Miami

Chillin’ in the Backyard, Miami Style with Jeff Wasielewski

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Banana Bud, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

It has been a minute since I have written on the Lucid Communication blog.  In Fact it has been more than a month.  After spending time in New York, Miami and the Caribbean It is time to start sifting through the 1000 plus images and selecting some stories to tell.

Today’s is about my mate Jeff Wasielewski’s home and luscious Miami garden.  I first met Jeff back in Killian High School spanish class.  We had, without question, the worst spanish teacher on the planet.  All she ever had us do was to copy chapters out of the textbook. On the first day of class the teacher was calling the roll, when she came to the name Dickie Wong.  There was no reply.  Shea paused and gazed over the classroom.  She called it again, a bit louder this time.  Still no response, then out of no where Jeff screams out DICKIE WONG! and all the class bursted out with laughter.  That is how we met.

We lost track of each other as people do, and thanks to the wonders of the world wide web we got back in touch with each other.  Jeff had been working at Farichild Tropical Botanic Garden when we reconnected and we realized that we both have a love for the outdoors and gardening.

This trip back to Miami we wanted to meet up and he invited me over to explore his garden.  It just so happened to be on a beautiful Sunday afternoon that I was able to meet and reason up with Jeff and some of the alumni of the Fat Man Calypso Band.

It was so peaceful walking around his home in Kendall, only a few blocks away from my own childhood home on South West 127 Street.  He had a few variety of mangoes, bananas, mulberry and other tropical delights.

He had constructed, with his own hands, a small pond that included some mosquito eating fish.  He truly had created a home I would have if I were to lay down my roots back in Miami.

All the landscaping used native plants.  They are all drought tolerant, and thrive in the blazing Miami sunshine.  Even his daughter Sammy got in on the gardening action and just the other day dug out some carrots she had planted by her own hand and without her poppa’s help.

It was a sweet afternoon eating some barbecued hamburgers sides with old friends and marveling at what a productive garden in suburbia can be.  I have the utmost respect for Jeff and his daughter for keeping Miami the way it shout be. green, soaking in the sunshine and full of LOVE.
Budding Bud, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

 

Pond with Mosquito Fish, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

 

Miami Backyard Corner, Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

 

 

Jeff Giving the Garden Tour (Hammock Point of View), Jeff's Home, Miami 2014

Time Tripping from Tokyo to Miami by Way of Africa

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Time Tripping Miami, Africa, Tokyo

 

 

The mood has been set.  The last images have been burned into the mind the the power of celluloid story weaving.  Sprockets pull the images into a flickering pace as the melodies ring fantastic.  The time tripping has begun.

Sandy beaches ran through my mental fingers that called out to distant shores. It originates from where we all came from.  There is no denying the time trip fantasia spectacular has snatched me up and taken me for a magic futon ride.

Smooth oceans rocked me a lullaby in off beat steady timing.  My thoughts synched with the rhythms as there is no jet lag on this journey.  Here in my room, my roots shoot up from my unconscious soul and look back at me though the grains of sand washed up on the beach.

The time tripping journey has only just begun.  Drawn though the magnetospheres of space and time leaving only traces visual DNA on my heart.

Let it ride…

Miami River Home Love

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Miami River Home Love

 

Miami will always be the land of my physical birth.  It is the land where I played on the citrus trees in my backyard, drank warm water from the garden hose, and learned to drive on the backroads all the way down to Homestead.  I couldn’t wait to go away to university to get as far away from Miami as I could.  I felt like Miami was a cultural dead end.

That has all changed.  I really only knew Miami from the point of view of a few selective neighborhoods I would wander around, and the horror of the nightly news.  Now I just adore the light.  The sun hid behind the clouds until it bursted out around 6 p.m. today.  The light was so intense that I had to wear shades, but I don’t mind it now.  The light was just gorgeous.

I sat with my family along the Miami River at Garcia’s eating some freshly caught fish chatting with my parents and looking out over the city as the sun inched towards the horizon.  I thought about how much the city has changed since I was a youth.  Buildings have come and gone.  Trees have been blown away by hurricane force winds.  The language heard in the streets has added Haitian Creole.  One thing has remained constant over all this time the amazing beauty of light that the Most High has blessed Miami with.  The light is there beating down on my skin and tinting all I see since before I even knew about the qualities of light.

Thank you Miami for keeping somethings the same.

 

Thankful to the East Towards Jerusalem, and the West Towards Japan

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Thankful to the East Towards Jerusalem, Over Miami South Beach

 

There should always be time set aside everyday to be thankful for all that we have.  A quiet time to reflect on the day and to give thanks for being given the opportunity to explore the Creators universe.

I stood on the windswept sands of Miami South Beach I couldn’t help but think that these same waves came all the way from Africa.  Moreover, the waves could have passed though the Rock of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean on the way from the edge of Israel.  Just a five minute walk from the craziness of spring break revealers I found the beach deserted and I could be alone in my meditations.

I turned around to view the sun setting behind the art deco hotels on Collins Avenue.  An amazing display of G-d’s wonder was on display in the sky.  The light danced as the thin clouds streaked across fields of blue.

I am thankful for all the the Most High, Abba, has done for me.

Take the time to be thankful.  Thank all that service you.  Remember to thank the Creator for letting us to continue to explore this universe.

 

Thankful to the West Towards Japan, Over Miami South Beach

Roots in the Hood

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Roots in the Hood

 

The roots run deep in this North Miami neighborhood.  There are churches on every other corner.  There is one that has been frozen in mid construction.  The roots of the community seep deep into the shallow sandy earth.

The  creole speaking neighbors all greet us as we walk down the street at dusk.  The neighborhood may not be the most wealthily but all of them have real wealth.  They love their community and have respect for each other.  This is the way life is suppose to be.

G-d is with us if we allow G-d into our lives.  Only if we make room in our lives for him will we know what love actually is.  We have to be open to the love, and the reminders that we are shown every day.  These reminders are our daily bread.

 

 

 

 

Homestead Forever

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Homestead Forever

 

Homestead was always my escape.  It was where I would go to escape the hectic streets of Miami.  I would jump in my toaster on wheels and head south through the Redlands and into Homestead.  My camera a Nikon FG usually rode shotgun on these little adventures.

I could unwind on those backroads where the acres outnumbered the homes by a factor of 10.  In those wide open spaces I would park my car on the side of the road, look through the viewfinder and wait for the click.

When Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 it erased most of Homestead from the map.  The streets and corners I used to know as a teenager no longer existed.  Most of the greening has come back, but those tree, corners, I knew by heart are no longer there.

The land of Homestead will stretch forever.

 

Butterflies Trees, and Lots and Lots of Sunshine

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Butterfly Mountain, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

 

I have no recollection of the last time I visited Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, but it most be more than 30 years ago .  Its a park that is not very far from where I grew up.  Filled with all kinds of tropical plants spread out on the edge of Old Cutler Highway and Biscayne Bay.  It is where my mother took a portrait of me under a tree when I was about 3 years old.

It was beautiful walking around the park with my niece and my parents; however, I felt disconnected from my memories of the park.  I couldn’t recollect any of the spaces or places.  I don’t know if it was because it had been too long, or if I just have lost those synapses that connect with those specific memories.

At least today I had the chance to create some new memories with my niece as we walked around and took pictures together.  That is a memory to keep.

 
Tree Trunk with the Fallen Flowers, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

 

 

Amphitheater, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Miami the Sun Filled Flat Green Wonder

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Northside, Flea Market USA, Miami

 

I can’t remember the last time I had flown in to Miami with the sun still hanging in the sky.  Today was the exception.  The orange globe was just there above the horizon illuminating the 10,000 islands that run from Florida’s west coast scattered like tossed green pebbles around the bottom tip of Florida.  The sun’s warmth reached me though a slight have of my airplane’s plexiglass window.

 

The open expanse of the Everglades is s sight to see in these ultimate conditions.  Usually looking out the planes window there is just endless darkness, with an occasional light.  Eventually a hard defined edge divides the suburban, which were once wetlands, from the land that still is, the river of grass.

 

The morning blurs in from the night as my body and mind struggle with the heat, the jet lag, and not knowing wether I should be sleeping or eating.  Hoping aboard the Miami Metrorail I was able to sit and just look out over the city as it sprawls into infinity.

 

There is a real greenness to Miami.  It may be an urban concrete jungle but interspersed everywhere is greenery.  There are trees, bushes, bromeliads and all sorts of tropical fauna that is sorely missing from Tokyo.

 

It is one of the parts of Miami’s character that I truly love.  The plant diversity even within the city is just amazing, and the skies stretch into forever.

 

Miami Dreaming on Such a Winter’s Day

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Miami Dreaming in Kasai

Making my way home the pink clouds caught my eye.  I shouldn’t complain about the mercury dipping.  It isn’t as cold as places on this planet, but for this boy born and raised in Miami, I was quite cold.

There they stood.  They beckoned me for a stare.  They were completely in the shadows compared with the pink and blue skies draping down over Tokyo Bay.  The majestic palm trees soared in to the chilly air.  They were relatively motionless as if they too were dreaming of the white sands of Florida.

A pleasant sign of better days to come.

20 Years Ago There was Hurricane Named Andrew

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Krome Avenue Post Andrew 1992

20 years ago, Hurricane Andrew was a category 5 storm that hit South East Florida on August 24, 1992.  I was living in Tampa, Florida and only experienced some bad weather, my family and many others suffered through the storm of the century as it was being called.

Countless property was lost and Miami, especially Homestead, Florida was an utterly appalling  disaster area.  Water was scarce, tempers ran high as people struggled to provide the survival necessities.  My family’s home was severely damaged in the storm forcing my family to relocated to North Miami while the repairs were being done on the home.  I still regret for not realizing the extent of emotional and physical damage to my family.  I should have packed up my Bronco with supplies and headed to Miami, but I didn’t.  And, for this I am deeply sorry.  One positive outcome of the hurricane Andrew was that my beloved brother and I grew much closer cultivated our brotherhood.

I am not exactly sure when these pictures were taken.  It was sometime later probably in Autumn of 1992 when I took a drive around Homestead to see the damage with my own eyes.  The streets were unrecognizable, I couldn’t tell one from the next.  All of my childhood landmarks were gone.  The Miami that was part of my soul was blown away as the 175 mile per hour winds (280 k/ph) hit the city of my birth.  When I drive Krome Avenue these days, it still looks more barren than it ever was, except for all the cookie cutter developments that was sprouted over the last 20 years.

All these years later Miami has become a greener city again.  Many of the trees have grown back and some of the neighborhoods look lush as they used to, but not the same.  There are neighborhoods you can visit in between Miami and Homestead where the only the foundation of buildings remain.

It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since that day.  These pictures were taken with my beloved Nikon FG, and a taped up and reloaded disposable panorama camera.  They were also hand printed in my university’s darkroom.  Some of my first prints to be done in color.  My color balancing skills were not as good as they are now.  As I can now use my digital darkroom to work on my pictures, part of my heart still belongs to the magic of watching an image come alive in the developer.

Looking back now I have come to the realization how much this event changed my life.  Hurricane Andrew not only tore down buildings but it ripped some families to shreds. I am thankful that my family was safe, and that we all survived to be together.

Let us not forget this tragedy as other storms barrel their way across the Caribbean and the American South, especially the land of my birth, Miami.

137 Street Homestead Post Andrew 1992

 

After Andrew Homestead Racer 1992

 

 

Secret Garden on NE 135 Street North Miami

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Secret Garden, NE 135 Street, Miami

I made a late night visit to an old friend last night.  It was great getting the chance to reason and just be together with him in brotherhood.

As I was walking back to where we had parked on the street I noticed what a beautiful garden was in front of the house.  The land unfolded before my eyes, as the yellow halide light filtered through the trees.

Our little secret garden on NE 135 Street, North Miami.  It was so far removed from the hustle of 135 Street, but this patch of sculptured green was so far removed.  There are places for one to sit and just relax and take in the cool Miami air.

 

Miami Loves Japan Too, First Anniversary of Japan’s Earthquake Tsunami

Monday, March 12th, 2012

March 11, 2012, Love from Miami to Japan

It has been one year sine the March 11th triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.  So many lives have, including my own, have forever been changed.

I could tell you those changes point by point in all of the technical details, but I won’t.  I much rather put some sound-image-power energies into the world.  For many of Japan’s inhabitants the emotions of March 11, 2011 haven’t settled.

I invite all of lucid communication to give thanks for each moment we allowed to spend in connection with the world and more importantly our loved ones.  These precious moments with loved ones should be reflected upon.

My heart goes out to my very extended Japanese community.  The land where I lay my head to rest.  The land that I walk. The inspiration for my photography.

Miami Loves Japan Too !

 

The Skies, Its All About the Skies

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Sky Over Flagler Street, Miami

The skies of south Florida are amazing.  I do not have to venture far to be in complete amazement of the fluffs and puffs of those Miami skies.  In fact, I usually only have to walk outside of my home.

Look up!  See those blues fill up my heart as far as I can see.  The colors the hues, those setting sun golden moments.  I could be at the shopping mall, I look up and watch the clouds.  I can be in the middle of downtown industrial side of 305, and there is the constant reminder of the beauty that The Creator shows us.

Look up!  See!  Feel!

 

The Creator Works in Beautiful Ways Too

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The Creator's Cinema, Miami

Miami is definitely not a walking city.  In fact walking in this city can be down right hazardous to your health.  Miami is a city that was designed for car use.  Even if that use frustrates most as they get stuck on 1-95 in the most horrendous traffic imaginable.

I still like to take walks.  Even if those walks are just around my neighborhood and all I get to see are house, strip malls and some landscaping.  Its my home.  Miami is where I grew up and all these sights and sounds are beautiful to me.

The skies are unforgettable.  The skies in the late afternoon yesterday were a blessing.  To look up into the limitless skies that adorn my neighborhood just helps to put life into perspective.  I can never truly capture the beauty that the Creator performs for us.  I will try to interpret and give my view on that beauty through my lens, but it will never be able to fully capture the personal experience.

It is the Most High’s cinema!  Observed by this lucid communicator for the first time in the cinematic 16:9 ratio.  Love, beauty and life is all around us.  I want to keep my heart open so I can let it flow through me.

 

Lucid Communicating with Myself as a Child

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Jacob at 3 Years, Fairchild Gardens, Miami

I have been observing this image on my living room wall for the last few days.  Actually, I clearly remember this image of myself as a 3 year old from my last visit to miami.

I look happy in the image.  Having my picture taken was a complete mission when I was a young.  I absolutely hated it.  I would moan and complain, and run from cameras.  It makes me smile now because I know that I direct others in order to create interesting images.

But this image means a lot to me.  I look at this image and I love the casual pose that I am in.  I am just there relaxed, with a ready for action posture.  The tree and myself are balanced nicely in the image.  The shade of the trees of Fairchild Gardens (now Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden) balance with the hot sunny spots behind.

My mother told me that this image came off the first roll of test film on their new camera.  Which was probably a 35 mm Minolta.  Little did my parents know that photography would become the defining character of my life.

It all stated with a click of a shutter on a new Minolta camera at Fairchild Gardens.  I as a man of 40 years engaging in some lucid communication with myself as a photographic image as a 3 year old.

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