September 26, 2007

Greetings from GITA.

We’re back in Florida after our nearly 6,000 mile driving trip
to upstate New York. On our trip north we made stops in Atlanta and
Asheville to visit friends and relatives. Atlanta was just plain HOT! 105
degrees. But we had a nice visit. I was eager to see Asheville because I’d
never been there and have heard so much about the place and how “everyone”
is moving there. It was not as I expected. From the way people talk about
the place I was expecting to find a smallish provincetownish sort of
place. It is not. It’s quite a good size city crisscrossed with busy
expressways. Definitely not small and quaint but very nice, nonetheless. A
really beautiful location and the appeal is understandable. Our friends
have a really beautiful house on the top of a downtown mountain with
spectacular views. Very nice.

We stayed in a cabin on the shores of Fair Haven which is a
small bay, dotted with sailboats, on the south shore of Lake Ontario. It
was beautiful. The temperatures were generally in the 60’s and 70’s with
an occasional scorcher in the 80’s. We spent lots of time with friends and
family and occasional day trips here and there. Lots of driving. We went
to the horse races in Saratoga to see the Traverse Stakes (called the
Midsummer Derby which was won by this year’s Kentucky Derby winner) and
experienced our single worst day at the races – EVER ! ! Not only was it a
terrible day at the betting windows, but the crowds packed the place to
overflowing and the temperatures were in the humid 90’s. They’ve been
racing at Saratoga since 1863 and I lived there in the 1960s and it was
never like this. I think I’m getting old and crotchety. In the good old
days the walking and saddling ring for the jockeys and horses was behind
the grandstand among the magnificent stately elms. It was serene and
elegant. There is now very little serenity or elegance and very little
room for the horses and jockeys because the whole area has now been
usurped by the hordes of people who are allowed to wheel in their huge ice
chests of beer, wine, and whatever. You are literally allowed to bring
anything you like onto the grounds. Nothing is checked or inspected.
Nothing. People get there at 5 AM to stake out their plot of ground and
fend off the competition. Quite an adventure. The racing, however, is
still excellent and we would have had a much better time if we’d been able
to pick a winner or two.

Among our excursions while in upstate New York was a trip (una
GITA) to Jones Pond Campground in Angelica, New York (south of Rochester)
to visit our friends Steve and Doug who own the place. They used to own
the trailer park on Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. When developers bought
them out in Wilton Manors they found this established gay campsite in
western New York. They’ve made a lot of modifications and improvements and
it’s now the social gathering place for people from hundreds of miles
away. Eschewing actual camping we stayed in their nicely appointed guest
cabin. The place is beautiful with huge wooded spaces between campsites.
Many campers leave their trailers there year ’round and others just come
in for the weekend. They have a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights for
dancing in their new barn and a gigantic bonfire out on the lawn to keep
things lively. We were there for just one night on the Wednesday before
Labor Day. They were expecting around 450 guys for the holiday weekend.
It’s the happening place in western New York.

And what did you do for your summer vacation?

Last month’s GITA dinner was very well attended rivaling our
biggest “season” crowds. Once again there seemed to be no end to the drama
and excitement before dinner and then again during our prize drawings.
Special thanks to Charlie Caldwell for doing a great job with the photos
which you can see on the website. James Basmajian from Precision Printwear
generously provided us with a Primavera gift certificate and some stylish
GITA shirts. The boys from EmbroidMe were kind enough to donate some
shirts and hats and John Bourassa from the Crest Realty Group generously
donated a gift certificate to Primavera. Giacomo from Primavera was also
nice enough to donate some gift certificates.

Our upcoming monthly dinner on Monday October 8 will be our
annual Columbus Day Extravaganza. Be prepared for some really exciting
nonsense. Hope you’ll be able to join us.

And as we resume our new season I’d like to take this
opportunity to thank all those who have been so supportive over our four
years. Special thanks to Mario, Dominic, Ron, Rick, Keith, Charlie,
Giacomo and the crew at Primavera. Thanks to all who help with activities
and all who attend the dinners and who offer kind words of support and

Remember that if you have an activity that you’d like to pursue
(Latino dancing on Friday Nights, for example) just let us know and we’ll
be happy to help you find some playmates.

OCTOBER 8, 2007

This month’s GITA Dinner will again be on the second Monday of
the month, the 8th of October at Primavera at 7 PM. This is our Columbus
Day Dinner. Reservations are required so if you plan to attend please let
me know as soon as possible. When making reservations PLEASE give me the
names of all those in your party. That would include both first and last
names. Primavera is located at 830 E. Oakland Park Boulevard just east of
KMart. Cost is $20 payable at the door.


We are now accepting reservations for parties of ANY SIZE up to
tables of 12. When you make a reservation, please give me the names (both
first and last) of those in your party. ALL seats will be reserved. That’s
right. Everyone gets a reserved seat. Wow!!!


We have two exciting travel adventures that we’re promoting.
The first is a trip to China, including Beijing and Yangtze Cruise,
starting on October 18, 2007. This 14 day trip starts at $3000 with an
optional 3 night extension to Hong Kong. This trip is being organized by
GITA member Mike Greenwald at Personalized Travel – [email protected]
– 954-360-6363

The second is an Italian 7 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise hosted
by GITA member Salvo Mule and endorsed be a number of Italian American
organizations aboard the Italian Cruise Ship Costa Fortuna. This cruise
will take place on February 10 through 17, 2008. The theme of the cruise
is the Italian Culture, featuring free Italian Language classes each day.
There will also be presentations of Italian Opera and Italian Film

Prices are very reasonable starting at $529 for an inside
stateroom and $629 for an ocean view. Let us know if you need a
cabin-mate. For more information go to or call Salvo
at 954-566-1015 Ext. 208.


Our next Real Estate Luncheon will take place on Wednesday
October 31 at 12 noon at Primavera. It has been several months since we
last met so there should be quite a lot to talk about. Previous luncheons
have been well attended by realtors, mortgage and title professionals,
investors and interested individuals. It’s a great opportunity to share
information about the local real estate market. The next luncheon will be
sponsored by the Title Company of South Florida. And once again, we’ll
limit attendance to the first 25 people who sign up. There is no charge
for the luncheon.

I recently had occasion to show some new townhouses in a
development called Bamboo Flats which is located on NE 3rd Avenue at 7th
street in Fort Lauderdale. If you or someone you know is in the market for
some new construction featuring some good buys you ought to take a look at
this development. There are about 50 townhouses which feature some very
stylish original architecture with lots of glass and space. Very open and
bright and beautifully landscaped. They just received their CO so those
who committed themselves in pre-construction are now having to close on
their properties. As is the case in many other new projects around town
quite a few people have chosen not to close and have forfeited their
deposits while others who bought them to “flip” are now trying to do that
in a pretty depressed market. This is one of the nicest townhouse projects
I’ve seen and there are now some very good bargains. Prices start in the
low $400’s. Call me if you’d like to know more.


The Italian Language Classes will be reconvening shortly. Mario
is ready to get going again so if you’re interested in attending you need
to let him know so he can schedule new classes. For more information
contact Mario at [email protected]


The Opera Group meets monthly to view operas. Their next event
is this Sunday September 30 at 1pm in the Stonewall Library at 1717 N
Andrews Ave. In homage to the recently deceased Luciano Pavarotti, the
group will view a performance of La Boheme. To RSVP and to get your name
on their email list you need to get in touch with Dominic Bisignano at
[email protected]


The Bridge Group is always open to new players. The group plays
a pleasant and instructive duplicate bridge game on alternate Mondays.
Mike Donnelly provides professional instruction and runs the game. Games
will be starting shortly so if you’d like to join the fun or get more
information contact Ron Webb at [email protected]


Mah Jongg anyone? this ancient game from China combines skill
and luck and is played with tiles. If you like cards or board games and a
challenge, you will probably enjoy it. Beginners welcome. Contact Keith at


The pictures from the September dinner will be on the website
shortly. Thanks again to Charlie for his photographic skills.

Pictures from all previous dinners can be found on the website. From the home page select “Photo Gallery” then select
GITA-Dinners. The site is best accessed using Internet Explorer or Mozilla
Firefox. If you’d like prints of any of the photos on the website, just
let me know.


Chef Giacomo will be offering a cooking class on October 10 at
1 PM. That’s the Wednesday after our next GITA dinner. The classes are
excellent. Giacomo is an entertaining and instructive performer and the
food and wines are delicious. Regular price of the classes is $40 but GITA
members get a 25% discount. If you’d like to attend make reservations
directly with the restaurant and tell them you’re from GITA in order to
qualify for the discount. If you’re interested in cooking you’ll be
pleasantly surprised.


We are adding member’s business cards to our website. If you’d
like us to add your card you need to either send me a card or email me a
scan of your card. The more the merrier.


Each month at our dinners we have a raffle and give away modest
prizes. There is no charge to participate in the raffle. Again this month
we will be accepting modest raffle gifts from interested members who
choose to promote their business in this most entertaining way. Thanks to
all of our donors.

Thanks for your continued support. Hope to see you on the 8th

Chuck Murabito

Real Estate and Title Insurance
both Residential and Commercial


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