Thursday, September 16, 2010

Austin's Dive Shop

This place has been here forever....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Other Blog

I have another blog, my "main" blog if you will...often many of the things I post there could also be posted here, so feel free to check it out: A Florida Journal

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Robert is Here!

Caught this in today's paper...............

From the Miami Herald
Posted on Mon, Aug. 02, 2010

Redland's Robert Is Here fruit market celebrates 50 years


Heather Levy, on left, stocks up on unusual fruits to take to her family reunion in Utah with the help of owner Robert Moehling at Robert Is Here, Fruit Stand and Farm on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, in Florida City.

Fifty years ago, Playboy opened its first club, John F. Kennedy defeated Richard M. Nixon and Bob and Mary Moehling sent their little boy into the fields in deep South Miami-Dade to sell cucumbers culled from their farm.

Robert Moehling, now 57, is still there -- with his four grown children, and cucumbers are moving just fine, thanks to the family's brilliant scheme to get attention from passersby: a hand-scrawled sign near the boy reading ``Robert is here.''

Cukes are just one of the 50 fruits and vegetables -- along with homemade breads, pies and fruit smoothies -- the Moehlings grow and sell at their corner stand, Robert Is Here, near Florida City on the road heading to Everglades National Park.

The open-air market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It has a much larger counter today -- along with a petting zoo with goats, donkeys and turkeys out back, and, on the weekends, musicians out front -- plus customers who come from the 50 states and beyond.

``It's old school, reminds me of my childhood,'' said David Wong, 40, of Kendall, on a recent afternoon with friends visiting from Vancouver.

Vladimir and Olga Voronovich moved to Homestead three years ago from Russia and soon discovered Robert's. The open-air oasis beats the brutal weather of Siberia, Vladimir says, as grandkids Monica, 4, and Sofia, 3, visit the petting zoo.

On any given weekend day, Moehling's milkshake concession sells up to 1,400 creamy treats, he says. Even on a Tuesday, when the world's at work, the stand sells about 500 shakes at $5.35 a pop.

``These are the best milkshakes in town,'' said Paul Messina, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue chief, of his strawberry-key lime blend.

Seven days a week, Robert is here, giving tips on the proper way to eat fruit you may never heard of.

That huge, green bumpy ball with spikes? A jackfruit, Moehling explains. The brown seed pod? Tamarind.

``That was my Soup Patch candy,'' Moehling tells Heather Levy as he cracks open the tamarind and instructs his customer on how to enjoy the tart fruit. Both dig in.

Levy, simultaneously celebrating her 50th, eats it up -- fruit and tales. She's here from her Key Largo home, with her mom, Faith Greaves, who is visiting from Reno. Every year their family has a reunion in Utah, and Levy is stocking up on mangoes, avocados and amenities for the festivities.

``I'm bringing fruit from Robert Is Here,'' she said. ``That's my contribution. They will freak out!''

Craig Clevenger drove in from Miami at the request of the chief of a Lakota Indian tribe who wants mangoes for a coming Sundance ritual in Austin, Texas. ``He asked specifically for Florida mangoes; they are going to a really special place,'' Clevenger said.

Charles Sauther has been coming to Robert Is Here since Robert was barely bigger than one of his jackfruit.

``Ever since Robert opened I've been stopping in here -- when it was a shed. I've watched the changes over the years. Four years ago I moved to the Panhandle, but when I come to the Keys I always stop in here for mangoes or avocados. There's nothing like a good mango or a good avocado, and you can't buy 'em in a grocery store; it's not the same,'' Sauther said.

Moehling offers the traditional, from tomatoes and mangoes, to the exotic, including guanabanas, mamey, monstera, carambolas and canestel (a k a egg fruit).

Those he grows himself. Caimito (a k a star apples,) dragon fruit, key lime and sapodillas are grown for him locally.

``What's significant about my 50th anniversary is I'm only 57 years old,'' Moehling said. ``I basically ran this when I was a little kid. My mom taught me that I had to do it on my own. As a little kid, I learned to add, what I needed to buy and what I could sell it for. It was teamwork.''

Those are lessons Moehling has shared with his own family.

``We started when we were all 11,'' eldest son Brandon Moehling said.

There are two sons, two daughters, ages 21 to 27.

``We had cribs here and high chairs and grew up around here,'' Brandon says, casting his gaze out from the front entrance that, on weekends, is lined with Deere tractors and a musician singing Jimmy Buffett, Eagles and Simon & Garfunkel.

``Our lines are long, thank goodness. We can't go faster, so we want to entertain them while they are here,'' Moehling says.

Brandon's responsible for two of the grandchildren -- Mason and Jackson. Another two are on the way. Both daughter Victoria and Heather, Brandon's wife, are due in January.

``A lot of businesses are not family anymore, but the whole family is still here working -- and making more kids to do it,'' Heather teases, as she pats her stomach. ``It's the next generation coming up. It means we've got to figure a way to do it for 50 more years.''

19200 SW 344th St., Redland 33034

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

By Request, Suniland Park

ghostwriter33156 wanted to know about Suniland Park.  I took the following information straight from the Village of Pinecrest's website:

An active ten acre park with multipurpose athletic fields (baseball and football), batting cages, a recreation center, basketball courts, a Wi-Fi Spot in the gazebo, and a tot lot.

In 1916, Miami-Dade County purchased a five acre parcel called Rock Pit #21 and, in 1938, added 3.5 acres and dedicated the land for park use. On September 8, 1962, the county officially agreed to develop the property with athletic facilities including baseball and football fields and basketball courts and the modern-day Suniland Park was established. In 1999, the facility was deeded by the county to the Village of Pinecrest. The park was completely redeveloped during 2002-2003. The $1.6 million improvements to the park included a new building and gazebo, enhancements to the basketball courts and fields, a new jogging/walking path, and lighting upgrades.

The address is 12855 US 1 (South Dixie Highway, Pincrest Parkway...).

Below are some bad shots I took on the way home this evening of the park.

Below are some pictures of the "Publix" side of Suniland Mall.  Red Balloon (my most favorite store ever growing up) is looooong gone, as is the theater.

 The Publix is now a Whole Foods, but I LOVE that they kept the original building front.

Monday, July 19, 2010

By Request - The Parrot Jungle!

KD wanted to see some updated pictures of the old Parrot Jungle, nowadays known as "Pinecrest Gardens" this morning, I packed up my 6 year old and we headed over to spend some time there.

You can see that for the most part, the entrance has remained the same, though some old timers may remember that this wasn't even the original entrance...we'll see pictures of that later.

All the big, old ficus trees still shade the parking lot.

I think it's amazing how the ficus roots have grown into such cool archways.

A few years back, they added this fun splash ground for kids.  $3 for all day - you can't beat it!

So many amazing plants...all different shapes, sizes and colors.  All that's missing are the parrots!

Well...the flamingos are missing, too.
There was a swan, some geese, ibis and ducks all chilling out in the old flamingo pond.

The petting zoo is empty. 
Wonder what's up with that?

The paths still meander through a tropical jungle filled with different palms, cypress and birds of paradise...turtles sun themselves on rocks and koi splash around them.

There are alot of old, empty cages still along the path.  I may be weird, but I kind of like that they've left them there...

They've also left an old parrot stand up.  See it on the right?  Looks like branches. (You may have to click on the picture to open it up larger to see it all)

Above was what used to be the original entrance to Parrot Jungle.  Pinecrest has recently renovated it.  It doesn't look exactly the same as it did, but sometimes ya gotta give 'em credit for doing what they did anyway!

And thus ended our visit.  
Thanks, KD, for giving us an excuse to go back. I always enjoy coming here.

Remember, if any of you have any other site requests, let me know! 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Standing Offer

I thought it might be nice to offer, for those of you who don't live here anymore, pictures of specific places you might remember or may be curious about.  Maybe your old house, your school or a park you remember...just leave me your request in a comment here and I'll do my best to oblige!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Allen's Drug Store

Corner of Red and Bird Roads...still there!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Perfect Team

A brief remembrance.... The 1972 Miami Dolphins- The Only Perfect Season!

The first airplane I ever went up in belonged to Dolphin's Center, Jim Langer.  My brother-in-law actually taught him to fly.  I remember one day, the phone rang and I answered it...I was probably about 8 or 9 years old.  It was a nice man who wanted to speak to my brother-in-law (who happened to be there).  I found out later that it was Jim Langer.  I got SO excited!  Couldn't believe that he had called OUR house and I had talked to him! 

I sat next to Bob Griese once at a UM baseball game back in...oh...1983.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I've heard Mercury Morris used to shop at Sunset Corners (back when there was also a grocery store there, not just the liquor store).  But the guy I wonder about is Garo!  #1 !!!!  Wonder what he's up to?

Anyway, so many great memories of that team...the way they brought Miami to it's us something to really, REALLY be proud of and cheer about. 

6 players from the '72 Dolphins team have been entered in Pro Football's Hall of Fame: Larry Csonka, Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, and Paul Warfield. In 1997, Don Shula joined them.

There never has been, nor will there ever be, another team as fun...and as perfect as those '72 Dolphins!

Do you have any memories of 1972?  Any memories of any particular players?  If so, please share them!

Here is a link to my main blog where I had talked about them before...Fun Monday- Miami Dolphins

Monday, June 21, 2010

Skating and Bowling

Anyone remember the skating centers we had here in the 80's...Kendall Skating Center, Kendale Lakes Skating Center...I know there were more. but those were the ones I went to.  If I remember correctly, Kendall SC was over there by the Falls (or where the Fall is now).  Alot of fun times were spent there.  I know there is at least one skating center out in the Sabal Chase area, but the thought of ever going there makes me ill.  Same for the ice skating center - in the Hammocks.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.  Speaking of the Falls, I miss the way that place used to be.  The original design of all the waterfalls, ponds and flowing "rivers" was so nice.'s "meh".  Overpriced stores, but at least it's still outdoors.  I'd rather go there than Dadeland, Cutler Ridge (Yes, dammit. I said Cutler RIDGE!), or points north.

And what about all the bowling alleys we had!  ALL of them are gone now except for Bird Bowl, and my passport is expired so I can't go there.  Even Paula Carter's in Homestead has been gone for a while now.  Imagine Homestead with no bowling alley.  Bizarre.  But there is a bowling alley, kind of, in South Sunset Place.  I've checked it out and it is very cool, but not the typical laid back place that I miss.  And only a handful of lanes, if I remember correctly.  Seems to be more a place to drink and socialize for the younger crowd.

My old bowling alleys were for drinking and socializing, too, but for everyone- young and old.  And leagues.  Whatever happened to leagues?

*sigh*  I miss those old alleys....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Amelia Earhart Park

I'm sure some of you have been to Amelia Earhart Park, on the borders of Hialeah and Opa Locka, but how many of you know how it got that name?

Back before it was a county park, it was the Miami Municial Airport.  And on June 1st, 1937 at 5:55am, Amelia Earhart took off from there on what would be her last flight - her failed attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Sadly, I'd bet my life that right this moment, not one person in that park, including employees, even know that.