Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

John Mica's great new idea for U.S. taxpayers, art lovers and tourists to Washington, D.C.

I saw this story on Sunday night while looking for some other information on the Washington Post's excellent website, http://www.washingtonpost.com/
I repeat, this is a great idea!

As someone who spent hundreds and hundreds of hours at the National Gallery of Art over the 13 years I lived in the Washington area, there is absolutely nothing to fault in this idea from Central Florida congressman John Mica, whom I usually mention here on the blog in relation to transportation-oriented stories, as he has been both the Ranking Minority member and the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

More personal thoughts of mine on the NGA are below the article.


The Washington Post
Congressman Mica’s quest pits FTC against National Gallery
By Ned Martel
Published: June 19, 2011

Rep. John L. Mica has what he calls a “weakness,” an obsession with art. He has fulfilled it as any aspiring connoisseur might. He scours odd shops and auction sites for objects treasured only by dust mites but still accruing worth with each passing year. He makes frequent trips to the National Gallery to research what he has bought and what he could buy. One day, while at the museum, he looked across the street and saw something old and undervalued: the Apex building, home to the Federal Trade Commission.

Read the rest of the story at:

Back on May 1st, 2005, I wrote an email to a friend whose very popular non-fiction book was to be the basis for a then-forthcoming film, and this excerpt about the NGA seems a propos:

Hey movie star!

Found these two Enron movie related postings on pullquote.typepad.com, which, to my way of thinking, is one of the best written film blog/culture sites around, due to its smart and knowing sensibility and encyclopedic film knowledge.

It's smart not snarky, and since any site that -in one month- acknowledges the talent of the wonderful Jena Malone, blisters NYT film critics for both their fashion and literary faux pas, and intelligently discusses Italian docs, is MY kind of site.

A number of summers ago, maybe '96, the National Gallery of Art ran what amounts to a summer-long film course on Italian Masterpieces, and I must've spent just about every Saturday and Sunday afternoon there that summer, except for a few when I had tickets to Oriole games up at Camden Yards.

The NGA, while focused on art and sculpture, has a really great, though smallish film theatre, equipped with excellent sight lines, terrific speakers and a great A/C.
One that made me forget that it was about 96 very humid and miserable degrees outside most of those days.

Seeing practically every great Italian film ever made in just a few weeks, sometimes double-features, often on brand-new prints, was a great experience for me.

I gradually became a regular at their film series on weekends when they focused for 5-6 weekends in a row on French and other international hits as well as
classic Westerns -American, Japanese & spaghetti- it was like cowboy heaven.

The famous scene of John Wayne standing in the middle of the door jamb in John Ford's The Searchers never looked like that on my TV screen.

Over the years, I've had the proverbial subscriptions to Premiere, Movieline, Film Comment, BFI, et al, and I used to read them the night before heading over to The Mall.

Those afternoons of great double-features on good film prints in comfortable chairs and a great A/C, while it was sweltering like crazy outside, are some of my best memories of DC.

Then, either going solo or with some friends in tow whose horizons I had just tried to expand, I'd head over to Georgetown or Washington Harbour for cool drinks and some quality people-watching.

After a French film, maybe head over to Au Pied du Cochon for some wine and great bread, and pretend there were actually a lot more people like me than there really were.
But finding parking in Georgetown quickly bursts any illusions that you're living la dolce vita.

Because the NGA theatre was, relatively speaking, towards the small size, I always liked to be there early and grab a seat in the first few rows, towards the middle if possible, so I could see and hear everything without too much distraction.

The few minutes before the film started always struck me as something straight out of a New Yorker cartoon or Will & Grace, before I finally stopped watching it.
Or, where Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David would overhear something they'd incorporate into a classic episode of Seinfeld about human behavior.

With few exceptions, I'd be surrounded by people straight out of Central Casting's bohemian/SoHo/culture vulture dept., complete with their all black ensemble or tweeds -and not just in the fall- berets and oversized egos.

Like a quarterback working the ball downfield in a two-minute drill, they'd wax philosophical in a short period of time about things they appeared to have memorized from some highbrow magazine they'd recently read.
It recalled nothing so much as the Marshall McLuhan scene from Woody Allen's Annie Hallm below.

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!