ESPRESSO MARTINI

Espresso Martinis were popular in the Key West of the late 1990’s. Locals and tourists alike imbibing. Even me.

Not consumed as much these days. I hear the drink rarely ordered. Till last night.

I was at Berlin’s waiting for Jean Thornton to join me for dinner. Two couples came in. They were a party of 20, early, having a drink at the bar while waiting for the rest of their group.

The ladies exceptionally lovely. Hair and make up perfection. Dresses obviously from the world’s finest stores. Jewelry like you would not believe. The real stuff. I have not seen that much expensive jewelry on a woman in years.

The ladies were polite, but demanding. They knew exactly what they wanted. Both espresso martinis. Directed Shaun how to prepare them. Each drinking a slightly different variation. An espresso martini is generally prepared with vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso coffee.

The group must have been off one of the 165 foot yachts being seen more frequently in our harbor.

As usual, a pleasant evening at Berlin’s. Jean the best of company. Bria singing. Shaun and Gage to chat with. Janyne arrived. Waiting for friends for dinner in the restaurant itself. Joined us for a drink. A charming woman. She has been operating the Pier House Beach Bar for 17 years.

After the two couples left the bar area, I asked Shaun and Gage who had discovered/invented the espresso martini and where. My impression was Key West in the late 1990’s. Gage checked with someone in the kitchen. He said New York City in 1977.

I checked it out on the internet this morning. Wikipedia says Dick Bradsell in the late 1980’s at the Brasserie in the Soho section of London.

Jean and I stopped at the Chart Room after dinner for a nightcap. Business slow. John bartending. Jean left. I was getting ready to pay the bill when a lady came in and sat next to me. The bar seats were all empty.

She said, “Hello, Louis” I smiled and said hello in return. She said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I politely said no. She said, “The Chart House last year.”

“Oh, I said.” Truth be known, I still did not recall her.

We made small talk and I left after paying for her drink.

BOB time.

Military evacuation when a hurricane is approaching. Primarily Navy. In the 1990’s, the Navy had a huge contingency in Key West and the Boca Chica Naval Base 10 miles up Route 1.

Military personnel and their families were taken to secure shelters or flown to points north on Navy planes. Free of charge, of course. A plan already in place. Each military person had a number and directions for he and his family.

BOB did not approve. The military were getting a free ride at taxpayer expense. A convenient ride. Whereas poor civilians had to gas up and slowly drive north under adverse conditions.

Amy Bondurant and husband David Dunn for real Key Westers. They moved to Key West more than a year ago and call it home. In their other lives, Amy was an Ambassador under Bush 2, David a prominent Washington attorney.

They still maintain a Paris home dating back to Amy’s ambassador days. Amy e-mailed me from Paris. They intend soon to bicycle through Denmark.

Amy sent as part of the e-mail an article which she thought sobering and wanted to bring to my attention. The article was written by Benn Steil and appeared in the 6/12/18 edition of Foreign Policy. Titled: The World Will Die So Trump Can.

The thrust of the article was the United States as we know it was in decline and responsible was Donald Trump.

He attributed such to the recent failure of the G-7 summit, Trump’s negative remarks re Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Trump’s glowing misunderstanding/non-understanding of tariffs, Trump’s sucking up to authoritarian leaders while making enemies of our friends of 50 years.

Steil’s concern was that Trump has/will become the “new normal.” The U.S.we knew gone. Perhaps never to be again.

This blog goes out over a dozen sites. Some have comment sections. Yesterday’s blog title was Sessions’ Improper Use Of Bible. A reader and frequent commentator is I’mNotLou.

I don’t make the names up!

I’mNotLou’s comment: “Sessions is more a religious forger than a person of faith. He is like too many ‘religious’ folk these days – a student of pick and choose for what suits your taste or your bigotry.”

Trump is dragging the U.S. into a tariff war with China, amongst others. China is the biggest importer of soybeans grown in the U.S. Soybeans a huge part of the economy of several states. Most of which supported Trump in the election.

China will not take this tariff increase sitting down. Trump is picking on the wrong nation to abuse. Beside intending to meet the tariffs dollar for dollar, China has already advised it is looking to the soybean fields of South America for future purchases. Argentina, for example.

Mexico also imports U.S. soybeans. Mexico says it will be looking to South America.

U.S. farmers growing soybeans not happy campers.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHERE DID $500 MILLION GO?

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. More than 200,000 killed. The island devastated.

People responded. The American Red Cross alone received $500 million from donors.

It is now 2017. Seven years later. Where did the money go? Apparently not for new homes, roads and schools. Such a legacy not evident.

The Red Cross provided shelters to 130,000. New homes, only six. Food and blankets provided by the Red Cross, also.

The Red Cross has refused to provide a list of specific programs it ran, the cost and expenses related to each. Only provided was a pie chart showing percentage of money that went to each pie slice sector.

Haiti’s Prime Minister does not know where the money went.

I am not casting aspersions on the Red Cross. I would not expect  the Red Cross to be experienced in rebuilding a developing country. However, there are experts who do know and could be hired. The money went somewhere. The donors and people of Haiti have a right to know.

Stopped at the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch yesterday. It had been a while. Cuban cheese toast and a cold Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers. The USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

Three months ago, I became interested in female genital mutilation. Especially in Europe and Asia. I prepared notes to be used as the basis for a topic involving the mutilation on my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I could see a discussion of the topic would take more time than normal. As much as 15 minutes. I put the notes aside for use another date when I had room for it.

Two weeks ago on April 11, I led with the subject on the show. It was interesting. Received many comments.

The USA Today I was reading at the Cuban Coffee Queen took me by surprise. The lead front page article concerned female genital mutilation. USA Today referred to it as “demonic.”

The USA article was primarily devoted to the problem as it exists in the United States. Exists meaning today. Note that I had dwelled on Europe and the Middle East.

Young girls are being mutilated in the United States. The female offspring of Muslim families. By a doctor or woman sworn to secrecy. As are the children.

What surprised in the article was the claim that fundamentalist Christians are also involved. To what degree not indicated.

Fundamentalist doctors available.

The story of a three year old girl was reported. She was taken by her fundamentalist mother to a fundamentalist doctor for the procedure. Clit removal. The mother told the doctor she feared her daughter would masturbate in later life. The deed was done with a swift cut of the scalpel.

Not to be left out, the article suggested some Catholics were believers/followers of the procedure.

Spent part of the afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast show.

Dear friend, everyone’s friend, Patrick “Patty Cakes” Hayes is in Key West visiting. Bartender some 20 years at Square One, now the Ocean Grill. He retired and left a few years ago.

A good man. The best of the best.

Patrick, where are you? I want to run into you.

Lunch today at Salute’s with Amy Bondurant and her husband David Dunn. New to Key West. Recently bought and renovated a home.

Amy was Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2 to a European organization. Her husband, a Washington attorney.

We have never met. Today the first time. Not sure how we have come together.

Medical science is amazing! Something new and beneficial everyday. Last friday in the Netherlands, a robotic arm was attached to a man. A mind controlled prosthetic arm. Snaps on to the bone. Clicks on. The wearer controls the arm by thought alone.

Enjoy your day!

 

NEW NEIGHBORS

New neighbors in Key West! Amy Bondurant and David Dunn. Wife and husband. Welcome!

Some 200 hundred homes were visited by Amy and David the past few days. They have been in Key West canvassing door to door for Hillary Clinton.

Amy and David have homes in Washington, DC and Paris. They recently purchased a home in Key West. 1920s vintage. Undergoing remodeling. They plan on moving their furniture down here in December and becoming official Key West residents at the time.

Both have distinguished backgrounds. Amy was the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris from 1997-2001. She served under Clinton and Bush 2. David is an attorney specializing in international law.

This blog brought us together. David has been reading it. We were supposed to meet for a drink this week. Our schedules would not permit it. We intend to get together when they return in December. I plan on introducing them to the Chart Room at that time.

I have some Trump comments. I apologize. However, we are getting close to election day. I feel compelled to vent my anti-Trump feelings. A number of pro-Trump readers will comment. It will be like the roof falling in on me.

More than a year ago, I referred to Trump as a Pied Piper. Both in this blog and on my blog talk radio show. His followers were blindly following him. Gabriel Schonfeld writes for the New York Daily News. He referred to Trump this past week as the Moronic Pied Piper.

Right on!

In a Washington Post article yesterday, Trump was described as a huckster and charismatic demagogue.

Nicolas Maduro has been Venezuela’s President since 2013. His country ran out of toilet paper under him. Now, food. Even pets and zoo animals have been eaten. I have commented adversely re Maduro many times since the toilet paper incident. In this blog, on my podcast show and in my KONK Life column.

The same Washington Post article suggested Trump was very much like Maduro. The article noted Maduro jailed his political opponents. As Trump has suggested be done with Hillary.

I’m not done with Trump yet.

George Will described Trump well in a recent Washington Post column titled “Putin Buying Back the 1930s.” The last paragraph spoke volumes. “In many worrisome ways, the 1930s are being reprised. In Europe, Russia is playing the role of Germany in fomenting anti-democratic factions. In inward-turning, distracted America, the role of Charles Lindberg is played by a presidential candidate smitten by Putin and too ignorant to know the pedigree of his slogan America First.”

A little more.

I have described the relatively new President Rodrigo Duterte as the Donald Trump of the Philippines. Rodrigo has a dirty mouth. More filthy than even Trump.

Now to Key West. Exciting days ahead!

Friday night marks the beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay! I will be out on the street with Don and the bocce team. An annual event for us.

Fiona. Fiona is the sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle who at the end of July was found dying. By a 12 year old boy. Fiona was emaciated, entangled in a fishing line, had ingested a portion of the fishing line, and her blood was low.

On death’s door.

Fiona was hurried to the Marathon Turtle Hospital.  She has recovered. Even gained 15 pounds.

Fiona is being returned to the ocean this saturday at 10 am. Sombrero Beach in Marathon. A couple of hundred will be there to see her off.

I will be home in bed by 9 this evening. Comfortably watching the last of the Presidential debates. Love this stuff! I am a political junkie at heart!

This is take care of Louis day. A manicure and pedicure at noon with Tammy. Then to my heart doctor’s office. Have to give blood. Hate it! Cannot look! When I was 21 and preparing for marriage, New York required a blood test to make sure a person did not have syphilis. I passed out!

Tonight, a couple of drinks at Don’s Place. A quick bite to eat somewhere and then home.

Enjoy your day!