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CONTENTS MARCH / APRIL 2018 l Volume 5

SPOTLIGHT 24-25 Vintage St. Petersburg

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Everywhere you turn, a piece of the city’s heritage is there to be found. Some 40 years ago, a group of concerned residents came together to preserve the city’s past and their accomplishments have been astounding. We take a look at the Sunshine City’s past (briefly), the work of Preserve the ’Burg, and offer up tidbits on some of our historic places.

18-19 Festivals of Speed

The downtown waterfront at Vinoy Park will be gleaming with luxury vehicles both vintage and modern at the 15th Annual Festivals of Speed.

12-13 Sunscreen Film Festival

St. Pete’s annual event is gaining recognition for much more than screenings of independent films. Workshops and panels with film industry professionals make it a cut above the rest.


12 54

Find us online

76 Twitter: �StPeteLifeMag Advertising: 813.447.9900 bdrake� Editorial:

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260 1st Ave. S. Suite 200-151 St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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32-34 Neighborhoods

We explore the Historic Kenwood community and learn about its past, present and future and what makes it special.

66 Shine On St. Pete

58 Operation Finale

An exhibit that fully documents the pursuit, capture, and trial of a Nazi war criminal, Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann can be seen at the Florida Holocaust Museum.

22 Conversations

Vincent Jackson is busy after life with the Buccaneers. We find out what he’s up to.

Residents and businesses are turning to solar power to become more sustainable. A solar energy co-op is helping newcomers learn and buy into solar in a big way.

50 Conversations 14-15 Sailing to Mexico

40 Best Brunch Spots

There’s nothing like hanging with friends on a weekend morning at one of The Burg’s many eateries offering brunch and breakfast menus. Lori Brown gives us her delicious Top 10 list.

St. Pete Yacht Club’s Regata del Sol al Sol has been racing to Isla Mujeres for 50 years. Cindy Cockburn talks to one local sailor who knows the ropes.

46 Men's Fashion

What are the top two accessories that can really make the man? Jose Martinez fills us in on how to select quality shoes and sunglasses.

42 Dining Out - MidiCi

Television personality and St. Pete resident Jerry Penacoli has a whirlwind life dishing with celebs. Cindy Cockburn catches up with him.

71 St Pete News

Happenings and news you can use in the business and academic communities.

PLAY 68 Sips & Suds

On the wine scene, Edith Swierzbinski gives us the skinny on organic wines.

Authentic Italian pies and a hip atmosphere make MidiCi worth a trip to the mall.

43 Dining Out - Sola

Expect the unexpected at this St. Pete Beach gem.

52 Beauty & The Burg

The latest St. Pete arts news in Cindy Stovall’s “Beauty & the Burg” column.

76 SPL Scene

54 American Dream

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

St. Petersburg’s American Stage Theatre Company celebrates 40 years of storytelling. Encore!

48 Women's Fashion

59 Game On

The Dali Museum will be all about chess when they host Game Day, a full day of special guests and playing in conjunction with their exhibit Dali/Duchamp.


March/April 2018

It’s all in black and white. Megan Simons assures us that B&W can work day or night, elegant or casual.

62 Travel

We visit the legendary TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, home of The Players golf championship tournament in May, and the adjoining Sawgrass Marriott.

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701 6th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL

WELCOME TO SPL Valerie Bogle

Welcome to the Vintage issue of SPL, a nod to the history of our Burg and how far we’ve come without losing that local feel that we all love. We are so proud to represent a city with a past, filled with determined residents and a preservation society that works tirelessly to restore and renew local neighborhoods and buildings.

We hope you enjoy this colorful look back on our Sunshine City, thanks in part to the St. Petersburg Museum of History, which contributed photos and invaluable historical content. For the car enthusiasts, look forward to the upcoming Festivals of Speed, of which we are a proud sponsor. Hope to see you there!

ABOUT US St. Pete Life Magazine is a bi-monthly print publication distributed by mail to 20,000 of St. Pete’s most discriminating readers as well as at key local outlets. Follow us daily online and in social media on Here, you’ll find the magazine’s features, archived articles, digital only content and promotions.


Beth Ann Drake EDITOR


Alicia Brown

Beth Ann Drake

bdrake� Publisher


Annette Mensch Dorian Photography

Putting together this Vintage issue of SPL has been a wonderful experience, one that has led me to appreciate our beautiful St. Petersburg all the more. I realize there are many landmarks that may not have been acknowledged here, and for that I apologize. But there simply is not enough space to recognize each and every place worth mentioning. All the historic buildings, neighborhoods, parks and attractions, not to mention the people who built this piece of swampland to what it is today, all possess stories of significance. Kudos to Preserve the ’Burg for their work during the past 40 years helping to honor and preserve St. Pete’s valued past. The amazing American Stage Theatre is another Spotlight story in this issue. With their crew of hard-working professionals and extensive offerings from American Stage in the Park to comedy, improv and cabaret nights, it’s hard not to admire the profound impact the company is making in the city. Do yourself a favor and attend one of their events or performances, I promise you will love it. As we look toward the future, we plan to cover the resurrection of our city’s Pier and the exciting District planned for the waterfront there. The opening of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is right around the corner, too. Keep reading and keep up with local events on our Facebook page. It seems there is always something to discover right around the corner!

Marcia Biggs Editor


March/April 2018

Account Executive

Scott Spector Major Accounts CONTRIBUTORS

Lori Brown

Dining/St. Petersburg Foodies

Cindy Cockburn Travel/Features

Kevin Godbee

Dining/St. Petersburg Foodies

Jose Martinez Men’s Fashion

Megan Simons Women’s Fashion

Cindy Stovall Arts Writer

Alexandria Jones Sips and Suds

Edith Swierzbinski Sips and Suds


Cover photo provided by St Petersburg Museum of History

Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg was bustling circa 1940. Take a trip down memory lane with a look at Vintage St. Pete, Page 24


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Beautifully Restored Old Florida Grandeur As a St. Pete native, Jessica Ehrlich appreciates the history of Old Northeast. For two years, she has worked tirelessly to restore this home to its original splendor. Located on corner lot at 506 20th Avenue NE in Old NE, the 3,748 square foot Spanish masterpiece is noteworthy to this area because of its scale and design and also because of its layout that includes a gorgeous separate rental area apartment on the property. From restored light fixtures and hand painted wallpaper installed by Jessica to original inlaid tile and plasterwork, every detail in this 1925 treasure is unique and of superior quality. Ehrlich’s style is carefully curated to blend the old with the touches of new, and the antique in the home and her furniture with current designs and artistry. The foyer

with 10ft ceilings has a curved entrance and a gorgeous restored front door plus high archways to the spacious living and dining areas. Living room has grand fireplace, fine details and beautiful detailed plaster ceilings and French doors that open out to the private front patio and courtyard. Original hardwood floors, high ceilings, moldings & newer large windows with ample natural light highlight the custom restorations from kitchens, office and bathrooms to chandeliers and sconces. The spacious European style master suite has french doors that opens out to second floor terrace which is unique to Old Northeast. Looking back on her project, Ehrlich says “Restoring the main house was exciting! I found that many of the original fixtures had been saved and stored in rooms in the garage like a treasure trove. Using those original fixtures and millwork brought back the old Florida grandeur I love. The rental apartment on the other hand is completely separate and private from the main house so I chose a sleek modern vibe with lots of storage when updating. Having the walled courtyard on the first floor and the second floor sitting porch off the master make the house feel like an amazing oasis even though it’s only a ten minute walk to Beach Drive and downtown.”

This home is currently offered by Alona Dishy. Re/Max Metro, $1,175,000.





Deep protected water. 5,232 htd. sf. home. Dock & lifts, boat & jet ski lifts, separate bonus/studio with private entrance, Built in 2007. Deep protected water. 7,000 htd. sf. Windstar home, plus Casita. Elevator, outdoor-den, 3-car garage, 2-story great-room, wine cellar, heated pool & spa. Gated 19,100 sf. lot. Built in 2003. ID# U7833246 fireplaces, heated pool & spa, dock, boat & jet ski lifts. Private courtyard, 3-car garage. ID# U7819944

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506 20TH AVENUE NE • OLD NORTHEAST • ST PETE • $1,175,000

2541 HIBISCUS DR. W • BELLEAIR BEACH • $1,500,000

One story home. Deep protected water with harbor views, dock, 10K lb boat lift. Poolside fireplaces, Deep protected water, 5,865 htd. sf. home. Large gated 20,038 sf.lot. Pool, new seawall, elevator, heated pool & spa, 3-car garage. 4,265 htd sf. open floor-plan. 18,400 sf. gated lot. ID# U7831617 1st floor mastersuite, wine-cellar, library, exercise room, high ceilings, 3-car garage. ID# U7846676

Spanish 3,748 htd. sf. home with income apartment. Corner lot close to water. 9&10 ft. high ceilings, Built in 2008. Custom 5 Bedroom three level home. 8,162 total sf. (Includes 1,960 sf. garage area for approx 6 cars.) all block home, fireplace, 2-car garage. All restored. Built in 1925. No flood zone. ID# U7835838 Wrap-around terraces with beachfront and bay views. Open floor-plan. This all block home is one-of-a-kind. ID# U7840379 RARELY AVAILABLE: A water-lot(boatslip) for luxury sailboats &/or yachts/catamaran. Many options as waterslip is on deep protected water, is 50ft. wide by over 100ft long. Immediate access to open water. This 0 Brightwaters Blvd. NE address has a public sidewalk to park the car & unload. ID# U7830557

TOP PRODUCER • ALONA DISHY • 727.458.8037 RE/MAX METRO • • 150 2nd Ave., N., Suite 100 | St Petersburg, FL 33701


13th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival PHOTOS/SUNSCREEN FILM FESTIVAL

Screenings, social soirees and lots of interaction with professionals makes the St. Pete film fest a winner BY CINDY COCKBURN With over 3,000 film festivals taking place around the globe, there really is “no business like show business.” Canada offers The Toronto International Film Festival every September showcasing 300 films from 60 countries. Park City, Utah, hosts the Sundance Film Festival in January. February’s Berlin International Film Festival is the world’s largest public film festival. And, of course, the Cannes Film Festival is held each May and known as the world’s leading cultural event. St. Petersburg is getting ready to host the 13th Annual Sunscreen Film Fest in Florida April 26-29. Over 100 films are screened each year with tons of fun red carpet parties and workshops. New venues for this year: the new Hyatt Place and the Imagine Museum. What we don’t know at press time (won’t be announced until April) is what specific films will be offered and who the visiting movie stars will be. That’s a big problem with planning ahead for film festival organizers -- show biz schedules are constantly changing.

Actor Gary Busey was among the Hollywood celebrities at the 2016 Sunscreen Film Festival.

What we do know is that our local film festival has a great track record and has attracted some of Hollywood and New York’s top talent in the past: actors Dylan McDermott, Joe Pantoliano, Kirstie Alley and Robert Davies were among those who mingled with fans before last year’s screenings at the Palladium. Emmy winner Jane Seymour was a guest of honor during a sold-out Women in Film Brunch. “We will have amazing seminars and workshops like last year,” promises Executive Director and Board President Ryan Tarrant. But, he added,


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SPOTLIGHT producing a film festival is extremely hard to announce advance details. “We literally don’t know who will be coming until a week before we open.” Opening Credits Since its inception in 2005, the Sunscreen Film Festival has been organized by the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society Inc., a Florida not-for-profit corporation. The primary goal is to encourage the creation, production, and exhibition of independent film in Florida through educational programs and public screenings. The Festival has grown from its first year (2006) in a local art gallery with 600 attendees to an internationally recognized event with attendance of over 20,000 in St. Petersburg, FL and Los Angeles, CA. (In 2013, the festival expanded to Los Angeles and now holds the Florida version in the spring and the Los Angeles version in the fall each year.) In 2009, MovieMaker magazine voted Sunscreen one of the “25 Coolest Film Fests” in the country. Sunscreen is different from other festivals in that guests are expected to take part in workshops, classes, and other events that support the festival’s mission. Attendees have the opportunity to learn from the best actors, directors, producers, writers, designers, and other film professionals. The filmmakers, actors and visitors to St. Pete always say it’s so different from other film festivals. “We’re known as the one of the top festivals for workshops and educational opportunities,” says Tarrant. The festival screened about 150 films last year. “This year, we will be a lot more selective and screen between 100 and 125 films including shorts and major features,” he adds. “We will see a variety of documentaries, comedy and horror features.” Festival co-founder and St. Pete Clearwater Film Commissioner Tony Armer said he is always surprised at the success of the Sunscreen Film Festival.

SUNSCREEN FILM FESTIVAL • APRIL 26-29 All film screenings will be held at AMC Theaters at Sundial, 151 2nd Ave N., St. Petersburg. Check for updates on screenings and workshops and find more information at Workshops will be held at Hyatt Place, 25 2nd St. N, St. Petersburg Opening Night Reception, April 26, AMC Sundial Filmmaker Party April 27, 9 pm - midnight, Hyatt Place, 25 2nd St. North St. Petersburg Women in Film and Television Brunch, April 28, 10:30am-noon, location to be determined Awards Announcement & Karaoke Party, April 28, 9 pm, Imagine Museum, 1901 Central Ave, St. Petersburg Schedule is subject to change

“We had no idea the film festival would grow to the level it’s at now,” he says. “In the beginning, we just hoped to meet some good people in the film world and make our own movies. The first year we held it at Studio 620 and then we expanded to the Vinoy ballroom in years two and three.” What was the big break? “When John Travolta came in year three, that gave us a boost that helped propel the festival even more upward,” Armer said. “It takes a dedicated team of volunteers working year-round to accomplish everything. The festival board of directors is an amazing group of hard-working people who really make it all happen.”

PAST SUNSCREEN CELEBS John Travolta Billy Dee Williams Patrick Wilson Jeffrey Donovan

Michael Rooker Dylan McDermott Gary Busey Paul Sorvino

March/April 2018



The Tradition Continues Regata del Sol al Sol celebrates 50 years of sailing from St. Pete to Isla Mujeres

BY CINDY COCKBURN It’s a beautiful time of year to set sail anywhere from the downtown St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Even better would be to join in on the club’s international race to Mexico and head out to sea. The 50th anniversary of the Regata Del Sol al Sol takes place this year. On April 26, over 30 boats and hundreds of sailors who have registered to race to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, will leave from St. Petersburg on the 456-mile journey. This Regata starts at the Club and ends on a beautiful island in the Mexican Caribbean, just off the coast of Cancun.


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And what a popular regatta it is. It all started in 1969. The regatta has become what’s called a family tradition by loyal club members, “THE” bucket list Spring vacation to an idyllic tropical island for friends, family and participants of all ages. It takes approximately three days to get to Mexico, depending on weather conditions, on boats averaging 35 to 45 feet and up. WHERE IT ALL STARTED Rich in history and tradition, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States.

Established in 1909 and completely renovated in the early 1990s, the Club is located on the beautiful waterfront in downtown. A gathering place for avid boaters, it is also one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious social venues. While members enjoy a reputation for warm hospitality it’s the passion for world-class sailing that is the turn-on. Yes, they have two clubhouses between downtown and St. Pete Beach (SPYC at Pass-a-Grille) plus permanent boat slips and a swimming pool, but it’s the regattas that really have the most appeal to the members.

SPL PEOPLE “These Regattas offer members the chance to participate in a big way. We conduct over 15 per year,” explained membership director Susan Robertson.

race, but is not participating this year. He’s even won a few.


Bickley does enjoy his own 68-foot boat called Mango Latitudes. “It’s an Irwin and I’ve owned her for ten years,” he claims proudly. She’s a beauty, and was even featured in a Hollywood movie!

amount of charming beach bars and restaurants frequented by tourists from around the world. “Cancun didn’t exist when we started going there,” he added.

He has been a member of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for almost 47 years, joining as a teenager. A native of St. Pete, Bickley knows a thing or so about racing . He explained the official name Sol al Sol literally means “racing from sunrise to the sunset” in the Gulf of Mexico. “I had a bigger boat and I won a number of these regattas,” he said. This may be one of the few remaining family fun events in the yacht-racing world, but it can be very rough, says Bickley. “The wind against the current causes big steep waves,” he explained. “If you get on the wrong side of the current it can be treacherous. The current is more critical than the wind.”

SALTY SAILOR Fred Bickley has been a resident of St. Pete for 74 years and now lives on St. Pete Beach. Fred raced in the 1970s in Newport, Rhode Island, known as the Sailing Capital of the World and even sailed with America’s Cup skipper Dennis Connor. He’s raced over ten times in the Isla Mujeres

Crew members from the 2017 Regata al Sol relax at Isla Mujeres.

ISLA MUJERES Isla Mujeres is small (four miles long) and moves at a slower pace given its true island vibe. Translated as “Island of Women,” Isla Mujeres is a 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun. It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and has not become over saturated with megaresorts and a raging nightlife scene like Cancun, says Bickley. It has the perfect

THE HISTORY OF THE In 1964, the past president of Mexico, Miguel Aleman Valdez, then President of National Tourist Council, called together yachting principals from the Gulf Coast of the United States to meet. In 1969, the first race of Regata Del Sol al Sol was held, organized by Past Commodore Tom Downs from the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and Rear Commodore Esteban Lima of the Isla Mujeres Yacht Club. The Commodores of each of the yacht clubs at this time were Jack Clark of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and Vicente Erosa of the Isla Mujeres Yacht Club. The race is handicapped on the Performance Handicap Rating Formula for a distance of 500 nautical miles (now rated 456 KN) and is a navigator’s race in that the course crosses three major current complexes.


The hospitality of the Island of Isla Mujeres cannot be exceeded by any race destination. And the St. Petersburg sailors return the gesture. A highlight of the event for many is the Regatta Amigos, the post-race sail around the “Island of Women.” The yachts are loaded with native youngsters having the time of their lives. Many of the children who raced many years ago are now leaders of the Island and all have many wonderful memories of this experience. “One year I had 64 kids on my boat,” Bickley remembers. “We had a variety of crew through the years, and my kids went with us a lot. I have been sailing all my life. My kids are better sailors then me!”

March/April 2018


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Power & Steel At Vinoy Park

Tymout Photography 2016



St. Pete’s waterfront will be the center of attention on Sunday, March 25, when the 15th annual Festivals of Speed presented by Bert Smith Porsche takes over Vinoy Park. Once again, the picturesque venue will be filled with hundreds of sleek, exotic cars, custom motorcycles, and enthusiasts who gather every year for this special event.

models. Attendees can expect to be dazzled by rare, vintage and modern autos including Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, AstonMartin, BMW, Mercedes, Tesla, McLaren and other rare cars. The event is an opportunity for many car collectors and local car clubs to join for a weekend of fun and ogling.

The Festivals of Speed show field has become known for its unique diversity, showcasing both vintage and contemporary vehicles of all makes and

Along with the starring cars and motorcycles, attendees can sample from local restaurants, check out automotive art, chill to smooth jazz at a cigar lounge,

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and visit with owners, collectors and dealers. “This year we will have a special Porsche race car theme area that we are very excited about,” said Festivals of Speed founder Joe Sabatini. The event is extremely popular with Tampa Bay car clubs, he adds, and most will be in attendance. Nearly every luxury and exotic line has a club – be it large or small – from the huge Corvette Club to Lamborghinis, Porsches and Ferraris. The vintage and contemporary motorcycle display continues to grow as well, he added.


Located directly on the show field and overlooking the water, the exclusive VIP section will feature a selection of gourmet food, premium brand open bar with rare scotch, bourbon and spirit tastings, and contemporary lounge furniture. The VIP section, presented by Franz Wealth Management Group, offers an exclusive enclave to relax in with VIP credentials. At the conclusion of the day, an awards presentation takes place. Entrants whose

vehicles have been chosen by the team of judges to receive an award are presented crystal trophies. Festivals of Speed was founded by Sabatini in 2004 as a traveling luxury showcase for automotive, aircraft, marine and motorcycle transportation alongside the finest luxury brands. Florida events are held in Orlando, Miami, St. Petersburg and Amelia Island. A portion of event proceeds will go to Friends of Strays animal shelter.

FESTIVALS OF SPEED Sunday, March 25 10 am to 4 pm Vinoy Park 501 Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg General admission $20, children 12 and under free VIP section $95; advance purchase only 352-385-9450 PHOTOS/FESTIVALS OF SPEED






Vincent Jackson

SPL recently caught up with former Buccaneer wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Now a respected Tampa Bay businessman and foundation director, Jackson is excited about his future and working in the St. Petersburg community. Since leaving the Bucs, you have been very involved with the community. Tell us about your Jackson in Action 83 Foundation and the work it does? When I arrived in Tampa in 2012 I was pleased to learn how philanthropic this community is. Community service has always been a major piece of my life and upbringing. My military family background propelled me to create the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation. Tampa is home to one of the most integral military installations in the country, MacDill AFB. Having that in our


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backyard is such a treasure, and I wanted to be engaged with supporting the service men, women, and families stationed here. The Foundation is focused on a comprehensive approach to providing support for military families focusing on the emotional, educational, and physical health of the children. We interact with active duty military personnel, spouses, teachers at schools that house military children, and veterans. We have created programming ranging from Employment Symposiums to our Salute to Reading campaign, Military Mom’s Baby Shower, scholarship program for military dependents, and a series of children’s books authored by my wife Lindsey and myself. A large portion of our resources are targeted at the children since I was a military kid myself. My father served over 20 years in the Army. I am proud of what we have accomplished so

far and I’m excited to continue this service for many years to come. What inspired you to become part of the restoration of the Manhattan Casino in Midtown St. Pete? When I met my partners, Ramon Hernandez and Mario Farias, and I was presented with this unique opportunity, I was drawn to the idea of not only creating a viable and sustainable business, but we have a tremendous platform to impact the community in St. Petersburg. We reside at a location on 22nd St. South that is the corridor between an expanding and flourishing Central Avenue and the south side of the city that has seen less business growth. Through our new restaurant Callaloo, The Historic Manhattan Casino, and Pipo’s Cafe, we will have the ability to create jobs, develop entrepreneurs, improve economic conditions, and

CONVERSATIONS serve non-profits and other community organizations. Possessing the ability to affect each of those areas is very exciting to me. Plus, I love food, art, and music. It was really a no-brainer to team up with the City of St. Petersburg and, along with my partners, help bring life to the vision that so many have desired for so long. What part will you play in the new restaurant and event space? As vice president of the parent company, The Callaloo Group, I wear many hats. I am involved in the design and build-out, menu creation, marketing, developing our standard operating procedures, and helping us continue to expand our reach in the local community and beyond. Mayor Kriseman personally selected your team and concept for the Floribbean style restaurant. How closely will you be working with him and the city?Are you aiming to keep the historic flavor of the building?

We are thankful to have such an intimate relationship with Mayor Kriseman, St. Petersburg City Council, and many other civic leaders. Through the city’s process of making their selection, we were able to connect with and hear from so many people in the community. This input and feedback were critical as we structured our business plan and integrated the city leaders’ visions.

genres, highlighting many up and coming talented artists. It is important for us to acknowledge the significant role African American cultural heritage played in the creation of this facility through our food, music, and art.

The City of St. Petersburg is our landlord, and we welcome their ongoing presence, ideas, and support in all of our activities. The design, decor, menu, and entertainment choices are all made by our team. In a snapshot, we wanted to create a modern and vibrant facade while still paying homage to the historical value of this establishment that was built in the 1920s.

There are so many things to love about St. Petersburg. I personally love its diversity and how much of a hub it is for food, art, and entertainment. Downtown St. Pete and the Edge District are so walkable and offer a plethora of options for the wandering soul. I also am drawn to the Warehouse and Waterfront Art Districts. The Second Saturday Art Walk is such a great concept, and we look forward to becoming a part of that St. Petersburg experience.

The Historic Manhattan Casino and Callaloo will house a balance of historical art pieces and a rotating selection of art from local talent. Both venues will also play host to musical acts from all

What are your favorite things about St. Pete? Favorite restaurants, bars, things to do?

Coming next issue: Watch for our review of the new Callaloo Restaurant.

All Photos Courtesy of G. Joseph Fitzgerald, DO


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March/April 2018




Preserving and honoring the city’s past is the mission of one organization and many individuals who call the Sunshine City home BY PETER BELMONT St. Petersburg is special. It’s easy to see why as you explore one of the city’s many historic neighborhoods, have a beer in one of the city’s new breweries housed in historic buildings, or while traveling down the “Deuces” along 22nd Street South. The common thread to the various places that make the city special is the past, after all, historic buildings supply the city’s character. Trying to make sure the past remains a part of the city’s future is very much part of the mission of Preserve the ‘Burg (PTB). The group, formerly known as St.


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Petersburg Preservation, took on a new name this year derived from what had long been its popular motto. The name change was announced at the group’s 40th anniversary celebration on January 30, tied to a vibrant rebrand developed by the creative team at Pyper Young, a St. Petersburg-based marketing and creative firm. “The name modernizes this historically grassroots organization with a vital call to action for it to be the authority on preservation for the City,” said Kelly Pyper, President of Pyper Young.

“New people are moving here every day because of the city’s character, and our goal is to preserve that sense of place, working with government officials, planners, real estate professionals, and residents,” added Emily Elwyn, President of Preserve the ‘Burg. At its 40th anniversary celebration, Preserve the ‘Burg highlighted a number of its efforts over the years that have contributed to keeping St. Petersburg special. In 1979, the group joined with Frances Pruitt to stop the demolition of the 1901 Veillard home by having it

SPOTLIGHT moved three blocks to the corner of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue North. The Veillard still stands out today, offering a unique architectural statement that combines elements of the chalet-like bungalow style with those of the picturesque Queen Anne. Looking today at the hip and active 600 block of Central Avenue, it’s hard to imagine that the block was nearly demolished in 2008, when a plan for a high-rise condo for the block had been hatched and a demolition permit issued. Stopping demolition from proceeding – tied to working with the block’s then new owner and the City to encourage artists to

open studios in the block’s Crislip Arcade was another accomplishment of Preserve the ‘Burg. The group has grown from a handful of citizens concerned in 1977 about the demolition of a 1913 bank building downtown (it was demolished) into an organization with more than 1,000 members and a full-time executive director, Allison Stribling. “I am excited about the work we do advocating for, educating about and celebrating what keeps St. Petersburg special,” Allison said. “Preserve the ‘Burg is the voice of preservation at city hall.

We offer walking and bicycling tours highlighting the best of downtown’s architecture and the city’s historic neighborhoods. And on Thursday nights in May and October, we present Movies in the Park, one of our signature events on the downtown waterfront.” So how can St. Petersburg citizens help the effort? The best way is to join the organization. Details on how to join and on all the group’s activities can be found at Peter Belmont is founder and vice president of Preserve of ‘Burg. PHOTO/ST PETERSBURG MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Making History The City of St. Petersburg has designated as individual landmarks just over 100 buildings and sites. The first buildings designated in 1986 were the Open Air Post Office and the Vinoy Hotel. There are 22 buildings and sites listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places. St. Pete’s 5 National Register Districts are: • Downtown • Old Northeast • Kenwood • Round Lake • Roser Park GRAND ENTRANCE TO VINOY HOTEL (1930)


600 Block Crislip Arcade

St. Pete Brewing Company

March/April 2018



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Paintings and Sculptures by World-Renowned artist WYLAND

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Meet Wyland April 6th 4-8 pm.

727.201.8285 400 Beach Drive NE

Children’s Clothing • Swimwear Christening Gowns Baby Bags • Accessories Events • Photography Monday - Friday 10:00am - 7:00pm Saturday 9:30am - 7:00pm Sunday 12:00pm - 6:00pm


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BY PETER BELMONT Most point to the 1888 arrival of the Orange Belt Railroad as marking the city’s start. It wasn’t exactly a booming metropolis at that point. The story goes that a Savannah shoe salesman with thoughts of some quick sales arrived on the first train but left the next day after seeing the hamlet where he had debarked. In 1890, the “city” still claimed less than 300 inhabitants, but it wasn’t long before dreamers and schemers were calling the area home. By 1902, boosters declared St. Petersburg a city second to none! Over the next half-century, from the 1920s Building Boom to the 1950s Baby Boom, the city’s population exploded. William Straub arrived in town at the turn of the century and soon became the editor and owner of the St. Petersburg Times. He used the newspaper as champion of turning the city’s working waterfront into a public jewel. Today, the city has the third-largest public waterfront in North America, setting St. Petersburg apart from other cities with waterfronts that seem separated from their downtowns.


How many local historic districts does the city currently have?

Six. Historic Roser Park was designated in 1987 and has 68 properties in the district. Granada Terrace was designated in 1988 and has 69 properties. Lang’s Bungalow Court was designated in 2014 and has 13 properties in the district. The 700 block of 18th Avenue NE was designated in 2016 and has 10 properties. North Shore Section - 200 Block Section 10th Avenue Northeast - final approval November 2017. North Shore Section – Welch’s Mediterranean Row Local Historic District - scheduled for council approval.


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In real estate they say it’s all about location. It was the efforts of a marketing genius, however, that put St. Petersburg on the map as one of the country’s leading tourist destinations. In 1918, John Lodwick left Ohio, landed in St. Petersburg and was soon boasting to the Chamber of Commerce about his abilities to promote the area. In hiring him, the ‘Burg became the first American city to have a public relations director. Lodwick combined showmanship, publicity stunts and writing skills to keep the city in the eye of northern tourists until his death in 1942. His use of sports, bathing beauties and sunshine made promoting the Sunshine City look easy.


The current Bridgepoint Church was built in 1926-27 as the Mirror Lake Christian Church. It became the Mirror Lake Lyceum from 2000 to 2016. At the start of the roaring ‘20s, St. Petersburg was booming. Hotels like the Vinoy, the Soreno ( demolished in 1992), the Pennsylvania and Princess Martha were being built downtown. Developers like Perry Snell (Snell Isle), Cade Allen (Allendale) and Charles Hall (Kenwood) were platting “new” neighborhoods. The boom came to a screeching halt in 1926, but not before the city had been transformed. Though its significance is often overlooked, the post-World War II era marked another boom for St. Petersburg, focused on expanding suburban neighborhoods. A new style of architecture, today described as mid-century modern, was introduced to the city by architects like William Harvard Sr. (Williams Park bandshell, Pasadena Community Church) and Glenn Johnson (St. Petersburg Judicial Building, “birdcage” homes). The first of Eckerd College’s buildings, the main branch building for St. Petersburg’s library on 9th Avenue North and the circular looking “Skyline” building on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St. North are other local examples of mid-century modern architecture.



Schrader’s Little Cooperstown Step inside the St. Petersburg Museum of History on downtown’s waterfront to discover diverse collections of St. Pete days gone by.

Fun Fact: The museum is home to the world’s largest private collection of autographed baseballs . Made up of nearly 5,000 baseballs, Schrader’s Little Cooperstown is a goldmine of photos, stories and artifacts of baseball legends like Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Joe DiMaggio, as well as leagues such as the Women’s Professional Baseball League and the Negro Leagues, and a look at the area’s spring training legacy.


The Flight One gallery features a full-size working replica of the Benoist Airboat, which propelled Tony Jannus and the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line into commercial aviation history. The museum hosts traveling exhibits, too. Currently, Florida’s Got the Blues looks at the the Sunshine State’s blues heritage from Ray Charles to Buster Cooper. It’s on loan from the Museum of Florida History. The museum is located at 335 Second Ave. NE behind the Museum of Fine Arts. Go to to learn about hours and admission.

Unitarian Universalist Church at 100 Mirror Lake Drive was built in 1929.

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Getting To Know the Burg PHOTO/CHRISTINA KING

Guided tours are the perfect way to get to know a city and a neighborhood. Preserve the Burg offers a regular schedule of walking and bike tours. Reservations are highly recommended as the tours do fill up. The regular Saturday tour season runs October through April (locations vary). Tours start at 10 am except for the Gulfport tour that starts at 3 pm. Starting in May, Twilight on the Town summer walking tours will begin, according to PTB Executive Director Allison Stribling. Tours are a leisurely stroll with numerous stops, lasting about two hours. Walkers should wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water. Cost is $10. Check the web site on the Calendar Page for tour information, to RSVP, or call 727-824-7802. HISTORIC KENWOOD TOUR Fourth Saturday of the month Meeting point: Craftsman House Gallery 2955 Central Ave. Led by resident guides, this popular


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walking tour includes a stop inside one of the neighborhood’s restored bungalows. After the tour, guests can choose to enjoy a drink or lunch at the Craftsman House, an American crafts gallery and cafe that was the original model home for Kenwood. ORIGINAL DOWNTOWN HISTORIC WALKING TOUR First Saturday of the Month Meeting Point: At the SE corner of 1st Ave. S & 1st St., next to the Saturday Morning Market entrance. Take a trip through historic downtown St. Pete seeing grand hotels, stately churches, and architectural treasures like the Snell Arcade, the Open Air Post Office, and Williams Park. See examples of how history is successfully being put back to use while hearing stories about the founding of St. Pete. WATERFRONT TOUR Second Saturday of the Month Meeting Point: At the SE corner of 1st

Ave. S & 1st St., next to the Saturday Morning Market entrance Learn about the civic visionaries who transformed a working waterfront into one of the largest waterfront park systems in the country. Tour goers will also have a chance to learn about some of the newest buildings gracing the waterfront and what the city has done to encourage good design. HISTORIC GULFPORT TOUR Third Saturday of the Month (3 pm) Meeting Point: Gulfport History Museum, 5301 28th Ave. S., Gulfport Stroll through funky, artistic and historic Gulfport for a tour that looks at this small town on Boca Ciega Bay and its collection of historic commercial and residential structures. Tour will be led by a Gulfport local. Note: Tour times and schedule changes starting in May. Be sure to check the web site for updates.


Historic Kenwood St. Pete’s first suburb is now a charming and vital city neighborhood



These bungalows, in Minimal Traditional and Craftsman styles, are typical of the charming homes in Historic Kenwood. BY LAURA MCGRATH When Philadelphian Charles Hall first came to St. Petersburg in 1912, he bought up 160 acres of vacant land two miles slightly northwest of downtown. By 1914, those acres were platted and being sold as building lots for what was to become St. Pete’s first neighborhood for yearround residents. Until that time, most business owners and employees in the young city had traveled back and forth at approximately the same time as their largely tourist patrons. But as the city experienced dramatic growth, the need for year-round businesses and housing for middleclass workers grew, too. Hence, Hall’s subdivisions featured small cottages – most from about 800 to 1800 square feet. City directories from the 1920s and 1930s listed homeowner occupations: painters, contractors, salesmen, bookkeepers, policemen and others with modest income levels.


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Fast forward to 2018, and Historic Kenwood, now comprising some 375 acres, stretches from I-275 to 34th Street, and from Central Avenue to Ninth Avenue North. It is a thriving neighborhood of about 1100 homes on charming tree-lined brick streets with granite curbs. Some 500 of these properties incorporate back apartments that were either built as such or garages that have been transformed to create small dwellings. New construction at the southwestern edge of the neighborhood now includes modern multi-story apartments. A majority of the historic homes were built between the late teens and the Great Depression, with another influx in the early 1950s. Many have now been lovingly restored – for good reason: they are beautiful houses. Historic Kenwood earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. As Florida State Historic Preservation Officer Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews noted on the

Registration Form: “The significance of the composition of the neighborhood is particularly important, as the quality of architectural design is not the result of income, but rather the result of highminded planning ideals and inherently good design.” Twelve historic architectural styles have been identified, but more than 500 dwellings are Craftsman Bungalows, giving Historic Kenwood one of the largest concentrations of this distinctive style in Florida, and indeed in the entire United States. Other prominent styles include Mediterranean Revival, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Ranch, Minimal Traditional, and Frame or Masonry Vernacular. Most were built with garages at the rear of each lot, with entrances through the alley. As a result, there were no barriers to disrupt street-side views, and open front porches still promote casual neighborly visits.

NEIGHBORHOODS Tough Times and Rejuvenation The charm and beauty that were evident during the first two to three decades after Historic Kenwood’s founding and that exist again today went missing for a few decades. As air conditioning became common and slightly larger homes more affordable, many residents fled west. As a result, this neighborhood sagged into shabbiness. Properties were neglected. Porches were enclosed to accommodate more people. And in a neighborhood where homes had been largely owner-occupied, by the 1980s, some 85 percent became rentals.

By 1999, self-described “flipper” Kathy Young had begun rehabbing the first of more than 40 homes in need, and a growing number of individual homeowners had moved into the neighborhood and rehabilitated run-down houses. So Bob shifted his focus to the small apartment buildings that remained problem properties. To date, he and his sister Lynn Jeffrey have rehabbed more than 40 units in 15 buildings, earning a string of preservation awards from St. Petersburg Preservation (now “Preserve the ‘Burg”) in the process.

Old Building Gets New Life

Bob Jeffrey

One of Bob Jeffrey’s most recent projects – and probably his favorite – is a Mission style structure that was heading for demolition. The process of renovation proved neither easy nor cheap. Both the house and the adjoining garage had to be completely gutted and required new roofing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, doors, windows, and landscaping. When the second floor of the garage was jacked up to create a new foundation, the old walls collapsed on two sides. For good reason, Lynn Jeffrey dubbed the property “Costa Lotta.” Now Bob has his office there and rents out three splendid apartments. “It had good bones and it turned out well,” he says.


It took vision and dedicated effort to make the turnaround. One of the first to appreciate the beauty and potential of Historic Kenwood’s housing stock was Bob Jeffrey. With a background in historic preservation and experience as one of St. Pete’s city planners, he bought his first Kenwood house in 1990. Since the house next door was essentially a junk yard, he soon bought that one, too. He rehabbed both homes, and then others on the street. “People kept coming over to my house – whichever one I was living in – and saying they’d buy a house if they could just find one that looked like mine,” he says. So he continued buying, renovating and selling single family homes in the neighborhood, essentially at cost.

In addition to the individuals who renovated properties, it took other factors to transform the neighborhood. Mayor David J. Fisher, who held office from 1991 to 2001, launched “Operation Commitment” in 1993. This was an intensive revitalization effort, and through it Historic Kenwood got new sidewalks, infrastructure improvements and many other investments. A code sweep was initiated with a goal of bringing every property up to minimum code levels. The adjoining Central Avenue area was designated the Grand Central District in 2001 and was declared a Main Street community by both the National

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NEIGHBORHOODS Register of Historic Places and the Florida Main Street Program. That initiative brought about a significant revitalization effort and yielded the restaurants and shops that make it popular today. Active Kenwood Residents But by far the biggest factor in the revitalization of Historic Kenwood has been its strong and very active neighborhood association. Founded in 1990, the association has had the benefit of strong leadership from the outset from a variety of individuals, including Leslie Curran, who served on St. Petersburg City Council from 1989-1997 and 2005-2013. The association has initiated numerous projects over the years. The Craftsman style pavilion in Seminole Park (a oneblock park donated to the city by Charles and Emma Hall in 1914) was funded with a city grant and built entirely by neighborhood volunteers. The association established and continues to sponsor an annual Founders Day Picnic, Easter Egg Hunt, and Christmas and Halloween lighting competitions. Its premier event, the annual BungalowFest, a November home tour now in its 20th year, attracts


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some 800 people. Pinot in the Park, a gala dinner, is now in its fifth year, and sold out every year. Immediate past president Brenda Gordon says, “It’s impossible not to love this neighborhood. We have so many ways for people to participate and volunteer, so people really get to know and care about one another. This is a community in the truest sense.” Today, Historic Kenwood is a vibrant diverse community of old and young, straight and LGBTQ, and multiple cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Numerous artists make their homes here, and the officially city-designated Artist Enclave enables them to work in home studios, exhibit or perform, and share ideas and skills. A public arts initiative recently resulted in hiring professional artists to paint the seven benches in Seminole Park, with more projects in the works. Kenwood Kidz brings young families together monthly for imaginative play activities in the park. The Neighborhood Partnership program brings neighborhood volunteers together with high school and area church volunteers and city workers to rehabilitate

the exteriors of homes and gardens for selected neighbors who are unable to care for their properties. The monthly online newsletter and Neighborhood Partnership and Kenwood Kidz programs have won national awards from Neighborhood USA. As current president Michelene Everett says, “We are a neighborhood that truly celebrates diversity. We understand that our differences are insignificant in comparison to the things that connect us. Here, folks are willing to cross the road for each other, and to get involved. Neighborhoods like Historic Kenwood are what makes St. Petersburg great.” Laura McGrath is one of Historic Kenwood’s volunteer tour guides for Preserve the ‘Burg.

Pictured (L to R): Haane Massarotti, MD Allen Chudzinski, MD, FACS, FASCRS

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Artpool Gallery

Vintage Florida Meets Indie Culture The idea for ARTpool Gallery came from Williams’ love of mixing vintage fashions and photography. She would collect and source different items for herself and models. When the original location opened initially as a space for artists to show and sell their work, her clothing became a topic of conversation. “Customers would say they loved what I wore and how funky it is,” said Marina. “I had all this great vintage and my mom said bring in a rack and see what people say. If people aren’t into it, I could just roll the rack out.” At this point, it’s obvious the customers love her clothing.

Vintage shopping brings back fond memories for me. Getting something from a different era is exciting because I know for a fact no one else owns the same item (I have a skirt in my closet from high school that I never want to get rid for that exact reason). One of the most unique vintage shops in St. Pete is ARTpool Gallery on Central Avenue in the up and coming Grand Central District. ARTpool Gallery is the brainchild of St. Pete native Marina Williams and her partner Evan. The original location of ARTpool Gallery opened in 2008 off 1st Avenue North. They moved to the current location on Central Avenue in 2011 and haven’t looked back. It’s funny to think of their evolution from one rack of clothing to now having two large buildings with a beautiful outdoor garden and an assortment of items on sale ranging from women’s to men’s clothing, various accessories, artwork, and records. Fashion never fails to inspire Marina. To her, it sets the mood and tone when you wear fun things; it’s an attitude and a way of life. Her mom encouraged her to express herself through clothing and didn’t bat an eyelash at the eclectic outfits


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she would create. She says her love of vintage fashion derives from her mom, Becky Williams, and one of her earliest fashion memories is hearing her mom come home from work.

“This was the late 80s, early 90s,” Marina relates. “When I was really young, I would know my mom was coming home because I could hear her heels clicking on the pavement. She’d be sporting some cool Lucite heels and I was like ‘Mom’s home to save the day!’ ”

Marina has been collecting vintage items for over two decades and sources items in various ways such as travels abroad or road trips. She went backpacking in Europe and brought back supplies for jewelry-making as well as other treasures. People can bring in their own vintage items and do a buy/ sell/trade at the store. Items from the 1920s-1970s are the majority of the clothing sold and everything is ready-to-wear. ARTpool Gallery is known for its popular pop-up shops. One of them is Crafty Fest, a monthly pop-up market for indie vendors and artists to show and sell their work and vintage pieces to the public. It started 10 years ago as a quarterly event and turned monthly when its popularity grew. Potential vendors can apply online and pay a fee depending on if they want a space for the day or the weekend. Crafty Fest is held the first weekend of each month (except for July and August). “The ARTpool customer is so versatile. We have very young shoppers, vintage shoppers and everyone in-between,” adds Marina. “It really is fun because we try to have our products be applicable to any age range and personal styles. I like to say everybody is our shopper.” ARTpool Gallery is at 2030 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. For hours and event information, go to or call 727-324-3878


Brocante Vintage Market First Saturday and Sunday of the month 2200 2nd Ave S., St. Petersburg Admission free; Shoppers, start your engines! The popular Brocante Vintage Market has been drawing droves of treasure hunters to its 15,000-square-foot warehouse the first weekend of the month for years. Some 50 vendors called “Brocanteurs” fill every square inch of the massive market from top to bottom with every imaginable object from used furniture and Victorian glass lamps to collectable toys and Grandma’s teapots. While some might liken it to a giant flea market, true collectors faithfully mark their calendars and pay $15 to get into the “sneak peek” preview on the Friday evening before the market opens. Furnish Me Vintage 1246 Central Ave. & 6648 Central Ave. St. Petersburg 727.898.8740

Vintage Finds

It’s hard to miss the FMV mega-store on Central Avenue in the hip Edge District near the Trop. It’s been a trendy Burger furniture fave for years with its huge selection of modern, vintage, and retro furniture and

accessories. A new location, FMV Living, has recently opened with more mid-century modern, coastal and contemporary furniture and art from local artists. This is the place to shop for home or office, from sleek sofas, desks and kitchen tables to groovy lighting and lamps, decorative pieces and upscale refurbished furniture. Just browsing can be a fun blast-from-the-past experience. ARTpool Gallery & Vintage Boutique 2030 Central Ave. St. Petersburg 727-324-3878 It’s an art gallery, it’s a vintage clothing store, it’s an event space. ARTpool is all that and more -- a treasure trove of fun and funky thanks to owner/ entrepreneur Marina Williams. The website says it perfectly: “Vintage Florida Meets Indie Culture Unique Events & Quirky Shopping.” This is the place to discover upcycled clothing, unique jewelry and wearable art by local designers and artists. If you stop by on the first weekend of the month (September through June), check out the Crafty Fest Market in the outdoor space. Vinyl Records in ARTpool carries a massive selection of used records, albums and posters. See our story in this issue for an inside look. Peace, out.

Everyday Casual Footwear to Formal/Bridal. Handbags & Accessories

212 2nd St. N. • St. Petersburg P 727.258.4468 March/April 2018



Vintage Motors Of Sarasota

Established in 1989 by founder and proprietor Martin Godbey, Vintage Motors of Sarasota is today globally recognized in the classic car industry. Vintage Motors offers many of the world ́s finest cars to the most discerning collectors from all around the world. Specialized services include sales, acquisitions, appraisals, collections, estate sales, consultation, importation, exportation and transportation. Fueled by love and passion for classic cars and a compelling desire to satisfy its clientele’s every need, nine figures in worth of unique automobiles have been bought and sold by Vintage. This diverse collection appeals to all types of classic and exotic car collectors and enthusiasts, including Pre-War American and European classics, Pre-War and Post-War European sports and racing cars, Rolls-Royce/Bentley motorcars, significant 50’s American chrome embellished flagships, Mercedes-Benz open cars, very low production coachbuilt and prototype vehicles , as well as supercars. Martin and company feel these wonderful machines were meant to be enjoyed, driven and preserved. Buyers and sellers both have come from all over the globe, and are represented by many different countries, from Europe, Russia and the Middle East to Asia, and the Americas. This cultural diversity extends to the Vintage team of car specialists, who are also known and respected around the world. Vintage actively stays current in the market and regularly attends auction events promoted by RM, Gooding & Co., Mecum, Bonham’s, Worldwide Auctioneers, D.E. Foeller, as well as a number of local and regional events. They also frequent prominent local, regional and national shows including: Amelia Island Concours, Lake Mirror Classic, ACD National Meet in Auburn IN, Cavallino Palm Beach, Pebble Beach Concours, and host their own car show once a month. For any true vintage car enthusiast, Vintage Motors of Sarasota is a must see!


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The Coliseum Once known as “The Finest Ballroom in the South,” the historic Coliseum was built in 1924, and purchased by the City of St. Petersburg in 1989 as an event space. Thousands drive daily past the landmark building at 535 Fourth Ave. N along the I-375 extension heading into downtown St. Pete. The Coliseum has undergone extensive renovations and continues to host regular dances, fairs, expos, weddings and banquets. In its heyday, the Coliseum was a glamorous dance palace with 15,500 square feet of wood dance floor and a rounded ceiling supported by arched steel girders. Big bands such as Harry James, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Louis Armstrong performed there to packed audiences. After the Depression, the building changed ownership and struggled. In 1989, city voters approved a property tax to buy and renovate the Coliseum, rather than see it face probable demolition. PHOTO/CITY OF ST PETERSBURG

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Top 10 Brunch Restaurants WEEKEND MORNINGS are made for


at one of The Burg’s top brunch spots.

BY LORI BROWN It’s the weekend and time to treat yourself to a terrific brunch, but where should you go? We have compiled a list of the best downtown brunches to help with your decision. These are listed in alphabetical order. 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House Saturday and Sunday 10am – 3pm 400 Beach Dr NE St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 896-2400 Located caddy-corner from the historic Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, 400 Beach dishes up plenty of outdoor seating at what is considered one of the best brunches in Tampa Bay. For $25.95 you will find an elaborate buffet of traditional breakfast items, including an omelette station, along with shrimp, salads, a carving station and an entire dessert


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room. They also offer $4 Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Screwdrivers during brunch hours.

and sunnyside up egg). For those looking for a healthier option you will also find an Acai Bowl on the menu.

The Avenue Eat + Drink Saturday and Sunday 11am – 2pm 330 1st Ave S. St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 851-9531

Birch & Vine Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm 340 Beach Dr NE St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 828-9940

At The Avenue you will find a lively crowd for brunch. There is a small outside section and the inside is surrounded by TV’s for your game watching pleasure. On the casual side, The Avenue has cleverly named menu items such as the Morning After (fried egg, peppered bacon, yellow American, chipotle mayo and avocado on brioche); Glazed & Confused Sliders (peppered bacon, yellow American, bacon maple aioli on glazed donuts) and Smokin’ Hash (tots, cheese, peppered bacon, pico

Located inside the beautiful Birchwood Inn, the Birch & Vine offers lots of outdoor dining or enjoy brunch in the cool airconditioning. Besides a traditional breakfast menu, you can also choose from such items as a Chicken & Waffle Open Faced Sandwich, Wild Mushroom & Truffle Omelette or a Baby Spinach & Strawberry Salad. They also offer $4.50 Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas and Bellini’s or choose to have them bottomless for $15.


Cassis offers American classics with subtle French influences for brunch, lunch, and dinner. They serve simple, hearty food and drinks at affordable prices right on Beach Drive. Cassis has lots of outdoor seating offering a great view and is ideal for people watching. Samplings from the brunch menu include Andouille Sausage and Shrimp Ragout, Blueberry Pancakes with poppy seed and lemon ricotta and Smoked Salmon Benedict. By the way, they have the best sausage links I have ever tasted and they offer fresh squeezed orange juice. Ichicoro Ane Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm 260 1st Ave S St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 300-0281 The new Ichicoro Ane located in the lower level of Station House describes the restaurant as “Japanese inspired eating and drinking den.” One might wonder what this type of restaurant would serve for brunch. The brunch menu is a breath of fresh air because it is so different from what any other restaurant offers downtown. Choose from such treats as Japanese Pancakes served with seasonal fruit and syrup, a brothless B.E.C. (bacon, egg, cheese) Ramen or Biscuits & Tonkotsu Gravy. The pancakes are out of this world. Marchand’s Bar & Grill Sunday 9am – 2pm Located in the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel 501 5th Ave NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 824-8072 Located in downtown St Pete’s famous and historic Vinoy Hotel, Marchand’s serves up traditional American fare. Choose from an extensive Sunday Buffet ($28 adults, $14 children) or order from the brunch menu. The buffet offers all the traditional breakfast fare along with meats and cheeses, a sushi and seafood table and a carving station. With the buffet you can choose to add unlimited Mimosas or


Cassis Brunch is served every day from 8am – 3pm 170 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 827-2927

Bellini’s for $15. They also offer a buildyour-own Bloody Mary Bar starting at $12. What’s a Sunday without a Bloody Mary? The Mill Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm 200 Central Avenue St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 317-3930 Located in the heart of the action on Central Avenue, The Mill serves up New American Cuisine and is an all-around sensory delight from the unique decor and top-notch libations to the Chef’s delectable creations. Their motto is “Amazing food without the Attitude!” From the Sausage & Waffle Benny, Pork Belly Baguette to one of my personal favorites The Mill Burger, you can’t go wrong at The Mill. The Oyster Bar Saturday and Sunday 10am – 3pm 249 Central Ave St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 897-9728 Directly across the street from The Mill, The Oyster Bar offers a very affordable brunch buffet for $18 per person with traditional breakfast items as well as an omelette station. You can add on bottomless Mimosas for $14 or bottomless Bloody Mary’s for $18. You can also select from a regular menu with items such as Fried Oyster Scramble, Creole Scramble and Steak and Eggs Chimi.

Parkshore Grill Saturday 11am – 3pm; Sunday 10am – 3pm 300 Beach Dr NE St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 896-9463 Parkshore Grill is a long-established favorite that was here well before the restaurant boom and still stands tall with excellent cuisine, professional service and an elegant setting in the scenic heart of Beach Drive. The outdoor patio is the place to see and be seen under the recognizable blue umbrellas at every table. Parkshore’s brunch menu by award winning Chef Tyson Grant, serves up such delectable concoctions as Niman Ranch Smoked Ham Benedict, Ale Battered Shrimp and Cheese Grits and a ChorizoPork Belly Frittata. Red Mesa Cantina Saturday and Sunday 11am – 3pm 128 3rd St S St Petersburg, FL 33701 With two bars inside and out, an elaborate fountain with outside courtyard dining and the most extensive selection of tequilas and Mezcals in the South, Red Mesa Cantina is nothing short of a lively Mexican brunch with a menu that delivers bold, fresh flavors. You will find on the brunch menu one of my favorite burgers in St. Pete – the Sirloin Chorizo Burger. They also serve breakfast tacos, burritos, ceviche and quesadillas along with many other scrumptious offerings. The Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are $4.50. Lori Brown writes about the local food scene at

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MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company Now Thatza Pizza!

Tyrone Square Mall 2424 Tyrone Blvd.St. Petersburg Mon.- Thurs. 11am-11pm Friday & Saturday 11am-12am Sunday 11am-11pm 727-302-0777 • PHOTOS/ GINA DE LUCI

BY GINA DE LUCIA At MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company, the focus isn’t just on the pies. The space is a gorgeous mix of modern and industrial elements, an open floor plan and a large kitchen with white marble countertops and two gigantic wood-fired pizza ovens. There’s even a live olive tree right in the middle of the restaurant. All pretty unassuming, given its location inside of Tyrone Square Mall. What makes MidiCi so special is the quality of the whole dining experience. Most of the food is non-GMO, all-natural and where it counts, imported from Italy. There are no freezers, unless you count the tiny one that houses the gelato. And then, of course, there is the Neapolitan pizza. The crust ingredients stay true to authentic pizza dough in Naples with only four ingredients non-GMO “OO” (double zero) flour imported from Naples, pure water, sea salt and live yeast. If you know anything about Neapolitan pizza, you know that the Caputo 00 flour is the true test of authenticity. The “OO” refers to a rating system and indicates it’s the most finely milled flour you can get your hands on - one that results in a light and airy


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crust. Since it’s wood-fired pizza, once you order it lands on your table in a matter of minutes. Starters like the Burrata with Melon and Prosciutto is a great way to kick off your Italian food adventure. Burrata is a traditional cheese made with mozzarella and cream. I don’t often see melon with prosciutto on a menu. The soft texture and sweetness of the cantaloupe pairs perfectly with the salty Italian ham. The dish is served with a generous portion of fresh artisan bread baked in-house daily, and a creamy burrata, both drizzled with a balsamic glaze. The house-made Angus Beef Meatballs with fresh mozzarella is another great starter. These are not overpowered by breading fillers or salt, like some meatballs. Perhaps they are slightly on the underseasoned side, but I much prefer that over the alternative of too spicy. There are many sizable salads to choose from on the menu. The Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad is a mix of baby arugula, mixed greens, grape tomatoes and plenty of crunchy walnuts. It’s topped with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and tossed

in a housemade walnut and gorgonzola dressing. We ordered the Prisoner’s Pizza, a Margherita-style pizza with a ricotta-stuffed crust. The name comes from the legend that drugs were smuggled into Naples prisons by stuffing them into the crust of the Neapolitan pizzas. I was on the verge of needing to be rolled out of the place, so opted to turn down the top-selling Nutella Calzone with fresh berries, the signature dessert. It is beautifully displayed behind the counter. Be sure to look at the impressive drink menu which includes gourmet Italian coffees and even a gourmet tea collection. Or you may choose to imbibe in wine, domestic or craft beer (some local), or a craft cocktail. The Basil Fizz - gin, lime juice, soda, simple syrup and fresh basil - is a refreshing choice. MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company really has it all and is a fantastic addition to the St Petersburg dining scene. Gina De Lucia writes about the local food scene at


Sola Bistro & Wine Bar

Expect the unexpected at this intimate dining spot in busy St. Pete Beach

6700 Gulf Blvd. St Pete Beach Mon.-Sat. 4pm-10pm Closed Sunday 727.360.7500 PHOTOS/ KEVIN GODBEE

Turtle Soup

Pork Pate BY KEVIN GODBEE Sola Bistro & Wine Bar is definitely not your typical beach spot. Many beach eateries cater to tourists with a “turn and burn” approach combining poor service with frozen deep-fried foods. On the other hand, Sola is a foodies oasis at the beach with eclectic gourmet cuisine. There is also a unique wine selection with some rare finds. Tig, the owner, always selects our wine for us and we are always impressed... except for one time when we liked another bottle better, so he drank the first one. (It’s a tough job.)

more standard fare. Actually, it shouldn’t be called “standard,” as it will be one of the best versions you’ve ever had.

One of the great things about Sola is that both the adventurous eater and the person who just wants “normal food” can both have their dining desires sated. The regular menu rarely changes, and this is good so you know that your favorites are there waiting for you. However, there are always unique specials, many of these for the more discriminating palate.

The next starter was pancetta-wrapped Pork Pâté, which was rich and savory with a nice tang added by the whole-grain mustard. Pâté is a regular menu item, but the actual type changes regularly. Lori described it as light, airy, and salty mixed with some amazing savory flavors with a perfect texture.

On past visits we tried specials like Lamb Tongue and Lamb Heart, and one of the unique regular menu items, Rabbit Cacciatore. For this visit we went with

The most exotic fare we ordered was the Turtle Soup. At first, there was a forwardfront lemon flavor with an amazing complexity and spiciness on the finish. It’s a thick, hearty soup with turtle stock, turtle meat, Cajun-Creole spices and hardboiled eggs. There are also potatoes, leaks, carrots, onions, and celery - the main soup basics.

For our main entrees, we ordered the special of Osso Buco with polenta and Brussels sprouts, and one of our favorite regular menu items that we get every other time, Bucatini alla Carbonara with

house-cured pancetta, egg yolk, PecorinoRomano, and black pepper. You won’t need a knife for the Osso Buco at Sola. Just touch it with your fork and it falls off the bone. It’s hearty, but also sweet and tangy at the same time. With the polenta and Brussels, it’s just luscious. The pasta is super fresh and the pancetta is house-cured. The rich, buttery, cheesy, salty flavors meld perfectly with the pasta cooked al dente, and the house-cured ham adds a nice succulent meatiness to the dish. Our excellent accompanying wine was a velvety 2015 Anima Negra An/2 Red Wine from Spain. Kudos to Chef Artem Kucherenko and owner Tigran Khachaturyan. They are two super cool Armenian guys who do amazing things with food and wine. Kevin Godbee writes about the local food scene at

March/April 2018



The Small Things From head to foot, men can say a lot about style with the right accessories

A fine quality shoe like this Armin Oehler from Germany will provide years of comfort if properly maintained. BY JOSE MARTINEZ As our average temperature starts to climb in St. Pete, a typical conundrum for many is how to wear less while still looking stylish. Well, one of the best ways to show style is with innate confidence and inherent coolness. The rest of us should consider some key and timeless accessories to do the trick. Yves Saint Laurent once commented, “Fashion fades, style is eternal!” and there is no better conveyor of subtle yet distinguishing style than shoes. It’s one of the first things many people look at when they meet someone. Try a pair of immaculately polished monk straps with lightweight jeans and an ultra-fine merino wool t-shirt. You’ll demonstrate confidence, coolness and look like a million dollars! For those who caught it, yes, merino wool t-shirts have some exceptional benefits


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for us here in Florida. Their antibacterial (lanolin wax, odor-free) and regulating effect will keep you warm when it’s cold and much cooler in warmer climates. It’s also moisture-wicking and is a 100% natural fabric. Now back to shoes. A pair of Goodyear-welted, handmade shoes will cover a multitude of sins. It is a wardrobe staple for any man with graceful discernment. There are a few main items to understand when considering shoes: • Construction of the shoe allows for long-lasting enjoyment with proper care and maintenance. A well-made shoe, Goodyear-welted or hand-sewn, can be re-soled to last for decades. • Cork insole provides cushion and shockabsorbing properties for all-day under-foot comfort with excellent maneuverability.

• Always look for premium upper leather with full-leather lining. • Natural leather insoles provide breathability, lasting comfort, and, with a layer of natural cork, endurance and extra insulation. • With wear, the sole contours to your foot shape giving the shoe a bespoke fit. • Oak-tanned leather outsoles are treated for lasting durable wear. • A reinforced stacked heel stands up to years of wear. • Steel shank provides reinforced strength and support.


Say It With Shades Sunglasses are another distinctive communicator of confidence and coolness. When choosing sunglasses please consider: • Fit - A well-fitting pair of sunglasses should fit snugly on your head without being too tight or uncomfortable. • Shape - Find a shape that you like and that looks good with your facial features. • Material – Avoid cheap plastic, especially for the lenses. Go with shatterproof, durable and lightweight in both lenses and frames. • UV protection - Most importantly, choose sunglasses with polarized and anti-reflective lenses to reduce glare and improve visibility in high-glare situations. Wearing non-polarized lenses in high-glare situations will allow more harmful UV light into your eyes. Also make sure your sunglasses provide 100% UV protection, with a filter that blocks UVA, UVB and UVC rays. With these two key accessories covered you are sure to look stylish, exude confidence and coolness. Jose Martinez is president of Sartorial Inc, a menswear boutique in downtown St. Petersburg.

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FROM RAY CHARLES TO BUSTER COOPER - A HISTORY OF FLORIDA’S BLUES Take a musical journey from the Panhandle to Miami and experience Florida’s blues legacy. ON LOAN FROM THE MUSEUM OF FLORIDA HISTORY


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March/April 2018



Black & White The perfect pick for day or night, casual or elegant BY MEGAN SIMONS When it comes to fashion, what if black and white is your palette of preference? I have good news for you – your favorite colors are timeless and as popular as ever, and there are many ways in which you can rock a B&W number. Your lack of color may be worrisome, though. How can we look modern, chic and not boring? Can we stand out with elegance and the appropriate sense of style? Can we commit faux pas with black and white? One way to successfully wear black and white is to construct your outfits from black and white separates and wear them in monochromatic fashion or combine them together. You can easily update your look with one new piece of your outfit that has hip details. For trendy style try the very popular, up-to-date cold shoulder or bell sleeves. For more dramatic statements you can add textural decorations such as ruffles and bows. For the edgy style go for metallic details, sexy lace or large, dimensional flowers. This traditional color pairing can be easily modernized with fashionable prints. Wearing and combining patterns is the fun way to play with fashion. The current print trends are exciting and stimulating with patterns that really complement the figure and control the flow of the eye. The 2018 Spring runways were full of incredibly popular polka dots of all magnitudes, from tiny spots to softball size blotches, you simply must have at least one polka dot piece of wardrobe in your closet. Other prominently visible prints for this season are strategically positioned stripes, NASCAR-style checkerboards, and sophisticated, realistic or abstract graphic designs suitable for various occasions. The great part about your B&W prints is that they can be worn head to toe, or you can easily pair them with any solid color. Now you have your perfect black or white or B&W outfit, whichever you choose. So you may be wondering how to magnificently accessorize it. Accessorizing a B&W outfit is all about how much fun you’re willing to have.


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FASHION Do you want to show your sense of style and elegance, or do you just want to try something new?

to mind, but how about canary yellow, tangerine, or bright chartreuse that will kick your look up a notch.

Feel free to use your imagination and personalize your outfit with black and white accessories, without worrying about breaking any solid rules of fashion. Since the color choice is taken care of, you can certainly have fun with shapes and styles of your jewelry, shoes and handbags.

If your goal is a sophisticated and luxurious look, you can easily achieve just that by wearing accessories in metallic tones. This is a perfect way to glam up an outfit into something suitable for a black-tie affair.

Another safe way to finish your look is to use one solid but bold color. Red and pink are the predictable first choices that come

Megan Simons is owner and CEO of Capota Trends and owner of Pippa Pelure, a women’s fine clothing and accessories boutique in downtown St. Petersburg. Fashions by Alberto Makali

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Jerry Penacoli TV personality goes from Red Carpet to Old Northeast

The last time I saw Jerry Penacoli, he had just finished taping a segment with co-host Cyndi Edwards on the set of the NBC “Daytime” show and getting ready to fly to the Sundance Film Festival. The last we spoke he was getting ready to fly to LA and attend the Academy Awards to interview the winners backstage. Who is this guy with the big smile paid to chat with celebrities daily? He has been a host on “Extra” since August of 2000. The daily syndicated newsmagazine delivers the latest in celebrity buzz, and he covers the latest events in the entertainment industry. He’s been the co-host on the syndicated NBC morning television program which is produced in Tampa and seen in more than 130 U.S. markets, for five years. You’ve mingled with celebs around the world, who would you like to interview that you have not met yet? I’ve been so privileged to interview every star in the world from Brad Pitt


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and Angelina Jolie to George Clooney and Julia Roberts, but perhaps the highlight of my career thus far was when I was invited to Washington D.C. to interview then-sitting President Barack Obama in summer of 2015 in the White House Rose Garden. To top that? Well, I’d love to interview Pope Francis, and so would my Mom!

You travel so much. Do you have any down time? Any down time I have after working two jobs, “Daytime” and “Extra” simultaneously, I like to head up to our home art studio and paint. Cooking at home is the norm, frankly. We are both homebodies who enjoy our porch life at the house. We’re lucky to have a getaway place in Longboat Key, as well, and we love the quiet and solitude of that beach.

You could live in New York City or LA. Why St. Pete? I decided to relocate from Los Angeles to St. Pete in the beginning of 2013 for family reasons. My sister and brother-in-law were living in Tampa, and my mom was in the Orlando area, and her health was beginning to decline, so it was time to reprioritize and I never looked back. I chose St. Petersburg over Tampa because I fell in love with the Historic Old Northeast and St. Pete’s beautiful waterfront. The walkability to everything downtown is a major bonus, and to have our wonderful restaurants, shops, museums and galleries right outside my door, it couldn’t be a better location!

Congratulations! We heard you are getting married here in St. Pete in March. How did you meet? I met Jackson in Los Angeles three years ago, and after a lengthy long distance relationship, he finally got smart and relocated to St. Pete. We are so thrilled to be tying the knot at the Museum of Fine Arts this spring.

Where do you take your visitors in downtown St. Pete? Walking and biking through town and along North Shore Trail is a regular occurrence. My partner and I are both artists, so exploring the local art scene is something we love and want to do even more. We love The Mill, Sea Salt, Farm Table Cucina, just for starters. And we take out-of-towners first to The Canopy at sunset, then somewhere on Beach Drive for dinner, then a leisurely walk home. We do love going to Sundial and grabbing a quick bite at Locale, then heading to a movie. We love all the outdoor cafes, Stillwater Tavern, and The Wooden Rooster are particular favorites.

You also paint! I saw your artwork on display during the grand opening of Patina, Laura Fage’s new store on Central Avenue. I have many a passion: painting, music (I play piano), acting. Anything creative. My art is a reflection of memories from my travels, and also from snapshots I take along the way.

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Keeping up with St. Petersburg Arts, Theater Events, Performances and Personalities

BY CINDY STOVALL I’m baaack, and I want to thank you for all the lovely feedback on my maiden article in the previous issue of St. Pete Life. It really is a joy and a privilege to bring you news from the ‘Burg’s ever-expanding arts scene, just as I have for the past four years on my podcast. If you’d like to submit an event, gallery reception, stage show or other arts happening for consideration, please email me at cstovall5@gmail. com. Here’s a sampling of upcoming arts events in St. Petersburg. On Stage freeFall Theatre continues an engaging and beautiful season of professional theater with the current musical adaptation of a 1912 Jean Webster novel “Daddy Long Legs.” It is the story of an orphan girl, Jerusha ‘Judy’ Abbott, sent to college by a mysterious benefactor and continues through April 8. Then, opening on May 5 is “The Machine Stops,” a story by E.M. Foster, and adapted for the stage by Artistic Director Eric Davis. The story, originally written in 1909, is set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide their needs. It predicts technologies such as instant messaging and the Internet; runs through May 27. American Stage recently celebrated its 40th year of bringing quality professional theater to the Tampa Bay area. That mission continues in earnest as “Marjorie Prime,” a smart and poignant sci-fi character study, finishes its run on April 1. It makes way for a doubleheader of great theater as the always anticipated American Stage in the Park presents the Mel Brooks classic “The Producers,”


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starring local fave Matthew McGee, and the Main Stage presents “Strait of Gibraltar.” Check out the full article in this issue for date and ticket details. You can listen to my Beauty & The ‘Burg podcast at for more interviews with the American Stage team. The Palladium Theatre, the ‘Burg’s historic and beautiful multistage venue, continues its tradition of bringing you world class music with The Palladium Chamber Players 2018. Each fourth Wednesday of the month during the Spring season, director and concertmaster Jeffrey Multer brings us great classic works by iconic composers, played by some of the world’s most celebrated musicians. On March 28, the Chamber Players welcome Julian Schwarz for your Bach & Beethoven fix. Next month, the show is on April 25 and features Andrew Chilcote and the music of Schubert. It’s a stunning program that we are so fortunate to have here in Tampa Bay. Museum Happenings The Museum of Fine Arts ushers in Art in Bloom from March 22-26. This annual rite of Spring is in its 21st year at MFA when artists, florists, garden club members and other creatives converge on the galleries to convert the museum into a great decorated greenhouse. Pieces of art from the permanent collection and current exhibitions are interpreted in magnificent flora and fauna. It’s really a sight not to be missed and you can see it for the price of museum admission.

Many wonderful events accompany AIB including: “Flowers After Hours,” a cocktail party and benefit to open the event on Thursday, March 22, at 6:30. The AIB luncheon, “What Can I Bring” with guest lecturer Chef Elizabeth Heiskell, takes place on Friday, March 23 at 11 am at the Vinoy. Come by the museum on Sunday for “Conversations with the Designers,” an opportunity to ask questions about the floral designs. I will be one of those designers, so come see me! For a full listing of details and Art in Bloom events, visit: or

ARTS & CULTURE The Imagine Museum recently opened its doors to great fanfare. Celebrating the history, future, and excellence of the art of Studio Glass, Imagine showcases every thought, reflection and beam of light impacting the presentation of the glass. From Littleton to Chihuly and beyond, so many artisans are represented, you’ll love getting lost in Imagine. Alternative Selections Second Saturday ArtWalk, as the name implies, takes place every second Saturday throughout St. Pete’s five art districts, year ‘round. Park and hop on the trolley that weaves in and about over 40 galleries, shops and studios. Many receptions and openings happen during the ArtWalk and you’ll invariably meet so many of your friends along the way. Highlights like Duncan McClellan’s expansive glass gallery and garden in the Warehouse Arts District, and Leslie Curran’s Articles gallery in the Edge District are fan favorites. But there are so many more, and you just can’t see it all in one night, so come out on April 14 and May 12. Print out your map at The Sunlit Festival is a “smorgasbord” of literary events taking place across the ‘Burg from April 9-22. Organized and hosted each year by Keep St. Pete Lit, there will be live performances, lectures, author events, an antiquarian book fair and a short story contest with cash prizes! Experience the kickoff event at the Chihuly Collection on April 5, complete with speakers from the lit community and delicious nibbles. For a complete listing of events and info, go to As founder Maureen McDole says, “Read and write on.” If you’re a fan of old timey radio, you can relive or discover for the first time, a series of live radio readings reminiscent of “The Shadow,” “Fibber McGee & Molly,” and Arthur Godfrey. The Radio Theatre Project takes place each third Monday of the month from September through May at The Studio@620. Creator Mimi Rice has realized this wonderfully anachronistic concept, and RTP has become “a thing.” A troupe of performers and frequent local guest stars make us laugh and forget the cares of the day. Program director and beloved local actress Bonnie Agan shares the stage with regulars like announcer

(and former Pine Valley gynecologist, Dr. Claytor of All My Children) Bob Heitman (see, the stuff writes itself), Paul Wilborn, Eugenie Bondurant, David Warner, Rich Rice, Colleen Cherry, the brilliant Foley artist, Matt Cowley, and many more. The skits, plays and short vignettes will leave you buoyant and longing for the 1930’s. Everything old is new again!

‘Til next time…. Cindy Stovall’s Beauty & the Burg podcast covering the arts in St. Petersburg airs live on Wednesdays at 6 pm at Archives of previous shows are available.

March/April 2018



American Stage St. Petersburg’s Professional Theater Company Celebrates 40 Years of Storytelling

The musical “Hairspray” was a smash hit at 2017 American Stage in Park. Right, budding actors perform as part of the company’s Apprentice Program. Photos by American Stage BY CINDY STOVALL As many of us who call St. Petersburg home know, American Stage Theatre Company is a crown jewel of performing arts right here in the heart of our city. Since 1977, American Stage has been producing both classic and cutting-edge theater to the delight of its patrons and season subscribers, including the wildly popular American Stage in the Park. Here are a few achievements, among many, that you can add to what you know about the company that started out as Palisades Theatre of Florida. • American Stage celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018, and enjoys the coveted designation of longest running, most critically acclaimed, professional theater company in the Tampa Bay area.


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Impressive, right?

• American Stage was the first nonprofit theater company in the Tampa Bay region to operate under a full contract with Actor’s Equity. • In 2017, American Stage became one of only 12 companies in the world to produce, present and complete the August Wilson Century Cycle. This series of 10 plays chronicles the African American experience across the 20th century.

Well, buckle up, because while honoring a historic four-decade legacy is mission enough, American Stage endeavors to move forward with bold new programming initiatives that promise to open the world of live theater to all. At the heart of bringing us memorable shows, innovative educational programs, showcasing the work of up-and-coming playwrights, and a commitment to accessibility, is a team of dedicated professionals that make it all look easy. They are the storytellers. They marry their formidable experience as performers with the administrative prowess necessary to bring artistic vision seamlessly to the stage and into the community.

ARTS & CULTURE Let’s start with lead storyteller Stephanie Gularte, producing artistic director. In her third season at the helm, Gularte has garnered the acclaim that firmly establishes she is right where she belongs. “I really feel like I am home,” Gularte shares. “After being fortunate enough to oversee milestones like the 40th anniversary and the completion of the August Wilson Century Cycle, I found it enhanced the opportunity to establish and deepen relationships with our team, with

the patrons, and with the St. Petersburg community. I am a part of that community now and it’s such a great feeling. I have had the freedom to be authentic to my own artistic aesthetic, while being respectful of the history of American Stage and its loyal audience base.” Asked about what goes into the season selection process (the new one will be announced March 17), Gularte says, “After roughly 18 years in this business, I have

Much Ado About Nothing

Raisin in the Sun

yet to come up with the perfect analogy to describe it. It can be as nerve wracking as it is exciting, but I keep a dynamic list of works that resonate with me and find ways to tell very different stories that come back to a central theme.” Last year’s “In Search of America” theme season and the current “We The People” theme have proven to be eerily prophetic to the most current headlines, even though chosen months in advance.

The Royale

WHAT: The Producers By Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan WHEN: April 18 through May 13 WHERE: Demens Landing Park, Bayshore Drive and 2nd Avenue South, downtown St. Petersburg ADMISSION: Varies depending on day, save by purchasing advance tickets. General lawn admission (BYO chair or blanket) $18 advance, $22 at the gate Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; $25 advance, $30 at the gate Friday and Saturday. Premium (stagefront) blanket seating and reserved chair seating is extra. Alcohol and pets are not allowed. INFORMATION: or (727) 823-7529 Park productions are eagerly anticipated each year and represent one of the richest elements in American Stage history. This year’s musical centers around down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock, and his mild-mannered accountant, Leo Bloom, who come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, bilking their backers out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit! “The Producers” will star local favorite Matthew McGee as Max Bialystock. Coming off his wildly successful run as Edna in “Hairspray” last year, McGee quips: “I had a friend joke that last year I was wearing skirts and this year I’m chasing them.” McGee talks about the responsibility of undertaking some of pop culture’s most iconic roles. “It’s thrilling and daunting to reprise roles done by stars like Nathan Lane and Harvey



Fierstein, but I have confidence, not only in my own chops, but in the ability of director Rye Mullis to bring it all home in a big way.” Many of Matt’s fans know him for his appearances in drag. You might be surprised when you hear him say, “My favorite part about being Max, is that I don’t have to wear any makeup!” He goes on: “I love the crowds that come to the park. It’s a way for families and non-regular theatergoers to get the full live stage experience. I love performing for them.”

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“One writer called me Nostradamus,” she mused. So, what about the future? When asked about moving American Stage forward, this fearless leader said she wanted to try something very bold, if not a bit risky. “It’s been a thought in my mind for years, so I discussed it with the team.” The Young Americans Initiative makes theater admission for young people significantly more affordable or, in many cases, FREE. It breaks down in three parts:

MARJORIE PRIME – Through April 1 This sci-fi drama explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits – if any – of what technology can replace. It’s the age of artificial intelligence and 86-year-old Marjorie is worried that her memory is fading. But when a mysterious and charming young visitor appears to help Marjorie uncover the intricacies of her past, questions emerge about the limits of technology and the possibility that memory might be a purely human invention.

• Apprenticeship Program – Participants receive intensive and focused education with the goal of developing skills that produce well-rounded, successful theater professionals. • Under 30 Pass - A “Netflix” style subscription offering unlimited admission to people under 30 for only $15 per month. • Under 20 Passport – Perhaps the boldest of the three initiatives, free tickets to Mainstage shows are offered to young people under 20. It began on January 1 so, if you’re fortunate enough to be under 20 (sigh), get your tickets today. Managing this exciting experiment falls to Colleen Cherry, community outreach associate. “Studies have shown that younger audiences are dwindling either because admission cost is prohibitive, or exposure to the arts in school is diminished. We want to lead the way in reversing that trend and improving the accessibility of great theater to everyone in the Tampa Bay area.”

STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR May 23 through June 17 Selected from among more than 300 submissions of new plays from across the country, this sexy romance turned thriller starts when, Miriam, a young American woman, and Sameer, a Muslim man from Morocco, meet at a party and fall in love at first sight. When Sameer tells Miriam he’s undocumented, she offers to help, but is everything as it seems?


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In addition to managing the “YA,” as it is called, Cherry also coordinates volunteers and manages another very innovative program at American Stage – 21st Century Voices. Initiated two seasons ago, here’s how it works: The call goes out to talented and aspiring playwrights around the country. Finalists are selected from the hundreds of submissions and the final five are presented over several days in a series of readings. “It gives the voices of new playwrights a platform to be

heard,” Cherry says. “And it gives great work an opportunity to be professionally developed and possibly produced down the road. We had hundreds more submissions this year than last, so we must be on to something.” One of those 21st century voices belongs to Andrea Lepcio, author of “Strait of Gibraltar,” the first play from the program to be brought to full production on the Mainstage schedule. It will be directed by operations manager Jim Sorensen. Beside Stephanie Gularte, Sorensen has been an “all hat wearing” driving force behind the current success and future vision of American Stage offerings. A seasoned performer, director and performing arts administrator, Sorensen is excited about the prospect of bringing “Strait of Gibraltar” to life. “It’s a romance turned political thriller that brings to light relevant concepts such as cultural and political differences, immigration, and the questioning of government’s role in our lives,” he explained. Sorensen is also excited about second stage -- the And Beyond series programming that includes improv and intimate performances by locals. “We have improv performers coming up through our educational programs, and the Cabaret Series with Paul Wilborn’s “American Songbook.”. American Stories is a Mothman Radio Hour model featuring the personal stories of well-known local personalities.” Roman Black, marketing and communications director, not only promotes all programming, but he also collaborates with visual artists to display their work in the lobby. “We ask them to do one piece that represents the show running at the time of their full exhibit,” he explains. “It’s a great partnership and right in line with the arts culture of St. Petersburg.” Cindy Stovall is the host of Beauty & the Burg on


The first exhibition in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition, and trial of a Nazi war criminal, Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is one of the most powerful and emotional exhibits ever presented by The Florida Holocaust Museum. This blockbuster exhibition is co-produced by The Mossad - Israel Secret Intelligence Service; Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, Ohio.


Operation Finale

Fifty-six years ago, Adolf Eichmann, who had been in charge of transporting millions of European Jews to death camps, sat in a courtroom for a trial that would be among the first in history to be completely televised. The trial captivated millions of people across the globe and it was the first time that many of them learned the details of the Holocaust. The dramatic story behind one of the world’s most notorious escaped Nazi war criminals being brought to justice is told using recently declassified artifacts from the Mossad. The exhibition includes objects and images made

available outside the country for the first time – original 1960s-era artifacts, photographs, film clips and audio, along with interactive features, to tell a story of espionage, intrigue and, ultimately, justice served. During World War II, Eichmann was the key functionary in the Nazis’ attempt to annihilate all of Europe’s 11 million Jews. After the war he disappeared, but his crimes made him a wanted man. Operation Finale – the code name of Israel’s effort to find him – reveals exactly how Mossad agents located Eichmann in his hiding place in South America, and how they abducted and smuggled him safely to Israel to stand trial. Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann is on display through July 15, 2018, at The Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg. Docent-led guided tours are available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 2 pm for an additional $3 by reservation only by emailing or 727-820-0100 ext. 230. Go to for more information.

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Dali/Duchamp The connectivity of two inventive, irreverent artists comes together in Dali/ Duchamp, a special exhibit at the Dali Museum dedicated to the friendship and mutual influence of the father of conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dalí, the champion of traditional painting and the imagination. Dalí and Duchamp were generally thought to represent completely different approaches to art, but through this exhibition their world of shared ideas is on display. Duchamp was associated with the art movements of Dada and Surrealism, and is famous for conceptual art – art where the idea of the work is more important than the completed work itself – and for creating the first “readymade,” an everyday object presented as a work of art. In contrast, Dalí was a defender of classical techniques in painting and the champion of artistic tradition. He was a surrealist and a superior technician who, like Duchamp, thought the idea of an artwork was of prime importance.

What fueled this surprising relationship was deeper than their shared artistic interests – among them eroticism, optics and games. Both artists were avid chess players and for nearly a decade, Duchamp became a professional chess player. One of four themed exhibit galleries, Playing Games, is dedicated to the art of game playing, and includes several chessboards. One was designed by Dali after the death of Duchamp as homage to his friend. More fundamentally, the two men were united by a combination of humor and skepticism, which led both, in different ways, to challenge conventional views of art and life. (Warning: a selection of erotic art may not be suitable for younger viewing.) Dalí/Duchamp includes three Dali paintings never before seen at The


Dalí/Duchamp was organized by the Dalí Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts in London and continues through May 27. Surreal Simul Chess Night 6-8 pm (check in 5-6 pm)

Thursday, March 29 10 am to 4 pm Free event admission, parking $10 until 5 pm, admission to museum galleries extra 727-823-3767 The Dalí will host the ultimate chess game day on March 29 with special guest Jennifer Shahade, Woman Grandmaster chess champion and coauthor of Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. Drop in to observe ranked Tampa Bay area chess players battle it out on the chessboard throughout the day. Additional chessboards will be available for visitors to play spontaneous games as well. Members of the St. Petersburg Chess Club, Acor Chess Academy coaches and other area chess club members will be available to coach and answer questions about the game of chess.

Dalí – Christ of Saint John of the Cross (c. 1951), Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach (1938) and Two pieces of bread expressing the sentiment of love (1940) – as well as Duchamp’s assemblages and ready-mades, photographs by Dalí, paintings by Duchamp, and correspondence and collaborations between the two artists.

Three chess champions will each play up to 20 people at one time. For an entry fee of $5, you can play against the best:

Jennifer Shahade: Duchamp Through the 64-Square Looking Glass 10:30-11:30 am Woman Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade will talk about Dali and Duchamp’s chess connection, explore highlights of Marcel Duchamp’s chess career, while showing some of her own projects inspired by Duchamp, such as Roulette Chess, Naked Chess and Hula Chess. Shahade is a “rock star” chess champion, US Chess Digital Editor, board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame, a PokerStars Ambassador and author of Play Like A Girl and Chess Bitch.

Jennifer Shahade– Woman Grandmaster, two-time United States Women’s Champion Antony Gospodinov– 11-year-old Chess Master, two-time Florida State Champion for Scholastic Chess and two-time National Champion Corey Acor– Chess Master, founder of Acor Chess Academy, Florida Speed Chess Champion of 2017 and National Chess Champion Sign up in advance at games-dali-surreal-simul-chess/

March/April 2018


EVENTS Fashion Show

The 5th Annual Heels to Heal: A Fashion Show to Remember benefitting domestic abuse shelter CASA St. Petersburg will be held Friday, May 11, 7-10 pm at the Vinoy Renaissance Royal Palm Ballroom in downtown St Petersburg. For ticket information, go to


Two upcoming concerts featuring the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and Florida Orchestra are sure to please music lovers. TFO’s 50th anniversary season highlight promises to be the presentation of Verdi’s Requiem with the Chorale and Michael Francis conducting. Concerts will be at 8 pm April 21 at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, 8 pm April 20 at the Straz Center in Tampa, and 7:30 pm April 22 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Celebrate Broadway will present the Chorale with conductor Bob Bernhardt and Broadway star Daniel Narducci singing hits from legendary shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, Camelot and more. Concerts will be 8 pm April 28 at Mahaffey Theatre, 8 pm April 27 at the Straz Center and 7:30 pm April 29 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. or call 727-892-3337.

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Valerie Gillespie Celebrates Women’s History 7:30 pm March 29 Palladium Side Door

Michael Lynche & Florida Orchestra 2 pm and 8 pm April 7 Mahaffey Theater American idol star and St. Petersburg native Michael Lynche joins the orchestra for a powerful evening of R&B, classics and soul. Tickets $15-$45, through or 727-892-3337

Known for her smokin’ saxophone, Tampa Bay jazz artist Valerie Gillespie graces the stage of the Palladium’s Side Door for an intimate evening of music presented by the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association. She will be backed up by her all-female group, featuring local fave vocalist Lori Hafer. Gillespie has played with Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Vereen, Natalie Cole, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, and many more. Her most recent jazz CD is entitled “Lush Life” which includes music by Chick Corea and Billy Strayhorn. She is frequently a featured soloist with The Florida Orchestra and has performed at many jazz festivals including The Suncoast Jazz Classic and The Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Tickets are $25, $30 and $45.

The kid from Amish Country who began her comedy career on a dare is celebrating a quarter century of out, open, no-holdsbarred comedy. Suzanne Westenhoefer could never be in the closet, making her a trailblazer when she started doing standup in the 1990s. She was the first openly lesbian comedian with an HBO Special and the first openly lesbian comedian on “Late Night with David Letterman.” Tickets are $30 and $45.

Suzanne Westenhoefer • 8 pm April 13 • Palladium Side Door

March/April 2018



Sawgrass/Ponte Vedra Beach

The legendary golf resort is an oasis of beauty and luxury on Florida’s East Coast


BY BETH ANN DRAKE Few destinations in the world can match the pair of TPC Sawgrass and the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa when it comes to great golf and accommodations. Here you can play 36 challenging and memorable holes created by architect Pete Dye – at The Players Stadium Course and Dye’s Valley Course. TPC Sawgrass’ partnership with the Sawgrass Marriott allows guests to stay at the home of one of the “Top 10 Best Golf Resorts in the World” by Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine. Marriott guests receive privileged access to championship golf, courtesy of the adjacent TPC® Sawgrass.


March/April 2018

The Sawgrass Marriott’s accommodations feature 514 guest rooms, suites and villas set amid 65 gorgeous acres of Audubonrated grounds -- a delight for bird-lovers. The moment we arrived, I was charmed with the beautiful lagoon view from the lobby. Massive floor to ceiling windows showcase a breathtaking Old Florida landscape. Step outside and unwind by the fire pits at night or enjoy the scenery from the comforts of the lobby. Our newly remodeled suite was crisp and contemporary, with a casual elegance. One of my favorite discoveries was the Living Room Lounge. Snacks, custom

coffees and even your favorite wines are at your fingertips with your access card. The Sawgrass Spa offers an oasis of wellness for your visit. Surrounded by 15 acres of winding lagoons, pools and lush landscaping, this spa offers a full menu of treatments and packages. The Zeninspired spa welcomes you with soothing music, warm lighting and Eastern design

TRAVEL elements. It offers facials, massages and body treatments for men, women and couples. For dining, Vernon’s offers a gorgeous view for breakfast, lunch or an elegant dinner. Situated between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, the Ponte Vedra area provides the perfect blend of small town Southern charm and big city sophistication. And what’s not to like about Ponte Vedra Beach? The A1A corridor is lined with miles of white sandy beaches, and a variety of restaurants and shopping for all tastes. The nearby city of Jacksonville offers visitors an abundance of attractions including the Jacksonville Landing, the Cummer Museum of Art, the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Not too far to the south, the quaint town of St. Augustine offers the visitor a wonderful opportunity to walk the cobblestoned streets, outstanding restaurants, art galleries and shops in the Old City where early Spanish settlers roamed hundreds of years ago. A visit to the 17th Century Castillo de San Marco, the San Sebastian Winery, and the Ghost Tours of St. Augustine will provide an unforgettable experience.

TPC Sawgrass Ponte Vedra Beach For more information and tickets, go to

So if you are an avid golfer, this resort is a must. And even if golf is not your game, the spa treatments, dining and local attractions are well worth the trip.

Along with the Sawgrass Marriott® Golf Resort & Spa, TPC Sawgrass offers several Stay & Play golf package offerings. To plan your own golf vacation:


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Recipient of Three 2018 Regional Contractor of the Year Awards!

Neal Fiske and the TriplePoint Team are honored to be recognized for their expertise in Residential Design/Build Remodeling. TriplePoint strives to transform every remodeling project into an award winning project that exceeds their client’s expectations. They are committed to providing excellent customer service, superior craftsmanship, and creative design solutions for their clients. TriplePoint is excited that each of these Regional Winning Projects will be competing at the National Level for Recognition of Remodeling Excellence. Stay tuned for National Results!

BEFORE: The wall that separated the kitchen from the adjoining hallway is shown below and exemplifies how tight and congested the kitchen actually was.



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March/April 2018


Paul’s Landing It’s hip, it’s funky, it’s so un-stuffy and cool that it’s almost hard to believe you are chilling at the distinguished Renaissance Vinoy. Paul’s Landing, the hotel/resort’s new pool-front indoor-outdoor restaurant, officially opened Feb. 19. The vibe is Caribbean colorful and casual, and the small Florida food menu focuses mainly on lunch items such as fish tacos and sandwiches, salads, smoked beef brisket and burgers. “The menu is all about locally-sourced… seafood, citrus, smoked fish and meats,” said executive Chef Mark Heimann. The Paul’s Landing name pays homage to pioneer William Paul, who allegedly brought the first smokehouse to a tiny settlement which later became St. Petersburg. The new eatery has an entrance from the sidewalk alongside the Vinoy Yacht Basin, making it easily accessible to the public. “We believe this will be a welcome addition to the community and especially to boaters,” added Heimann. But it’s the open-air bar and wrap-around patio seating offering a stunning view of the marina and downtown skyline that caught our eye. A dozen craft beers are on tap, including a refreshing Paul’s Landing Orange Wheat produced locally by 3 Daughters Brewing. Marcia Biggs

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Shine On St Pete

St. Petersburg is turning to

SUN POWERED Living BY ELIZABETH TAYLOR The Sunshine City is proving worthy of its moniker as an increasing number of residents and businesses convert to solar energy. In November, nearly 50 participants got an inside look at how locals are using solar energy and energy efficiency to save money and help tackle climate change during the Second Annual 100% St. Pete Solar Tour. The guided bus tour, co-hosted by Suncoast Sierra Club, St. Pete EcoVillage and the League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg, featured a wide variety of Florida-style sustainable living examples with five homes and two commercial applications. “Our goal was to present an interactive and engaging experience that will inspire people to take action,” said Chris Kenrick, co-director of St. Pete EcoVillage, a nonprofit sustainability education center and community garden located in the heart of St. Petersburg’s urban corridor. “Just looking at solar panels on people’s houses would be boring. So we made this more of a storytelling tour that demonstrated very different people and lifestyles.” For example, the homes ranged in size and age from a 750-square-foot newly built home designed for sustainability to a


March/April 2018

two-story, 1,800-square-foot house nearly a century old. The commercial examples included the 20,000-square-foot Planet Fitness renovated strip center building and a solar-covered carport at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. At each location, tour participants got to hear from the homeowners and businesspeople firsthand and ask questions about costs, return-oninvestment (ROI), energy savings and challenges.

still offering a rebate. With the rebate and federal solar tax credit, Ertel’s outof-pocket cost was only $2,000. “It was a no-brainer. Since I’m saving roughly $1,000 a year on electricity bills, it was paid back in about two and a half years. During the day my meter runs backwards, which means I’m feeding electricity into the grid.” In addition, Ertel took several energysaving steps, including installing Low-E windows, LED lightbulbs and skylights. He also replaced his pool pump with a variable speed pump, which he said is a “huge energy-saver … it will run a full day for about the same amount of energy that powered one hour with the old pump.” In 2016, Ertel added a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (EV) to the mix, plus six solar panels to the roof of his garage. Even with charging his EV for six months, he still got a $40 credit for the year from Duke Energy.

Saving Money and Energy Commercial pilot Mark Ertel installed his first 20 solar panels on the roof of his 1,600-square-foot stucco home when the local utility (now Duke Energy) was

A commercial pilot, he thrives on the research and technology involved in energy. “It was like a project to see if I could do it,” he said, adding that buyers need to do their own research before purchasing solar.


When former St. Petersburg City Councilman Karl Nurse bought his 1926 home in Old Southeast 25 years ago he “started at the beginning” by adding attic insulation. Since then he has added Low-E film to the 25 windows, a natural gas tankless water heater, more energy efficient lightbulbs and a programmable smart thermostat. The thermostat, which enables him to save about 15 percent on power, “has a pretty tremendous payback,” said Nurse. About five years ago, Nurse installed solar panels on the back portion of his roof, preserving the

aesthetics of the home’s distinct Florida Craftsman style on the front. Combined with other energy-saving measures, the solar reduces his family’s electricity bill by about 70 percent, he said. Based on the positive experience at home, Nurse recently installed solar panels on the roof of a new 3,000-square-foot building for his growing manufacturing business, Bay Tech Label, also based in St. Petersburg. He said he saved about 30 percent on the solar installation costs by designing the building and roof for solar from the beginning. He estimates the solar will have a six-year payback in energy cost savings.


Converting Historic Home

Homeowners and cities across Florida are jumping on the solar energy band wagon by joining Solar United Neighbors of Florida.

St Pete is the

Sunshine City Advantages of Solar Throughout the tour, participants peppered the homeowners and tour hosts with questions touching on their biggest concerns about going solar. Some of the key points and lessons included: No maintenance required: Homeowners reported that their solar installations continued functioning without problems or any special maintenance. At most, they said they rinsed off the panels about once a year. Zero damage from hurricanes: Despite some high winds brought by Hurricane Irma, hosts said their panels sustained no damage. They explained that in Florida, solar panels are required to stand up to hurricane-force winds. Simple energy efficiency measures deliver high return: Besides solar, each home and business owner stressed that basic energy-saving steps played

a major role in their strategies to cut electricity consumption and costs. Don’t underestimate the value of switching to LED lightbulbs, using Low-E windows or film and other actions. Thinking about going solar? Many Florida cities now have solar coops set up by Solar United Neighbors of Florida (SUNFL). The co-ops offer both education and savings for homeowners interested in going solar. Co-ops take advantage of the group’s bulk-purchasing power to get discounted pricing and a quality installation. Volunteer co-op participants choose an installer on behalf of the entire group through an open and competitive bidding process. The selected installer provides co-op participants a personalized proposal for their consideration. With one co-op already up and running in St. Petersburg, SUNFL is organizing

several more co-ops. “St. Pete residents are clamoring for solar,” said Julia Herbst, St. Pete coordinator for Solar United Neighborhoods. “The first co-op filled quickly. There is no cost and no obligation to signup when you attend a workshop.” “This is the Sunshine City,” added Herbst. “The city and residents are committed to moving to solar energy.” Public workshops are scheduled for: 6 pm March 21 West St. Petersburg Library 6700 8th Avenue North St. Petersburg, FL 33710 6 pm April 17 Sunshine Senior Center 330 5th Street North St. Petersburg, FL 33701 To learn more about going solar or to RSVP, go to

March/April 2018



Healthy Living Through Wine BY EDITH SWIERZBINSKI One of the most commonly asked questions in my shop is “Do you carry organic wine?” I do have a nice selection of organic, biodynamic, sustainable, no sulfite added, natural, gluten free and vegan wines. Now, what is the difference? The basic principles to be organic is that all additives (fining agents, yeast, etc.) are organic, no GMO’s are allowed including sulfur (aka sulfites). Resource management in terms of water and energy efficiency in the vineyard in the winemaking process makes up the sustainable definition. Biodynamic farming has a more holistic agricultural approach such as focusing on soil health, irrigation and planting within lunar cycles. So, can a wine be natural, organic and gluten free? Yes. Or, biodynamic, no sulfite added and vegan? Yes. Or all of the above? Yes. Honig Winery in Napa Valley has been sustainably farming since 1964. They use solar energy, composting, recycling, drip irrigation and planting cover crops. I’ll feature their 2015 Napa Sauvignon Blanc ($16) as our warm weather months are near. Refreshing and bright acidity lends a crisp freshness to the flavors of peach, passionfruit, and lemongrass, artfully balanced by a touch of freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime. It’s perfect for summer - juicy and refreshing with aromas of jasmine, peach, and grapefruit rind. Montinore Estate in Willamette Valley, Oregon, farms using organic and biodynamic practices. The 2015 Red Cap Pinot Noir ($20) is medium bodied with bright fruit, herbal notes and aromas of strawberry, cherry, blackberry, dried fruit and lilac. The palate is bursting with cherry, strawberry, bittersweet chocolate and spice balanced by bright acid and well-structured tannins. Domaine Bousquet in Mendoza, Argentina, grows grapes in high altitude, organically with no pesticides. The 2015 GAIA Red Blend ($15) is 50 percent malbec, 45 percent syrah and 5 percent cabernet sauvignon. It’s an elegant full-bodied wine, dense purple in the glass, with aromas of red and black berries. It has layers of silky and round tannins with notes of blackberry, plum and spice and a long, smooth finish. So, check out this category of wine. You may be surprised that many of your favorites may be organic, biodynamic or sustainable! Enjoy! Edith Swierzbinski is owner of 4th and Vine, a boutique wine shop in St. Petersburg.


March/April 2018


This Could Be the View from Your Balcony at Sunset Pointe at Collany Key

Sunset Pointe


Savor 365 days of stunning sunsets and expansive, beach front views at Sunset Pointe at Collany Key, luxury beach front condos located on the exclusive, deedrestricted island of Tierra Verde, Florida. This rare piece of property located directly on the Gulf of Mexico features a newly constructed 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2,700+ sq. ft. gated condominium community with 2 balconies, state of the art appliances, semi-private elevator, private beach, resort-style pools & spas, fitness rooms, outdoor kitchens and pavilions, kayak launch, and meticulously landscaped nature trails surrounding the property. Opulent

penthouse suites with 5,400+ sq. ft. of living space and panoramic views are also available. With private beach access to Shell Key, an 1800-acre preserve with more than three miles of natural beach, Sunset Pointe at Colony Key is the perfect location to savor the serenity of a coastal community, while admiring an abundance of bird and marine life, or exploring a plethora of outdoor activities on the water, beach, trails or nearby parks and golf courses. Sunset Pointe is also within walking distance to downtown Tierra Verde with an array of

gourmet restaurants and personal services. Tierra Verde is more than a peaceful island community. It offers easy access to major roadways, downtown St Petersburg restaurants and sports events, both Tampa International and St Pete/Clearwater airports, and nationally acclaimed museums and art galleries. Enjoy the serene feel of the island while just a short drive away from the area’s other exciting events and venues. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact Deb Marcum or Ed Medley of Equity Consultants, Inc. at 727.865.1000 or

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March/April 2018



New Arts Center For Eckerd College

Art at Eckerd College finally has a new home in The Helmar and Enole Nielsen Center for Visual Arts, which celebrated its grand opening on February 9. The Nielsen Center provides room for art forms from ancient to contemporary to not-yet-invented through its 33,000-square-foot space, blended seamlessly into the campus’s natural beauty. Special features include two galleries, a ceramics wing, digital arts and audio studios, a printmaking workshop, and seven semiprivate student studios.

The new facility was largely funded by gifts from more than 350 Arts Fellows (donors of $5,000 or more)—including Helmar E. Nielsen of St. Petersburg, a member of the Eckerd College Board of Trustees for nearly 25 years and owner of Cardinal Tracking, a public safety and parking management software company. Nielsen committed a gift of $7 million to Eckerd, and his generous contribution will endow a professorship in film production. PHOTO LISA PRESNAIL

March/April 2018


SPL NEWS Baker Releases New Book

Run, Walk For Wellness

The second annual Healthy St. Pete Fit City 5K and 1-Mile Fun Walk will hit the streets on Saturday, April 7, in North Straub Park from 7:30-11 a.m. This family-friendly wellness event features a 5k, a one-mile fun walk, health and wellness vendors, a kids’ zone and much more. The event is free; 5K registration fee is $17.50 or $7 for the one-mile walk. On April 7, the 5K registration fee increases to $20. The 5K participants may also register on race day in North Straub Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. Those registered for the 5K by March 23 receive an event t-shirt and a commemorative finisher’s medal for either the 5K or one-mile walk. For more information, visit or contact Healthy St. Pete at 727-892-5994.

Mayor Receives Award

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman received the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Partner America 2018 “Small Business Advocate Award” for his efforts and support of small business in the city at a presentation on Feb. 14 at a Small Business Day event at the Greenhouse. The award is given by Partner America, a publicprivate partnership that was created by The U.S. Conference of Mayors to assist mayors in providing the resources and information small businesses need to thrive within their local communities and the global economy. The presentation was part of Tampa Bay Startup Week, which featured a series of entrepreneurial-inspired events held throughout Tampa Bay.

Former Mayor of St. Petersburg and local author Rick Baker has published his third book, “Beyond the Sunshine: A Timeline of Florida’s Past.” Available at local bookstores and on amazon. com, the tome is a walk through Florida’s history from the time the first humans reached the Florida peninsula more than 12,000 years ago through today’s complex and diverse state. Baker covers the early native peoples, European exploration, wars, and transformative economic, social, cultural, and technological changes which have shaped the Sunshine State. He is also the author of “Mangroves to Major League” (2000) and “The Seamless City: A Conservative Mayor’s Approach to Urban Revitalization that Can Work Anywhere” (2011).

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March/April 2018

SPL SCENE To Life Gala – Florida Holocaust Museum

The Florida Holocaust Museum held its annual To Life gala at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay on February 10 with more than 700 supporters attending the sold out event. To Life: Honoring the Past - Empowering the Future raised over $650,000 to support the Museum’s educational and outreach programs and to help the Museum build a new Collections, Preservation, and Research Center. The keynote speaker was Avner Avraham, Mossad agent and curator of Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann. The FHM honored four Holocaust survivors with the Loebenberg Humaniarian Award: John Rinde, Toni Rinde, Lisl Schick, and Mary Wygodski were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Museum. Photos by Joy Hmielewski,

The 2018 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award to honorees Mary Wygodski, Lisl Schick, Tammy Li and Anita Treiser, To Life: Honoring Toni Rinde, and John Rinde, with The Florida Holocaust Museum’s Senior Educator the Past – Empowering the Future Co-Chairs Sandy Mermelstein.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman

Avner Avraham in conversation with Paul Tash, left, chair and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times

Spirited Soiree

An evening of Art, Fashion & Spirits takes place on March 24 as Bella Unica Art Gallery teams up with fashion boutique Pippa Pelure, and Kozuba & Sons Distillery. Hosted at the Distillery from 5:30 to 9 pm, the lively event will feature music, hors-d’oeuvres, local and international artists, fashions and distillery tours where guests can sample the finest Polish Vodka available. Art will be available for purchase by a variety of artists including Wilmar Pabon, Dee Perconti, Karen Porter and Helmut Preiss. Pippa Pelure will present fashion from the Spring /Summer collections of Joseph Ribcoff, Alberto Makali, Balenciaga, Desigual, Frank Lyman, Julian Chang and more. Kozuba & Sons Distillery was founded in 2005 in Poland. The family-run distillery producing premium craft spirits has now found a home in St. Petersburg at 1960 5th Avenue S. The event is free, but RSVP is requested by emailing

March/April 2018


EVENTS ART IN THE PARK Looking for some new art to liven up your place? You can’t do better than shopping the exquisite offerings at 43rd Annual Mainsail Art Festival which will take over the waterfront Vinoy Park on April 21-22. The judged fine art show, considered one of the top-rated in the Southeast, presents a wide range of art and performing arts, with special children’s craft area and food vendors. Look for amazing work in ceramics, glass, metal and sculpture works, jewelry, mixed media, watercolors, photography and wood. Admission is free;

Lobster Watercolor by Lori Jenkins Melbourne, FL

GREAT SHAKES Enjoy a breezy evening of theater in the park March 15-25 when “Romeo and Juliet” is presented by St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival at Williams Park, 350 2nd Ave N.; performances start at 8 pm. Admission is pay what you can with a suggested donation of $10.

EARTH DAY Learn all about sustainable living and going green at the 5th Annual Earth Day St. Pete on April 21 at Williams Park, 350 2nd Ave. N. Find natural and organic home and garden products, solar and renewable energy vendors ( including reps from the Solar United Neighbors co-op), eco-friendly arts and crafts, exhibits from community, environmental, wildlife and marine organizations. Check out an electric vehicle display, learn how you can go solar and enjoy live music all day at the Williams Park Bandshell. Be sure to visit with the folks from St. Pete Office of Sustainability to learn about everything the city is offering residents and businesses to help you go green. The family-friendly event is free; hours are 10 am to 5 pm.

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St Pete Chamber Meeting

The annual meeting of the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce brought together hundreds of area business leaders and professionals on February 7 at Mahaffey Theater. Photos by St. Pete Chamber

Grand Central


Nestled in the heart of the Historic Kenwood District sits this delightful three-story home built circa 1924. Historians talk of the days that Jack Kerouac would recite poetry within its walls. It is in this building that the eclectic shop called the Bungaleaux on Central has found its home. Proudly serving the community, the Bungaleaux on Central is a shop of hidden treasures, offering anything from unique artisan furnishings to designer items.

2635 Central Ave, St. Pete 727.317.5667 3 floors of unique home furnishings for everyone’s taste. Design services, coastal chic, French decor, primitive Asian, many candle lines, wine on Saturday. The friendliest staff in town. A magical shopping experience in a 1920’s bungalow with rich history. Where customers become dear friends.

When you visit, you become part of the tapestry of this community shop. If you are looking for that perfect furnishing piece to complete your home,or the right kind of jewelry to complete your wardrobe, the Bungaleaux on Central has it all. From candles to housewares, local artist creations to collectible pieces, it would be unusual to walk out of this shop without a treasure in your hands. Always know the treasures are constantly changing so if you don’t find it today, you just might tomorrow! One thing is guaranteed… you will never walk out of the shop without becoming a friend to all the wonderful individuals who create and work in this warm environment. Come by and visit Tuesday through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (or sometimes later depending on how much fun they’re having)! March/April 2018



Wine Weekend Dinner

The Museum of Fine Arts annual Wine Weekend February 2-4 kicked off with a French twist at the stunning and elegant Friday evening “Fetes a Versaille,” a black-tie masked ball for sponsors and VIPs. The dinner featured the acclaimed Maison Louis Latour as the guest vintner. This year’s theme, “Be Seduced,” reflected the opulence of the reign of Louis XV of France, bringing out the velvet, silk, lace and jewels of the era. The event was chaired by Patricia Rossignol; a sumptuous dinner was prepared by Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef Tyson Grant. Photos by DJAMEL/

St. Pete’s Full Service Tile Gallery Shop our brands from around the world in our comfortable and relaxing showroom. 9325 US Hwy 19 N. in Pinellas Park

727.577.7433 • 76

March/April 2018


Welcome to a Premiere Dental Facility in Downtown St. Pete

The experience to create a masterpiece smile.


180 4th Avenue NE

Cosmetic • Implants • Anti-aging Dentistry BOTOX $10/unit • Juvederm $490 ($700 value) Featuring ZO Products • Walk-ins Welcome

FREE! • EXAM & X-Ray ($275 value) Makeover for FREE! • Digital Veneers ($100 value) Facial $69! • Microdermabrasion (reg. $125 value) with dental cleaning purchase


March/April 2018



Muse Awards

St. Pete Arts Alliance along with several hundred supporters paid tribute to those who inspire St. Petersburg as respected members of the arts community at the 5th Annual Muse Awards on Feb. 9 at the Museum of Fine Arts. Over $25,000 was raised during the fundraiser which benefits artists, arts businesses, and cultural arts organizations through SPAA programs. This year’s awardees are: Charlie Parker, Visual Arts Award Mark Sforzini, Performance Arts Award Paul Wilborn and Eugenie Bondurant, Arts Ambassador Award Sylvia Rusche, Parton of the Arts Award Shelia Crowley, Literary Arts Award Photos by Kyle Fleming

Pippa Pelure Class & Sass One Stop Shopping Latest casual to evening fashions & jewelry by American European designers. Alberto Makali, Petit Pois, Lisette L, David Cline, Desigual, Balenciaga, Joseph Ribkoff, Frank Lyman, Komarov, Dolcezza, Bronte, Tribal, Dictons Barcelona, Sasha London, Vicenza, Volt, Liverpool Jeans, Sondra Roberts, Single, Theia, Jeff Lieb, French Kande, Konplott, Zsiska and much more

50 Beach Drive NE • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 623-0926 • Visit us on Facebook - Pippa Pelure


March/April 2018

City Girl Arts Fine Reupholstery and Vintage Modern Furniture

727-560-6122 Transforming Vintage Treasures into Modern Gems •

Wood • Carpet • Tile • Vinyl Plank Backsplashes • Fireplaces • Bathrooms 727-864-0077 1110 Pinellas Bayway S., Suite 105 Tierra Verde, FL 33715


Beverly DiMarino



727-289-6249 1110 Pinellas Bayway S. Tierra Verde


repurposed reclaimed furniture and carpentry designs





With Purchase of 2 Entrees Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday 4-6 Friday-Sunday 12-6

AVenable Consulting Buy 3 • 375 ml bottles* Receive A FREE 60ml EVOO Buy 4 • 375 ml bottles* Receive A FREE 200ml EVOO Buy 5 • 375 ml bottles* Receive A FREE 375ml EVOO • (727) 258-4925

*Can mix and match olive oils and vinegars. Excludes Traditional 18 and truffle products. Must present coupon. Expires 3/30/2018





449 Central Avenue • St. Pete

Interior/Exterior Color Consults Merchandising • Interior Decorating Art & Sculpture 727.439.8116 March/April 2018


1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Ex-John Lennon

Medium Blue Exterior over Gray Leather. Both Tops. Purchased new by John Lennon in 1965 and owned by him for his early Beatles years. Comes with documentation and photos. RHD and automatic transmission. $299,900

2015 Jaguar Project 7

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Dark Emerald Green over Jet Black. One of only 50 examples for North America. Only 1,000 miles. From the Brian Johnson Collection, lead singer of AC/DC. $279,900

2015 Dodge SRT Challenger Hellcat

Rosso Corsa Red over Tan Leather. 34,000 miles. Fresh full major belt and A/C service. . $149,900

1954 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427/425 Roadster

Red over Red Leather. Beautifully restored example, all new chrome, engine and undercarriage detail. Car #492. 365 ci V8 w/ tri-power. $169,900

1992 Ferrari 512 TR

1936 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Sedan

Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Sedan: Concours quality example. Light Gray over Red Leather. 346 ci flathead Cadillac V8 with 3-Speed manual transmission on the floor. $135,000

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

Aztec Red over Tan leather and tan convertible top. 331 ci OHV V8 w/ automatic transmission. Stunning, fresh frameoff restoration. $107,500

1959 MGA Roadster

Olde English White, red interior and red convertible top. Freshly rebuilt 1,822 cc MGB 5-Main Bearing engine with MGB 4-Speed manual transmission. Frame-off restoration. New interior, chrome wire wheels, side curtains, tonneau and documentation. $33,500

Only 285 miles. Granite metallic exterior over Sepia Laguna Leather. 707 HP Hemi V8. Navigation, back up camera, black wheels. $58,500

Olde English White over Red leather and tan convertible top. NOM 3.4 Liter Jaguar Inline 6 w/ 4-speed manual transmission. $99,900

1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I

Sand over Sable Exterior. Tan Leather interior. 4.7 Liter Inline 6 cylinder. LHD. Automatic. Cold Factory A/C, sun roof, power windows. Extremely clean and well restored Cloud I. $69,900

NCRS Top Flight from April 2015. Numbers matching 427/425 V8 4-Speed. Red/ Red with black convertible top. All NCRS and restoration documentation.. $129,900

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

18,000 Original miles. Glacier White over Cashmere leather and tan convertible top. $79,900

5500 N Tamiami Trail, Suite B, Sarasota, FL 34243 | 941-355-6500 |

While you‘re at Vintage Motors, stroll through the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, now celebrating 65 years of continuous operation. Antique, exotic, European and one-of-a-kind classics are featured in our rotating collection. Located across from the Ringling Museum on US 41. Open 9-6, 7 days a week.


It is with much pleasure that we introduce to you the winners of the Teachers ROCK $20,000 Teacher Appreciation Dream Wedding, Kaylan Figueroa & Will Burnham. Kaylan and Will are both from the Tampa Bay area and Kaylan is a 5th grade teacher at Riverhills Elementary Magnet School in Hillsborough county. On behalf of Old McMicky’s Farm, our Sponsors, Media and Vendor Partners and all of our staff, customers and supporters of the Farm, Thank You to all of our community’s teachers, school staff and administrators for your huge contribution in helping to shape the lives of our next generation of children. Thank you to our Sponsors: DeBartolo Family Foundation, Pepin Family Foundation, Avalon Building Corporation Thank you to our Media Partners: Tampa Bay Times, Newspapers in Education, Beasley Media Group, B98.7 FM, 10News CBS and Great Day TB Thank you to our amazing vendor partners for donating their great services: Catering - Whaley’s Blazin BBQ Wedding Planning - Exquisite Events Rings - Gold & Diamond Source Cake - Chantilly Cakes Bar Service - Spunky Spirits Floral - Tampa Wedding Studio Limo Services - Showtime Transportation

DJ - Events Done Right Photography - Darin Crofton Photography Bridal Gown - Truly Forever Bridal Tuxedo - Sacino’s Formal Wear Linens - Connie Duglin Linens Officiant Services - A Beautiful Wedding in Florida Videography - Resurgentfire Films

April 7, 2018 6:30pm - 10pm

VIP 5:30pm Benefiting the Old McMicky’s Farm Foundation Featuring Soul Circus Cowboys Voted Best Country Band in Tampa Bay Special Honored Guests and Ceremony Tampa Bay Recipients of the Purple Heart Medal Come out to a beautiful, classic farm with a big red barn set on a picturesque 40 acre lake. Enjoy over 100 of the best craft beers, wine and cider with great entertainment, great food and friends. Do something new, different, and fun – and support a great cause.

Tickets and Details at

St. Pete Life Magazine March/April 2018  
St. Pete Life Magazine March/April 2018  

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