the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Florida Vacation Photos!

West Palm Beach, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Sophia and My Mother

The water was much warmer than at the beach in LA.

I kept on seeing these hunky guys on the beach with no hair on their bodies, so I tried to shave my back, but mostly just cut myself.

Palm Beach — the good ol’ days (for everyone except the guy pushing the chair).  Look at the contrast in expressions.

The Flagler Mansion in Palm Beach.   Flagler is the man who “created modern Florida” through his building of the railroad and his somewhat shady dealings with the government.   Our tour guide was a very well-dressed older man who I think just lost his fortune in the Madoff ponzi scheme and was forced to take a job giving visitors tours of the mansion.


The Flagler Museum offers a “high tea.”  It was fun, but the sandwiches were so measly that we went out to lunch afterwards.


There are canals all along the coast, and drawbridges everywhere, especially in Fort Lauderdale.   I was surprised how patient  the drivers were, waiting in their cars with no honking.   This would not happen in New York.

I know everyone is waiting for me to make fun of Century Village, with all the residents at “death’s door,” but it really wasn’t that bad.  Sure, there was a good amount of senior Jewish kvetching about their aching backs by the former New York residents, but let’s give kudos to modern science for keeping all of us alive longer, and in better health.    Here is my mother and a couple of her friends talking about the younger man who is taking a shower in the apartment next door and the size of his penis.   (Ha Ha, my mother was NOT happy with that post, because she just told all of her friends at Century Village to read my blog — and the first post they read was…)

The “Clubhouse” is the central attraction at Century Village, much like the Student Union on a college campus.    Inside this nice building is a gym, a library, art studios, card rooms, and a theater.    Thousands of people live in Century Village and they have their own bus system.

The lobby of the Clubhouse is as nice as one at any Hyatt Hotel.

The clubhouse has several enormous Las Vegas sized card rooms.   My mother played canasta, mah jonng, Scrabble, etc.    Let’s admit it — this isn’t that much different than the stupid games we play on Facebook.   At least here, the residents are playing with REAL people, face to face.

The entertainment offered to the residents is surprisingly good.   While I didn’t go to any of the recent shows, they included an ABBA and Beatles tribute band, Chubby Checker, and a night with Robert Klein.   Robert Klein!   Hey, I guess we all get older.   Would it really be that surprising to have Prince and Janet Jackson performing for us when we are at Century Village?

Here is some belly dancer at a Greek restaurant that I am throwing in, just for the sex appeal.   We were there for the early bird special!   Since I was one of the younger men there, she invited me to dance with her.   Sorry, no video camera.

My mother returns to New York at the end of the month.   This year was an experiment, and she seemed to enjoy skipping the New York winter for three months.    But I’m not sure she’s ready to spend ALL her time playing canasta just yet.  I think she misses the big city.

As for me — and what I am doing next now that she is returning? — I certainly can’t live with my mother forever.   That is too weird, even for me.   I would grow despondent and spend all my time on Twitter.   Uh-oh.

So what is my next step?   Ha, I’m not going to tell you!   I’m going to keep it vague — just to keep you coming back to the blog, in the same way that you keep on watching “Lost,” despite having no idea what the hell is going on.  In fact, isn’t that WHY you watch it?!


  1. Headless Mom

    I’ve never seen your mother or Sophia before. *waves* Nice to meet you all!

  2. better safe than sorry

    i’m not watching lost, watched the first season on dvd, but i didn’t get it, i don’t see why it appeals to so many.
    great photos, looks like you had good times.

  3. amy

    great glimpses into yr life babe. loved it.

  4. sarah g

    hi. how are things with Sophia? I think its very sweet she flew down for your birthday. So is it LA bound for you? I hope you and Sophia all the best.

  5. teahouseblossom

    Your mother looks fabulous!

    Wonderful photos. And I hope your plans include returning to the Big Apple, so we can finally hang someday.

  6. AnnieH

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Flagler Museum sandwiches. Can’t make it through the day on no stinkin’ measly sandwiches. Not if I’m expected to be pleasant and witty:.)
    Those are some great photos. Love that Southern light inside the museum and the existential touch of your reflection in your photo of the entertainers’ publicity shots.
    As for the future…is it too much to hope that you and Sophia move to Boca Raton to manage Century City and you write a sit-com about it and become ridiculously famous??

  7. kenju

    It’s good to see photos, and “meet your mom and Sophia”. I love the photo of the beach with the blue canopies.

    I once went to a party in the Flagler Mansion. It’s so beautiful!

  8. Finn

    Looks like you had fun. But next time we’ll get together, right? Because I was practically down the street…

  9. Chris

    I like seeing photos of bloggers that I’ve become invested in – especially yours, because you don’t post them often.

    Century Village looks great! I would go there right now if I could. Life’s been kicking my butt lately and a little canasta and a few walks on the beach sound wonderful.

    Favorite pics: your mom and Sophia, your feet, your back shaving attempt (hysterical), and the large game room. You’re right about it being just like, if not better (I agree), than all the FB games we play.

    I don’t watch “Lost”, but I’ll stay tuned in to the Neilochka program.

  10. Memarie Lane

    Looks like a waterside geriatric nursery.

    I went over that same bridge once. It was creepy. I’m from California though. We don’t honk, we rev our engines.

  11. Twenty Four At Heart

    Loved the photos. Florida looks pretty, but the coastline sure is flat compared to California’s! It was nice to see your mom and sophia. Selfishly, I hope you’re bound for S. Calif. It would be fun to have a bloggy friend close by. On the other hand, I’m planning a NY visit in ’09 and I’m sure you could give great tips on visiting NY. I have 2 teen boys – they wax their chests and backs. It lasts longer than shaving.

    I’ve got pics up today on my blog of, what is to me, the most beautiful spot in Calif. If you’re debating coming back maybe you should take a peak before you make your decision? They’re breathtaking!

    Damn, I’m chatty today! Must be all the Starbucks this morning! It got me all hyped up! 🙂

  12. Danny

    Great pics. Florida looks way nicer than I thought it would. No offense to Floridians but I imagined it kind of seedy and decaying, like Coney Island and the Catskills in the late 80s. Sophia and your mom looked happy and relaxed. Look forward to hearing about your next steps. In the photos of the entertainers, you neglected to mention the vivacious Lanie Kazan, but who is that blond woman in the upper right corner? It looks like Loretta Swit but I can’t imagine how she’d entertain a bunch of Jews.

  13. churlita

    those are amazing photos. I can’t wait to see where you end up next.

  14. Dragon

    Is the Florida sky really that blue? Sigh.

  15. Glennia

    Wonderful photos and stories.

  16. Miguelina

    Century Village looks much nicer than I ever imagined it would. Maybe I should make my reservations now?

  17. Annie

    I love the photos and the one of you shaving your back made me laugh out loud.

  18. TorontoPearl

    I’m glad your mom gave Century Village a go this season…and you gave Queens a go, too.

    Perhaps it’s time for Century Village to give itself a new name — how about SWINGTOWN!?

  19. sizzle

    Sophia looks great!

    I miss the beach.

  20. theme parks

    Florida is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the northeast. Much of the land mass of the state is a large peninsula with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Most of Florida has a humid subtropical climate; southern Florida has a tropical climate.[5] Florida was named by Juan Ponce de León, who landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513. Florida is the fourth most populous state in the U.S

  21. schmutzie

    It’s so nice to see pictures of a place with a climate warm enough for shaved backs and tile floors. It’s still all snow up here in Saskatchewan!

  22. Venus

    Great photographs. Really great. Even more than the words the pictures tell the story. Simple and perfect.

  23. John

    Schweet! Nice photos. Thanks for sharing.

  24. 3boys1mommy

    I don’t think I’ve never seen Sophia. She’s beautiful and you look just like your mommy. Looks like a lovely time Neil. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Loukia

    I want to see more pictures of you, please!! Also? I love Florida! I don’t care what anyone says!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial