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I was born in the Lemon City section of Miami and my family has been here since 1919. I have seen a lot of changes in Miami, some bad and some good. One of the bad things is that anytime you are having fun in Miami and you are not paying somebody you are probably breaking some kind of law.
I hate breaking laws, but I sure hate paying people for a chance to enjoy myself.
As a result, I know a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to getting by and having a little low cost or free fun or relaxation in the Magic City and thereabouts.
I am dedicating this page to little home made vidoes I have made of places to go or things to do that don't cost a lot or are downright free. If no videos then maybe a short articles with photos or two. I hope to add a little every week so "hasty back" as my Scottish friends say... Miami, see it like a native.
Bakers Haulover Beaches and Marina
The video below
is a short video taken with my little $40 RCA videocamera, it is the first movie I did with it.
The video is a short guide to the haulover marina and Beach area. Baker's Haulover is one of my favorite places.
To the North you have the nudist beach and a very fine regular beach on the south. Fishing boats are priced reasonable with the Kelly Fleet and you can watch the boats unload the fish twice a day which is always fun.
A great shady and rainfree spot to fish is under the bridge. Take a walk over the bridge and go south to the jetty and the best fishing from shore in Dade county is right at the end of the South jetty. I have seen monster snook, Tarpon and African Pompano landed regularly.
if you don't fish from the end you wil catch mostly rocks. By the way, when walking over the bridge on the west side you will see some cool outsider art carved in the pavement.
On the north end of the Bridge is Bal Harbor, probably the richest area in Dade County and the USA. During the war it was a POW camp for German prisoners of war.
About a ten minute walk north is the Bal Harbor shopping Mall. Go inside Neiman Marcus and ask to see their Platinum paper clips and walk out snooty if they don't have any.
Sit by the Gold Fish ponds in the shade and think how nice it would be ....
You can also take scuba lessons at Haulover or go golfing . You can picnic by the marina on the benches or picnic tables by the cut and watch the parade of boats go by or rent a kite from the Kite Store.
Please do, I have no idea how that nice Kite man stays in business but his giant flying Cow kite always makes me smile and he deserves a NEA performing art grant if you ask me.
As the sun goes down the western sky is often much better than we deserve. The oudoorsy feeling you get here is wonderful.
This is what South Florida beaches would look like without the 50 story condos.
The real old name for Haulover is Baker's Haulover. At one time a man named Baker would haul people across the cut, now only oldtimers that say "Miamuh" instead of "Meeamee" say Bakers Haulover.
King Mango Strut Parade
see youtube video below
There are many factors that make up Miami. Some of them make Miami a truly unique and enjoyable place to live; some of them make Miami not so nice.
Nearly all of the factors that make Miami a great place to live are natural. There are three. The pleasant and balmy winter weather, the subtle and magical Everglades to our west and the crisp blue and endless Gulf Steam to our east. There are very few easily thought of man made factors that enhance our subtropical subparadise. However, one that I can think of is the King Mango Strut Parade.
The KMSP takes place on the last Sunday of every year since 1982. The parade was started as a goofy parody of the official and now defunct King Orange Bowl Parade. I think nearly anyone is allowed to participate in the Mango Strut, and nearly every one does.... From the silly to the sublime, the parade always makes those attending smile and eventually laugh at the re enactments of topical events, sendups of sef important public figures, sight gags,great blues music, Hare Krishnas,dancing girls,nerdy Mensa floats,defiant marching Freds and people that just want to be in a parade.
I added a short clip above taken at the 1992 parade. The clip shows a group artfully pretending to be a house made of cardboard. The year 1992 was the year Hurricane Andrew tried to permanently encourage us inhabitants to re enact the 19th century by blowing away everything that had been made in the last 100 years. The group in the clip would stop every 100 feet and ask the crowd watching to blow the house down. We did. That was one of the best moments I have ever had in Miami. We may get blown down now and again but we get back up and start again and laugh about it with our neighbors. Screw you Andrew!
Go see the King Mango Strut Parade and your neighbors. Heck, change your name to Fred and join them.
Where to take out of town relatives and friends
People often ask me where is the best place to take out of town visitors and relatives that have just arrived from the Airport. I often reply, "back to the airport."
OK, second choice is to get them a copy of the free weekly South Florida newspapers from the newstands on the street corners, the New Times in Dade and The City link in Broward. Let your visitors review what is happening in town. My preference for researching what is happening in South Florida is Browards's City Link as T M Shine writes for them and he is an undiscovered writing genius.
When I was in the Merchant Marines I signed off an oil tanker in Houston Texas and went to visit relatives. To entertain me they took me to see the Battleship Texas memorial, God help me, in the middle of a Texas summer. I wanted to sit under a shade tree and eat watermelon and fresh vegetables and drink beer and swap lies not spend a half day driving in traffic and summer heat to go see a Battleship.
When people come to visit let them see what is going on and go do what appeals to them. Don't try to entertain them with what you guess they might like, maybe they don't want to be entertained, maybe they would just like to come see you make meat loaf and help you change the oil in your car while you tell stories about your grandma or the local crazy neighbors we all have.
Sure...Go get a little sand in your shoes and walk among the tourist herds on Ocean Drive and dance on the table at Mangos and get some Cuban coffee and some guava pastry but if there is something here you find really special and different and truly personally worthy take them and show them and they most likely will like it too.
Don't show your friends and relatives what you think or guess they will like as you may end up showing them you don't know them at all.
Show them what they truly want to see or what you like or maybe just yourself, which may be an undiscovered country that you can all explore together.
Still need an idea to to entertain your relatives?
South Florida is unique for only three things,
The great weather in the Fall and Winter, the beautiful blue subTropical Ocean right outside our door, and the amazing wide open timeless Everglades out back of the coast.
Please take a second to see some of the stuff I make and sell on eBay.
I make almost all these items below myself,
take a look in my ebay store for the most interesting, low cost and unusual items you will find on eBay
Train your dog in only minutes a day. New Training DVD
How to Make Low cost Underwater Camera Housings & Bags
How to Escape from The City & Live Free on Your Land
Flying Flea How to Build & Fly It Henri Mignet
Easy way to make your own book for Fun & Profit