King Mango Strut

We had a parade yesterday – the King Mango Strut, started in 1982 it’s usually the last Sunday of the year, but this year it was a week later, on Sunday, Jan. 8.

It’s a great small-town event and the best part is that most people know each other. It’s like Cheers, where everybody knows your name.

It was put off a couple of years due to the pandemic, but it was back this past weekend and it was so much fun. There are bands and lots of parodies of things that happened over the year – statewide, local and national. All one big parody.

It started as an offshoot of the Orange Bowl Parade and took on a life of its own. The center of town is shut down and the Strut takes over. If you haven’t seen people all year, they are sure to show up here on this very day.

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Good ‘ol Jimmy Hartford

I was watching the Connecticut news the other night and there was a story about Hartford. All of a sudden, the name Jimmy Hartford popped into my head. Jimmy Hartford was a made up name my friend Ernesto used years ago. Not for himself, but for a fake friend.

What I mean is, in the 1980s, my friend Ernesto and I used to run along the back of South Beach hotels. It wasn’t even called South Beach at the time and the hotels were mostly derelict. There weren’t many tourists, and many hotels at the time were occupied by older people. This is long before gentrification of the area.

So we used to run along the back of the hotels in the sand and then randomly jump in hotel pools. There were no barriers or security or anything and usually there was no one in the pools except for us. We just hopped a short wall, or just walked in off the beach which was not blocked in any way. When we were confronted, Ernesto would say we were there visiting our friend Jimmy Hartford, and he would make up a room number – Jimmy Hartford in room 301 or room 510 or whatever.

Many times, there was no such room number and most times we were thrown out.

It’s amazing that hearing the word Hartford brought back that memory from so long ago. These days I can barely remember friends and family members’ names at times and I remembered that.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the 1980s these days. They were perfect. Everything about them – the clothing, the music, the movies, the whole environment – the whole decade.

When we die, I often think that we could time travel and go back to any time period we choose. I would choose to live from Jan 1, 1980 to Dec. 31, 1989, and then do it all over again.

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I’m back home; it’s been a long year

An October day in NYC. My favorite intersection at Madison Square.

I’m home. I spent a lot of time in New York this past year, more than I usually do.

I’m glad to be home. In the past I spent a lot of time in NY and when I left, I missed it as the plane was taking off heading back to real life. I would see the “Welcome to New York” sign at La Guardia Airport, but we were headed in the opposite direct. South. Home.

I would think of all the things I did during that visit, and back then I might spend a month or two in the city. I would quit my job and just go and then crawl back to get my job when I returned.

Now I look forward to getting home. So many times I change my plane tickets and head back early. I almost did that this time, but I stuck it out and stayed until it was time to leave.

I guess you need to get away to appreciate coming home.

One strange thing these days is that the day after I return home, I hardly remember being away. It’s like just another day or week or so and it’s past and that’s that. Onward. I can think back and think of things I do and if I look at all the photos I took on my phone, I can feel like I’m back there, but in everyday life, it’s just life as usual and I don’t really feel as if I missed a beat by leaving for a bit.

That being said, I already made my reservations and plans for the coming year – NY Comic Com, pumpkin picking, July 4th,Thanksgiving, etc. etc. All on repeat for 2023.



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The wonderful Southampton Christmas Parade


On Saturday, five of us drove out from the city to one of my favorite things – the Southampton (NY) Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. It’s a yearly thing. I think it’s 60th.

Thousands of people show up for this event.

We usually do some shopping, which is what the Chamber would love us all to do and then we eat at the Southampton Publik House. Then we step outside on Main Street and the parade starts around 5 pm.

It’s mostly lit up fire trucks and ambulances from various Hampton communities on the east end of Long Island. All small, quaint, old towns. So charming.

At the end of the parade, everyone walks to the end of the block where the tree is lit. It’s a real tree, permanently in the park, it’s there 365 days a year, just not lit up until this Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. There are fireworks behind the tree and it’s a perfect evening.

Before the tree is lit, the high school choir sings Christmas songs and then there are a few speeches, People are thanked for their support and hard work in making this event happen each year. Two ladies have been in charge since the 1970s and that always brings thoughts of the small town I live in in Miami. I can picture them going to work during the year – calling the hardware store owner, asking for something to be built, calling the bank manager for a donation, and so on, throughout the year, making things happen.

It’s all so Mayberry and Stars Hollow. I love it all. I’ve been to Southampton at different times of the year – different seasons. They are all lovable and charming. So are all the Hamptons in eastern Long Island.

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Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

I went to Moma the other day, to what else – to visit Starry Night. But on my way as I walk through the museum, I always come across Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the Pablo Picasso painting, which he created in 1907. I took this photo the other day.

It’s always striking to me because I created a duplicate in college. The original is 8 feet by about 7.5 feet and my recreation was about 3 inches by about three inches. We had to recreate a famous piece of art by cutting out the colors from magazine images.

I haven’t seen the one I created in years, but it has always stuck in my head. and the first time I came upon the original in MoMA a few years back, I was really taken aback by the size, since in my head I’ve always seen it as a 3″ x 3″ image.

We have to clean out my parents’ house soon and I’ll find that piece I created in my old room and when I do, I’ll share it with you so you can see how my recreation compares. In my head it’s perfect, but of course I’m sure it’s far from it.

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I’m back in NYC

I’ve been in NYC a lot this year, been back and forth from Miami.

I came back for a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving. When I left Miami it was 76 degrees, it was 32 degrees in NYC! But when we landed, it was 39 in NYC and that’s not bad when the sun is out. It’s actually refreshing.

I stopped by to see a friend and then checked out the Union Square Green Market and Holiday Bazaar, which opened this weekend for the season. I’ve purchased so many gifts here over the years.

I checked out Washington Square Park and Greenwich Village, my usual haunts.

Glad to be back, even though I was here last month, and the month before . . .

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Van Gogh in America

There is a new Vincent Van Gogh exhibit in Detroit, called “Van Gogh in America.” CBS Sunday Morning featured the museum and their plans for showing Van Gogh’s work on the 100th anniversary of their aquiring their first Van Gogh piece 100 years ago.

One hundred years ago the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in the U.S. to buy a piece by Vincent Van Gogh. Now, the museum is honoring the century by featuring 74 of his works from around the world, which explores America’s introduction to the artist, who by the way, is believe to be American’s favorite artist, living or dead.

I fit in a Van Gogh cartoon whenever I can, I love him and his work so much.

I came up with this cartoon idea from the segment on CBS Sunday Morning. In the tv piece, curator Jill Shaw said, “The texture of his paint strokes is like cake icing.” And it is!

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Informed delivery

I get this thing called “informed delivery” from the post office. Every morning, around 9 am, I get an email with photos of my mail that is being delivered that day.

I got it because I travel often, and sometimes I get important business stuff in the mail, so this way if I see anything that needs to be attended to, I can ask my neighbor, who takes my mail in for me when I’m away, if she can open it and let me know what it says.

Truth be told, that has never happened. It’s been about 10 years that I have this service and I don’t think I’ve ever had to have something opened because it was important and couldn’t wait until I get home.

I try not to look at it daily because my mail comes late – sometimes 6 pm and if I see something that I question or concerns me, I worry about it all day. Like yesterday – this happened yesterday.

I saw a notice/letter from the IRS. All day I worried about it. Do I owe them money? Are they going to audit me? What is it?

Finally, about 6 pm, I went to the mailbox, got the mail and know what it was? A pin code that I requested a week before. Apparently to get into your IRS account online, you need a pin code, which they send via snail mail.

This happened not long ago. I saw an IRS notice and freaked out and when I ended up opening it, it was a letter telling me they were adding interest to a refund they owed me. Since they were late sending out the refund, they added interest.

I’m thinking of getting rid of “informed delivery” or at least not looking at it when it arrives in my email.

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Pumpkin pickin’ on the North Fork

We did our usual October pumpkin and apple pickin’ this year, only we didn’t go up to the Hudson Valley, as we usually do, we ended up on Long Island’s North Fork because we were going to a couple of things afterwards on the South Fork – in the Hamptons. Lots of little villages filled the day.

It was gorgeous out, a bit chilly, but gorgeous, we got hot apple cider and pumpkin break and apple cider donuts and pumpkins and apples and such, but it wasn’t the beautiful Hudson Valley, which is the best part of the pumpkin pickin’ each year.

But still, we had fun and then ate in Westhampton and enjoyed a street festival then went to a bar where one of my cousins was performing, he’s a singer. It ended up being a long, but enjoyable day.

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If it’s October, it must be New York Comic Con!

Yup, New York Comic Con is back. Last year’s event was a bit subdued due to covid and the year before was totally canceled, but now it’s back.

From Oct. 6-9, all your favorite, movies, tv shows, pop culture, comics and super heroes will be at the Jacob Javits Center, just as they’ve always been.

After four days of rain in NYC, the sun came out for New York’s favorite fantasy fest.

Most tickets are gone, but you may still be able to find a few at newyorkcomiccon.com.

Tell Spider-man, we sent you!

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