to come and plan your visit when they are on, again in French but if need help let me know ,webpage

the nearby musée Albert Kahn, is showing its clichés japonais  from now until august, photos by Albert Dutertre, showing the soul of nature to the Japanese civilization, poetry of gardens, total 94 reproductions, 6 montages of films and an smartphone app plus a children tour of games. Leaving the English direction the above is in French on bottom right,”clichés japonais”.

Until January 31 at the museum (musée) Guimet you have an exposition of Mean, Beast, and the gods of the steppes. This is the first time will be shown in France, the history and heritage of the people of Kazakhstan. webpage

At Fontainebleau, the museum castle is holding an exhibition on Henri IV and the time of splendor at the castle in honor of his 4 century of his death. Until February 28 , webpage in english at

At the musée du Petit Palais the first expo on Giuseppe de Nittis, friend of Manet,and Degas, first time done since 1886. The life of boulevards in contrast with his native Italy. Until January 16. webpage

In the musée de la Poste, an exhibition on famous women Calamity Jane ,real name Martha Canary. It will be until March 12. webpage at 34 bd de Vaugirard, metro montparnasse-bienvenue exit place Bienvenue.

A new museum in Meaux dept seine-et-marne 77, to open in November 2011 will do a prelim at the musee Bossuet (bishop confessor of king Louis XIV and city of Meaux), cité episcopal in city center. easy to get from Paris gare de l’Est train station, you get the musée de la Grand Guerre. and an exposition on women in the war. Until March 31st.  The beginning of many expo and exhibition on the grand guerre or WWI . This is the area of the Battle of the Marne, and my wife native town. webpage 

At the musée Baccarat back in Paris, you will have an exhibition More real than nature, until May 15, the museum was redone by designer Philippe Starck. Crystal collection signed by great names of Designing/Art, nearly 300 works will be presented from the 19C to our days.  11 place des Etats Unis, metro Iéna, webpage

expo from February 1 to May 31 on fabrics sewing and haut couture at the Musée Bourdelle. Inspired on the stylist of curtains antiques, sort of sculptures of artist Alix Grés, you can see 200 pieces of the collection of the museum of or musée Galliera. 15 rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 metro montparnasse-bienvenue. in French for this city museum webpage

Go to La Geode to see until February 2nd, the Sea Rex 3D for a trip across time which is spectacular, you go thru the eras Triassic, jurasic,and Cretacea to find animals very much still unknown like the Mosasaure or Liopleurodon see it is a must while here. webpage

From February 8 to March 15 at the musée du Quai Branly, you will have expo on Christian Lecroix collection on women of the East. Dresses from Syria,Jordan, Palestine,and the Sinai Desert with magnificent dresses to showcase the women of the region. webpage

Versailles ,again, from March 1 to June 19, the Thrones, in the Grands Appartements of the chateau come to see mythical and luxurious chairs and thrones of the world, about 50 of them from all civilisations.  Not yet translated to English i think, see it in French webpage

At the théatre Comédie de Paris, see Ary Abittant a la Folie from January 13, this is a great producer and you will love his plays. This one is about a happy man that ask for divorce and ask for cooking recipes to learn with a tenor voice to boot, really crazy and funny. from January 13, hurryup or I take your place !! webpage

Théatre de la Madeleine is another wonderful theater! Showing from January 15 to April the diplomacy of André Dussolier as ambassador of Sweden to Paris in 1944 facing Niels Arestrup as Gen Von Choltitz. webpage

and from January 21 at the Théatre des Bouffes Parisiens, you will have an ordinary day or Une Journée Ordinaire. With not but only Alain Delon with his daughter Anouchka playing !!! Playing as father and daughter and the difficulties of life but they are real !!! marked::) webpage

And if you need to try get cheaper theater tickets in Paris for the above or others, go to Le Kiosque Théatre at these locations, place de la Madeleine, Parvis Montparnasse, Place des Ternes in Paris. You can get same day playing for half the price plus 3€ commission per placing. From Tuesdays to saturdays 12h30 to 20h, Sundays 12h30 to 16h. webpage in French,

If you have a group of friends (up to 25 maxi) visiting or partaking Paris and like movies with dinner, you can try renting from these people, I had two events there and they are wonderful. Cine privé Le  Germain Paradisio 75006. 25/27 rue de Bucci. You choose the film you want to see from a selection offered could be classics, contemporary or sports events with a next door cafe restaurant Thierry Costes with a set menu served in a private room. webpage contact

and well since I shop at H&M there is a new Lanvin line to be sold in the stores for men and women plus accessories. webpage for paris stores 54 bd Haussmann is near the great dept stores.

for those parfums lovers or perfums lovers, the ones that are claimed by fashion magazines here to be still in vogue are Fleur de Cristal by Lalique, Trésor by Lancôme, Shalimar by Guerlain, Boucheron, Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels, Private by IKKS, Belle d’Opium by Yves-Saint-Laurent, Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolph, Azzaro Duo, La nuit de l’homme by Yves-Saint-Laurent, Burberry Brit Limited, Play for here by Givenchy, L’eau de l’Amour by Kenzo, Big Pony collection by Ralph Lauren, and J’Adore l’Or by Dior.

A new bar à hors-d’oeuvres  that is just dandy open recently call L’Avant-Comptoir, 9 carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006. tel +33 01 44 27 07 97. open 12h to 23h. This was an old créperie. Tapas a la French in small portions from cold cuts to macaron au boudin noir, and a great croque-monsieur with beef and rocquefort cream that is delicious. You can stand up by the bar or reserve a table.  This is a relation to my previous mentioned Le Comptoir du Relais next door and same owners, webpage

and last my favorite products and a recipe from the Maison Lafitte foie gras experts, store in Paris at 8 rue Jean du Bellay,75004 on the I’Ile Saint-Louis. tel +33 01 43 26 08 63. webpage cant go wrong here, the best from France ::)

Foie Gras de Canard poélé aux raisins (its with duck) ,ingredients are

1 foie gras de Canard, (duck) extra Lafitte, 1 can of sauce aux raisins Lafitte,1 small can of raisins without seeds Lafitte, 1 glass of Porto wine,2 big spoons of Armagnac (French brandy cousin of cognac but not the same Lol!), 2 big spoons of fine sugar, salt and pepper to taste. And you do it as such,

put on a casserole ,deep pan ,etc, the armagnac,porto, and fine sugar a day before, next day reduce it to about half the quantity in it with slow  cooking fire. Take out the foie gras and put them in slices along with sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste separated by about 1 cm, close together but not touching. Take out the liquid from the raisins and make them come slowly on cooking fire with some butter melted with it. Warm up a big pan anti stick surface and make roast the foie gras on the two faces for about one minute and take them out squeezing out the grease. Add to the pan the reduce porto, and the sauce aux raisins. Let them boil along with the heat from the previous step, while rubbing the foie gras above it. Add the seedless raisins, mix in all softly and serve on hot dishes. Use plastic spatulas on the foie gras to handle gently and softly while serving them. Bon Appétit !!!!

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