issue six / 2022
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issue six / 2022
“The Magic of a Mother’s Touch” There’s magic in a Mother’s touch, And sushine in her smile There’s love in everything she does to make our lives worthwhile. We can find both hope and courage Just by looking in her eyes Her laughter is a source of joy, Her words are warm and wise There is a kindness and compassion To be found in her embrace And we see the light of Heaven Shining from a mother’s face.
Dedicated to my Mom, Ann Gillette August 26, 1934 — March 27, 2022
4 / APRIL 2022
Mother’s Day is Every Day Contributors The Art of Claire Kendrick Living Healthy St. Augustine First Look, The Artisan’s Market Dining a the Drunken Horse Nature for All! In the Weeds For the Birds Pet Friendly St. Augustine Cut, Color, & Clarity Fish Tank Studios Protect What You Love Local Music Scene The Local Scene
6 8 10 14 17 18 22 25 26 31 34 36 39 42 46
Fierce. Fabulous. Fashion. for Real Women
137 King Street (Next to Butterfield Garage) St. Augustine 904-436-3150 www.wildheartboutique.com Tuesday through Sunday 11am —5pm
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Mother’s Day is Every Day
Super Moms of St. Augustine
Photography by Mary Bellavista
M By Lauren Eastman
othering. Is. Real. It tears at us, brings tears to our eyes and makes us question ourselves. We watch our hearts grow outside of our body. We navigate universal and personal complexities. Beginning with a microscopic focus on our newborns, we grow as we build the village that sustains us.
I was clad in mom jeans and a messy ponytail at Target when my son presented a trophy inscribed with the words “Super Mom”. Gazing at the small, plastic female form with a pink cape, he sang out “super mom” in his angelic voice. Bathed in overhead fluorescent lights, I felt like I was holding an Oscar. It’s nice to be recognized, isn’t it? Especially when the audience is your own kids. Whether you are a single mom like me, a married mom, a mom of multiples, a foster mom, or a retired mom with kids out of the house, hard-work, dedication and connection bring us together. We spoke
with St. Augustine moms to find inspiration to donning that cape and tackle homework, laundry, dishes, hugs, kisses on knees and all the rest that goes into this tremendous honor.
Helping Moms Enter Into Motherhood
For Naomi Sullivan, there is nothing like watching a mother hold her newborn for the first time. “Pregnancy is just the beginning of the incredible motherhood journey and it is a blessing to watch women and families grow through the changes,” she says. Naomi is a Certified Nurse Midwife and a mother to two beautiful girls. The hardest lesson she’s learned in her motherhood journey is letting go of control. She finds inspiration in women, each with her own magic: loving fiercely, unapologetically, and being spontaneous and messy. She reminds moms to be generous with the grace they bestow on themselves. “As moms, we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else,” she says.
6 / APRIL 2022
The Mom of Multiples
The best piece of advice that Mary Bellavista received is that she is the best mom her kids could have. She tries to remember that on the hardest days. She struggles with wanting to never yell, get angry, be organized and on top of household responsibilities while taking care of several people. “I can only give my best, and that is what I wake up and try to do every day,” she says. All kids eventually eat off the floor, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t breastfeed or make fancy organic meals daily. The most important part of motherhood is showing up with patient love and affection. Nothing can substitute for a supportive mom.”
The Blended-Family Mom
Lisa Gleaton learned an incredible lesson during premarital counseling before marrying her husband and blending their families. Worried about preserving bonds between each pair of biological sisters while building new bonds as stepsisters, the counselor said it was not her relationship to preserve or build. Three years later, she says the advice was correct. Each set of biological sisters has never lost sight of their love for each other and that bond has grown beautifully. “We watched our girls grow as stepsisters in relationship, trust and even sibling rivalry. They each have diverse connections with the other three. It is often a beautiful mess, and we love being a part of it,” she said. Lisa’s hardest lesson upon abruptly becoming a single mother was to try to wear all the hats. She felt helpless seeing her children hurting and wanted to fix it for them. However, children are very intuitive. “I learned to let their intuition lead. If a child is asking a question, they are ready for the answer in a developmentally appropriate way. If we do not give them an honest answer, they learn to not trust their own intuition about the world around them. This is not something I read in a book or heard from another parent. I learned this from my child and our circumstances.”
Her advice: “Mom life can suck you in and make you forget you exist. I travel alone, go out with friends, do hobbies that don’t include my kids, and spend time with my husband. Prioritizing my relationship with myself and my husband help keep me sane.”
The Foster Moms
The foster care journey collided Lisa and Elizabeth’s worlds. Many children have arrived and departed from their loving homes, forming bonds that will last a lifetime. As a result of countless get togethers, their community began coining them, “The Jantoyas”, a mixture of their two last names that now describes one family.
The best piece of advice on motherhood that Lisa received is to enjoy the little moments as best you can. “This is true for our biological children, but different when thinking about our foster children. We never know how long we will get to make memories with them and so it is important to value the time we’ve been given. It’s unbelievable that a few of our kids have reached adulthood, in what seems to be the blink of an eye.” Their advice: “In a world where many people want to wrap their kids in a bubble and keep everyone comfortable, we choose the opposite. We teach diversity, acceptance and compassion. It is to build a village.” Back here on stage, which is actually my laundry room, I would personally like to thank my own mother, my sister and my son for the inspiration behind this story. Gotta run, the music is swelling and the laundry is ready!
LOT STA / 7
CONTRIBUTORS 8 / APRIL 2022
Mare Martelli – Editor Mare is originally from the NJ/Philadelphia area, where she had a long career in web, marketing as well as specialty publications for the Phila Inquirer. She fell in love with St. Augustine on her first visit in ’07 & finally made it her home in ’18, where she now lives with her husband, 2 rescue Aussies & 2 foundling cats. Mom to 2 grown sons, she’s a lover the arts, animals, good veg food & exploring all of the history, nature & magic this the area has to offer. David Steele David was raised in Florida and graduated from The Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach. He worked for more than decade in New York City as a freelance editorial and advertising photographer. Clients include: ABC, CBS, Martha Stewart Living, As If Magazine, Harrell and Harrell, Connect Agency and the Jacksonville Symphony. Susan Thomas Novy Susan is the owner of Anastasia Healing Arts, a Wellness Center on Anastasia Island. She has been a wellness professional for 23 years and loves being a conduit to the well-being of others. In recent years she has found great joy photographing the plethora of wildlife that call St Augustine home. Her photographs are posted on IG @Island_Om and her wellness center is AnastasiaHealingArts.com She and her beautiful dog, Gibson have called St Augustine home for 10 years. John Moore John is a native of Key West, Florida who holds a degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University. John is a competition-level Craft Cocktail bartender, an award-winning Craft Spirits executive, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the US Bartender’s Guild. He proudly calls St. Augustine his home. Alise Sheppard Alise is a second-generation Realtor who combines her love of real estate with her passion for photography and design. She has 30+ years experience as a professional photographer and was also a design consultant for her parents’ Real Estate and construction company in RI. Her greatest desire is to provide exceptional service to her customers whether they are buying or selling their home. She joined the Watson Family of Real Estate Professionals in 2017. Mary Bellavista Mary is a local photographer who started her business in 2015 after the birth of her first child. She loves photographing families, food and everyday lifestyle in St. Augustine, Florida. She is a mother of 3 and loves the flexibility and creativity her business has provided to her the last 6 years. IG@marybellavistaphotos Miles Bullock Miles is a passionate storyteller, proud polyglot and avid kayaker. Originally from Los Angeles, Miles now calls St. Augustine home where he enjoys discovering the many hidden layers of history, culture, and nature that the Nation’s Oldest City has to offer. Today, he devotes his skills to helping high-impact, civically-minded organizations and clients express themselves authentically and effectively through his work as a communications consultant. Linda Dumas Linda is a Bostonian turned Floridian, mom of 2 littles, local pharmacist, healthcare blogger, and most happy at the beach with her family. After receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy, she moved to St. Augustine with her husband in search of sunshine, warmer temperatures, careers, and happily found it all here! In 2020, she launched Apothea Co. - a pharmaceutical consulting company. Linda passionately blogs about a wide range of health topics. Follow along at Apothea.co
Lauren Eastman Laura is a boy mom who chases waves, practices yoga and writes every chance she gets. She loves fine stationery, ripping pages from dreamy magazines, and arranging flowers. For the past 20 years, she has told stories for entrepreneurs, chefs, yoga instructors and Fortune 500 companies through her PR firm, Issima Communications. She launched Issima Publications in 2020 to begin telling her own stories, co-written with her son. They live on Anastasia Island along with Benny, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and cat Dorian Grey. Trish “the Commish” Becker Trish is a mother, wife, and pet owner committed to protecting the health and well-being of her fellow St. Johns residents, our economy and our environment. She has long been a community advocate and helped establish the local Women’s March Alliance. When “Trish the Commish” isn’t tackling districtwide issues; she often can be found playing the drums, volunteering at the Lincolnville Museum, or camping and riding dirt bikes with her family.
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LOVING OUR TOWN Lenny Gillette Publisher 904-540-8672 firstname.lastname@example.org Ann Gillette Publishing Operations
Michelle Trainor Michelle has served our community as an RN for the past 5 years since moving to St. Augustine from the Northeast with her husband and dogs; 2 Siberian Huskies and a Corgi.Her greatest joy is owning and operating the Adventure Pets shop in downto wn with her husband. They specialize in adventure gear for dogs, healthy treats and interactive toys. Visit them at 51 Cordova St. or online at adventurepets.dog
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Robert Waldner Robert Waldner grew up in the Greater Boston area. He fell in love with St. Augustine at a young age and moved here in 1999. A writer of poetry and essays since the age of 15, Robert has been a contributing member of the Ancient City Poets since 2013. He currently lives in St. Augustine with his wife and three children.
Loving Our Town St Augustine 24 Cathedral Place Suite 202 St Augustine FL 32084
Susan Swearingen “Embrace life with an open heart and fierce soul” is the mantra and lifestyle of this WildHeart Boutique owner. Her King Street storefront provides a unique shopping experience serving women of all sizes and shapes looking to express their own authentic voice through fashion. She combines her business savvy gained from a 25-year career as a corporate business consultant with her background as a mindfulness and yoga teacher resulting in a unique environment for her customers. IG@wild_wildheart Chris Cottrell Chris is a Jacksonville, FL based is a PPA Certified photographer that specializes in Professional Headshots, Business Portraits and Lifestyle/ Branding photography. He obtained a Graphic Arts Degree from Brunel Technical College in the UK and he has been practicing the art of photography professionally for over 20 years. He has been published in various magazines including WNC and Jacksonville Magazines and has won awards for his work. Kelley Fitzsimonds Special needs dad and loving husband first. Kelley is a 20 plus year bar professional, heading up the spirits department at Amici Italian Restaurant. Kelley loves to mentor and support others in the bar community and has been bartending in St. Augustine for sixteen years since moving here from the Atlanta area. Monika Bernthal A huge proponent of the Go-Local movement, Monika takes special interest in promoting our local businesses, organizations and events through STA Marketplace, a full service PR and marketing agency. With a background in journalism, she is a seasoned writer who regularly shares local stories in LOT’s STA Marketplace Spotlight. A 15 year resident of St. Augustine, Monika’s 3 children, husband of 20 years, and 2 furkids keep her deeply engaged in and committed to our community
Mare Martelli Editor
Next Publication Deadline: May 18, 2022 Loving Our Town is a publication centered on community. If you have ideas, an event or other content of interest, please email: email@example.com
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the Associate Publisher. All material is compiled from sources believed to be reliable, published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™ and the Publishers assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™. Text copyright ©2022 Photography ©2022 Digital ©2022 Introduction
LOT STA / 9
The Radiant, Rich & Expressive Art of
Claire Kendrick 10 / APRIL 2022
Photography by Mary Bellavista
laire was born in Ireland and attended Manchester Metropolitan University in England, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree. She worked as a fashion designer in France, Belgium, Sweden and England before relocating to the US in 2006. It was then she returned to painting full time and exhibiting her work in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Fernandina and Naples, Florida. Expressive brushwork, strong sense of color and a flair for stylish design are distinguishing characteristics, showing the unique voice in a CJK painting.
As an oil painter she loves the Marshlands and Intercostal waterways in St. Augustine living on Vilano Beach provides constant inspiration for her Coastal Seascapes and Marsh Landscapes. Her paintings have been published in American Art Collector Magazine, Florida Design and Veranda Magazine
LOT STA / 11
“Having a Studio in the “Historic Art District” is a unique and special experience, it keeps me in touch with a wonderful art community. Life as an independent artist is essentially a solitary profession, the artists on Marine Street, Charlotte Street and Aviles Street all know and promote each other, the area is known as the “Historic Art District” because of its early connection with painters in the 1920s who set up the Art Association on Marine Street and historically had studios on these streets.” ~ CJK
“When you grow up on the island of Ireland you are never far from the sea. So, the ocean is in my veins. My first seven years in the US I lived inland, the draw of Saint Augustine, it’s Spanish flair and a deep yearning to be near the ocean is what attracted me to the area. Living on Vilano with sunrise over the ocean and sunset views on the marsh and intracoastal, that love of this land is evident in my paintings! There is daily inspiration, gratitude, and beauty on these southern shores! I am thankful for it.” ~ CJK 12 / APRIL 2022
Attracting a local and international following, Claire is dedicated to persuing her painting career, and has studied with Contemporary American Painters, notably Cynthia Packard and Anne Packard. Claire is a member of Oil Painters of America. Claire’s work can be seen at Art on Centre in Fernandina, Gardner Colby Gallery in Naples and locally at her own gallery CJK Studio at 212 Charlotte St., and Plum Gallery on Aviles St.
LOT STA / 13
Living Healthy in St. Augustine Small Wins Keep Us Going
Photography by Alise Sheppard
By Linda Dumas
ealthy living, by definition means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and introducing habits that will improve your health. With these warmer spring days here, it’s the perfect time to get outside, get active, and take advantage of this perfect weather. There are so many ways you can make some microchanges that can be enjoyable, fun and delicious! Saint Augustine is full of great places, and I’d like to share some of my favorites.
My advice is to find a gym, group, or type of exercise that brings you joy and that way you’ll never feel burdened to go to work out again! When you enjoy what you’re doing, it will turn a workout into a routine, which then produces the results you are looking for. Fitness can be as simple as a bike ride around downtown, a long walk on the beach, or a barre class at your favorite studio! 14 / APRIL 2022
Fit Mamas As a new mom, I found myself craving a community and a workout tailored to my life. This is when I discovered Fit Mamas, a boutique fitness studio on Anastasia Island offering a wide range of workouts, 1:1 personal training, childcare, accountability, and a team of amazing trainers. Lauren, the owner, has a passion for building a supportive community and helping women throughout motherhood on their fitness journey. YMCA Another great place to find a variety of workouts for all ages/ genders/fitness levels is at the local St. Augustine YMCA. They offer both personalized workouts as well as individual training, swimming and classes. When you go to the YMCA there is a community feel and supportive staff.
When it comes to nutrition small changes really produce big results. Swapping out something unhealthy with say a green juice, not only fuels the body but provides solid nutrition. Luckily, there are some great options here in town. Juicy Juicy is a food-truck turned brick and mortar, and is a one-stop destination for fresh juices, smoothies, and acai bowls. Everything is fresh, and you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body. A local favorite is the Thunder Bowl, which is an acai bowl with banana, berries, peanut butter, coconut flakes and local honey. But everything on the menu is delicious and nutritious. Julianne, the owner, started Juicy based on her belief that food is the best medicine. She believes that what you put into your body matters, and that’s why at Juicy you will find healthy and delicious options. Crave Crave is another favorite for both locals and tourists. This small business also got its start via a food truck turned brick and mortar. The menu consists of all fresh and healthy ingredients, with a buildyour-own premise and rotating daily specials. Everyone loves the build-your-own salad and wrap options, this customization really allows you to make it your own and for that reason it is the most popular item on the menu. Andres, the owner, saw a need for fresh and healthy meals for locals and that is how Crave was started.
Sometimes the easiest way to stick with healthy eating habits can be attributed to what you buy when you go grocery shopping. We’ve all heard the saying “don’t go shopping when you’re hungry” and isn’t that the truth.
Diane’s Natural Market This locally owned market has been serving Saint Augustine for 35 years! They are focused on having a large selection, the highest quality and 100% natural ingredients. I love going into Diane’s because I always find a new-to-me product, and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable! The St Augustine Amphitheater Farmers Market My favorite way to start the weekend is at this farmer’s market, with a cup of freshly brewed Kenyan coffee and my Bolga basket from Grower’s Alliance. You’ve probably seen these colorful baskets around town. They are quite popular, and can accommodate all of your local fruits, vegetables, and local goodies. I always buy fresh produce from local farmers, as well as honey from the Honey Truck Company. The farmer’s market is a family favorite in my house, there is something for everyone. Small wins are what keep us going and they’re worth celebrating! I hope this article inspires you to go out and explore some of these St. Augustine gems!
LOT STA / 15
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4 St George St #101, St. Augustine, FL 32084 • (904) 827-5740
First Look, The Artisan’s Market Providing Storefront for Dozens of Local Artists and Artisans By Monika Bernthal
ne trip to St. Augustine to visit her niece at Flagler College was all it took for Diana Suissa to be smitten with the nation’s oldest city.
She immediately knew she would move here one day and began putting a plan in motion by buying local real estate. When she got to St. Augustine, Diana initially planned to continue her 20-year stretch in elementary education. But her entrepreneurial spirit took a firm hold leading her to ponder what else she might do. During her musings, one of her local property tenants called to say he would be late on rent again. When Diana questioned why he was struggling, he explained that he was an artist living in a world of feast or famine, relying on online and yard sales. Of course, the cost of having a storefront was out of the question. And with that, Diana received clarity on her next chapter in life. “I was thrilled to discover a way to help local artists while embarking on a new adventure,” she explained. The idea of opening an artisans’ market - set up like a co-op where vendors could rent whatever space they needed - began to take shape. Diana leased a building, established the business, began promoting the market and opened her doors at First Look, The Artisan’s Market’s original location on Anastasia Boulevard in December 2019. Within just three months, the pandemic hit, but First Look, The Artisan’s Market prevailed as Diana temporarily shifted her business model to an online store. Another challenge she faced in the first few months was the location’s lack of visibility. True to her entrepreneurial spirit, Diana adapted and conquered. Less than one year after opening, she moved her store to San Marco Avenue to capitalize on foot traffic from locals and visitors alike.
Today, First Look, The Artisan’s Market is a treasure trove of products and art representing the works of more than 80 local artists and artisans. Items you will find at this unique store include pottery, candles, iron work, woodwork, photography, paintings, jewelry, quilts, furniture, beauty products, essential oils, handmade crafts and vintage pieces. The warm and inviting store has a great flow and is just “right”. First Look, the Artisan’s Market isn’t so big that it makes it hard for each vendor to make sales, but large enough to provide the selection and variety customers seek. First Look, the Artisan’s Market continues to be deeply involved in the community, not just on an individual level, but also by hosting local fundraising events and partnering up with nonprofits like Port in the Storm and St. Francis House. The downtown store also hosts regularly scheduled events including the Bougie Market on the second Sunday of the month where they open to outside vendors. Bring Fido for “Wagging Tails Wednesdays” when customers who shop with their dogs are treated to a free doggie bandana, dog treats and a photo op. First Look, the Artisan’s Market even hosts instructional workshops and private parties. Visit their website at firstlookartisans.com to find out what’s happening next or stop by their location at 162 San Marco Avenue Tuesday through Sunday to see what’s in store.
LOT STA / 17
Dining at The Drunken Horse
Ça Me Réjouit 18 / APRIL 2022
Photography by Mary Bellavista
By Lauren Eastman and Mare Martelli
aced with the mid-pandemic woes in New York City in 2020, Drunken Horse owners Azman and Maria Dayakli moved to St. Augustine to open their second location in the nation’s oldest city. They had visited St Augustine for years and loved it, yet only knew the town from a visitor’s angle at that point. Their first location, nestled in the heart of Chelsea New York, initially opened in 2009 as an artistic, gourmet wine bar with eclectic, shareable plates and is still beloved today. Stepping into the new restaurant along Charlotte Street feels like entering the environs of a petite restaurant in the French countryside, after passing through its alfresco courtyard, which is perfect for dining and people watching. The cozy, candlelit mecca with exposed brick and wood interiors and vintage tile floors takes you into another world. Intimacy is the key to the restaurant’s unique surroundings, while a delicious selection of French dishes and wine pairings delight the palate. “We quickly realized that doing business in Florida was very different than New York City,” Azman says. Yet the atmosphere and the people here more than made up for the challenges the couple overcame since opening. In a short time, they’ve been able to achieve having 60% of their menu locally sourced, which is quite a feat given that they do import many of the French specialty items they serve.
Chef Felix Dougrou, who worked with the entrepreneurial powerhouse team for 11 years in one of their New York restaurants, made the move to Florida with them specifically to bring his talents and French flare to St. Augustine, and is definitely making his mark with his beautifully prepared and presented dishes. Supported by a friendly, yet non-intrusive staff, the servers are knowledgeable and obviously quite proud of the offering, and it shows. The dinner menu begins with an incredible selection from cheeses and charcuteries - most reigning from France itself, including Pate de Champagne, Camembert Rustic, and Truffle Tremor. Entrees range from delectable Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame (replete with a resplendent egg and possibly the best Bechamel sauce this writer has ever enjoyed, anywhere in the world) to spot on French classics; Bouef Bourguignon and Confit De Canard, while Pan Seared Seabass and Pave de Saumon appeal to St. Augustine seafood lovers. The menu sticks to tried and true French favorites, created in the traditional provincial French way. Ratatouille, Escargot, and specialty flatbreads are obvious crowd favorites. With great pride in the vast wine selection, focused mainly on French varieties, guests can also select choice bottles from Italy, Argentina, Spain and California among other international wine country finds. Pop open a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Cotes du Rhone, and you may as well be on vacation in the Loire Valley. The Tommasi Amarone from Italy or Organic Tempranillo from Spain, expertly pairs with the lush dishes that are served here. Sparkling wines such as Prosecco, Sparkling Rose and Champagne and a beautiful white selection of French Sancerre, Riesling, and Muscadet or an Austrian Gruner doesn’t disappoint. Domestic and international beers run the gamut from Michelob to Lagunitas to Stella Artois. (Continued on the following page)
LOT STA / 19
In addition, the restaurant now offers an incredible Brunch Menu with Hors D’ Oeuvres from olives to nuts or Roasted Asparagus with blue cheese and grapes, to Burrata Heirloom Tomato Salad with balsamic glaze and basil oil or Foie Gras on Toasted Bread with apple honey and truffle sauce – divine! Classic Eggs Benedict with house made hollandaise sauce joins Avocado Toast Aux Oeufs and omelets. Entrees include a smoke Salmon Plate with dill crème and toasted bread with capers, Seasonal Tarte Flambe, Fusion Ginger Tuna Tartar, and French Toast, obviously – to name a few. Polish off the fine meal with homemade Crème Brulee or Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, and you may just want to stay for the dinner hour, if you can convince the chef to hold the table – they go fast! The newly finished, large, beautiful garden dining area in the back takes full advantage of gorgeous and romantic St. Augustine evenings, perhaps with a group of your closest friends. The Drunken Horse offers Dinner each night and is located at 56 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, FL. For more information, please visit: drunkenhorsewinebars.com
20 / APRIL 2022
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Nature for All!
A New Local Company Invites Residents to Experience Nature
22 / APRIL 2022
Photography by Miles Bullock
By Miles Bullock
f you live in St. Augustine, you’re no stranger to its famous history and enchanting appeal. The quiet cobblestone streets, the fabled historical landmarks, and layers of pre- and post-colonial history, all tell a story reflective of the diverse inhabitants that shaped our unique home. But what if you could discover an entirely new side of the Ancient City? Meet neighbors of a different species, explore its winding waterways, and learn about the native flora that inspired the very name of our Sunshine State: “La Florida,” the Land of Flowers. A new locally-owned company provides the opportunity to do just that. On the first day of spring 2022, Earth Kinship Ecotours & Naturalist School opened for business to provide residents, and visitors alike, the unique chance to experience the raw and natural beauty of St. Augustine and its surrounding areas. Founded by AyoLane Halusky, a native-Floridian and local naturalist, Earth Kinship offers a variety of experiences to bring you closer to nature. With over 25 different kayak tours, nature hikes, overnight camping trips, naturalist training courses, art programs, and history tours, Earth Kinship provides locals a gateway to experience the wild and untamed beauty of their home, while also teaching them about its history and sustainable future. Few know the local land, its ebbing tidal estuaries, hidden hollows, medicinal native plants, and diverse cast of wildlife quite like Halusky. As a local who grew up exploring the creeks, forests, and marshlands of the area, his upbringing kindled what would become a lifetime passion for nature and its many positive effects. After 25 years of teaching professionally in outdoor settings, and most recently, serving for 10 years as a Park Naturalist for St. Johns County’s Parks and Recreation Department, AyoLane embarks on a new journey that invites all residents to step outside of their comfort zone and immerse themselves into the transformative world of nature. Imagine for a moment…you open your eyes, inhale a fresh breath of sea air, paddle gently around a bend of knee-high, golden marsh reeds, only to find an estuarine cove teaming with life. Cranes perched patiently along the shore, pelicans gliding over the glassy water, dolphins gracefully swimming through the warm waves, inhaling and
Photography by Mark Pariani
exhaling in a calm cadence, all to the backdrop of a sky bursting with luminous color. It’s places like this where AyoLane guides participants to connect with nature and take a moment to disconnect from the busyness of our human worlds.
Experiences such as this are what make Earth Kinship. After all, that’s the beauty of experiences, they’re not merely mental, or passive, they fully immerse the mind, body and spirit, and enable the person to truly connect with a dynamic environment. When combined with nature, this process has the power to reduce cortisol levels, make lasting educational connections in the mind, and develop an emotional bond to a given place. In this sense, a resident can truly become connected to the land in which they live, providing them with a new window into their world and reintroducing them to their fellow local inhabitants, however many feathers or scales they may don. In today’s world of non-stop entertainment and endless screen time, the dizzying amounts of stimulus can seem to never quite slow down or soothe, and real experiences grounded in nature, at its harmonious pace and ancient rhythm, can offer a much-needed respite for modern dwellers of St. Augustine. To this end, Earth Kinship offers a number of unique experiences for you to unplug and reconnect, to explore and rediscover. With trips like the Search for Bartram’s Ixia, which takes you through the lush lowlands to find a rare and mysterious flower unique to Northeast Florida first catalogued by famed naturalist William Bartram, you’re sure to experience Florida in its timeless form. Or perhaps on an overnight camping trip by kayak to experience Florida under the stars and study the nocturnal nightlife that emerges when the sun goes down. Whether you’re seeking adventure, learning opportunities, or simply a way to get outside, there’s no telling what you’ll discover with Earth Kinship. At the core of Earth Kinship’s mission is to make sure all residents have the opportunity to experience the beauty of our home. Regardless of age, ability, color, creed, or neighborhood, Earth Kinship is committed to sharing nature for all. Wherever you come from and whoever you are, nature awaits you with open arms. As AyoLane often tells participants, “When you look into nature, nature looks into you.” Take a look into nature, you never know what sights you may uncover!
Photography by AyoLane Halusky
For more information visit earthkinship.us and learn about how you can immerse yourself in St. Augustine’s natural beauty. You can also find Earth Kinship on social media at @earthkinship. LOT STA / 23
In the Weeds
Photography by Alise Sheppard
By Kelley Fitzsimonds
n the seventeen years that I have resided and worked here in Saint Augustine I don’t think that there has been a single restaurant group that has grown as much as the one that started as Pizzalley’s. An unassuming shotgun shack of a pizza joint on the George, consistently dishing out slices to locals and tourists alike. Then came Pizzalley’s Chianti Room, a sit-down Italian restaurant they built behind the original location, with a big wrap around porch and full bar. Once they realized that they liked the bar business, they decided to build the biggest bar on the George and that bar and restaurant is called Prohibition Kitchen. Here is where you will find this month’s ‘In the Weeds’ Bartender, Aaron Eades or as most know him simply, Eades. LOT: How did you get started in the hospitality industry? Eades: I started at Cap’s on the Water at 16 years old. I bussed tables there all through high school. My first bartending job was at Prohibition Kitchen, before that I did serve tables at a few places as well. LOT: What is your go to drink order? Eades: At the bar now, I usually order a neat pour of rum, and an over proof daiquiri with a splash of Campari LOT: Let me paint the picture here, you are stranded on a deserted island, your island will provide you with sugar cane, citrus and such, you get three bottles of unlimited quantities Eades: OK, Wrey and Nephew overproof rum, definitely Campari and Tullamore. DEW just for shots.
LOT: Everyone has one, let’s hear yours. What is your hangover cure? Eades: I smoke a cigarette, drink a Gatorade and take a small amount of THC. If I am at the bar, Angostura bitters and ginger beer. LOT: Hot beverage of choice, coffee or tea? Eades: Coffee. I drink coffee for energy, love espresso LOT: Favorite spots in town? I feel like you are at one of them. Eades: (currently at The Ice Plant) Yes, Ice Plant, Prohibition Kitchen, Saint George Tavern and Boat Drinks. Those are my favorite spots. LOT: I almost always do my In The Weeds perfect day. You have only one day and you are looking to show off your town, what do you do?
Eade: One stop that I like to show off is Sarbez. They have the game room, outdoor seating and live music. I would probably play mini golf too, it’s something I like to do while having fun and getting some drinks. Then downtown - just hit a few of the bars that I just listed, they all are walking distance, it’s what I like to do. I would definitely stop by Forgotten Tonic for food and drinks and the Smash Burger at Boat Drinks. LOT: What ingredients are you really excited about right now? I know that there is new stuff coming out all of the time. Eades: One of my favorite things to use right now is Dons Mix ( two parts grapefruit juice to one part cinnamon syrup) it’s such a great ingredient, very versatile. in my new position at PK I am making a lot of our syrups and things. I made our orgeat for the first time last week, and going through that whole process I found really enjoyable. Knowing everything that goes into it makes it closer to my heart being responsible for more things going into the cocktail. LOT: Who do you look up to in the industry? Eades: There have been so many people around town that have influenced me through the years. I’ll start with Jason Gustavson, my boss at PK. I learned so much from him when I first started at PK. I lived so close to Ice Plant; I was there all the time. A lot of the OG bartenders there I look up to, Jessie Lane, Ford Roberts, and Joel Kollinger that taught me a lot. Matt McIntyre turned out to be a great friend as well. LOT: What advice do you have for new bartenders looking to break into the business? Eades: Try to focus on learning one new thing every day and don’t try and learn it all at once, because there is so much it can be overwhelming if you let it. Just know that you will never learn it all so don’t overwhelm yourself. LOT: Final question - What makes the juice worth the squeeze, what makes it all worth it? Eades: Just the social interaction. Even when I am off, I am always talking to people, striking up a conversation at the bar with the bartender. Getting to know a guest well enough that you can start to joke and have a good time, that’s what it is all about for me. Do yourself a favor, when you are downtown, make it a point to go and see Aaron Eades at his beloved Prohibition Kitchen and talk bar nerdy with him, I know that I always have a good time when I do. Cheers! LOT STA / 25
For the Birds Up Close at the Rookery at the Alligator Farm
26 / APRIL 2022
Photography by Susan Thomas
By Mare Martelli
e’ve all driven by the Alligator Farm a million times and perhaps have visited on many occasions with the kids and visitors. For locals, maybe it’s been a while or maybe it’s been never. I, for one, never pass up the chance to pop in, especially if it is in the spring months. While I do love checking out the gators & crocs along with a wide variety of other animal life, the part I most look forward to is my stroll down the walkway to THE ROOKERY! Nestled in the North end of the zoo is a 2-acre Native Swamp & Rookery habitat where herons, egrets, spoonbills, wood storks and other native wading birds seek the security of the alligator swamp to build nests, roost and tend to their young. Every year during the peak season of April- June the Rookery will house anywhere from 400-800 nests of pairs of wading birds that nest literally feet away from the pedestrian boardwalk that runs over top the length of the swamp.
The season actually begins in Feb with the egret & spoonbill pairs arriving. The earliest egrets will start hatching in March and by early May there are chicks of every species in the rookery. From June on you can see various stages of roosting, hatching and rearing of fledglings through August. The most amazing part to me is that this is an open and completely wild habitat. The birds are free to come and go as they please. The curators don’t feed or interact with the wildlife that show up naturally, in any way. They choose to organically congregate due to the protective cover of the alligators below that dissuade tree climbing predators as well as lush, treed environment and ample water sources. They do however micromanage areas of the habitat caring for the water and plant life to provide the best possible environment for the wildlife. The Rookery Crew does weekly counts of species and nesting information and shares that data with the US Fish & Wildlife, Florida Fish & Wildlife Audubon Society of FL and other NGOs. Curators and conservationist at the rookery work with and share (Continued on the following page)
LOT STA / 27
knowledge and information with Flagler\ College and FSU ornithology programs. The Rookery has existed as part of the Alligator Farm for as long as anyone can remember. During the 1970s efforts were put into the natural setting to expand and create a better habitat. Annual maintenance work is done to ensure the environment is more than suitable for all the critters and guests residing within and passing through. If you have noticed recent activity at the north end of the swamp, it’s the work to expand that space. A 10,000 sq ft crocodilian habitat has been developed for additional wading bird nesting habitat. “Behind-the-scenes tours may be available in the fall, for now we want the space to be quiet to encourage birds to nest there. “says Rookery Curator, Gen Anderson The Wild Bird Rookery also presents a exclusive chance for photographers to capture intimate images of nesting Florida wading birds. They offer a special photo pass that allows you in an
28 / APRIL 2022
hour before opening and to return at dusk. Perfect for professional and hobbyist, the pass allows photographer entry to the rookery walk through the season to capture the birds up close and personal in various stages of nesting roosting, hatching …. and of course, who doesn’t love those baby pics! There is also yearly photo contest held by the Alligator Farm. The contest, judged by a professional nature photographer, distinguishes the best photos taken at the zoo and provides photographers with a wonderful platform to showcase their work.
Photography by Susan Thomas
If you would like to keep up with Rookery goings on, Gen Anderson, General Curator keeps a blog at alligatorfarm.com/rookery And for even more up to the minute info about migration, new nests, eggs, and hatching you can check in any time with the Rookery Hotline (904) 824-3337 (then choose option 9)
LOT STA / 29
Dog Days of Summer Safety Tips Pet Friendly St. Augustine By Michelle Trainor
ummer is just around the corner and you’re getting excited for adventures with your four-legged friends. St. Augustine draws visitors from all over with some of the best dog-friendly beaches in northeast Florida. You may be imagining the fun your dog will have romping in the waves after a game of frisbee on the sand. What you might not be thinking about are potential dangers related to the heat. The dog days of summer can pose safety concerns for your dog. Fun can turn to fear in just a matter of minutes. Don’t worry! Being prepared and taking a few simple precautions will help you and your dog avoid safety issues so you can focus on making memories. Here are the most common summer safety hazards and how you can prevent them.
The best way to prevent dehydration is simple. Offer your dog ample fresh drinking water regularly throughout the activity. As a general rule: dogs need an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. This requirement may be greater on hot days. It’s important not to give your dog too much water at once, which can cause vomiting.
Burnt Paw Pads:
Overheating in dogs can be caused by several factors. It is extremely dangerous and requires rushing your dog to the emergency vet. Signs of overheating can include: frantic panting, excessive saliva, bright red gums that turn grayish purple, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to stand, seizure, and coma. Flat faced dogs like bulldogs and pugs are more susceptible to overheating. If this happens, you can wet your dog’s coat with cool (not cold) water to help lower their body temperature on the way to the vet.
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make on hot summer days is not protecting their dog’s paws from hot surfaces like sidewalks and beach sand. It’s possible for the air temperature to be a comfortable 77 degrees, while the pavement temperature is 125 degrees. Did you know that paw pad burns and injuries can occur with surface temperatures over 125 degrees within just 60 seconds? The Adventure Pets Rule: If it’s too hot for bare feet, then it’s too hot for bare paws! To test: Place the bottom of your bare foot or the palm of your hand flat on the pavement for 10 seconds. If it’s too uncomfortable for you, make sure to protect your dog’s paws. There are many options for paw protection ranging from boots with rubber soles to a simple paw wax you can glide on before a walk.
Hot weather and activity can cause your dog to lose more fluids and electrolytes than they are consuming. Untreated dehydration can lead to organ failure and death. Signs your dog may be dehydrated include: dry mouth and gums, dry nose, sunken eyes, and loss of elasticity of their skin. If you press on their gums and the color does not return immediately, this can indicate dehydration. Contact your vet immediately.
Pro Tip: If it’s above 80 degrees outside, don’t leave home without a water bottle for your dog, even for a short walk. You can also purchase electrolyte additives for your dog’s water if they are exerting themselves by doing things like hiking, running on the beach, or competing in agility.
As always, the best strategy is prevention. Provide fresh water and breaks in the shade during activity. Gradually acclimate your dog to the temperature and don’t exercise during the hottest hours of the day. Early morning and late evening walks are preferred. Pro-tip: Cooling coats and cooling bandanas provide evaporative cooling for your dog. Wet them down and apply them to your dog’s neck or body. As the water evaporates, it provides a cooling effect for your dog. Also great for adventures on hot days are frozen water bottles, ice packs, and spray bottles. We hope these tips have been helpful in preparing for a safe adventure, but they are not intended to be medical advice. If you believe your dog is suffering from any of these safety concerns, please contact your veterinarian for assistance immediately.
LOT STA / 31
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Cut, Color, & Clarity
The 3Cs of Spring Fashion
34 / APRIL 2022
Photography by David Steele
By Susan Swearingen
ho’s the “Diamond”?! Who will Queen Charlotte choose for this season’s royal romp of Bridgerton? My mind instantly, if not weirdly, went to the 3 C’s of a diamond: cut, color and clarity as the perfect framework for Spring season fashion trends.
Cut — This season is about fit and flattery ranging from showing slivers of skin to Regency-inspired loose fits and statement sleeves. We are coming out of COVID lockdowns with a bit of opulence and showing off. You’ll see cut outs in clothing ranging from large openings with small bits of stretchy fabric to just noticeable subtle flashes of skin. On the other end of the spectrum, we have breezy dresses and oversized details. For everyday inspiration, try a simple cut out shoulder, an a-line maxi or a blousy sleeve. Color — Now is the time for really bold colors, color blocking and patterns galore. Colorful patterns and standout graphics are even bigger this year. You’ll notice larger floral and animal prints to draw interest and create a vibrant mood. After all, isn’t it finally the time that we want to see and be seen in real life? To live in color, go all out from head to toe or start out with a bright scarf, a color blocked handbag or an embellished hair accessory. Fashion amplifies underlying feelings, and we see it with this season’s liberal use of color and patterns. Clarity — My Dear Reader, this is about the solo time we got to get to know thyself during the last two years of forced downtime. Today we see a movement of trends towards ‘anything goes’; you can wear what you want with confidence while fashion rules loosened up. It’s an era of know yourself, express yourself. So take these cues and create your own “Diamond” look, you deserve it.
LOT STA / 35
Fish Tank Studios The Long and Winding Musical Road
36 / APRIL 2022
Photography by Chris Cottrell
D By John Moore
own a winding road, one vastly more rural than the modern streets just behind, you’ll find yourself among mature trees draped with Spanish moss. There’s a stilt house nestled in here, with a car parked underneath. There’s water out back. We’ve all played the game where you try and guess what goes on in the house on the hill, but you might never imagine what’s tucked into one wing of this quiet home. What follows is a chronicle of a much longer and dramatically more winding road: One that, to date, has not been fully mapped. What’s known so far is that some very talented people are trying to explore this road, because it can be a lovely ride. But there are rough patches, and no guard rails. In 1988, a 12-year-old boy named Lucio Rubino came with his family from Hartford, CT to live in St. Augustine. He’d played violin in the 2nd grade, but the instrument never inspired him. Music did, but not that violin. Predictably, he was attracted to music on the radio, and his heroes were on MTV. Lucio dreamt of being in command of those instruments. His family reluctantly obliged, and when he turned 14 Lucio received his first guitar and a four-track recording device. Suddenly the world was a puzzle, and the pieces were made from sound. By the 9th grade, Lucio was recording covers of his favorite songs, one instrument and one track at a time. Lucio was hooked, and a dream was born.
He received a college scholarship - but like the violin, college felt awkward in his hands. Lucio put that down, too, and moved to Orlando. There he performed with every band who would have him, ultimately playing bass with “A Flock of Seagulls” at just 20 years old. Soon his solo music was on national radio, and before long Lucio was invited to perform for legendary producer Clive Davis. He ultimately scored a publishing deal with EMI, and went to work writing music full-time. But then two airplanes crashed into the twin towers, and the phonograph needle came screeching off Lucio’s vinyl: The EMI deal went stale, and the dream was in danger. But unlike many, Lucio lives in service to his dream (versus a dream subsisting on a diet of unrealized ambition).
His savings allowed Lucio to buy real recording equipment. He took on a writing partner whose focus was Contemporary Christian, and one day that partner’s mom went behind their back and entered their song into a national contest: It won 2nd place and got the attention of the manager of Creed. Two albums yielded four hits on the Christian Music charts - but that genre was finite for Lucio. His passion was elsewhere… and the road winds on. He went on tour with a band called StorySideB, but in 2009 he became a father. Remember what Journey’s lyrics taught us the 80’s? “The road ain’t no place to start a family.” Armed with rockn-roll wisdom, Lucio shifted focus to a recording studio he’d set up in Vilano back in 2003, called Fish Tank Recordings. But to grow, it needed a better home. So in 2016, Lucio bought a plot of waterfront land at the end of a winding road, draped with Spanish moss. And on this rock, he built his church. But the road winds on: That same year, Hurricane Matthew flooded the new studio, and all his equipment was lost. But it was quickly rebuilt, and the melodies soared…. until 2017, when Hurricane Irma came whirling through town: The waters rose, and again his studio was ruined. Stiffening his resolve, Lucio raised the money to put everything up on stilts. One wing of this discreet home on that winding road is dedicated to never again allowing flood waters drown a melodic dream. Lucio’s road his still winding: He wrote some music for an unpublished album by deceased rocker Chester Bennington, but rival producers sent the deal skidding into a ditch – and the same day he lost the Bennington project, he received to two new offers to write, produce and perform. These days, Lucio plays guitar and produces for a promising group called Red. He co-writes music (and plays bass) with another growing band called Starset. And when he’s in his Fish Tank studio, he produces for talented artists whom Lucio feels blessed to bring along for the ride, such as Caroline Carr (a star on TikTok) and Alannis Sophia (ex of American Idol). He’s even writing the score for a major motion picture due out in 2023. Like his artists, Lucio is inspired by art. To this day, he lives in service to his dream, and helps other give service to theirs. Ad infinitum, the road winds on!
LOT STA / 37
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Protect What You Love
Matanzas Riverkeepers in Action By: Trish Becker
t. Johns County encompasses 822 square miles of urban, residential, agriculture, conservation, and commercial use land; 221 square miles is water. We celebrate the Matanzas Riverkeeper this Earth Day, who ensures our water is preserved and protected. “Riverkeepers are dedicated to ensuring that watersheds remain clean and healthy through our commitment to drinkable, fishable, and swimmable water,” says Executive Director and current Matanzas Riverkeeper Jen Lomberk. The Matanzas Riverkeeper is a local nonprofit Environmental Conservation Organization founded by Neil Armingeon in 2013. The Matanzas Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect the health of the Matanzas, Guana, and Tolomato Rivers and their watersheds through advocacy, education, and engagement. Since its inception, citizens have joined to advocate against overdevelopment, over-fishing, and pollution. Founding and sustaining Matanzas Riverkeeper Board member, Patrick Hamilton, says, “Our local economy is directly connected to clean water. We need to focus on biologic corridors, instead of overdeveloping, especially along the marsh where it needs a buffer.” The Matanzas Riverkeeper is part of an international community, 350 groups strong, known as the Waterkeeper Alliance. In the 196os, commercial fishermen noticed a significant decline in their catches, realizing that the Hudson River’s ecosystem was on the verge of collapse. Over the next several years, they worked with lawyers to stop industrial water pollution and begin restoration projects. This success led to the creation of the Waterkeeper Alliance – a global network of clean water advocates working to uphold the goals of the Clean Water Act – drinkable, fishable, swimmable water. Jen Lomberk is the Matanzas Riverkeeper; she serves as our local waterways’ eyes on the water and voice in the courtroom. The Matanzas Riverkeeper office, located at Genung’s Fish Camp, is adjacent to the river, where she can monitor water conditions and conduct business. Lomberk earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, with a certificate in Environmental & Land Use Law and Policy. She works with local, state, and federal agencies to advocate for stronger water quality rulemaking. Locally, Lomberk says,
“the most pressing issues here are development-related; the truth is, more people equals more pollution.” Riverkeepers constantly monitor illegal wastewater discharges and spills, typically due to what’s flushed. Unfortunately, “most water treatment facilities aren’t equipped to break down everything that people flush, like the so-called “flushable” wipes and pharmaceuticals.” Therefore, Lomberk adds, “if it isn’t toilet paper or natural waste, don’t flush it.” The Matanzas Riverkeeper Outreach Coordinator, Lauren Trice, wants to encourage residents to “protect what you love.” She organizes educational campaigns, beach cleanups, and volunteer outings on the Litter Gitter boat. An experienced team of volunteer Captains navigates local rivers, stopping to collect single-use plastics and Styrofoam items. Once ashore, items are recorded, sorted, weighed, and disposed of. The experience is a great team-building exercise that inspires volunteers to be conscious of their day-to-day actions. Trice adds, “using reusable grocery bags, cups, and straws can make a huge difference.” Plastic pollution ends up in dunes and waterways, degrading water quality and injuring or killing marine life and other animals. Since The Matanzas Riverkeeper is a nonprofit, it operates through generous donations, support from locals, memberships, and grants. The Riverkeeper’s largest fundraiser, the Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show, is a charity event organized by Panache Salon and held at Bluewater Jewelers. All proceeds benefit the Matanzas Riverkeeper, and it’s a great night of watching how participants turned trash into beautiful fashion designs. The event is on April 30th at 7 p.m., and you can purchase tickets on Eventbrite.com. To learn more, please visit: www.matanzasriverkeeper.org
LOT STA / 39
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LOT STA /41
Aslyn and The Naysayers Rooted in Folk, Bluegrass and Americana
Photography by David Steele
school together in Port Orange and then we both came up here to go to Flagler. When we met Aslyn, things started coming together,” says Jim. With music deeply rooted in folk, bluegrass, and Americana, Aslyn and The Naysayers perform both cover songs by the likes of Gillian Welch and Randy Newman as well as their own original music. While Jim and Aslyn find their musical relationship to be pleasantly harmonious these days, choosing a band name wasn’t such an easy task. “Aslyn kept throwing out titles. Matt and I kept rejecting everyone she mentioned,” laughs Jim. “That’s how we finally settled on Naysayers,” elaborates Aslyn. “They kept shooting me down. So, I finally threw out a name that captured our essence,” she jokes.
While Matt and Jim have known each other since childhood, Aslyn met the two of them as a Flagler student while attending an on-campus Battle of The Bands performance in 2005. “Matt and I went to high
While Aslyn and Jim have worked together to create their own unique sound, their musical careers would not be what they are today without the influence of family. “We were all brought up in families that were musically adept and started playing at young ages,” says Aslyn. “I started learning piano when I was five years old.” Jim concurs, “I was about ten when I first picked up a guitar.” Today, the basis of the duo’s solidarity rests largely on their musical roots and presence in the arts community. While they may have had a hard time agreeing on a band name, their music careers speak to the contrary and prove Aslyn and Jim to be great collaborators. With their performances at countless venues and festivals throughout the area as well as their work with other local musicians, Aslyn and Jim continue to see their
By Robert Waldner
e met in college,” says Aslyn Baringer referring to the early days of her musical journey with bandmates Matt Armstrong and Jim Johnston. The well-known musical trio, Aslyn and The Naysayers have the honor of laying claim to the hearts and ears of Ancient City music lovers long before the exponential influx of new musical talent that has recently swept the local musicscape. With a strong personal connection that has withstood the trials and tribulations of time, they understand the role their bond has played in the evolution of their musicianship. “I’ve learned a lot about music from Jim, and I continue to learn from him,” says Aslyn. “Likewise,” says Jim. “I think in any musical relationship, being able to learn from the people you are playing with is an important element.” Starting out as a three-piece band, Aslyn and Jim continued as a duo after Matt moved to Oregon. Keeping the band’s original name with the plural Naysayer(s), Aslyn asserts that Matt is still very much an honorary band member.
42 / APRIL 2022
circle grow. A master of many genres, you can find Jim performing regularly on any given night both solo and with other local bands such as The Space Heaters and Sailor Jane and The Swell. Aslyn and The Naysayers have become regulars at some of the area’s most popular music festivals. “We played The Creekside Festival at Princess Place for ten years,” says Aslyn. “We’ve also played the Florida Folk Festival.” One event near and dear to the duo’s heart is The Gamble Rogers Music Festival. “We’re really excited to be included in the lineup again this coming May,” says Aslyn. A staple of the event year after year, Aslyn and The Naysayers had the distinct honor of being included in the festival’s 25th Anniversary compilation tribute album ‘Oklawaha County Jamboree’ alongside other wellknown locals such as Colton Mckenna, The Rubies, Sam Pacetti, and Gabe Valla. Produced in 2013, the album honors the life and legacy of famous local musician, storyteller, and humanitarian Gamble Rogers. Busy running her own Media Production business ‘Aslyn Baringer Productions’, you likely won’t find Aslyn playing as many local venues throughout the week as you might find other performers. However, she and Jim remain a steady force in the local scene and are currently working on perhaps their biggest project to date. “We are super excited about our new album,” says Aslyn. A collaborative project with musicians from different states and demographics, the currently untitled album will also include five of Aslyn’s original tracks. “The album was recorded and mixed at Brent Clowers studio here in Florida, Burgerman Records. We just received the master track. It is currently being mastered in New Orleans,” she explains. A testament to the passion that resides in the local music scene, Aslyn and Jim are grateful for the support of their colleagues and followers. “It is more important than ever that people support local music,” says Aslyn. “I feel like there has been more support since the pandemic. It is easy to notice when you are out there playing,” elaborates Jim. With a connection that spans nearly two decades, Aslyn and the Naysayers show no signs of slowing down. “We want people to know that we are not just another cover band. We put a lot of effort into our music,” says Aslyn. “We get to make a living doing what we love. St. Augustine is an amazing artistic community,” says Jim. For more information follow Aslyn and The Naysayers on Facebook, visit aslynbaringerproductions.com, and jimjohnstonguitar.com
LOVING OUR MUSIC Upcoming Events
With Spring now in full swing, the Ancient City streets are heating up. Check out the music lineup for the venues listed below as we charge full steam towards the summer months. • Barley Republic Irish Pub will host Ian Opalinski on Fri. May 6th and Bad Dog Mama on Fri. May 20th. Showtime for both performances are 9pm-12am. Visit barleyrepublic.com for more details. • Borrillo’s Pizzeria and Beer Garden will host God’s City Duo on Wed. Apr. 20th and Wed. Apr. 27th at 6pm. Yael and Gabriel will take the stage on select Sunday’s through May, including Apr. 24th, May 15th, and May 29th. All shows start at 6pm. You can catch Dewey Via on Sat. Apr. 30th at 6:30pm and Bad Dog Mama on Thurs. April 21st, May 5th, and May 19th at 6pm. Visit borrillospizzeria.com for more details. • The Beacon, next door to Gypsy Cab Co. will host Falling Bones on Thurs. Apr. 21st at 6pm, Not Quite Dead on Fri. Apr. 22nd at 8pm, and Those Guys on Sat. Apr. 23rd at 7pm. Visit beaconstaug.com for more details. • Meehan’s Irish Pub and Seafood House will host Josh Ford and The Groovebender on Fri. Apr. 22nd at 1pm and again on Sat. Apr. 30th at 9pm. Trevor Compton will take the stage on Sat. Apr. 23rd at 1pm, Sat. May 14th at 9pm, and Sun. May 15th at 1pm. Smokin’ Joe Schauer will play on Fri. May 6th and Fri. May 20th at 9pm. Visit meehansirishpub.com for more details. • Ann O’Malley’s Deli and Pub will host Ian Opalinski every Sunday thru Apr. and May from 3-7pm. Smokin’ Joe Schauer will take the stage every Tuesday thru Apr. and May from 8-11pm. He will also play on Fri. May 13th from 7-11pm. Denny Blue will play on Fri. May 6th from 8pm-12am. Follow Ann O’Malley’s on Facebook. • O.C White’s Seafood will host Trevor Compton every Friday thru Apr. and May from 6-10pm. Amy Hendrickson will play most Saturdays thru April and May from 5:30-9:30pm. Visit ocwhitesrestaurant.com for more details. • A1A Ale Works will host Gregory Fraser Ruggiero, Denny Blue, and Smokin Joe Schauer on multiple select nights thru Apr. and May. Corey On Sax and Chillula will play Sat. Apr. 23rd. Visit a1aaleworks.com for more information. Upcoming Festivals Featuring Live Music Include: • Lullaby of the Rivers Music Festival at North Shores Community Center, Sat. Apr. 23rd from 10am-10pm. Artists include Sam Pacetti, Bad Dog Mama, Bob Patterson, Michael Jordan, and many more. • St. Augustine Food and Wine Festival at World Golf Village, Wed. May 4th thru Sun. May 8th. Artists include Ramona and The Riot, Sailor Jane, Sam Pacetti, and Jim Johnston. • Gamble Rogers Music Festival, Fri. May 6th thru Sun. May 8th at Colonial Quarter. Artists include Aslyn and The Naysayers, Carpetbaggers, Colton Mckenna, Dewey Via and Sam Pacetti among many others. • As If! The 90’s Fest, Sat May 21st from 12-9pm at Francis Field. Lineup includes local artists Chillula and Ramona and The Riot as well as National celebrity acts Montell Jordan, Eve 6, and Quad City DJs. LOT STA / 43
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The Local Scene
Recent events and fundraisers around town “Florida Ma’am Festival” was held April 2 & 3 at Colonial Oak featuring a fierce lineup of local female musicians throughout the weekend. A great time for all! Photos by: Elyse Bernthal
The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce held their “Chamber After Hours” gathering on April 8th in conjunction with the Fort Mose Historical Society at Fort Mose National Park.
Jimmy Jam Community Outreach held a BBQ Fundraiser on April 2 for Raylon Roberts. Congratulations on raising over $10k to support Raylon and his fight against bone cancer. 46 / APRIL 2022
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