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THE EXTRAORDINARY

PremierSothebysRealty.com

BAYOU GRANDE

SNELL ISLE

1849 Bayou Grande Boulevard NE $3,350,000 Jessica Denig 813.713.1301

1210 Monterey Boulevard NE $2,695,000 Gunn-Swainston Group 727.421.7234

ST. PETERSBURG

TIERRA VERDE

34745 Tranquiview Lane $849,000 Lisa Story 727.667.3355

747 4th Avenue North West 1 $560,000 Kelly Lee McFrederick 727.410.3605 2nd AVENUE NORTHEAST, SUITE 102A NEW LOCATION: 120 ST. PETERSBURG FLORIDA , 33701

E DR IV E N E

SOUTH STRAUB PARK

HOR

PREMIER SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

B AY S

SUNSHINE LANE NE

2nd AVENUE NE

NE

ST. PETERSBURG 727.898.6800

2nd STREET NORTH

CALL US FOR YOUR INTRODUCTION TO THE EXTRAORDINARY

PremierSothebysRealty.com

DOWNTOWN ST. PETERSBURG

CH D R IV E

700 Pinta Drive $1,340,000 Cheryl Riley 727.228.0779

DADE CITY

1st STREET NORTH

TIERRA VERDE

800 Collany Drive #303 $1,625,000 Gunn-Swainston Group 727.421.7234

BEA

1838 Park Street North $2,695,000 Gunn-Swainston Group 727.688.8875

N

Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.


GUNN SWAINSTON GROUP The First and the Best in Luxury The Vinoy - Penthouse Unit 1304 | Sold $4,000,000

The Vinoy - Unit 811 | Sold $2,395,000

LIVE BOLD

The Vinoy - Unit 824 | Sold $2,200,000

The Vinoy - Unit 814 | Sold $1,950,000

In 2017 and 2018 The Gunn Swainston Group achieved record breaking sales for their sellers in downtown St. Petersburg, and they take great pleasure in announcing a few of their accomplishments. Let them do the same for you. GUNNSWAINSTONGROUP.COM ST. PETERSBURG | 120 2nd Avenue NE | St. Petersburg, Florida 33701 CLEARWATER | 907 S. Fort Harrison, Suite 101 | Clearwater, Florida 33756

Robyn Gunn | 727.421.7234 Diane Swainston | 727.688.8875


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CONTENTS

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 l Volume 2 No. 4

SPOTLIGHT 10-14 Taking It to The Streets

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The 15th Annual Firestone Grand Prix hits the streets of St. Petersburg March 8-10. We take a look behind the scenes to find out what it takes to put on a world-class motorsports event.

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62-64 Under the Lights The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club has made a comeback in a very big way.

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66-67 Old is New Again Two historic hotels – the Belleview Inn and the Fenway -- have re-opened with stunning renovations.

28 CONNECT WITH SPL

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Find us online StPeteLifeMag.com Facebook.com/StPeteLifeMag Twitter: �StPeteLifeMag Advertising: 813.447.9900 bdrake�stpetelifemag.com Editorial: editor@stpetelifemag.com 260 1st Ave. S. Suite 200-151 St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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LIVE 42 Dining Out – The Peabody Refined, yet casual, the Peabody is a welcome addition to dining in the downtown medical center.

54 Beauty & The ‘Burg

18 Neighborhoods

Hidden away just south of downtown, Driftwood is a special enclave with a mission to preserve its history and native Florida landscape.

Cindy Stovall dishes on the latest St. Pete arts scene news.

50-52 Hearts in the Arts

Two well-known “sweetheart” couples share their love of the arts with St. Petersburg. Cindy Stovall fills us in on their romantic stories.

34 Conversation – Kris Radish Get to know the local book author and co-owner of the popular Wine Madonna.

56 Jewels of the Imagination Get ready to be blown away by the jaw-dropping exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts featuring the jewelry of legendary designer Jean Schlumberger.

PLAY 22 Conversation – Sarah Brightman

World-renowned soprano Sarah Brightman brings her HYMN concert tour to the Mahaffey Theater. Cindy Cockburn chats with her.

28 Red is for Romance

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to turn red.

58 Magritte & Dali

The two iconic Surrealists had much in common. We explore the Dali’s latest exhibit which is both playful and introspective.

60 Longboat and Lido Keys

Take a weekend getaway at one of two resorts on the spectacular beaches around Sarasota.

68 Casa Monica

Elegance and Old World charm are alive and well in St. Augustine.

72 SPL SCENE

The social scene, galas, grand openings and fundraisers around town.

38 Dining Out – Dr BBQ

Not your average barbecue joint, St. Pete welcomes Dr. BBQ to the downtown dining scene. Get ready for a fun scene and some finger-lickin’ good ‘cue.

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A W A R D W I N N I N G.

windstarhomes.com


WELCOME TO SPL ABOUT US

Happy New Year Another year has arrived and we can’t be more excited. We are so proud to be part of this city’s growth and future. Each year, we see how new businesses and arts bring vitality to this city that only decades ago was “God’s waiting room.” Today, the vibrancy and beauty of St. Petersburg are becoming known around the world. In this issue, we salute the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, celebrating its 15th year as one of the city’s most celebrated weekends. This world-class event, which brings six race series to the streets of St. Pete, is the season opener of the legendary IndyCar series. It attracts thousands of race fans, tourists and international media coverage to the Sunshine City. Hosting this race is a gem in our cap, and the City of St. Petersburg should be lauded for continuing to host the race. Check out our coverage and get your tickets early. Join the fun March 8-10 and be part of the city’s finest event of the year. As we head into 2019, we continue to cover the city’s ever-growing arts scene. Make a resolution to visit one of our amazing museums, join a Second Saturday ArtWalk, or visit a gallery or festival this year. Our arts scene is truly special as you will see when you read our coverage of the spectacular Jean Schlumberger Jewels of the Imagination exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Magritte exhibit at the Dali Museum. Two must-see shows! As an ode to Valentine’s Day, arts writer Cindy Stovall knocks it out of the ballpark with her profiles on St. Pete’s two well-known “sweetheart” couples – Yann and Susana Weymouth and Eugenie Bondurant and Paul Wilborn. Her story will remind us that love does, indeed, come at the most unexpected times. Our Neighborhoods focus this issue is on Driftwood, a hidden gem just south of downtown. It’s filled with history just like the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. We hope you enjoy our features on both.

St. Pete Life Magazine is a bi-monthly print publication distributed by mail to 20,000 of St. Pete’s most discriminating readers as well as at key local outlets.

PUBLISHER/CEO Beth Ann Drake EDITOR Marcia Biggs ART DIRECTOR Alicia Brown ADVERTISING Michelle Boudreau Vice President of Marketing Annette Mensch Account Executive CONTRIBUTORS Cindy Cockburn Travel/Features Kevin Godbee/Lori Brown Dining/St. Petersburg Foodies Jose Martinez Men’s Fashion Ro Martinez Rimes Fashion/Style Megan Simons Women’s Fashion Cindy Stovall Arts Writer Jonathan Kile/Kayla Gleason Contributing Writers CO-FOUNDER/BUSINESS MANAGER Ralph Zuckerman

bdrake�stpetelifemag.com Publisher

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Dorian Photography

Valerie Bogle

Beth Ann Drake

Marcia Biggs

editor@stpetelifemag.com Editor

St. Pete’s Sebastien Bourdais wins the 2018 IndyCar race. Photo from Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg


JESSICA DENIG Artfully Uniting Extraordinary Homes with Extraordinary Lives

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Luxury is about lifestyle, not price. It’s about an experience, and when it comes to real estate, experience matters.

PREMIERSTPETEHOMES.COM ST. PETERSBURG | 120 2nd Avenue NE | St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Jessica Denig | 813.713.1301 jessica.denig@premiersir.com


Morning at Fort De Soto Beach Photo by Kathleen M. Finnerty


SPOTLIGHT

Taking It To The Streets 15th Annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg PHOTO /FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG

BY MARCIA BIGGS World-class IndyCar racing will be roaring through the streets of downtown St. Petersburg March 8-10, and the excitement could not be higher. With hometown driver Sebastien Bourdais again at the wheel for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan, local race fans will be cheering him on after winning both the 2017 and 2018 St. Pete IndyCar races. The St. Pete race is the 2019 season opener and the ninth consecutive season opener for the IndyCar series, which always lends a sense of anticipation and excitement to the event. “With the start of a new season, anything could happen. We may have some new sponsors and new drivers. The teams feel it can be anybody’s race to win,” said Kim Green, co-owner and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the St. Pete race. The race is often called “the IndyCar version of Monaco,” with its spectacular waterfront track winding through downtown, past yachts and the eye-catching Dali Museum. The race annually attracts legions of hardcore IndyCar fans from across the country,

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including a global audience thanks to the magic of TV broadcasting. Hundreds of sports writers and photographers converge here, posting stories and images on web sites, social media, and to newspapers around the world. Nothing could be better for the Sunshine City, says St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce president Chris Steinocher, than those helicopter views of the picture-postcard waterfront, lined with palm trees and yachts afloat in the sparkling turquoise bay. “Florida is a lot more than beaches and amusement parks,” says Steinocher. “When people see those images, they come to St. Pete for the race or for the museums or because it’s a beautiful city. We don’t get official numbers on attendance, but we estimate the weekend brings in close to 150,000 people and has close to $48 million in economic impact … it’s a huge impact.” Indeed, it appears after 14 years, downtown residents and businesses are coming to terms with having a major race event


SPOTLIGHT in their front yard. “People now know how to plan around it and businesses have become a lot more savvy with leveraging promotions and staffing,” says Steinocher. “They understand it brings in a different group of visitors, and race fans who spend a lot of money.”

an honor to lead a city that has the eyes of the racing world on it during the race every year. I am always proud of our Sunshine City, but we shine especially bright during the Grand Prix. I look forward to welcoming back the drivers, the teams, the international media, and most of all, the thousands of race fans to the Sunshine City.”

The collaboration of the City of St. Petersburg with Green Savoree to build and tear down the track and all its components, has evolved into a well-oiled machine. Most streets downtown, with the exception of Bayshore, will remain open until the four days of race weekend. Race weekend is now a highly anticipated annual event, attracting not only race fans from near and far, but families and vacationers.

The weekend will feature three days of time trials and championship racing with six different racing series: the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires, Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Pirelli GT4 America and TC America. The star IndyCar Series Race will take to the streets on Sunday for a 198-mile shoot-out on a 1.8-mile course with 14 turns. Festivities will include a Speed Zone with interactive games and exhibits, a Fan Village, beer gardens (including one floating trackside in Tampa Bay), driver autograph sessions and other events to be announced.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has become a keen fan of the race. “Every year, I look forward to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg when our city transforms itself around some of the greatest racing in the world,” said Kriseman. “It is a pleasure and

For updated information on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, go to gpstpete.com

PHOTO/BARRY LIVELY

Get Down On It Kick off race weekend by running or walking part of the Firestone Grand Prix track on Friday, March 8, at the 7th Annual Modern Business Associates 5K Run. Race time is 6 pm; proceeds benefit the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg. For more information, go to gpstpete5k. com Ticket Information Weekend (three-day) general admission tickets are $55 for adults and a junior ticket for ages 12 and under is available for $30. Sunday adult ticket is $50/ $25 for 12 and under; Saturday adult ticket is $35, /$20 for 12 and under; Friday adult ticket is $20 for all ages. General admission does not include a reserved

grandstand seat. 3-Day Grandstand seats start at $105 and $70 for juniors. Pit Access and Firestone Paddock Passes can also be purchased now. Single-day tickets will be released for sale closer to the event. Want to really get into the race weekend? Available for a limited time, Champions Club includes a Paddock Pass for the weekend pass ($75), plus allows members unprecedented access to attend the official IndyCar drivers meeting on race day, an opportunity to win a two-seater Indy car ride on track, merchandise discount and other exclusive experiences. The pass does not include general admission or a grandstand seat.


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO /CITY OF ST PETE

Volunteers Are Key to Race Local volunteers contribute to the overall success of the Firestone Grand Prix every year. “There would be no race without the volunteers,” says race organizer Kim Green. At the helm of the huge task of organizing volunteers is Giles Dowden, Director of Sales and Client Services for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He has been managing the Volunteer Program here for the past five years. We caught up with him recently to find out more about volunteering. How many volunteers does it take to put on the St. Petersburg race? St. Petersburg utilizes a team of around 650 dedicated volunteers to help make the race happen each March.

What are some of the responsibilities of volunteers? They support key operational areas which include access control, credential center, grandstands, corporate hospitality and suites, information services, media center, photography, ceremonies, yacht club, show car program amongst other roles and responsibilities. What does it take to be a volunteer? We have a wide array of people that serve as volunteers . We have local college students, retirees and people that take time off from their regular jobs to volunteer. Some of our volunteers even travel from other parts of the country just to be a part of this great event here in St. Petersburg. The volunteers we seek are dedicated individuals who are excited to take part and show pride in their role with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. They have a passion to serve others and in essence are ambassadors for our great city. What are some of the perks of volunteering? We have had lucky volunteers who have had the opportunity to meet and escort the drivers during the race weekend. We have also had a volunteer or two who were able to get a ride around the track with racing legend Mario Andretti! Being a volunteer is just a great way to be a key part of this annual tradition in Tampa Bay. Volunteers should be available the entire race weekend and must be 18 or older. If you have a friendly and can-do attitude, learn how to volunteer for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at gpstpete. com/contact/volunteer

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CONVERSATION

Kim Green Co-owner, Chairman and CEO, Green Savoree Racing Promotions

Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, far right, join Mayor Kriseman in applauding 2018 Verizon IndyCar winner Sebastien Bourdais. Back in 2005, putting on the first St. Pete Grand Prix was diving into uncharted territory for Kim Green. Even though he had three decades of experience in motorsports -- his company, Indianapolis-based Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which he co-owns with Kevin Savoree, runs races in Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Portland -- this was a new city requiring a street track, lots of money, and a learning curve for a city with no experience putting on a world-class auto race.

Putting on the city’s largest weekend event each year has been a labor of love for Green. What’s he most proud of?

Now 15 years later, the native Australian is still in the race. After experiencing major financial losses in the early years, Green has come full circle, learning what it takes to put on an economically sound and successful street race in St. Pete without losing your proverbial pants.

Working hand-in-hand with the city staff has evolved into an efficient partnership, says Green. “The cooperation from the city is very good,” he says. “All the departments are involved from sanitation to traffic and police. They are all professional and they value it as an event that brings business and worldwide exposure. … Our relationship with downtown businesses has gotten better, too. We want everything to be a win-win.”

Though Green Savoree had an office here from the start, Green decided to make St. Pete home in 2015. He was impressed with the city, he says, everything from its friendly residents to the restaurants, art museums, waterfront, and of course, the beautiful weather year-round. “One of the reasons I moved here is that it feels very friendly,” he relates. “It’s what I call a hidden gem, not too big, not too small, with great restaurants and gorgeous beaches.”

“I think we have built an event bigger than a race,” says Green. “We have more resident activities like a 5K race on the track, car themed movies showing at a nearby park, we’ve really tried to grow the weekend. We use mostly local contractors, so the race creates a lot of business for the local economy.”

So what’s the word on the track? Do the teams and drivers like the Sunshine City as much as Kim Green? “The teams and drivers really do enjoy coming here,” says Green. “It’s a beautiful city, the racetrack works very well and they enjoy driving it.”

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SPOTLIGHT 2019

ALBERT WHITTED AIRPORT

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Getting To The Race What you need to know

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Park Downtown: City parking garages are a $10-all-day event rate on Friday and a $15-all-day event rate on Saturday and Sunday. Motorcycle parking is available for $5, Saturday and Sunday along the west side of 1st Street South between 1st Avenue South and Central Avenue.

Take the St. Petersburg Trolley: The Looper Downtown Trolley and Central Avenue Shuttle (St. Pete’s trolley system) offers rides throughout Grand Prix weekend for .50 per person. The Looper provides a circular route between the city’s parking facilities, hotels, restaurants and attractions at no charge.

Park and Ride Shuttle from the Trop: From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. there is a free shuttle service from Tropicana Field to the race course. Park in Lots 1 and 2 at Tropicana Field, the cost will be $10 by crediti card only. The shuttle picks passengers up on 16th Street S. and drops off passengers at Second Street S. and Fifth Avenue S. The shuttle operates all three race days from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is ADA accessible.

For updated information on parking, street closures and other transportation issues, go to the City’s website at stpete.org/grandprix

StPeteLifeMag.com

January/February 2019

All information in this article is subject to change.


SPL EVENTS

Guide Dogs Walkathon The Southeastern Guide Dogs annual Walkathon is coming! Head over to Vinoy Park on Saturday, Feb. 23, for this familyfriendly, dog-friendly, make-a-difference Walkathon that helps support programs that provide paws for people with vision loss and veterans with disabilities. (See SPL NovemberDecember issue for the full story.) Vinoy Park, 201 Bayshore Drive NE on the St. Pete waterfront, is one of five locations across Florida hosting Walkathons. Bring lots of dogs because we’re going for a world record for the most dogs wearing a bandana at a single event. Bandanas will be provided for all pooches. This free event includes a 3K walk and a Waggin’ Tails Festival with live music, a beer garden, food trucks, doggie zone, kids’ corner, and vendor fair. Registration starts at 9 am, walks start at 10 am, and the Waggin’ Tails Festival is 11 am to 2 pm. To register, go to guidedogswalkathon.org/

Fire and Ice The colorful Imagine Museum, 1901 Central Ave., celebrates its second Fire & Light benefit party on January 26. Enjoy live music, food and drink under the big tent, and wander the galleries filled with astounding work by American Studio Glass artists. Tickets $125 members/$150 non-members. Contact Lisa Ferrer at lferrer@imaginemuseum.com or (727) 300-1700 ext. 105 to purchase tickets.

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SPL EVENTS

FHM Celebrates “To Life” The Florida Holocaust Museum will host Dr. Jeffrey K. Cohen as a featured speaker for the Museum’s annual benefit, “To Life: Rock, Roll, Remember” on February 9 at the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel. Dr. Cohen is the President of Allegheny General Hospital, the hospital that treated the gunman from the Tree of Life synagogue shooting that occurred in Pittsburgh in October. The museum will be presenting Dr. Cohen and his team with the 2019 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award. In addition, The FHM will also be presenting the Loebenberg Humanitarian Award posthumously to iconic concert promoter Bill Graham, the subject of the current exhibition at the Museum, Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution. Graham’s sons, David and Alex, will be accepting the award on his behalf. The Vinoy Renaissance Hotel, 501 5th Ave NE, St. Petersburg; tickets are $250 by going to www.thefhm.org

“Putting on the Glitz Old Hollywood Style” will be the theme of this year’s Wine Weekend St. Pete presented by The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society to benefit the Museum of Fine Arts. Set for February 2-3, the weekend includes an elegant wine pairing dinner and live auction on Saturday, Feb. 2, with a four-course meal prepared by Chef Tyson Grant of Parkshore Grill. On Sunday, Feb. 3, a brunch will be presented from 11 am to 1 pm at 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House. Tickets are $300 dinner/$100 brunch; for reservations go to stuartsociety.donorshops.com

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SPL EVENTS

Art After 5 Tired of the same old happy hour scene? Get a hit of culture at one of a number of “after 5” events at area museums which offer admission discounts and sometimes a bit more. For socializing, mix and mingle at the monthly Cocktails & Collections at the Museum of Fine Arts or entertaining Tuesday nights at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. “We are very happy to bring art to a wider audience on Tuesdays with our extended hours and reduced admission,” said James Museum founding director Bernice Chu. “The $10 Tuesdays are a great way for visitors to experience The James Museum while listening to local musicians or learning from local artists. Our goal is to offer a variety of programs that connect, engage and inspire.” Check out one of these “art after 5” happenings: Cocktails & Collections is held on the third Thursday of each month from 5 to 7 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each month focuses on one of the MFA galleries or special exhibitions, highlighting a different work or a special artist guest speaker. Enjoy live music, a customized docent tour, light bites and a signature cocktail inspired by the different works and artists. Cost $20, includes first cocktail. mfastpete.org

The stunning new James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is open all day Tuesdays (10 am to 8 pm) for only $10. Peruse more than 400 works of art evoking the spirit of a wide-open frontier and the beauty of life in the wild. Each week something special starts at 5 p.m. including Western movies, gallery talks, artist demonstrations and live music. Check out the event calendar at thejamesmuseum.org/events/ Imagine Museum in the Grand Central District stays open late every Thursday (5-8 pm) when admission is only $5. On Tuesdays, The Art/Heart Connection at 5:30 pm offers one hour of Urban Yoga ($10) to practice your zen in a world of light, reflection, and creative expression. Must BYO yoga mat. imaginemuseum.com Poetry at The Dali is an ongoing series hosted by St. Petersburg Poet Laureate Helen Pruitt Wallace on the second Thursday of each month from 6 to 7:30 in the Will Raymund Theater through May. Pruitt Wallace is joined by selected poets to present poems addressing the theme of “Things Are Not as They Seem.” Free admission, parking is free after 5 pm, go to thedali.org/event/

All Photos Courtesy of G. Joseph Fitzgerald, DO

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January/February 2019

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NEIGHBORHOODS

Driftwood Hidden South St. Pete community is afloat with historic charm

BY JONATHAN KILE A little south of downtown St. Pete, the city’s orderly grid pattern dissolves into a few narrow winding lanes, sheltered in a dark tree canopy. A unique piece of our coastline known as Big Bayou hasn’t been dredged into fingered patterns of waterfront parcels. Instead, a small community has formed in the shadows of old oaks draped in philodendrons and night-blooming cereus. Instead of manicured lawns, a carpet of ferns and ivies with narrow paths lead to homes that hide in the shade. The neighborhood is appropriately called Driftwood. It’s a special spot. From Old Southeast, take 1st Street South until it ends, and you have arrived. The peninsula’s earliest European residents chose this point for a settlement called Pinellas Village.

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Before there was St. Pete, there was history here. This was the site of the only military action of the Civil War in what would become Pinellas County, when a Union frigate engaged homesteaders suspected of smuggling. Some of St. Pete’s prominent early families made their homes on Big Bayou. This is the known and often repeated history of Driftwood. In the 1930s, Mark Dixon Dodd and architect Archie Parish designed 19 distinctive homes here. Clever combinations of blocks and beams and lots of windows characterize homes made to fight the summer heat in an era before air conditioning. Another batch of mid-century modern homes from the 1950s feature crisp lines and low angles that took advantage of new building materials, techniques and tastes.


NEIGHBORHOODS Common Ground Driftwood’s homes reflect diverse styles, but what they all have in common is the appreciation for the old, dense landscape that protects the coastal neighborhood from sun and wind. Where other neighborhoods have seen their canopies dwindle by attrition from lots clear-cut by developers aiming to maximize square footage, homes in Driftwood have quietly changed hands over the years, or, in some cases been passed from generation to generation. Even the larger waterfront homes are framed by majestic oaks that would take 100 years to replace. How has Driftwood avoided the fate of other areas of St. Pete? One big reason is its tight-knit community of conscientious homeowners. Here, a volunteer neighborhood association (dues are $50 annually) has regular meetings and safely maintaining the area’s lush landscape is a frequent topic of discussion. They have reached a special agreement with utility companies who are normally eager to cut first and ask questions later. From their dues they pay a private landscaper to tend to park areas. The concentration of longtime residents has fostered longstanding traditions. There is an annual Fourth of July parade where participants are likely to outnumber spectators. Every five years

the Pentannual Raft Race pits residents in a home-made rafting competition with a traveling trophy and enough awards to send everyone home a winner. There’s an annual post-holiday Christmas Tree bonfire on the waterfront and there are book clubs and scavenger hunts and a popular New Year’s Eve progressive dinner. The care and cooperation is a beautiful thing, and something the neighborhood seeks to protect as development in surrounding areas nips at Driftwood’s edges. Cities gain identity from the things that set them apart, and Driftwood may lead the pack among other more visible city gems like Roser Park, the First Block of Central Avenue, and the Shuffleboard complex. It draws its character not just from being a century old, but from what has taken a century to create. Landmark Designation Recently, a consensus among a majority of neighbors was reached to apply for local landmark designation as a historic district to protect the neighborhood from the changes to landscape and scale of home that well-meaning property owners can bring when they update older homes. Of the 47 properties, a majority voted to initiate the application, which is then decided upon by City Council after a lengthy review. The support is remarkable when considering the task of communicating with so many property owners.

Driftwood celebrates each July 4th with a neighborhood parade. Photo/Trish Moore

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NEIGHBORHOODS

Neighbors gather for a Thanksgiving in the park. Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke, standing, is a longtime Driftwood resident. Home photos/ Rixon Photography; center photo Trish Moore.

It’s easy to see why Driftwood is special while taking a stroll with Laurie Macdonald, a resident for nearly 30 years. We don’t make it far without stopping to chat with a familiar face. She explains that Driftwood is a little different than some other districts that have sought to protect architectural style elements.

of tax breaks and exceptions from modern rules that are impractical to enforce when improving older properties. National data also indicates that property values in historic districts outpace the market and tend to be more stable in downturns. Through boom and bust, Driftwood grew from unusual beginnings into a place unlike anywhere else in the city. With continued care and an eye toward its past, it will continue as a hidden jewel, nearby -- but somehow off -- the beaten path.

“Our residents are concerned about preserving the integrity of Driftwood through maintaining its unique landscape and one of the main threats is that developers tend to clear-cut properties when building a new home. From what we’ve seen built here over the years, lots in Driftwood can accommodate eclectic homes compatible with the scale and character of the neighborhood.” Laws pertaining to local designation acknowledge the added effort in owning property in a historic district. Owners can take advantage

To see a short video on Driftwood, go to Neighborhood Profiles on the city’s web site at http://www.stpete.org/neighborhoods/ neighborhood_profiles.php

Driftwood founder was renowned artist In a city full of museums and resident artists, Mark Dixon Dodd was the first nationally known artist to call St. Pete home. In the 1930s, he designed 19 homes in Driftwood, each with a painting to hang over the fireplace. A testament to their charm, all 19 of those homes remain and many owners still display their original Dodd paintings. Dodd, too, remained in St. Pete. He opened an art school, was a prominent fixture in many art shows, and his work was featured in the 100th anniversary celebration of the Morean Art Center. He split his time between St. Pete and the mountains of North Carolina until he died here in 1952. We can thank Dodd for his role in nurturing St. Pete’s early art community. A painting by Mark Dixon Dodd hangs above the fireplace in a Driftwood home. Photo/Laurie Macdonald


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CONVERSATIONS

Sarah Brightman

HYMN: SARAH BRIGHTMAN IN CONCERT February 19 7:30 pm Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater Tickets: $68.50-$253.50 themahaffey.com (727) 300-2000

‘Hymn’ Concert Promises a Heavenly Evening for St. Petersburg

BY CINDY COCKBURN Ah, the gift of music. Sometimes just singing along to our favorite lyrics can lift our spirits and soothe the soul. Romantic Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and show tunes about love are swirling. Sarah Brightman, the world’s leading and best-selling soprano, will bring her “HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert” tour to the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater on February 19 at 7:30 pm. “Hymn” was recorded during the past two years, with sessions in Hamburg, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Budapest and Miami. Critics report the new album is so successful because it emphasizes the concept of togetherness during times of global turmoil. Sarah is best known for “that voice” portraying the role of Christine

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in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” created by her ex-husband the one-and-only Andrew Lloyd Webber. Her duet with Andrea Bocelli, “Time To Say Goodbye,” became an international success selling 12 million copies worldwide. She has performed at such prestigious events as the 2007 Concert for Diana, the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Fasten your seat belts, St. Pete, we’re in for an evening filled with joy. She’s currently touring around the world (over 125 shows on five continents) and she said she can’t wait to enjoy St. Pete’s glorious weather. Who is this woman beloved by fans around the world? I tried to find out when we caught up on the phone a few days before Christmas.


CONVERSATIONS You just performed your new album “HYMN” in South America, how did that go? How did the audience react to your performance? I was so excited that the audience was filled with younger fans. It rocked! I think they grew up listening to my music! They actually put down their cell phones and listened. We need a world where we all do that more. You’ve headlined the greatest halls and performing arts centers in the world. What do you think of Florida? I love sunny Florida and even bought a small place in Miami. The nice thing is you can enjoy the “cha cha cha” of South Beach but I just enjoy walking the beach with my mother. The new album “HYMN” is joyful and spiritual and filled with “light.” I’m sure lots of people around the world will find their spirits lifted with such an inspirational album. Was this your intention? Did you feel the need to lift spirits when you worked on this music? Yes, I felt that since people in general are not communicating in person anymore (so buried in social media) I wanted to offer positive, uplifting songs. In fact, I’m looking forward to playing in the smaller, more intimate St. Pete Mahaffey Theater where we can all connect together versus playing to larger arenas. What was it like working with Andrea Bocelli? It was challenging and interesting.

We know your husband created the part of Christine for you. How do you feel about the fact Phantom of the Opera is celebrating 30 years? I’m happy to have been a little bit of an inspiration. We understand you’ve sung in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Turkish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Catalan. Did you tour Dali’s home in Spain? My family used to live in Spain … I look forward to seeing the new Dali Museum if I get the chance. You may think you have a small town, but people all over the earth think of St. Pete as incredibly glamorous.” You have been called the world’s best-selling soprano of all-time. You’ve performed around the world from The London Symphony Orchestra to Broadway and the Olympics. Which venue was the most memorable? The Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 jumps out immediately. I still can’t get over the fact that the preparations were so last minute. They hadn’t even finished building everything when I arrived. It was wild. But that’s show biz!” What is your favorite city, or what destination do you never get tired of returning to? My choices are so diverse. I love New York City and I love Toyko equally.

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SPL EVENTS

MUSE Awards On Tap The 2019 MUSE Awards will honor Mark Aeling as Visual Artist of the Year at the 6th annual celebration on February 8 at 7 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive. Sponsored by the St. Pete Arts Alliance, the fundraiser serves to recognize the breadth and beauty of art and culture and pay tribute to those who continue to inspire and guide St. Petersburg to its standing as an international arts destination. Aeling is an internationally recognized sculptor and a respected leader in the St. Pete arts community. He opened MGA Sculpture Studio in St. Petersburg in 2005, where he designs and fabricates large-scale sculptures seen across Tampa Bay. Of his more notable work are the six life-sized bronze dolphins in the Sundial courtyard in downtown St. Pete. In 2018, Aeling was awarded public art commissions for both the interior and exterior of the new St. Petersburg Police Headquarters and will be creating a monument that commemorates the events of 9/11 called “Rise” that will be located at the ArtsXchange in the Warehouse Arts District. He has served as president of the Warehouse Arts District Association since 2012 . Other honorees will include: MUSE Performance Arts Award – John Lamb, jazz musician MUSE Literary Arts Award – Sterling Watson, author and teacher MUSE Patron of the Arts Award – Lisa and Perry Everett, collectors and local artist supporters

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SPL NEWS

St. Pete Wins Bloomberg Grant In a joint press conference on January 3, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and United States Special Envoy for Climate Action, named St. Petersburg the 20th city to win the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC). With this designation, St. Petersburg will receive $2.5 million in resources from the $70 million program designed to foster competition and “get the juices flowing” in cities throughout the country to combat climate change. Bloomberg made a call for applications from 100 of the largest U.S. cities in June 2018 to find innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

“We are still in,” declared Kriseman at the press conference, which took place at Albert Whitted Park. “A city leading the way in taking action to address climate change and working toward clean energy goals in one of the areas in the nation’s most vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise.” The resources from the Bloomberg Foundation will go towards the implementation of the City of St. Petersburg’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP), which is currently being finalized. The resources from the ACCC will primarily be directed toward building and transportation improvements. – St. Pete Catalyst

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CONVERSATIONS

John Kelly

ST. PETE

St. Pete’s Hideaway Cafe BY BILL DEYOUNG

The Hideaway Café is unique among St. Petersburg’s live music venues. You can get wine and beer, but it isn’t a bar, exactly. There’s a kitchen, which turns out pretty tasty food, but it’s not really a restaurant. First and foremost, the Hideaway Café – celebrating its 10th anniversary – is a “listening room.” Essential to the culture of music-centric cities like Nashville, Austin and even New York, a listening room puts the focus squarely on the performers onstage, with a top-notch, hear-the-pin-drop sound system and lights that don’t do anything but make the musicians easier to see. And that’s just what John Kelly, the Hideaway’s owner/operator, intended. “No one’s sitting facing the bar,” he explains. “The whole place is set up to look at the stage. So even the biggest, heaviest nights in here, for the most part you tend to watch the show. It’s not just background, no matter where you are in the room. And what about when there’s a hundred people in there, and it’s totally quiet? That’s amazing.” A native of Teaneck, New Jersey, Kelly got the acoustic, audiophile bug during the near-decade he spent in Nashville, working as a graphic designer, mortgage broker, bartender, chef and whatever else it took to keep food on the table while he pursued his passion for music. “I moved to Nashville with zero plan,” he says. “I was 23 or 24, and I probably had 600 bucks. And it changed everything. I met my life at that point.” He played guitar in a band called Left Field Jackson, which always seemed to be teetering on the edge of success but never quite made that final plunge. Not for lack of trying on Kelly’s part. Piece by piece, he created a recording studio in the basement of the band’s communal house.

Kelly arrived in St. Pete with crates of mics, mixers, guitars and other equipment, the best of the best, testrun over his years in Music City. He set up his first business, Hideaway Recording Studio Inc., in the carriage house behind the home he rented. The current Hideaway began as a studio. Since he was leasing more space than he needed, Kelly reckoned, why not build a stage, so when a band, or an acoustic artist, was ready to release their record, they could celebrate with a party and performance? At first they were like house parties, with potluck suppers, the room fitted out with sofas and soft chairs for what Kelly calls a “comfy and cozy” vibe. The public was allowed in on Thursdays, for Open Mic Night. Then Kelly got a license to sell beer and wine, which led to Fridays and Saturdays, and booking local and regional performers for the stage. Over time, the schedule expanded. In 2011, he annexed the former tattoo parlor next door and fitted it out with a commercial kitchen. And so the Hideaway became an actual, food-serving café … with seats that only face the stage. From the start, the idea was to enforce the direct connection between artist and audience, by not being a bar with its attendant noise and bustle. “From a band standpoint, that’s loud and it works,” Kelly observes. “For blues and all that stuff, it works. But man, when you get someone just telling a story, you can’t do that in a bar. If they’re a really good writer, you miss it all.” This story has been edited; to read the entire story go to Catalyst, St. Pete’s daily business platform, at StPeteCatalyst.com. Hideaway Café is located at 1756 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg.

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FASHION

Romantic Red

Find your perfect shade of red for Valentine’s Day PHOTOS/ANGELA MANN PHOTOGRAPHY

BY MEGAN SIMONS On Valentine’s day you need passion for fashion! You must agree that there are special days in life that we need to make unforgettable. How do you make sure that your image will pleasantly linger in his mind after the special day passed? It’s simple, just follow Coco Chanel’s advice – “dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Red is the obvious choice, especially for Valentine’s Day, but I can almost hear the chorus of voices saying “red is not my color.” But I can nearly guarantee you, that in the incredibly wide pallet of red shades, everyone can find the perfect match, just like finding the right partner. Sometimes it takes a little more effort, but he is out there. I’m talking, of course, about the right shade of red. Imagine the basic red with a slight splash of yellow, that would be your warm, tomato red. In strong saturation applicable for all Fall types, in delicate shades for all you Springs. Now mix your basic red with a few drops of blue, and you get the delicious shade of raspberry red, just perfect for you Winters and gentle Summers. So now, what should you wear? Actually, that’s not the right question, the right question is – what impression would you like to make, what image and what message would you prefer to send? But also take into consideration the circumstances, where are you planning to spend that romantic day? Perhaps a picnic for two on the beach? Gear up for the weather and be sure to wear layers, starting with a stylish and unique pair of capri pants or jeans. A red top is a must but also take with you a lightweight, light colored leather jacket. It may come in handy when

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FASHION

the sun goes down or the breeze kicks up. Add a long whiteturquoise, or short black, necklace. Pants will also work for many other scenarios. Doesn’t a great pair of black pants with sizzling red embroidery on the side sound exciting? The combination of two strong colors: black and red, with added sparkles or metallic accessories is one of the easiest ways to make your outfit speak out that you are truly superb.

For other date nights the dress may be an essential choice. Today’s fashion offers us so many wonderful options that you can really rock your own look. Details will make you stand out in a crowd. Choose a fitted dress with a big bow in the front, or a comfortable A-line style with a cold-shoulder and feminine rushing, or go all the way with sequins and sparkles on your offthe-shoulder dress with flair sleeves. The choice is yours. Oh, by the way, have an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!

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Read

My Lips Ever wonder what lip colors really suit you? Use this chart to match lipstick shades to your individual hair, eye and skin tones.

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FASHION

Designer Silvana Diez

Brings Milan to St Petersburg BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU Milan, Italy, is known as a fashion capitol worldwide, understandably as the glamorous fashion is renowned. Certainly, in my years of travel, my favorite place to shop by far is Italy. Upon walking into the Milano Bags & Shoes location on Beach Drive I was immediately transported to Europe. I fell in love with Silvana Diez’s designs, and had to meet her. As luck would have it, she happened to be in town. Hailing from Lima, Peru, Silvana has a 30 year tenure as a handbag and shoe designer. She originally attended University to become a lawyer, while studying art in the afternoon. She was quickly sought after by store owners in an upscale nearby shopping mall to design clothing and windows. This world was fascinating to her and with a friend owning a large leather tannery she changed her studies to shoe and handbag design.

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After attending trade shows for 30+ years in Milan, Silvana shares, “Everyone is so elegant and fashionable there. They look like models, they all carry beautiful shopping bags. You just know every bag contains a beautiful surprise.” This is her inspiration for the name of her international brand Milano Bags & Shoes, by Silvana Diez. Local resident, and serial entrepreneur Ken Atchison recognized an opportunity when meeting Silvana Diez with her designs in Miami. The owner of Natural Comfort Footwear on Beach Drive, opened Milano Bags and Shoes as his tenth store in the state of Florida. Be sure to visit the store at 212 Beach Drive, and enjoy the modern, sophisticated yet comfortable designs with traditional handmade Italian leather craftsmanship. The priority is quality.


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Sweet Dreams For handcrafted French and Belgian artisan chocolates that will steal anyone’s heart, seek out Viktoria Richards Chocolates. Since 2008, Victoria Boyko Fulwood and husband Richard have been creating unique chocolates from their New Port Richey facility. Available at select distributors (find them at Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Petersburg), the VRC selection is constantly changing. We adore the miniature chocolate Matryoshka Nesting Dolls (9-piece box for $25) filled with raspberry, mint, and cinnamon ganache centers. But the Hearts and Truffles gift box (9 pieces for $22.50) is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Place your order in advance by going to vrchocoates.com or call (727) 505-6567.

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CONVERSATIONS

Kris Radish

ST. PETE

Words, Women and Wine Madonna BY BILL DEYOUNG Growing up in tiny Big Bend, Wisconsin – the local kids lovingly referred to their hometown as “Large Lump” – Kris Radish was desperate for a way out. At the age of 12, she started crafting a plan. “I was an avid reader – and I was like ‘Oh my God, the world is bigger than Big Bend! How can I parlay my love of reading into the rest of my life?’” She was 15 when she left home. Fiercely independent, she became the first member of the family to attend college, paying for it herself via a series of odd jobs, ultimately earning a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. Five decades, an astonishingly varied career and 15 books later, Kris Radish is the co-owner of Wine Madonna, the boutique wine lounge in downtown St. Petersburg, where she also mentors up-and-coming writers, sponsors literary events and hosts book club meetings. She titled her 2014 collection of autobiographical essays “Gravel on the Side of the Road: True Stories from a Broad Who Has Been There.” Radish’s lengthy career as a writer, editor, bureau chief and columnist, much of it spent in Utah, was the gateway drug that led to her transition to fiction. The 80-hour work weeks wore her down. The constant travel. Working undercover to infiltrate a white supremacy group, exposing the peculiar kind of corruption that exists in the Mormon church, going on one violent ride-along after another with the local cops, getting stalked, bullied, threatened. That sort of stuff will take its toll. Her marriage ended in divorce. “When I first thought of leaving journalism, I was going to go to law school – because that’s what I was doing anyway,”

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Radish, 65, explains. “I was also teaching part-time at Brigham Young University, and then I taught at the University of Wisconsin.” Briefly, she entertained a second career as a psychologist. “My job, my whole life, has been getting people to tell me the things they didn’t want to tell me. I could have gotten both of these degrees for free, because I was teaching.’” But no. She was a writer. Bring on the books “If any writer tells you they don’t want to write a novel, they’re lying through their teeth,” she says. “One day you’re sitting there thinking ‘My God – I went to Bosnia, I was almost killed, I hung out of airplanes, I held that dying girl’s hand at UCLA, I saw that little boy get killed by a train – and I had to knock on the door and ask the questions.’ You might have cried when you asked the questions, but you did your job.” Her first book, 1992’s “Run, Bambi, Run,” was a true-crime narrative about a notorious Milwaukee murder. “But what about all that emotion you have, about loss and love and death? Not to mention the fact that I am a woman, and I write about what I know. So I decided I was going to finally get it all out and write these novels.” Published by Random House, Radish’s first novel, “The Elegant Gathering of White Snows,” arrived in 2002. Six years later, Radish and her partner Madonna Metcalf devised a plan of their own. “Madonna came into my life when my kids were younger, and helped me, and when the kids got into college it was her turn,” Radish explains. “And her dream had always been to open up a wine bar.”


CONVERSATIONS The couple relocated to California, where Metcalf studied for and received certification by the Court of Masters as a Sommelier and a Wine Professional. That accomplished, they went looking for a place to open Wine Madonna. “As a writer,” Radish smiles, “I can live anywhere.” The weather, of course, attracted them to Florida. “You’d have to be half blind not to see that St. Petersburg was going to go crazy. We looked everywhere in this area – we looked at Ybor, we looked at Clearwater, we looked at downtown Tampa, we looked at Sarasota. St. Pete was just humming. We could tell. “When we opened this bar there was nothing here – a few places here, a few there – now you can’t walk three feet without bumping into a restaurant or a bar.” Concurrently, the publishing business was feeling the heat of the national recession; the book-business model was changing. Random House did not renew her contract. Birth of Wine Madonna From its opening day in 2010, Wine Madonna was also a literary hub. The literature group Wordier Than Thou is based out of the bar, which is also ground zero for Radish’s annual literary retreats. “I always say that Wine Madonna is a social service agency that sells wine,” she claims. “I talk with people all the time who are interested in writing, and want to write books. I’m honest, but I never want to discourage anyone. If that’s what your passion is, then you have to do it.”

Radish herself has “never stopped writing. And I’ve written four or five books since I’ve been here.” She publishes through SparkPress. Both of her now-adult children eventually moved to the bay area, and both worked at Wine Madonna. Radish and Metcalf were legally married last March. Radish’s next projects – two novels and another work of non-fiction – are in various stages, in between conception and completion. And she’s getting that old journalist itch back again. Coming soon is a redesigned website and a return to news blogging, reporting and commentating. Today’s news just plain bugs her. “As someone who was a working journalist, who prided herself on accuracy, who would go to her death to protect the written word and truth, I’m depressed every day,” she says. So Kris Radish continues to see every new day as a challenge, which she thrives on. “Some people are really terrified of change,” she says. “I embrace it.” Wine Madonna is located at 111 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg (727) 289-7257 Kris Radish’s website can be found at: www.krisradish.com Content for this story was provided by the Catalyst, St. Pete’s daily business platform. Subscribe for free at StPeteCatalyst.com.

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DINING OUT Dr. BBQ The Restaurant 1101 1st Avenue S., St. Petersburg (727) 443-7227 drbbqs.com Sun - Thu 11 am – 10 pm Fri - Sat 11 am – 11 pm

DR. BBQ

Tasty regional styles of ‘cue and a fun atmosphere make Dr. BBQ a downtown hit

PHOTOS /ST. PETERSBURG FOODIES.COM

BY KEVIN GODBEE “Yeah. I’ve heard that name before.” That was my first thought a couple of years ago when we caught wind of a new restaurant coming to town via the Datz Restaurant Group from Tampa. Admittedly, even though I hadn’t previously watched any full shows with Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ, the name recognition was there, plus it’s coming from Datz. The Doc has traveled all over the country and won over 400 barbecue competitions, and the Datz Restaurant Group has amazing restaurants in Tampa, so I figured this has to be a winning combination. So, there’s Dr. BBQ, the dude, and Dr. BBQ, the restaurant. You can see the dude at the restaurant quite frequently, where he is more the baby kisser and palm presser persona, but don’t let that fool you. Lampe can cook, and it goes beyond barbecue. He has seven cookbooks, plus a “road trip” guidebook to barbecue places around the country. He’s earned the right to not have to sweat it out with the smoker all day. Roger and Suzanne Perry, the husband-wife team behind Datz, not only recruited Ray Lampe, but also Texan Lee Jasper to be

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the Pitmaster at Dr. BBQ. Lee has been smoking meats for 12 years working at the famous Kreuz Market in Texas. The space is pretty epic. It used to be a steel fabricating plant, so it is pretty industrialist, but with a warm homey feel. There’s an inside bar downstairs, and an outside bar and deck upstairs. This is an excellent restaurant experience in a cool, large space where you can get your foodie freak on. Dr. BBQ doesn’t adhere to one strict style of barbecue. There are several clearly defined barbecue styles: the Carolinas, Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas. There are also regional variations within those. For some serious regional barbecue connoisseurs, it goes beyond the food, and traverses into a subculture of sometimes rigid, and competing regional guidelines. The St. Louis Ribs with Jack Daniels Baked Beans is fantastic and Certified Angus Beef®. The beans are made with Northern, pinto, and black beans with pork, in Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce. The Jalapeño Cheddar Sausages, which I loved, come from Southside Market in Elgin, TX. The pastrami is house-cured and smoked and is also Certified


DINING OUT

Epic Peanut Butter Pie

Sliced brisket with french fries and purple slaw Angus Beef® as is all of the beef including the Sliced Brisket, which is Lori’s favorite.

sweet onions, jalapeños, topped with Flamin’Hot Cheetos®. Super delicious!

For starters, Tastes Like Chicken Spread is house-smoked grouper and gator, seasoned and served with both crackers and buttery garlic toast. Kimchi Fries are crispy hand-cut double fried Idaho Potatoes® topped with caramelized kimchi, house-made Korean BBQ sauce, lime crema and green onions. Flamin’ Mac-A-Phoni is plump hominy, tequila habanero aged cheddar queso, bell peppers,

The doctor is in, and he awaits your hungry belly! Kevin Godbee and Lori Brown write about the local food scene at stpetersburgfoodies.com, where you can check out their weekly podcast featuring local movers and shakers in the food and restaurant industry.

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FOOD BITES

Romantic Restaurants Wondering where to take your honey for a lovely little Valentine’s Day dinner? These suggestions come from Kevin Godbee and Lori Brown of StPetersburgFoodies.com. All are in St. Pete unless otherwise noted: Grace Restaurant, Pass-a-Grille Ceviche Gratzzi Italian Grille

Parkshore Grill Selene Restaurant, St. Pete Beach Pia’s Trattoria, Gulfport

Mimosas & Masterpieces PHOTO/THEDALI.ORG

Rococo Steak IL Ritorno Annata Sea Salt

A few romantic faves of St. Pete Life editor Marcia Biggs include Left Bank Bistro, Marchand’s at the Vinoy, and Birch & Vine. On the beach, you can’t beat Caretta on the Gulf at the Sandpearl Resort and Sea-Guini at Opal Sands for fine dining with a seaside view. PHOTO/STPETERSBURGFOODIES.COM

Let us count the ways to woo a date in the intimate setting of Annata on Beach Drive.

Kick off your Sunday at the light-filled Cafe Gala at the Dali Museum with a Catalaninspired brunch of small plates and tapas from 11 am to 2 pm. Chef Chuck Bandel creates specialty items based on seasonal ingredients, so each week’s menu varies but recent selections included Jamon & Poached Egg, Gazpacho, Avocado Toast and Farmhouse Tortilla ($7 to $11). Sip on a specialty cocktail such Cava Mimosa ($6.50), Aqua de Barcelona ($8), Spanish Sangria (red or white) ($6.50), or Basque Cider ($8). Add on a visit to see the museum’s current Magritte & Dali exhibit and you have the perfect Sunday date.

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Don Before

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FOOD BITES

Small Bites South American steakhouse Renzo’s has opened at 104 2nd Street S., in the space formerly occupied by Z Grille. With two locations in Tampa, the restaurant features Argentinian-style grilled meats and an extensive wine collection with many South American varietals. Look for St. Pete’s newest bakery at 1113 Central Avenue inside Baum Avenue Market, which also houses two other food concepts — Serene and Avocado Valley. Serene is a wellness bar featuring smoothies, smoothie bowls, and wellness lattes. Avocado Valley is a Mediterranean and Middle Easterninfluenced eatery focusing on fresh healthful ingredients. Five local restaurateurs have joined forces to open a new waterfront dining venture soon. Jon LaBudde, Pete Boland, Larry Munch, Ian Taylor and Mario Farias are hard at work recreating the recentlyclosed Fish Tales at Harborage Marina into Big Catch at Salt Creek. “We envision a place that’s sort of flip-flop

fabulous. You can come here dressed whatever way you want,” Farias told St. Pete Catalyst. Harborage is installing additional dockage to allow greater restaurant access for boating customers. Stay tuned for an opening date. Il Ritorno fans are rejoicing. The Italian favorite at 449 Central Ave. is now open for Sunday dining starting at 5 pm (except on SuperBowl Sunday, sorry fans). Eco-friendly Kahwa Coffee co-owner Raphael Perrier has been on the love list lately with the city, so much that his St. Pete coffee shop was the designated meeting spot for a morning confab between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg on January 3 just before they announced a $2.5 million grant would be bestowed on the city by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Kahwa has long supported green and sustainable practices, encouraging customers to even bring their own cups.

Take a taste trip around the world at the delightful new Bacchus gourmet market which recently opened at 124 2nd Avenue NE. The long-awaited brainchild of Anais and Christophe Guillot offers a dizzying array of wines, cheeses, beer, charcuterie, jams and honey, artisanal oils and vinegars, and other delicacies from France, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Belgium and elsewhere. Even better, small plates and wines are available for nibbles and sips for those who just can’t tear themselves away. Who can’t resist this kind of French charm?

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DINING OUT

The Peabody

Lunch at this upscale new dining spot is an inspiration to return for dinner

The Peabody located at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital 600 5th Street South, St. Petersburg (727) 369-9969 peabodyrestaurant.com Mon - Fri 8 am – 9 pm Sat – 9 am – 9 pm Sun – 9 am – 5 pm PHOTOS /STPETERSBURG FOODIES.COM

Grouper Nuggets

BY LORI BROWN From the minute you walk through the doors of The Peabody, you feel transported back in time. A serene setting of tables within an old-fashioned library surrounding a bar. All of this located in the complex of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. The restaurant is not located inside the hospital. Its main entrance is located on 6th Avenue South, next door to the new research institute. Once you are inside, you would never know that a hospital is near. The restaurant is brought to us by the owners of Tampa’s revered Oxford Exchange. The inspiration behind The Peabody is simply stated on their website, “George Peabody believed in the power and importance of education in the lives of others. One of his many legacies is The George Peabody Library, an institute he built for, and dedicated to, the citizens of Baltimore in 1857.” Over three visits, we noted that the menu appeared more to be catered towards a lunch crowd rather than dinner, as there were not many entrees on the menu, mostly salads and sandwiches. That has since changed and they now offer a separate dinner menu which offers more suitable evening entree options. On the first visit, I immediately gravitated to the Steak Sandwich made with shaved sirloin, roasted peppers, cheese, crispy onions and the secret Peabody sauce. The steak sandwich itself was loaded with flavor and the peppers added just a bit of spice, texture and zippiness to the profile. The crispy onions are a great touch with their texture and the steak was obviously a good quality. All sandwiches are served with their house-made chips, but you can opt for fries instead for an upcharge. I did opt for fries and I am so glad that I did. I dub them as crack fries. They were obviously house-cut and seasoned and I ate every last one of them.

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Kevin opted for the Burger on one visit and the Blackened Fish Tacos on another. The burger was outstanding in my book, made with double patties and served with white American cheese, lettuce, tomato and the Peabody sauce. The tacos are served with chili glaze, kale slaw, pico, feta and cumin aioli on a tortilla and served with fries. Kevin proclaimed them some of the best fish tacos - the grouper was moist, plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor. He also enjoyed the Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich made with arugula, tomatoes, Pistachios and dried cherries. We tried the Grouper Bites appetizer which are served with key lime aioli and fresno chile. These are simple yet complex at the same time. Squeeze the lime over them to add some citrus brightness, combined with the aioli, the bite of the chiles and the freshness of the grouper, this appetizer is a clear winner. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich is made with provonello, Burrata, bacon and spicy tomato aioli served on a grilled red pepper sourdough bread. The flavors were spot on, but I thought it odd to grill burrata cheese and it was quite messy to eat. Kevin ordered the Club Sandwich made with ham, turkey, Gruyere, bacon, tomato, bibb lettuce, avocado and garlic aioli. It was delicious. As mentioned earlier, The Peabody now offers a dinner menu, which features some of the lunch selections but more entrees that weren’t offered before such as Roasted Chicken, Spaghetti Bolognese, Grilled Salmon and Filet Mignon. We will definitely be back for dinner. If what we experienced in three lunch visits is any indication, then dinner will be spot on. Lori Brown and Kevin Godbee write about the local food scene at stpetersburgfoodies.com.


SPL EVENTS

Let the Sunshine In The Sunshine City Film Festival is back for an entire week this year from January 14-21, celebrating the independent film industry with events including workshops, panel discussions, evening social networking mixers, and more all geared to newbie and professional filmmakers, actors, writers, directors and producers. Screenings take place at the Sundial AMC20. A highlight event promises to be Ladies in Film & Entertainment on January 15 at 7 pm at The Palladium, celebrating the works of the top women in film and entertainment from around Tampa Bay and beyond. The Festival Kick-Off Party takes place at 7 pm Friday, January 18, at NEO Soul Café, 1742 Central Ave. For a complete schedule, go to sunshinecityfilmfestival.com

Artistic director Mark Sforzini brings a fine cast to Kiss Me, Kate February 2-10 at The Palladium. A Shakespeare troupe is putting on The Taming of the Shrew, but the cast is embroiled in interpersonal relationships that lead to offstage bickering and onstage surprises. Cole Porter’s score, performed with the original-size Broadway orchestra, is filled with great numbers such as So In Love, Too Darn Hot, Why Can’t You Behave?, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare. Michael Kelly stars as Fred/ Petruchio and Michele Sexton is Lilli/Kate in this rollicking evening of comedy and song. Tickets available only through St. Petersburg Opera Company; call (727) 823-2040.

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SPL EVENTS

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Jazz Fest is Back The St. Petersburg Jazz Festival offers up five evenings of cool sounds in an intimate setting at The Palladium’s Side Door February 27-March 3. Produced by David Manson, the 11th annual Jazz Fest will present multi-instrumentalist singer Valerie Gillespie and ensemble (Feb. 27), Alexis Cole and the Helios Jazz Orchestra (March 2), Remembering Sam Rivers - a tribute to jazz legend Sam Rivers (Feb. 28), jazz flutist Nestor Torres with his quartet (March 1), and the Martin Bejerano Trio performing his Chamber Music America commission (March 3). Tickets $25/$35 with fiveconcert ticket package $100/$125. For information on times and tickets, check out mypalladium.org.

Fun and music will fill the ‘Burg January 20-21 with festivities celebrating Martin Luther King Day. Battle of the Bands kicks off the weekend Jan. 20 from 5 to 9 pm at Al Lang Stadium. The big event, the MLK Dream Big Parade starts at 11 am on Jan. 21 at 3rd Street and 1st Avenue S. followed by Family Fun Day at Tropicana Field from 2-6 pm.

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SPL NEWS

St. Pete Says No to Plastic Straws

The St. Petersburg City Council passed an ordinance that will significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic straws and expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) in the city when it takes effect in 2020. “This is a great step forward in St. Petersburg’s efforts to protect our precious coastal community,” said St. Petersburg City Council Member Gina Driscoll. “This small change will make a big difference when everyone is participating.” The council voted 5-2 to move forward with an ordinance banning the use of foam on city property and restricting

Park & Plug Coming

single-use plastic straws. St. Pete joins a growing list of local governments, entire countries and major corporations who have committed to eliminating singleuse plastics. Here in Tampa Bay, restaurants and businesses are joining the national movement away from single-use plastics. The Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition certifies these restaurants as “ocean friendly.” To find a list of local restaurants in the program, go to www.suncoast-rap.org and click on Ocean Friendly Program.

If you own an electric vehicle you’ll soon have more places to recharge in the ‘Burg. The City of St. Petersburg has announced it will join Duke Energy’s Park and Plug – a pilot program that will install more EV charging stations. “I’m excited about the opportunities the Park and Plug pilot program will provide for St. Petersburg residents and visitors,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. In addition, Duke will be funding the initial charging infrastructure for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s electric buses and a solar installment at The Pier. Once station locations have been selected, the City will work directly with NovaCHARGE LLC, a leading national EV charging solutions provider selected by Duke Energy, on equipment installation.

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FASHION

Stylish Burger Paul Swaine BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU While enjoying a bite to eat at St. Pete’s trendy Sundial, I noticed a gentleman walk in and I couldn’t help but notice his sense of style. He caught my eye with his haircut (a young Paul McCartney), impeccable grooming head to toe, and great smile. When I struck up a conversation, I noticed a bit of an accent and when asked where he was from, he responded Ireland. Curious as to what would bring someone so stylish from Ireland to St. Petersburg, I continued our conversation. Paul Swaine now has roots in the ‘Burg and offers personal ballroom dance instruction. He loves the direction the city has taken in the past few years with fine dining, luxury condos, theaters, museums, along with shops and boutiques. Compared to his favorite world-class cities such as London, New York and Los Angeles, he thinks St. Pete is much more personable, condensed, and offers an easier, walkable lifestyle without being too crowded. What brought you to the United States and St. Pete? Living in Ireland, I won several awards as a world-class competitive dancer, the natural career evolution is to become an instructor. Nine years ago, Fred Astaire International recruited me to Boston, a few years later Arthur Murray recruited me to St. Pete, and I have been here for the past seven years. I took my passion and hobby to an entirely new level, I turned it into a career and business. America is fantastic for creating new business. When did you start dancing? I was seven years old and while traveling to a resort with family I saw a dance competition. I fell in love with dance, upon returning home the next week I was enrolled in dance lessons. I never looked back, I worked hard to become a world-class competitive dancer, winning

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several awards and accolades over my career. One of the biggest highlights of my career was competing in the European Championship at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The top couple from each country is chosen to represent each country, I was chosen to represent Ireland. What is your personal style? Dance is all about fashion, because you have to create an image on the dance floor. You ask yourself, what image do I want to project, and how will I stand out as unique to the judges. You must stand out to win with image and dance. My favorite designer is Armani, I also like Dolce Gabbana and you can’t beat the cut of a Tom Ford jacket. Shoes - Kurt Geiger and Christian Louboutain. My favorite place to shop for fashion in downtown St. Pete is Jackie Z’s in Sundial. What have you learned from your dance career? Dance offers a full life makeover at times. I remember a woman around 58 years young, she was overweight, gray hair and in a rut in her life. After dancing with me for three years, she lost 50 pounds, colored her hair, changed her wardrobe and makeup, she began to dance in championship competitions. We completely transformed her life with the suggestions I had made along the way. Dance is a super confidence builder. My current passion is using dancing lessons as a vehicle to turn my client’s life around and give them more confidence. They can go back out into the world with confidence after raising their kids for years, perhaps after a deceased spouse or a divorce. Paul Swaine can be reached at (727) 226-3720.


ARTS & CULTURE

Hearts in the Arts Two creative couples choose the ‘Burg to make their dreams flourish BY CINDY STOVALL

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s only natural for our thoughts to wander into romantic territory. Of course, love and romance mean different things to different people. It could involve commemorating a wedding, first date or first kiss. It could be a celebration of love for family, children, or close friends. Perhaps it could be love on a much grander scale - in the case of our beautiful Sunshine City, it is an ongoing love affair with the arts.

proclaimed it as a city for the arts upon incorporation in 1903. The new millennium has seen the cultural life of St. Petersburg explode onto international “best of” lists, and so it would seem, the secret is out. The gig is up, along with the rents. Not only has art bolstered St. Pete as a tourist destination, our city has become the home of some of the most talented creatives in the world - artists of all genres who fell in love with St. Pete, too.

We commonly think of the St. Pete arts origins as synonymous with the building of the Museum of Fine Arts in the ‘60’s, and by the opening of the Dali Museum in the ‘80’s. But the truth is, St. Pete started its love affair with art well over a century ago when founders

It got me wondering about the love stories in St. Pete’s arts community - couples in which both partners are involved with creating, facilitating, or promoting the arts. Though there are many stories to tell, here are two of my favorites for your romantic souls.

Yann & Susana Weymouth Yann and Susana Weymouth represent an ideal of love and partnership that we all aspire to. Their story is one of enviable devotion and mutual respect achieved while navigating two highly successful careers over three decades. Here in St. Petersburg, Yann is the architect responsible for the Hazel Hough Wing expansion at the Museum of Fine Arts. He also designed our very own surreal palace, the Dali Museum, one of St. Pete’s most recognizable landmarks. The Dali’s hallmark emerging glass bubble known as “the enigma” represents a true marriage of engineering and artistic expression. Once seen, you simply never forget it. That seems to be a theme for Yann as, most recently, he was the architect responsible for the stunning James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. This three-story structure appears to us as a sort of naturally chiseled terracotta monolith jutting out of the earth, perfectly capturing the Southwest vibe that houses the extraordinary Western art collection of Tom and Mary James. (Interesting side note: Yann’s sister, Tina Weymouth, was a founding member and long-time bassist for the Talking Heads and subsequently Tom Tom Club. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) Susana is the executive director of Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts or TBBCA for short. This not-for-profit organization facilitates partnerships between the business and arts communities. It’s a creative and, as it turns out, essential approach to common sense arts subsidies for scholarships provided by businesses that wish to be known for their involvement in, and support of, the arts community. TBBCA hosts a number of very

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successful events such as their monthly “Cultural Encounters” held at venues throughout the Tampa Bay area, and the very well attended annual “Impact Awards,” to name just two. Their love story began far from here and half a world away from each other. Yann grew up a Navy brat and lived all over the world.


ARTS & CULTURE He attended Harvard and MIT and by the late ‘80’s he was living in Paris and working for world renowned architect I.M. Pei as the chief of design on the Grand Louvre Project, the glass pyramid structure with subterranean lobby that now marks the entrance to one of the world’s most famous museums. (Yes, he did that too!) Susana, a graduate of Georgetown University, worked as an executive traveling between New York and her home in Beijing.

was commissioned to design the Hough wing and the Dali. But we found an amazing community full of talented artists and beautiful surroundings. Susana adds, “How could we NOT want to live here!” Even as they speak of it now, each beam over the memory. All their recollections are peppered with compliments, made in earnest, and sincere admiration for each other even after 30 years. “He’s the most incredible person I have ever met,” Susana says. “And that’s saying something.” “Susana is brilliant, accomplished, and she’s been my muse for 30 years,” replies Yann. It is very clear that they are as much in love now as they were then, perhaps more so. Eugenie Bondurant and Paul Wilborn Paul and Eugenie are one of the best known and, I think I can say this without contradiction, best loved couples in St. Pete. Paul, a Tampa native, was a news journalist for the Associated Press, the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times, and a screenwriter in a former life, but he now presides over all things stage worthy as the executive director of the Palladium Theater. He is also a prolific musician, regularly performing his American Songbook, a series of cabaret style concerts with his striking better half. These days, Paul confines his writing primarily to theater blogging and hilarious scripts for Radio Theatre Project, a very popular monthly series of staged old timey radio style readings at the Studio @620. He and Eugenie are regular and highly popular participants.

Through business, she became acquainted with Pei’s son Chien Chung (Didi), and he informed her one day that he had “the perfect man for her - a Franco American” working for his father in Paris. It wasn’t long before Didi got to Yann as well, telling him “I have the perfect woman for you. She’s brilliant, Cuban, beautiful.” Of course, the one fly in the ointment was that she lived in China! Neither was especially interested at that time. Yann had been previously married to the daughter of publisher Katherine Graham. The marriage ended in the ‘70’s and he was not particularly interested in a serious relationship. Susana was content with her career and had no plans to move. But, as fate would have it, Yann and Susana found themselves in New York at the same time with a 48-hour overlap. Chaperoned by their mutual friend, Didi, they went to a Mark Rothko exhibit at MOMA and the dye was cast. “As soon as he began speaking about Rothko,” Susana smiles, “the imagery and magic of his words made me see the work in a way I never had before. He was brilliant, insightful, captivating. I knew right there and then.” Yann’s experience was similar. “ I knew the first second,” he says. “Our real love story began over art.” They talked late into the night and by 4 am, Didi knew his services were no longer required. Yann proposed two months later, and Susana moved to Paris. I asked how they came to be here in St. Pete and Yann said, “After moving to London and then back to the USA, we came here in 2001 when I

Eugenie, long and lean with undeniable star presence, is the ‘Burg’s resident movie star. Featured as “Tigris” in one of the “Hunger Games” films, Eugenie has also had a busy career on the stage and TV. She has a million stories, but I love the one about how she found

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ARTS & CULTURE Paul and Eugenie’s love story begins across the country in Los Angeles. Paul was covering the Winona Ryder shoplifting scandal for AP and had just sold a screenplay. As a result, he was invited to a book release party at the Napa Valley Bar & Grille in Westwood where many movie premiers take place. Eugenie was promoting a small indie film she was starring in, “Donald and Dot Clock Found Dead in Their Home.” No, I’m not kidding. She just happened to be invited to the same party, and though she was hesitant to attend yet another “industry” party, the producer told her they would make contact with a well-known PR representative who might help promote the movie pro bono. Paul recounts, “from across the room, I see this tall, beautiful woman enter the party.” Eugenie interjects, “It was like the song, Some Enchanted Evening.” Paul walked across the room to introduce himself and recalls Eugenie’s first words to him were, “I’m Eugenie Bondurant and I’m moving to New Orleans.” As it turns out, she was planning to return to her hometown in the next month. Eugenie had had enough of LA and wasn’t looking for any emotional entanglements. Paul, very familiar with NOLA and unwilling to be discouraged, saw his opportunity and engaged Eugenie in conversation about the Crescent City she loved. He ended up getting her card, something very unusual for a well brought up Southern girl. After a few dates - drinks, a movie, dinner, Paul knew Eugenie was something special but what about the impending move? It was too soon to make any real commitments, so Paul brilliantly suggested Eugenie give him “just three months.” Eugenie did not move home. She recalls, “when someone sees you at your worst and helps you paint your duplex with underwear on his head, you know you’ve got a keeper.” When Paul’s friend Pam Iorio became Mayor of Tampa, he had an opportunity to be part of the administration. Now He was the one leaving and needed a place to stay after giving up his apartment. Once again, calling upon her Southern upbringing, Eugenie made it clear that she would not live with Paul unless they were engaged. And so it was. The pair moved to Tampa together and married in 2004. They love performing together and never seem to tire of each other’s company after 14 years. Paul smiles, looks at his wife and says, “If anything, we look for opportunities to spend even more time together.”

A TRUE herself in a leather bustier in a “Wayne’s World” skit on Saturday Night Live with Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, and Madonna. Eugenie is a Screen Actor’s Guild member and shares her love of acting as an instructor for Andi Matheny Acting Studios and the Patel Conservatory. Worth mentioning is the fact that, talent aside, she is one of the kindest, loveliest people I have met in my 28 years in this community.

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love story

NEVER ENDS


USFSP NEWS

USFSP Honors Business Leadership Training USF St. Petersburg’s Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership will begin offering courses in corporate training and professional development. With a suite of classes in topics like human resource management, project management and organization development, the training program is geared towards business professionals who want to cultivate their leadership and managerial skills, while advancing their careers.

Although USF Tampa has offered continuing education courses for more than 20 years, the program was revamped a few years ago to put more emphasis on corporate training and professional development. The programs being offered include an Elite People Manager Certificate; Human Resource Management; Organization Development and Leadership Certificate; Process Improvement; Project Management; and 5G Power Skills Certificate, which focuses on managing multiple generations in the workforce. Learn more at the www.usfsp/bishop

Express your individuality.

“The Bishop Center has been looking to establish an external facing leadership program for a while,” said David O’ Neill, Assistant Director of the Bishop Center. By partnering with USF Tampa’s Office of Corporate Training and Professional Development, O’Neill said they’ve been able to accelerate the program’s

development, adopting and adapting courses to fit USFSP’s interest in leadership for working professionals.

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg bestowed an honorary doctorate to businesswoman and local philanthropist Kate Tiedemann. Tiedemann was awarded an honorary doctor of business degree at a graduation ceremony on Dec. 9 at the Mahaffey Theater, where graduates of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business and College of Education received their diplomas. Bill Edwards, chairman of the Edwards Group, was presented with the Chancellor’s Community Leadership Award. Edwards was recognized for providing resources for schoolchildren and others through the charitable foundation he created 15 years ago, The Edwards Family Foundation.

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ARTS & CULTURE

As Valentine’s day approaches, there are plenty of activities filled with love and beauty to share with the special people in your heart. Here are just a few for your consideration. Please don’t forget to catch my arts and culture podcast, Beauty & The ‘Burg on the Helium Radio Network at www.heliumradio.com BY CINDY STOVALL

On Stage

Museum Happenings

freeFall Theatre Company presents “Perfect Arrangement.” Based on a true story, this mid-century period piece is Topher Payne’s smart and stylish comedy that examines relationships, love, and marriage through the lens of the earliest stirrings of the Gay Rights Movement. Runs through February 24. www.freefalltheatre.com

There is still time to catch the fascinating industrial exhibit Norwood Viviano: Postindustrial at the Chihuly Collection. Handblown depictions of America’s industrial cities will evoke wonder and make you think about the impact of progress on humanity. Runs through February 28. www.moreanartscenter.org

Critically acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau authored the latest, thoughtprovoking production in American Stage’s 2019 season. “Pipeline” is a timely piece that explores the conflict between love of community vs. love of family. The challenges of inner-city life, education, and opportunity are thoughtfully brought to life, giving us all some insight and a lot to think about. Runs through February 24. www.americanstage.org The Palladium brings back, for a 5th season, its classical chamber music series The Palladium Players. Gaining in popularity each year, monthly concerts are performed on Wednesdays through April. This quartet of master musicians is led by virtuoso violinist Jeffrey Multer with Danielle Farina on viola, Edward Arron on cello, and Jeewon Park on piano. World-class music performed right here in St. Pete rivals chamber concerts anywhere in the world! It’s simply a perfect night out. Upcoming dates are: Feb. 13, March 6 and April 17. www.mypalladium.org

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The Museum of Fine Arts really shines, literally and figuratively, with exquisite dual exhibits featuring iconic jewels and other art designed by the incomparable Jean Schlumberger. Look for a review of Jewels of the Imagination and Drawn to Beauty in this issue. Also, check out the Beauty & The ’Burg podcast featuring the team responsible for this truly spectacular pair of exhibits. www.lirpodcasts.com www.mfastpete.org The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art continues the wildly popular James Michaels: An American Pop Life. Michaels, a Tampa Bay artist, exhibits his work in Pop Expressionism and Painterly Realism. Inspired by popular culture, childhood memories, and life experiences, Michaels’ colorful canvases feature art history references alongside depictions of classic toys and cartoons. It is something very special. Runs through March 3. www.thejamesmuseum.org The Dali Museum proudly presents Magritte & Dali - a side by side comparative study of two of the 20th century’s most consequential Surrealists. Look for the review in this issue. www.thedali.org

Gallery & Alternative The Beth-El Art Festival is celebrating its 46th year! This mainstay arts event is always highly anticipated and features


ARTS & CULTURE

®

work from some of the area’s most talented artisans. Painting, photography, mixed media, glass, sculpture, metal, wood, ceramics, and jewelry provide a feast for your post-holiday eyes. There are also wonderful events associated with the festival including entertainment, a luncheon and docent tours. Admission is free and you’re sure to find something you absolutely can’t live without. January 26-28 www.artfestivalbethel.com The 4th Annual Gulfport Fine Arts Festival returns to Veteran’s Park this year with an always wide array of beautiful artwork in every conceivable medium. Gulfport’s colorful and relaxed Key West vibe is the perfect backdrop to a day of perusing, eating, and hanging out with friends and family. Admission is free. February 9-10 www.sikpromotions.com/applicants/winter/ gulfport-fine-art-festival Localtopia 2019, “A Community Celebration of All Things Local,” returns to downtown’s Williams Park for its 6th year. This festival celebrates and showcases every aspect of the ‘Burg’s business community. Themed “villages” divide arts, food, networking, music, family activities, and so much more. A full day of shopping, eating, and fun await you and those you love at Localtopia. It’s the quintessential celebration of St. Pete. www.localtopia.keepstpetersburglocal.org When you visit Duke Energy Center for the Arts-The Mahaffey Theater, you’ll notice an exciting new addition. The Galleria Misto has opened its second location (the original is in Belleair Bluffs), right inside the theater to add to your overall experience. Open to patrons during all shows, the gallery is located on the second floor and features the fine artwork, in multiple mediums, of artists both local and international. The opening exhibit ‘”Inception of Creation” is on display now. www.galleriamisto.com Until text time … Cindy Stovall’s Beauty & the ‘Burg podcast covering the arts in St. Petersburg airs on Wednesdays at 6 pm at heliumradio.com. Archives of previous shows are available.

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Jewels of the Imagination One of the world’s most beautiful and extensive collections of jewelry comes to the Museum of Fine Arts PHOTOS/MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS ST. PETERSBURG

BY MARCIA BIGGS When independent, jet-setting women of the 1960s and ‘70s wanted to sparkle a little brighter, they frequently turned to renowned French jewelry designer Jean Schlumberger. Best known for his work for Tiffany & Co., Schlumberger was a master at using the beauty of the natural world as inspiration for creating unique, brightly colored works of jeweled art that were both elegant and whimsical.

Jean Schlumberger’s spectacular creations rank him among the most influential and innovative jewelry designers of the 20th century. The artist started his career designing for the famed fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, before heading his own salon at Tiffany & Co. His work was avant-garde and Surrealist, drawing inspiration from the natural world and such exotic locales as Bali, India and

From left: Jasmine Necklace (1966), Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon Photo: Travis Fullerton © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts/ Brooch (1958) © Tiffany & Co. Archives/ Hedges and Flowers Necklace (1978) ©Tiffany & Co. Archives

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Thailand. Schlumberger’s lively, experimental designs graced the necks, wrists and lapels of style icons of the era like Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Taylor and Bunny Mellon. More than 30 years after Schlumberger’s death in 1987, Tiffany & Co. still carries his designs. After premiering at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts last year, Jewels of the Imagination: Radiant Masterworks by Jean Schlumberger from the Mellon Collection brings more than 150 priceless pieces of jewelry and objets d’art to the Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors should prepare themselves for a dazzling experience. It’s a visual blockbuster, so stunning that a dimly lit “recovery room” complete with plush lounge chairs has been added for those who are literally knocked off their feet. What makes this show so spectacular is that it’s a double exhibit, basically two breathtaking collections in one. Visitors enter first through a companion exhibition, Drawn to Beauty: The Art and Atelier of Jean Schlumberger, created by curators at the MFA to explore Schlumberger’s process as an artist and designer. Here we see jewelry, sketches, photographs, objets d’art and personal items belonging to the artist. It’s the perfect introduction to Schlumberger, and sets the stage for the grand collection to follow. The main exhibit, Jewels of the Imagination, highlights spectacular pieces from the personal collection of philanthropist and art collector Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. It is presented in the context of four “seasons” or galleries representing the four seasons of Mrs. Mellon’s palatial gardens at her estate in Virginia. An avid gardener, Bunny Melon delighted in the beauty of nature and surrounded

herself in it. Nationally renowned designer Rush Jenkins of WRJ Interior Design, who has designed more than 40 exhibitions for Sotheby’s New York, created the dreamlike spaces. Bunny Mellon’s extensive collection of Schlumberger pieces is the largest, most comprehensive public collection of his work in the world. It was donated to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts between 1985 and 2015. No value has been publicly announced on this collection, a museum representative relayed, but we can only guess it’s beyond imagination (pun intended.) Mrs. Mellon’s love of gardening inspired many of Schlumberger’s botanical jewelry pieces, such as Flower Pot (Pot de fleurs), 1960, an ornate flowering plant emerging from a tiny terracotta pot, encrusted with emeralds and diamonds, with an amethyst flower bursting with gold petals. Another famous piece, Jellyfish, 1967, is a brooch that floats mysteriously on the wearer’s lapel, with a body of moonstones, and dynamic tentacles made of diamonds and sapphires appearing to move through flowing lines. But the exhibit offers much than jewelry. Tabletop sculptures of gold and precious jewels, lapis and gold cigarette cases, bejeweled urns candlesticks and much more bring a world of impossible beauty to our eyes. Jewels of the Imagination is presented by Sabal Trust and organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It will be on view through March 31, 2019. Drawn to Beauty will be closing a few weeks earlier on March 10. The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is located at 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. For hours and ticket information, go to mfastpete.org or call (727) 896-2667

From left: Jellyfish (1967)/ Dot Losange Bangles (1960) /Sea Star (1960) Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon Photo: Travis Fullerton © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts January/February 2019

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Magritte & Dali Exhibit compares the two Surrealist icons PHOTO/MARCIA BIGGS

Magritte’s cloud-filled blue sky screen room offers an immersive experience at the end of the exhibit. BY MARCIA BIGGS

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The two most celebrated icons of the Surrealist movement Salvador Dali and René Magritte – are presented together in an amusing new exhibit, Magritte & Dalí, at the ever-surprising Dali Museum. Once again, the staff has curated an engaging show, combining exploration of a world-renowned artist with education.

Surrealists from the late 1920s to the early 1940s, the period when the two artists’ careers overlapped and they displayed their works in the same exhibitions. Magritte joined the Surrealist Movement in 1927, rising quickly to stardom. When Salvador Dalí arrived in Paris two years later, Magritte was one of the first Surrealists he met.

Presented in a theatrical style with dimmed lights amid garnetcolored galleries separated by plush velvet curtains, the expansive exhibit explores the work of the Spanish and Belgian

The Dali Museum wins kudos for embracing technology in recent years (if you haven’t experienced the Dreams of Dali virtual reality experience, you don’t know what you’re missing).

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ARTS & CULTURE This show ends with an interactive bang, as two final galleries allow the visitor to literally step inside the art for a playful and memorable experience.

several galleries making this exhibit not especially child-friendly. Other galleries explore how both artists portrayed irrational spaces and double images.

Surrealist Styles Although they took very different approaches with their respective styles, both artists were equally committed to content and ideas that stretched boundaries and questioned everyday assumptions of reality.

Art and the Imagination In the final two galleries, visitors are invited to inject themselves into the art itself. One can float though Magritte’s cloud-filled blue sky in an immersive 360-degree screen room where the clouds are continually flowing and evolving. It’s a “fully immersive experiential room,” according to Jason Lashley, creative director at Pixel Rain Digital, an interactive projection mapping company based in St. Petersburg.

Magritte is known for his deadpan style and witty, thought-provoking imagery of ordinary objects placed in unusual context. His “cut-outs” in a setting or landscape reveal another dimension or unexpected reality beyond. Numerous paintings present cutouts through which can be seen small clouds afloat in an idyllic blue sky. His L’Oiseau de ciel (Sky Bird, 1966) is a favorite dove image. Dali, as well, was a master of placing images within images, as can be seen throughout. A fine example is Old Age, Adolescence, Infancy (The Three Ages), 1940. The exhibit places pieces by both artists side by side, showing either related concepts or imagery that clearly relate the two yet display individual styles. Another beauty worth contemplating is Magritte’s landscape L’ile au trésor (Treasure Island) 1942 with doves metamorphosing from a green plant along a shoreline. The birds are ready to soar into those beautiful clouds, this time seen hovering above a mountain and seascape. Both artists addressed the subject of the female nude and fetishism, and both topics are explored in

L’ile au trésor (Treasure Island) 1942/René Magritte

From here, move into the final gallery where visitors can insert themselves via projection magic into two paintings. Lashley describes it as “augmented reality using infrared tracking” on 54-inch monitors. With the swipe of a hand, we are frozen in time, allowing just enough seconds to snap a selfie. Suddenly, the visitor’s body image has replaced the man in the overcoat and bowler hat, in one of Magritte’s most recognized images, The Son of Man. The Dali organized the exhibit in a partnership with The Magritte Museum (a part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels) and is co-curated by Dr. William Jeffett, Chief Curator of Exhibitions at The Dalí Museum, and Dr. Michel Draguet, General Director of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The Dali Museum is located at 1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg; for hours and ticket information go to thedali.org or call (727) 823-3767.

La Réponse imprévue (The Unexpected Answer) 1933/René Magritte

More Magritte An adult art workshop, “Paint Like Magritte,” will be held January 31 in which students can paint their own Sky Bird; an open play/instructional chess event led by the St. Petersburg Chess Club is set for February 9; and a Magritte and Belgian-inspired beer and chocolate tasting experience is being planned for March 28. Café Gala will also be offering a delectable Belgian chocolate torte and Belgian beer for the duration of the exhibit. To find a complete schedule of events, go to thedali.org/events

Old Age, Adolescence, Infancy (The Three Ages) 1940/Salvador Dali

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TRAVEL

Longboat & Lido Keys Find your perfect weekend getaway in Sarasota

The Resort at Longboat Key Club

BY MARCIA BIGGS Sometimes all we need to do is look in our own backyard to find just the perfect weekend getaway. So fortunate are we in Tampa Bay to have the award-winning beaches of Longboat Key and Lido Key just an hour or so away. Minutes from Sarasota await two beachfront resorts ready to remind us that we live in paradise – so let’s enjoy it! My favorite is the smaller of the two, Lido Beach Resort. It has a more intimate feel, with a thatch-roof tiki bar and a more private beach on a curving stretch of immaculate white sand and crystal blue water. It has 223 beachy suites and deluxe guest rooms in hues of the sea – aqua blue and white. Endless views of the Gulf from the balconies will immediately lower your blood pressure. St. Armand’s Circle, with its toney boutiques and restaurants, is just a few miles away. The resort offers free shuttle service back and forth, which is nice. The Sunday Brunch at the Lido Beach Grille is alone worth the stay. It’s one of those jaw-dropping brunches with tables groaning with prime rib and seafood, pastries, salads, antipasti, breads and cheeses, eggs and potatoes, crepes, plus an omelet and waffle station. The panoramic views from the 8th floor present diners a bird’s eye view of both the Gulf beaches and the downtown

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Sarasota skyline. Downstairs at the more casual Café Lido guests can enjoy a fine selection of lunch and dinner menu items, with a focus on steak and fresh seafood. Even the tiki bar has an excellent selection of hearty appetizers served al fresco for sunset dining. The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a sprawling property with both residential condos and rentals. The beach complex has numerous condo buildings, restaurants and pools, all geared for the luxury lifestyle. A spa and fitness center is also on the beach. The staff will zip you to and fro in golf carts.


TRAVEL About 15 minutes north on the key is where the resort’s two golf courses (45 holes), tennis complex (20 Har-Tru courts) and full service marina are located. A shuttle van will provide transportation between the two properties. If you love golf and tennis, this is the resort for you. Guests have a wide variety of lodging to choose from at either location. We enjoyed the marina-side Portofino Ristorante with its Northern Italian cuisine and casual ambiance. The outdoor patio is the perfect spot to feel the ocean breeze and gaze at the stars. Boaters should note the Longboat Key Club Moorings marina offers nightly dockage, a perfect excursion from Tampa Bay.

Where To Go Spend an evening or afternoon strolling the many boutiques, art galleries and eateries at St. Armand’s Circle. We highly recommend lunch or dinner at Tommy Bahama’s on the Circle. Both the food and the service are excellent, and on weekend nights there is live music. The outdoor tables are a prized spot for people-watching. Spend a day at the Ringling Estate in Sarasota where the Ringling Museum of Fine Art presents John Ringling’s collection of world-class Baroque art. The Circus Museum, sculpture garden and Ca d’Zan Mansion of John and Mable Ringling are also here.

Lido Beach Resort

Mote Marine Aquarium is a great stop for families with its exhibits of live manatees, sea turtles, otters, sharks, and other marine life. This is a working marine research laboratory and sea turtle hospital, with expert guides who are happy to tell you all about the critters in the tanks.

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SPOTLIGHT

Under The Lights St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club makes a cool comeback PHOTO /MARCIA BIGGS

Friday nights under the lights at the St. Pete shuffleboard courts brings out families, couples and neighbors. BY KAYLA GLEASON From humble beginnings in English pubs to rising popularity in retirement communities and on cruise ships, shuffleboarding and nightlife seem an unlikely pairing. But in St. Petersburg, the courts have become the place to be on Friday nights whether you’re meeting friends for a drink, searching for a family-friendly activity or just looking to better your game. “The perception maybe 15 years ago was that shuffleboard was only for older people, but the great thing about it is that it’s fun for

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all ages,” said Christine Page, Executive Director of St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. “Yeah, it’s a lot of fun for older people but it’s also a lot of fun for younger people, for kids. It’s a social sport, it’s something someone can do if they have a disability, it’s for everybody.” “There are kids who started in 2005 and are now in college or getting married who grew up with the sport and passed it on to other friends. So now there’s this whole generation who don’t


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO FROM ST. PETE SHUFFLE BOARD CLUB

Gaining in Popularity Thanks in part to the tireless efforts of the club over the last few decades, shuffleboard is experiencing a second surge in popularity, allowing it to continue adding to its already extensive history. Originating in the United Kingdom over 500 years ago as a tabletop game, shuffleboard didn’t become the modern, recognizable sport until it moved here to St. Pete in the 1920s. “The British Navy would paint it on the decks

559 Mirror Lake Dr. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-822-2083 info@stpeteshuffle.com Facebook: @StPeteShuffle Free to the public every Friday from 7-10 pm Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 pm; admission is $5 for non-members, free for members

“This is the place to be in St. Pete. It’s the Wimbledon of shuffleboard.” - Mary Eldridge, member since 1965

Club members gather for socializing and games in 1925. think of it as a thing for old people but as an everyday thing to do in St. Petersburg.”

St. Pete Shuffleboard Courts

of their ships, that’s how it got started on the ground. It moved to cruise ships in the 1800s then, in 1913, a hotel owner from Daytona was on a cruise and loved it so much he painted it on his sidewalk,” Page explained.

“My dad talked us into coming after he saw it on the news. I was thinking it was more of an old person’s game but it’s definitely interesting and a lot of fun.” - Brittany Rader

A few winter residents eventually brought it to the area and worked with the city to put in two courts where the much larger club now stands. As more clubs popped up across the state – all playing by different rules – organizers knew official guidelines had to be made. “Some were playing with two discs, some had totally different ways of scoring, some courts were curved – so they all came here PHOTO /MARCIA BIGGS

“It was one of the first places I found out about when I moved here and didn’t really know anyone. I went to a free Friday and really liked the community. All the people involved have become like family.” -- Laura Duvekot, member since 2010.

“We came down four years ago on a Friday night and had a blast and have been members ever since. This is the coolest thing in St. Pete.” Val Moore, member since 2014

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SPOTLIGHT PHOTOS /KAYLA GLEASON

in 1928 and formed the Florida Shuffleboard Association and developed the rules,” said Page. “In terms of tourist history, this is an important place; in terms of recreational history, this is an important place, but in terms of shuffleboard history, this is the place. Anybody who plays shuffleboard anywhere in the world, plays with the rules that were invented here.” And that game spread like wildfire. By the 1940s, the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club had over 7,000 members. The courts were full all day with professionals, families and curious travelers alike. Sliding Away However, as the Tampa/St. Petersburg area grew, numbers began to dwindle. And, by the late nineties, only 35 members were left. “Many people didn’t have cars when the club first opened so, if they had an apartment downtown, they were limited to things in walking distance. Now, you can drive to the beach, the mall, you can go to Tampa – that was a two-day trip back then – so there’s a lot more vying for people’s attention,” Page explained. “Then there’s the perception that shuffleboard is only for older people, so it got a bad rap.” With such small numbers, members were unable to take care of the building and maintenance of the courts went to the city.

Still, the club remained in operation. “In 2005, a group of preservation-minded people approached the then-president and asked if they could open up the club to the public to help get more people interested,” said Page. “And it worked. Slowly, more and more people started coming and now it’s this St. Pete institution where we’ll have 250 people here on a given Friday night.” Friday Night Lights St. Pete Shuffleboard is now 1,300 members strong and growing. On many Friday nights, according to Page, the courts are already full by opening time. Friday nights – which are free to the public – remain some of the busiest at the club and attract people of all ages, even those who have never played before and are simply drawn in by the uniqueness. And while the club has become the talk of the town over the past decade, Page isn’t stopping there. “Our goal is to have people here playing day and night. I want 7,000 members again, I want it to be weird if someone from St. Pete isn’t a member,” she said. For more information on the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, check them out at www.stpeteshuffle.com.

8th Annual Tweed Ride WHAT: Wear your best vintage fashion on a bike ride through downtown St. Pete. Vintage bikes encouraged. Presented by Cycle Brewing and St. Pete Bike Co-op with proceeds to the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club renovation fund WHEN: Saturday, January 26; doors open at 2 pm, ride begins at 4 pm HOW MUCH: $15 members, $20 non-members, children under 16 free Tickets are on sale now at stpetetweedride.com

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Jewels of the Imagination presented by

Leadership support provided by Mark and Marianne Mahaffey, Jeff and Penny Vinik, The Bill Edwards Group, and The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society with contributing support by Crown Automotive Group. Jewels of the Imagination is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Drawn to Beauty leadership support provided by The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation. Drawn to Beauty is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg.

Jean Schlumberger, Butterflies, 1956, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Photo: Travis Fullerton Š Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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SPOTLIGHT

Everything Old Is New Again Two iconic historic hotels have recently come back to life BY MARCIA BIGGS Two historic hotels in Pinellas County – the Belleview Inn and Fenway -- recently reopened after extensive renovations to astounding accolades. The Belleview Inn Many area residents recall the grand Belleview Biltmore, which after closing in 2009 was facing demolition and became a rallying call for fierce preservationists and neighbors in Bellaire Shores. For decades the Belleview Hotel was a vacation haven for industrial tycoons, celebrities, and athletes and was visited by every living president. Now it’s a part of the prestigious Opal Collection of hotels and lodgings worldwide. The white Queen Anne-style hotel was originally built in 1897 by railroad magnate Henry Plant. While it expanded over the years, the original four-story structure, including the lobby and 35 rooms, has now re-opened as the Belleview Inn. “This iconic landmark has such a strong legacy here in Florida and we’re thrilled to write this new chapter in its story and introduce Belleview Inn to a new generation of travelers,” said Michael Cheezem, chief executive officer of JMC Communities, the developer of the property. “It’s imperative to us to preserve and maintain that legacy and respect its history, and we look forward to sharing it.” The legacy of the former hotel has been meticulously preserved. Authentic features were maintained, while upgrading the property, including the preservation of its original grand staircase in the lobby, hard wood floors, fireplaces, guest room doors and Tiffany stained glass – all kept intact from the original building, erected more than 120 years ago. In addition to introducing modern furnishings, technology and amenities in the rooms and suites, Belleview Inn

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SPOTLIGHT features a resort-style pool off the west veranda and sundeck and a fully equipped fitness center. An impressive Tiffany Room, with its Tiffany glass panels from the original building, will provide 1,000 square feet of indoor space for small groups and social gatherings, that can easily spill out onto the grand back porch and the 5,000 square feet of outdoor event space on the Grand Lawn. Guests of Belleview Inn will also have access to select amenities at the Belleview Country Club and the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach. Both the inn and country club are housed within Belleview Place, a new-gated community, inspired by the elegance of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. There is no restaurant or bar at the Inn currently. The Fenway Hotel The new Fenway Hotel – which has been through many incarnations from a private college to a military hospital – has taken Dunedin by storm with its jazz-era ambiance and spectacular views of St. Joseph Sound from the Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar. A member of the Autograph Collection® of Marriott International, the boutique historic hotel is a project in collaboration with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA and features 83 guest rooms and suites; HEW Parlor & Chophouse, and a combined 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

Belleview Inn

The Fenway Hotel

“Our vision for the Fenway Hotel has become a reality, with a spectacular finished product that beautifully blends touches of the past in a modern setting, giving new life to this integral piece of the destination’s charming, offbeat character,” said Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Lodging & Development. “We’re grateful for all the tremendous work and support behind the project, allowing us to introduce a new generation to ‘The Grand Lady of Dunedin’.” Originally opened in 1927, Fenway Hotel played host to notable artists, politicians, musicians and living legends in its time as an operating hotel. Considered to be the “most historically valuable structure” in Dunedin, the hotel was also home to the first radio station in Pinellas County, which began broadcasting from the roof of the Fenway in 1925. Through a partnership with Dunedin History Museum, the hotel will feature a rotating collection of artifacts in the lobby, host special tours and participate in other programming to help preserve the city’s legacy and heritage. The lobby bar features live jazz, blues and soft music throughout the week (Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday during brunch from 11 to 3 p.m.). Upstairs, the Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar is packed most every night at sunset. Welcome back, Fenway!

Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar


TRAVEL Casa Monica Resort and Spa St. Augustine, FL www.casamonica.com (904) 827-1888

St. Augustine Elegance

Old World Charm in Modern Era at Casa Monica Most of us know the rich history of St. Augustine as our nation’s oldest city, but every visit seems to uncover a new gem. Casa Monica Resort and Spa holds many stories within its walls, dating back to 1888 when it was first built. Railroad magnate Henry Flagler put it on the map as Hotel Cordova, and later it would serve as the county courthouse for over 30 years. In 1997 hotelier Richard C. Kessler spent $10 million on restoring it to the same splendor guests would have enjoyed almost 125 years ago. The Moroccan grand lobby exudes Old World charm with intricate chandeliers, tapestries and fountains. One of the most unique features of most Kessler Collection hotels is

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the celebration of the artistic spirit. Within the hotel is the Grand Bohemian Gallery, which features works of local and international artists. Art glass, paintings, sculptures and jewelry are all displayed for your perusal, and are also available for sale. After a day of sightseeing in St. Augustine, the Costa Brava restaurant offers elegant dining and a meze-style menu. The fresh coastal cuisine paired with an extensive wine list makes for a memorable evening. Entering through 24-karat gold leaf arches

and dining under hand-painted ceilings set the tone for a lavish experience. For those who need a little downtime or relaxation, we highly recommend a short trip to the Seranata Beach Club. Through a partnership, Casa Monica guests can enjoy a day of membership in the private club. Relax on the beach, laze poolside or enjoy lunch on the lanai. A little East Coast beach time is always a nice change, and well worth the drive.

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PureLife Medi-Spa Holiday Party PHOTOS/BARRY LIVELY

Joseph Fitzgerald and Elif Fitzgerald hosted their annual holiday party for PureLife Medi-Spa patients and supporters.

Luis Sottil January 31st & February 1st - 3rd Edson Campos and Kathleen Brodeur February 22nd - 23rd Jacinthe Lacroix February 21st - 24th All shows are from 4pm - 8pm

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Featuring the largest Selection of original artwork in St. Petersburg, FL

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Leadership St. Pete St. Pete Life congratulates the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2019. A division of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership St. Pete is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. The program seeks to identify, recruit and develop leaders who represent the diversity of our local community through an interactive sixmonth experience.

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Milano Bags & Shoes St Petersburg welcomes designer, Silvana Diez from Lima, Peru and the Grand Opening of Milano Bags & Shoes, by Silvana Diez at 212 Beach Drive. Modern, sophisticated and comfortable designs with traditional handmade all leather Italian craftsmanship.

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VIP Ribbon Cutting VIP Eye Care & Optical Boutique at Carillon held a ribbon cutting on Dec. 11 with Chris Steinocher, President of the St. Petersburg Chamber, Chamber Ambassadors and invited guests.

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Wine, Women & Shoes Wine, Women and Shoes, the annual fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Canter presented by Nu Image Medical, was held November 8 at Armature Works in Tampa. The benefit raised $320,000 for the kids and families.

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St. Pete Life Magazine January/February 2018  

A bi-monthly magazine about St. Petersburg and downtown St. Pete (Florida). We curate the best of the city's arts, culture, nightlife, shopp...

St. Pete Life Magazine January/February 2018  

A bi-monthly magazine about St. Petersburg and downtown St. Pete (Florida). We curate the best of the city's arts, culture, nightlife, shopp...