St. Pete Life March/April 2020

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MARCH/APRIL 2020 l Volume 3 No. 5


46 64 52 54


20 12 - Gulfport: Where the Arts are in Bloom

48 - Going Green: Eco-Friendly Businesses

20 - Dining Out: Ceviche

54 - The Importance of Trees

32 - New Beginnings: Spring Fashion

26 - Goat Yoga is Here to Namasté

36 - The Talented Grads of Gibbs High/PCCA

64 - Outdoor Living: Entertaining Ideas

46 - Museum of Fine Arts: Art of the Stage

74 - SPL Scene: Events Around Town

St. Pete Life is a bi-monthly print and digital magazine distributed by mail to 20,000 of St. Petersburg’s most discriminating readers. To subscribe, go to / 260 1st Avenue S. Suite 200-151 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Adver tising: 813.447.9900 / Editorial:


March/April 2020

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Want SPL delivered directly to your home or office? In response to popular demand, we are happy to announce there is now an easy way to subscribe by simply going to www.stpetelifemag/ subscribe. You don’t need a PayPal account. Sometimes you just never know what you’ll find, and we continue to be awed and even amused by the great stories we find every day here in the ‘Burg. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we take a look at some local green businesses with founders who followed a dream. There are a lot of amazing entrepreneurs in this town, even a 7-year-old who is the founder of Kids Saving Oceans. Speaking of saving things, our lovely trees in St. Pete are cherished by many, some historic trees are even local legends. Find out what a city task force is doing to preserve and grow the tree canopy in order to keep our city cool, clean and beautiful. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the best Gibbs grad of them all? Arts writer Cindy Stovall started digging and came up with a surprising list of talented alumni from the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. We bet you’ll be amazed, too. Keeping healthy is always a good thing. We bring you a St. Pete family that is making a habit of competing in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. And since yoga is so popular these days, we headed out to the hinterland (well, Thonotosassa) to do down dogs, cats and cows at a goat yoga class. This is one wild way to stretch, and it’s a ton of fun for a good cause. Finally it’s that time of year when the weather is perfect for home entertaining. We take a look at some beautiful outdoor patio furnishing that is stylish yet durable, and provide tips on what’s trending right now. Have a wonderful spring!

PUBLISHER/CEO Beth Ann Drake EDITOR Marcia Biggs ART DIRECTOR Alicia Brown ADVERTISING Michelle Boudreau Vice President of Marketing Ed Barry Ad Director Debbie Radsick Account Executive CONTRIBUTORS Megan Simons Women’s Fashion Cindy Stovall Arts Writer Will Howard The Wine Cellar Kayla Gleason, Cindy Cockburn, Cathy Harrelson, James Briggs Contributing Writers CO-FOUNDER/BUSINESS MANAGER Ralph Zuckerman

Dorian Photography

Valerie Bogle

On the Cover: AD Lofts (Arts District Lofts) 727.250.5552 Barkett Realty Associates: Lisa Story (Residential Agent) Lisa Ulrich

(Commercial Leasing Specialist)

Beth Ann Drake

bdrake� Publisher


March/April 2020

Marcia Biggs Editor

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



Where the Arts are in Bloom Year-Round PHOTOS/LARRY BUSBY

BY JAMES BRIGGS It’s a warm Saturday evening in Gulfport and the town’s cultural and business center, Beach Boulevard, is alive with a creative energy usually reserved for towns much larger than this artists’ enclave of 12,000 or so on the shores of Boca Ciega Bay. Locals and visitors make their way along the many new shops, restaurants and storefronts that have introduced themselves as part of the town’s unique charm in the past year and vendors and artists have taken their places for the town’s monthly third Saturday arts event. Outside of Brenda McMahon Gallery, Gulfport’s first curated fine


March/April 2020

art gallery in years, fiber artist Dawn Waters is creating the kind of portraiture that has landed her on the cover of national arts publications. “Harvest was the first album I owned,” says Waters. She’s echoing the title of her subject, Neil Young’s, seminal 1972 recording, and in some ways the arts community is experiencing its own harvest from the seeds planted by the creative hands of the artists who came before like Owen Patch, Frank Strunk, Tom Pitzen and August Vernon, to name just a few who have long created magnificent works of public art in Gulfport.

SPL SPOTLIGHT Three years ago, renowned ceramicist Brenda McMahon formed local arts collective ArtJones, which grew to include 20 professional artists by its third year in 2019, including luminaries in Florida’s art world such as master painters Ray Domingo and Jane Bunker, the aforementioned Waters and McMahon herself, as well as emerging stars on the scene like painter Anna Ayres, who last year was honored with a Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant. So, when McMahon opened her namesake Gallery last May, she found a public ready to embrace it and an arts community deserving of such a showcase. “All of these wonderful creatives descend on Gulfport with open hearts and creative joy. I wanted the Gallery to reflect that,” says McMahon. A Village of the Arts Across the street, The Village Courtyard, an eclectic mix of creative businesses and entertainment, bustles with the activity of the recently opened North End Tap House while local Kava Bar, Low Tide, celebrates its sixth anniversary in a location that has seen neighbors come and go in the past few years. More music emanates from the stage in the center of the Courtyard, as a young lady in her early 20’s strums a guitar for the crowd and the tip jar.

Artist Spotlight

Brenda McMahon Brenda McMahon Gallery ArtJones, Founder On a beautiful February afternoon in 2019, artist Brenda McMahon was walking through Gulfport’s popular Tuesday Fresh Market when she saw a For Rent sign in the window of a new building on Beach Boulevard. “In a flash I stopped, looked at the small, vacant retail space and thought - this is my new gallery,” she said. “I signed the lease on Valentine’s Day and this May marks the one-year anniversary of the Gallery’s opening.” McMahon is a ceramic artist born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in the small beach community of Rockaway Beach. “It was not unlike Gulfport. Just 45 minutes from Manhattan, it was worlds away from the hustle and bustle,” she recalled. “When I stumbled upon Gulfport in 2008, I fell in love. I

found my home. Gulfport is an ‘Old Florida’ town; an openhearted community where you know your neighbors, love to support local businesses and make lifetime friends.” A full-time ceramic artist for more than 25 years, McMahon curates a gallery with artwork from local, regional and national artists. The gallery is a virtual art show, filled with clay, glass, fiber, acrylic, abstract and pastel paintings. “I have always felt that a diversity of mediums resonate beautifully together,” she said. Handcrafted wooden tables hold the space for Japanese inspired ceramics. Blown glass sparkles in the windows, while brilliant pastels warm the walls. Dimensional ceramic wall murals add texture and volume to the space where mixed media acrylics carry you into a dreamy waterside landscape. “All of these wonderful creatives converge in this artist enclave community with open hearts and joyful expressions,” she says. “We welcome you to our magical town.” The Brenda McMahon Gallery is open 5 days a week; Mondays & Wednesdays it is closed so Brenda can work in her ceramic studio.

March/April 2020


SPLSPL SPOTLIGHT SPOTLIGHT Barbara Banno, President of the a healing practice by off Barbara Banno, President of the a healing practice byering offering Gulfport Merchants Chamber, medically restorative inkwork to to Gulfport Merchants Chamber, medically restorative inkwork whowho lastlast yearyear relocated her her ownown survivors of breast cancer. It’s aIt’s wellrelocated survivors of breast cancer. a welllandmark Gulfport institution Stella’s known and little stated fact among landmark Gulfport institution Stella’s known and little stated fact among to the Courtyard, sayssays thatthat the the venue artists in Gulfport thatthat above all all to the Courtyard, venuethe the artists in Gulfport above is a is natural bridge from Gulfport’s loftylofty functions, art, art, in itsin its a natural bridge from Gulfport’s its other its other functions, artistic pastpast to its future. form, is a is healing practice. artistic tocreative its creative future. purest purest form, a healing practice. “Before we had the Gulfport Tuesday “Before we had the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market, before we had GetGet A New OldOld Florida Fresh Market, before we had A New Florida Rescued, before we had the the FineFine Rescued, before we had ArtsArts Festival, we had TheThe Village Everywhere youyou look, it seems, the the Festival, we had Village Everywhere look, it seems, Courtyard,” she she says, chronicling in Gulfport are are in asinfull bloom Courtyard,” says, chronicling artsarts in Gulfport as afull a bloom other notable events organized by by as the hibiscus andand bougainvillea other notable events organized as the hibiscus bougainvillea the the Chamber she she leads. thatthat lineline the the town’s public streets Chamber leads. town’s public streets andand private yards. private yards. Next doordoor to the Courtyard is is Next to the Courtyard Sumitra Espresso Lounge, a a As recently as aas year ago,ago, things Sumitra Espresso Lounge, As recently a year things gathering space for the town’s looked very diff erent in downtown gathering space for the town’s looked very different in downtown art and business communities, Gulfport. TheThe building thatthat nownow art and business communities, Gulfport. building which boasts a menu of coff ees,ees, houses Brenda McMahon Gallery, which boasts a menu of coff houses Brenda McMahon Gallery, teas, chocolates andand CBD-infused as the stylish andand eclectic teas, chocolates CBD-infused as well as well as the stylish eclectic products andand which serves as aas free of Custom House Decor products which serves a free offerings offerings of Custom House Decor flowing space for conversation andand andand the the creatively themed andand flowing space for conversation creatively themed polite debate. Upstairs in the same baked goods from A A polite debate. Upstairs in the same delicious delicious baked goods from building is Mother Ocean Studio, Friend Who Bakes all led by building is Mother Ocean Studio, Friend Who Bakes - all ledfemale by female where tattoo artist Samantha entrepreneurs incidentally - was not not where tattoo artist Samantha entrepreneurs incidentally - was Roberts usesuses her her skillsskills as an occupied andand some herehere were up up Roberts asartist an artist yet yet occupied some were onlyonly as aas career but but alsoalso as as in arms about the the newly constructed Top,Top, Sumitra owner Maurice Loeb, Joanna Hansen, a career in arms about newly constructed Sumitra owner Maurice Loeb, Joanna Hansen,not not left,left, andand Cassidy Bergeron greet customers. Cassidy Bergeron greet customers. Bottom, Singer Zai performs monthly. Bottom, Singer Zai performs monthly.


March/April 2020

SPOTLIGHT SPLSPL SPOTLIGHT building on Beach Boulevard. building on Beach Boulevard. The Historic Peninsula Inn, The Historic Peninsula Inn, in its in its yellow splendor colorfully accented yellow splendor colorfully accented by a rainbow fl ag and bench by a rainbow flag and bench to to match, up more square footage match, takestakes up more square footage the center of Beach Boulevard in theincenter of Beach Boulevard the town’s addition. than than doesdoes the town’s latestlatest addition. However, due its historic pedigree However, due to itsto historic pedigree and abundance of Spanish and abundance of Spanish mossmoss shading the entrance the charming shading the entrance of theofcharming courtyard of its adjoining Isabelle’s courtyard of its adjoining Isabelle’s Restaurant, few seem to notice Restaurant, few seem to notice or or as much part of downtown It’s asIt’s much a parta of downtown Gulfport’s character the pirates Gulfport’s character as theaspirates and and scalawags that fi rst settled here. scalawags that first settled here. Gulfport Mayor Henderson Gulfport Mayor Sam Sam Henderson doubles as a professor doubles as a professor of of Environmental Science in neighboring Environmental Science in neighboring St. Petersburg and understands St. Petersburg and understands his words, “Maintaining that,that, in hisinwords, “Maintaining our ‘Old Florida’ character our ‘Old Florida’ character whilewhile still expanding opportunities still expanding opportunities for for economic growth is a central economic growth is a central issueissue here,” and the townsfolk here,” and the townsfolk seemseem to to concur. The Gulfport Merchants concur. The Gulfport Merchants Chamber recently a forum Chamber recently held held a forum of of Mayor Henderson, second left,wife and Laura, wife Laura, perform Sun City, Dog City, a Sam Sam Henderson, second fromfrom left, and perform with with Sun Dog a business owners layaout a creativeMayor business owners to laytoout creative popular popular bluesblues

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SPL SPOTLIGHT SPL SPOTLIGHT vision for the arts to reflect both the arts to of reflart ectand both the vision town’sfor rich heritage a thetowards town’s rich heritage art and a vision an even moreofartistic vision even more artistic future. In towards June thean town will unveil future. In June the town will unveil a newly designed First Friday arts a newly designed Friday arts event that has artists First and locals event that has artists and locals abuzz. abuzz. The annual Peace, Love & Pride The annual Peace, & Pride Festival takes place atLove the Historic Festival takes the place at the Historic Casino Ballroom, town’s entry Ballroom, the town’s ontoCasino the National Register of entry ontoPlaces the National Register of Historic and a landmark Historic Places and a landmark anchor of both Beach and Shore anchor of Beach and Shore Boulevards toboth the serenely tranquil to the serenely bayBoulevards along Gulfport Beach. To tranquil Gulfport Beach.and To say bay thatalong Gulfport is an active say that Gulfport is an active visibly welcoming community forand welcoming community the visibly LGBTQIA+ crowd would be for LGBTQIA+ crowd would truethe enough, though it seems tobe true enough, though it seems somehow miss the point. Gulfportto somehow miss the point. welcomes all of its own and itsGulfport welcomes of create its owninand its visitors to loveall and a free, visitors to love and create open and safe environment forin a free, open and everyone, andsafe the environment art produced for here everyone, and the art produced reflects that freedom and reflects that freedom and openness. Laura Shepherd, far right, hosts a bi-weekly Facebook Live show from her Gulfport home. far right, hosts bi-weekly Live show from her Gulfport home. HereLaura she isShepherd, interviewing members ofathe supportFacebook group Operation Regroup. Here she is interviewing members of the support group Operation Regroup.


March/April 2020

SPL SPOTLIGHT Mayor Henderson, a former Gulfport Poet Laureate who happens to front a fantastic blues band - Sun Dog City - with his wife Laura on his time off, says that freedom of expression is what draws people to town. “This city lets you be who you are and even encourages you to be the person you want to be. It is an intimate place with a caring community of people from all over the world,” he says. Gulfport’s waterfront has been drawing visitors since the early 1900’s and boasts its own artistic flare. Public art installations line Shore Boulevard near the Historic Casino Ballroom and shops like Bo’Tiki, Zaiya ArtiZen Market, and Gulfport Beach Bazaar offer visitors an abundance of retail options. O’Maddy’s serves up casual fine-dining at the foot of Williams Pier, the base from which many fishermen cast their lines. The town’s most famous annual gathering, an irreverent costumed affair called The Gecko Ball, takes place at the Casino every

summer and highlights the social calendar for many locals and visitors. In recent years, the gala affair has featured an auction of works by local artists with the proceeds going to local charities. New businesses are opening regularly along Beach Boulevard and both Sea Dog Cantina and Gulfport Brewery will soon add their own flourishes to the already distinct character of the town. The future looks bright for the arts in Gulfport. This quirky community-based town will highlight its place as a creative force on the Tampa Bay arts scene while holding true to the irreverence and laid-back lifestyle that locals love and visitors envy. James Briggs is Owner & Creative Director of Carroway + Rose, a Creative Arts Agency representing artists, nonprofits and small businesses in Pinellas County, Charleston, SC and Santa Fe, NM.

If You Go

First Friday and third Saturday monthly 6-10 pm – Gulfport Art & Gallery Walk along Beach Boulevard To find a calendar of events and for more information go to or drop by the Gulfport Welcome Center at 3101 Beach Boulevard. Left, Larry Enlow and Maureen Kilroy, founders of the Enroy Foundation, hold musical and arts events monthly in Gulfport.

Artist Spotlight

Wendy Ohlendorf Ohlendorf atelier & Mermaid Mercantile Gulfport Community Arts, Founder Tucked away in the back corner of The Village Courtyard you will find the quaint, bustling storefront of Ohlendorf, atelier, Mermaid Mercantile, and the classroom of Gulfport Community Arts. Accomplished couture fashion designer Wendy Ohlendorf brought her ideas to Gulfport just 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon. Portland was where Wendy first showcased her fashion designs on runways and in her studio-storefront there. Today, Gulfport is home and that storefront in The Village Courtyard is where Ohlendorf is creating community through art and design. Currently six teachers are on staff and at least a dozen rotating classes every month, with new offerings added regularly.

“Artists teaching art” is the Gulfport Community Arts tagline. Ohlendorf takes this motto seriously - as a lifelong artist herself, she strove to design a curriculum for the local arts community that was enjoyable as well as a real hands-on learning opportunity. Classes range from life drawing and painting to mixed media and experimental techniques, as well as TED-style talks and art history. This month GCA expands to foreign languages, dramatics, and writing. “Gulfport is a town rich in artists and creative expression,” Ohlendorf said “It is our [GCA] desire to share that passion for art deeper into the community . While creating a learning center that reaches beyond the arts; linking everyone of every skill level and ability to subject matter that encourages them and sparks that desire to stretch themselves and their own possibilities for expansion and growth.” And about fashion design, how does that fit into the mix? Currently, Ohlendorf is working on several custom dress designs for both local clients and her following in Portland. You can see many of her designs on display in that little storefront with big artistic ambitions in the Courtyard. It is evident in Wendy’s fashion design style how she translates her educational background in fine art and design with her love of textile to create visually impactful works of wearable art.

It’s Time To


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Let the Adventures Begin Welcome to a fresh, new hometown with the fun, modern spirit you’ve been looking for. Make new friends and find the perfect new home. Explore miles of trails and new schools. Get set for a lively planned Village Center and convenient grocery-anchored plaza. Start your adventure today! Builders now preselling. Sign up at

New Homes From the $200s-$400s Photography, renderings, site maps, plans, dimensions and community specifications shown are based upon current development concepts and artist’s interpretations and therefore are for illustrative purposes only. All prices are subject to change without notice. Prices, where shown, are provided by others and may be additionally subject to lot premium, option costs, and fees. Neal Land & Neighborhoods (NLN), North River Ranch (NRR), the North River Ranch Marketing Group (NRRMG), our affiliates, and subordinates cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of anything depicted in the Ad including but not limited to new home builder offerings, prices, plans, images, and specifications. The contents or information of any ad should be verified with the correct representatives, understood, and in writing before relying on the contents for said ad in making any decision to purchase or lease at North River Ranch. Nothing in the Ad represents a form of contract, exhibit or any commitment on behalf of NLN, NRR, NRRMG its affiliates and/or subordinates. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law. Broker participation welcome.


Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant

10 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg 11 am to 10 pm Sunday-Thursday 11 am to 11 pm Friday-Saturday (727) 209-2299

Casa Ceviche is a mix of fresh shrimp, squid, scallops and fish. BY BETH ANN DRAKE Tucked away on the south end of Beach Drive is Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant, with an outdoor patio perfect for al fresco dining and Spanish architecture and ambiance that will make you crave a pitcher of their traditional sangria the minute you take your seat. The shaded brick porch is the perfect spot to catch a breeze, relax with a few tapas or charcuterie board, and people watch. A dizzying array of hot and cold tapas, paellas, ceviche, salads, soups and entrees is complemented by an outstanding wine list featuring many of our favorite Spanish wines (if you love Tempranillo, this is your heaven). Chef Horacio Alcantar and his team handle the extensive menu with finesse and skill, using only the freshest seafood, spices and other ingredients, many of which are imported from Spain. We sampled our way through the flavors of the Iberian Coast, starting with the charcuterie board. You can design your own with either four or six choices from meats and cheeses, all of which are amazing. We tried three cheeses including the Manchego (sheep’s milk), Valdeon (cow and goat’s milk) and Drunken Goat (goat’s milk). Our meats of choice were chorizo


March/April 2020

(traditional Spanish sausage), Bresaola (an air-dried beef) and jamon Serrano (a dried, cured Spanish ham). Accompaniments ranged from nuts to fresh honeycomb, as well as a spicy mustard that adds a distinct flair to any bite on this shared plate. The constant in our meal was an earthy freshness, and the beet salad was the perfect starter. Roasted beets with blue cheese, avocado and orange in a light vinaigrette was a delightful departure from a typical dinner salad. And true to their name, the authentic ceviche dishes did not disappoint. The Casa Ceviche, with fresh shrimp, squid, scallops and market fish, the Atun Ceviche with Ahi tuna, or our favorite, the Pulpo (octopus) all feature the freshest hints of garlic and cilantro. Another “must have” on the appetizer list is the lightly fried Manchego Frito. This melt-in-your-mouth cheese is paired with a quince jam and sea salt. Last but not least was the Cangrejo Fundido, a warm crab dip with Manchego cheese and sherry cream. The main event (entrees) in our epicurean tour of Spain was the Spanish Pork Ribs, rubbed in smoked paprika with a sherry glaze. The spices were a welcome departure from ordinary pork ribs

DINING OUT with a rosemary garnish. The traditional Rabo de Toro (oxtail) was also delightful with red wine served on saffron rice. No knife needed for this entrée as the meat is “fall off the bone” tender.

compilation of Mahon Gin, Cappelletti, Tinto and Cava was the perfect end of our tour.

The welcoming staff at Ceviche make it easy to linger over a meal and enjoy the atmosphere, so we sampled a few cocktails, as well. The Iberian Aperitif is the ideal “citrusy” summer refresher with white port, Fever Tree Tonic and a hint of mint and lime. Equally as enticing but a bit heavier was the Espumoso. The

If you are looking for a great first date restaurant, a celebratory dinner or just the perfect Spanish meal, Ceviche is an ideal destination. Added note: Check out Tapas Tuesday from 4 to 10 pm for reduced prices on a select menu of hot and cold tapas and $6 sangrias. Happy hours from 4 to 7 pm daily offer $5 and $6 bar bites.

Spanish Pork Ribs

Roasted Beet Salad

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March/April 2020



Tour and Taste Majestic Puglia Italy With Chef Dawn Bause

The town of Otrano in Puglia on the Adriatic Sea BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU Traveling to Europe enjoying local culture, food, ancient history and landscapes is certainly a favorite of most. Favored in the top five most visited European countries is Italy. Among the popular destinations are Rome, Venice, Tuscany and Florence, yet there is a hidden treasure trove of beauty in the less traveled region of Puglia. Locals are welcoming and excited to share their rustic yet vibrant historical towns, offering memorable sightseeing, awe inspiring beaches, and architectural gems. Located in the “spur” and “heel” of the Italian boot, this region is one of Europe’s great agricultural areas. As home to some 60 million olive trees, many over 1,000 years old, its immense plains and rolling hills produce much of Italy’s wine and olive oil. The terrain and climate provide vast quantities of flowers, fruits and vegetables creating heavenly aromas and flavors. Puglia also produces most of the hard durum wheat used to make pasta, and is known for burrata cheese, and authentic fresh thick crusted bread. The cuisine in this region is an essential part of the Puglia experience. This year Viva Italy Tours, LLC, celebrates their 15th anniversary as a leader in Italy’s culinary and cultural tours, therefore it is not surprising that owner Chef Dawn Bause has added Puglia as a favorite to her list of small group privately guided tours. Dawn’s culinary training and passion began in Europe where she lived for five years. She and husband Fred were married in Venice, and soon thereafter she co-authored the Italian food and wine book Chef Dawn & Fred Bause, Host/Owners of Viva Italy Tours, LLC


March/April 2020

SPL TRAVEL Romance Begins in the Kitchen Romantic Italian Recipes and their Complementary Wines. “The beauty of Italy ignites all the senses and leaves one feeling inspired and renewed while enjoying life’s true pleasures: art, food, wine and glorious landscapes,” Dawn says. Nature’s breathtaking colors are bold in Puglia, and manmade shapes are simple – with fairy tale-like white-washed conicalroofed cottages known as “trulli houses” dotting the countryside. The extensive Mediterranean Adriatic sea coastline here bears the marks of many conquering invaders: the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks. Yet, despite its diverse influences, Puglia has its own distinct and authentic identity. The sun, sea, food, wine, landscapes, and quality of life, make Puglia a traveler’s paradise.

After taking the last tour with Chef Dawn to Puglia, her husband Fred Bause has decided to leave a successful 30-year career in corporate America as President and COO, to make a shift to full-time CFO of Viva Italy Tours, LLC. Both Dawn and Fred love sharing their passion for Italy, its food, wine, art, history and culture as your private tour guides. Their combined years of travel and connections make for an effortless trip, leaving tour-goers with unforgettable memories and lifelong friendships. For more information on privately guided exclusive small group tours visit or call (313)618-6559 Save the Date Meet Chef Dawn & Fred Bause ’ EXPERIENCE A TASTE OF ITALY SOIREE at The Woodhouse Spa March 25th 5-7pm

Top photo, Viva Italy Tours group having lunch in historical Polignano a Mare at Puglia’s famed cave restaurant. Bottom photo, famed cave restaurant Grotta Palazzee.

March/April 2020



Adobe Road Racing inspires series of winning wines BY WILL HOWARD As the morning sun was rising over the mountains of California’s Central Coast I caught up with racing legend Kevin Buckler during his morning commute on I-5. He was driving a Porsche, of course. Porsche was an early supporter that got Buckler into Le Mans. As a driver Buckler, took 1st place at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2002. He is now the founder and CEO of The Racers Group (TRG) and Adobe Road Winery. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will have the city buzzing March 13-16. TRG is racing that weekend, but today I am just as interested in Kevin’s other passion, Adobe Road Winery. Buckler’s interest in the wine business began as a college student working a harvest season in Stellenbosch, South Africa. After some successful business moves in real estate development, he decided to only work in businesses that he was passionate about. That led to racing and wine. In the beginning Adobe Road Winery was a small wine club operation. Today, Adobe Road is opening a state of the art facility in Petaluma, California, working with an exciting and creative winemaker (Garrett Martin), and utilizing some of the best vineyards in California (Beckstoffer Georges III, Bacigalupi, Bavarian Lion, and Famighetti Vineyards). Buckler’s philosophy in the extremely challenging businesses of motorsports and wine is the “Endurance Racing Mentality.” The endurance racing mentality means not being distracted by the competition and not making any mistakes. The others will “inevitably make a little mistake” and that is when you overtake the competition, according to Buckler. In 2015, Buckler brought on Garrett Martin as the winemaker for Adobe Road. Martin is the perfect partner because he is smart, high energy, collaborative, and doesn’t back down from Buckler’s challenges. Their latest project is The Racing Series. These are a


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series of wines that allude to TRG’s racing history. The wines include: Apex – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot from Dry Creek Valley, Rockpile, and Knights Valley in Sonoma County. This is the premier wine of the Racing Series lineup. Redline – A Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel based blend sourced primarily from Napa. This is the bottle that introduces you to the power and precision of The Racing Series wines. Shift – This is a rare red blend containing Zinfandel, Barbera, Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Carignane. The bottle has a stunning presentation with a metal label that looks just like the gated shift plate of a classic Ferrari and a 5-speed shift knob as a cork. The 24 – A Rhone blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah with the unique addition of Malbec to finish the blend. The label pays homage to the winery’s endurance racing success with checkered flags set behind a Rolex that times the 24 hour races of Daytona and Le Mans. Buckler also shared with me that there is one more wine coming soon to the Racing Series. The fifth wine will be a bold blend of Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, and Malbec called Carbon. I haven’t tried this wine yet, but Buckler and his team are not accustomed to failure. I’m sure Carbon will be another winner in the series. All of the Adobe Road wines, including the Racing Series, are small lot productions and the best chance of finding these wines is directly from the winery at Will Howard is Sommelier and Wine Director at Rococo Steak in St. Petersburg.

SPL NEWS Food Tours Tampa Bay Food Tours has launched a new tour in St. Pete featuring restaurants along Central Avenue downtown. The new St. Pete Downtown Food Tour meets at the James Museum for cocktails, then wanders up Central for tasting stops at Oyster Bar, Tropez, Acropolis, and Renzo’s and others (stops can vary). The guided three-hour walking tours are held on Tuesday evenings. Another food tour along St. Pete Beach Drive includes stops at The Vinoy, The Canopy at Birchwood, Flute and Dram and Cassis. Cost is $78 per person. You can book a food tour at tampabayfoodtours. com or call (727) 325-6707.


Mother’s Day is right around the corner and what mom wouldn’t love this smart upcycled Louis Vuitton clear cross body bag. The limited edition is just the right size for lipstick, phone and credit card at 7”x5” (other size available). Comes with a 40” gold chain strap for $245 at Paris Isabella, 4930 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park (727) 545-4900.

BECAUSE ELEGANCE, BEAUTY, & AN EXCLUSIVELY TAILORED FIT SHOULDN’T BE LIMITED TO JUST YOUR DRESS. Whether large & lavish or intimate & inspired, Rococo Steak is the ideal setting to celebrate your big day. From the smallest details such as selecting floral arrangements and the menu from our award-winning cuisine, to creating your own signature cocktail, our event director will work with you to ensure everything is customized to your request. To start planning your wedding event or to book catering services, email us today at or call 727.501.6602.

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655 2ND AVE. S., ST. PETERSBURG, FL 33701 | 727.501.6602 | ROCOCOSTEAK.COM

March/April 2020



Goat Yoga classes are at 10 am Saturdays and Sundays at Grady’s Goat Farm, 12551 Franklin Road, Thonotosassa. Advance reservations are a must as classes sell out. Go to for more information or call (404) 398-5291


Goat Yoga is Here to Namasté

BY MARCIA BIGGS They are undeniably adorable, incredibly innocent and love to be cuddled and scratched. Goats might not be puppies or kitties, but get just the same lovin’ in the Goat Yoga classes held every Saturday and Sunday at Grady’s Goat Farm in Thonotosassa. As for the yoga part? Well, let’s just say these kids steal the show. The story goes that partnering goats with yoga classes started on a goat farm in Oregon in 2016. Some say it’s a fad, having spread across the country. But farm owner Rob Canton feels fairly certain the classes will be continuing for quite some time. “We get between 30 and 50 people in every class, they fill up,” he says. Canton runs the yoga classes as a fundraiser for the Grady Goat Foundation’s Project G.O.A.T. (Global Offensive Against Trafficking), which benefits abused children from around the world. He says he gets people from all over the state coming to the goat yoga classes which cost $35 a pop. I jumped at the chance to join the goat yoga class when Canton extended the invitation. Not that I am a big goat fan, mind you. But I have


March/April 2020

SPL HEALTH been practicing flow yoga for years and the chance to Down Dog on a Sunday morning beneath towering oaks and a blue spring sky were too tempting to turn down. Rob and wife Debbie greeted arrivals with big smiles and ushered us into a gated corral where 55 yoga mats were strategically placed. As we waited for stragglers, baby goats were brought out with milk bottles and it was game over, all hearts melted. Some of these little guys were less than a week old and too young to join the yoga goats. But it wouldn’t be long before they would be nuzzling and snuggling with the best of them. Once everyone was situated, the herd came running into the corral as if someone yelled DINNER! It was shockingly cute as they scurried up to the humans like a pack of wild puppies looking for scratches and affection. Oooooohm my. Our yoga instructor Alicia was obviously experienced dealing with the distraction. She ignored the commotion and started with warmup stretches and spinal twists, but goats were everywhere, running, chasing, sniffing, jumping on backs, crawling under legs. I tried to follow Alicia -- Warrior 1,2,3, Tabletop, Cat, Cow, balance on one foot in Tree -- but what the hey (did I mention the entire corral was covered in hay?) goats were everywhere – on my back, nibbling my notebook. It was also apparent from the moment we sat down on our mats that goats will pretty much relieve themselves anywhere anytime – and often. Yes, poop pellets and pee were plentiful, but thanks to a team of human cleaner-uppers, one need simply wave over a helper with rags and disinfectant and the little mess disappeared. The laughter was contagious, cell phones were snapping photos everywhere, and after a while most of us just succumbed to the revelry and gave up with the yoga. As we lay on our mats at the end, many of the goats were tuckered out and laid down, too. After an hour it was over. More photos with the goats, buy the t-shirt and head up the dusty road back to the big city. I did goat yoga and I loved it. Namaste.

March/April 2020




Home, Studio Tours

Home, Studio Tours

The 2020 Roser Park Tour of Homes takes place Sa 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with stops at six homes w architectural styles. Two of the homes have never b before. Ronald McDonald House will be the first sto location. Historians will also be on hand to offer fre of the neighborhood’s award-winning Outdoor Mus plaques detailing the history of the area from Tocob through to its development in 1911 by Charles Rose

The 2020 Roser Park Tour of Homes takes place Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with stops at six homes with varying architectural styles. Two of the homes have never been shown before. Ronald McDonald House will be the first stop and ticket location. Historians will also be on hand to offer free walking tours of the neighborhood’s award-winning Outdoor Museum, a series of plaques detailing the history of the area from Tocobaga Indian days through to its development in 1911 by Charles Roser. Tickets can be purchased for $15 at before March 28, or for $20 up to 3 pm on the day of the tour, when tickets will be sold at Ronald McDonald House, 702 8th Ave. S. Free parking is available at the west Bayfront Medical Center garage (726 7th Ave S.). Shuttle service and maps will be provided, making it convenient either to ride or walk to tour stops. Enjoy two days exploring the architecturally rich neighborhood of Historic Kenwood while you visit the home studios and galleries of over 33 artists during the 5th Annual Artist at Work Tour sponsored by the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood. The selfguided tour with 21 stops will include work by ceramicists, sculptors, jewelers, photographers, illustrators, and fine art painters. Meet the artists, enjoy live demos, and purchase art throughout the twoday tour. For more information and printable maps for the studio locations:

Dali in the Gardens

Tickets can be purchased for $15 at historicroserpar March 28, or for $20 up to 3 pm on the day of the to will be sold at Ronald McDonald House, 702 8th Ave parking is available at the west Bayfront Medical Ce 7th Ave S.). Shuttle service and maps will be provide convenient either to ride or walk to tour stops.

Enjoy two days the architecturally rich ne Selby Gardens in Sarasota has collaborated withexploring the Dali Museum Historic whileJune you 28. visitThe the home studios a to present Salvador Dalí: Gardens of theKenwood Mind through of over use 33 artists duringimagery the 5th Annual Artist at W exhibit highlights the artist’s repeated of botanical sponsored Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwoo alongside a surreal display of tropical plantsbyinthe Selby Gardens’ guided with 21 stops willFlordalí, include work by ceram Tropical Conservatory and gardens. Thetour lithographic series photographers, illustrators, and fine art pa on loan from The Dalí Museum,jewelers, is the centerpiece of the Museum artists, enjoyoflive demos, andofpurchase of Botany & the Arts. In addition, an exhibit photographs Dalí’s art througho day tour. For more information and printable maps beloved Catalonia Spain by renowned nature photographer Clyde locations: Butcher will be on display. Admission $25 adults, $15 ages 4-17. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily. Go to for more information.

NO Better Place • NO Better Time • NO Better Real Estate Team The Platinum Group • Your St. Pete Real Estate Specialists

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Cynthia Serra 727-580-3335 • Dan Casper 773-965-6465 Connie Lancaster 727-741-2000 • Pia Hiotis 614-561-5996 1100 4th Street North • Suite 200 • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 March/April 2020



SPL EVENTS Mainsail Art Festival

ve. N., in t a peek compact esses; ers, omeowners. dly event, alShops1, ren’s ucks and iscount n advance mestpete. 0 am to 6

The ever-popular Mainsail Art Festival takes over Vinoy Park on April 18 and 19. Mainsail is one of the premier arts festivals of the year in the ‘Burg, featuring some 250 fine arts and crafts exhibitors from across the country in a juried competition. More than 100,000 visitors are expected to browse and buy high-quality ceramics, glass, jewelry, photography, sculpture, paintings and more. A children’s craft area, student art show, live musical entertainment, and a food court all beckon from 9 am to 6 pm Saturday and 10 am to 5 pm Sunday. Check out for updated information.

Walkin’ the Dog

Blues News


Park, 5010 81st Ave. N., in Pinellas Park. Get a peek at more than 30 compact homes and businesses; speak with builders, designers and homeowners. The family -friendly event, produced by LocalShops1, will include children’s activities, food trucks and arts and crafts. Discount tickets available in advance online at tinyhomestpete. com; hours are 10 am to 6 pm both days.

Tampabring Bay Blue back for its 25th anniversary April 3-5 at y, bring your friends, your Fest dogs,isand bring Vinoy Park on Dogs the downtown St. Pete waterfront. Headliners will s to the Southeastern Guide St. Petersburg be JJ Grey Mofro on to Friday, arch 21. This year’s walk & has moved NorthAaron Neville on Saturday, and Larkin Poe on Sunday. Kick-off ng the waterfront. This family-friendly event party is Thursday, April 2, at 8 pm with Christone “KingfiTails sh” Ingram on includes a 3K walk and a Waggin’ Festivalat the Palladium. For a complete schedule purchase tickets, go to sic, food, a beer garden,and petto and crafts vendors, g. Sign up for the St. Pete Walkathon by visiting Tiny Homes Are Back! Those wacky, wonderful tiny homes SPCA Tampa Bay Pet Walk invites all pooches and are all the rage and last year the St.Whitted Pete Tiny Home FestivalSt. was overwhelmed. So this year the ake a walk at Albert Park downtown festival is moving to a larger venue with a new name. March 28-29 o noon. Visit to learn ur team today. the Florida Suncoast Tiny Home Festival moves to England Brothers

Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your dogs, and bring your friends’ dogs to the Southeastern Guide Dogs St. Petersburg Walkathon on March 21. This year’s walk has moved to North Straub Park along the waterfront. This family-friendly event from 9 am to noon includes a 3K walk and a Waggin’ Tails Festival featuring live music, food, a beer garden, pet and crafts vendors, and raffle drawing. Sign up for the St. Pete Walkathon by visiting On April 18, the SPCA Tampa Bay Pet Walk invites all pooches and their people to take a walk at Albert Whitted Park downtown St. Pete from 8 am to noon. Visit to learn more or start your team today.

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March/April 2020



Grand Central Apartments Debut

Grand Central Apartments Debut

Grand Central District’s highly anticipated apartment development, 1701 Grand Central, is ready to welcome residents this Spring. The five-story complex, located in the heart of downtown St. Pete’s most desirable neighborhood, will offer functional design infused with local art and contemporary interiors and finishes. Options include studio, one or two bedroom apartments ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. New residents have the choice of two finish options: Sunrise with light grey cabinets or Dusk which is a rich espresso finish. GE appliances, quartz countertops, under-mount sinks, soft-close cabinets, under- cabinet kitchen lighting, full-size washers and dryers, keyless fob entry and USB ports all come standard in each unit.

Grand Central District’s highly anticipated apartment development, 1701 Grand Central, is ready to welcome residents this Spring. The five-story complex, located in the heart of downtown St. Pete’s most desirable neighborhood, will offer functional design infused with local art and contemporary interiors and finishes. Options include studio, one or two bedroom apartments ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. New residents have the choice of two finish options: Sunrise with light grey cabinets or Dusk which is a rich espresso finish. GE appliances, quartz countertops, under-mount sinks, soft-close cabinets, under- cabinet kitchen lighting, full-size washers and dryers, keyless fob entry and USB ports all come standard in each unit.

Community features include a large resortstyle pool and deck with grills and fire pits. Indoor lounges allow residents space for entertaining or work. A fully equipped fitness center will be open 24/7. 1701 Central is pet friendly and even offers a luxury dog wash station. An attached parking garage and Amazon package lockers are part of the amenities offered.

Community features include a large resortstyle pool and deck with grills and fire pits. Indoor l Scoot around town on commuter bikes for residents to use free residents space for entertaining or work. A fully eq of charge. Indoor bike storage areas for residents are located on center will be open 24/7. 1701 Central is pet friendly each floor. Reserve now and receive first month free and reduced a luxury dog wash station. An attached parking gar move-in fees. Call (833) 886-6721 or visit for more package lockers are part of the amenities offered. information.

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March/April 2020



Welcome Spring

Freshen up your style with color and added pizazz BY MEGAN SIMONS First seen on runways around the world, the long awaited and exciting Spring/ Summer Fashion is finally here. Stylists are offering us collections that are the perfect combination of wearable and modern. It is the time of the year when you look into your closet and feel that it is time for a shopping spree to start refreshing your wardrobe for the season. We are fortunate to live when fashionable versatility allows the consumer to look the best we ever have, without following faithfully just one global trend. A picture can say a thousand words, but a stylish appearance could probably write a whole novel. The choice is ours, and we should take advantage of what the market offers, which is worth every penny. The Pantone color for this season is classic blue, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of trendy colors. Blue is the essential color for nearly everyone. Doesn’t everybody own a pair or two of blue jeans, but how do you make it your own unique look? Embellishment is one way to do it. Look fabulous in a simple pair of light blue cropped jeans with elegant pearls decorating the bottom. High-waisted pants are the way to go if you’re seeking to slim your waist. Soft shades in animal print top will be ultra-stylish addition, and a contemporary pearl necklace stands out as a perfect way to complete the look. Animal prints are here to stay, did I say that before? I believe so. The Spring/ Summer selection of animal inspired prints has widened and softened the shades in pinks, blues, and a variety of natural tones. To brighten up a leopard dress just add color -- bright crystals on your necklace will make a beautiful combination. Refuse to blend with the crowd! On your Spring shopping spree you won’t be able to ignore dazzling, luminous shades that make the day happy and cheerful just because you are wearing them. Yellow and


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orange are the colors of the sun, and many vivid variations can brighten any mood. Monochromatic dress in eyecatching chartreuse is a perfect opportunity to accentuate your figure and the garment’s details. It also is a fabulous canvas to showcase trendy jewelry. If your preference is in a safer shade, you can add the highlighter-inspired color to a design on your casual pants. Shades of bright coral in a flirty, feminine dress will have quite a different impact when paired with light green and grey, bold jewelry. Additionally, keep in mind that red is not just the color for dates, it is a color

for the independent, strong woman who knows who she is. Let’s not overlook the lightest color for the season, the color of snow, milk, chalk, the opposite to black – white. Opt for white jeans, white blouses or tanks, a timeless, elegant white dress is a must in your closet, and not only for the white parties. Adding color to white is easy and daytime appropriate, adding gold will take you right into warm Summer nights with style. Megan Simons is owner of Pippa Pelure, a fine fashion boutique in downtown St. Petersburg. Contact her at pippapelure@

Photography: Mark Anthony Smith Fashion from Pippa Pelure Stylist: Megan Simons Hair & Makeup: Prolific Quarterly Studio Models: Laurel Mona, Katherine Ruetz, Montana Manilla, Carina Pelivan, DeLisa Silva, Ro Martinez Rimes, Tigist Alebachew

March/April 2020



Where is Silvie Now?

She’s with Vanessa Talbott

BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU Have you seen Silvie? She is the marketing brainchild of Vanessa Talbott, the Airstream affectionately named “Silvie” certainly matches Vanessa’s fun-loving personality! After all, who does not like an Airstream? We all love them, the classic yet contemporary streamlined silver bullet with shimmer gives us that sense of freedom to go anywhere. “Silvie” caught my attention and I was instantly drawn to her at the Festivals of Speed event in St. Pete. I was curious and wanted to know more about “Silvie’s” intriguing owner, downtown St. Pete resident Vanessa Talbott. You will often see Vanessa with “Silvie” at local and statewide philanthropic events participating and donating. The next scheduled event is on March 21 in North Straub Park for the Guide Dogs Walkathon. It’s their largest fundraiser of the year with proceeds helping to raise, train, and match their amazing dogs with people experiencing vision loss, veterans with disabilities,


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and children with significant challenges such as the loss of a parent in the military. Vanessa routinely participates in events honoring our military and veterans, including Honor Flight held at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Wreaths Across America for fallen veterans and several others. As founder and broker of Palm Real Estate, with two very spoiled cocker spaniels, Vanessa feels she inherited her sense of service and compassion from her mother, a World War II Army Nurse, and her ambition and focus on excellence from her father, a West Point graduate who became a highly decorated Air Force pilot and career officer before retiring as a three-star General. Both parents instilled a deep love of country in her and valuable character traits that helped shape the person she is today. Born in Japan, and having moved yearly while growing up, she became accustomed to the relocation process and new beginnings. All considered, she felt a career in real estate was the perfect fit and

SPL LIVING has devoted her life to helping others, both in her professional and personal life. Downtown St. Pete is a pet lovers dream with many options to offer for pet activities. Palm Real Estate is known as “Your Pet Friendly Realtors” as they understand the unique needs of pet owners and want to accommodate animals by highlighting the features of a home that will attract pet owners. At Palm Real Estate, they are mindful of city and county ordinances, homeowner associations, and condo developments, which may have restrictions on the breeds, age, and the number of pets allowed. Keeping up with ordinances, regulations, and rules and knowing where pets of any size, even horses, are welcome is highly important at Palm Real Estate. It is quite beneficial when buying or selling a home to use Palm Real Estate as they have a greater understanding that dogs, cats, horses, and other domestic pets are considered important members of the family. Vanessa Talbott is no stranger to adventure. She is a former roller derby champ and loves to roller blade around town. You can spot her filming videos of different communities while roller blading and sharing them via social media. You can add licensed drone operator to her list of talents, all contributing to her enthusiasm for capturing the perfect image or video to showcase.

Personal service is of paramount importance to Vanessa with owning a residential, commercial and property management agency. Her savvy marketing skills and track record shows her dedication to excellence in the real estate market. With over 30 years in the industry, Vanessa Talbott understands the ever-changing real estate landscape and utilizes her passion, talent and work ethic to create a formula for success. Her company provides unparalleled service with an emphasis on strong negotiation skills, excellent communications and innovative technology. Her agents possess superb attention to detail and are extremely proficient in interpreting individual needs. She believes that Palm Real Estate will help you achieve all of your real estate objectives. Be on the lookout for “Silvie” as you never know what she is up to next, be it a philanthropic or social event, an open house, or to be determined. Both “Silvie” and Vanessa Talbott are sure to delight and leave you with a smile. To find out more visit or call (727) 304-2525.

Vanessa Talbott 727.304.2525

Where is Silvie now? March/April 2020



Where Stars Are Born

Pinellas County Center For the Arts BY CINDY STOVALL Driving south in St. Pete on US Highway 19, you pass familiar local businesses - beauty shops, hardware stores, meat markets and restaurants. They are part of the scenic imprint in our minds whenever we think about neighborhood. Yet, somehow, many of us are unaware of the star incubator that exists in the middle of this unassuming world.

at St. Petersburg High School, and the Artistically Talented Program (now PCCA) was installed at Gibbs.

Somewhere around 13th Avenue South, just after you pass a tire shop on the east side, an expansive school campus stretches out before you. The lines of the buildings slope and turn in pleasing ways. It’s pretty for a place of learning. But did you know that history has been made at Gibbs High School time and time again? Historic Beginnings Gibbs was originally built in 1927. The imperative was to provide the first free secondary education to black students in Pinellas County. Appropriately, it was named for Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs - an African American who was Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State in Florida during Reconstruction. Those early students got a long overdue opportunity to learn beyond the 6th grade - to realize previously unthought-of potential. They held proms at the Manhattan Casino. And like the Manhattan, Mercy Hospital, The Royale Theater and many more iconic buildings, Gibbs became part of a community that was kept separate and apart from life north of Central Avenue. Fast forward to post-integration era circa 1979. A visionary county administrator felt a need for emphasis in the arts and, with that impulse, a new historic step for Gibbs began. A representative traveled to Dallas to monitor arts programming. After sharing his findings with key Gibbs personnel, model programs for the entire state of Florida were formed for artistically and academically talented students and shared with 67 county school administrators. By 1984, the Academically Talented Program (now IB) was installed


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How Stars are Born So, how does it work? In addition to standard high school academic courses, students enrolled in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts, having passed audition, are offered highly specialized arts classes that uniquely prepare them to meet their future potential and to give them real world advantages toward that end. The categories for students accepted for admission are Dance (modern dance and ballet), Music (vocal, instrumental and piano), Theater (performance, musical, tech and literary) and Visual Arts (painting, sculpting, photography, printmaking and ceramics). Instructors not only teach the courses, but mentor students one on one. Master classes are offered by visiting experts in any given discipline. Arts shows and staged performances are meticulously presented each semester at very high levels of execution on par with professionals. Workshops on real world arts infrastructure are frequent and strategies for future success, including in college, is always a part of the discussion. I have had the honor of interviewing a number of PCCA graduates over the past six seasons of The Beauty & The ‘Burg podcast. Some have molded great careers right here at home and some have attained accolades nationally and internationally. But they had help along the way. Two faculty members have come up consistently in these interviews as sources of great inspiration and support. Keven Renken is the current chair of the theater department and has been with Gibbs for 31 years. He has been a pioneering force in the development of what is now considered one of the premier theater programs in the state. Did you know you can see productions, twice a year, for around $10? That’s a no brainer for your theater budget. “PCCA has been a centerpoint in my life for a long time,” says Renken. “Watching these talented kids reach their potential and to

ARTS & CULTURE know they have a chance at a great career ... it’s everything.” But as he considers potential retirement in the next few years, Renken is returning to writing. His recently published book, “Welcome to the Day,” is available on

Pete’s best known artists. Her paintings have been selected to represent the City of St. Pete, the Tampa Bay Rays and her murals are some of the most familiar in the area. Siobhan Monique is the niece of Duke Ellington ensemble great Buster Cooper (also a St. Pete native). She came home from a successful run as an actress on and off Broadway, to build a skyrocketing career as a jazz vocalist.

Some of the many comments from students: “ Mr. Renken did so much to help us with our future careers.” “He pushed us to produce shows that could appear on any professional stage.” “Mr. Renken was a great teacher, mentor and friend.”

The ExPETEriots Of course, the career of Ephraim Sykes, ‘05 dance grad, is incredible to follow. Now a Broadway veteran (“Hamilton” original cast, “Little Mermaid,” “Memphis,” “Newsies,” “Motown the Musical”), he received a Tony nomination this past year for his role in “Ain’t Too Proud.” Now, Sykes is slated to star in the new musical about Michael the LEAD! Sykes has been on TV as well: “30 Rock,” “Smash,” HBO’s “Vinyl” with Bobby Cannavale and “Hairspray LIVE” on NBC (Seaweed). His sister, Martina Sykes, also a PCCA grad, has toured with Disney’s “The Lion King.” Together, the siblings have created a scholarship fund, SykesKids, that will benefit PCCA students.

Karen Bail, a Gibbs alum herself, retired last year from her role as a music and vocal instructor after decades of service. She continues, though, to be a mentor, friend and fan to a generation of students. In fact, she revels in it. “I have made traveling to see my former students perform around the country a focus in my life,” explains Bail. “Nothing gives me more joy and I’m so proud of every one of them. Knowing I was a part of their journey is so meaningful to me. It’s hard to put into words.” It’s meaningful to them too. Bail’s influence in the lives of her former students is made evident by the outpouring of love and frequent pics with her in their social media posts. “She was always there for me.” “It means so much to me that she still comes to my shows.” “Ms. Bail always pushed me to be better. I owe a lot of my success to her.” “She loved the music, and made us love it, too.”

Dylan Glatthorn, ‘05 music grad, lives in NYC and is a musician, composer and lyricist. The two-time recipient of the Alan Menken Award is working on his third fulllength musical (“Edison”). He has scored commercials and independent films, including collaborations with award-winning filmmaker and fellow PCCA grad William Joseph Stribling. Their film “Bear With Us” went all the way to Cannes.

The Local Stars These are but a few of the many great stories of successful PCCA grads who have remained or returned to this area to practice or teach their craft. Poet Gloria Munoz and her musician/ composer husband Mark Fineman of jazz ensemble La Lucha (new album released soon). Both are PCCA grads and met as students. Munoz also co-founded Pitch Her Productions with fellow PCCA grad and actress Chanel Waterhouse. The company empowers women in film and is based in NYC where Waterhouse lives. Visual artists Laura Spencer and partner, sculptor George Retkes are recent recipients of Creative Pinellas Emerging Artists grants both PCCA grads. Spencer relates that PCCA “was arguably the most influential arts education experience I ever had. It set me on a course for success.” Eva Avenue is an

artist (Eva Avenue Studio) and writer (News Service editor for the New York Times) whose time at PCCA “meant so much, I could talk about it forever.” Of course, with influences like her mother, artist Carol Dameron and step-father, iconic jazz and civil rights photographer, Herb Snitzer, it seems natural for her to be so talented. Helen Hansen French is our dancing muse. A PCCA and Julliard grad, Helen came home from NYC and has helped bring dance here in St. Pete to its highest level of excellence. She co-founded Beacon, an annual dance showcase performed at the Palladium. It is scheduled this year on April 3. Carrie Jadus of Carrie Jadus Fine Art & Portraiture in the Warehouse Arts District, is one of St.

Michelle Dowdy, musical theater grad, was recruited to Broadway as a Gibbs senior to be standby for the lead of Tracy in “Hairspray.” She has played the role on tour and on the high seas. Most recently, Dowdy performed in the off-Broadway show :The Marvelous Wonderettes” and was just cast for the national tour of “Les Miserables.” Alana Clapp was a musical theater student who switched to tech and rose to become general stage manager of “Mystere” - the longest running Cirque du Soliel production in Las Vegas. Clapp has worked on a number of TV, comedy and film specials. Speaking of Cirque, Jamieson Lindenberg traveled the world with two Cirque productions as lead vocalist, and currently is assistant director of “Kooza.” He has also released several albums, and is the creator/director of “Girlie Show.”

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ARTS & CULTURE Stefanie Lehman has been the business manager for Lincoln Center in NYC since 2015 and is on the editorial board for Southern Theatre Magazine. Lisa Finegold, dance grad, travelled on the national tours of “Wicked” and “Dreamcoat.” She made her Broadway debut in “Rock of Ages” and went on to become dance captain for “Head Over Heels.” She is currently on the national tour of “Hamilton.” Maya Flock was understudy for the role of Maria in the first national tour of “West Side Story.” She performed as a soloist for the Boston Pops and starred in an MT short film, “Hey Beautiful,” that premiered in Paris. Anthony Murphy, musical theater grad, spent the past year on the “Aladdin” national tour as the bigger than life Genie. Justin Hires is an actor and standup comedian. He portrayed Det.

James Carter on the TV series Rush Hour. He also portrayed Juario in the film “21 Jump Street.” He currently stars as Wilt Bozer in the “MacGyver” reboot series. Did you know he went to PCCA? As a “Pose” junkie, I was flat out gone over knowing PCCA grad Blaine Krauss was in the cast. He has had roles in “The Cher Show,” “Kinky Boots,” “Great Comet” on Broadway and has been on tour with “Hamilton” and” Lion King” as Simba. Everyone listed here agrees on one thing. The bonds they forged at Gibbs travel with them wherever they go. PCCA, for them, was about a lot more than the training. “We are a family - a community. Catch audio interviews with many of the people featured in this article on The Beauty & The ‘Burg podcast. Go to

Lisa Finegold

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On Stage This Spring our professional theaters are on double duty and we, the lucky patrons, are all the better for it! Here’s what freeFall and American Stage are up to: freeFall Theatre Company continues its highly successful “Ghost Light” season with the hilariously comedic ghost story, Lone Star Spirits. It is the second part of an innovative two-theater play swap in partnership with the Hippodrome in Gainesville. Marie & Rosetta closed on Feb 16 at freeFall and now moves to Gainesville. Conversely, Lone Star Spirits leaves the Hippodrome and comes to freeFall (it opened on Feb. 29). When Marley returns to her small Texas hometown with her hipster fiancé run-ins with her estranged dad, ex-boyfriend and town founder, a ghost, create BIG chaos - the kind you can only find in Texas. Yee-hah! Runs through March 29. Looking ahead at freeFall’s season of spirits, on April 25 the classic Dear World premieres. Based on The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux, and with music by Jerry Herman, this tale set in 1940s Paris tells the story of Madame Aurelius, an outcast living in the basement of a Parisian bistro. When oil is discovered beneath the bistro, an epic battle of art vs. profit - beauty vs. greed, ensues. I know who I’m rooting for. Runs through May 24.

American Stage, over decades, continues to mark each Spring with the greatly anticipated American Stage in the Park. This season Footloose: The Musical promises to delight young and old, families, couples, girlfriends and diehard fans of Kevin Bacon, Kenny Loggins and Sammy Hagar. To tweak your memory, city boy Ren McCormack moves to a rural town where spiritual life is strictly controlled by a preacher whose many rules make everyone, well,


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kind of sad. Ren makes waves, especially over a rule that forbids dancing and a huge conflict arises, ultimately illuminating the spirit of youth - their ability to enact change and mold their own futures. Directed by Stephanie Gularte, it runs April 15 - May 17. You can also reserve a spot for the Gala Under the Stars on April 17. Bring your dancing shoes... Mainstage: The 21st Century Voices program provides a platform for playwrights to develop and submit their work for curated staged readings each year during American Stage’s New Play Festival. One lucky selection goes on to a full mainstage production, usually for the following season. The latest 21st Voices mainstage selection comes from playwright-in-residence, actor and local fave, Natalie Symons. The People Downstairs, set in Symon’s favorite backdrop of Buffalo, NY (her hometown), is an “endearing human comedy about love, loss, loneliness and the healing power of laughter. Having seen several of Symon’s plays, and marveling at her ability to endear characters and dialogue to an audience’s heart, I sincerely look forward to seeing it.

Museum Happenings The Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum, in partnership with The Florida Orchestra, hosts the Woodson Concert Series. There are two dates left in the “Telling Our Stories” themed series, and at pay what you can admission, you really can’t afford NOT to go. On March 29, the TFO String Trio featuring William Grant Still will present a Brahms tribute. Then, on May 3, TFO Asst. Principal Cello Lowell Adams joins pianist Grigorios Zamporas for a tribute to Debussy, Bernstein, Gershwin and more. All proceeds benefit the museum and both concerts start at 3pm.

ARTS & CULTURE On a personal note, I am always excited to report on, and participate in, Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts. This incredibly beautiful rite of Spring has been wowing throngs of visitors for almost a quarter century (and, though I am but a child, I have participated in most of them). This visual feast of color and scent accentuates and interprets MFA’s collections in a way that captures the imagination. Sign up for special events and stop by for Conversations With the Designers to ask questions about the creative process. March 26-30. www.

Alternative Creative Pinellas has been stepping up arts offerings at its expansive gallery space at the Largo campus. The newest exhibit has the gallery hosting a spectacular display of glass art showcasing nationally recognized glass artists, some working locally here in Pinellas County. Glass in the Gallery, presented by Duncan McClellan Gallery and curated by artistic director Mary Childs, will be an experience of color and light. Check the CP or DMG websites for special events and talks. Opening reception is 6 pm on March 5; exhibit runs through April 19. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 pm.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear his music, I highly recommend that you treat yourself to the upcoming concert at the Palladium featuring the prolific and much adored Nate Najar and his trio. Nate Najar’s Jazz Samba Celebration is sure to be a joyous and auditory revelation featuring classic Bossa Nova hits, Jazz and Samba. March 20 at 8pm Worth checking out: A Passion for Art: Voices in Paint & Clay at Soft Water Studios April 2-4 featuring the work of Don and Cristina Williams and, of course, Wendy Durand. Thursday is a Collectors’ Preview (Invitation Only), Friday is an Artist’s Talk with Don Williams “The Emergence of the Williams’ Paintings” and Saturday will feature an Artist Demonstration. Until text time … Cindy Stovall’s Beauty & the ‘Burg podcast covering the arts in St. Petersburg airs on Wednesdays at 6 pm at Archives of previous shows are available.

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Motown Icons Coming to Mahaffey Theater



M AY 8



GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement award winners, The Four Tops helped bring Motown to the forefront of American pop culture with seven Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” have become American Pop standards. Other Tops hits include “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over),” “Something About You,” “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got),” and many more. Mary Wilson is a founding member of one of the most iconic female singing groups in pop history, The Supremes.

With 40 albums and 12 No. 1 hits including “Stop, In The Name of Love,” and “Baby, Love,” The Supremes laid the foundation for future female groups to step into the spotlight. In 1970, Mary Wilson and The Supremes recorded a version of “River Deep, Mountain High” with none other than The Four Tops, solidifying the two groups as a match made in Motown Heaven. She is the author of several bestselling books, highlighted by her 1986 autobiography “Dream Girl: My Life as a Supreme.” Opening the show is singer and entertainer Peter Lemongello Jr., known for his recent national TV appearances on “American Idol” and the PBS special “My Music: Doo Wop Generations.” Tickets range from $49-$79; purchase at, by phone at (727) 300-2000, or at the Mahaffey Theater box office.

Coming Up

On Friday, April 24, The Florida Orchestra lights up with Livin’ Thing: The Music of the Electric Light Orchestra. Take a trip in the Wayback Machine with the fully symphonic/rock hits of yesteryear like Evil Woman, Turn to Stone, Mr. Blue Sky, Don’t Bring Me Down and Telephone Line. Show is at 8 pm.



One of Motown’s most popular acts, The Four Tops, along with Mary Wilson of The Supremes, will join forces for a special performance at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater on Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m.

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Then on Saturday, April 25, the theme is Prohibition with a pops concert featuring music from Rudy Vallée, Josephine Baker and Kurt Weill, at 8 pm Expect with vintage movie clips and photos and singing by local vocalists Myra Maud, Madison Claire Parks and Bronson Norris Murphy. Conductor is Jeff Tyzik. Purchase your tickets at or call (727) 892-3337.

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Art of the Stage

A century of arts comes alive (literally) at MFA BY MARCIA BIGGS It may be the most dramatic exhibit yet for the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, and rightly so. Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney is all about drama. The expansive show features more than 100 scene, costume, stage and program designs created by noted artists from the 19th century to the present. Complementing those visuals is a diverse program featuring dozens of dance, music, opera and theater performances. Two years in the planning, this colossal collaborative effort is impressive in its depth and diversity. The exhibition is culled from the McNay Art Museum’s prestigious Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts in San Antonio, Texas, and includes works by Henri Matisse, Natalia Goncharova, Pablo Picasso, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, and Lesley Dill. These artists contributed greatly to world-renowned plays, operas, and ballets, such as Pulcinella, La Création du Monde (The Creation of the World), King Arthur,

and The Mother of Us All. For MFA Executive Director Kristen Shepherd, the opportunity to pair live performances was part of the appeal for presenting Art of the Stage. “This is an unprecedented collaboration of visual and performance arts, a chance for our community and visitors to experience how these practices intersect,” she said at the media opening. To bring Art of the Stage to life, a theater stage was built inside the exhibition space. Live classical music, opera, dance, theater and poetry, as well as film screenings and lectures will continue on select days throughout the run of the exhibition which ends May 10. Exhibition designer Rush Jenkins of WRJ Designs (who wowed us with Jewels of the Imagination: Jean Schlumberger) had a challenge in creating a cohesive flow to this PHOTOS/MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS ST. PETERSBURG

Left, Red Ecstasy Dress from Divide Light by Lesley Dill (2008). Right, Scene design for Le Coq d’Or (The Golden Cockerel), Natalia Goncharova (1913)


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Left, oil paintings are costume designs from Le Coq d’Or (The Golden Cockerel), Natalia Goncharova (c. 1922) . Right, Lesley Dill’s Paris Speaking Dress (1996) large exhibit that covers so many art movements. He decided to divide it into six themes, setting the stage in the entrance gallery by celebrating the legendary Ballets Russes. The famed dance company was founded in Paris in 1909 by Serge Diaghilev, and united the most daring visual artists (Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso), choreographers (Vaslav Nijinsky), dancers (Anna Pavlova), and composers (Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky) of the time to create innovative, avant-garde performances. Scenes from legendary ballets grace the walls, while the spotlight here shines on a dramatic cape of brocade metallic embroidery trimmed in ermine fur designed for The Firebird (1909-1911). The exhibit’s largest gallery is dedicated to Russian avantgarde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer Natalia Goncharova. She was one of the most prominent artists of the Ballets Russes; her folkloric art introduced Western audiences to Slavic culture. Her bold, colorful work encompassed many styles from Cubism to Futurism and Expressionism, and her paintings and costumes here are lively and a joy to behold. One of the exhibit’s stunners is Goncharova’s colorful backdrop for the French production of the Russian operaballet Le Coq d’Or (The Golden Cockerel) 1913, an ethnic scene in brilliant reds and golds. Revolutionary Russia follows in a gallery that screens a silent black and white futuristic epic, Aelita Queen of Mars (1924), based on the Alexei Tolstoy novel of the same name and perhaps one of the first ever science fiction films. It tells the story of a young Russian engineer who dreams that he travels from Moscow to Mars, where he helps to overthrow its oppressive leaders. Here we see sketches and paintings of structured, geometric costume design by Cubo-Futurist painter Alexandra Exter, who was hired to design the Martian costumes and sets. (A highlight of the performances will surely be when the band La Lucha performs a live soundtrack to a screening of Aelita Queen of Mars

on April 17 and April 19.) Aelita was promoted like no Soviet film before it -- leaflets announcing its premiere were dropped from airplanes over Moscow. In the final Pop and Contemporary Art gallery, we find costumes by noted designers Lesley Dill and Robert Indiana and art by David Hockney, who all worked with directors, composers and dance companies. Indiana’s costumes for the 1966 film and 1976 stage production of The Mother of Us All, takes us to the days of the women’s suffrage movement. Lesley Dill’s stunning costume gowns, particularly the Red Ecstasy dress that was worn in Divide Light, are showstoppers. Dill loved making statements and her powerful Paris Speaking Dress from a 1996 performance in Paris, is a flowing creation of rough cream covered in ribbons of text, all words from Emily Dickinson cascading from the bodice. Finally, David Hockney’s circus-like posters for a French Triple Bill brings Art of the Stage full circle. For a complete schedule of events, check out Dancer/choreographer Helen Hansen French performs with Open/ Space Collective on the exhibit stage April 16 from 5 to 7 pm and and April 30 from 6 to 8 pm, with a final performance on Saturday, May 2 from 2 to 4 pm. Included with museum admission.

March/April 2020



It’s Easy Being Green Entrepreneurs embrace environmental consciousness In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, we sought out some local business owners who took on the challenge of bringing eco-friendly, sustainable, and healthy living products to our community. From organic hydroponically grown produce to laundry detergents with no toxins, these St. Petersburg entrepreneurs hold strong beliefs that going green is a necessary step to a healthier, more sustainable and environmentally friendly planet. SPL salutes these role models. Now, go forth and go green! BY KAYLA GLEASON Brick Street Farms 2001 2nd Ave. S., St. Petersburg Started in 2016, Brick Street Farms brings freshly grown produce into the urban jungle. Shannon O’Malley founded Brick Street after moving to Florida from her home in Pennsylvania and finding that the growing season here was short, if not non-existent. She turned to hydroponics because it does not involve any soil, can be done year-round and uses very little water – a major issue in standard agricultural practices both because it leads to a great deal of waste and because it severely limits the locations of farms to where water demands can be met. “We also don’t use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers, which eliminates the risk for contamination,” said General Manager Megan McKenna. “It’s got a much smaller environmental impact than traditional agriculture. We can hold up to two acres worth of produce in each container.” The farm is considered hyper-local because they produce at the point of consumption, rather than contributing to fossil fuel depletion from national and global shipment. “This means our food has a much longer shelf-life and it maintains more of its nutrients,” McKenna said. Brick Street produces everything from leafy greens to herbs and microgreens, but lettuce remains their most popular product, with 10


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different varieties including kale and chard. And currently they are looking to move into a larger warehouse as well as renovate their 2nd Ave. property, which opens the door to growing even more types of food. “We definitely want to expand production here in St. Pete and we’re talking about other cities and maybe even states, too,” McKenna said. Brick Street produce can be bought fresh from their on-location store – along with a pantry filled with other local goods like jams, nut butters and pickled veggies. “Something we’re really excited about is that we’ve just announced a partnership with Publix. We’re starting out at the new Greenwise location in Lakeland, but we’re hoping to work our way into the Tampa Bay area,” McKenna said. And if you eat out a lot, you’ve probably already tried Brick Street Farms without even realizing it. Their produce is found in restaurants from downtown Tampa’s Oxford Exchange and Armature Works to St. Pete’s IL Ritorno and Vinoy Renaissance. Molly’s Suds Born at local farmers markets from a desire to create skin- and body-safe cleaning supplies, Molly’s Suds has grown into a heavilydemanded supplier of soaps, sprays and “super powders,” selling both in-person at local shops like The Refillery and Rollin’ Oats, and online through Amazon, Walmart and Target, as well. Inspired by the loss of her stillborn daughter and company’s namesake, Molly, owner Monica Leonard made it her mission to create cleaning products safe for the entire family. “I used to be a pediatric nurse and that side of me worked through the grief by trying to find the ‘why.’ We already ate organic and stayed healthy but we never thought about window cleaner, detergent, things like that,” she said. “It wasn’t until I started researching that I found all these studies on the side-effects of

SPL LIVING cleaning products. One tested the blood in newborns – babies who had never been directly exposed to any of these materials – and they found household chemicals already in their bodies.”

The Refillery utilizes the same bulk-bar style as Sans Market where customers can bring in clean, empty containers to refill – as the name suggests – purchase reusable jars or take free ones donated by other shoppers. “The planet has a huge waste problem so we saw this store as an incredible opportunity,” said Leonard. “If we all do even a little bit, it makes a tremendous difference.” While many of the products available are from the Molly’s Suds line – like their bestselling laundry powders and natural whiteners – the Refillery does partner with other companies to provide a wider range of supplies. The shop stocks everything from reusable straws to package-free toothpaste tablets to washable zip-top bags. PHOTO/KAYLA GLEASON

Unfortunately, safer replacements or alternatives for cleaning and laundry supplies weren’t always available. And with this discovery, Leonard felt like it was her responsibility to do something about it. “I started making my own products and it was awful,” she joked.

come in and be educated and where we could ensure what they are buying is safe and sustainable.”

But Leonard eventually found an Oregon-based chemist who helped her perfect the products and combat elements larger corporations have made us feel are necessity. She notes one of the biggest marketing tactics by companies today is scent which is typically artificial and even causes allergic reactions in some cases. Just do an online search for your detergent of choice and “rash” and you’ll probably find countless articles and forum posts of people claiming these brands have given them contact dermatitis and red, itchy skin. Molly’s Suds, on the other hand, are naturally fragranced. The cleaning vinegars, for instance, come in a wide variety, from rosemary and orange to grapefruit and mint. “We’ve had people call and say their skin has been breaking out for years and, after making the change to our products, it isn’t anymore,” said Leonard. “And if it’s safe for people, it will inherently be better for the planet.” All of the products produced by Molly’s Suds are biodegradable, cruelty-free and vegan. They are also septic-safe and high-efficiency machine safe for those struggling to find compatible cleaning supplies. At the office, Molly’s Suds have even replaced disposable products like paper towels, plastic cutlery and single-use coffee cups with their washable counterparts. “We are always safe for people and the planet so we want the culture here to reflect that,” Leonard said. The Refillery 7490 30th Ave. N., Suite B, St. Petersburg If you find yourself interested in Molly’s Suds, one of the best places to shop their line locally is at The Refillery, an apothecary-style, waste-free storefront right next door. Monica Leonard opened The Refillery after moving Molly’s Suds into their current facility. “The company we bought this from, this used to be their showroom, so we had this odd little space we didn’t know what to do with,” she said. “We decided to make a place where people can

Even the décor adheres to their waste-free standards. “The big table in the middle of the store and the old Toledo scale were left here from the previous owners who said they were just going to throw them out,” said Leonard. “We’re such a consumer society that we don’t even think about what can be reused. We want to change that mindset.” And, while you wouldn’t initially think of a cleaning supply store as the spot for your next big outing or group activity, The Refillery is often host to baby showers, birthdays and bachelorette parties. “People can book us for events and come in and DIY their own deodorants, body lotions and more. We have a whole book of recipes and all the tools you could need whether it’s measuring cups, bowls, blenders, whatever,” Leonard said. The Make and Take Station is also open to everyone during regular business hours and all of the equipment is free to use, you only have to pay for your product – usually in the five-dollar range, according to the website. The Refillery also has events planned to celebrate Earth Day and their anniversary in April, from clothing swaps to candle-making. Truffūla Eco-Boutique 2935 Central Ave., St. Petersburg Open for just over a year, Truffūla EcoBoutique has set up shop in the heart of

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SPL LIVING Kenwood and prides itself on being a one stop shop for all things environmentally friendly. Jeff Schorr, who owns the boutique as well as the nearby Craftsman House Gallery, says he first became interested in ecoconscious products thanks to his previous career. “My background is in the surf and skate industry and a lot of those brands, a lot of those companies were some of the earliest to begin looking into more sustainable products,” he said. In fact, one of the best-selling lines at Truffūla is made by professional surfer Kelly Slater. His brand, Outerknown, focuses on sustainable denim with a lifetime guarantee. Traditionally, the denim-making process is responsible for huge amounts of water waste but Slater’s brand is all made at the greenest denim factory in the world. According to Schorr, Outerknown has also just released a highly demanded women’s line that Truffūla now stocks. “The apparel industry is the second highest polluter of the ocean, so it’s great to see all these smaller, sustainable companies coming out now and

getting recognized,” he said. But Truffūla doesn’t stop at clothing, the store has everything from reusable straws – a nice thing to have since St. Pete’s plastic straw ban! – to purses and accessories and even art. Supporting local sustainable brands and artists is also important at Truffūla, which prominently features beautiful blown glass straws made by an original member of the St. Pete Summer Market and upcycled necklaces made from metal salvaged from the old pier. “We are excited to continue growing as word gets out and as St. Pete develops,” said Schorr. “We do get customers who seek us out and are very eco-conscious, but it’s great when you meet people new to the subject and you just see that light go off in their head.” Sans Market 1102 Central Ave., St. Petersburg Right on Central Avenue in the heart of downtown St. Pete, one store is looking to encourage a zero-waste lifestyle. Sans Market focuses on changing the game when it comes to health, beauty and cleaning products – which typically come with exorbitant amounts of unnecessary packaging, plastic and harmful chemicals, according to shop owner Eniko Olah. “The idea for the store came from personal inspiration. When I got pregnant, I really struggled to find products for my own life

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that had little to no packaging or toxins, so I made a store to help others who are also searching,” she said. “Actually, that’s where the name came from. ‘Sans’ means ‘without’ in Latin, so we literally help you live without plastic, packaging and toxins.” Some of Sans Market’s most popular items include shampoo bars and toothpaste tablets – which can be near-impossible to find in your average retailer – stainless steel straws in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and washable, reusable menstrual products. “Our bulk bar is also a big draw,” said Olah, we have all different kinds of cleaning products, everything you need. It’s something we’re always expanding. You can even bring your own packages to refill or you can buy a reusable container here.”

can come and ask questions. We’re all on this green journey together,” Olah added. That is why Sans Market will also be offering educational classes on topics ranging from feminine hygiene to healthy cleaning to composting. A different themed class will be offered in the shop space once a month and each will start with a “green quiz” to see how environmentally friendly you are and to help create a dialogue on lifestyle changes and product substitutions you can make. While the store was originally located above Baum Ave. Market, Olah expected to move into new digs up the street at 1102 Central Avenue by mid-March.

Alexandra Exter, Costume design for Salomé in Salomé, 1917, Gouache and graphite on paper, Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of The Tobin Endowment

Customers also have the option of using a free jar – repurposed containers like pasta sauce glasses or drink bottles that are washed, de-labeled and donated by patrons. “It’s not just about saving the world; it’s about saving our health. I want to provide products and a place where people

Featuring over 100 studies for production designs by noted artists of the nineteenth

Half Page Adto the present day, such as Henri Matisse, Giorgio de Chirico, century

Natalia Goncharova, Pablo Picasso, Louise Nevelson, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, and Lesley Dill. During the run of this exhibition, the Museum of Fine Arts’ galleries will be animated with dance, music, theater, and opera performances. Visit for complete schedule. Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney is organized by the McNay Art Museum.

March/April 2020




Just home from school and a day after speaking at a business summit for innovators in Tampa, Miles Fetherston-Resch makes time before homework to talk to a reporter about responsibility. As founder and CEO of Kids Saving Oceans, the 7-year-old seems to be setting a good example. In just one year, he has drawn attention to the plight of marine life affected by pollution with his own line of stickers, t-shirts and hats available on his website He donates proceeds from the merchandise to local non-profits and conservation groups like Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Surfrider Foundation, Mission Blue and Shark Allies. Miles is on an eco-crusade, eager to speak at meetings, events and festivals, to local and state officials, television and news reporters, on the dangers of not taking responsibility for an ocean environment that is threatened every minute of every day. With the help of his mom (who also serves as his driver and manager), Miles inspired his school - Country Day School in Largo – to change Earth Day to Earth Week last year and started a petition drive asking the cafeteria to move away from single-use plastics. They even held a Waste Challenge in which each grade was challenged to keep track of how much plastic and other waste they created and come up with ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Miles launched Kids Saving Oceans early in 2019 after watching Shark Week on TV and deciding he wanted to do something to help marine wildlife. After sharing his idea with his mom, they started working together on creating a merchandise business that would


March/April 2020

promote beach conservation and protecting marine life while raising funds for organizations that espoused the same ideals. Of course, the products would use recycled materials that are environmentally sustainable. Miles came up with a colorful sticker featuring his favorite marine animals, and Kids Saving Oceans was born. What is his mission? “My message is that one person can change the world,” he says. Take, for instance, choosing not to use a plastic straw, or bringing your own water bottle, or using a reusable bag instead of a plastic shopping bag. “Every choice matters,” says Miles. “If one person starts, then others follow, and even more follow them, you really can make a difference.” His passion and business sense helped sway judges to award him $5,000 last November in Tampa Bay Pitch Night, where Kids Saving Oceans was up against 27 other startup businesses. Organized by the City of St. Pete and Greenhouse, Pitch Night, through the generosity of Regions Bank, awarded five innovative startups $5,000 each for seed funding. Kids Saving Oceans was one of them. With his winnings, Miles plans to expand his product line, and eventually write a book, which will allow him to donate $7,500 to his non-profit partners. He recently added a reusable metal straw kit, since “plastic straws can blow into the water and harm the environment,” he says.


Five Things You Can Do for Earth Day By Miles Fetherson-Resch • Look around your house or office for single-use plastic items you can eliminate (for example, swap shampoo and conditioner bottles for bars, use a water pitcher instead of bottled water, or opt for a wooden toothbrush instead of plastic.) • Start recycling at home and at your office or school. And you can always make a fun art or craft project out of some of the non-recyclable things. • If you already recycle - great! Now you can think about composting your food scraps. The City of St. Petersburg has a composting program that will give you free bins and instructions. • Consider a carbon offset or credit for your energy usage. Kids Saving Oceans does this for both the business and our home and we can see the kinds of projects that the money funds that pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, like planting trees, or investing in green energy. To learn more about carbon offset, check out • Organize a neighborhood cleanup. Your streets will look nicer and you will keep trash out of our waterways.

His ultimate goal, says Miles, is to donate $1 million to marine conservation charities by the time he is 18 through sales of his Kids Saving Oceans merchandise. “Miles delivered a strong business plan that can rival any other organization like his,” said Regions Bank Market Executive Jim Donatelli, who was

Earth Day St. Pete

one of the judges at Pitch Night. “He presented a clear vision for his award and knew the fine details about what Kids Saving Oceans can and should do to be profitable. Whatever Miles decides to do in the long run in his career, he is going to be wildly successful. I hope he’ll continue to share that success with St. Pete.”

Preserve, an electric vehicle show, solar information (and even get an estimate from one of the solar contractors on site). Local, state and national elected officials will be on hand to talk about what we can do to press for sustainability and environmental responsibility. For more information, go to or follow updates at

Here Comes the Sun

Earth Day turns 50 this year, and the environmental nonprofit Chart 411 and the City of St. Petersburg will co-sponsor the city’s official Earth Day celebration from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, April 4, in Williams Park, 350 2nd Ave. N. More than 120 exhibitors, nonprofits, and vendors will offer earth friendly products, sustainable living information, and opportunities to get involved in environmentally responsible activities. The 6th annual Earth Day St. Pete will host activities and crafts, interactive exhibits, educational and recreational activities for children and families, food vendors and entertainment. Look for a show and tell with some of our wild neighbors from Boyd Hill Nature

Interested in going solar? A new solar co-op is forming in St. Pete! Three informational sessions are planned to explain the process. The St. Pete 2020 Solar Co-op aims to assist homeowners and small business owners in learning about solar energy and purchasing rooftop panels. Those who sign up for the co-op will leverage their numbers to solicit bulk pricing through an open bidding process facilitated by Solar United Neighbors. The co-op is open to all homeowners and small businesses owners in the City of St. Petersburg. Visit for more information. Sessions will be held: March 10 6-7:30 pm at Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Rd. N. April 16 6 -7:30 pm at West St. Pete Community Library, 6700 8th Ave. N. May 12 6-7:30 pm at Childs Park YMCA, 691 43rd St. S.

March/April 2020



Taking Root

Trees Have Never Been More Important

Located on the property of Lakeview Presbyterian Church, the majestic Abe Winters Live Oak supports children learning to climb trees through Pathfinder Outdoor Education. Abe Winters is considered the grandfather of recreational tree climbing. BY CATHY HARRELSON Trees are leafing out across much of St. Petersburg, providing one obvious transition from our relatively mild winter to a beautiful spring. It’s easy to take this annual process for granted, but trees provide multiple layers of value to our city. And we certainly miss them when they’re gone.

Program. Gift trees are available in varied species and locations, for birthdays, holidays, or as a memorial. Additionally, the City has begun focused tree plantings along street corridors. Corridor plantings to date include 18th Avenue South and most recently, 30th Avenue North, with more in the planning stages.

Communities around the country are engaged in Urban Reforestation, from the urban core through yards, neighborhoods, parks, and streets. Trees have never been more important. Rising temperatures, rainfall changes and the escalating impacts of climate change point to planting and growing trees as a low-tech way to cool our homes, reduce our energy use, and improve our health. Neighborhoods with a robust canopy have higher property values, and trees contribute to our overall sense of well-being.

A comprehensive tree canopy study is also underway, enabling us to work from a clear map to plant and grow trees where they are most needed, to avoid places where they may cause trouble, and to ensure species diversity. In fact, success depends on the concept of “right tree, right place,” the basis for tree planting programs from Pinellas County Extension Service to SWFWMD (Southwest Florida Water Management District).

The City of St. Petersburg has been committed to increasing the canopy in our parks, aided by Parks and Recreation’s Gift Tree


March/April 2020

Planning Ahead But like it or not, St. Petersburg’s popularity and growth as “the”


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is now.” -- African Proverb


Benefits of Trees Trees are the ultimate multitaskers. When we choose trees as a low-cost strategy to fight the impacts of climate change, the benefits go well beyond carbon reduction. The urban heat island effect known as UHI, is a very real phenomenon occurring in our heavily built-out city and county. UHI is the result of excessive paving, higher energy use and the corresponding generation of waste heat that occurs in urban areas where air temperatures are higher than their rural surroundings.

Furthermore, studies point to well-placed trees as significant players in preventing crime and in making neighborhoods feel safer. We are far more likely to enjoy the outdoors in areas where trees provide shade and a comfortable space for socializing, keeping more ‘eyes on the streets’ and building stronger neighborhood networks. In 2017, the St. Petersburg Sustainability Council published the “Legendary Trees of St. Petersburg” Calendar, where trees from every St. Pete district came with a story of that tree, adding to the beautiful, historic tapestry of life in St. Petersburg. In the end, people just love trees. Nearly everyone has a tree story and feels protective of his or her ‘special tree’. Living in an urban forest encourages all of us to relax and enjoy our lives and offers a sense of place that adds to the pleasure of living in St. Petersburg and its vibrant neighborhoods. Cathy Harrelson is President of St. Petersburg Sustainability Council and Chair of the CBC Urban Forestry Committee.

Top, the well-known kapok tree on the south lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts was planted as a sapling by the museum’s first director, Rexford Stead, in 1965. PHOTO/KATHLEEN MURPHY POSEY

To help combat these tree-reduction factors, the new Urban Forestry Committee of the City Beautiful Commission (CBC) will be focusing on building awareness and common cause to protect the trees we have and regrow our canopy. The aim is to engage citizens, neighborhoods and community organizations, alongside planners, public works, police, and developers to personally and strategically invest in the future of our urban forest. As the longest-standing city committee, CBC is moving forward to bring the public into the important work of growing the city’s precious greenscape.

Projections for an increase in the number of continuous daytime temperatures over 90 degrees provide some urgency to our plans to expand the canopy. And the benefits of trees only grow from there. Reforestation also provides a green infrastructure that improves water quality by minimizing stormwater runoff, reducing flooding and lowering water filtration costs. Trees also support the local birds and other wildlife we love – wildlife that relies on trees for food, shelter, nesting and water.


place to live in Florida has wreaked some havoc on our tree canopy. In spite of the City’s efforts, development, redevelopment and unscrupulous landscape practices continue to create a net loss of trees. Likewise, recent state legislative actions have removed tree ordinance protection mechanisms from the toolbox of cities and counties statewide.

The Charles Oak along Booker Creek in Historic Roser Park appears in 100-year-old vintage postcards and is a neighborhood landmark. It’s estimated to be close to 200 years old and is named after Charles Roser, the founder of Roser Park.

Thumb’s Up St. Petersburg’s annual Arbor Day celebration, the Green Thumb Festival on April 25-26 at Walter Fuller Park, is a great place to pick up a sapling and learn about proper planting techniques. More than 120 garden, plant and flower vendors and exhibitors will offer everything under the sun. Activities include Ask an Arborist, free pine seedlings, plant, soil and water diagnostics, children’s crafts, education programs and seminars, a flower show by Garden Club of St. Petersburg, butterfly tent, a children’s plant fair, environmental resources tent, exhibits by local groups and organizations and more. Hours are 9 am to 4 pm both days, Walter Fuller Park is at 7891 26th Ave. N in St. Petersburg. Go to greenthumb for more information or call (727) 893-7441. To learn more about the City’s Gift Tree Program, call (727) 893-7441.

March/April 2020



Can You Dig It? March 26: 6 pm 7:30pm Managing Your Florida-Friendly Landscape Barbara S. Ponce Public Library 7770 52nd Street, Pinellas Park, FL 33781 Join Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Experts for an overview of how to maintain your landscape the Florida-Friendly way. This class will provide simple recommendations on mowing, watering, fertilization, mulch, pest control, and more that can easily be applied to your yard care program.

Become one with Mother Earth and learn how to go native at these workshops presented by the UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County. Classes are free, but advance registration is requested. March 14: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Rainwater Harvesting and Rain Gardens UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774 Tired of watching rainwater pouring out of your gutter downspout and then down the street? Join Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Experts to learn how to save that water in a recycled plastic drum for use in your landscape. We will also provide an overview of the stormwater system and introduce rain gardens as a method to capture and treat stormwater runoff in your landscape. March 19: 6 pm - 7:30 pm Florida Style Landscaping: Landscape Design Basics Workshop St. Petersburg Water Resources Department 1650 3rd Ave North, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

Tired of working hard to maintain the perfect lawn and landscape? Educators from the City of St. Petersburg, University of Florida/IFAS Extension Pinellas County, and private industry will teach you how to create and maintain an attractive Florida-Friendly Landscape that saves water, time, and sweat!

April 3: 10:30 am – 12 pm All About Trees Weedon Island Preserve 1800 Weedon Dr, St. Petersburg, FL 33702 Come learn about the benefits trees provide to us, such as conserving and cleaning our water and air as well as contributing to our wellbeing. We will discuss how to select the right trees for your landscape and how to take proper care of them. Pictures of native and underused trees will also be presented.

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A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that more Americans are motivated to lose weight. An increasing number are beginning to eat less, exercise, drink more water and try out new diet plans. Unfortunately, most of these attempts fail. WHY? We will start with the diet first. “Calories in, calories out” equation is a tool used by some diet plans like Weight Watchers. However, we must remember that calories are not equal. A 100-calorie slice of pie is not the same as 100 calorie cup of spinach. Quality of the calories eaten, and their nutritional value should be a key. Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said: “Most people focus on the physics of weight. They talk about laws of thermodynamics and energy in and energy out. They don’t realize that on top of the physics, the body cares how much fat it has. Merely eating less is not doing anything”. This phenomenon is called Metabolic Adaptation. The body will adapt to metabolism based on your diet and lifestyle. Exercise. In the light of New Year resolutions, people zealously work out every day. Many overdo it! The optimal time spent in the gym is around 60 to 90 minutes. Beyond this time, the body is going into so called “oxidative stress” which negatively affects your metabolic rate. For someone who spends half of the day at the gym or marathon runners it is advisable to add antioxidant supplements. Toxic Load. Every day we “bathe” ourselves in the “soup” of toxins. Modest estimates have suggested that we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxic chemicals daily. There is an adage: “Solution to Pollution is Dilution”. In relation to the human body that means that our fat plays a protective role by diluting and storing toxins within. By having a regular detox program, we release toxins therefore helping to reduce adipose tissues.

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St. Anthony’s Triathlon is a Family Affair

For Eric and Beth Diner, exercise and staying fit has always been a part of their lives. The two busy doctors – he’s a urologist and she is an OB/GYN -- have instilled that same love for fitness into their three children. One of the things they all like to do together is the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, which is coming up April 25-26. The doctors are happy that the annual event, now in its 37th year in St. Petersburg, has become a family affair. Since 2008, Dr. Eric has been doing the Olympic-distance race. For the past few years, their three children – Jacob, 12; Jonah, 10; and Jesse, 9 – have joined in on the fun. “The kids see us do it every year and they want to participate,” said Dr. Eric, a BayCare Medical Group physician in the Suncoast Medical Clinic on the St. Anthony’s Hospital campus. “We’re lucky to live in a great place where we can be outside and active throughout the year. And we like passing that on to the kids.” Dr. Beth along with the couples’ children will tackle the Meek & Mighty on April 25. The next day, she will do the run portion on an Olympic-distance relay team along with her father-in-law, Ronald Diner, who will ride the bike. Dr. Eric also will participate individually in the Olympic-distance race. The Triathlon is just one part of this busy family’s active lifestyle. All of the children participate in sports. Jacob, a seventh-grader,


March/April 2020

participates on swim, basketball and baseball teams. Jonah, who is in fifth grade, mainly plays basketball. Jesse, a fourthgrader, plays tennis and participates in gymnastics. “We think it’s important to get them in the habit of being active while they are young so that it will stay with them as they grow,” said Dr. Beth, a physician at Women’s Care Florida – St. Petersburg who has privileges at St. Anthony’s Hospital. “I definitely encourage my patients to stay active through their pregnancies and beyond.” Although the children are just starting out in the sport, both the Diners have participated in triathlons before. Dr. Eric’s first triathlon was in Delaware in 2000. Dr. Beth’s first triathlon was St. Anthony’s in 2009, a year after Dr. Eric started doing the event. Fitting in some training time can be tough for these busy doctors,

SPL HEALTH Dr. Eric said. They both exercise at a local fitness center and work in some beach runs. “I train at odd times and unfortunately, it’s not very consistent,” he said. “But we do go to the gym and do some running and biking, mostly on the weekends. I try to bike with my dad on the weekends. It’s all about finding the time to fit it in to be prepared for the race.” Dr. Eric grew up in St. Petersburg, while Dr. Beth lived in various places around the country because her father was in the military. They both graduated from the Tulane University

School of Medicine in 2000 and decided to call St. Petersburg home in 2006. The Diners, who have been a part of St. Anthony’s Hospital since 2006, say they are grateful that their children want to be a part of the Triathlon. “The race is great motivation for kids and something the whole family can do together,” he said. “They encourage their friends to do it as well. It’s just a part of things they already do — swimming, biking and running — so it’s a great way for us all to be together.”

37th Annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon Thousands of athletes are expected to swim, bike and run through St. Petersburg’s picturesque waterfront, downtown and neighborhoods April 25-26 for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon Weekend. Ranked as the fourth largest triathlon in the country by USAT, the three-day event includes: • The Olympic-Distance Triathlon, on Sunday, April 26, which is known for its talented professional field.

• The Sprint Triathlon, also on April 26, which features shorter distances than the Olympic-distance race along the same course. • The Meek & Mighty Triathlon, on Saturday, April 25, a race for novice adults and children who are new to the sport of triathlon. In addition to the three races, the weekend includes the St. Anthony’s

Triathlon Sports & Fitness Expo, a showcase of the latest equipment for multisport athletes, workshops for athletes to prepare for the races and information tables. For more information about the events, to register or volunteer, visit SATriathlon. com. You can also follow the Triathlon on Facebook at


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Outdoor Entertaining

Lighten up and let your personality be your guide PHOTOS/ELEGANT OUTDOOR LIVING

The outdoor patio is an extension of the indoors and provides extra living space, and most importantly, entertaining space. In today’s world of so many choices, outdoor furnishings no longer have to be durable and boring. Do you like terrazzo or marble? Wicker or wood? Bright colors or steely grays? You can have it all, but first you must allow yourself to forget the old “everything must match” mantra. Options to mix and match outdoor furniture collections and pieces abound, not just in fabrics and colors, but with mixed materials. Designers are pairing wicker with wood, or wood with steel. Sofas and chairs are paired with kitschy cocktail tables and end tables from other collections. “Everyone has their eyes on mixing materials,” says Stephanie Stegman, Merchandise Manager at Elegant Outdoor Living, based in Sarasota. “A lot of outdoor furnishing manufacturers have created perfect pairs whether using teak with wicker or aluminum with teak. Everything looks very pristine and refreshing.”

Seaside Casual outdoor dining table and chairs are custom-made of all-weather marine-grade recycled HDPE Polymer; available in a variety of colors and styles.


March/April 2020

Key colors both inside and out are leaning toward bright white and greys, accented by colorful backsplashes and tilework, says Stegman.

SPL LIVING “For example, pair a simple resin charcoal wicker sofa group with a faux white marble cocktail table and end tables,” she says. “This transitional style fits perfectly in the new homes being built. It takes it to another level and gives the feel of that true designer style.” Add small tables of faux cement or faux stone, colorful ceramic stools or outdoor fabric stools, and unique shaped accent tables. Upholstered stools in Sunbrella fabrics can coordinate with sofa cushions and provide functionadditional seating. Outdoor Dining When looking for outdoor dining furniture, consider how much space you have and how your space will be used, says Stegman. People love to entertain outdoors but they do not always have the space for a large dining table. Look for long tables in narrower widths, like 28 inches which is half the width of an indoor dining table. These narrower tables can still comfortably seat six or eight. Check out the various seating options as there are many. Cushion dining chairs are often the most comfortable option. But make sure the fabric will stand up to extreme heat, wind and rain, salt air and humidity. Pools and firepits Custom-made pools can also include seating, and one option is

Firepits add style and warmth to any outdoor gathering. Top photo firepit by O.W. Lee; bottom, modular sectional outdoor sofa and firepit table by Castelle Furniture.

March/April 2020



Striking TUUCI patio umbrellas come in a variety of frames and fabrics to keep guests shaded poolside. the in-pool loungers with marine-grade polymer seating. This is a recycled plastic material that is nearly indestructible. You can even add these pool chaises to your existing pool. Firepit tables can add a stunning style element to an outdoor space – and have come a long way. “Firepit tables really started taking off about five years ago with very few choices in size and color,” says Stegman. “Now, there are so many choices. You can choose different sizes, shapes, materials, finishes, and heights. We pair firepits with cushion swivel lounge chairs, or match a low rectangle firepit with a contemporary sectional, or a small round firepit with four sling chairs for a smaller area.”

Colorful fire glass, gems or beads to match the color of your pool or the fabric on your cushions can add a visual punch. Selecting Furniture Many snowbirds may not be aware that the iron patio furniture they bring South from northern climes will rust, fade and peel in the sun and salt air. Look for furnishings with protective qualities such as UV protected aluminum frame furniture. Finally, don’t skimp when it comes to quality in outdoor fabrics. Perhaps the top-selling durable upholstery for outdoor use is Sunbrella, a high-performance fabric that is UV and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and bleach cleanable. It may be a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it, says Stegman.

Left, in-water lounge chairs of marine-grade polymer are long-lasting and durable. Right, Tommy Bahama’s St. Tropez collection looks stylish but is made for outdoors. All furnishings available through Elegant Outdoor Living, based in Sarasota.


March/April 2020



(813) 885-6900 (727) 800-2400 (407) 307-0000

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A neutral beige and grey color palette in the living/dining area allows the bold, bright abstract paintings of St. Pete artist Kate Cummins to pop.

Vibrant artwork by St. Petersburg artists Carrie Jadus (left) and Carolina Cleere (right) add decorative elements to the custom wine bar. The bicycle art is by Daryl Thetford of Chattanooga.


March/April 2020

When this busy executive from the Northeast decided to purchase a local condo overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico as a second home, he contacted award-winning Decker Ross Interiors to design the project for him. He met with owner Suzan Decker Ross and Senior Designer Marci Tempesta to collaborate on the interior of his beachfront condo. With a penchant for supporting local artists, his main stipulation was to keep the design open and neutral, so the pops of colorful art would become the main focal point in each room. Decker Ross and Tempesta quickly determined his taste preference to be very contemporary with sleek, clean lines and somewhat minimalistic furnishings. They reached out to Alison West Brown Gallery to assist him in connecting with various local artists to find just the right selections for his personal gallery walls. “He prefers large statement pieces that are bold, colorful and definitely eye-catching,” Decker Ross noted. When creating the overall design aesthetic for the condo, Decker Ross and Tempesta took into consideration not only their client’s taste, but his lifestyle as well. They designed a custom wine bar to meet his entertainment needs, and a home office which includes a desk area, bookcases, along with a Murphy bed for guests. A local fine furniture craftsman built the pieces to their specifications.

SPL LIVING The Decker Ross team utilized a variety of materials and finishes throughout to provide visual interest and textural contrast in each room. The hard surfaces, including the striated porcelain floor tile and elegant quartz countertops, were softened by incorporating various custom fabrics and area rugs into the design. Espresso cabinetry and a live edge wood dining table as well as sliced agates on pedestals added some natural elements to the condo’s interior. The client plans to enjoy his sophisticated, yet comfortable Florida home for many years to come - from gorgeous sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico to his own personal gallery of local art. Decker Ross Interiors is an awardwinning, full-service design firm specializing in residential and commercial interiors.

Above, a custom-built home office features a Murphy bed for overnight guests. Below, The master bedroom is sleek and minimalistic with a unique dark hardwood bed frame featuring a wave design to reflect the beachfront location.

March/April 2020



Grand Central District

The Grand Central District is located 14 blocks from downtown St Petersburg and is adjacent to the Warehouse Arts District and Historic Kenwood. The Historic Kenwood neighborhood was voted amongst the top ten cottage communities in the county and is experiencing an influx of the “creative class” from around the country. The Warehouse Arts District consists of hundreds of nationally and locally recognized artists representing the full spectrum of the visual arts. The Arts Exchange, a city sponsored initiative, just recently opened 11,000 sf of studio space of an ultimate 50,000 sf programs to encourage future development of the arts within the district. The Factory, a creative incubator, consisting of 8 warehouses over 6.5 acres is imminent as well as many other arts and entertainment arts related venues. As a result of these development trends, Grand Central is quickly becoming the center of gravity for arts and entertainment within St Petersburg as well as the region as a whole. As an example, the 35,000 sf Imagine Museum recently opened its doors featuring an amazing portfolio of “American Art” created by the founders, teachers, current and emerging artists working in the field of studio glass.

All your needs can be satisfied within its boundaries and walking distance of one another including a delightful mix of eclectic restaurants, entertainment venues, beverages, fitness, yoga studios and other services that are known to be local favorites. If you want variety and would like to venture out to the festivities of downtown, you can leave your car behind and catch the Grand Central Trolley right outside your door. The Trolley will connect you to downtown, the beaches, or you can alternatively walk a block to the Coast Bike Share Station that has 30 local stations. Opening soon within the district will be 800 new apartments, a Tru Hotel, a 10,000-sf destination brewery/restaurant, a newly renovated boutique hotel with several bars, a golf themed “Par Bar” and multiple restaurants. Several townhome projects have been announced including Ad Lofts at 2250 Central Ave. that will consist of 7 luxury loft homes and 5,000 sf of retail. Investors from all over are coming with new exciting plans. All in all, Grand Central is the cool, local, cultured, exciting, fun place to visit, create and call home. ADVERTORIAL


March/April 2020



ADVERTORIAL 1700 Brightwaters Blvd NE, Snell Isle, St. Petersburg List Price: $1,350,000

Snell Isle Eleganc

Snell Isle Elegance

Welcome home to this meticulous executive-style property nestled on a PRIME corner lot along Snell Isle’s most fashionable boulevard. This elegant home is perfect for both the family and entertaining and comes complete with a rare three car garage. The home's exterior features block construction and a concrete tiled roof installed in 2011. You will love the large open floor plan, high ceilings, three fireplaces, and a wet bar. The well-appointed and updated kitchen has granite countertops, wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, ample storage, marble backsplash, and Travertine tiled floors. The updated laundry room provides

Welcome homeare to two this large meticulous LG front end loader washer and dryer. There guest executive-styl onan a PRIME corner lot along Snell Isle’s m bedrooms located on the first nestled floor and enormous owner’s boulevard. This is perfect for both t retreat upstairs with soaring ceilings, his & herelegant closets,home and two entertaining andbalcony. comes complete sets of French doors leading out to a beautiful The largewith a rare thre The home's exterior features master bathroom features a walk-in shower and Jacuzzi tub.block This construction a roofupdated installedwith in 2011. home has been lovingly caredtiled for and new You paintwill love the large high ceilings, three replaces, and a wet bar. The both inside and outside, two brand new (2019) airficonditioners, updated kitchen and new gleaming Travertine and hardwood floors.has Thegranite large countertops, wo appliances, backyard is the perfect palatestainless for you tosteel create the oasisample of yourstorage, marble and Travertine tiled floors. The updated laundry r dreams with plenty of room for a pool!

Offered by: Rebecca Malowany Broker-Associate Smith & Associates Real Estate Inc. Malowany Group


March/April 2020

M: (727) 593-4699 A: 1100 4th Street N, 2nd Floor St. Pete, FL 33701 W: E:

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People To Watch Jessica Rogers Digital Media Solutions BY CINDY COCKBURN St. Pete’s young dynamo Jessica Rogers gives new meaning to the word “passion.” At 33, she wears the title of Chief of Staff for Digital Media Solutions (DMS). To say the least, she is known for juggling a variety of tasks for the locallybased, multi-million dollar company on a daily basis. When we last met, she was preparing to host a film crew to help bring national attention to the mental health needs of America’s veterans for the 2nd Annual DMS Heroes and Legends Ultramarathon to be held April 24-26. The 48-hour, coast-to-coast course starts in New Smyrna and ends in Clearwater Beach. Her CEO Joe Marinucci and COO Fernando Borghese will push each other to undergo the 220-mile course as their own team of two. Each leader will run more than 100 miles on their own.

DMS Heroes & Legends Gala WHAT: A benefit for Headstrong, a non-profit helping veterans WHERE: Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach WHEN: 7 pm Sunday, April 26 TICKETS: Starting at $125; sponsorship opportunities available; ultramarathon@ or call (727) 687-5265;

Jessica is proud to help organize the event. It only takes a few minutes with Jessica to recognize her inspiring inner radiance and passion for helping others. “I want to motivate young business professionals to live their most brilliant lives, and that brilliance cannot be achieved without lifting up those around you,” she said. Her love for St. Pete and passion for philanthropy go hand-in-hand. A graduate of St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Rogers established close ties to her community and developed an early commitment to her civic duties which continued as she served in the Junior League of St. Petersburg. As the DMS Chief of Staff she is responsible for providing strategic counsel and support to key leaders within the company and

the day-to-day operational efficiency surrounding the DMS brand. DMS is one of the Tampa Bay area’s fastest-growing martech companies. Business maven, philanthropist and trailblazer, Jessica Rogers continues to rise while wearing many hats. Her meteoric rise in the Tampa Bay area can be attributed to her drive for purpose and passion. In 2015, she was hired as Executive Assistant to CEO Joe Marinucci. Rogers immediately developed a reputation as a trendsetter and innovative thinker. By 2017, she became the first VP of Culture for DMS and used her role to motivate colleagues to make positive impacts in the communities in which they live and work. In 2019, she helped launch the inaugural DMS Heroes & Legends Ultramarathon benefitting veterans and first responders. She helped DMS raise more than $50,000 for the Gary Sinise Foundation. For the second year in a row, DMS has pledged to honor America’s veterans. Running relay style, four teams of DMS runners will traverse a grueling 220-mile course to raise funds for Headstrong, a nonprofit that provides confidential cost-free mental health care treatment for military veterans and their families. The Ultramarathon is not the first charitable project Rogers has propelled forward. In 2015, Rogers spearheaded her company’s first philanthropic initiative, DMS Season of Giving. The program provides support to those most in need in the local community. This year’s event will culminate with the inaugural Heroes & Legends Gala, which will be held on April 26 and is open to the public.

March/April 2020



People To Watch



Dallas Loupot and George Camarinos Ash Brothers Mobile Cigar Lounge When Dallas Loupot and George Camarinos met two years ago, they hit it off. They both enjoyed puffing on quality stogies, for one thing. Camarinos had the professional knowledge of cigar brands and marketing, having worked as a certified retail tobacconist at Central Cigars, St. Pete’s downtown go-to shop for cigar aficionados. Loupot’s background was in sales and business. The two buddies started talking, well, dreaming, really. Why not open a cigar lounge? “We thought St. Pete Beach would be a good location since there aren’t any there,” says Loupot. “We did some research, talked to some people, but got no positive feedback.” Regrouping over a considerable amount of bourbon at a Beach Drive bar, another idea formed. A mobile cigar bar. “We knew the owner of Tampa Bay Tiny Homes and thought why not build a mobile cigar bar using the tiny home model,” says Loupot. Within months the idea started taking shape. “We looked at the different layouts and decided we needed a back patio for outdoor smokes. We also wanted a walk-in humidor and a bar with a cooler, comfortable seating like a lounge and a couple big screen TVs.”

The two St. Pete entrepreneurs ordered custom-made leather couches, two 50-inch flatscreens with Direct TV, bought a Chevy 2500 HP Dual for hauling and set up a counter display with 50 different cigar brands. They came up with a name – Ash Brothers Mobile Cigar Lounge – designed a logo, web site and social media pages and they were off. One of their first gigs was the Festivals of Speed in downtown Tampa, they also were hired for a private Super Bowl party, and have a few more festivals and events on the horizon. “We feel we are perfect for private events … corporate parties, sports events, weddings,” says Loupot. They don’t have a license to sell alcohol, but they don’t see that as a hindrance. “We are seeing quite an increase in cigar smoking around Tampa Bay, the age is getting younger.” Look for the two American flagpoles attached to the back smoking deck. At 40 feet long and 8 feet wide, this place is smokin’. Visit the Ash Brothers Mobile Cigar Lounge every Wednesday from 5-11 pm at Bike Night at Quaker Steak and Lube, 10400 49th St. N. Clearwater, FL 33762. Find them online at or

March/April 2020



St. Pete Life/Grand Kitchen & Bath 2020 Kick Off Party


March/April 2020

Photos by Phoenix3Marketing


Dali Museum Student Fashion Show High school students participating in the Dali Museum’s Fashion Design at The Dali program graduated with a fashion show on Feb. 6 at Nieman Marcus International Plaza. PHOTOS/ ©2020 – Salvador Dalí Museum

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Florida Holocaust Museum: To Life Gala The Florida Holocaust Museum (FHM) held To Life 20/20: A Vision For The Future benefit on Feb. 8 attended by some 700 supporters at the Vinoy Renaissance. The benefit raised a record-breaking $650,000 in support of the Museum’s educational and outreach programs. The 2020 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award was posthumously awarded to Sir Nicholas Winton and accepted by his son, Nicholas Winton, Jr. Claire Sarnowski was presented with the 2020 Legacy Award, and Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes was honored with the FHM’s 2020 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award. The museum announced the addition of a center designed for children 6-10 years old and their families to feature interactive exhibits, visual art, and virtual reality. The Janie and Marty Borell Center for Children and Families will be located on the Museum’s third floor with an anticipated opening date of 2024. PHOTOS/BRANDI IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY


March/April 2020


MFA/Stuart Society ‘Party of the Strange’ “Party of the Strange” on Feb. 8 celebrated the Museum of Fine Arts exhibition “Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney.” Matthew McGee was the emcee for a theatrical evening of singing, dance, costumes, props and lights with Helen Hansen French, Alison Burns, Linda Hines and Adriana Sparkle performing for guests throughout the night.

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The Florida Orchestra: Gala Evening with Bernadette Peters

The Florida Orchestra’s annual benefit, A Gala Evening with Bernadette Peters, was held Feb. 1 at Duke Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater with Music Director Michael Francis conducting. Chairs for the event were Montserrat and Emmanuel Cerf.


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March/April 2020

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March/April 2020



Infinity Benefit Gala Infinity, the League to Aid Abused Children & Adults, Inc., held their winter fundraiser, Infinity Presents The Scott & Patti Show, at the St. Pete Yacht Club on January 29. All net proceeds raised benefited CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), Suncoast Center, Inc., and Brookwood Florida.

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March/April 2020

PHOTO/MARCIA BIGGS This majestic pink trumpet tree is a favorite of the residents who live along Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Pete’s Old Northeast. It blooms each spring, when passers-by rejoice (as seen here) in its splendor.



Artist’s Rendering of Azure South Residence View

The dazzling new residential crown jewel of the bayfront, Saltaire is downtown’s most luxurious new address. The stunning, 7th-level Aire Club overlooks Tampa Bay. Innovative, flow-through floor plans feature dramatic walls of glass and oversized terraces showcasing sweeping city and bay views. Refined services and amenities complement an ideal 1st Street South location that puts the best of downtown at your doorstep.

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SALES GALLERY OPEN DAILY Hurry in for best selection, views and pricing. SALES HOSTED BY SMITH & ASSOCIATES REAL ESTATE 330 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 | 727-240-3840

Broker participation is welcomed and encouraged. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE SELLER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A SELLER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. This project has been filed in the state of Florida and no other state. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation of offers to buy the condominium units in states where such offer or solicitation cannot be made. Prices and availability are subject to change at any time without notice.

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