Archive for July 26th, 2021

July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of Florida!!!

Well in these days of pandemic and little travel, I have been looking back updating some older posts. This has brought lots of memories and thrills to relook these family trips that by then were buried in my blog. To my surprise, there were some new opportunities for posts with pictures that I had overlook posting, and this is the time as good as any to do so. Therefore, here are some of my nostalgic moments of our time in Florida, several years, college graduation, marriage, sons to show for it. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and thanks again for reading me since November 2010!!

Let me tell you about some dear towns that were buried in my blog or not mentioned at all on my bit of nostalgia of Florida!!!

Let’s start with Davie in my Broward County,of my nostalgic Florida, situated approximately 24 miles north of Miami.

A bit of history tell us  that prior to European colonization, the Tequesta indians were the native people of what is now Davie. A few campsites and graves have been found in Davie, the oldest dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years in Pine Island Ridge. After Spanish colonization, many of the Tequesta died and the remaining few escaped to Havana with the Spanish when Florida became a British colony (1763 for a few months) or they assimilated into the newly arrived Seminoles indians in the late 18C.

Davie had always a reputation as a “Western” town, with many earlier buildings having “Wild West” architecture. It boasts a significant horse-owning population and once was home to many herds of cattle. One of the nice attractions here is Flamingo Gardens  a 60-acre (24 ha), Tropical Botanic Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, aviary and zoo, located at 3750 South Flamingo Road.

The city of Davie on activitieshttps://www.davie-fl.gov/235/Parks-Recreation-Cultural-Arts

However, the main thing my family came here was the Egyptian deco cinema which was and is awesome. I love this Cinemark. It was close to our last home in Miramar Silver Lakes and even visited and saw film while visiting from France in 2009. The popcorn and the frosty coke is awesome. Love it. Also you can hide here in case of a hurricane. This place is very secure. The seats are big and very comfortable. awesome theater… definitely worth coming here over other places. Indeed. Their webpage: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/45730

davie cinemark paradiso front feb02

Davie inside cinemark for HP movie 22aug09

Next , I take you to Sunrise, an interesting town we were here a lot. Sunrise is of course, also, in Broward County, A bit of history tell us that in 1960, Iowa-born developer Norman Johnson paid $9 million USD for 2,650 acres of land in southwestern Broward County. By 1961, this community of 1.75 square miles ,which Johnson named Sunrise Golf Village . In 1971, the City, by referendum, changed its name to the City of Sunrise. The City is situated approximately six miles west of Fort Lauderdale, and is adjoined by the towns of Weston, Davie, Tamarac, Lauderhill, and Plantation.

The National Car Rental Center ,now the BB&T Center opened its doors in 1998. The arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, and hosts top entertainers and events.

The city of Sunrise on things to do/seehttps://www.sunrisefl.gov/visitors

However, the one we came almost every weekend while living in Miramar Silver Lakes was Sawgrass Mills shopping center. This huge  2.7-million-square-foot shopping mecca welcomes approximately 25 million visitors each year, making it the state’s second-biggest tourist attraction after Walt Disney World!! Its 400+ name brand retail stores include Off 5th/Saks Fifth Avenue, Last Call! Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole and Nordstrom Rack, etc. This is a huge shopping/eating/entertainment city in a mall! One of our favorite store was Books A Million ,well they were several and some have closed but this one have a picture! The Sawgrass Mills webpage: https://www.simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills

sunrise books a million sawgrass mills mall my boys Aug09

Our favorite eating place was the family restaurant my dear late wife Martine love was TGIFridays in Sunrise, many memories here,and sadly it has closed.

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And last but not least, will tell you of the closest town to my last in Florida. Pembroke Pines is of course in Broward County, and only 22 miles north of Miami. The surrounding towns to Pembroke Pines are Southwest Ranches, Davie, Cooper City, Hollywood ,Miramar, and the Everglades natural reserve.

Pembroke Pines was officially incorporated on January 16, 1960. The city’s name, Pembroke Pines, is traced back to Sir Edward J. Reed, a member of Britain’s Parliament for the County of Pembroke from 1874 to 1880, who in 1882 formed the Florida Land and Mortgage Company (still the basis of land plots in this part of FL) to purchase from Hamilton Disston a total of 2 million acres of mostly swampland located throughout the southern half of Florida. A road put through one of the tracts came to be known as Pembroke Road. When incorporating the city, Walter Smith Kipnis, who became the city’s first mayor, suggested the name Pembroke Pines because of the pine trees growing near Pembroke Road. (and this road was the diving line in my house between Pembroke Pines and Miramar !).

In 1980, property from Flamingo Road to U.S. 27 was incorporated into Pembroke Pines, doubling the size of the city. This expansion included the property that is currently C.B. Smith Park as well as what was once the Hollywood Sportatorium and the Miami-Hollywood Motorsports Park. Also in 1980, construction began to extend Interstate 75 from U.S. 27 towards Miami, passing through the new western part of the city. By 1984 the expressway reached Pines Boulevard, the main east-west arterial road in the city.

Right at the junction of Pembroke Pines and Miramar my twin boys left the USA to France from Silver Lakes Elementary School , and my oldest left from Silver Trail Middle School.

The roads were by car the king here and we took a lot the Interstate 75 or simply I75 highway as well as the US 27 (along the Everglades) ,Pines Blvd (SR 820) ,Pembroke Rd (SR 824) , and Flamingo Road (SR 823).

The city of Pembroke Pines on activitieshttps://www.ppines.com/279/Arts-Culture

The shopping other than some specific stores were done in Pembroke Pines Mall with some familiar stores such as Dillard’s (my parents favorite and gave me all their gifts from there!) Webpage: https://www.pembrokelakesmall.com/en.html

pembroke pines lakes mall halls aug09

I am sad to see some of our favorite places have closed, so pictures are just for the memories. These were Quiznos sandwiches , Toys R Us, and Blockbuster Videos! However, glad to see WalMart Supercenter still there.

pemborke pines pf quizno aug09

pembroke pines toys r us the boys c2000

pembroke pines blockbuster videos aug09

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There you go folks, a dandy on memory lane. Wonderful times never to be forgotten, Florida is big for us! We must move on and found places just as good or better as now in my belle France; however, the memories of these places will remain in our hearts forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of New Jersey!!

This is one of the positive effects of the pandemic, not been able to travel much, I am able to relive wonderful moments of my travels. Also, and just as awesome, to find in my vaults pictures of places dear to me that should be in my blog. After all, my blog is a recompilation of my travel, and family history to keep for the future of children and grand childrens to come. Hope you enjoy the posts as I, and thanks for following my rants since November 2010

Now let me turn to my first encounter with the USA at my first American home in New Jersey. I have several posts of the town I lived ,(see posts ) but need to tell you more of the other towns that were like home to me back then , way back now. Very nostalgic post for me indeed.

The first one of these is Woodbridge Township, where we ate, shop, and play for many years.

Woodbridge Township is located in Middlesex County.  The township borders the towns of Carteret, Edison, Perth Amboy (mine) and Sayreville ;also,  Clark, Linden and Rahway in Union County. Its border with the borough of Staten Island in New York City in the Arthur Kill. (kill is bay in old Dutch so they tell me)

There are distinct towns that for the whole of me always figure them as separate towns , and played sports against them separately! ,but are part of  Woodbridge Township. Several of these towns have their own ZIP (postal) codes,, but they are all unincorporated towns and neighborhoods within the Township that, together, make up Woodbridge Township. These are Avenel , Colonia , Fords , Iselin , Port Reading , Sewaren , Woodbridge (the town proper) are unincorporated towns located within Woodbridge Township. Other unincorporated towns and place names located partially or completely within the township include Boynton Beach, Demarest Hill Top, Edgars, Fairfield, Hazelton, Hopelawn, Keasbey, Lynn Woodoaks, Menlo Park Terrace, Ostrander, Saint Stephens, Sand Hills, Shore View, Union and Woodbridge Oaks.

The roads are king here and no experience with public transport other than the airports. The wonderful Garden State Parkway extends 7.5 miles ( about km) through Woodbridge Township, including exits 127 to 131. In addition, the fast and furious, New Jersey Turnpike ( part of Interstate 95 or I95) passes through Woodbridge Township for about 5+ miles ( about 8 km), and is accessible at Exit 11 (which features a 24-lane toll gate). The sublime  U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9 serve the township and merge heading north of the township as the U.S. Route 1/9 together into the Jersey shore ! Other roadways passing through the township are Route 27, Route 35, Route 184, and Route 440. The first cloverleaf interchange in the world, the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, opened in 1929 at the intersection of Route 25 (now U.S. Route 1/9) and Route 4 (now Route 35)!

The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of the initial 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Yes part of old USA!

The Woodbridge Township on things to do/see webpage: https://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us/31/Discover-Woodbridge

Woodbridge Center is a major two-level shopping mall located at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9.  This was our home turf when shopping and many memories of going here with my dear late mom Gladys. Memories forever!

woodbridge wood center mall feb11

It features 200 retail establishments and 3 anchor stores been our favories JC Penney and Macys. The eating establishments are spread throughout the mall with their own individual seating areas and restrooms. The mall’s location near Staten Island and the benefit of no sales tax on clothes in New Jersey makes this mall,a popular choice for New York shoppers. It is now the third largest of all shopping malls in New Jersey, (when lived they were No 1), and now the 34th largest in the United States.  The mall opened in 1971 with Abraham & Straus, Ohrbach’s, and Stern’s. oh yes Abraham & Strauss was later purchase by Burdines and in turn by Macys. It was my favorite shopping store then.

woodbridge wood center mall applebees feb11

The Woodbridge Center mall webpage: https://www.woodbridgecenter.com/en.html

Moving south into that wonderful Route 1/9 or even closer coastal Route 35 you come into our fav city to go fishing , something I did a lot when young even still at college. I went down with my parents into Point Pleasant Beach and there rented the boat Dauntless. Wonderful family memories, was lucky glad to bring my paternal grandfather Manolo on these trips too back in the early 80’s.

The city has a wonderful beach , one of the best me think, and plenty of family activities. The city page on activities on the boardwalk is run by Jenkinsons; webpage: https://jenkinsons.com/

The city of Point Pleasant Beach things to do/see: https://www.pointpleasantbeachchamber.com/

Other than beach time, we came even in winter to go fishing from here, love it many nice memories of always with my parents and later my paternal grandfather!! Amazing looking for info on the internet the Dauntless boat is still going on by the same family!! The town of Point Pleasant Beach is in Ocean county!

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This is from their webpage: They will clean your catch for a nominal fee. Drinks and snacks available. Music on board for your enjoyment. The cabin is centrally heated and heated handrails for your year round comfort. Clean Ladies and Men’s accommodations. Ample Free Parking at the dock. Bring your Family fishing on the 85′ DAUNTLESS for one of the most enjoyable and memorable trips of your vacation. Sailing Daily All Year 7h30  to 15h30 (7:30am – 3:30pm) Summer Season Only from  7h30 to 01h00 (7:30pm – 1:00am). Their webpage: https://www.dauntlessfishing.com/

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And last but not least on this memorable tour of mine, and hopefully you will get to see these places, wonderful indeed. I arrive at the world famous Atlantic City! We came here as adults for the casinos, there since they opened!

Atlantic City is located in Atlantic County, on the Atlantic coast at about 50 miles or 80 km from Philadelphia, PA. It is built on the island of Absecon and surrounded by lagoons, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. City famous for its casinos and marina. Well it has a beach and a nice boardwalk but our interests for it were the casinos...

Atlantic city casino pipo c1980

In 1870, a first wooden promenade was built along part of the beach. The idea was popular and the promenade was lengthened and modified several times. It is now the longest in the world. The New Jersey voters accepted the opening of casinos in 1976, and Resorts International became the first legal casino in the eastern United States on May 26, 1978. Other casinos were built shortly thereafter along from the promenade and later in the marina area; they are nine today.

From my time there and was a visiting founder are still the Tropicana, Resorts, Harrah’s, and Ceasar as my favorites hangouts when I was a proud member of Telly Savalas (Kojak tv series), casino Players Club International membership card and spent lots of money there lol !!! Too bad could had use it to travel….

The Atlantic City International Airport but never used it as always came by car . The airport webpage: https://www.sjta.com/acairport/

I came down the Garden State Parkway to exit 38 and then the Atlantic City Expressway toll road as well to the city center North Arkansas Avenue ,and right into the casino parking.   On street parking is not easy and not advise so look for a parking garage if not staying at a casino.

Some of the things happening here other than play and fun in the Casinos were: The streets of Atlantic City were used in the original American version of Monopoly. The city is the setting for Bob Rafelson’s 1972 film The King of Marvin Gardens, starring Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern. The city is the setting for Louis Malle’s film Atlantic City in 1980. The song Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen released in 1982 on the album Nebraska is about the city. The episode of season 5 of The Simpsons The Last Temptation of Homer , released in 1993 contains a part set in Atlantic City. Brian De Palma’s film Snakes Eyes, released in 1998, is set in Atlantic City. At the heart of the Boardwalk Empire series is the prohibition era in Atlantic City. The film American Bluff (2013), based on real events, describes the arrival of casinos in the city. Its night time party time!

The city of Atlantic city  :https://www.acnj.gov/page/about-atlantic-city

The Atlantic City tourist office on Casinoshttps://www.atlanticcitynj.com/explore/casinos/

The New Jersey tourist board on Atlantic cityhttps://visitnj.org/city/atlantic-city

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of my New Jersey! The efforts of a new country, language, customs and all fruitfully triumph in glory for my parents and I. Memories forever for me now glad told in my blog, my history. Again, thanks for coming along and hope you enjoy it as I. Thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 26, 2021

The passages de Paris!!

Ah here I am in a cloudy fresh day after the heat of the last days in my belle France. I thought about a nice thing to do in Paris full of history and especially architecture. I had written on some passages or covered lanes of Paris before, but let me give you and me an overall view of them, all of them in Paris.

As the pictures are on the previous post I just will do this one in my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy this wonderful thing to do in Paris, shop and eat in a covered corridor or passage de Paris!

The ancestor of today’s shopping centers, the unique charm of Parisian covered passages will immediately transport you back to the 19C.  So what is a passage? It is a private lane open to the public, a shortcut between several lanes, whether it is covered or not. A pedestrian space, the passage can house both commerce and housing. Only the abundant decoration and the luxury of the shops differentiate a gallery from a passage.

Typically, the covered passages of Paris form galleries pierced through buildings or built at the same time as them. These galleries are covered by a glass roof offering overhead lighting which gives them a special light.  Almost all of the covered passages are on the right bank of the Seine, within the limits of Paris before its extension in 1860, mainly near the Grands Boulevards, that is to say in areas draining customers. easy at the time of their construction

Most of the covered passages were built in the first half of the 19C, in order to shelter a wealthy clientele from inclement weather and usually offer a variety of shops. Haussmann’s work, which opened up neighborhoods by piercing large avenues, and competition from department stores led to the disappearance of most of the passages.

I have posts on the passages which will post here as references and minimize repetition.

The Passage du Havre: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2019/12/22/passage-du-havre-paris/

The Passage du Grand Cerf and Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé  : https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2018/07/26/simply-other-passages-of-paris/

These are the other passages of Paris:

Passage des Panoramas (2éme) , Galerie Vivienne (2éme) , Passage Brady (10éme) , Passage Choiseul (2éme) , Passage Verdeau (9éme) , Passage Jouffroy (9éme) , Passage Vendôme (3éme) , Passage Molière (3éme) , Galerie Véro-Dodat (1éme) , Passage du Caire (2éme) , Passage des Princes (2éme) , Galerie Colbert (2éme) , and  Galerie de la Madeleine (8éme).

The list of covered passages still accessable to the public continues with the passage du Prado (10éme),  passage Puteaux (8éme), passage Sainte-Anne ( 2éme),  passage du Ponceau ( 2éme), passage Ben Aïad ( 2éme) ,and the passage des Deux-Pavillons (1éme).

I am sure you can find full description on them, I just leave you with the names and the thoughts of getting to see them in person in better times.

The Association of passages et galeries of Paris : http://passagesetgaleries.fr/passages-parisiens/

The city of Paris on the passages: https://www.sortiraparis.com/arts-culture/histoire-patrimoine/articles/172520-les-plus-beaux-passages-couverts-de-paris

The Paris tourist office on the passages: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/museums-monuments-heritage-paris/the-unique-charm-of-parisian-covered-passages

There you go folks, a wonderful way to see Paris at its best, with great shopping and foodies galore, simply sublime! The passages are seldom seen or mention sort of an off the beaten paths of Paris; however, they are worth the detour!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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