The District Magazine Spring 2017

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district, noun dis•trict \`dis-(,)trikt\ : an area or section that has some special characteristic or purpose : a region or locality marked by a distinguishing feature

New beginnings can be amazing and scary at the same time. Change is constant and forever. This too shall pass, or this shall get better. The District Magazine team is all about change. In this issue, we celebrate new beginnings. Read how everything Dave Burton touches turns to gold, get to know District Tavern’s Chef Roger Rush and Franklin Manor’s new lineup; including new partner Jason Bell. We created the Rants and Raves section in our first issue. It has consistently been more Rave then Rant, and this year nothing has changed. Go to page 46 and get excited about one of the coolest new concepts opening this year, The Hall on Franklin. We welcome back Fit District contributor Coach John Forbes and introduce you to our two newest contributors Kristin Leigh and Kristin Wright. Check out page 16 to read our new section, Suits & Sneaks by Leigh and page 36 to learn how Wright provides the 411 on casual athletic wear transformation from day to night. We are excited to have them all. This month is The District Magazine one year birthday, and we have so many people to thank. We couldn’t have made it here without so much support, and you know who you are. We are grateful to all or advertisers, supporters, and haters. I personally want to thank Rob Stainback and Lindsey Meyer. Rob is our incredibly hard working Creative Director that can hear me think and always understands my direction. Lindsey is the magazine’s in-house photographer, and I often feel she is in my head when shooting. She sees my vision and will stop at nothing to get the shot. I’m so excited for 2017 and look forward to shouting your stories again this year from the rooftop through The District Magazine. I learned a favorite quote for the year from my friend Spencer Beaudreault, “The truth is most people don’t even start because they don’t want to be seen starting at the bottom… DON’T BE MOST PEOPLE!” Let us all have an amazing year and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Cheers, Ed “eddy” Suyak Group Publisher


Managing Director Ed Suyak

The District Group Publisher Ed Suyak Creative Director Rob Stainback Editorial Controller Danielle Topper Associate Publisher CJ Cooper Contributing Writers Kristin Wright Dr. Deepak Naidu Fit District Contributor Coach John Forbes Suits & Sneaks Contributor Kristin Leigh Cover Jason Bell David Anderson Lanfranco Pescante Cover Image Photographed By: Mo Lelii Photography by Lindsey Meyer

The District magazine is always looking for new article ideas, upcoming events and overall readership feedback. We are currently seeking freelance contributors. Email all submissions, ideas and feedback to Mashed Media Group does not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. Reproduction of articles and photographs, in whole or in part, contained herein is prohibited without expressed written consent of the publisher, with the exception of reprinting for news media use. Printed in the United States of America.




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08 Carlen Gael is Growing Rootz

10 Everything He Touches Turns To Gold

14 Sunday Funday and a Frose’

16 Suits & Sneaks:

When You Can’t Change Your Job, Change Your Mindset

22 Chef Roger Rush, District Tavern

26 Has your tattoo expired?


New Tech for 2017

of Fish Oh My!


New Year, New You!


Athleisure is the New Norm


Downtown Crawlers


Fit District


Rants & Raves

28 Tinder, Bumble and Plenty





We encourage you to mix n’ mingle! No Reservations Needed. A social drinkery serving up fresh handcrafted cocktails, premium beer selection and vibrant live music for the Downtown Tampa scene. All paired with irresistible bar bites served up by the Carriage House patio kitchen. Everything you need to make your night one to remember.

For 20+ large party reservations and private events please call 813.487.9990 or Visit Located at 912 and 914 N. Franklin St., Tampa, FL 33602 •

Carlen Gael is

GROWING ROOTZ Growing Rootz is a relatively new TampaBased company owned and operated by Carlen Gael. The company provides home delivery of local sustainable food. They are fanatical about sourcing the community's whole foods from local farms that are dedicated to sustainable, environmentallyconscious, and humane practices while still maintaining the convenience of home


delivery that today's busy lifestyles require! They have just developed a brand new app (downloadable for Apple and Android) for convenient ordering that also offers a subscription option for hassle-free delivery each week. It is as easy as hopping on their app, select your items, set to the subscription option that's best for you and set up your home delivery from the days offered.


They partner with local farmers that are dedicated to their same standards by keeping the Earth’s delicate ecosystem in mind, treating their animals with the ultimate level of care, love, and respect and enhancing the quality of life for farmers and farm-hands alike. When you choose to buy locally, you are not only supporting local farmers, but you're also contributing to a mission of decreasing environmental toxins, carbon footprint and food waste that has become commonplace in our society's consumption practices. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and why Growing Rootz? The initial inception of Growing Rootz came about as a response to having gone through a divorce right after my son turned 1 year old and, being a newly single mother, I didn't want my vision for my son's childhood to have to change. I knew a "regular" job wouldn't afford me the time with him that I desired and that, in order to create a career that I could be successful with as an entrepreneur; I had to follow a path that I was passionate about. Personally, I had already begun sourcing my own foods from local farmers (in order to ensure better quality and farming practices)- as opposed to a traditional grocery store- and found that many people I knew wanted a part of this vision for personal, community and economic reasons. Additionally, I saw these changes completely revolutionize my health and reverse the effects of a couple hereditary diseases that I'd been diagnosed with- in the world of deteriorated health that we live in I knew that I wanted to help other people find similar answers for themselves through real food nutrition sources. Where do you source the food from and how do you decide if the source is up to your standards? As a company, Growing Rootz is committed to supporting local farmers and has partnered with numerous farms from Gainesville to Sarasota and surrounding areas. Everything that I offer is organicgrade, free of chemicals, traditionally farmed (i.e.: 100% grass-fed), or GMO-free. I work very diligently to source only the absolute best Naturally-farmed, Humane, Whole Foods available locally. In addition, because I keep my business locally based I am grateful to have direct relationships with my farmers and take the opportunity to visit and KNOW the farms where your food is being harvested and gathered from! This is the only way to truly verify the quality of your food because once it leaves farm there is NO way to guarantee the markings on its label. Keeping local farmers at the center of my business is the most notable distinction that sets Growing Rootz apart and you can see that this there is a valuable reason for this!

What sets you apart from grocery store delivery services? I not only pride myself on individual, personalized service to my customers but, unlike other grocery delivery services, I ALSO have direct relationships with the people actively farming the food you'll be receiving each week. Growing Rootz is AUTHENTICALLY farmto-table and we are proud to support our local small, sustainable farms and economy. You can't get much fresher than "harvested the morning of"!! How do your prices compare to grocery stores? One of my main prerogatives when I founded Growing Rootz was to offer the BEST quality at the BEST pricesand this remains a priority! Overall, you will find our value quite comparable or even more affordable than the Greenwise or Whole Foods market. The items that may be a bit more expensive (primarily meat and dairy), are a result of being a specialty item *AND* due to the fact that the animals are literally raised by hand with care in their most natural environment (OUTSIDE!) as opposed to being housed in "cage-free" overpopulated structures without any chance of seeing the light of day. Who would benefit the most from your service? Our most popular customer base is people who are concerned with REAL whole food health and nutrition who are attuned to fueling their bodies with the very best quality available. Many of our customers are also passionate about supporting local farmers and the prerogative of eating seasonally in order to reduce carbon footprint and environmental toxins that occur during mass transportation that takes place with most organics that you'll find in the grocery store or other "farm" delivery services. Obviously, because we deliver groceries- not pre-made meals- people who want to complete their own food prep or cooking (even just a few meals/week) are going to be more likely to take advantage of our service. We love catering to all types of customers whether you're vegetarian, vegan or enjoy meat- we have wonderful options for everyone! Can you give us an example of a typical home delivery order? Most customers love our produce baskets and eggs as a minimum weekly order. Others will often add dairy items, meats, bone broth, local honey, or kombucha based on their individual nutrition needs and preferences. Our new app also offers an awesome subscription option to set your order specifically to your weekly needs. Is it true someone could order a whole cow from you? Yes, believe it or not, this rumor is true!! As crazy as it might sound, I have had customers with large families who will team up with a friend or family member to purchase an entire steer and stock up all at once in order to take advantage of some pretty substantial savings. THE DISTRICT - TAMPA’S URBAN DWELLING MAGAZINE


D L O G Everything He Touches Turns to

Dave Burton is a well-respected Tampa Bay area restaurateur and Tampa native who first brought his expertise to the Tampa Bay area in 2004. Today he is managing partner of Tampa Pizza Company, with locations in downtown Tampa and Westchase. Tampa Pizza Company has been a finalist for best pizza in Tampa Bay 3 times (by Creative Loafing) and is a “Best of Yelp” award-winner for one of the top 10 restaurants in Downtown Tampa. Burton is also managing partner of the Holy Hog BBQ regional restaurant chain, which currently has four locations. Holy Hog has been a 5 time Best Of The Bay award-winner for Tampa Bay’s Best BBQ (Creative Loafing). He is also a co-managing partner at The Getaway, a Florida Keys-inspired tiki-bar and restaurant in Saint Petersburg, Florida, that was recently named by USA Today as one of the 10 best beach bars in Florida.

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New Beginnings

Burton recently joined SoFresh, a regional healthy fast casual up emerging restaurant chain in 2015 as a minority partner and consultant assisting in business development, strategy, and growth. Across the Bay in St Pete, Burton is also a partner in the growing Hunger and Thirst Restaurant Group, operators of 4 different concepts in Pinellas County. Burton also has 2 concepts, Melt Shoppe, and Heights Fish



Camp, in development set to open this spring in the coolest new concept Hall on Franklin, which will be Tampa’s first food hall in the Tampa Heights neighborhood. An active member of the community, Burton serves on the Alumni Board of Directors of Tampa Connection as well as the Advisory Board for Visit Tampa Bay. Over the years, he has been involved in several fundraisers for the Glazer Children's Museum, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Theatre, Gasparilla International Film Festival, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Sustany Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, First Tee of Tampa Bay, Feeding Children Everywhere, No Kid Hungry Campaign and various student organizations at the University of Tampa and University of South Florida. Burton graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and obtained his MBA in Marketing Management from the University of South Florida and lives in Downtown Tampa with his wife Melissa, also a Tampa native and successful real estate agent.

We Asked Burton How He Made it all Happen? Upon graduating from Furman University and eventually finding my way back to my hometown 12 12

of Tampa, I accepted a job offer in “Corporate America” and realized quickly it wasn’t my calling. My family then asked me to help manage and run a business that had been in our family three generations and I discovered my heart and passion just wasn’t into it. After unexpectedly losing my father, my business mentor and best friend and with my Mom’s and business partners’ blessing, I put a plan in motion to grow the business and position it for sale. My goal came true when our largest competitor made us an offer to purchase the business and after assisting with the transition, figured out the restaurant business, an industry I dabbled in and always loved, is where I wanted to focus my time and energy. Looking back, it was the best decision I could have made. The cliché “If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life” rings true for me and every morning, I wake up with excitement and energy to face the day’s challenges.

We Asked Burton What His Top Four Tips are for a Successful Entrepreneurial Journey? 1) Humility and being a servant leader—in the hospitality business, an owner can easily find himself greeting customers, catching up on dishes, bussing tables, dusting off ledges, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. A restaurant where the owner isn’t willing to assist in basic tasks is doomed to fail. People want to see their leader working his or her ass off. 2) Surround yourself with great people and let them focus on their strengths—I always recommend business owners and managers surround themselves with people who are different than they are in terms of how they view life and work as they help us grow and challenge ourselves and push ourselves to new heights. 3) The riches are in the niches—you can’t be (personally or in business) everything to everybody. Find out what you are the best at and exploit it to the best of your ability. 4) “Decide to decide”—indecision and paralysis by analysis drives me crazy. Make a decision based on the information that’s presented to you, own it, and be prepared to defend it.

Sunday Funday and a Frose’ The Franklin Manor, Downtown Tampa's newest social drinkery is serving up fresh handcrafted cocktails, a premium beer and wine selection and vibrant live music while perfectly paired with the irresistible outside patio kitchen, The Carriage House. The inside has a vintage, electric feel with a craft cocktail menu designed by Tampa mixologist Ro Patel. The large outside patio delivers live music every day and is without a doubt becoming Tampa’s favorite new Sunday Funday spot. A little over ten years ago, David Anderson and Lanfranco Pescante developed a relationship while watching a soccer game at Hooters realizing they were the only two actually watching the game. Their shared passion for soccer established a friendship and ultimately becoming business partners. The birth of The Nocturnal Group placed Anderson and Pescante as one of the leading nightclub and concert promoters in the area with artists such as Avicii, Nelly, and Steve Aoki. 14 14

It was not long before the two starting seeking venues to open their own entertainment spot. With both Anderson and Pescante having a love for Tampa and watching downtown start to take a change for the better, it became apparent they were on their way to bringing something new and different to the bay area. “Although we have been open less than a year, we are always evolving to elevate the experience for our customers.” “We added five new signature cocktails and introduced an improved menu that delivers our interpretation of some classics like Edamame, Mac N Cheese, Fish & Chips, and our Caprese bites. The Franklin Manor is known for their # 1 in Tampa Original Frose’ drink and Chicken & Waffles, but it doesn't stop there. Whether you are sipping on the new In Harmony Old Fashion and munching on a Hummus flight on a Friday night or eating a Parfait while sharing a punch bowl with friends on Sunday; it will be an experience to be remembered. “We Brunch every Sunday with live music all day, said Pescante.” “We aim to elevate our patrons experience every time. Check out our Paddy Hard St. Patty’s Block Party this year on March 17th. We open at 4:00 pm and we have taken over an entire block of Franklin Street between Tyler and Cass St. with multiple bars, live music, DJ’s while serving our famous Frose’ in green.” Along with the new cocktails and brunch menu, Franklin Manor has introduced a new partner as well. The duo has become a trio with the addition of new partner Jason S. Bell. Bell is the founder and owner of Highway Systems Incorporated, an overhead sign structure company. “I made the decision to become a partner after seeing the work ethic and commitment that the other two partners showed during several visits and meetings to Franklin Manor, said Bell. “ Downtown Tampa has just begun to evolve, and I want to be a part of the movement.” For more information regarding The Franklin Manor visit or follow on Facebook @franklinmanortampa.

Getting to Know

Jason S. Bell Why did you want to become a partner in Franklin Manor? I became a partner after seeing the work ethic and commitment that the other two partners showed during several visits and meetings to the Franklin Manor, also to be part of a growing and flourishing downtown area is great. Why downtown and why now? The Area around Franklin street has just begun to evolve and I wanted to be part of a movement and new culture in downtown Tampa. Where do you see yourself and the Nocturnal Group in three years? I see several projects for our group moving forward as the Downtown Tampa area continues to grow. Mr. Vinik has displayed a great vision for downtown and everyone should be excited for the years to come. What Franklin Manor signature drink is your favorite? To be honest I would have to say the Froze. A great unique one of a kind drink from the Franklin Manor. What is your favorite dish from the Carriage House? The food is definitely one of the best kept secrets. The Carriage house does an excellent job. I would say the Burger is still one of my favorites. What other businesses do you have ownership in? I am the owner of Highway Systems Incorporated. It an Overhead Sign Structure Company in which we manufacture the DOT Structures that span the highways. I started this business in 2006. I am also a partner at Babcock Insurance a full service employee benefits consulting company focused on group health and commercial insurance. How do you spend your free time and what is the most unique thing about yourself? I have a seven year old daughter Addison which I spend a lot of my time with. I also have a passion for racing cars and I have been racing professionally for five years. I am currently a Pro Driver racing in the Pirelli World Challenge in the GTS Class. My first race this year for the 2017 season is in March of this year in Down Town St. Pete. Should be a great weekend. THE DISTRICT - TAMPA’S URBAN DWELLING MAGAZINE






S & S







Using Your Personal Style to Your Advantage.

2017 is here and it’s time to finally bite the bullet and make that career change, right? You know, the job you really should be in. That career you deserve to have. At some point you determined that quitting your job cold turkey and starting over in a field you love would be the answer to your professional frustrations. It certainly could be. Yet, you’ve kicked yourself every day since for not actually doing it. But maybe, for good reason, you just can’t change the job situation you’re in right now. And you know what? That’s ok. So here’s how you can find happiness and fulfillment in the job you already have. Identify your frustrations, then change your mindset. Let’s walk through some common examples together: 16 16

Frustration: My personality and passions don’t fit this job. Mindset change: This actually makes me better than my coworkers at certain things.

These differences in your characteristics and traits are what make you unique, so list out creative ways your differences could benefit your company. For example, I am a corporate auditor. Yet, I love to design things and write influential articles. So I asked my boss if he had any side projects that might put my passions to use. He had me redesign a presentation for senior leadership and update our job postings to be more appealing to the millennial generation. While my fellow auditors might’ve

cringed at these projects, it came easy to me. And major bonus, my boss loved it. So you see, you have a unique opportunity to really shine when your differences can be put to use.

Frustration: Professional attire just isn’t my thing. Mindset change: I’ll take my personal style and make a brand for myself.

Start wearing your favorite clothing item 1-2 times a week, then balance it with what’s considered more typical attire for your office. For example, I love cute sneakers but I work in a corporate setting. When I wear sneakers, I make sure they look damn good, and then I offset their casualness with a blazer for professionalism. It’s all about balance. I have an entire article on how to pull this off on my website. Eventually people will pick up on your new style with enthusiasm. Not everyone will prefer it for themselves, but they’ll fall in love with your confidence. And that means the real you can now shine through during your workday. How awesome is that?

speed contest with yourself each week to get you through the work faster. Or, for each of your job responsibilities, write out one thing you’d do differently if it were up to you. Figure out a way to put a different spin to your work so that you can at least get it done on time and exercise your brain in a new way. Now for the important part. Devote one hour each night simply to do what you’re really passionate about doing. For example, I started writing at night over two years ago. I placed no expectations on myself other than to spill my thoughts onto paper as I ate dinner each night. This did two things for me: 1) It was a healthy outlet for my frustrations, and 2) After two years of doing it, I got really good at it. And look, here I am writing to you today. To sum it all up, you ultimately got hired because of who YOU are. So don’t ever change. A business cannot sustainably thrive on one set of personalities and skills. So find creative opportunities for your differences and offer them up to your leaders. Because guess what? If nobody else has the skills you have, then that automatically makes you the best at them.

Frustration: I tried, but the opportunity just isn’t there for me to do what I really want to do. Mindset change: Make a game out of your day job and devote one hour each night to your passions.

When all else fails, you might just have to lose the expectation that you’ll be passionate about your current day job. So make a game out of it to get you through the day. Have a THE DISTRICT - TAMPA’S URBAN DWELLING MAGAZINE


, h s u R r e g o R f Che How long have you been a chef? I've been in kitchens for almost 24 years now. I would never claim all of those as chef. Around 2000 I shifted from the corporate kitchen world into a more chef driven atmosphere. Where did you attend culinary school? I didn't. Not to say one wouldn’t benefit from proper culinary studies. It could have made my life a whole lot easier doing so! For me, by the time I found the calling, I had learned so much from my chef’s and even more from the passion of the people I was working side by side with. Many of them still my dearest friends. That's more than framed paper is worth. Who or what influenced you to become a chef? At first it was a job that allowed me to be involved with music. When I wanted to go play music, I could and when I wasn't, I always a job. I found my culinary creativity more on my terms and not the direction of the band. I still write and play music and one isn't more important than the other but tossing pots & pans is more of a stable living, yet just as fun! Where did you grow up? I was born in Dublin, not Ireland; A suburb of Columbus in Ohio. I've been all over Florida since I was eight. I 22 22

went to High School in Port Charlotte FL, so that's as good a place as any to call home. Although, Tampa has been home since '99 and I’m still figuring out the growing up thing. Who is your favorite chef and why? Like so many that learn as you go or on the road, you accumulate many for many reasons; from Careme & Escoffier to Childs & Morimoto. I grew up watching Justin Wilson and if you don't know him, Youtube him. As a serious culinary student I’ll give you Marco Pierre White, Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain. Chefs, who cook for life, live for life and write god damn well about it! Where did work before coming to District Tavern? I opened several restaurants nationally for the Tavern Group, helped open many well-known Tampa favorites and did my time in the catering business. My favorite is still Ellas in Seminole Heights. Blood, sweat and tears went into that restaurant and I’m so proud that they are still killing it!! What is your favorite item on District Tavern’s menu? We get such great feedback about all the food but my favorite is going to be on the new menu. Come visit and I’ll recommend it!

District Tavern Which one would you choose if you were given both, bourbon or beer? My choice is the girl who chose bourbon. (Grinning right now) If you could cook a meal for anyone in the world, who would it be? I'd cook for Gordon Ramsey! That would give me an opportunity to knock him on his ass because the way he makes people feel like shit. Now given, he is usually right but come on. Besides cooking, what does Chef Roger like to do on his off time? Chefs get off time? If you get to know me I’ll share some deeper passions but music is still top of the list.

Final question, what would be your request if you had to choose your last meal? BBQ Brisket, Collards and Corn Bread or Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes... Depends on what they busted me on!!


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If you could describe yourself in one word, what word would you use? One word: Fluent, Descriptive or Illustrative.



Finish this sentence: If I weren’t a chef, I’d be a… Beach Bum in the Caribbean after the band toured the world!


See This Image Come To Life! Download app Hover over full image > Tap

Has your tattoo expired? A recent study found that a whopping 37% of HR managers cite tattoos as the third-most-likely physical attribute to limit career potential, and there are currently no laws protecting people with tattoos from discrimination in the hiring process. Luckily, a lot of the larger companies like Target, IKEA, Google, Facebook and UPS don’t mind ink. Actually, they are some of the most "tattoofriendly" employers in the US. According to a recent survey, nine out of 10 people with a tattoo have considered removing it at one time or another. While the reasons for removal vary, the increasing options available for tattoo removal are transforming the nature of tattoos from symbols of permanence to designs with a sell-by date. In a day and age when tattoos are more and more socially acceptable, even considered works of art, why are so many considering removal? Syneron Candela, the makers of PicoWay, a leading laser treatment that removes tattoos with less pain and fewer treatments, commissioned the survey which took a closer look at the motivations behind tattoo removal.

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With about 45 million people in the US or 14% of the population sporting at least one tattoo, ink is finally becoming more accepted by society. However, stigma about tattoos still exists in the workplace. They want more! The decision to remove a tattoo doesn't necessarily reflect a change of heart about having a tattoo. In fact, 83 percent of people who have removed a tattoo said they are considering getting a new one, sometimes in the very same place where they just had one removed, while only 8 percent said they would never get another tattoo. Additionally, the majority of tattoo removers were not swayed to remove their design for professional reasons, contrary to popular belief. Only 16 percent of tattoo removers attributed their decision to their professional lives and workplace environment, while an additional 5 percent of those contemplating removal saw their career goals as a deciding factor. Both tattoo removers (18 percent) and people with tattoos considering removal (29 percent) said a

faded tattoo was the main reason to contemplate or complete tattoo removal procedures. So turns out, many just want a better tattoo!

It's only temporary. Compared to previous generations, today's youth see tattoos as less permanent based on the availability and advancements seen in the removal processes, like the PicoWay laser, which shatters the ink into small particles to clear the tattoo faster than other devices. In fact, the majority of people who removed a tattoo received their first tattoo at a young age. While the average age of survey respondents got their first tattoo before they were 35, 61 percent of removers were between the ages of 18 and 24, compared to only 9 percent between the ages of 35 and 49. Women made up 62 percent of removers who got their first tattoo before age 25. With increased access to tattoo removal devices, people with tattoos can conveniently remove their design if they grow tired of it over time. And, nine out of 10 tattoo removers noted that they enjoyed having the option to remove their tattoo.

A pain in the butt, neck, arm, chest and back. While tattoo removal has increased over recent years, the decision to remove a tattoo takes time. In fact, 76 percent of tattoo removers waited over a year before beginning the tattoo removal process. Although a variety of reasons contribute to a person's decision to remove a tattoo, pain and cost are two of the biggest factors that delay the tattoo removal process. The survey also found that 58 percent of people considering tattoo removal said cost was one of the main barriers they faced when considering treatment, while 45 percent of people regarded pain as their biggest hesitation. After removing a tattoo, however, seven out of eight people said their perception of the removal process was that it would be more painful than what they actually experienced.

So you've decided you're over it. Good news, if you are interested in tattoo removal, options exist that are effective, less painful and cheaper than many believe.

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Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish Oh My!

Several months ago, a friend of mine was having cocktails at a local bar and the woman next to him did something strange. Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder. On her screen appeared images of men that disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she swiped. It seemed somewhat odd to him. Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion online. After he told me this story I wondered to myself, has online dating done this to us? Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?

I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have this question arise. However, is online dating changing us for the worse? Does in create unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests? Or is the taboo of online dating being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts? I mean there are many online dating successes and failures. Even more important, to one person considering it a failure could be considered a success to another. I decided to sit down with a few more of my friends, aka experienced online dating ninjas and listen to a few of their stories.

These are their stories. 28 28

40 and Single By John Michaels

Becoming single again in my mid-40s was a mixed blessing. Experienced, stable and less clueless, and fortunately better looking now than then. Learning to date again has been fun but challenging. New terms new approaches new rules. A big part of what’s changed is online dating. As a guy now in his late 40’s I’ll be honest - online dating has been tough. If I’d already figured out why I guess it wouldn’t be tough anymore and I’d be writing something very different. I’m not a guy with a lot of answers. Granted I’ve met some great women online including one amazing, extraordinarily beautiful woman that lasted a couple of years. But I wouldn’t characterize my online dating as successful; at least not as successful as I’d like, and certainly more annoying. I don’t generate as much interest as friends in their 30s and early 40s. The interest I do get is generally uninteresting to me. Partly it’s just how the system is designed. It’s not optimized to serve the interests of someone my age. At least that’s what I keep telling myself; it helps me sleep. While younger friends are tearing it up and going out night after night, I’m pretty much checking the app and walking the dog. Thankfully I do ok the old-fashioned way – in person. It keeps me active but not as much as I’d like. I’ve hoped online would expand horizons, generate extra volume that would keep me busier and ultimately lead me to Her. But no. So, why?

I’ve always been an introspective guy, so I start with me. Uglier than I thought? How un-photogenic am I? (I find it impossible to both smile and not squint; I swear it’s physiological). Bio too whacky or boring boring? The conclusions I draw are, well, inconclusive. Since I do ok in person, I imagine I’m not hideous, and my personality’s not too out there. However, it is still not translating to online. So, why? Online dating is intrinsically about apps. Apps that revolve around databases and searches with criteria that include Age. Because I look younger than I am and have a youthful, energetic vibe I typically connect best with women around 10-15 years younger. It’s just how it is, who I meet, who’s attracted to me. I’d be okay dating up to around a few years younger, mid-40s, it just doesn’t happen. I don’t know where quality mid-40s women are and when I do run across attractive ones they’re usually sporting telltale ringfinger hardware. Online, women mid-30s to mid-40s don’t seem to be extending their search criteria to a guy in his late 40s. Sure they could be ruling me out for other reasons. But if my pics are even reasonably close and my bio isn’t serial killer zone, it seems to boil down to not getting in front of women with whom, if they met me in person I’d have a good shot. They never even see my profile, so there’s no chance of attracting their attention. And sure I can be picky. Um, I’m supposed to say “selective.” I won’t discount that my online presence needs polishing. Bottom line this is digital marketing yourself. I need better photos and probably a few bio tweaks. But I’ve started to conclude that given my utter lack of success online that I must be not popping in searches, giving me that all important opportunity to present my charms. I recently got picked up in a bar by a woman who wondered why I never popped in her Bumble feed. She showed me the competition, and I feel confident saying I matched a little better. In fact she said, “Look at these guys, you’re God-like in comparison, if I saw you I would’ve swiped right” (ok those weren’t her exact words but close. Ish.). I left that conversation thinking, “wtf I should be doing way better.” Throw enough stuff at the wall and eventually something sticks…or not. With nothing sticking, I’m thinking my profile just isn’t being selected by the community of women I typically do best with in the real world. A month on Bumble and my success rate was a single hit. (As in one, not counting the escort) I better polish off the in-person skills. Online dating is less time, money and statistically-efficient; that’s why it exists. But in the end, I haven’t figured it out. Maybe there’s nothing left to know; this could be as good as online dating gets for a guy my age. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

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bar or face to face a thing of the past. We are all so engaged in our phones that it takes away from that human interaction and flirting that people did in the past. I think that whether online or in person, just being yourself is key to successfully meeting other singles. I want a person to like me for who I am on both my best and worst days.

Male Seeking Man By Cliff Lounsbury

How long have you been single? One year, two months Are you currently seeking for a relationship or something casual? At the moment I am enjoying the single life and spending time with friends and family. If the right guy comes along, then I am not opposed to a relationship, but just haven’t found “the one” yet. What are some the methods you have used to meet other singles? I love going out and being social, so any chance for a networking event, community or charity event or just grabbing drinks at the local bars always seems to work well. I think also connecting and following others over social media is the new age way to meet people and strike up an initial conversation. Do you use online dating and if so which sites do you use the most? Yes, I currently utilize Grinder and Tinder although Grinder is my preferred site of the two. Which of the online dating services you use provide the best results and why? I have had numerous conversations with potential dates on Tinder but never once actually met any of them for a one on one date. Grinder is definitely more successful as far as meeting guys, but typically most on Grinder are just looking for a hookup and not necessarily a date. How many dates or encounters have you had in the last 90 days 30 30

and what percentage came from online dating sites? Official one on one dates = 0, Encounters = hmmmmmmmm I will have to get back to you on that final number lol.

In your opinion is online dating used just for hook-ups? I think you could have a variety of answers and reasoning for each, but primarily my opinion and experience has been hook-ups over dating.

What is your biggest complaint about online dating if any? There are way too many fakes and flakes. A person can be anyone they want to be behind a phone or computer screen, but once face to face in person they will always show their true colors which tend to paint a very different picture than their online profiles suggested. What do you like the most? It is quick and easy to end a conversation or block someone online if things take a turn for the worse. In person it is a lot harder to walk away or ignore someone. Have you ever been catfished and if so explain? I was not catfished per se because it was the actual person that showed up but when we met, you could tell that they used a picture from several years prior. They looked drastically different (older, heavier, less hair, etc.). On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate online dating as means to develop a relationship? I’ll give it a 5 What do you believe is the best way to meet other singles? I believe online dating has nearly made talking to someone in a

Female Seeking Man

By “anonymous” but 100% real The Dumped List… When you’re super busy, online dating just seems convenient. I’m not sure there is anyone out there that is proud to say they online date. I honestly can say I HATE online dating but… I still do it. It just seems that people these days don’t know how to approach each other anymore. Social media has made people socially awkward. Not to say I am not guilty as well, but I will say I have hit on guys out in

If your future partner is reading this article right now; what would you want them to know about you? I am a very loyal friend and partner. I have a great sense of humor with an even mix of sarcasm. I am an open book and very honest with everyone I have in my life. I have a huge heart and in the past have put others before myself, but I am trying to work on that these days. I work hard but play even harder. Life is too short so we might as well make the most of it and live it up.

public, out at a bar, at a coffee shop, etc. I mean what have you got to lose; they turn me down then oh well, onto the next one. However, the last few years I have been chronically single, with my fair share of online dates. I go through phases where I’ll jump on two or three sites at once, and then I get annoyed with the lack of success that comes from all of them. With each return to online dating “hell,” there was a new series of stories. My friends began to give me grief. They asked me how the dates went, and me being a private person; I would say something like, "he just wasn’t my type." Finally, after getting into a bit of an argument with a friend, I felt forced to make a list of every guy I had been out with and why I dumped them to prove I'm not just extremely picky, but there is something actually really wrong with each of these guys. ;-) So here it goes, The Dumped list from the last three years of being chronically single. Most of these guys didn’t get more than one date before I wrote them off, a few were added to the list after a few weeks of CONTINUED ON PAGE 32




online chatting and not even a date, and a select few made it to date three before getting “dumped.” The names have been changed for their protection and listed in no particular order: Tim – Fitness tool (now before you judge me, I do workout and love a man who does as well, but when it's literally ALL you talk about, you need another life as well.) Leo – No car, no goals, self-proclaimed video game junky Oliver – 50 shades of antichrist (let’s just say he told me on the first date he didn’t believe in God, and he asked me if I like to be choked/ 50 shades style) Tony – He paid way more attention to guys than girls. (seriously more attention) Ron – I was the only funny one (if you never make me laugh, bye) Chuck – No sex, only organic, but let's take a first date selfie! – wanted to “capture” our first date. Joe – Self-involved and corny jokes (funny is important, obviously). Anthony – so boring, I almost fell asleep on the date Charley - Boring life. Doesn’t have a hobby, doesn’t have a passion for his job, doesn’t work out, and basically doesn’t do anything. Andy- Self-proclaimed he was on both sides of the fence. (not judging, I just prefer men who like women) Nick – took a picture of me, without my knowledge, posted it on Instagram, then later texted me saying, “look at all the ‘likes’ you’re getting!” REALLY? Dave – An actual brain surgeon who thinks he’s the coolest person ever but is the worst kisser ever. (need say no more Dr. slobber mouth) Alex – Jealousy issues. After two dates started grilling me about “the guy” in my selfie on IG…”the guy” was my cousin. Don – Self-proclaimed gambling addict who asked to borrow money. Jared – No drive in life except valeting cars. (which he’d been doing for the last six years) A lot of ideas for his future but no follow through. Scott- desperate (on the first date proceeded to tell me about why he feels he deserves and wants a relationship, and doesn’t understand why he hasn’t met “the one” yet.) Tim – sent me dick pics after the first date (you read it correctly, dick pics) Jason – Failed to tell me he had a girlfriend. (Cheater) Keith – Hates dogs (seriously?? This is an immediate NO!) Jack – Has a kid that he hasn’t seen in five years and justified it because it is too difficult and expensive to see her. I can’t make this stuff up and yes I need to step up my game as well. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what always got. 32 32

Male Seeking Woman By Billy Cortes

How long have you been single? 9 months Are you currently seeking for a relationship or something casual? Ideally a relationship What are some of the methods you have used to meet other singles? Online, Friends, Networking, and Social Environments Do you use online dating and if so, which sites do you use the most? Yes, Match & Bumble Which of the online dating services you use provide the best results and why? Surprisingly, I would have to choose Bumble over Match. First, the quality of people is pretty much even if not slightly better without having the monthly fee. Second, the communication has to be initiated by the woman, so the communication tends to be a little more active than on Match. How many dates or encounters have you had in the last 90 days and what percentage came from dating sites? Est 17 (date/encounters) 75% came from online sites. What is your biggest complaint about online dating if any? Online is a great tool for people who may have a busy schedule or just simply find themselves back in the dating scene and want to tidy up on their communication skills amongst a wide array of personalities. However, if I had to choose a con, I’d say it can be a little difficult building a connection in some cases without having the ability to feed off of someone’s body language. Also, your messages on a site are left up to the other person's perception, and as a result, it may not be interpreted as intended. This is where a strong emoji game may help CONTINUED ON PAGE 34


depending on the age group. :) What do you like the most? The ability to still possibly connect with someone even if I’m not able to place myself in a social setting at all opportunities. Have you ever been catfished and if so explain? *Burst into laughter* Um hell yes!!! The date brought her other half that was so kindly omitted from the profile photos. By the way, I was still a gentleman and finished the date. It’s always nice to meet and interact with new people. Plus, they say you can find a positive spin in any situation however i’m still looking for it in this case lol. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate online dating as a means to develop a relationship? Umm, probably a 5…while I’ve met some great and interesting women I still feel this platform lends itself for either hooking up or just lonely people looking for a pen pal to fill some empty noise. What do you believe is the best way to meet other singles? Doing what you personally enjoy whether that be a hobby, gym, networking, volunteering, etc. This way you’re yourself in its purest form and placing yourself in a position to connect with others in a fun setting while portraying the best version of You. In your opinion is online dating used just for hook-ups? Even though that is the perception and reality to an extent, I would say I’ve still met ladies who are actually looking for something genuine and long lasting. If your future partner is reading this article right now; what would you want to her know about you? Well first, if we haven’t met before, then, “Hola, it’s a pleasure finally meeting you.” If we have, well, look how things turned out. I’m currently writing this while sitting here at this trendy downtown coffee shop. Knowing that somewhere in the near future, your path will lead you here, beside me. I’ll let you know that I’m currently enjoying life to the max with my beautiful family, friends, and coolest French bulldog ever that you will adore!! I hope you’re doing the same this way you’ll be prepared for the best journey of your life. 34 34

A Tinder Story By Ryan Markley

It was 2014, and I divorced for almost three years. Match, POF, and Tinder apps were all on my phone and took most of my time. Friends? Sure I had friends; we would do guy things like workout, paddleboard, and scuba dive, etc. Although I had fun, the underlining problem was always the same. We were forever on the lookout out for women which resulted in too many drinks and hanging around bars waiting to see who walks in and who we can take out. The truth for me, when you are single, you spend a lot of time thinking about and doing things for the chance to meet a girl or the girl. It’s always in the back of your mind. It’s exhausting and annoying at times. Don’t get me wrong it can also be a lot of fun! My M.O. for dating was hot and heavy for two weeks, with lots of fun and intense feelings, then miraculously the interest was gone, and it was time to find another. I started going through many changes and growing considerably around the end of 2014. I was 38 years old and maybe we can call it maturity but I was on a path into some serious personal growth. I started with health, mainly diet and cleansing. I feel this was important because it organically lead me to spiritual growth. For several years I had been on this mission to find inner peace and purpose. What does this have to do with online dating? Well, I believe that my story would be much different without this growth. So, the day was January 6th, 2015 and I had a Tinder date set up with a random girl. My mindset of course (at this point) was one without expectation. You cannot get the thing you want while you're focusing on why you do not have it! Little did I

know those two years later (actually to the day) I would marry this girl. It all happened very quickly; I guess as life itself does. I didn’t have one of those experiences where it was love at first sight or a feeling she was the one. However, because of my introspection, I had been working on living in the moment and being present. Before, I was the type of guy that always lived five years in the future yet worried about my past; what a horrible way to live your life. Of course, today's American ways do not teach you that there is a better way. This time, I remember getting advice from someone not to allow the pressure to be there. You know: the is this the one, will she be a good mother, deal with all of me, see me for me for 50 years, bla bla bla. Instead, I took it two weeks at a time. I played a game with myself; take the relationship two weeks at a time, will I still be intrigued and want this if it were only for two weeks? This method paired well with my past and current goal of living my truth in the present moment. The funny thing is that each time I asked myself that, the answer was always the same. So, with each big step, there was never any doubt. If I stepped back and asked, do I want this at this moment, listened from the heart and not my head; the answer was clear. Eventually, even a man like me can realize that I want this woman in my life every day! Society may have questioned some of the timing and quick steps (we bought a house and moved in together after like six months) but when you live for your truth each day, and not for the narrow minds of others, your life changes can be amazing. So, what’s the point, what’s my take on online dating? Well, in today’s busy world online is just how it’s done. Online dating gives people the opportunity to meet where they may not have the chance. Sure it helps that we have similar goals of inner peace, and getting out of the rate race. Having fundamental similarities is as important as embracing and allowing the differences that we are supposed to have! One of my sayings is that the differences are the beauty! So stop dividing our country, George Soros… oh sorry, that’s a different article. Whether you are online dating or not, the goal is the same. It’s not about finding the right person; it’s about being the right person. I'm Happy to say I Happily married women I met on Tinder.


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e h t s i e r u s i e l Ath

m r o N w e N By Kristin Wright

This year, there is no need to sacrifice comfort for fashion.

“Athleisure” has become a main topic over the last year and continues to take a serious leap into being one of the strongest selling categories, hands down. Many believe that this is more than just a quick trend. It is becoming more of a lifestyle as consumers want comfort merged with fashion.

“Athleisure?” So, what exactly is “athleisure”? It is the hybrid of athletic wear mixed with casual wear that at one time would only be worn at home when lounging—for example, those leggings and sweatpants mixed with those oversized tees and sweatshirts—or those workout pants that only served one function. However, times have changed! Athletic wear has become acceptable in all types of settings, allowing looks to be taken across all realms of your daily life with ease.

Features vs. Benefits More than ever, consumers are focusing more on comfort and versatility. In some instances, the focus may be on features such as extra hardware or bedazzled details. However, it is usually the benefits that seal the deal—versatility, fabrication, quality and how it makes YOU feel. Versatility and fabrication go hand in hand and is a major key when outfitting. 36 36

Leggings and joggers have emerged as staple pieces in so many wardrobes. Brands like Nike and Adidas to Athleta and Lululemon have introduced trendy pieces that can be styled to create whatever #mood for your #ootd. Other brands like Spanx have introduced leggings that can be taken from the workplace to the gym and any place in between. It’s just how you pair it and wear it.

Leggings Leggings are such an easy go-to and can be your key item or statement piece. Fun designs, mesh details and cut outs bring personality and a mood to any outfit. I call them “fun pants” because they are immediate conversation starters, especially in the gym. Let’s explore Spanx. Spanx has a variety of leggings that have different features, but offer the same benefits as their well-known shapewear that surfaced in the early 2000’s. The line has expanded to include leggings to fit any and all occasions. Options range from basic seamless leggings to active moisture-wicking designs, to structured dressier styles in faux leather and mixed fabrics.

Pair It. Wear It. Cool and Casual • Create a street style with a knit jogger paired with a graphic tee and flat sandal or sneaker • Grab that oversized tank or off the shoulder tee and pair with a knit sweat pant jogger. Tie a loose knot to the side or front of the tee to add a sexy feel. Throw on some trendy sneakers and a light bomber jacket for the perfect spring cas fit. Compliment with a quick messy bun up-do.

Pair It. Wear It. Make it Casual • Create your look by pairing a tunic top or oversized denim shirt with a pair of your favorite leggings. Accessorize with a Chuck Taylor or trendy slip-on sneaker, topped with a few bangles or layered necklace. I love pairing this look with a faux leather baseball cap and a pop of color on the lips.

Work to Play • A faux leather legging can be worn yearround and is effortless from work to play. Create a layered look with a printed top, off shoulder blouse or cold-shoulder that can be worn with a blazer. Pair with a pump or open toe shoe. Remove the outerwear and hit the town.

Joggers Starting off as a strong men’s trend in the last couple of years, joggers have eased their way into women’s fashion. Found in all types of fabrications, prints and fits, the only challenge is pairing them to create your perfect outfit.

Relaxed Chic Who said comfort and chic couldn’t be? • Day party? Pick a print—floral, abstract, stripes, fatigue—and pair with a pop color that will accentuate the print. Layer with a denim jacket, blazer or light outerwear. Add a neutral wedge or simple open-toe heel to polish the look. A clutch or crossbody bag along with a choker takes you from comfort to chic. • Take it up a notch and style for the work setting. A jogger trouser paired with a blouse or oversized shirt, layered with a light outerwear piece takes this simple bottom to another setting. Complete with a pointed toe bootie or heel to add some edge. For spring, accessorize a basic look with a printed neck scarf and bold wrist accents.

No need to sacrifice comfort this year. It’s all in how you Pair It. Wear It.




By Coach John Forbes

make •/māk/ - verb 3. To compel (someone) to do something

It •/it/ - pronoun 7. Exactly what is needed or desired

count •/kount/ - verb 3. Be significant exclamation point •ª/ik•sklām/ punctuation signifying to cry out suddenly, especially in surprise, anger, or pain

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happen, as long as you do it with purpose and significance. You see how fast we’ve enter the New Year right? And by new, I mean yet another year, because at this point I’m sure they seem to be coming at you pretty fast. Time is flying; this is not the time to pussyfoot around acting like you’ll be here forever. The opportunities that come at you may not appear ever again. Specifically, since this is a fitness segment, your body will not retain its youthfulness if you don’t start getting serious with it.

Make It Count! The above phrase, broken down into its three words plus punctuation and defined per dictionary, is a powerful one indeed when examined past its regular verbiage placed onto paper. Each word has an influence of superior strength. To make someone (that’d be you) is to form or compel from one’s own will. Understand from your very mind you can achieve anything. The seventh definition of the word “IT” means something that is exactly what is needed or desired…WHAT!? That would mean whatever you truly want to be achieve is what IT is in reference to. Count means to be significant; as in important, momentous, forceful, sententious even (well that’s kind of a stretch). Okay, okay, enough of my lipophilic approach to inspiration. But really, what I’m trying to impress upon you is you have the absolute power to make anything

Make It Count! Your training, your eating, your promises, your word, your whole damn year. Make it count to no one except yourself. Put the time in that it takes to get the sh*t done and just do the damn work. Buddha said, “The trouble is you think you have time.” The follow up to this quote I give to my clients is “You do not,” to be put bluntly. Who has time to waste on starting then stopping over and over again on any thing they truly desire? For all the time that you have wasted putting in subpar or mediocre effort, don’t you believe you could have made two or three amazing things happen in the same time span? Start making everything you decide to do count. Not just your fitness goals, but also everything you want. So, if you train your body, make it count. If you eat food, eat well and make it count. If you have a job or career, do the work and make it count. If you help someone, make it count. If you teach someone, make it count. If you love someone, make it count. If you are breathing and alive… MAKE IT COUNT! - Coach

PS. As customary per this segment, here is a workout that I use with all of my clients, beginner and advanced. It is simple in nature and understanding, but it will challenge anyone who decides to do the workout as intended. Complete all exercises, from most reps to least, not moving onto the next exercise until the current repetitions are completed. Get it done as quickly as possible and Make It Count! > 100 jumping jacks > 90 situps

>5 0 bicycle crunches (each side)

> 80 lunges (total)

> 40 squat jumps

> 70 pushups (use elevated object like a bench if needed)

> 20 inverted rows

> 60 mountain climbers (each leg)

> 30 bench dips > 10 burpees



New Tech for

2017 When it comes to the latest technology, you can never have too many options. And for tech lovers, there is nothing like the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Dell Canvas.

CES delivered an exciting look at the newest Windows 10 devices that will make your life easier by having a battery life long enough to last through a 15-hour flight, allowing you to log into your computer with just your face. From PCs to all-in-ones, gaming solutions and portable devices, here are some of the most amazing unveilings from CES 2017 sure to enable the creator in everyone.

Channeling the innovative possibilities of Windows 10 and the upcoming Creators Update into a new category of smart workspace technology, the Dell Canvas expands productivity allowing you to create, communicate and express your ideas as naturally as you do with pen and paper. Through the use of touch, digital pen and totems, you can turn drawings into part of the digital workflow with Windows Ink or markup webpages in Microsoft Edge. Powered by virtually any Windows 10 PC, this device plugs seamlessly into software solutions from many partners to unleash the creative genius in everyone.

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HTC Vive VR.

VIVE is powered by SteamVR, featuring SteamVR Tracking and the Chaperone guidance system to offer superior seated, standing and roomscale experiences. Freely explore and interact with the virtual world like never before. Designed from the ground up for immersive, room-scale virtual reality, Vive lets you experience new, unimaginable worlds thanks to game-changing technology and best-in-class content. Let yourself be visually, physically and emotionally amazed by awe-inspiring characters, sights and sounds. Everything from games and education to medical and design–believe the hype, get excited and see for yourself what everyone’s raging about.

HP Spectre x360.

The second generation of HP's 15.6-inch revolutionary x360 is the most powerful in the Spectre profile and can be pre-ordered today. Its bigger battery allows for up to 12 hours while powering a micro-edge 4K display and featuring the latest Intel processors, high performance NVIDIA GeForce 940MX discrete graphics. It also offers fast and secure login with Windows Hello and a nearly borderless display with two new front-facing speakers to round out the user experience.

Samsung Notebook Odyssey.

Built specifically for intense and casual gamers alike, the Samsung Notebook Odyssey features advanced technology, such as the HexaFlow Vent, an advanced cooling and ventilation system allowing the device to remain cool at all times. For optimal gameplay, the Samsung Notebook Odyssey is equipped with an intelligent and robust processer. Powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, both models of the Samsung Notebook Odyssey offer lightning fast performance with premium graphic technologies.

Hover Camera Passport.

Shoots in 4K Video & 13MP Photos. Foldable & portable - easily fits into your backpack or purse. The Hover is lightweight - under 0.52 pounds, no FAA registration required and easyto-use & intuitive - no experience required. It is compatible with your iPhone or Android phone and captures precious moments from unique perspectives, follows you autonomously. The Hover captures breathtaking panoramic videos up to 360 degrees and boasts a safe design, thanks to the carbon fiber enclose.

Lenovo ThinkPad XI Yoga.

The latest ThinkPad X1 Yoga is flawlessly flexible and adapts to your needs offering true multi-mode capability that delivers stunning colors and absolute blacks. The only 14-inch notebook with an OLED display option, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga also comes with a redesigned rechargeable pen and improved "rise and fall" keyboard. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga will be available in February.

Toshiba Portégé X20W.

A premium 2-in-1 convertible PC running Windows 10 Pro with a 360-degree dual-action hinge allow you to use the Portégé as a notebook or digital inking tablet. And with a 7th Generation Intel Core processor, the Portégé packs plenty of power into its thin, 2.5-pound frame that includes a 16-hour battery. The pre-configured Portégé X20W will be available soon in Slate Gray.

Airblock Drone.


The first modular and programmable drone that does aerial stunts using drag-and-drop programming! Let your imagination run wild and build different types of fun vehicles to fly or hover around. Build a drone that flies around on your command, hovercraft that zooms across the water, or a scorpio that zigzags across the ground. Think learning meets transformers.

A SoftBank social robot equipped with facial and voice recognition, and can respond to individual users by name. It expresses itself with gestures, sounds and colored lights around its eyes. Pepper is debuting in U.S. stores this year and it's capable of serve as a home robot or in a business as well, complete with the ability to work with smart home devices, including those that can serve as bartenders.

MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro Gaming Laptop.

Created with the gamer in mind, the MSI GS63VR delivers a faster and smoother VR experience and is part of the latest lineup of MSI gaming devices powered by Windows 10. Thanks to the new 7th Generation Intel Core processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050 Ti & GTX1050 gaming graphics cards. Enhanced audio makes the GS63VR ready to support the finest audio quality through SABRE HiFi DAC delivered straight to high-end headsets.




How to transform yourself into the person you want to be. By Dr. Deepak Naidu

What is it about personal transformation that piques everyone’s interest? I’m just as curious as anyone else – is it checking out the before/ after photos, or about watching the evolution as they progress? Hopefully it’s something that will inspire and motivate you to undertake a similar challenge! Whether it’s an important birthday, the start of a new year, or a change in relationship status (Why do break-ups have this tendency to prompt selfreflection?), the desire and ability to improve you is an ambitious undertaking. For me, it was when I turned 31 years old, after finishing my general surgery residency: I had decided that it was time to take care of my health by devoting myself to getting into better shape. I skipped my afternoon hot fudge sundaes at McDonalds, and instead joined a gym. I forced myself to wake up at 5am every weekday morning to run three miles on the treadmill prior to going in to work, followed by afternoons working out on the machines, with guidance from the gym staff. Making the resolution to transform you by setting goals like weight loss is the easy part; it’s the commitment that takes effort and determination. As a physician, I can assure you that the benefits are definitely worth it: improving your blood pressure, reducing your risk of developing diabetes, and increased energy. What’s even more rewarding is the change you’ll notice in your self-confidence. Your clothes fit better, and you have more options available on how you dress yourself. You smile more often, and you walk more comfortably in your own skin. And people notice!

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What about yourself would you change? Is this the year for you to lose weight? Eat healthier? Focus on fitness? Quit smoking? Here are a few tips that will help you achieve your goals:

1. Set realistic goals to help you meet your expectations. Have mental targets that will allow you to incrementally get closer and closer to your defined endpoint. Nobody expects you to win a marathon when you first start running! 2. Make sure that your goals are sustainable. It’s an incredible achievement to meet your target; now you just have to maintain your commitment to your personal transformation during the next phase. 3. Having outside support from family and friends can help reinforce your determination during moments of weakness and validate your efforts. Plus, you’ll receive positive feedback and affirmation, which is always welcome. However, keep in mind that the strongest motivating force toward change has to come from within you! 4. Ask for help, if you need it! There are many options for guidance and support, whether you find it online on instructional websites, group fitness activities like boot camps or spin classes, and professionals such personal trainers and nutritionists (not to mention your plastic surgeon, haha!) that are readily available to offer assistance! 5. Don’t be afraid to fail! You can always try again if you are initially unsuccessful in achieving your transformation. Persistence is the key, and you need to be committed to overcoming whatever obstacles may be in your way.

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Everybody has their own story about transformation, and being optimistic and appreciative of your personal efforts can help others find their own confidence. I once asked a personal trainer what it would take for me to have his build, and he suggested a body transplant! His comment actually made me laugh, as he reminded me that goals are unique and personal, and must be individualized. When I started running, I never thought I would be able to complete a marathon…however; I was able to check it off my bucket list, eventually!

Downtown Crawlers Downtown. First one will be March 25th.

How did you come up with the concept and why? Downtown Crawlers were born out of the quest to build a community around our social messaging App “Kyngo”. Live events were originally just a small part of our overall Marketing Plan, but after the success of the first crawl in August 2016, we diverted all our attention to growing this exciting new community in an up-and-coming area that will soon see tremendous changes - Downtown Tampa. On the back of the Crawler success, we’re planning on re-launching the Kyngo App in late 2017 as a companion App to our crawls as well as a resource for people to find out what’s happening in their city right now. Who are the Downtown Crawlers? We are connoisseurs of insanely great pub and grub crawls – from classic crawls to food discovery, beer and wine sampling, coffee tasting, special events and loyalty passports - we always let the good times crawl. We also love connecting with and supporting local businesses to grow our community by organizing unique urban experiences in Tampa's downtown. Our mission is to be a vital part of the city's effort to create a vibrant community. We do this by organizing fun, engaging events and supporting local charity organizations. What makes your pub crawls unique? We treat each crawl like a fun day out with our best friends. Where other crawls just hand you a mug, slap a wristband on you and release you into the wild, we take much better care of you. We connect you with other likeminded crawlers and move as one group from bar to bar, either on foot or on our infamous Crawler Party Bus. At the end of the crawl, we usually continue to an after party with free food to soak up those beverages.

Where do the crawls go? Most of our crawls happen in Downtown Tampa, where we try to include different bars and restaurants on every crawl. How much is the cost to participate in a pub crawl? Depending on the Crawl, our prices range from $10-$45, or, if you follow us on our social channels, you might win one of our weekly free entry tickets. What are some of the new experiences you have planned for 2017? We are very excited to take Downtown Crawlers to other parts of Tampa and different cities all over Florida in 2017. We are launching our Downtown Crawlers takeover series to St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Orlando and even an overnight crawl to Miami. Locally, we have crawls planned for Seminole Heights and South Tampa. As far as new types of crawls, we are looking forward to an Art Crawl, Music Crawl, Grub Crawl, Cross Bay Ferry Crawl and the Amazing Race Tampa Crawl to put a new spin on the old drinking crawl. We are also creating a monthly “Last Saturday Crawl” in Tampa to breathe fresh life into

Where do you see the Downtown Crawlers in five years? We want to keep growing our Crawler community and show people amazing venues in Tampa. In five years we want Tampa to be known for Crawl City USA, where people can come and explore all of Tampa Bay in a unique way. We also want to take our Downtown Crawler community on adventures to other cities all over the world. Maybe even a Downtown Crawlers Cruise. Stay tuned. What was your favorite crawl and why? It’s hard to choose just one because they are all fun in their own way. Judging from people’s reaction, the Bacon Crawl had the most buzz just because it’s, well, Bacon! Who doesn’t love Bacon right? How can someone keep informed about future crawls? Visit our website www. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as “DowntownCrawlers” or join our group “Downtown Crawlers”. We’re constantly giving away free Crawler tickets across our social sites, so be sure to link up with us.







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The Hall on Franklin Helping Tampa Rediscover Taste

The Hall on Franklin is a new collective eatery featuring notable local chefs and mixologists, with a unique collaborative dining experience. The space will offer open communal seating with full service available and a plethora of foodie choices and experiences. The idea to bring a food hall to Tampa started with the great vision of the founder Jamal Wilson and his love for food choices he experienced through his travels. He dreamed of an experience in which he could dine out with his friends and family, and everyone could have the cuisine of their choice. Once he found the 1920’s building in Tampa Heights, the hunt to curate his dream was on. He knew what he wanted but had no experience in the hospitality industry, so he set out to surround himself with the best taste architects around. He eagerly 46 46

& humbly approached his favorite Tampa eateries, starting with Anise. One by one, they joined the project and organically led him to the next partner. You can spend your entire day at the Hall as they offer, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night. Kofé, a new coffee concept headed by Master Barista, Ty Beddingfield, will open early mornings offering highquality coffee & espresso drinks with speedy service. This not-soaverage coffee bar also boasts options of sipping chocolates, seasonal tonics, and blended spirits all available until close. Kofe sits right up front with garage door access, quick order or bar & lounge seating available. The Collection will be your new favorite bar. Cocktail guru, Ro Patel is not only a partner of the concept, but he will also be the main man

behind the bar! Patel is the consulting visionary behind some of your local favorites such as Ciro’s Speakeasy, Anise Global Gastrobar, and Franklin Manor. His vision is to craft the classics with efficiency & flare while also building a unique collection of rare spirits. Ro is thinking long term and sees The Collection as an incubator for the highest level of cocktail culture. Downtown superstars, Kevin & Xuan Pham (Sing) Hurt of Anise Global Gastrobar are launching the North Start Eatery. Diners can expect quick-serve Asian street fare with bold flavors including items like pho, sticky bunz, skewers, & everyone’s favorite papaya salad. Right next to North Star, you have Poke Rose, a new concept by Jason Cline. You may know him from his role as Executive Chef at both Birch & Vine of The Birchwood Hotel in

St. Pete, as well as Bin 27, an old South Tampa favorite. Jason has teamed up with Daniel Cline to bring you healthy, fresh, sushi in a bowl. We know that sounds simple, but trust us, his bowls are nothing short of extraordinary. Julie Curry is excited for her first storefront with Bake N Babes. You may know her for her ridiculously addicting granola or boozy cupcakes found in local shops around the bay area. You can find the fanatical favorites at the Hall along with several new sweet treats. Dave Burton and Libor Vitu are some of Tampa Bay's most innovative restaurateurs. The two combined have opened over 200 restaurant concepts. They have come together to bring two new exciting concepts to the Hall. The Heights Fish Camp will offer a menu spread including classic southern favorites such as stone crab claws, gator nuggets, daily boiled

peanuts, Po Boy & fish sandwiches and more! Both HFC and their second concept, The Melt Shoppe will have bar seating available. The Melt Shoppe spawned from the love of a great grilled cheese. It will be located up front with garage door access and a menu offering a vast array of melty, indulgent sandwiches, milkshakes and more. The Hall team aspires to put Tampa on the map as a foodie destination. Not only will patrons come to enjoy the delicious culinary offerings, but the Hall also has plans to use the space for exciting cultural events. Director of Operations, Lindsay Dixon was brought on to do just that. Her experience in managing restaurants, events, and her recent cultural programming at Station House St. Pete made her a perfect fit to manage this project. Keep your eyes peeled for a calendar filled with live music, DJ’s, art shows, and community collaborations. The people who

have come together to build the Hall are not only passionate about food but also about infusing life & culture back into the neighborhood of Tampa Heights. Although currently under construction, the décor will be elevated and classic with details of marble, brass, and leather. However, the people, pricing & overall experience make the Hall approachable. Patrons will have the opportunity to rediscover taste over and over again with endless options at the Hall. People can also take the experience home as the entire space is a showroom for furniture and design elements. Yes, you can purchase your favorite chair where you enjoy your morning coffee. For more information, visit www.thehallonfranklin. com. Entertainment inquiries, job applicants, any additional questions can be sent to hello@






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