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Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Between The Avalon & The Colony

Looking South towards the ColonyHotel.

Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Address:  736 Ocean Dr.
Date: Aug 2004
Website:  www.colonymiami.com

  When we were in Miami we took a walk along Ocean Drive which is the main street of South Beach.  Little did we know that we were walking through two on-screen crime scenes.  One was filmed over twenty years before we arrived and the other would not happen until two years later.  We had taken a few pictures which managed to capture some of the action that took place between 7th and 8th streets along Ocean Drive. 

 You Gotta Stay Loose Looking North On Ocean Drive.

  In the movie Scarface, Tony ( Al Pacino) and Manny (Steven Bauer), along with Angel and Chi Chi are headed to make a drug deal of their own.  They turn onto Ocean Drive up at 13th street near The Carlyle Hotel.  They head down the strip past 8th Street (pictured above) and then drive past the Colony Hotel (pictured at the top of this post).  They finally pull a u-turn in front of the Beacon Hotel and park the car across the street between the Beacon Hotel and the Sun Ray Motel.  We are guessing they parked approximately where the white car is parked below.  Tony and Angel head up some stairs to a top floor apartment of the Sun Ray Motel while Manny and Chi Chi wait in the car.

I'm not out in 15 minutes...something's wrong.

  Basically, things do not go well.  Angel gets killed by a chainsaw, Manny and Chi Chi rush inside, a gunfight ensues, Manny gets injured and several people are killed. It all ends with Tony shooting a Columbian drug dealer in the head outside on the street, to the horror of the Beacon Hotel patrons.  Tony then pulls another u-turn in the car and Manny and Chi Chi pile into the back seat.  They then race off heading south down Ocean Drive.  We also headed south past the Colony, the Sun Ray, the Beacon and finally the Avalon before we reached 7th Street.
  This brings us to the next crime scene from the television show Dexter.  When we visited Miami, Dexter star Michael C. Hall was still Six Feet Under.  Dexter is a forensic analyst and his sister Deborah is a Miami police officer.  Oh... and Dexter is also a serial killer.  In episode two they have been tracking a killer dubbed "The Ice Truck Killer".  Deborah phones Dexter and they both arrive on the scene at the south end of the Avalon Hotel.

I feel like at kid at his own surprise party.  This is the same truck.

  There is an ice truck parked on the street.  Inside they find severed fingertips frozen in a block of ice.  The entire scene unfolds with both the Beacon and Colony hotels clearly visible across the street.  It turns out that the ice truck is parked in almost the exact same spot that Tony Montana's car was parked in Scarface.  We think this was done as an intentional nod to the classic film location.  Say hello to my little coincidence!

Map of Our World
Between The Avalon & The Colony

Post # 101

Monday 10 November 2014

Everglades Alligator Farm

Here comes the rain again.

Location: Homestead, Florida, USA
Address: 40351 SW 192 Avenue
Date: Aug 2004
Website: www.everglades.com

  It had been raining a lot that day, but we were determined to make it to the alligator farm.  As we got closer to our destination, the rain started to let up once again and it looked promising.  We were in Florida after all, where it rains like someone pouring a bucket on you and then 5 minutes later the sun comes out and instantly dries up any evidence.  We headed past the prison.  We headed past the pickup truck with the Confederate flag and two crisscrossed rifles in the back.  We pulled into the Everglades Alligator Farm driveway.  Wham!  The skies unleashed another torrent of rain down on us.
  The rain let up just a bit and we made a run for the ticket office.  Due to the rain they had halted any airboat rides for the day.  An airboat is a flat bottomed boat that is propelled through the swamp by a huge fan at the back.  In the swamp a regular submerged propeller would not work due to the very shallow water filled with hidden vegetation and alligators.  We were told that maybe if the rain stopped the rides would resume.  We waited for a little while as the rain continued and eventually we gave up and ran back to the car.  As we headed past the prison the skies cleared up once again.  Our day ended up working out for us after all.

Air boats.

  We stood near the water's edge waiting to load into our airboat.  All the while we wondered just how many alligators may be lurking in the water nearby.  Even before our boat ride began, some of the local residents came by to check us out.  A softshell turtle poked his head out of the water to see what was going on. Just as our boat moved slowly from the shore, a pair of eyes glided along the surface of the water to let us know that we were in gator territory now.

Sometimes I feel I've got to... Run away
 I've got my eyes on you.

  Once the boat made its way out into the swamp, the driver picked up speed and we skimmed across the water propelled by the giant, noisy fan.  He then killed the power to the fan and turned sharply so that we spun about 180 degrees.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as he repeated this stunt several times.  We never once feared that we would tip and end up in the murky water hiding who knows what. 

Male boat-tailed grackles.
Female boat-tailed grackle.

  At one point our guide handed out some food and it wasn't long until every outstretched hand contained a hungry boat-tailed grackle.  The male grackles have a bluish black hue to their feathers while the female is brown.  After about a half hour or so, our airboat ride came to an end and the huge fan fell silent.  We jumped back up onto the bank and away from the water just in time to head over for the alligator feeding.

Hungry eyes.

    A green moss covered the alligator pond.  As we looked closer we noticed that the pond was filled to the rim with alligators.  Every little bump you see sticking above the water was part of a gator.  A staff member of the farm came through the crowd with a bucket of chicken.  This was not a KFC dinner, this looked like beaks and feet and all.  He went in through a gate and stood just behind another little fence that separated him from the alligators.  The alligators knew what was about to happen and more and more of them crawled out of the pond and up onto the bank, the moss still covering their bodies.  Some of them started to let out a slow hissing sound.

Gators galore.

  Then the birds began to fly as the staff member threw a chicken into the mass of alligators.  As the chicken landed near or on a gator, they quickly snapped their mouth shut with a thud.   Then all the gators next to them instinctually snapped their mouths.  The wave of snapping jaws rippled out from the epicenter deep into the pond.  The excitement in the crowd and in the pond began to increase as more and more gators crowded up onto the bank.  Again, another chicken was thrown and the snapping thud of jaws passed like a wave around the pond.  Some of the gators started to push up against the wire link fence in front of the staff member bending it in towards him.  He finished off his bucket and joined the rest of us behind the stronger protective fence.

Gators close in on their meal.

   The Everglades Alligator Farm also has other reptiles like snakes and turtles.  They also have a growth area where the small gators (like those below) dream of being large enough to join the adults in the pond.  As we left the farm we were glad the rain had stopped and that we didn't need an airboat to get us up the road, past the prison and back to our hotel.

Map of Our World
Everglades Alligator Farm

Post # 28