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June - July 2013

Ponte Vedra • Jacksonville • The Beaches St. Augustine & Amelia Island

A PIECE OF PARADISE Amelia Island Omni Plantation reimagined

SUMMER BEAUTY

Skin & fashion for Florida heat 1 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

I LOVE NEW YORK

Visiting New York’s boutique hotels


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So Bright, So Sawgrass.

The renovation of Sawgrass Village is underway, bringing a new look and feel to your favorite shopping & dining.

SHOPS, RESTAURANTS & SERVICES ARE OPEN DURING RENOVATION SHOPPING Major Stores Area Code (904) CVS Pharmacy ........................285-3634 Existing store OPEN. New store opens August 2013 Publix .....New store opens November 2013 Apparel & Accessories A’Propos Boutique...................273-8857 Chico’s ....................................543-9555 Lemon Twist Boutique ............280-5955 Marcia’s Place ..........................280-9212 Patchington .............................285-4494 Wickets – Apparel for Women, Men and Infants ............. 285-7200 Gifts & Home Décor Cadeau – Fine Stationery, Invitations & Gifts ...........273-2929 Village Arts Framing & Gallery .........................273-4925 Jewelry Village Jeweler .........................285-4812

DINING Aqua Grill ...............................285-3017 Caffe Andiamo ........................280-2299 Elizabeth’s Café .......................543-7677

SERVICES Ling’s Alterations & Formalwear ..................280-8856 Savelberg Cleaners ...................285-5644 Sawgrass Nails .........................285-0075 BEACH BLVD.

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www.sawgrassvillagepvb.com FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 3


in this issue 16 9

contents

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 3

ONE OF US - GUNNEL HUMPHREYS

6

LOVE IN NEW YORK A tour of classic hotels and restaurants in the big city.

9

UNIQUE LIVING HISTORY AT CASA MONICA “Dinner with the Three Mrs. Flaglers” serves up more than just dinner theater.

14

BUTTERFLIES USHER IN SPRING AT TREE HILL 16 Annual festival offers family fun.

18

SHOWCASING HISTORIC JACKSONVILLE Annual home tour takes community through historic Riverside Avondale.

18

BEATING THE HEAT IN STYLE THIS SUMMER Clothes and products to stay cool.

20

AROUND THE WORLD ON THE FIRST COAST

22

CELEBRATING THE BEACHES Dancin’ in the Street offers music, art and fun

24

CROWD FUNDING TAKES HOLD One Spark supports creativity, nonprofits

26

DOWN ON THE FARM Local, sustainable culture in Callahan

30

FIRST COAST MUSIC FESTIVALS Performances keep area swingin’ this summer

32

OMNI AMELIA ISLAND PLANTATION A piece of paradise

36

KELLY SEAHORSE RANCH A new perspective on Amelia Island

40

SHELTER STARS STRUT THEIR STUFF JHS kicks off major adoption campaign

42

COMMUNITY FIRST SATURDAY Season wraps up for downtown event

44

about this magazine

36 4 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

The First Coast Register is a bi-monthly general interest magazine published by The Ponte Vedra Recorder and OPC News, LLC. The magazine can be found throughout the upscale areas of greater Jacksonville. For advertising inquiries call 904.285.8831. Susan Griffin, Publisher Kelly Hould, Editor Rob Conwell, Circulation Manager Elizabeth M. Steif, Staff Writer Carrie Resch, Staff Writer/Sales Coordinator Ed Johnson, Senior Account Executive Kristin Flanagan, Account Executive Cary Johnson, Manon Zamora-Barwick, Publication Design April Snyder, Sales Assistant

First Coast Register

100 Executive Way, Suite 105 • Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 904.285.8831

Cover photo provided by Kelly Seahorse Ranch


St. Aug Outlet

UP TO AND MORE

StAugOutlets.com StAugOutlets.com FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 5


One of us

GUNNEL

HUMPHREYS by AMANDA LONG

6 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


A

t 69, Gunnel Humphreys is just as bubbly and enthusiastic as a teenager. With hot-pink hair and a Swedish accent she is also hard to miss. As owner of Edge City for over 35 years, she is a staple in Five Points and wouldn’t want it any other way. Everything in her shop is bright and colorful and sure to grab your attention. While other businesses in Five Points have come and gone over the years, Humphreys has persevered and kept her business alive. What started as a head shop is now a clothing and accessories shop that would appeal to women of any age. Humphreys picks every product that she will carry and tries not to overthink it. She buys products that no one else has. “If you are too conservative, you lose,” said Humphreys. These days Humphreys runs her shop single-handedly. She has had help in the past at busy times, but she is currently operating alone. Her partner Tom is no longer physically able to help her run their business. She works Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., stopping at Grassroots Natural Market on her way home to get food for dinner. She rarely if ever closes her store and greets her customers with a smile. She said that at one time she worried, but now she does her best not to. Humphreys has learned that you can’t predict traffic, or who is going to buy an item — you just have to go with your gut.

How did you end up in Jacksonville? I am from Sweden. I married an American man at 23 years old and moved to the U.S. I spent about a year in Augusta, Ga., before moving to Jacksonville. My marriage ended after four years but I have been here ever since. I am 100 percent a Five

Points person. I have lived almost my whole life here. Do you look for trends here in Jacksonville? I never really look for trends. I look for what is wearable. I try to have things that no one else does, items no one has ever seen. How has Edge City survived through economic downturns while other shops have closed? About three years ago was very challenging.You have to examine everything you do to see where you can cut back and pay your bills. My racks were very sparse; I tried to get by with what I had. But once business picks up, you have to respond and keep the momentum going. What changes have you made to the store over the years? When Tom and I bought Edge City, it was a head shop. We changed it gradually over the years. Mostly the changes to the store have just been new paint or wallpaper. We also get new products every month or so. What do you do for fun when you aren’t working? I am almost always working. The shop is open from 11-6 every day except Sunday. I am a cyclist, and ride every morning and night. Even on my day off I ride by the store making sure there is no trash to pick up. I ride 27 miles every Sunday around the neighborhood with friends. I also do two rides with the North Florida Bicycle Club every year. Last Sunday was the Cheeseburger in Paradise Ride; we went 47 miles from Jacksonville

FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 7


Beach to the St. Augustine Lighthouse and back. I also participate in the Katie Ride for Life in Amelia Island every year. What did you do before you purchased Edge City? I worked at the Florida Times-Union as a graphic designer for about eight years in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It was a good time, I really enjoyed it. I pushed the dress code at the TU, but I feel like if you can do your job well, what does it matter?

Do you think Edge City appeals to a certain age group? Our products are purchased with all ages in mind. People tend to think we are for younger people, but that isn’t the case. We carry many accessories that would appeal to all ages. I try not to purchase a product with a certain customer in mind. There are many factors that can affect who will purchase a product: what is in their closets, what they are shopping for, what other stores are carrying.

What do you love about Five Points? It is a beautiful neighborhood. I live very close to my shop and walk to work every day. I don’t even own a car. Over the years, you get to know everyone. There are young and old here, having a wonderful time. The whole area is blossoming. It is a fabulous time, everyone is doing well. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. How long do you plan to continue working? I will keep working as long as I can. I strive to make the store profitable so I can afford to stay home. My goal would be to work a little less. But I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t working. What is life if you don’t have a purpose? Where do you get the products you carry in your store? I go to a trade show in New York every February. I leave at 6 a.m. and return late the following evening. I don’t like closing the shop. Tom and I used to go four or five times a year and close the shop for days. It is important to go to the trade shows and see what is going on, but I go a lot less now. I also have reps come see me. Once I purchase from a certain company, they usually send their reps out every few months. I usually just go with my gut feeling as well as my desired price point. I try not to carry products over $200. It is a shop, not a museum.

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Open During Renovation Located in Sawgrass Village Ponte Vedra Beach • 285-4812


Love IN NEW YORK

The Library Hotel

by LEIGH CORT

L

ife is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” —Tennessee Williams As the airport taxi turned from Park Avenue onto East 54th Street in Manhattan, I caught myself smiling that I was finally going to stay at one of the most famous hotels in the world. Hotel Elysée, built in the 1920s, was known as the playground for the rich and famous. A home to writers, artists, movie stars and acknowledged “intellectuals.” Playwright Tennessee Williams, who inspired my imagination with his brilliant words and plays for 50 years, considered the Elysée his home when in New York. I couldn’t wait to live the memory! Frantic taxis, limousines, morning sounds and smells of the city preparing for the day were an exquisite contrast to the sense of calm that swept over my entrance into the lobby. I could feel its European style of elegant luxury in the furnishings, front desk attire and voices of many languages surrounding me. I entered the “lift” (elevator) and found my suite. Opening the door to a “grande dame” spacious suite reminded me of my past city apartments that I wished were half as splendid as #903. It was early enough for me to join hotel guests in the Club Room for a bountiful breakfast buffet served by the most attentive hostesses who seemed genuinely glad to meet me. The Elysée, with only 100 rooms, is one of four boutique hotels known as the “Library Collection,” and is more than just a hotel. It feels like your home in the middle of pulsating Manhattan where “

one could spend days languishing with a favorite book and sipping a latte. The Library Hotel, Casablanca and Hotel Giraffe all provide their guests with a similar repast — dressed in each property’s themed décor. I chose a window sofa with a view of 54th Street, finished my fresh fruit and yogurt and realized I was anxious to explore the neighborhood. A peek next door into the famed Monkey Bar Restaurant would lure me back for lunch and late night cocktails. Learning how convenient the Elysée is to some of the most stylish shopping and dining, such as the Museum of Modern Art, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Bloomingdales, I stepped out on the town. Lunch at the Monkey Bar brought memories of the halcyon days of nightclubs and sophisticated soirees. They swept me back to illustrious landmarks that played a role in New York’s history from the Stork Club and El Morocco to Jimmy Weston’s and Bill’s Gay Nineties, all within steps from the Elysée and now a new hot spot for dining and cocktailing. Lunch buzzed with gentlemen dressed in suits, the cool comfort of being indoors on a drizzly spring afternoon, a perfect formula for deal making. Hotelier Henry Kallan and partners are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their distinctive Library Collection. They know how to please. In addition to the well thought out list of amenities that makes traveling a remarkable experience, each of the four hotels is paired with a restaurant that makes a smooth segue from lobby to lunch and dinner. Some also serve breakfast as does the Monkey Bar. For over the top pampering, each FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 9


establishment delivers room service, imparting a feeling of genuine comfort to hotel guests. From Hotel Elysée’s European glamour to contemporary cool, the boutique Library Hotel on Madison Avenue and 41st Street is a block away from the illustrious New York City Public Library. Its possibly the only hotel in the world that names and organizes its 60 guest rooms according to the Dewey Decimal System and offers 6,000 books to peruse from floor to floor. I was captivated when taking a brief tour of the hotel; each of the pristine 10 stories represents a specific category from History, Math and Science, Literature (poetry, 10 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

mystery, fairy tales) and mine, Philosophy. The open 14th floor is a reader’s sanctuary (Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden) during the day, while the Bookmarks Lounge couldn’t be more crowded with cocktailers at night. The rooftop Manhattan view reminded me that I was in the center of the city (perhaps even a familiar scene from “Sex and the City”).What tickled me one morning when I hung the “please refresh my room” sign, it read “Please Dust Off My Books!” Walk through the Library Hotel’s lobby or out the front door on 41st Street to Madison and Vine, a restaurant with verve. An American bistro with wine bar, you can stop in for a quick bite and feel at home in the neighborhood. The Library Hotel is a five-minute walk from historic Bryant Park, which is behind the 42nd Street Library. Discover a bustling scene of New Yorkers and visitors enjoying events and activities, snacking and a grand lawn for sunbathing and people-watching. Its history dates to the mid-1600s as a park that has had many lives. George Washington’s troops raced across the site. It was a Potter’s Field, a reservoir, Civil War encampment and was even closed through the 1920s as the


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Club Floor of the Elysee Hotel subway tunnels were constructed underground. Today’s park is a scenic landmark that offers weekly calendars of wonderful things to do: Jazz concerts, poetry readings, juggling, dance ensembles, pingpong tournaments and Pétanque (a French game of “boules” played in the park). And if you’re traveling with a grandchild, don’t miss having the fun I enjoyed with my little Zack on the Carousel. It’s $1 per ride and adults ride for free! What could be more exciting than to stroll a few blocks further to the Theater District and enter the portals of one of the world’s most famous show business restaurants? Sardi’s continues the tradition begun 90 years ago as a very special restaurant and bar to rub elbows with actors and everyone connected to Broadway red carpet events. Lunch, pre- and post-theater dinner and late night supper are served by gentlemen who have seen it all — from Carol Channing and Zero Mostel to Bernadette Peters and Tom Hanks. A signature dish for decades, I suggest an appetizer of Cannelloni au Gratin (French crepe filled with beef, veal and sweet sausage with sherry tomato cream sauce), Shrimp Sardi (sauteed

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Casablanca staircase

12 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


shrimp in garlic sauce) or my personal favorite Steak Tartar (prepared at your table). Don’t forget dessert, a Boccone Dolce (a “sweet mouthful” of meringue, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and a touch of chocolate)! Although the week’s trip didn’t allow for an overnight at the Hotel Casablanca on West 43rd Street, this member of the Library Collection was close enough to Shubert Alley for a quick peek. It’s a charmer, exotic with reminiscences of the Humphrey Bogart film “Casablanca.”What could be more appropriate than Rick’s Cafe as the hotel’s 24-hour refreshment and relaxation lounge! Amenities abound similarly to its sister properties, ranking it the No. 1 boutique hotel in New York City by members of TripAdvisor for many consecutive years. Its pedigree reaches back to the prior Hotel Metropole in the late 1800s (the first hotel in Manhattan that had running water in every room). Subsequently, for nearly a century, it was Hotel Rosoff sporting Rosoff’s Restaurant, a Times Square landmark. Henry Kallan and interior designer Jorge Portero opened the Casablanca in 1996, a not-to-be-missed romantic hideaway only steps from Broadway. With one hotel still awaiting my arrival, I couldn’t wait to check into Hotel Giraffe on Park Avenue South and 26th Street. It is truly an urban oasis with a casual sophistication where guests from around the globe can feel comfortable. Poised unpretentiously in NoMad (north of Madison Square Park), an ideal location situated between midtown Manhattan and downtown, it’s totally realistic to plan for a memorable day’s walking adventure to myriad famous destinations: the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Macy’s, Jacob Javitz Center and even the United Nations. And for fit runners, it’s only minutes to Wall Street, South Street Seaport, World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty! Choosing a balcony suite that was elegant and spacious enough for moving full-time into the city, the views of Park Avenue reminded me of why I love Manhattan. It’s not just musical lyrics that continued to ring in my heart during the week like the 1925 Rodgers & Hart song “Manhattan” or “42nd Street” with

a long chorus line of tappers. Learning about the four hotels’ history fascinated me. Hotel Giraffe is a reflection of the timeless gentle grace and beauty found in one of nature’s beautiful animals. The NoMad neighborhood was inspired by the Art Moderne period during the 1920s and ’30s, perfectly enlivened by an attentive caring staff. A late night dinner? Of course its easy in the city. Walking through Giraffe’s lobby and into Bread & Tulips restaurant, my daughter Sue and I were escorted downstairs into what seemed to be a private wine cellar. The atmosphere was warm and jubilant New York with a subtlety of rustic Italian. The name is what fascinates; Bread represents providing guests with a satisfying meal and Tulips represents the warm inviting atmosphere. Together, it’s owner Riccardo Dardha’s concept of modern hospitality. The wine and dinner didn’t disappoint for a moment. The menu deserved attention. Even to seasoned foodies, we stumbled upon dishes that at first seemed too avant garde or too mundane but they all made sense — especially as we raved about Roasted Farm Chicken that was named in the Top 10 dishes in Time Out Magazine. A light Baby Beet Salad with grapefruit, goat cheese and pistachio drizzled with pomegranate vinaigrette was a stunning ending. Once again the hotel’s pairing with dining was executed with composure and ease. Did I dare to leave my city in the morning? There is often a bittersweet sadness about good times coming to an end. Sleepily, I answered a personal voice calling my room for a wakeup announcement that prevails in all four hotels, a reassuring feeling that I would come back soon. Could I possibly be like Woody Allen in his 1979 movie “Manhattan”? He adored New York City and to him, no matter what the season was, it pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. He romanticized it all out of proportion. Perhaps so do I. Of course I’m smitten. And the Hotel Casablanca will be my first indulgence when I return to fall in love all over again. www.LibraryHotelCollection.com | leighcort@bellsouth.

BOBBY VAN’S STEAKHOUSE

Its 54th Street location is known for exquisite aged prime steaks, chops and seafood. Serving traditional American grill fare, the service is exceptional and the menu harkens back to power lunches and festive dinners. In a building once frequented by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, there is a quintessential vibe of outstanding food and wine and only two blocks from the Hotel Elysée.

BRASSERIE

Don’t miss this dazzling reincarnation of New York’s original 1959 Brasserie, an unexpected taste of classic French fare and ultramodern beauty. The cosmopolitan setting has been an iconic fixture in the Seagram building on East 53rd Street since 1959, a short and highly recommended stroll from the Hotel Elysée for exquisite late night desserts, Steak Frites and the Brasserie Burger. I always listen when Zagat points you in the direction of an “essential NYC experience.”

IRISH REPERTORY THEATER

Hotel Elysee entrance

For 25 years, this acclaimed little theatre on W. 22nd Street is the only year-round theater company in New York City devoted exclusively to bringing Irish and IrishAmerican works to the stage. Founded by Ciaran O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore in 1988, it opened its doors with Sean O’Casey’s “The Plough and the Stars” on its Main Stage. Finding a permanent home in Chelsea on three renovated floors of a former warehouse, theater-goers can truly enjoy an intimate and outstanding production of award-winning drama and comedy. The smaller studio space with approximately 50 seats is the intimate W. Scott McLucas Studio. Here you can enjoy the company’s engaging perspectives on the Irish and their contributions to the world of theater. FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 13


Unique living history entertains at Casa Monica “DINNER WITH THE THREE MRS. FLAGLERS” SERVES UP MORE THAN JUST DINNER THEATER

T

by KELLY HOULD

here is something about theater that makes it the perfect vehicle for time travel. When you watch a movie, suspension of disbelief is important and difficult to achieve — especially when you’re watching a movie set in another time period. As a viewer, you can be completely mentally immersed in the film, and then the slightest anachronism jolts you to reality. But theater, somehow, is different. Sharing space with a live actor is an entirely different experience than watching a movie. The interaction between audience and actor, the possibility for anything to happen at any time, creates a unique sort of synergy. As an audience member, you know no two performances will ever be exactly alike.You know the actor you’re watching is not, in fact, the character they are portraying. Unlike in the movie setting, suspension of disbelief comes easily to theater viewers. This makes it easy to fall into a performance and to travel time as an audience member. Dianne Jacoby, an experienced storyteller and historian, puts this concept to great use in a new monthly event at Casa Monica Hotel,“Dinner with the Three Mrs. Flaglers.” The new event combines theater, dining and history in a unique presentation that allows guests to relive the heyday of Casa Monica, a landmark St. Augustine hotel established by the

14 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

famed Henry Flagler. When I received an invitation to attend the inaugural event, it was too interesting a proposition to pass up. I was lucky enough to be seated at a table with hotel general manager Anthony Lazzara, who explained how he worked with Jacoby to craft the new event. The night begins with an extraordinary historic meal in 95 Cordova created by Casa Monica Executive Chef Harlan Walden. The four courses served are recreations of an exact menu served at Casa Monica on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 1888. The current menu is presented alongside a copy of the original. Menu items such as “Cream Soup a la Reine”“Lamb Chops with Peas and Baked Macaroni” have become “White Soup ala Reine” and “Roasted Rack of Lamb, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Plum Reserve” — but the spirit is served largely intact. The theater component of the evening began shortly after the final course.“Dinner with the Three Mrs. Flaglers” is presented as a one-woman, three-act play. As diners finished the final course — poached pear with cinnamon, almonds and a cookie tuille — Lazzara stood to introduce the show and Jacoby entered the dining room in full costume. The actor and historian delivered a monologue as Mary Harkness Flagler, Henry Flagler’s first wife. Her confidence with the material and comfort with the character commanded the attention of the


audience as she told the first wife’s story, giving the audience a solid understanding of Flagler’s background and upbringing. The wives of Henry Flagler as portrayed by Jacoby are the character equivalents of the Goldilocks story. The first wife is incredibly traditional. The second wife is flamboyant to the point of mental illness. The third wife is, well, somewhere in the middle — and for Henry Flagler,“just right.” “Dinner with the Three Mrs. Flaglers” will take place the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. for the remainder of 2013. Casa Monica is located at 95 Cordova St. in St. Augustine. For reservations, call (904) 810-6810. For more information about Casa Monica, visit casamonica.com.

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EDGE CITY FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 15


Butterflies

USHER IN SPRING AT TREE HILL by KELLY HOULD

The community gathered to enjoy a day of family fun at the Tree Hill Nature Center in late April this year with the annual Joseph A. Strasster Butterfly Festival. The event featured a butterfly house, vendors of local and handmade items, food and drinks, live music, free kids’ crafts and more. This popular event is Tree Hill’s largest fundraiser of the year, with all proceeds benefiting environmental stewardship in Jacksonville. This year’s event raised nearly $30,000. Next year’s event is already scheduled for April 26, 2014. The Tree Hill Nature Center is open year round in Arlington, located at 7152 Lone Star Road. For more information visit www.treehill.org.

16 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 17


historic

SHOWCASING JACKSONVILLE’S

BEST I

by KELLY HOULD

n late April, residents of the First Coast were invited to explore some of Jacksonville’s most beautiful homes as part of the 39th annual Riverside Avondale Preservation Home Tour. The tour featured 12 early 20th-century homes throughout the neighborhood, and was attended by an estimated 3,000 people. All proceeds go to Riverside Avondale Preservation, a nonprofit membership group. Riverside Avondale was named one of America’s 10 Great Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association in 2010. For more information about the group, visit www.riversideavondale.org.

18 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


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FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 19


this summer..

BEATING THE HEAT IN COMFORT & STYLE by KELLY HOULD

S

ummer is serious business on the First Coast. When the sun comes out, there’s more to do in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Amelia Island and at the Beaches than ever — but sun comes with humidity and high temperatures. So, what to do when you’re out and about during the hottest months of the year but you still want to look your best? Here are a few tips on this year’s summer trends and how to pull them off comfortably in Florida.

Stay cool, look cool

Summer’s biggest fashion trends include black and white, graphic flowers, vintage and exotic-inspired prints, fringe and geometric prints. Floridians are often faced with the choice between freezing in air conditioning or sweltering in heat, so layering is a smart move for most events. Choose garments made from natural and breathable fabrics for the summer, especially for your base layers such as skirts, shirts and shorts. In other words, build a basic wardrobe foundation with simple base layers that don’t make you sweat.You can indulge in this 20 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

year’s trends with other pieces that you layer over these summer basics. Can’t resist the latest trends? Choose basic pieces wisely, leaning toward the bold black and white trend or toward geometric patterns that won’t soon go out of style. Leave the big graphics and prints for your layering pieces, such as cardigans, wraps, light scarves or buttoned shirts. If you’re not sure of the weather, choose a shoe that will be comfortable and won’t be ruined in the mud or rain. Flats by OKA b, for example, are non-marking, non-slip and anti-microbial (available at Edge City). These unique (and surprisingly sophisticated) jellies are non-absorbent and ergonomic — which means that you can trek to the beach and back without blisters or sore feet.

Cheat the heat

Humidity can be a killer for skin and hair, so consider the weather before you head out for a day of work or activities. Consider alternatives to hairspray, which can become sticky in humidity and, with multiple applications, can start to give you a helmet hair look. A salt spray for hair, such as the Sea Spray from Lush, can not only give hair a bit of needed texture but can also help control frizz. Lush’s product doubles as a volumizer and can also be used to create beachy waves. Sea Spray can be layered throughout the day without becoming sticky.


Lush, which will launch the First Coast’s first store at the St. Johns Town Center in late June, also offers a variety of lotions to help quench skin that has perhaps seen too much sun. The bestselling Dream Cream Lotion contains a calming blend of oat milk, lavender and chamomile to care for irritations, reduce redness and eliminate blotches. Ingredients like olive oil and cocoa butter are also included to help with dry skin. Another trick is to stay hydrated, not only for your health but also for your skin. Avoid the inevitable warm drink — water or otherwise — with an eye-catching and tongue-in-cheek bottle cover from Freaker USA (available at Sidney Cardel’s). These coozie alternatives are guaranteed conversation starters for outdoor events this summer.

Respect the sun

The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, and the danger for those of us who live full-time in the Sunshine State is very real. UV exposure can also lead to cataracts, wrinkles, dryness and age spots. Slather on enough broad spectrum sunscreen every day to block harmful rays even during cloudy days. If your eyes burn at the mere mention of sunscreen, don’t turn your nose up at it quite yet. Many cosmetic companies now create very mild moisturizers and sunscreens with sufficient SPF — just be sure to apply and reapply throughout the day. Dermalogical.com also recommends exfoliating skin before applying moisturizer and SPF, which can make makeup last longer in the heat. Don’t leave your eyes and lips out of the equation. Choose a lip balm with an SPF, protect your scalp with a hat when necessary and look for sunglasses with at least 400 UV protection.

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FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 21


AROUND THE WORLD ON THE FIRST COAST

at world of nations

photos and story by NAOMI BERMUDEZ

T

rue pride was on display in Spring as Jacksonville’s citizens of all backgrounds and ethnicities gathered in celebration of one of the city’s annual cultural events. The 21st Annual World of Nations Celebration was held May 2-5 at Metropolitan Park in downtown Jacksonville. This traditional event represented more than 30 countries worldwide this year. During the first two days of festivities, elementary and middle school students were the focus, as they learned about different countries around the world. The last day of celebrations, also called “The Parade of Flags,” displayed flags from all the countries represented. The tents on

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display also had traditional performers who performed ritual dances and songs of their cultures. In Mexico’s section of the park, guests enjoyed watching a performance of the traditional Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) dance. This ritual dance is dedicated to those who have passed, and is performed in remembrance and honor of Mexico’s ancestors. Authentic food and artifacts were also available for guests to purchase and enjoy. The World of Nations Celebration is held every year, and is North Florida’s largest multicultural festival.


Championship Guide 2013

If the world is your oyster, Ponte Vedra is the pearl.

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LOCALS CELEBRATE THE BEACHES

at Dancin’ in the street photos and story by AMANDA MARTINEZ

T

he 27th annual Dancin’ in the Street festival was held Saturday, May 18 in Atlantic Beach. The one-day festival had bands playing from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on two different stages. There were also local artist on every corner displaying their artwork from paintings to wood carvings. Local restaurants were there providing food in booths as well. On one end of the festival there was a Kid Zone for children of all ages. The Kid Zone included bounce houses, putt putt golf and face painting. Dancin’ in the Streets proceeds from the Kid Zone go to local schools and clubs.

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Facing Page, Top: Cori Voight, Laura Mullis and Morgan Budner volunteer at one of their favorite festivals. Facing Page, Bottom: A crowd dancing away to music. Top Left: Tokens provided at Dancin in the Streets to pay for beverages. Top Right: Jeff and Nikki Buckingham pose in the Dance Trance photo op tent. Bottom Left: Dad and daughter dance away in the street this weekend in Dancin in the Streets festival. Bottom Right: Tara Romano, Harper, Hayley Isaacs and Laura Romano danced around and got Harper’s face painted. FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 25


by ELIZABETH M. STEIF Photos by Cliff Medina

O

ne Spark, held in Jacksonville in April, brought creators, vendors and artists to the area for a five-day festival. More than 100,000 people attended the festival, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to help innovators and creators. One Spark is a nonprofit committed to fostering environments of innovation by being a catalyst to grow creative communities, according the organization’s website www.beonespark.com. One Spark was founded and organized by Jacksonville resident Elton Rivas, who is also co-founder of CoWork Jax and Zero Confines. The event was billed as Jacksonville’s first crowd fund festival, and attendees voted on how to distribute the $250,000 fund. The winner was Rethreaded, a Jacksonville nonprofit that provides job training for people affected by the sex trade. The organization took home a check for over $6,700.

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July 31, 2013.

FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 27


28 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


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ST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 29 *Rates subjectFIRto availablity


Down on the Farm F

arm enthusiasts celebrated local people, products, food and sustainable living this May at the annual NaVera Farm festival and tour. This Callahan farm is a holistic education community in Callahan, environmentally focused and all about sustainability and working with nature. The event featured farm tours where participants saw alpacas, mini ponies, goat families, Browney the pet turkey, Eeyore the donkey, Momma Llama, the Golden hens, Quackers and Daisy the berry ducks and other farm friends. The all-ages event also featured a shiitake mushroom workshop and meeting of the Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Society. NaVera is located at 46480 Sauls Road in Callahan, Fla. For more information, visit naverafarms.com.

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LOCAL AND SUSTAINABLE CULTURE IN CALLAHAN photos by SUSAN GRIFFIN


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75 years of fins & grins. summer camps s.e.a. camp For three-quarters of a century, Marineland Dolphin Adventure has studied aquatic animals and gained a wealth of knowledge. This summer, children ages 7 to 12 are invited to learn about our dolphins and animals while experiencing a week of science, exploration and beachcombing.

T.e.e.N. camp Interested in the field of marine science? At T.E.E.N. Camp you’ll learn about the unique history of our facility, plus all of the scientific advancements in animal care and training that started right here. Packed with field studies and lab experiments, this career-focused camp also features a dolphin interaction.

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FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 31


MUSIC FESTIVALS

KEEP FIRST COAST

swingin’ this summer

T

by ELIZABETH M. STEIF

he First Coast hosted several music festivals this summer, from jazz to blues to big band. Springing the Blues is an annual event in Jacksonville Beach and features local and national blues artists. This year, more than 20 performers took the stage in April, attracting visitors from around the region. Following Springing the Blues, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival was held in May. The annual festival draws residents and visitors to downtown Jacksonville for several days of performances by a variety of jazz artists on multiple stages. In addition to the performances, several other events were held in conjunction with the festival, including a youth showcase and “Jazz After Dark.” Artists included Gary Starling, Just Jazz Quartet,Von Barlow’s Jazz Journey,Yellowjackets and many more. To the south,“Concerts in the Plaza” kicked off in St. Augustine over Memorial Day weekend. The first concert, held in the Plaza de la Constitución Gazebo, featured live music from Frankie and Friends Big Band.

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Above: A group of festival-goers are enjoying the premium seats right in front of the main stage. Right: Ricky Ravelo-Jazz Festival

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“When Results Matter” is my mission statement. Often folks ask me “Why should I work with you?” My answer : “As a real estate agent with Keller Williams, which was founded in 1983, I am in a great position to help anyone who is looking to sell or buy their dream home.”

of the real estate business. Providing exceptional customer service to my clients has resulted in over 95 percent of them referring their families and friends. “When Results Matter” call me. “I will do my best to help you buy, sell or lease your next property.”

I bring an industry wide reputation for exceptional customer service on behalf of my diverse client base who have come to rely on my real estate perspective and insight. Since relocating from Georgia a number of years ago, I have developed a keen sense for the trends in the local market. Referrals are the lifeblood FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 33


Clockwise: Victoria and Jack Davidson--Concerts at the Plaza Frankie and Friends Big Band Alexis Opisso, Marisa Wernow..... Member of the band- Paul M. (trombone player) Teresa Gillis has been selling merchanside at her booth Creative Audities since 1998 34 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


Clockwise: Kristie Tate rocks her Keep Calm and Blues On t-shirt at the Springing the Blues Festival on Sunday Michelle Mastriano (left) Christine Regula (right)--Jazz Festival Alexis Opisso and Maria Wernow show off their hula hooping skills at the Springing the Blues Festival

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OMNI AMELIA ISLAND PLANTATION RESORT a piece of paradise by AMANDA MARTINEZ

FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 37


O

n May 9, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort held a Re-Grand Opening Gala with benefits going to St.Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation, which raised more than $100,000. The gala was held to showcase the newly renovated $85 million “Re-Imagination” which was complete March 5, and the communal philanthropy. “One of the things when we got here was that we had a vision as to where we wanted to go. We really believe that adding additional oceanfront guest rooms and adding meeting space would make us a much stronger competitor in the regional meetings market. So we really believe that by doing that, it would make our economic model a lot more solid and a lot more prosperous,” said Tim Digby, managing director at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The newly renovated hotel now opens it doors to the ocean as you first step foot in the lobby. Omni Amelia Island Plantation now offers 404 oceanfront guest rooms as well as an extra 30,000 square feet in meeting space, which totals about 80,000 square feet in meeting space. “One of the things that we offer that is unique is the fact that you can open your draperies in the morning and you see a fabulous sunrise and when you’re coming home from your program in the evening, you look to the west and you have the most magnificent sunset ever. I think it’s a wonderful combination (including the oceanfront rooms) that makes us a strong competitor,” Digby said. Along with more guest rooms and meeting space, the resort boosted the local economy by hir locals for the construction. In addition, there are now 250 more permanent jobs, which gives a total of about 1,000 associates with the organization, Digby said. During the construction phase, which was about 16 months, Omni Amelia Island Plantation employed about 500 constructions from the local area.“We had the opportunity to impact the local economy in that way, which we think is a very positive thing,” Digby said. The resort has much to offer for both business and pleasure.“Leisure customers and family vacationers come here because we have three and a half miles of pristine beach-front property that encompasses 1,350 acres. We’ve got three world class golf courses from Pete Dye to Tom Fazio and we have 23 tennis courts that are managed by Cliff Drysdale management,” said Paul Eckert, general manager at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The Re-Imagination is a piece of paradise, whether on vacation or a business trip. The regrand opening successfully displayed the new offerings and the philanthropic work. “While we are doing a great job tracking the additional business from the conventions, we still maintain the wonderful charm and class to bring to families and to couples for stay,” Eckert said.

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FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 39


KELLY SEAHORSE RANCH:

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON AMELIA ISLAND by KELLY HOULD

I

love animals. I’ve never been the type to be scared of snakes or worried about lizards or paralyzed by the thought of rats. Big animals, too, are fantastic. I’ve always enjoyed watching documentaries about the big mammals of Africa and visiting the zoo. Horses, therefore, I assumed would not present a challenge to me. So, when a girlfriend asked if I’d like to go horseback riding during her bachelorette party weekend, I said,“Sure!” It wasn’t as if the fear slowly set in, of course. I didn’t feel nervous driving up to the Kelly Seahorse Ranch on Amelia Island with my friend and her sister. We even got out at the entrance to take a few snapshots. Mostly I was thinking about how cool I would look — not only sitting on top of a horse, but sitting on top of a horse on the beach. Wow. Is there any image more romantic? When we arrived to check in, we were greeted warmly by the staff and joined by the other people who would be riding with us that day. We got a crash course in horseback riding, and were assured that more than anything the horses would know what to do. And then they brought out the horses. Whoa. Do you have any idea how BIG horses are? Apparently I didn’t. It’s not as if I had never seen one in real life, but I suppose I had never considered what it would be like to struggle 40 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

up onto its back and then trust it to do, well, whatever it is that horses do. Of course I was the last person to be seated up on my horse, a calm giant brown beast. My anticipation and fear grew and grew. Wow, that’s a big animal. Wow, it sure is far off the ground. As soon as we were moving, however, my worry was gone. I forgot concern as I followed the rest of the group down a trail and onto the beach. The horse, just as I had been assured, knew exactly what to do. I had not expected the enormous amount of respect I instantly felt for these animals. And, in fact, I’m not sure what I had expected out of the ride. Perhaps I thought it would be a bit like riding an intelligent motorcycle? But no, it was impossible for me to forget that I was riding atop a big, big animal. And, after my fears died down, it was thrilling to see a beach I’d grown up with from an entirely new perspective. The ride was simple: down a trail and up and down the beach. The weather was picturesque — typical perfect Florida day. The group with me laughed and chatted as we paced the coast, everyone smiling. In the end, my fears were unfounded. The horse was more than familiar with the trail and what was expected of him. He was a pro, entirely willing to tolerate the complete amateur on his back.


Kelly Seahorse Ranch is close to the entrance of the Amelia Island State Park (they’ll give you good directions when you call, or you can put the following coordinates into your GPS: 30.524487, -81.442155).You can call for a reservation to ride on the beach at (904) 4915166 or visit kellyranchinc.net.

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Shelter Stars STRUT THEIR STUFF

JHS KICKS OFF MAJOR SUMMER ADOPTION CAMPAIGN

T

Angela Canessa and Ridge 42 JUNE - JULY 2013 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

by ELIZABETH M. STEIF

he Jacksonville Humane Society hopes to give homes to more animals than ever this summer. JHS is participating in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a contest among animal shelters around the country to see who can save the most lives during June, July and August. During those months, JHS will try to save more pets than they did during the same months in 2012. The winner of the contest will receive $100,000. To kick off the adoption campaign, JHS hosted “Shelter Stars” on May 31 to raise awareness of homeless pets and to showcase some of the dogs available for adoption at JHS. Dogs dressed in bowties and pearls walked a red carpet with JHS staff and volunteers, as well as volunteers with other animal-focused community organizations. JHS Executive Director Denise Deisler celebrated the animals by wearing unusual jewelry for the evening. “If the dogs are in pearls and bowties, I figured I can wear a collar!” Deisler said, noting that the collar she was sporting is available in the JHS Boutique. JHS leadership said they hoped Shelter Stars would be a good way to get the community involved in the contest. Of course winning $100,000 would be a huge benefit to JHS, said Associate Executive Director Ann Korczyk, but the organization hopes to win the community involvement award, which is based on Facebook “likes,” recruiting volunteers, collecting supplies and other criteria. “This is important for Jacksonville because we’re so close to becoming a no-kill city, and we need to get the community involved with that,” she said. The adoption push is part of the Humane Society’s commitment to make Jacksonville a no-kill city, along with help from the Animal Care and Protective Services, First Coast No More Homeless Pets and Friends of Jacksonville Animals. Through this partnership, Jacksonville is on its way to becoming the largest city in the nation to achieve no-kill. Ten years ago, 35,000 animals entered shelters in the city and less than half made it out alive. Thanks to this partnership, Deisler said, in 2012 less than 20,000 animals were taken into shelters, and more than 75 percent made it out alive, whether through adoptions, return to owner or transfer to other animal rescue organizations. The results of work by JHS, ACPS and FCNMHP are “gratifying,” said Scott Trebatoski, division chief of ACPS. “Without all these organizations, we couldn’t achieve what we’ve achieved as a community,” he said at the Shelter Stars event. Because the groups work together to avoid duplicating services and programs, saving animals in Jacksonville has become easier and more efficient.“It’s almost seamless,” he said. “We are a community that behaves with compassion,” Deisler said.“The rest of this nation is looking at Jacksonville as a model of a no-kill community.”


JHS Executive Director Denise Deisler

John Baker and Tank

Robin Byrd and Emmy

Jodie Nutter and Sweetpea

Aymie Blanton and Goose

FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 43


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FINAL COMMUNITY

FIRST SATURDAY OF THE SEASON S by AMANDA LONG

aturday, June 1 was the final Community First Saturday until September. Morning activities included Tai Chi, a spin class on the river, and fire trucks for the children. There was a historic walking tour as well as bike tours of Springfield. Food trucks including The Happy Grilled Cheese, Super Food Truck, Le Petite Cheri Cupcakery and Gourmet Aviator gathered on the Northbank Riverwalk near The Jacksonville Landing, including the brand new Baby’s Badass Burgers. Beer classes took place at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 which were free to the first 25 attendees. Bikes Direct gave away free beach cruisers to four lucky locals. Before the events on the Riverwalk, Community First sponsored the Hale & Hearty 7K through Riverside and Avondale. Community First Saturday is one more reason to enjoy a Saturday downtown.

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FIRST COAST REGISTER | JUNE - JULY 2013 47


CUMMER MUSEUM

Exceptional taste. Aged for tenderness. Proudly raised in the USA.

The only grocer AND pharmacy in Ponte Vedra | FIRST COAST REGISTER 48 JUNE - JULY at 2013 290 Located Solana Road in Ponte Vedra Beach


Register June July 2013