Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach & Hollywood.
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 South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Music Industry pros in Los Angeles still pondering true meaning of the LA Times' royal treatment Monday of a 16-year old Latina rapper, Becky G.; Becky Gomez gets the full works -a front page, lots of carefully-staged photos and a completely sympathetic writer! It reads like it was a record company advertisement, not journalism; @ZaraLarsson_, @CissiNilssonn, @FullOfKeys

Los Angeles Times
Becky G dreams of being the next Jennifer Lopez
The ambitious Latina teen has plans for superstardom, a goal she sings about in her debut, 'Becky From the Block.'
By Reed Johnson
August 19, 2013
At the time, her family had been forced to move into her grandparents' Inglewood garage after losing its Riverside County home. Money was tight. Her dad was stressing out. And her mom was "really scared."
Becky G vividly remembers what she calls "my little mini midlife crisis." It happened seven years ago, when she was 9.
That's when Becky had an epiphany.
"I did have this moment of realization of, 'Oh, my God, what am I going to do with my life?'" she says. "Just feeling like I had to get my act together, even though there was really nothing to put together yet."

This is a slightly-edited version of an email I sent out Monday night to a friend in Europe who is a very smart and savvy music producer and talent manager, whose reaction to this Los Angeles Times article I could well imagine even before I hit "Send."

August 19, 2013
7:55 p.m.

After reading this article above, I think we both know that most discerning people of a certain age, educational background and open-eyed observer of Western pop culture history will be of one mind with you and me on it, and I think we both know, implicitly, something that we can't actually prove empirically.
Why? Well, in my case, I'm smart, pop savvy and have an excellent memory and an even better intuition!
As for you, well, you know those reasons better than me. 

Here's what that intuition tells me today.
That there are tens of thousands of people all over Los Angeles in the entertainment industry who woke-up this morning, opened their front door and grabbed today's LA Times off their porch or lawn and started scanning the headlines as they walked back to their house, condo or apartment, still half-asleep.

Somewhere by the time they got into their kitchen, they'd pulled the plastic bag off and had popped the whole paper open on their table and were scanning and scanning and scanning and then...they stopped when they saw the headline below the fold:"Becky G. dreams of being the next Jennifer Lopez."

At that point, more than a few of them said to themselves, "WTF? Who is this girl and why is SHE getting front page coverage by the Times when there are so many more-talented 
singers out there I know who deserve attention and who've already paid their dues?"

So, this morning, all over LA, people who don't know each other already have something in common: their day started off bad and was only going to get worse once they got behind their steering wheel and within minutes, found themselves in traffic.
And as they wait at the long red light, they think back to the carefully-orchestrated photos which seemed more like they belong on Becky G.'s official website, not a reputable first-class newspaper, and they mutter,"All this for a 16-year old Latina rapper? Really?"

And you know what?
The LA Times could care less about how much this story upsets and antagonizes the real 
professionals within the LA-area recording industry, even if they are subscribers.
The people who are below-the-radar but who are the backbone of the industry: sound engineers, techs, the receptionists at the studios, the A&R types in their shiny glass office buildings with nice views of the mountains, as well as the mountains of newspapers and magazines they get to let them have a Sixth Sense know about the Next Big Thing.

The reason the Times doesn't care what those industry people think about this article is because in their own minds, they're taking the larger, long-term view.

The Times knows that because they orchestrated this with the complete help and cooperation of the record company, complete with two record company "minders" in tow, to prevent her from saying something the record company wouldn't like -a condition which many reputable journalists would NOT accept.

In large part they did so because they consciously want to be known in history as the first major Anglo news media outlet in the U.S. to "discoverGomez for a national audience.

The fact that she's Hispanic helps them ward off the ever-present criticism in LA that the Times 
ignores Hispanics in their pages except when they get arrested or are crooked politicians.

But it's hard to say that you "discovered" someone when they already have roughly 48 separate citations on Univision, the leading Spanish-language TV network in the U.S. -and already have a contract with Cover Girl cosmetics as one of their "faces."

To me, she seems more like a carefully-constructed "Disney" media star than a real singer with something to say, and you know I don't mean that positively:

Then I look at what someone I'm more familiar with, 15-year old Cecilia Nilsson tweets and writes about on her Facebook page in Gavle, and to me, she seems so much more grounded.
A real teenager with her ups and downs, and while ambitious, of course, in her particular case, someone whom you know I personally believe has an amazing talent, and someone that's preternaturally mature musically.
An ability that she's honed and made better thru lots of very hard work and learning from experience.

Andreas Jismark YouTube Channel video: See See (Presentation). Uploaded September 5, 2012. http://youtu.be/0syxcoAblN8

As it happens, this presentation video is in Swedish, but I still think you'll enjoy it as she speaks about herself and her music interests and desire to write songs that are honest and that will connect with people.

It was recorded mostly at her home in Gävle, a very middle-class Swedish city in the best possible sense of the word, and a city that I've written about here on the blog a few times in the past, which has not always had the easiest go of things.

To me, at least, that means that any songs Cecilia writes and sings about will be much more in-tune with the average listener's personal experiences than if she'd been born or raised in
a beautiful place Södermalm, one of my favorite places in all the world, and had affluent parents.

The sort who'd push her around in one of those amazing $800-plus German prams they sell at Nordiska Kompaniet, which I spent some time eye-balling on my last day in Stockholm, surprised that that there was even a little department for them at a store, even one that large, since I'd never seen anything like that in the U.S., not even in Macy's or Nordstrom's.

Cecilia Nilsson - In My Room (Complete Song)

Cecilia Nilsson YouTube Channel: Cecilia Nilsson -In My Room. This is Cecilia's debut single. Uploaded May 13, 2013. http://youtu.be/r3MUHpMTAao Written by Cecilia Nilsson & Andreas Mattsson. Cissi's new single is available on both iTunes and Spotify.

Andreas Jismark YouTube Channel video: Cecilia Nilsson "Never Let You Go" -LIVE at Babar in Tranås, Sweden. April 5, 2013. Uploaded April 6, 2013.

These videos first appeared here on the blog in my May 14, 2013 blog post titled, "On Wednesday you'll be thanking me for introducing you to ANOTHER amazing singer from Sweden: Cecilia Nilsson, a.k.a Cissi or "See See"; Cecilia will sing two songs LIVE on Radio P4 Gavleborg on Friday at 15:30; @CissiNilsson, @andreasjismark, #inmyroom"

Now getting back to Becky G., to me, the LA Times clearly wanted to be the first Anglo media organization to write about this singer -that 99.99% of the U.S. has never heard of- in such an over-the-top way that all future reporters who ever write about anything about her, will reflexively have to read this Times article first, to see what her answers and attitude were like, way back in 2013.
Becky Gomez seems like a nice kid and maybe she's talented.
Or maybe she's not.

Her music isn't my thing and never will be, that's certainly not going to change, but if some people like it, it doesn't bother me, per se, though as you know, I hate rap music, since I like harmony and melody.

But to me, after reading this, what bothers me the most, and what no doubt bothered the vast majority of the people in the music industry I described at the top of this email who also read it, is that it all seems so very contrived.

That Gomez is merely the shiny new face of corporate music trying to find an audience niche amongst the influential and affluent teen market In North America, especially of teenage girls who are perhaps overly-indulged by their well-meaning parents that finds her palatable if not very original.

Not the good part of corporate music, like a certain consistency in the quality of the recording studios or the knowledge and experience of the sound engineers you might work with, or even the quality of the hotels you stay at, but the negative things that we are all in agreement on.

Inline image 1

After reading this article, I thought back to the interview with Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) 
on Channel 4 early last year -as seen above in a screenshot of my first blog post on her from February 4th, 2012.

I was so impressed by what she said and how sincere she was in saying it.
That is, to the extent that I could fully understand what she was saying and hinting at to the hosts! :)

Still, the reason I sent this article to you today is because this is a great snapshot of a major American media company, which, because it's located in the world's entertainment capital, and has been losing lots of longtime readers, advertisers and money (and fired lots of reporters), is trying quite desperately to be seen as still relevant.

Which is why they were fully-prepared to swallow whole a pre-digested corporate music advertisement and pretend that it was really journalism.

In the late 1970's and most of the '80's, the Times' ad-filled Sunday paper were famous for
their weight, often coming in at well over eight pounds during the pre-holidays, the largest in America in those pre-Internet days.

Back when they had among the best group of foreign correspondents that had ever been assembled, plus really great political and sports columnists who could tell a story in original and compelling ways, which is why so many of them were syndicated nationally in other U.S. papers, like the ones in Miami that I grew-up reading.

Like Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist Jim Murray, whom I read in the Miami News, the afternoon paper that I preferred to the Miami Herald in part because I knew so many of the reporters, columnists and editors who worked there when I was in high school, but spent lots of time there in the Herald building on Biscayne Bay.

I think within a few days, the reader comments at the LAT website will not be quite so friendly and positive about Becky G., with lots of people asking why the editors are putting something so lightweight on their front page that seems to almost be more like an advertisement than a genuine news article.

So with all this in mind, perhaps next week, rather than do some things I already have planned, I should fly off to Stockholm again, except this time, stay at some crazy expensive hotel in Stureplan, rather than the much more reasonably-priced Omena Stockholm on Torsgatan that I stayed at the last five days of my nine-day trip in January.
Then, sometime after lunch, perhaps before going over to Fotografiska, I will suddenly "discover" Zara Larsson
Ha! Ha! Ha!

Yes, the amazing 15-year old dynamo with that powerful voice whom I've only been following for nearly four years or so, and wanted to write about on my blog for years.
I've followed the ups-and-downs of Zara since she was one of the handful of very talented kids profiled on TV4's very compelling Tuesday night documentary series from 2009-2010 that I wrote about here on the blog at the time, "Jag ska bli stjärna (I'll be a star).
Except, of course, Zara's already signed a contract with Sony.

poriel2 YouTube Channel video: Zara Larsson - Uncover - Live on SVT's 'Allsång på Skansen' in Stockholm. June 25, 2013, the first show of the summer. Uploaded on August 2, 2013. http://youtu.be/undi-9G68Hc

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=632634726760695&set=a.502708629753306.115426.502667543090748&type=1

Zara Larsson - Uncover (Introducing EP / 2013)


Zara Larsson får treårskontrakt i USA,
Svenska popundret ska bli vår nästa superstjärna
(Zara Larsson gets three-year contract in the U.S. 
Swedish pop wonder will be our next superstar)
By Jonna Blessed
May 10, 2013



Anni in New York this summer, new album comes out next month.

Full Of Keys - Snow Glass Apples

@CissiNilssonn - 

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.
If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."- Preacher Purl encouraging the underdog Hickory High basketball team before the state title game against heavily-favored South Bend Central in 1986's Hoosiers
Audio of pregame speech:

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

Bill Cooke of @Random_Pixels has the article, Paradise Lost? South Florida

Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch prospective story ideas. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and be sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel.

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.
The South Florida I Grew Up In
Excerpted from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:
In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administrations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly. At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accommodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accommodated...

So this is where our tax dollars go to die?

"So this is where our tax dollars go to die? My friend and fellow civic activist Csaba Kulin, perhaps wondering when we're FINALLY going to get the clean and inviting public beach that Hallandale Beach residents believe we're entitled to but have never received under Mayor Cooper and her Rubber Stamp Crew.
Instead, we get rusty pipes in the middle of the beach and garbage cans on the beach -without lids- at the windiest place in the entire city. And a public building across the street from the beach that the public can't use for free but which city employees can -for their holiday parties." Click photo to see many more photos of the site and the original post, or http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/latest-info-photos-re-related-groups.html; 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Just as true now as it was when it was written in June 2012!

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Way at Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL
The north-south street sign in the middle of Gulfstream Park Race Track in Hallandale Beach, FL that leads to-and-from the track and the retail Village at Gulfstream Park to Hallandale Beach Blvd. north of the facilities. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line

The View from the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood city line
Looking south towards The Beach Club and the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A from the beach, near the Hollywood cityline, May 2, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"

"Laws and Constitutions go for nothing where the general sentiment is corrupt."
-New York Times, September 22, 1851

"Why do they need that in the Broward County charter?"
-Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper at April 2, 2008 HB City Commission meeting, in discussing possible inclusion of Broward County Charter Review Commission's proposal for Ethics Commission to deal with Broward County Commission, on November 2008 ballot.
Six YEARS after the county's voters had overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the County charter requiring its adoption, the Broward County Commission had yet to live up to its legal responsibility. That's why!

Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Looking east  on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd.
Looking east on State Road 858/Hallandale Beach Blvd., over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway bridge, toward the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower and the three condo towers comprising The Beach Club. September 8, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive. Located below the Hallandale Beach Water Tower on A1A/South Ocean Drive, on the south side (right) is the "Community Center" that HB City Hall, thru their gross incompetency, has made impossible for HB citizen taxpayers to use now for 41 MONTHS as of January 2011. (And where's the American flag on the Fourth of July weekend? Missing in action as it had been for months!) July 3, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers

The Related Group's The Beach Club, consisting of three condo towers
The Beach Club. Looking SE at The Beach Club from the Hollywood side of State Road A1A. May 12, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL

City of Hollywood City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL
City of Hollywood City Hall. An early morning shot of the east side of Hollywood City Hall the morning of the Johnson Street Redevelopment RFP Evaluation Committee meeting, where presentations were heard; October 14, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. For more info on what's going on with this important project, see http://www.hollywoodfl.org/html/JohnsonStBeachRFP.htm

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!

Want to hear some REAL music talent? Of course you do!
Click on this photo of Anni to go to the FoK YouTube Channel
Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) photographed in Rome, 2012, by Alessandro Leone. Click on the photo of Anni to go to her YouTube Channel and see videos from her first album, "Traces of a Human," and jer secomd album, "The Grazing Grounds." http://fullofkeys.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fullofkeys https://twitter.com/FullOfKeys More videos and photos of Full of Keys are at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/p/full-of-keys.html

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson

Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson
Photo of Andreas Jismark, Anni Bernhard and Mats Jönsson, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Dolphins caps and goodies are in the yellow bag :)

A dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Photo above is from my June 2nd, 2013 post titled, "Our 'Full of Keys' drought is finally over! Full of Keys (a.k.a. the amazing Anni Bernhard) will be playing a showcase in New York City at Cake Shop on June 10th as part of the week-long New Music Seminar. Her new album was recorded recently in Gotland, will be mastered in NYC, aiming for a September release -with lots of very big and exciting plans coming soon! @FullOfKeys, @AndreasJismark, #AnniBernhard, #MatsJönsson, #GrazingGrounds, #NMS2013, #NYMF, #CakeShop" http://www.hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/our-full-of-keys-drought-is-finally.html
Click the photo to read that post, watch her videos and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013. Click the photo to see my post on Anni last summer.

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 27-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.