St. Pete Life Magazine September/October 2019

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For those who seek an exceptional life



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

1212 Sunset Drive $3,200,000 Chris Encinias 505.620.8543



73 Mountain Lake $3,000,000 Gunn-Swainston Group 727.421.7234

DOWNTOWN ST. PETERSBURG 100 1st Avenue #3002 $1,425,000 Jessica Denig 813.713.1301

320 Magnolia Drive $1,495,000 Pete Mustafaraj & Kim Mustafaraj 727.494.5485

REDINGTON SHORES 17735 Gulf Boulevard #701 $1,290,000 Pete Mustafaraj & Kim Mustafaraj 727.494.5485

ISLAND ESTATE OF CLEARWATER 631 Snug Island $599,000 Pete Mustafaraj & Kim Mustafaraj 727.494.5485

ST.PETERSBURG | 727.898.6800

For those who seek an exceptional life


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

Everyone deserves the extraordinary, because luxury is not about price point - rather it’s about an experience. And when it comes to real estate, experience matters.

The Gunn-Swainston Group Robyn Gunn (727) 421-7234

Diane Swainston (727) 688-8875

St. Petersburg Gulf Beaches Tampa

Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.



SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 l Volume 3 No. 2

36-48 Think Pink Our salute to October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month includes a package on pink including fashion, cocktails, and home furnishings.

46 20

10-12 St. Pete Opera


We dare you. Check out the 14th season of our hometown opera company and you will never think about opera as stuy and old again. From opera classics to Broadway cabaret to holiday musicals and cocktails with the maestro, St. Pete Opera is reaching out to a diverse audience.



26 Find us online

56 40

8 2

September/October 2019 Advertising: 813.447.9900 bdrake� Editorial: 260 1st Ave. S. Suite 200-151 St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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

44 Breast Friends

For women over 50, annual mammograms are recommended. St. Anthony’s Breast Center is a great place to start.

16 Geff Strik – TFO Artist in Residence French artist and St. Pete resident Geff Strik brings his dramatic paintings to life in an art video presentation to accompany the Florida Orchestra’s Don Quixote.

24 Dining Out – Rococo Brunch

What’s your idea of brunch? If a curated menu, personal service and a relaxed atmosphere (not to mention amazing craft cocktails) are at the top of your list, you can’t go wrong with the splendid Sundays at Rococo Steak.

32 The Wine Cellar

Rosé? Frou frou? The pink wine we love to hate deserves a second chance. Columnist Will Howard sets us straight on the many personalities of lovely rosé wines.

68 Travel

46 Pink Dragon Ladies

The spring breakers are all but gone and the welcome mat is out at a spiffed-up Daytona Beach. Close to home, Pasco County has a new image, too – it’s now Florida’s Sports Coast. Rediscover why we live in Florida.

These fearless female warriors from around Tampa Bay have faced breast cancer and now team up to show the world how strength and determination can make everyday women heroes. Editor Marcia Biggs paddles with “The Pinks” in a personal journey.

54 Beauty & the ‘Burg

Happenings around town in arts and culture by arts writer Cindy Stovall.

72 Savor St. Pete

Check out the new food and wine fest, Savor St. Pete, when it comes to Straub Park November 2-3. It should be a rockin’ good time (pun intended).

26 Dining Out – Marchand’s Bar & Grill

The Vinoy Renaissance is changing its brand and so is their signature restaurant Marchand’s. Still elegant, but in a trendy sort of way, you can’t beat the 1925 dinner menu.

28 Dining Out - Datz

Leave your diet at home when you come to the new Datz in downtown St. Pete. Comfort food in manly portions and a living room/patio atmosphere make you feel right at home.


September/October 2019

56 Shine On, St. Pete

The Shine Mural Festival brings a spotlight to downtown St. Pete in late October. We take a look behind the scenes and preview the events and artists who make it happen.

74 SPL Scene

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



WELCOME TO SPL Fall might mark the end of summer, but here in the ‘Burg it means things will be picking up. With the dog days of summer behind us, fall marks the start of the season for our performing arts companies, for one thing. In past issues, we have highlighted the tremendous talent of American Stage and Freefall theater companies. In this issue, we bring you an inside look at another gem – the St. Petersburg Opera. Now entering its 14th season, the opera, under the guidance of artistic director Mark Sforzini, attracts national performers and the best talent around Tampa Bay. If you’ve been thinking about going, check out the diverse season offerings in our story. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we pay homage to those who endure the battle as editor Marcia Biggs grabs a paddle and joins the Tampa Bay Pink Dragon Ladies. These fierce cancer survivors make up a dragon boat team that competes both regionally and nationally. Marcia’s story is a personal one – you’ll have to read it to find out why. Our salute continues with lots of pink coverage – from fashion to cocktails and even home furnishings. But let’s be serious, too. We take a look at mammograms and the Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center at St. Anthony’s Hospital. As usual, we have plenty of arts coverage and arts writer Cindy Stovall takes us into the inner workings of this year’s annual Shine Mural Festival. Set for October 18-26, Shine is certainly one of the highlights of the year in downtown St. Pete. Our creative community truly does “shine” this entire week. Be sure to mark your calendars and try to attend an event or watch an artist at work. You will be amazed.

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.

PUBLISHER/CEO Beth Ann Drake EDITOR Marcia Biggs ART DIRECTOR Alicia Brown ADVERTISING Michelle Boudreau Vice President of Marketing Ed Barry Ad Director Annette Mensch Account Executive Debbie Radsick Account Executive CONTRIBUTORS Megan Simons Women’s Fashion Cindy Stovall Arts Writer Will Howard The Wine Cellar Cindy Cockburn, Kayla Gleason, Jennifer Lee Contributing Writers

bdrake� Publisher


September/October 2019

Dorian Photography

Valerie Bogle

Beth Ann Drake

Marcia Biggs Editor


Cover Photo Jessica Denig Creative Director Michelle Boudreau Photographer Barry Lively

JESSICA DENIG White Glove Service, Global Reach

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Living the High Life


Jessica Denig BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU St. Petersburg, Florida has quickly been gaining architectural interest in the past few years with several new high-rise buildings rapidly going up and there is no slowdown in sight, with several new projects slated for approval. It is an exciting time to invest in real estate in downtown St. Pete and beyond. Local Premier Sotheby’s International Realty agent, Jessica Denig has certainly contributed her fair share to this fast-growing high-rise real estate market, with three units selling in the One building, located at 100 1st Avenue North since March of this year. Not surprising as the One is the work of world-renowned SB Architects known for designs across the globe from Dubai to Asia and even private residences in Malibu. The One is known as the tallest residential building in St Pete, 41 stories tall and views ranging from downtown Tampa, across the bay, to the nearby panoramic cityscape including fivestar amenities. St. Petersburg has several high-rise buildings built with architectural excellence and Jessica has an expertise with selling units in the most popular buildings. Some of the staples are: The Vinoy Towers, 400 Beach, Park Shore, Ovation, Florencia, Bay Front, and newer are: One, Bliss, Signature and coming soon Saltaire among others up for approval.



September/October 2019

Why are so many people opting for the high-rise lifestyle? Jessica shared, “My clients appreciate the ease of living with modern luxury, the amenities, secured buildings and parking, 24-hour security, valet, concierge service, pet friendly environments, the resort lifestyle with pools, spas, exercise rooms with state-of-the-art technology, owners lounge, and entertainment spaces for parties for work or family

SPL LIVING events. They can even have them catered and the views are breathtaking with indoor-outdoor living spaces that open onto spacious terrace balconies. The lifestyle is low maintenance, no lawn or yard to take care of, and even low unit maintenance. If you are a boater, the marina and yacht club is within walking distance, there are options for boat and water craft rentals nearby also, and the beaches are a short drive away.”

Jessica Denig and her husband Anthony Ktistakis feel it is important to give back to community. She has worked as a campaign coordinator for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, participated in their ‘Man & Woman of the Year Campaign and he is the owner of Think Pink Photography, with a portion of proceeds donated to breast cancer research.

“Many owners have multiple homes or travel often and the airports are conveniently located with ease of transportation. They can fly in, and living in the heart of downtown allows them to never have to drive if they do not choose to. They enjoy walking to numerous choices for gourmet and casual dining, theater, entertainment, festivals, farmers market, and museums. Everything is either close enough to walk, Uber or bike. St. Pete always seems to have something fun and exciting happening to enjoy. My clients also enjoy the opportunity to meet likeminded neighbors and participate in community activities or they may opt for privacy, they like having the choice. High-rise living is the perfect environment for busy professionals, frequent travelers, couples, singles or retirees, and empty nesters like the convenience of several nearby hotels for family members to stay and enjoy.”

To find out more about St. Petersburg real estate and get a professional market assessment and consult, contact Jessica Denig directly at: 813-713-1301 or visit:

Working with people is Jessica’s passion, and her honesty, reliability, tenacity and hard work shine through as she strives to be the best Realtor® for her clients. To her the key to any successful relationship is communication; therefore, truly hearing and understanding her buyers’ and sellers’ wants, needs and concerns is first in her business practice and with sales approaching 10 million for 2019 thus far her success speaks for itself. Growing up in the Tampa Bay area, Jessica has a strong understanding of its neighborhoods and downtown areas, and living in St. Pete over the past several years, she has been able to witness the tremendous growth and vibrancy the city has experienced. Jessica has real estate expertise and services for high-rise and single-family home purchases alike.

Above, Jessica with a local One resident, a pet friendly building. Right, Resort lifestyle at its best, Jessica at the One pool area surrounded by downtown cityscape.

September/October 2019



St. Petersburg Opera The colorful opera company is anything but old school PHOTOS/JIM SWALLOW

BY MARCIA BIGGS Artistic Director Mark Sforzini In the basement of the Iberian Rooster restaurant one evening in May, a crowd of mostly middle-age people fills the room. It’s a subterranean cave of coolness, with living room furniture and folding chairs and tables scattered about and a bar on one side. A small stage lies empty, but at 6 pm promptly the lights go down and Mark Sforzini, artistic director and maestro of the St. Petersburg Opera, jumps on stage in a red plaid suit and a smile to beat the band. “How many of you are afraid of opera?” He asks for a show of hands. “Don’t be embarrassed, many people are. That’s why we are here tonight, to show you that opera is nothing to be afraid of!” Cocktails With the Maestro takes off with two hours of drama, singing, fun, and learning as cast members perform 10-minute snippets from the next opera production. Seated in the audience with his score on a stand and baton in hand, Sforzini thoughtfully describes each scene, the characters and the music. He sips a


September/October 2019

martini, he cracks jokes, the room fills with laughter. The evening is intimate, engaging, and educational, to boot. If this is opera, sign me up. Mark Sforzini has been around to see the cultural arts in the city develop – and to make change happen. As a classically trained musician working with the Florida Orchestra in the 1990s, he embarked on a challenge: produce a single opera production for St. Petersburg. He grabbed it and ran. “My first opera was Madama Butterfly in 2005 at the Palladium,” he recalls during an interview in his office at Opera Central in the city’s Grand Central District. Just weeks before, his latest production of Madama Butterfly filled the Palladium, a sweet coincidence. “ Two performances sold out so they asked me to do an opera the following summer. Again we had full houses. I produced Die Fledermaus six months later and it was very well attended which

ARTS & CULTURE indicated to me that the community would support a high quality opera.” With the help of major funder Doyle McClendon and others, Sforzini decided to make the opera official and in February 2007 St. Petersburg debuted its own opera company. 14th SPO Season Flash forward to 2019. Sforzini has been a tour de force as artistic director and maestro for the St. Petersburg Opera starting his 14th season this fall. Performances are still held at the 830-seat Palladium Theater. After jumping around from rented space to rented space for rehearsals, the opera finally found a home five years ago at Opera Central. The 10,000-square-foot former industrial space now serves as administrative offices, rehearsal and event space, with a small set workshop and costume shop, and an art gallery.

Which leads one to ask the annoying question: Is the opera still popular? With a younger demographic moving to the city, and so much competition from theater and movies, festivals and concerts, does a late 16th century performance art still draw an audience? The answer is a resounding yes. Younger people are coming to performances, insists Sforzini. But the opera is so much more than – well, opera. In addition to three full-blown operatic productions each year, there are cabarets and cocktails, family productions and holiday extravaganzas. For a great night out on the town, Broadway Cabarets (January 18 and May 23 this season) are nightclub style evenings at Opera Central filled with show tunes from Sondheim, Berlin, Oscar & Hammerstein, and others. There’s a pastry and cheese buffet and a cash bar, and the place is packed. A steady stream of talented singers take the stage to belt out their best to the delight of an adoring audience.

UPCOMING SPO SEASON For the cost of a dinner for two at a high-end restaurant, you could be enjoying the opera! Give it a try. All performances at The Palladium, 253 5th Avenue N., unless otherwise noted. Oct. 18-22 The Merry Widow Learn all about it at Cocktails With the Maestro, 6-8 pm on October 3 at SubCentral at Iberian Rooster, and Mornings With the Maestro, 11 am to 1 pm, October 4, at Museum of Fine Arts. Nov. 16, 22-23 Family Series: Pinocchio at Opera Central Dec. 12-15, 19-22 Holiday Sparkle at Opera Central Jan. 24, 26, 28 Rigoletto (Verdi) Learn all about it at Cocktails With the Maestro, 6-8 pm on January 9 at SubCentral at Iberian Rooster, and Mornings With the Maestro, 11 am to 1 pm, January 10 at Museum of Fine Arts. March 13-14 Creative Collaborations at Opera Central May 29, 31 June 2, 5, 7 La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti) Learn all about it at Cocktails With the Maestro, 6-8 pm on May 14 at SubCentral at Iberian Rooster, and Mornings With the Maestro, 11 am to 1 pm, May 15 at Museum of Fine Arts. July 3-5 Pops Spectacular For tickets and more information , go to or call (727) 823-2040. Want to get involved? The opera is looking for volunteers and home hosts for visiting singers. PHOTO/MARCIA BIGGS

It’s the calm before the storm, so to speak, as the small staff prepares for the new season with rehearsals starting in September for an October production of The Merry Widow. The principal singers for the entire season have already been selected after auditions in New York in April, the program has been printed and now the tedious task remains of auditioning and selecting the understudies and chorus for each performance. A board room table is filled end-to-end with folders, photos and resumes. There are costumes

and sets to be ordered, promotional events to be arranged, a web site to be updated, and fundraisers to be planned.

Something for everyone With a $1.5 million budget, a full board of directors and committed sponsors and volunteers, Sforzini is excited about the coming season.

The final production of the 2018-19 season was Madama Butterfly. Right, Mark Sforzini is right at home at Opera Central.

September/October 2019


ARTS & CULTURE Operas on tap are The Merry Widow, Rigoletto and La Fille du Regiment, eight Holiday Sparkle concerts, a Pinocchio production which will be performed for some 700 Pinellas County thirdgraders, two Broadway Cabaret evenings, and a special Pops Spectacular over the July 4 weekend. The maestro is particularly excited about the holiday concert. “This will be the first time for the July 4 concerts and it will really be spectacular,” he says. “It will feature a 45-piece orchestra and guest singers performing American holiday classics, patriotic music, Broadway and more. A real fun family event.” As usual, there will be the Cocktails with the Maestro at the Iberian Rooster and Mornings with the Maestro at the Museum of Fine Arts, to reach out to newbies or those needing an opera primer before each Mainstage production. “Programs like Cocktails with the Maestro and the cabarets are so fun and accessible and a great introduction to the opera,” says the maestro.

Holiday Sparkle

Sforzini feels fortunate there is such a wealth of performers and musicians locally. Indeed, young singers are auditioning constantly with many in their 20s and 30s, and SPO’s Emerging Artists program is providing a training ground. Mostly local talent makes up the choruses of each production. “I am very proud of our Emerging Artists program,” says Sforzini. “Nurturing emerging artists has been an important part of our mission from the beginning. We started it back in 2007. We feel our program is much more interactive than others … understudies get musical rehearsal time, vocal coaching, time with stage directors, they get out and do some promotional events.” And the orchestra is top-notch, too, comprised of professional musicians from around Tampa Bay who perform with Florida Orchestra and other regional groups. Sound like fun? It’s obviously not your Grandpa’s opera.

Don Giovanni

Fresh Faces of St. Pete Opera Sarah Hageman, at 31, knew opera was in her future from a young age. She started singing in high school chorus and went on to become a music major at St. Pete College and graduated a music major at USF. She says she first auditioned with the St. Pete Opera at age 21. She auditions and sings in various choruses and theater groups around Tampa Bay. She actually performed in the chorus as a geisha in both Madama Butterflys with the St. Petersburg Opera. “I love opera because I feel it expresses all human emotions,” she says. “And it encompasses everything — singing, orchestra, acting, dance, costume, scenery.”


September/October 2019

Joseph Miranda, 31, studied dance in high school and “fell in love with performing” during college, performing in some musicals in his hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif. “It was easy for me to fall in love with opera because of my Spanish background,” he admits. “I love ballads and love songs. The music captures every emotion... it is beautiful.” Joseph moved to the Tampa Bay area just a year ago to be with family. He won a chorus role in Madama Butterfly and was thrilled to learn he will be an understudy in the upcoming Merry Widow.


T an h S w



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Geff Strik

Visual Artist in Residence, The Florida Orchestra

BY MARCIA BIGGS In an ambitious new season from Beethoven to the Beatles, the Florida Orchestra (TFO) brings back French painter Geff Strik to produce an art film featuring his dramatic interpretations to accompany Strauss’ Don Quixote set for October 11-13. With Michael Francis conducting and guest musician Maximilian Hornung on violoncello, the performance does not get top billing on the program – Beethoven’s Eroica does - but may very well be the star of the evening. Earlier this year, TFO commissioned the St. Petebased artist to create paintings for a 29-minute video to be viewed above the stage during a Masterworks performance of Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht (“Transfigured Night”). Actually, the concept had been born months earlier over conversations in a local Kahwa coffee shop. Strik gives credit to Ella Frederickson, head librarian for the Florida Orchestra, for the concept and much of the research and legwork in bringing both collaborations to reality. “Ella actually had the idea three years ago, but it never went anywhere,” says Strik. Enter new Florida Orchestra CEO Mark Cantrell, who was behind the idea 100 percent. “He thought it would be a new way to engage the audience.” With music director Michael Francis fully on board, Strik set to work creating a series of 18 10-x-5-foot canvases inspired by Verklarte Nacht, which is set to a controversial 1896 poem of romance and tragedy. Each finished painting was photographed, with additional footage of painting and dreamy transitions linking the images in tandem with the music and poem. In late March, Verklarte Nacht and Geff Strik received a standing ovation at three orchestra performances.


expressionist,” he calls himself. His works are large and complex, filled with passion, darkness and dreams, history, religion, Dali and Picasso, and American pop icons like Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys. Now just two months out from the October TFO concert, Strik is in the process of creating 29 small studies for Don Quixote. They hang on the wall in his living room, where he can study them. Strik is free to take artistic license, creating vivid scenes from his imagination for the characters and storyline. He is, after all, an artist. “I set a mood,” he says. “I like romanticism, and truth, and what is bigger than us, fate. I tweak the story and make it mine.” The entire process started when he obtained the score from Michael Francis. With this he created a storyboard, with 29 sketches of scenes featuring Don Quixote. These become small studies, and then 10-x-5-foot canvases, then photographed and transitioned into a 47-minute video synchronized precisely to the live symphonic performance. “I know exactly how it will be, down to the second,” says Strik, as he glances over his storyboards.

“As far as we know, this was the first collaboration of its kind,” says Strik, who was raised in the south of France and moved to St. Pete in 2004 after a short stint in New York.

Strik has high ambitions, he talks of going global with the symphonic art films, and working on another piece for next season with Florida Orchestra.

Strik seems perfect for the job of painting symphonic masterpieces. Intense, passionate, a French “romantic

“My work is progressing, getting better,” says the artist with piercing eyes. “If there is no passion, I don’t want to paint.”

September/October 2019

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Beach Drive with Kilwins ice cream in hand. “Staycation” is technically defined as a vacation spent home, and if they are staying, who is watching them? in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent -- just for starters. Jenn was very knowledgeable with Jenn is amazing at finding the Jenn Davida helped usto buy a attractions. lived and All forHaving the simplicity oftraveled what weall call home. at home and involving day trips local thetodowntown St.on Pete perfect home forpush her buyer. Sheall of that lovelyhard condo in downtown along the east coast the last 12 They through spend a day thearea. She It is extremely to not sound like bragging was able to tell us a lot about the goes the extra mile for her clients and Pete. She was extremely knowledgeSaint Petersburg clean, soft white sandy beaches, swim in the Gulf of Home.years ThatI ismoved wheretoI come in and make life easy. when I sayable thatabout Florida, and specifically St. Petersburg, neighborhood around our future is extremely knowledgeable about the the area, neighborhood and only a few months ago. It's the one relax, listen to thehome. soundsSheofwas thevery water, the buzzand My passion is to nd you whattoyou’ve been is one of the locations in the world and JennMexico, responsive market. works tirelessly to make eachbest property she showed us. Jenntoislive, stay place that feltfilike homeexactly and wanted easy deal lot of dreaming sure eachI of her client’s needs are by, soak very professional stayed involved vacation. Can I make thatand a new word - livestaycation? of the people going uptothe sunwith. andWe takehadinaan of. Isn’t it time to When make she “staycations” part of purchase my first home. good, open communication which your vocabulary?! fulfilled. I highly recommend sunrise or sunset. found my homeI can in the Oldwith Northeast think I justthrough did. the entire process. She went award-winning help that!

helped with our negotiation. It was an working with Jenn. Our waterfront above and beyond my expectation. She neighborhood, I felt comfortable and all-around great experience buying a home is exactly what we wanted! continued to follow up after we confident that I was getting a quality Living in closed! gorgeous Pete,for oneusenjoys on any given But it’s so much more thanhome that. with We offer If youplace. mustShe sell,hasthere Realtor Jenn'samazing help Jeff Z. SheSt. worked to negotiate beenisinno thebetter business for by your side day what thousands ofand people planoutand save for all year stadiums, aquariums, concerts, top-rated restaurants, than me; anThis agent whoprocess adoreswas everything Romano D. the best price worked every years. entire positive about St. Pete detail. It wastake a stress-free and almost easy!it.Jenn honest long. Visitors must: time offexperience work, plan on pet care, fishing, golfing, dolphin tours, sunset cruises, sailing, and knows how too to sell Hireis aanprofessional who brings I would her.a car, hotel, and loyal business woman andsoI will buy planeand tickets, ridehighly to therecommend airport, rent and museums. They are shopping, renting wave runners, the magic of your home to life, that be every buyer Denise B. using her soon for my investment costly hotel meals, will the kids be coming or staying at kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and strolling down knowsproperties why your is their new “livestaycation”. in home the Saint Petersburg area! Johanna S.

Clients love having Jenn as their Realtor, and you will too. Clients love having Jenn as Call ®today for will too. their Realtor , and you superior service. Call today for superior service.

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Increase Productivity with Relaxation


Mark Lettelleir, The Woodhouse Spa BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU The attendance of men indulging in the day spa experience is on the rise, understandable when we know the benefits of relieving stress. Every man deserves to be pampered for at least an hour or two and they are now taking the time to do so. This can lead to an increase in productivity and prevent burn-out from frantic schedules. One of the easiest ways to indulge is with a “Gentlemen’s Pedicure”, 50 minutes of relaxation with an invigorating groom and buff paired with a soothing foot and leg massage. This is a must for grooming and adds to relaxation at the same time. Mark Lettelleir is a Tampa Bay native and no stranger to the day spa experience. He is a natural born entrepreneur and businessman, with positions on several boards and is extremely active in the community as owner of The Woodhouse Day Spa with his wife Ginger. The Woodhouse Day Spa is a franchise and the business inception was Ginger’s dream. She presented the idea to Mark and after much research and due diligence the St. Petersburg 6,000 square foot luxury location was born, conveniently located in the James Museum building. Mark’s business acumen and Ginger’s exquisite taste

The Woodhouse Day Spa is a smoke free environment, however you can enjoy a cigar on the front lani rocking chairs. PHOTOS/ROB MOORMAN CREATIVE DIRECTOR/MICHELLE BOUDREAU


September/October 2019

in décor and luxury, provided the perfect environment to destress and relax. Once you walk through the spectacular wood doors and take in the soothing aroma you will forget that you are in the middle of downtown. The Woodhouse consistently produces five-star reviews with over 90% of the guests coming back for a second visit, and over 80% returning for four or more visits. Providing affordable luxury treatment therapies with your overall health and wellness in mind. Offering over 70 treatments, including massage, facial and manicure pedicure services, unique experiences like the Vichy shower, large bear claw tub treatments, duet massage room and hydra facial. The space has the capacity to accommodate large groups, wedding parties, corporate events, and special functions. The Woodhouse is synonymous with luxury, therefore several luxury hotels in the area refer their clientele. The user-friendly website offers reservation booking, purchasing packages and gift cards. You can also join the rewards program for special perks for purchases, referrals, and booking online.

Calling all men on September 19th for Bourbon & Buff sponsored by Mandarin Hide, catered by Chives. Drink options, bourbon, beer, and cigars. Complimentary Mini Services offered, as well as 10% off all products and services. Gift Card specials available.

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What our real estate ROBYN GUNN luxury real estate advisor

“…truly the best experience we’ve ever had... exceptional listening skills and in-depth knowledge of available options on the market…”Allen & Kaye S.

“I am a contractor of custom luxury homes in Pinellas County for over 30 years. I have worked with many realtors over the years, but have not worked with one that can compare…highly recommend…” Carmine P.

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clients are saying… DIANE SWAINSTON luxury real estate advisor

“...Their professionalism, tireless efforts and understanding that this type of sale required diligence and innovation were exceptional and something we have not seen in any real estate transaction we have experienced in the past…You are simply the best at delivering a high value service that exceeds expectations. Your expertise, professionalism and relationship with your clients is a rare quality in today’s market…”Rich & Jan A.

“…the closing was a celebration for everyone involved…I look forward to working with you in the future…” Rick L.

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Rococo Steak

655 2ND Avenue S. St. Petersburg 33701 (727) 822-0999 4- 10 pm Monday through Thursday 4-11 pm Friday-Saturday 11 am-3 pm Sunday Brunch, 4-9 pm Sunday Dinner PHOTOS/ROCOCO STEAK

BY MARCIA BIGGS The brunch debate has most likely been raging for decades. What IS brunch? Well, that depends. To some, brunch is a buffet, a smorgasbord of all-you-can-eat magnificence overflowing with pastries and salads, casseroles and vegetables. Silver chafing dishes with steaming sausage and scrambled eggs and fragrant bacon, a carving station with a chef doling out slices of tenderloin and an omelette station where magic happens between dueling frying pans. For hearty eaters, these lavish brunches provide breakfast, lunch and dinner in one fell swoop. On the other side of the ticket, are the brunches that are born of a specially curated menu that is made just for Sundays. This brunch is ordered ala carte. It may appeal to those who have smaller appetites or are vegetarian or solo. This brunch entails more personal service, as there are no trips to the buffet tables. For those who prefer the latter, Rococo Steak offers a Sunday brunch that hits all the high notes – a quiet, relaxing atmosphere, impeccable service, and a thoughtful ala carte menu that offers a mix of traditional and imaginative cuisine. Recognized mainly as a modern steakhouse with a high-end clientele and renowned wine


September/October 2019

collection, Rococo lets Chef Jordan Buendia run with creativity in dishes that are far removed from scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. But first things first. Director of Operations Dave Madera has gone to great lengths to devise a craft cocktail menu that works wonderfully for Sundays. Kentucky Wakeup Call, featuring Old Forester bourbon infused with coffee, black walnut and orange bitters, knocked our socks off. Smoke, a top seller at the bar, is Old Forester bourbon presented in a smoking highball glass with a bacon maple ice cube that adds sweetness as it slowly melts. Other selections on the Brunch Libations menu include a Loaded Bloody Mary, Watermelon Spritz, Banana Daiquiri and Cucumber Roe – something for everyone. Personally, I would be quite blissful with a Kentucky Wakeup Call and a Flourless Chocolate Torte for brunch, but more on desserts later. Head sommelier (and SPL wine columnist) Will Howard is ever at the ready to offer wine and food pairing suggestions. Everything on the menu is fresh, made from scratch, and locally sourced if possible. Start with an appetizer to share – bacon lovers will love the

DINING OUT Bacon Flight featuring duck, boar, and nueske bacon and toasted baguettes with a jalapeno maple syrup dip. The Cured-Citrus Salmon Board is light and lovely for two. There are also oysters on the half shell and shrimp cocktail for traditionalists.

feta and delicate edible flower blossoms. Indeed, Rococo’s Sunday brunch is a visual feast. Each dish is thoughtfully presented, often sprinkled with tiny floral blossoms of purple and bright yellow. We gobbled up the Shrimp and Octopus Grits, a bowl of buttery grits topped with smoky charred red and yellow peppers, corn and okra, sprinkled with feta and topped with arugula. It, too, was almost too pretty to eat.

Mandatory is a side of Sunday Biscuits. These mammoth sugar-sprinkled biscuits are quite simply heaven on earth. Two come in one order, so they’re made for sharing and nibbling on through brunch. Also not to be missed is the silky, creamy Lobster Bisque, made with just the right amount of paprika and cognac cream. Another favorite is the Avocado Toast, heaps of perfectly seasoned guacamole on a hearty toasted slice of multigrain bread, topped with arugula and served with a side of fresh fruit. Order the soft egg which hides beneath, an added and welcome addition. A delightful surprise worth sharing is the Watermelon Salad, so beautifully presently it is difficult to disturb with a fork. This dream on a plate layers arugula, chunks of watermelon and pork belly, atop a pool of pomegranate vinaigrette, sprinkled with feta, radish slices,

The brunch menu includes a few salads and a tempting Black and Blue Burger served with parmesan truffle fries, Pork Belly Benedict atop those magnificent biscuits, and Raisin Pecan French Toast. Yes, this is a steakhouse, so a Petite Filet, New York Strip and Ribeye top off the menu. But wait, there’s more. A standalone dessert menu features an array of masterfully made desserts, dessert wines and cordials. Choose from classics such as Tiramisu, Crème Brulé, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Cheesecake, or, our selection, a double layer Flourless Chocolate Torte. This work of art topped with a dusting of powered sugar and three raspberries is so large it’s perfect for sharing with a Kentucky Wakeup Call – but you’ll want the cocktail all to yourself


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September/October 2019



Marchand’s Bar & Grill

The Vinoy Renaissance 501 5th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg 727-824-8072

BY JENNIFER LEE There is something special about stepping into The Vinoy. An air of nostalgia envelops you when dining in the timeless Marchand’s restaurant that is known for tasteful décor, historic architecture and delightful food. It started with a bet at a party in 1923, to see if Aymer Vinoy Laughner’s watch crystal could withstand the powerful drive of famed golfer Walter Hagen. The watch survived and the balls landed on the soil on which Marchand’s Bar & Grill sits today. The bet followed with suggestions from guests that wealthy business owner Aymer buy the property and build a grand resort in his name. He did just that and two years later in 1925 The Vinoy made its grand opening. Hundreds of staff members make it possible to produce and serve top-rated food and create an atmosphere that invites you to linger. I was fortunate enough to meet a few: Maggie, Ramin and Chef Ross Clingman, who by the way just came back from an ACF (American Culinary Federation) competition at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Chef Ross must still have been in “competition mode” because he delivered a Sea Scallop appetizer that could shut it down. Large scallops served with a mixture of hollandaise sauce, veal reduction, shiitake and oyster mushrooms and roasted shallots. It’s a little piece of seafood heaven buttered up with earthy tones. Risotto Carbonaro arrived looking like a work of art. It reminded


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me of a French painting. Art with bright dollops of hollandaise sauce and edible flowers (yes, I ate them all). The texture is creamy and smooth yet, each flavor distinct, direct and zesty – lemony hollandaise, fresh peas and bite sized pancetta. The 1925 Classic Menu is a steal and perfect three-course meal. My combination choice - the Mushroom Bisque blended with sherry, thyme and garlic croutons followed by the Coq Au Vin (boneless chicken breast, cannellini bean cassoulet, smoked bacon, arugula) finished with a sliver of Carrot Cake (cream cheese icing, blackberry puree and salted carrot cake croutons). The 1925 Classic Menu is $19.25 Sunday through Thursday, 5-6:30 pm only. Marchand’s is classic, comfortable, and romantic with rich colors and beautiful fabrics, handcrafted tile, high ceilings and windows and columns – all original from 1925, right down to the intricate brass craftmanship. Most importantly, true-to-form St. Pete picturesque views abound. My view looked out on the marina on Tampa Bay and lush Straub Park with the sunlight and rain, befriending the trees at the same time – a Florida trademark. The bar menu is worth revisiting so you can taste your way through. Sip a handcrafted cocktail like the Not So Saintly (Casamigos Blanco tequila, St Germaine Elderflower liquor, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, fresh blackberries) or a Nuts for Cherries Old Fashioned (Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey, Filthy Cherry Juice, black walnut


The 1925 Classic Dinner Menu features a three-course dinner (above is the Salmon entrée) from 5 to 6:30 pm Sunday through Thursday. bitters). From wine, beer, liquor and liqueurs to the bubbles of Mionetto, Mumm, and Moet Chandon - you are free to explore the spirits. While you’re at the bar, try the Lobster Grilled Cheese, Angus Beef Sliders, or Cheese and Charcuterie. If you want to get real fancy, go ahead and share a Warm Soft Pretzel with Beer Dip Cheese. Let me know – I’ll be there. If you’re in the mood for Asian flair, they have a cool sushi and sashimi selection complete with sake served 5 to 10:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Try local rolls The Vinoy (spicy tuna, fresh guacamole, roasted garlic slivers) and St. Pete Winter (spicy krab,

salmon, avocado, asparagus, topped with salmon, spicy mayo and eel). Marchand’s Bar & Grill keeps up with the times and appeals to the masses offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch with top cut meats, seafood, gluten-free friendly and vegetarian dishes, and a vast wine selection. They have served patrons through the Golden Years, a War Era, the hardest of times to the present, and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Brad Pitt, Tom Petty, Harrison Ford, Raquel Welch, George Clooney, Wolfgang Puck, Melissa Etheridge, Tiger Woods, to name a few. They continue to serve you and I through rain or shine, and in our case, both at the same time.

We do not practice law, draft legal documents, or provide legal advice. Acting as an unbiased third party, we will interpret legal documents and apply relevant Trust law to follow your intent and properly and efficiently execute your trust and estate plans.

Not FDIC Insured-Not Bank Guaranteed-May Lose Value Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency-Not a Bank Deposit

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Place your trust in The Bank of Tampa. Our experienced team members provide much more than estate and trust administration. We are committed to fulfilling your wishes and taking care of your loved ones. T R U S T, E S TAT E , G UA R D I A N S H I P | I N V E S T M E N T

September/October 2019


DINING OUT 180 Central Avenue St. Petersburg 33601 (727) 202-1182 Open 7 days a week; hours vary



Sin on a Plate: The Cheesy Todd burger comes with two bacon-jalapeno fried mac ‘n cheese buns and a side of housemade chips.

BY MARCIA BIGGS When word got out that Datz was coming to downtown St. Pete, the buzz spread like wildfire. The immensely popular Datz in South Tampa has been going strong for over a decade. The two-story deli/ market/bar is renowned for its mammoth menu offering literally something for everyone for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Last fall, owners Suzanne and Roger Perry came knocking in downtown St. Pete by opening Dr. BBQ in the Edge District. Dubbing it a “new American barbecue,” the Perrys contracted with renowned ‘cue chef Ray Lampe to create a hip Western eatery with a downtown vibe that brought accolades from near and far for its smoke-based meats and creative menu. Long story short – the Perrys know how to operate a successful restaurant. Bringing Datz to St. Pete was a smart move if the packed lunch


September/October 2019

crowds are any indication. Since opening in May, the sprawling restaurant has been attracting a diverse customer base from local business people to sports fans who come to hang out at the indoor and outdoor bars, and tourists visiting the James Museum next door. As a matter of fact, the museum’s Canyon Café is itself a Perry operation. Our first impression of Datz was the “largeness” of it all: the indoor dining areas, the “living room” lounge complete with leather sofas, a fireplace and coffee tables, the square bar that opens to an outdoor patio, and wraparound outdoor seating. Then there is the large menu, the size of an 8-page tabloid newspaper actually printed on newspaper stock. OK, half the pages are ads, yet the menu is a dizzying array of decisions almost identical to the menu at the Tampa location.

DINING OUT Portions are large, too, with a selection of manly “handhelds” like the Porkfection - pulled pork, sliced ham, pork belly, cheddar, onions and firecracker sauce. Ty’s Two Fister is heaped with corned beef, smoked pastrami, Swiss, muenster and slathered with honey mustard. It goes on from there, with sandwiches like pulled chicken with BBQ sauce and cheddar; pulled pork with slaw, BBQ sauce, onion straws and cheddar; spicy fried chicken and so on. Burgers are a mainstay, of course, with the Cheesy Todd a favorite – the Angus ground brisket and short rib burger comes loaded and served on bacon-jalapeno mac n’ cheese buns (or on a cedar plank for those watching their waistlines). Appetizers are fearless - like the deepfried Mac Bites the size of golf balls, and the basket of Fusion Fries cooked in black truffle olive oil and sprinkled with cheddar. In a word, don’t bring your diet to Datz, bring your appetite. Menu items are sinfully fried, piled high, and dripping in

something gooey or delicious. Breakfasts, served 7 to 11 am weekdays, are truckdriver big. How about a Short Rib Biscuit Benedict, Chicken n’ Waffles, or Eggs Barbacoa with pulled pork and pico de gallo over corn tortillas topped with melted jack cheese, with a side of rice and beans. In a nod to those of us with more feminine appetites, there are options. We enjoyed the Blackened Fish Tacos served with grilled corn on the cob (amazingly good) and Mezcal rice. The Thai One On salad of marinated shrimp mixed with fresh shredded kale, carrots and cabbage, tossed with rice noodles, peanuts, basil and Thai peanut dressing was also excellent. For those who enjoy the downtown social scene, Datz seems to be the “it” place. We ran into a number of familiar faces on a weekday at lunch time. It’s that kind of hang-out-and-share-an-appetizer kind of place, or order your own meal and you’ll most likely bring home lunch for The aptly named Rockin’ Reuben is as tomorrow. traditional as it gets.

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September/October 2019



Ask The


Ron MacDougall St. Pete seems to be growing by the week. It’s hard to keep up with what’s new, where to go, what to see. Between all the restaurants and bars, coffee shops and breweries, museums and galleries, festivals and markets, this town is filled with decisions. That’s why we started this column, Ask the Concierge, to help you with insider tips on places to go and things to do. Concierges are relied upon for their knowledge on all things fun, cool, unique and worthwhile in their geographic area. Each issue, we’ll ask a different concierge for insider tips geared to those who live, work and play in St. Pete. We start with Ron MacDougall, widely known as “Ron from the Don” for his time spent as lead concierge at the prestigious Pink Palace, The Don CeSar. He has since gone into business for himself with At Your Service, a personal concierge service. What are your top 3 requests from first-time visitors to our area? They want to know restaurants that locals patronize and the best museums. I highly recommend if time is limited to visit The Dali Museum, and after that spend time along Beach Drive and Central Avenue. Check out the murals, craft breweries, and local unique shops. Your recommendations for dining out? My personal favorite in downtown is


September/October 2019

the Parkshore Grill, along with Gratzzi, and Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro on the downtown marina. In Pass-A-Grille, I like The Brass Monkey with its direct view to the Gulf of Mexico. What beach hangouts/bars do you like to suggest? Jimmy B’s (in St. Pete Beach) has live music every night. Sea Hags and The Hurricane on the third level, with a 360 view of the Gulf and intracoastal, the Beachcomber (poolside) at the Don CeSar Hotel with music by Colt Clark every Friday and Saturday. What’s a fun cheap date? Many museums offer discounted admission after 5 pm on Thursday evenings. Suggest a night on the town. Check Imagine Museum for their monthly After Hours Jazz night. . Start with dinner on Beach Drive … there’s a great early-bird dinner and happy hour at 400 Beach or end with champagne, caviar, and a cheese plate at the Flute & Dram. What’s a great way to experience the area? So much to do aside from our great beaches, take The Jolley Trolley from Pass-A-Grille to Tarpon Springs and experience everything in between. Get a full day pass and a visit to John’s Pass is a must. Reach Ron MacDougall at

Upcoming Events Sept. 12-14 St. Pete Fashion Week Opening night 7-10 pm celebrates the art of tattoo in “Ink Your Heart Out” at Raw Studios, 2338 Emerson Ave. S. Fashion’s Night Out, 6-9 pm on Friday at Mermosa Winery & Boutique, for industry professionals, sponsors and VIP guests. Main event runway show Saturday at the James Museum, 150 Central Ave., admission includes museum tours 7-9 pm, show at 9 pm. Tickets ($25-$60) and more information at Oct. 19 Florida Orchestra Pops in the Park Bring the family and canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest and enjoy this free concert under the stars at Vinoy Park. Baton rises at 7 pm. Oct. 20 Open Streets St. Pete - Grab a bike, skateboard, the kids and your pup and enjoy strolling the St. Pete waterfront sans vehicles from 11 am to 4 pm behind the Dali Museum at Albert Whitted Park. Enjoy live music, food and a host of local groups all supporting the concept of “open streets” through car-free living and bike lanes. Free. Thursdays - Movies in the Park – Preserve the ‘Burg presents a month of free movies for the entire family every Thursday in October at North Straub Park. Bring some chairs or a blanket; food and drink vendors will be on hand and a secure bike corral. Music starts at 7 pm; movies start at dusk. Oct. 25-27 45th Annual International Folk Fair (SPIFFS) - Two stages at Vinoy Park featuring colorful music, dancing and performances from around the world, arts and crafts, a parade of nations, plus food and beer vendors. What’s not to like? Admission $6-$15, Friday evening concert featuring Betty Fox Band (representing the ‘Burg!) at 7 pm; go to for advance tickets. Nov. 2 Historic Kenwood BungalowFest - Popular home tour features nine homes that reflect the historic architecture, art and character of the upper west side of Kenwood. Walk or drive your own car. Tour hours 10 am-4 pm, tickets and starting point at Seminole Park (2901 3rd Ave N). Tickets $20 in advance/ $25 the day of the event. www.

FOOD BITES And the Winners Are …

Wine Spectator released their 2019 Restaurant Awards honoring the best restaurants around the world for wine. Rococo Steak, Birch and Vine and Sea Salt received Best of Award of Excellence, with Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Annata, Parkshore Grill and 400 Beach all receiving Awards of Excellence. Restaurants are graded on wine selection, strengths, and pricing. Congrats to all! Grassroots Kava in the EDGE District won the 2019 Outstanding Florida Main Street Business of the Year Award. The award is given each year to a merchant within a designated Florida Main Street who has made an exceptional contribution to that area’s revitalization. Grassroots Kava owners Sean Suits, Ryan Cavanaugh, Jeff Connelly and Kenn Hoyumpa accepted the award at the 2019 Secretary of State Outstanding Florida Main Street Awards ceremony in Orlando. It’s the 9th Outstanding Florida Main Street Award for the EDGE District since 2015.

Food Fight for a Cause

Get out the boxing gloves, this will be one fight to remember. Tampa Bay Food Fight will pit top chefs from both sides of the pond in an epic cook-off on Tuesday, October 1, from 6:30 to 9 pm at The Coliseum, 535 4th Avenue N. Which city will reign supreme in the annual battle? All bets are off with this lineup: Team Tampa includes Mise en Place, Eddie V’s, Bern’s, Oak & Ola, Ocean Prime, and Armani’s, among others.

St. Pete Team includes Parkshore Grill, The Mill, The Library, Rococo, Brick n’ Mortar, the Birchwood, Ichicoro Ane, Il Ritorno and others. Proceeds will go to support Metropolitan Ministries’ Culinary Arts Program which prepares at-risk students for jobs in the restaurant industry. The audience gets to vote for the Best Restaurant Tampa, Best Restaurant St. Pete, Best Cocktail, and Best Beer. Tickets $100; for more information and to purchase tickets, go to

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September/October 2019



Think Pink


BY WILL HOWARD For this issue we will be thinking, drinking, and talking PINK. That’s right, rosé wines. Rosé is extremely versatile and is a perfect choice for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Rosé is produced all around the world, can be still or sparkling, sweet or dry, and can be made with a wide variety of different grapes.

wife’s birthday. The significance of this bottle won’t be forgotten. The wine is created using the blending method. The color is a beautiful golden pale pink. There is an aroma of red berries. The wine is crisp and citrusy on the palate, with a lengthy finish and has incredibly vigorous fine bubbles.

Rosé is a lightly colored wine that gets a pinkish hue from the skins of red grapes. Rosés vary in color from a light orange or salmon to bright pink. Rosé can be made in a few different ways. This is why some rosé can be primarily white grape varieties, others can be made solely with red grape varieties, and everything in between.

Berlucchi ’61 Rosé - This is an Italian sparkling rosé that never disappoints. There is a bright pink color, foamy bubbles, and a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity. The berries and melon in the aroma will keep pulling you back for more. The color is achieved using the limited maceration technique with Pinot Noir and is then blended with Chardonnay before secondary fermentation.

Typically the lowest quality rosé is made by simply blending white wine with a smaller ratio of red wine to make a pink, or rosé, wine. The exception to this style producing lower quality rosé is Champagne. In Champagne several producers blend up to 15% of still red wine to create high quality rosé. Another process is called saignée (sahng-YAY) method. This process was created as a way to add more skin contact to red wines by pumping off the first pressing of red grapes, then adding more grapes, and pressing again with double the skin contact in the second pressing. The juice from the first pressing that was pumped off is rosé, essentially a byproduct of red wine production. The majority of quality still rosé is made by pressing red grapes, then racking or pumping off the juice after a very short period of maceration with the skins, and then fermenting. The color will vary depending on what type of grapes are used and the time of maceration. Rosé Recommendations Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé - This is a benchmark for excellence in rosé Cuvées in Champagne. The first time I had the opportunity to taste this Champagne was years ago celebrating my


September/October 2019

Domaine Serene R Rosé - This is a very cool rosé that a lot of people may not have expected from Domaine Serene. This one is for all my Oregon wine lovers. The blend is proprietary, so I can’t say exactly what they use to make this rosé so delicious, but this is Domaine Serene so I suspect Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are playing a role here. The wine is an interesting blend of multiple vintages. The wine is still, crystal clear, and the color of pink rose petals. The flavor is an intriguing mixture of watermelon umami, cranberry, strawberry, and rhubarb. Ramona Dry Sparkling Rosé – This is a canned sparkling rosé that seems to do everything right. The wine is inspired by Italian rosé of Abruzzo. Ramona founder and CEO is Jordan Salcito, the former Sommelier of Eleven Madison Park and current Director of Wine Special Events at David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants. Ramona Dry Sparkling Rosé is currently only available online. However, they also offer an excellent Ramona Ruby Grapefruit Spritz available at Whole Foods and some specialty shops. The Grapefruit Spritz is made with white wine and organic grapefruit juice. These wines are a perfect alternative to cans of beer when stocking your cooler. Will Howard is Sommelier at Rococo Steak in St. Petersburg.

* 10% ofall services booked on 10/8/19will be donated to breast cancer research. Contact us for more details.

Luxuryis easyto find.



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1st St. South


Science-Backed Fitness Is Here To Stay

Whether you choose to walk, jog, run, bike, or stride, your workout produces results based on your personal abilities. “Otbeat” heart rate monitors and highly skilled trainers let you adjust to a more stringent or more relaxed workout accordingly. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome, as well as those who may be nursing an injury. Meeting with a fitness coach prior to


September/October 2019

your first class allows you to set goals and discuss any concerns. New workouts every day keep things new instead of falling into a “same old” pattern of exercise. Classes can incorporate rowers, floor exercises and even weight training blocks to keep you focused on your goals. And personalized workouts let you go at your own pace and still challenge yourself.

SPL HEALTH Meet Don Allen, CEO of Tampa Fitness Partners

(Tampa Fitness Partners own the local Orangetheory Fitness Territory, along with 9 local gyms.) What is your favorite part about living in St. Pete? I was raised in St. Petersburg, attended Shorecrest Prep and then St. Pete High. Go Green Devils! I moved away, but always had it in the back of my mind to get “home”. I love the weather, the water and boating! And I’m a weird one that actually likes the heat. Why the fitness industry? I fell accidentally into the fitness industry while working my way through college. Always playing sports and working out in the gym starting when I was 15 years old with my dad. I started working out at the Gaineville Health and Fitness Center , owned by one of the greatest legends of the fitness industry Joe Cirulli. Joe took me under his wing and has helped me through my fitness career journey to this day. How did Orangetheory Fitness begin? In 2010 it was created by Ellen Latham and several visionary franchise specialists. Ellen wanted a workout where anyone who tried it could be successful. It’s an amazing story as Ellen was a struggling single mom when she and the team launched what is now a billion dollar company with over 1300 locations worldwide. Explain the “Theory” part of Orangetheory Fitness The scientific exercise principal we use is EPOC or Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Workouts are designed to work closely with heart rate monitoring and very high quality group and personal training attention to deliver caloric burn up to 36 hours AFTER the workout. So the efficiency and speed of sustainable results is unmatched. What makes OTF different? Coaches are all nationally certified and go through a 40 hour OTF Certification. They are the most amazing group I’ve ever been associated with in my career. Their ability to command a room, hold to strict timing combined with an almost omnipotent way of seeing each and every individual in the room just blows me away! Is there a favorite charity/cause that OTF supports? Orangetheory West Florida has gotten behind Feeding Tampa Bay. Through our “Meters for Meals” and “Miles for Meals” challenges, our studios/members have generated over 400,000 meals for the food stressed in the Greater Tampa Bay Area. What’s the atmosphere at an OTF gym? Fitness facilities these days all talk about “family” and “engaging with members”. I truly believe this push was started by Orangetheory Fitness. We showed that you can create a cultlike following centered around a safe, effective workout that ANYONE can do. Last thoughts? The last 5 years have been the greatest professional blessing of my life. The combination of Orangetheory Fitness, our members and my teammates have been the greatest experiences of my life.

5032 4th St. North || 727-897-5566 640 1st Ave. South || 727-513-5646

September/October 2019



Turn Heads With

Pink Power

BY MEGAN SIMONS When it comes to fashion, pink is not only hot, but pretty and powerful -- and it has a substantial place in fashion history. Interestingly, it wasn’t always a “girls” color. Going back to 18th century France, the Pompadour Pink was tremendously fashionable among both men and women of the aristocracy. You see, the color started as a genderless statement of elegance, novelty and splendor. A century later, men shifted to primarily darker shades, while women continuously explored their fashionable color options. During the time of WWII, pink was aggressively assigned as feminine by supporters of women returning to domestic duties. Today, the idea of just women wearing pink is long outdated, but we know how to use the countless shades of pink, to define the various aspects of womanhood, from soft, sophisticated and elegant, blush and dusty pinks, to rebellious, powerful and aggressive magenta-hot pink. Pink is here to stay, so why not explore your pink options and make a statement your way, regardless of what level of pinkness fits your vibe. If you are pink lover, why not wear pink all over? A great option for a hot-weather party or dinner out, is a stunning dress in “can’t-miss-me” French pink. Dramatic color deserves dramatic and sophisticated detail, a collar that adds sass to your dress. Chic details like a French themed clutch and edgy necklace would let the world know about your undeniable confidence and chic sense of style. Bring your classy and timeless leopard pencil skirt or straight leg pants to the next level when you add the right pink. A slightly softer and darker shade of fandango pink in a bolero style sweater still packs a standout punch. Women have been wearing pantsuits for decades with success. If you’re not ready for an all-pink suit, a black one with white stripes and chic pearl buttons will work anywhere you want. It is not just attire appropriate for office,



September/October 2019

SPL FASHION it’s a trendy, must have outfit, in either smart casual, or ready to party, relaxed style. Making a pantsuit edgy and sophisticated is easy. Just add pink! This bold contrast feels fresh and daring. It not only works perfectly together; you can rearrange it with items from your closet. Can you envision how a boring, monochromatic outfit can become a fashion statement just by adding cotton candy pink shoes and bubblegum pink feather earrings? For subtle statements, you can resort to delicate orchid pink bag, or a pink printed scarf. And for your evening instead

of the gold, black and silver, wear pink. A sweet, rose pink top or dress or even jacket, in elusive sequences for the special occasion, will surely make a statement. Civilization’s relationship with pink has experienced many transitions, some are fascinated by it, some try to avoid it, but regardless if you’re a lover or hater, pink simply has power. Megan Simons is owner of Pippa Pelure Fashion Boutique in downtown St. Petersburg.

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September/October 2019



Pink Drinks October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help show support and garner attention, many are donning the campaign’s signature color: pink. For their part, a number of St. Pete bars and restaurants are also adding or promoting signature “Pink Drinks” on their menus. These cocktails not only pack a punch when it comes to flavor – from sweet to sour, even spicy thanks to some habanero moonshine – but also turn perfectly pink with the help of some skilled bartenders. So, whether you’re enjoying a laid-back dinner or gearing up for a night on the town, give some (or all – we won’t judge!) of these drinks a try and help encourage breast cancer awareness among the revelers. STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAYLA GLEASON


The Bolivian Rose Margarita

Pink Moon

1.5 oz. El Jimador Tequila ¾ oz. Pamplemousse Liqueur 1.5 oz. Sour Mix 1.5 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice Garnish with a quarter round slice of pink grapefruit

1.5 oz. Honey Habanero Belle Isle Moonshine .75 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur 1 oz. Pineapple juice 1 oz. House-made Sour Mix Garnish with a lemon round and cherry

The Bolivian Rose Margarita is part of a non-permanent cocktail list and runs for $12, so grab one while you can!

Pink Moon is an off-menu item available for $10 upon request.

Sea Salt 183 2nd Ave N, St. Petersburg

400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse 400 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg

September/October 2019


Ricky’s Ruby

Ruby Weapon

1.5 oz. Ketel Citroen .25 oz. Domaine Canton .5 oz. Cointreau .5 oz. Pom Simple .25 oz. Lemon juice

2 oz. Watermelon juice .5 oz. Lime juice .5 oz. Yuzu Liqueur 1.5 oz. Tequila 2 dashes of a half and half mixture of Orange Bitters and Angostura Bitters Garnish with mint leaves Ruby Weapon is a permanent menu item and is available for $10.

Garnish with mint leaves Ricky’s Ruby is an off-menu item and available for $12 - $13 upon request. Birch and Vine at the Birchwood 340 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg

Ichicoro Ane 260 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg

Blueberry Fizz


2 oz. Tito’s Vodka .5 oz. Lime juice .5 oz. Simple Syrup A dash of Rhubarb Bitters 4 oz. Blueberry Hibiscus Kombucha (Paul’s Landing uses locally made Mother’s Kombucha) Blueberry ice cubes Blueberry Fizz is a permanent menu item and is available for $12.

.75 oz. Gin .75 oz. Cappelletti Aperitivo .75 oz. Grapefruit Juice .75 oz. Blanc Vermouth Piscini (means “swimming pool” in Italian) is new to the menu.

Paul’s Landing at the Vinoy 501 5th Ave NE, St. Petersburg

Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails 1111 Central Ave, St. Petersburg

September/October 2019


Think Pink

Pink Peonies Set in acrylic water glass vase ($129) from Wayfair

Retro Blender SMEG brand ($249) from Crate&Barrel

Sydni Sofa In Savona Fuchsia ($1,709) from Wayfair

Himalayan Salt Block For the kitchen ($34.95) from Crate&Barrel


September/October 2019

Velvet Armchair Mod Blush ($199) from Pier 1

Take a Spin Schwinn Lulu Cruiser ($239) at Target

Hayden Dresser Hot Pink ($799) from Pier 1

Retro Toaster SMEG brand ($199) from Crate&Barrel


When It Comes to Breast Health, Be Your Own Advocate

Since 1985, October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the 34 years since then, breast health has been at the forefront of health care news every October . However, taking care of your breasts is necessary throughout the year.

mammograms every two years at age 50,” said Vania Reyes, MD, a primary care and sports medicine physician for BayCare Medical Group. Her office is at Jackson Street Primary Care on the campus of St. Anthony’s Hospital.

One of the most important parts of breast health is the mammogram, an X-ray image of the breast used by doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 232,340 cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually, and 40% of these cases are diagnosed because a woman felt a lump in her breast. Considering that one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important to be screened regularly.

In 2009, the USPSTF recognized additional data regarding risks of mammography, Dr. Reyes said, such as false positives and unnecessary biopsies, and revised their prior recommendation, which was for women to start screening annually at age 40.

“The current recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for women of average breast cancer risk is to start screening


September/October 2019

“Women ages 40-49 should participate in shared decision-making with their physician regarding breast cancer screening,” said Dr. Reyes, is the team physician for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. “Shareddecision making is an important process between physician and patient. Individual decisions should be based on a woman’s values and preferences, and risk and benefits.” St. Pete Life spent a few moments with Dr. Reyes to discuss mammograms, breast health care and being your own health care advocate.

Why is getting a baseline mammogram so important? Your first screening mammogram, also called your baseline mammogram, is an important part of breast cancer screening. Having a baseline mammogram to compare to your future mammograms decreases the chances of a false-positive. Decreasing the potential of false-positives can decrease associated cost, time and discomfort. Are there different kinds of mammograms? For breast cancer screening, you can get a traditional 2D mammogram or a 3D mammogram. A 3D mammogram takes multiple images to create a more detailed three dimensional picture of the breast. Women with dense breast tissue may benefit from a 3D mammogram because it provides a clearer picture. However, you should check with your insurance company to see if there is a cost difference. What are some other steps that women can take to promote breast health or health in general? Some of the best things a woman can do for her overall health are eating a healthy diet; having an exercise routine; and working on stress management. Maintaining a healthy weight is so important, because being overweight or obesity increases your risk of breast cancer. I like to try and focus on a diet with lots of fresh veggies and lean proteins. For exercise, I think it’s important to do a combination of cardio, core/balance exercises and strength training. Strength training is especially important for women to help increase their bone density and decrease their risk of osteoporosis later in life. My favorite exercise for core and balance is yoga.

You mentioned stress management as a part of maintaining health. What do you suggest? While yoga is great for strengthening your core, it also helps with stress management. I’ve learned some great deep breathing exercises from yoga. Women should not forget about self-care as part of their overall health and general well-being. Take a yoga class, go to the spa, walk on the beach, ride your bike in the park, journal, explore your creative side. Sometimes, I have to remind myself as well, in order to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself. How important is it for women to be their own health care advocates? It’s very important for patients to be up front and honest with their physicians and to voice their concerns. When visiting a primary care physician, let the doctor know about your full family history regarding cancer. Regarding breast health, it’s extremely important for a woman to be aware of how her breasts normally look and feel and she should report any changes to her physician. Breast health stories provided by Baycare St. Anthony’s Hospital.

Breast Cancer Stats and Facts

When it comes to breast cancer, what you don’t know can hurt you.

September/October 2019



Baycare St. Anthony’s

Breast Center Offers High-Tech Diagnosis, Treatment PHOTOS/BAYCARE ST. ANTHONY’S

The Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center team is ready to help assist patients from screening and diagnosis to treatments, counselling and navigation. For more than a decade, the Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center at St. Anthony’s Hospital has been guided by a multidisciplinary team dedicated to providing compassionate care in a full spectrum of clinical and support services to the community. Opened in 2007, the center has performed more than 150,000 imaging exams with nearly 2,100 breast cancers diagnosed and treated. Numerous technological advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of breast-related disease. St. Anthony’s has been at the forefront of utilizing those advancements to treat patients, including: • An ultrasound machine with advanced


September/October 2019

technology and resolution to greatly enhance ultrasound diagnostic accuracy. A key feature of the unit is called Elastography, which gives a non-invasive view into the presence or status of disease. The advanced features and resolution improves accuracy and facilitates the targeting of difficult lesions during procedures. • The center has installed two new mammography machines that have Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) capabilities. DBT is the latest technology that improves visualization of dense breast tissue, reduces the number of call-backs and reduces the number of false positives. DBT technology also is located at satellite imaging facilities at the Suncoast Medical Clinic and the BayCare Outpatient Center (Carillon) which increases access for the community.

SPL HEALTH • Installation of the Hologic upright Affirm Breast Biopsy Guidance System. This addition to any Hologic 3D Mammography-capable system enables 2D or 3D breast biopsies to be performed using the same imaging equipment as for mammography exams. “We never lose sight of the one-on-one care that we provide to each patient,” said Claudia Bundschu, MD, a boardcertified radiologist who has been medical director of the center since it opened. “It’s important that each patient knows that through detection, diagnosis and treatment, we will be there to serve them.” The center is named for the mother of the late Sr. Susan McGillicuddy, a St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation team member who passed away in 2014. Sr. Susan encouraged her brothers, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack and Dennis McGillicuddy, to raise funds for the center, which is accredited by the

American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. The Breast Center has a wide array of disciplines assisting patients from screening and diagnosis to treatments, counselling and navigation. The Breast Center works with a multi-disciplinary team that spans many departments throughout the hospital — surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and the Cancer Center. “The treatment does not stop with the Breast Center,” Dr. Bundschu said. “It is a close collaboration between departments and a full complement of services spanning the entire continuum to ensure all patient needs are met.” For more information on the Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center at St. Anthony’s Hospital, located at 1201 Fifth Ave. N. Suite 105 call (727) 8251400. You can also find the center at

Dr. Claudia Bundschu

WE PUT THE CHEER IN YOUR HOLIDAY CHEERS Highlighted by exceptional surroundings, stately service and creative cuisine, Rococo is here to help you reimagine the possibilities for your signature holiday event. Whether large & lavish or intimate & inspired, Rococo Steak is the ideal setting for a private event experience unparalleled in the Tampa Bay area. Our event director will work with you to ensure everything is customized to your request. To start planning your event or to book catering services, emails us today at info@rococosteak. com or call 727.501.6602.

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September/October 2019



Pinkies Up: The Pink Dragon Ladies PHOTOS/KATHLEEN CABBLE

Downtown Tampa glides by as the Pink Dragon Ladies practice on the Hillsborough River. Women from all walks of life make up the team. BY MARCIA BIGGS We glided under the bridge, lifted our paddles and the sleek pink boat slowed to a drift. Before us lay Seddon Channel and Tampa Bay. To the left, Harbor Island and the Tampa Convention Center. To the right, Bayshore Boulevard and below it, the memorial seawall hugging the water with five names painted large, like graffiti, in blocks of pink and purple. One of the paddlers spoke loudly so all could hear: “Normally, graffiti is against the law, but we got special permission starting back with Mayor Pam Iorio to paint the names of our sisters on the wall. We’ll be adding one more soon, we lost our Donna just recently . … This wall reminds us that we paddle not for us but for those who can no longer be with us.” We circled the boat around and headed back upriver, we were 19 women and one coach urging us on. We were black, white, Hispanic, young, old, married, single, rich and poor. We had nothing in


September/October 2019

common, and we had everything in common. Our bond: we were all cancer survivors. The Pink Dragons Ladies are one of seven dragon boat paddling teams in Florida and many around the world comprised of fierce female cancer survivors. Formed in 2004, the team has close to 80 on the roster, says membership director Pamm Anderson, but a core group of 40 or so shows up at practice sessions and competes in races. Practice sessions are held three times a week from Rick’s on the River near downtown Tampa, which also serves as a convenient hangout afterwards for drinks, some food and talk. The camaraderie goes far beyond the river, the boat and the padding. The real mission of “The Pinks,” as they call themselves, is to serve as an inspiration and support to breast cancer survivors and to celebrate life.

SPL LIFE Stories From the Sisterhood Over beers at Rick’s after joining a practice session, my story seemed like peanuts … lumpectomy, one breast, chemo, radiation, two years later back in the saddle. Their stories knocked me out of the ballpark. “Ten years later it came back. I said just take them both.” “First, I had lumpectomies. Then my surgeon told me the cancer was back …. I had positive in one, negative in the other. I got rid of them both. I should have done it from the start.” “I was BRCA positive after I had already had cancer. I said take them both, and my ovaries.” Felita Wingard surprised everyone when she admitted she moved here from Atlanta “just to paddle with the Pinks.” Now living in St. Petersburg with her husband, she was able to transfer to a corporate position within the insurance company she works at. She has never regretted it. Leigh Steck, a St. Petersburg flight attendant, recently joined the Tampa Bay team. “I like it because everyone is different but we all have something in common,” she said. “I used to be on a roller derby team, and it’s very similar. You have all types, all backgrounds, but you’re all in it for the same thing.”

Making Strides Walk in St Pete’s Straub Park

The slender 40-foot dragon boats hold 20 paddlers, with a coach at the back steering and a drummer at the front setting the pace (only in competition, not in practice I was disappointed to learn). “We were the first team in Florida,” said Pamm Anderson. “Our members are from all over the Tampa Bay area. We compete against other teams around Florida and every four years there is an Olympic-style world competition held in different countries around the world Last year the team traveled to Florence, Italy, to compete in the global competition. A few months ago, they hauled the dragon boat up to the Villages to try and whomp the team there. It’s all fun, but then again, it’s a fight, just like the cancer. In 2022, the Pinks will head to New Zealand to compete with other pink teams from around the world. Fundraising is on the agenda, of course, and sponsorships. But for now, they practice. Back in the groove I slipped on my PFD and was assigned a seat in the second row. I had one previous experience paddling a dragon boat, when my company sponsored a corporate team in the Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Festival well over a decade ago. (The festivals happen each spring in downtown Tampa.) I caught on quickly – dig the paddle in straight, with short strokes, and follow the person in front of you. I am a kayaker and the paddle felt good in my hands. Team coach Tessie Young was in back, urging us on to increase the strokes, then take a breather, drink water. No chatting, pay attention.

Memorial Seawall

New Pinks Lisa DiPiazza of Valrico and Leigh Steck of St. Pete.

September/October 2019


SPL LIFE In the seat behind me, veteran paddler and assistant coach Kathy Cabble whispered instructions and encouragement. “Move your hand closer to the water” “That’s it, just follow the paddle in front, you’re doing great” “Use your abs, not your arms.” It was like riding a bike. In minutes I was in the groove, but it was hard to keep focused on the paddle in front of me when the glorious Tampa Riverwalk was teasing me, magnificent cumulus clouds hovering on the downtown skyline as it slowly turned to dusk. We slid past Armature Works, the gleaming new Tampa Boathouse, the towering Straz Center, the minarets of the University of Tampa. Stollers on the Riverwalk and passing boaters waved and cheered as we paddled. Under the Platt Street bridge we stroked, then the wall with the names. I was humbled by the ladies in my boat, warriors all. After returning from practice, the team made quick work of hauling the boat back on shore to its base near the launch. We

gathered around Coach Young, who gave words of encouragement. She was off to the World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Thailand in a few weeks. Then she pointed me out, the writer who was in the second row, paddling my heart out. I was impressive, she said (or at least I followed instructions). Then, I received the best compliment of all – Coach Young invited me to join the Dragon Boat Ladies. I never considered this assignment an audition, but I was honored. I made no commitment. A month later I bought a new pair of paddling gloves. Yes, I decided, I wanted to be a Pink. New Zealand here I come!

Pink Dragon Ladies won gold for the breast cancer survivor (BCS) division in the 2019 Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Festival in downtown Tampa. Finding The Pinks The Pink Dragon Ladies welcome women of all levels to join a practice session and learn more about the team. Sponsors and funding to help with travel expenses are appreciated. For more information, check out, or go to the web site at You can also email:


September/October 2019




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Environmental Impact II

James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

BY MARCIA BIGGS Wandering through the Wildlife galleries of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, one can’t help but be overwhelmed with the exquisite beauty of nature … a pride of lions resting in a savannah, black bear fishing in a mountain stream, a mighty eagle in flight.

logging and strip mining, deforestation, plastic bottles, drought and wildfires, even genetic engineering of food, ecotourism, and other environmental threats. The exhibit is meant to heighten public attention about environmental issues and warn of the unintended consequences of human interaction with nature. It succeeds on many levels.

But step into another gallery and the peaceful world of nature and wildlife has taken a disturbing turn. In the new exhibit Environmental Impact II, the James has taken a step outside the box by presenting art that jars the senses. Through the eyes of over 20 artists, paintings, photographs, sculptures and several hanging installations portray the natural world threatened by the consequences of human folly.

“We are excited to display compelling artwork about our local and global environmental issues,” said Emily Kapes, Curator at The James Museum. “At a time when environmental changes and challenges are becoming increasingly visible in our daily lives, the artists draw attention to these issues, responding in creative and thought-provoking ways.”

Images bring it all home - global warming, oil spills, unabated

Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by an impressive

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September/October 2019

ARTS & CULTURE hanging Blue whale installation “Nanami” built by artist Sayaka Kajita Ganz. Nanami, which means “seven seas” in Japanese, is 16 feet long, 6 feet wide and is made of recycled plastic objects, aluminum armature, wire and cable ties. Inside the gallery, visitors are welcomed by “Have an Ice Day”(Karen Hackenberg, 2015), an oil painting depicting an empty ice-cube bag sporting the cartoonish graphic of a polar bear floating over the sea, waving good-bye. In the beautiful Amazon Rainforest watercolor duet “Diversity VS Destruction” (Mary Helsaple, 1994), opposing realties come full circle. One image portrays a staggeringly lush tropical ecosystem of plants and birds and animals, while the sister image shows what humans have wrought of this paradise – a land depleted of natural resources and unsustainable as a livable habitat. In “Bonanza” (Michael Meilahn, 2019), a 6-foot bushel basket is tipped on its side, with brilliantly colored blown glass corn cobs spilling out. It’s a statement on genetically engineered food from a glass artist and Wisconsin farmer. Some images are warnings, others are painful looks at modern-day destruction of the planet. The hanging installation “State of the Forest” (Suze Woolf, 2019) draws in the viewer to walk amidst the “forest” of charred trees – floating strips of silky layers suspended from the ceiling. Painted over a 10-year period of actual trees from national parks and forests, each tree is accompanied by a story. The artist worries that the increase in forest fires will only grow as the climate heats up. The museum partnered with many local environmental groups to

support the exhibit, including the St. Pete Office of Sustainability, Tampa Bay Watch, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Sierra Club Suncoast Group, St. Pete Audubon Society, Sustany, Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, and Keep Pinellas Beautiful. At the entrance to the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to participate in a quick digital survey on their current habits concerning the environment and sustainability in their daily lives. The results will be shared with the partnering groups. In coming months, the James is organizing and hosting a number of programs and workshops to highlight issues of local environmental concern. It might not be beautiful, but Environmental Impact II is thought-provoking and worthwhile. Kudos to the James for engaging the community in this important conversation. This is one class that should be mandatory for today’s children. The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is located at 150 Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. For hours, admission and to find programming, to or call (727) 892-4200.

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Cynthia Serra 727-580-3335 • Dan Casper 773-965-6465 Connie Lancaster 727-741-2000 • Pia Hiotis 614-561-5996 1100 4th Street North • Suite 200 • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 September/October 2019




Florida Holocaust Museum

Beaches, ent in Tampa Bay Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay

The Holocaust focus of most Civil Rights Florida Museum is at 55 5th history is written about places Street S., St. Petersburg. Open daily 10 and Mississippi, am like to 5Alabama pm. For hours, admission and as if fewcall challenges directions, (727) 820-0100 or go to elsewhere. Tampa info@thefh Bay remained racially segregated at the dawn the Civil Rights FreeofMuseum Day era and localDay, institutions Freemany Museum hosted and by establishments heldonce out a Smithsonian magazine on integration for several year,allows participating museums after Brown v. the andyears cultural institutions across the Board Education the country toofprovide free and entry to Civil presenting Rights Act of 1964. Day anyone a Museum ThisThis original ticket. year,exhibition, the Museum Day which opened Sept. 7, is for two ticket provides free admission aimed illuminating the 21. people on at Saturday, September region’s struggle withare racial Participating in our area Imagine equality and shines a light Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida on the local leaders who Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Ratner changed ourinregion. Museum of Art TarponItSprings, at Museum segregation and African ory Center, thelooks Bishop of Science and American life in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and surrounding cities in a powerful display nton, and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. You of photographs, newsprint and other memorabilia. Beaches, ckets at to gain and Boycotts will be on display through March 1, 2020. , some ticketsBenches are limited.

Florida Holocaust Museum is at 55 5th Street S., St. Petersburg. Open daily 10 am to 5 pm. For hours, admission and directions, call (727) 820-0100 or go to Free Museum Day Free Museum Day, hosted by Smithsonian magazine once a year,allows participating museums and cultural institutions across the country to provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. This year, the Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on Saturday, September 21. Participating in our area are Imagine Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Ratner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, Tampa Bay History Center, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton, and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. You must print out tickets at to gain free entry. Hurry, some tickets are limited.

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September/October 2019



emergency Register your Thrill situations. the Burg contact information withGet Alert St.moves Pete Calling all vampires! your andon anas automated message St. Petersburg joinswill thebe world sentstage to alert to local emergencies. on you Saturday, October 26, at The“Thrill city may notifi cations Thesend World.” The ‘Burgon will hurricane information and mandatory attempt to break the World Record for evacuations, flooding events and the Largest Simultaneous Dance to national weather service alerts. To learn Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Thousands more, go to in cities around the world will of people learn the Thriller dance and perform it precisely at 6 pm.

Thrill the Burg

Calling all vampires! Get your moves on as St. Petersburg joins the world stage on Saturday, October 26, at “Thrill The World.” The ‘Burg will attempt to break the World Record for the Largest Simultaneous Dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Thousands of people in cities around the world will learn the Thriller dance and perform it precisely at 6 pm. Thrill the Burg will take over Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill, 1320 Central Avenue, beneath the Ferg’s “World Famous” sign. The familyfriendly Halloween event includes a benefit concert by the Black Honkeys, costume contests for dogs, kids and adults, and more. Learn the dance by attending free dance lessons at various locations around town. Check the Facebook page or web site for days and times. Can’t make a practice session? Video dance lessons can be found on the organization’s web site. Register at www., fee is $10 per person with proceeds going to help local youth through The Kind Mouse, Lift Academy and Melrose Elementary.

Are you hurricane ready?

It’s prime hurricane and storm season so be sure you are signed up for Alert St. Pete, an emergency notification service. It is FREE for residents and allows the City to communicate directly during

Residential Composting Program Thrill the Burg will take over Ferg’s

Did Sports you know kitchen and yard Bar that and Grill, 1320 Central waste make up about 30% of what is thrown away? Avenue, beneath theComposting Ferg’s “World Famous” sign. T helps divert these materials from landfiHalloween lls to deliverevent nutrients backa benefit concert friendly includes into the soil. St. Petersburg’s new residential composting Honkeys, costume contestsprogram for dogs, kids and adult supports the sustainability initiatives of the Cityby andattending empowers Learn the dance free dance lessons at residents to minimize their environmental impact. Residents locations around town. Check in the Facebook page o single-family homes who are interested composting are invited days and in times. Can’t make a practice session? Vide to sign up the free and voluntary program. can be found on the organization’s web site. Regist, fee is $10 per person with procee Participants in the composting local program will receiveThe a composting youth through Kind Mouse, Lift Academy bin from the City to use in theirElementary. backyard. There will be no collection service, but the resident will be responsible for feeding and maintaining the bin and willAre reapyou the benefi ts of the nutrienthurricane ready? rich compost by spreading it onIt’s their lawnhurricane or garden or storm even season so be sure yo prime and donating to a local community up garden. ForSt. more information aboutnotification ser for Alert Pete, an emergency composting, go to for residents and allows the City to communicate di

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T. Bullitt McCoun IV Principal • St. Petersburg Native September/October 2019



The kids are (finally) back to school and though it doesn’t feel like it yet, cooler weather is just around the corner. We may not experience the delights of changing foliage here in St. Pete, but our Fall season is vividly colorful in other ways. It marks the return of many of the most anticipated arts events here in our beautiful ‘Burg and around the Tampa Bay area.


On Stage

An American Dreamscape is the theme for the 2019/2020 season at American Stage. In the words of producing artistic director Stephanie Gularte, “the lineup of plays traverse a landscape of stories that explore the fantasy, the reality, the absurdity and the beauty of the American dream.” The first play in the series, Vietgone, by Qui Nguyen, is a NY Times critics pick. A period love story circa 1975, Nguyen somehow adds a comedic bent to the fall of Saigon and its impact on the lives of two people who emigrate to the USA. Gularte certainly has a talent for choosing topical material in an unnervingly prophetic way. This production is no exception. Runs Oct. 2 - Nov. 3. After the record-breaking success of Pippin, freeFall Theatre hopes to build on its momentum with the opening of the new season titled Ghost Light – a refence to the theater tradition of leaving a light on at all times. But it also implies a sense of mystery and the paranormal present, both literally and figuratively, in all of the season’s plays. Appropriately opening the 2019/2020 season is The Turn of the Screw by Jeffery Hatcher, based on a story by Henry James. This eerie psychological ghost story focuses on a scary brother and sister and their nannies ... both past and present, living and dead. What really happened to Miss Jessel? Find out Sept. 28 – Oct 27. Sending some love across the bridge, let’s talk Jobsite Theater. The resident company of the Shimberg Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Artistic Director David Jenkins just lowered the curtain on a record-breaking 20th season. Jobsite opens the new season with a remarkable play by Steve Martin, Meteor Shower. It’s a story about the effect of the cosmos on lovers here on earth that’s a little fantastic and a lot hilarious. Jenkins has cornered the local market on Martin’s work by producing his plays twice before two sold out audiences, so you’d be well advised to get your tickets now! Runs through Sept. 29. For the 6th year, theatrical journalism pioneers, Your Real Stories, brings us six days of uniquely engaging storytelling events related to themes that touch our lives. Story Days Tampa Bay runs October 7-12, this year shining a light on “Love & Relationships.” All arts genres are utilized in telling these stories throughout the festival. There are free as well as ticketed events, multiple venues and something for all to enjoy and be moved by. Trust me when I say,


September/October 2019

Your Real Stories is a game changer.

Museum Happenings

Great collaborations produce great results. Such is the case when the Museum of Fine Arts partners with Creative Clay to bring us NEA funded, Artlink 2019 Artist Apprenticeship Exhibition. Creative Clay member artists have teamed with local artist mentors over the past few months to produce compelling multimedia works of art. The opening event will include a collaboration with playwright Sheila Cowley, as the CC team will perform the 10-minute production of “Airlift” on Sept. 26 Suenos de Dali is the much anticipated soiree thrown at The Dali Museum each fall. This elaborate costume ball is a feast for the senses and the imagination. Billed as a ”Surreal Circus” under a massive big top, proceeds fund community educational programming throughout the year on Oct. 26.

Gallery & Alternative

It takes one to know one … The innovative Morean Arts Center has teamed up with funky woodblock printers BIG INK to bring us a oneof-a-kind show on Sept. 28-29. Hand carved blocks (including one of massive proportions), and all the equipment needed to makes prints will be on hand for all to marvel at. A bygone artform is fresh again! Also, don’t miss BURN: Morean Street Party on Oct. 19. A Decade of Dance features a series of intimate photographs by the incomparable Tom Kramer. Depicting highlights of local dance over the past decade, this show will be part of The Studio @620’s Dance Hall Festival. Live performances will bring the still images to life. Opening reception during Second Saturday, Sept. 15. A definite don’t miss!

ARTS & CULTURE PechaKucha is a cool concept where artists present 20 slides with 20 seconds allotted per slide for description, followed by audience feedback. Creative Pinellas has embraced this artform in several previous shows, and this installment on Oct. 5 is hosted by community force of nature, Carla Bristol. TBBCA (Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts) hosts its signature event, The Impact Awards, on Oct. 10 at Armature Works. Honoring standouts in three categories (NYT best-selling author Michael Connelly, internationally renowned artist Kalup Linzy, and tireless arts patron Lorna Taylor), this stellar gathering raises funds for TBBCA’s signature initiative – The Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarship and many other programs. Of course, it wouldn’t be October without a free concert from the Florida Orchestra in Vinoy Park. Pops in the Park takes place, complete with fireworks on Oct.19. Fun for the whole family! Bring canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest

Halloween Frights

Mize Gallery does it again! Creep is the Halloween offering that includes works from your favorite local artists and experts on scary. Chad definitely loves a theme, and this will be the height of fright for the season. Opening reception is Oct. 10.

Wordier Than Thou presents Read No More: Gulfport Murder House for the fifth year. Writers and performers (including yours truly), present a series of spooky one-act plays in each room of a “unique” Gulfport home. Visitors tour the home and watch the eerie readings unfold in each room. Oct. 2427 For more info go to Hauntizaar 2019, hosted by St. Pete Craft Heroes, is a community Halloween favorite featuring the very creepiest in creativity for your holiday amusement. Over two dozen participating artists set up the macabre market inside Studio@620 for this one-day free event. Oct. 19 Until next time… Cindy Stovall’s Beauty & the ‘Burg podcast covering the arts in St. Petersburg airs on Wednesdays at 6 pm at The public is invited to SubCentral at the Iberian Rooster on the third Wednesday of each month to be part of the audience for Beauty & The ’Burg, LIVE!


Be A Star For Our Children October 5, 2019

The Vinoy Renaissance 501 5th ave. NE., St Petersburg

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Pinellas and Pasco Counties have the most children in foster care in Florida. Help Suncoast Voices for Children provide for these children and safely prevent more children from entering foster care at the Fourth Annual Suncoast Voices for Children Gala on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the magnificent Grand Ballroom at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg. Every dollar raised goes directly to the needs of abused and neglected children in Pinellas and Pasco. Join us, and Be a Star for our Children! Visit for tickets or call 727-582-360

September/October 2019





As a point of general consensus, murals are the artistic signature of St. Pete. They are evidence of the creative vibrancy of our beautiful ‘Burg for the all the world to see. They’re the invitation to look deeper – to see all the amazing things that are being created behind the massive concrete canvases in our many galleries, studios, neighborhood enclaves and museums. Murals have become an integral part of who we are as a city. So, it should come as no surprise that the Shine Mural Festival, produced and hosted by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, has become one of the biggest and most anticipated events of the year. What’s incredible is that this meteoric rise has come about in just five short years. This year’s festival opens on October 18 and hosts related events in partnership with many other businesses through the big finale and reveal on October 26. Originally a collaboration of several incredibly innovative local artists, the Shine Mural Festival has grown at an exponential pace with the facilitation, funding and infrastructure provided by the Arts Alliance. That, and because of the shear quality of the work. The images are vibrant and meticulously curated. They are exquisitely detailed. They are as evocative as they are varied, always stimulating contemplation and conversation. Murals are also the gift that keeps on giving. Regular guided bicycle tours and walking audio tours hosted by Florida CraftArt and narrated by a local movie star (Eugenie Bondurant), go on regularly throughout the year. The tours have figured prominently in the city’s marketing and tourism plan and they support the Alliance’s efforts to keep Shine growing.


September/October 2019

And the people come - from around the corner, and around the world. As I set out to write this piece, I had the privilege of speaking with two individuals who have been involved since the inception of the festival. Interestingly enough, the role of both pioneers has completely changed and evolved since that first amazing year. A Muralist One of the original organizers of Shine is artist Palehorse, AKA Chris Parks. In the early years, Chris devoted himself to organizational and curatorial responsibilities that have contributed to Shine’s current success. This year, for the very first time, Palehorse will be a participating muralist. “I’m very excited to be a part of Shine as an artist,’” says Parks. Palehorse has been

ARTS & CULTURE a successful commercial illustrator for some time, working with industry heavyweights such as Mini Cooper, FX, Nike and even National Geographic for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing! Educated at Ringling School of Art & Design, Parks has traveled the world with his wife Michelle (also a Shine organizer), and through travel, the Palehorse perspective of spirituality and the influence of Southeast Asian and Mexican cultures was born. It is reflected in his non-commercial artwork and has become central to his creative point of view. “I really love ancient myths and stories,” says Parks. “At first it was strictly aesthetic, but it evolved into a more spiritual presence in my life.” Looking around the Palehorse Studio in DTSP, those influences are apparent in every multimedia piece. There are carvings, sculpture, paintings, prints and so much more. There is even a Palehorse newsletter with cultural insights and guided meditations. It will be fascinating to see the Palehorse mural in the

Warehouse Arts District during the Shine Mural Festival. For more information: An Organizer Jenee Priebe is the director of the Shine Mural Festival for the second year. Her love affair with Shine began in 2015 as she focused her photography hobby on the murals and posted them on an Instagram page named for her son Jonah. “I was hooked from the very beginning and started learning everything I could about the murals and their creators. By the second year, I became a full-on volunteer for the festival. I just wanted to be a part of it.” As the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance became involved under the leadership of John Collins, and the festival continued to grow, increased funding made it possible to bring someone on full time to manage Shine. “It was an all-volunteer operation for a time,” says Priebe, “but through my early and continued involvement, I was fortunate enough to be given this great opportunity.” Her enthusiasm for Shine is apparent and palpable. And the plans are ambitious.

Community Projects Come Out St. Pete Mural In the Grand Central District, St. Petersburg artist Jay Hoff will work with LGBTQ youth to produce a community mural that celebrates diversity in St. Pete. Jay’s fine art is created using LEGO® toy building bricks, and the community mural will be inspired by this fun medium. Boys & Girls Club at Royal Theater In the Deuces District, Shine will partner with the Boys & Girls Club at the Royal Theater to produce a mural on a wall of the historic Quonset hut. Artist Brian McAlister and students from the Gibbs High Mural Club will paint alongside participants of the Boys & Girls Club program. Built in 1948 to serve as one of the only movie theaters for African Americans, the historic Royal Theater still operates

as a social and cultural landmark on the Deuces. Festival Events St. Petersburg establishments including Station House, Morean Art Center, Intermezzo, Green Bench Brewing, and Body Electric will host an exciting lineup of Shine events. Shine Finale: Inside Out St. Pete will feature up to 200 portraits covering a massive building in South St. Pete. These portraits will be representative of our richly diverse community. Mural Tours Guided walking mural tours take place every Saturday from 10 to 11:30 am starting from Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Reservations are required by calling (727) 821-7391. Cost is $19 adults, $11 children ages 6-18. Bicycle mural tours had not been finalized at publication time.

September/October 2019



All About Shine Festival PHOTOS/SCITY OF ST PETE

Shine director Jenee Priebe provided us with background and interesting facts about the festival. What has been the goal of SHINE over the past 5 years? “As early as 2012, the Alliance has established itself as an umbrella organization dedicated to creating a platform for all of the arts in St. Pete to be supported. John Collins has done an amazing job creating opportunities, providing funding through grants and sponsorships, fostering legislative advocacy favorable to the arts and so much more. The goal has been to illuminate the power of art using urban canvasses and public spaces. There is no profit motive, just art for art’s sake. It’s really the purest way to transform a city.” What other benefits have been realized? “Shine has really been great for local business. Increased foot traffic via festival events, related tours and tourism has resulted in increased visibility for local shops and therefore, helped to boost their bottom line. In addition, murals beautify the cityscape and act to break down barriers. Murals help to create a sense of community and unite the city.” Do Shine artists get paid? “Yes. Increased corporate sponsorship and individual donations have allowed us to pay participating muralists. We pay for supplies, lifts and meals for all, as well as travel and accommodations for visiting artists. We don’t want them worried about anything but the work and having the best possible experience. Additionally, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has provided a grant to Shine for the first time. The arts are an economic driver for tourism. We are even seeing similar events spring up in surrounding


September/October 2019

areas.” How does the selection process work? “Well, to be honest, it’s as difficult as it is exciting. We have a selection committee that evaluates proposals, design sketches and the artist’s history and body of work. We consider experience in the ability to complete the work in the allotted time and even to withstand the elements. Every year, increasing numbers of applications come in and choosing becomes more and more challenging. Sometimes amazing work is left out. But all things being considered, it’s a good problem to have. Shine does offer one open call spot after the selection process is complete to create an additional opportunity.” Are there any restrictions for the artists? “Once a design is selected for inclusion, we give the artists full creative control. We don’t want them to feel there are any limitations in expressing their vision. There is a stipulation in the contract, however, that applies to both artists and businesses providing a ‘canvas’ – The mural must be allowed to remain up for at least one year. After that, as with any public art, the owner may choose to paint over the piece. That’s the thing about murals. They aren’t necessarily meant to be permanent.” How many murals will be created this year? “There will be 16 total murals - five by international artists, four by national artists, and seven by local artists. In addition, there will be 12 ‘corner canvases’ – those are the power boxes that used to be blights on the landscape. Now, one by one, they can be found, beautifully painted, all over the city. Chad Mize, one of Shine’s founding artists, will curate these corner canvases.”



Shine Mural Festival October 18-26, 2019

2019 Shine Artists

Low Bros (Germany) - Christoph and Florin Schmidt, Berlin based brothers known as the Low Bros, bring their Retro Futuristic style highly influenced by 80’s and 90’s culture. Low Bros’ work explores the juxtaposition of identity in a digital age. Shok-1 (England) - London based artist has been exploiting the technical possibilities of a spray can since the 1980’s. He’s best known for pioneering the X-ray technique, influenced by his formal background in science. Taj Francis (Jamaica) - Taj Francis brings his distinctive reggae and hip hop influenced aesthetic. Inspired by a mix of Japanese manga, vintage vinyl, baroque paintings, pop art and his own cultural upbringing. George Rose (Australia) - Melbourne artist best known for her brightly colored typography-based murals. Paola Delfin (Mexico) - Mexico City based artist is best known for her monochromatic exploration of the female form. Through meticulous technique, Delfin portrays the concepts of beauty, strength, and femininity. She has painted murals in more than a dozen countries. Drew Merritt (Los Angeles) - Drew Merritt, best known for his expressive and realistic portraiture work, strives to create empathy through the exploration of emotions. Morning Breath (New York City) - The illustrious duo of Doug Cunningham and Jason Noto are back for another round of SHINE. The Brooklyn based artists, featured in SHINE year 1, lost their eye-catching wall to sprawling new development along Central Avenue. Morning Breath’s boundary pushing illustrative style has produced an impressive portfolio spanning more than 20 years for a wide range of clients including Ray-Ban, Velocity, Jay Z and Vans.

Taylor White (Raleigh) - North Carolina based artist brings her bold, kinetic style inspired by the fluid movements of the human body in dance. Her work has been shown internationally from Atlanta to LA to Melbourne. Palehorse (St. Petersburg) - With more than a decade of experience as a professional illustrator and fine artist, Chris Parks creates highly detailed work that draws influence from his roots and an ongoing fascination for Southeast Asian and Latin culture, mythology and spiritual practices. Jimmy Breen & Anthony Freese (St. Petersburg) - Co-owners of Wax & Hive, Breen and Freese collectively bring over two decades of professional creative experience. Specializing in illustration and graphic design, Breen and Freese have worked with many notable clients including Cardi B, Blake Shelton, Blooming Brands, and Hunger & Thirst Group. Princess Smith (Tampa) - Tampa based fine artist best known for her compelling, often provocative portraiture highly influenced by her youth spent in one of Los Angeles’ most violent neighborhoods. Leo Gomez (St. Petersburg) - Gomez combines his talents as a designer and illustrator in the art of lettering to create stunning artworks. Leo has worked with companies including Starbucks and Publix. Reda3sb (St. Petersburg)- Reda3sb is an urban artist, illustrator, and Mexican designer with more than a decade of street art experience. Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans The SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival is partnering with Hawaii based nonprofit PangeaSeed Foundation to produce two ocean conservation themed murals. One ground mural will be painted at the Northshore Pier by St. Petersburg’s popular Vitale Brothers. The other mural will creatively highlight St. Petersburg’s successful fisheries management system in the first mural project nationwide funded by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA). It will be painted by Portland based artists Blaine Fontana and Plastic Birdie (Jeremy Nichols).

September/October 2019



Diane Dewey

Author of ‘Fixing the Fates’

BY MARCIA BIGGS Around the age of 7, Diane Dewey accidentally found a photo of herself in a drawer. She was an available baby for adoption. Her parents acknowledged the fact, told her she had been born in Germany but her parents were dead. They wanted it to end there. But Dewey refused to let it go. As a young adult, she secured her birth certificate, found names and dates, did some research on the internet to no avail. It was the 1990s, before the days of and easy DNA sampling. Then the shocker came. A letter arrived from International Social Service only months after the death of her beloved adoptive father. Her biological father, very much alive, was reaching out to see if she was interested in connecting. He was living in Switzerland and had two grown children and a wife. So began years of questioning, research, meetings, intrigue and a fascinating memoir just released called “Fixing the Fates: An Adoptee’s Story of Truth and Lies.”


September/October 2019

Now living in Tierra Verde with her husband, Dewey, at age 63, has released a remarkable memoir that reads like a mystery novel filled with personal highs and lows, falsehoods, discoveries, and finally acceptance and forgiveness. Reconstructed from years of journal writing and self-analysis, the book has many twists and turns. The author spent the first 18 months of her life in a German orphanage before being adopted by her American parents. She was raised near Philadelphia, lived in New York City after college and worked at the Guggenheim and other art galleries. In one of many ironic twists, it turns out her biological mother had married an American and moved to the states as a young woman. She had lived not far from Diane in upstate New York. Dewey travels to Switzerland and Germany to meet long-lost family members and attempts to discover the true relationship of her biological parents and the fate of her mother. Her father’s

CONVERSATIONS overwhelming need to be reconnected and a part of Diane’s life is both heart-warming and questionable. She feels there are untold stories and maintains a close relationship with him, always digging for more answers. Without giving away the ending, suffice to say that there is closure at the end. But the redeeming part of this story is that Dewey continues to remain close to friends and family in Switzerland and Germany, and even lives there in the summer. Whether you are adopted or not, “Fixing the Fates” is a worthwhile read that underscores the ever prescient need to know our family roots, be accepted and loved, and the value of self-worth. Why did you write “Fixing the Fates”? I was trying to make sense of my life in a linear way and felt writing it down would help. Joan Didion says until we write things down we don’t know what we are thinking and that’s true … when you write something down you are seeking the truth. I started my journals in 2002 and met my agent around 2009. She was very interested in my story as a book. I consider this a memoir, a book about identity and trying to find myself. Your extended families in Europe all opened their arms to you and continue to do so. Do you think this is common or do you feel your experience is extraordinary? I am aware I am privileged …. A lot of cultures like China, India, Russia, they have no records and no hope for adoptees to be reconnected. In the case of my mother’s family in Germany, I think her family was very empathetic and welcoming because my birth

mother wanted to keep me very much. They had sympathy and wanted to make up for it. Would you encourage other adoptees to reach out? Some adoptees have had very joyous reunions. Now, it’s so much easier with DNA testing and sites like to find people, so you are seeing a lot more reunions. I hear more and more that reunions can resolve a lot of issues … most welcome reunion, but fear of rejection can be big. I am not saying everyone should seek a reunion, a lot never look for information and I respect that.

“Fixing the Fates” author Diane Dewey will hold a book reading and signing at Haslam’s Books, 2025 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg on October 20 at 2 pm. Books are available at Haslam’s, through and (, $16.95)

Real Men..Real Change..Real Support

Real Men Wear Pink

Come Join Us For A FUN Event September 20 Island Grille & Raw Bar 5:00-8:00 210 Madonna Blvd. Tierra Verde $25 Cash Admission Great Food • Libation Live Entertainment

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This distinguished group of community leaders is determined to raise awareness and money to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and save more lives than ever before from breast cancer. Please RSVP to If you’re unable to attend the event, please consider supporting the cause by visiting September/October 2019


Tickets Available on WWSTAMPA.COM



THE RITZ-CARLTON ORLANDO, GRAND LAKES Sunday, December 15th 10:00am-4:00pm ST. PETERSBURG, VINOY PARK Sunday, January 12th 10:00am-4:00pm JOIN THE FUN AND DISPLAY YOUR CAR! WIN FABULOUS CRYSTAL AWARDS! Register your car or motorcycle at WWW.FESTIVALSOFSPEED.COM For more information or sponsorship opportunities call 352-406-9325


Daytona Beach The iconic beach town is growing up and worth a visit PHOTOS/HARD ROCK HOTEL

BY MARCIA BIGGS The days of partying spring breakers reveling in alcohol and drug-induced debauchery are all but gone now in Daytona Beach. Bikers still come on certain weekends, but search for “bike week” on the Daytona Beach web site and up pops a picture of a smiling couple on bicycles. Driving on the beach? Yep, you can still do it but it’s not encouraged and even banned in certain sections. The fee is $20 per vehicle. Not that long ago, Daytona Beach as a vacation destination was on the brink of collapse. With the welcome mat pulled out from the unruly spring break masses, and NASCAR races the only reliable weekends for tourism, the town needed to reinvent itself. Change is finally happening, with old dilapidated buildings being replaced by new hotels and condos and some nicer restaurants opening (which was sorely needed). In recent years, Ocean Center, the gleaming meeting, event and convention center on Atlantic Avenue, invested $82 million in an expansion,


September/October 2019

attracting more tourism business and lodging options. Daytona Beach now seems to be fully on its way to being an inviting destination again. With the International Speedway still the centerpiece and economic driver, the city is abuzz over the new One Daytona shopping and entertainment complex across from the racetrack. Anchored by Victory Circle Plaza with events and live concerts on weekends, and The Daytona, a new racing-theme Marriott with fine dining and a sleek lobby bar, the shopping district is aiming to attract much needed upscale visitors but still has some empty spaces to fill. Give it a little time, it should be hopping a year from now. Of course, the famous Daytona Beach Pier is still there, a 1,000foot relic of the past, an amusement park and water park for the kids, and 23 miles of glorious ocean beaches perfect for surfing, swimming and fishing. But the ruling crown emperor will always

SPL TRAVEL be Daytona International Speedway. Since its $400 million dollar renovation that finished in 2016, the 500-acre motorsports complex is now a year-round daily attraction, drawing race fans from around the world to a choice of tours or “drive a race car” experiences. To get a feel for the new vibe here, the Daytona Beach Hard Rock Hotel is an oasis of modern luxury and calm sophistication on the north end of the beach. In an interesting quirk, the glam hotel, which opened in spring 2018, was built on the footprint of the infamous Desert Inn, one of the most degraded and crimeridden motels on the beach. It was seized by authorities and sold to Summit Hospitality Management Group, which was able to secure the Hard Rock brand. It’s one of the first major hotel investments on Daytona Beach in more than two decades. In my travels, I have always found the Hard Rock hotels and restaurants reliable on many levels. The rock and roll memorabilia collections are what draws me in and are always worth a visit, and the food and service are generally above average. I was not disappointed on this trip. The Daytona Beach Hard Rock Hotel is a smaller, more intimate

property, away from the bustling Pier and convention center. The mid-century modern interior of sleek furnishings and clean white natural stone and shell creates a beachy vibe, with music memorabilia exhibited as works of art throughout (hats off to the Tom Petty guitar, the Bette Midler mermaid ensemble and the Elvis jacket). At the Hard Rock, it’s all about the music from the moment you step foot in the lobby. The “Sound of Your Stay” music amenity program allows guests to check out a turntable and a selection of albums or a Fender guitar, delivered to your room with a floor amp and a pair of headphones. Your stay will be filled with non-stop chill music – it’s piped indoors and out from early morning to the wee hours. Accommodations range from deluxe rooms and suites, to the VIP Rock Royalty Suites with concierge service and a private outdoor lounge poolside. Kids are welcome and a Kids Club caters to ages 5-15 with a place to hang out and perform on their own stage, watch movies and listen to music. On weekends, a Kids Night Out program will entertain kids from 7 to 10 pm for a fee. But the Hard Rock is really for grownups – and there’s hardly a reason to leave (hint for a romantic getaway). We checked into


PHOTO/HARD ROCK HOTEL September/October 2019


SPL TRAVEL the Hard Rock, selected the “Chill” music theme for our oceanfront room, and settled in for a laid-back weekend. Want a private cabana poolside where a margarita comes delivered? No problem. The Rock Spa and Salon is a full-service day spa, with five treatment rooms and a full menu of services. Sessions restaurant offers indoor or outdoor dining on the oceanfront patio and live music nightly. On weekends, the third floor Wave Terrace is rockin’ under the stars, with live music on an outdoor stage, glowing fire pits and living room style seating right on the beach. How cool that Daytona Beach is finally rocking it.

If You Go

Daytona Beach Hard Rock Hotel - daytona-beach, (386) 947-7300 Check out the mid-week deals as low as $162 for an oceanfront queen room for Florida residents. For a complete guide to visiting the area, go to or (386) 255-0415

Where To Go

Daytona International Speedway - The All-Access Tour is the most popular and includes a visit to the Motorsports Hall of Fame – a must-do on a visit to Daytona. An admitted race fan, I was impressed with the informative 90-minute guided tour of the facility, and bet even those tag-along spouses on my tour ended up being somewhat awed. The speedway is, after all, an American legend as home to the world-famous Daytona 500. The new renovation added five new gate entrances, 40 escalators, over 101,000 new seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. My tram tour took us to various vantage points including the media room (pretty cool to see behind the scenes), the fan zone, past the garages and the infield, into Victory Lane where a photographer was conveniently waiting to take our photos (for sale later). Up an escalator to concourse level, we gazed out at the pits at the startfinish line. Suddenly, we heard the roar of an engine and a race car slowly emerged from across the track, the driver gunning it as the car gained speed and hurled into the bank on the frontstretch, then disappearing. “He’s just taken the racing experience course,” our tour guide said. For a mere $1,250 and three hours of instruction, driver wannabes can drive a NASCAR-style race car alone around the track for three timed laps. Speedway Tours: Open-air tram ride and access to Motorsports Hall of Fame, 30 minutes, adults $19, children(5-12) $13, 4 and younger free. Walk-up tickets only. All-Access Tour: Open-air tram ride with various stops and access to Motorsports Hall of Fame, 90-minutes; adults $26, children (5-12) $20, 4 and younger free. Walk-up tickets only. VIP Tour: Small intimate tour shuttles visitors to the ISC Archives and Research Center for a look at many of racing’s most


September/October 2019

treasured artifacts and historic photos, includes All-Access Tour, 3 hours, $55; limited days and times. Go online under Tours or call (386) 681-5588 for information. NASCAR Driver Experience: Eight driving experiences vary from Ride-Alongs (three laps with a driver at top speeds) $135/$80 to drive-alones that are $299-$2449 depending on the length of time you are on the track. Go online under Plan Your Visit or call (704) 455-9443. Streamline Hotel is one of those aqua colored Art Deco buildings you drive by on the beach and make a mental checkmark to visit. It’s well worth it. This 3-story building is known as “The Birthplace of NASCAR,” and considered a historic landmark for Daytona race buffs. In 1947, the rooftop of the hotel was the scene of a meeting with Bill France Sr. and several other prominent figures in stock car racing. It was here that the idea of NASCAR, a sanctioning body for stock car racing, was formalized. In 2017, the legendary hotel re-opened with a $6 million renovation and now it’s a 44-room boutique hotel across from the beach. NASCAR historic photos, movie clips and memorabilia can be found throughout. But don’t miss heading up to the rooftop bar to get a 360 degree view of Daytona Beach, grab a cocktail at sunset and dream big dreams. (386) 947-7470

Daytona International Speedway


Day Tripping

Set Your Compass for Adventure Just an Hour North PHOTOS/ STEVEN MARTINE

Stilt houses like the American Flag Stilt House are privately owned but can still be admired in the waters off Pasco County. BY BETH ANN DRAKE


Fortunate as we are to have the Gulf of Mexico at our fingertips, many often travel south for weekend boating, fishing and diving. Often forgotten just a few hours north, is Pasco County’s playground now known as Florida’s Sports Coast. Once the playground of the rich and famous, and originally founded as the “new Hollywood,” the southern coast of Pasco County combines the relaxing beauty of the Cotee River with the grandeur of the Roaring 20’s. Tour the historic celebrity homes of Shirley Temple, Babe Ruth and Gloria Swanson, or see the historic Hacienda Hotel. Currently under renovation, it will open in 2020 with the same splendor that Greta Garbo, Shirley Temple and Charlie Chaplin enjoyed. All nestled along the Cotee River, you can hike, boat, fish and swim or stroll through the new City Park.

list, Sip has become a favorite destination for locals and visitors.

An evening stroll along Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey offers fabulous restaurants, live music venues and preserved architecture that takes you back in time. We stopped into Sip Wine Bar, which is home to a secret speakeasy. Known for authentic Italian inspired charcuterie boards and a global drink

Diving for scallops is a great family activity, usually done snorkeling in shallow waters. Much like an Easter egg hunt, they are spotted in the grass and easily scooped up into a mesh bag. This unbeatable destination allows snorkelers from shore, as well as divers from boats. Licenses are necessary, but if you charter

September/October 2019

After a long awaited hiatus (25 years), bay scallop season returned to Pasco County in July for a second season. The season was previously revoked in 1994 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission due to depleted populations that could not sustain an active recreational season. Its return (July 19-28) signals heartier grass flats and healthier waters sustaining a thriving scallop population ready for harvesting.

SPL TRAVEL a boat with a local captain, their commercial licenses apply. As you head out to scallop territory, you can’t miss the stilt houses. The epitome of Old Florida, these stilt houses were built around 1916 to 1918 as camps above the water for working fisherman. At one point there were up to 24, but in 1968 Hurricane Gladys destroyed most of them.

We were lucky enough to visit Camp #6, also known as the American Flag Stilt House, hosted by the gracious Lake family. Their stilt house was struck by lightning in August of last year and burned to the pilings. Locals donated time, material and money to help the family rebuild and complete the house once again with the American Flag painted on the south side.

Today the eight stilt houses that remain are still privately owned (not open to the public) and have been grandfathered in by the state legislature, which holds the leases to the land. No new stilt houses can be built, though damaged ones can be rebuilt depending on the remaining structure. Celebrities such as Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash were known to visit these stilt houses, as well as their friend the Rev. Billy Graham.

We dined on the day’s catch, prepared beautifully by Chef Ben of Benedetto’s and enjoyed stories and songs with Dave Lake and his family. Thanks to the perseverance of this family and those that cared enough to help rebuild, their legacy continues. The only reminder of the fire is displayed on the wall - charred boards from the fire repurposed and painted in red, white and blue with an American flag.

If You Go For more information on Pasco County adventure, visit For info on bay scallop harvest zones, regulations and requirements visit Sip Wine Bar is located at 6231 Grand Blvd, New Port Richey, 727-203-8107.

Snorkelers look for scallops from a licensed charter boat. Right, Sip Wine Bar in New Port Richey offers authentic Italian inspired charcuterie boards.

September/October 2019



Capitol Steps

Political Laugh Therapy is On Its Way PHOTO/CAPITOL STEPS

BY CINDY COCKBURN It’s a fact: political satire is just plain good for us. Laughter remains the best therapy as we deal with the daily ups and downs of newspaper headlines and political rants. Welcome back Capitol Steps! America’s premiere political musical satire troop will return to the Palladium October 5 for a certain-to-be-sold-out show. The theme this year is the “The Lyin’ Kings” and audiences know they can count on brand new material and skits that put the “mock” in democracy – something Capitol Steps has been doing for nine presidential elections. The Capitol Steps troupe is based in Washington D.C. and no matter who or what is in the headlines, they tackle all sides of the political spectrum offering

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SPL EVENTS timely laugh therapy. As a new presidential election season ramps up, the audience will enjoy songs about the next Democratic primary candidates (“’76 Unknowns”) and the latest late night thoughts and tweets from President Trump (“Tweet It”).

Madness’ was in full swing. It was, we felt, true comic gold. And it was merely a sex scandal! Compared to the level of current political audacity, it was Mother Theresa meets Bambi!” Thornton and his staff write and revise material from breaking news constantly. They even might weave in jibes at politics for each city.

And you can count on many timely skits and songs revolving around our current President. This formidable yet beloved group of comediansingers carries on a tradition that began 35 years ago. “I’ve been a full-time performer with this nationally known political satire group for over 20 years and looking forward to our return engagement in Tampa Bay,” said singer, actor, jazz-vocalist, producer, artistic director Mike Thornton. “Our 90-minute show transcends all political views, and I get the last laugh because I get to play Donald Trump.”

“As long as you can come up with a funny scandal, we can get it in the show that evening!” said Thornton. “Today I am working on three new songs for tonight’s show here in the Berkshires. I am also revising a few lines in my new “backward talk” routine that incorporates all of the new, “Hemacratic Dopefuls” who are “Etting off to Jiowa”. “There are more Dopefuls than you can Stake a Shick at!”

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican … this show is for you! Check out Donald Trump singing a rock song, Bernie Sanders singing a show tune and even Vladimir Putin dancing shirtless. How long has Thornton been playing presidents? “I’ve played every president since Ronald Reagan,” he states. “When I started in the group in 1997 (Clinton’s 2nd term) ‘Monica

Thornton remembers one performance in particular. “The most fun we had in St. Pete at the Palladium was the year when your now Mayor Rick Kriseman was up for re-election,” he recalled. “He welcomed the audience, not afraid to poke fun at himself or his opponent. That’s the spirit of political humor.” The Capitol Steps perform at 5 pm on Sunday, October 5, at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N. St. Petersburg. Tickets are $69, $62, $55 and available at the box office at (727) 822-3590 or

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New food and wine festival gets cooking with Rock Stars


Downtown St. Petersburg is one of the city’s buzziest gastronomic scenes. Trendy bistros, wine bars and chic boutiques line the streets, which has put the area on the culinary map. On November 2-3, thousands of local foodies and guests from across the country will enjoy palatepleasing bites during Savor St. Pete in the beautiful waterfront setting of North Straub Park. Event guests will enjoy views of Tampa Bay while nibbling tastes from Tampa Bay’s most interesting restaurants and talented chefs, along with a global and national offering of specially selected wines and craft beers. With the departure of two food tasting events previously staged in the ‘Burg in November, Savor St. Pete promises to be a highly anticipated addition to the vibrant foodie scene on Florida’s West Coast. Upon entering the exclusive Grand Tasting Village at Savor St. Pete, guests will stroll through two main tents offering a curated selection of wines, bites, and brews. Guests will nosh and sip the afternoon away while relaxing in the cool breeze of Tampa Bay. Looking for a VIP experience? A very limited number of VIP tickets will be available for purchase which includes the VIP Spirits Lounge experience, presented by Publix Liquor Stores, featuring private lounge seating and premium spirits from iconic brands including Bacardi, Tito’s, Casa Migos, and many more. For those with a decided culinary curiosity, local and national chefs at the Publix Aprons Cooking Stage while teach you how to create a mélange of recipes for the upcoming holiday season. The chef lineup at the Publix Aprons Cooking School Stage includes Celebrity Chef


September/October 2019

SPL SPOTLIGHT Todd Fischer presenting delicacies from Duda Family Farms, award winning Executive Chef Luis Reyes with Sysco, and Publix Resident Aprons Cooking School Chefs Jim Hendry and Anthony Logerfo dazzling your culinary senses.

The upcoming television series “Cooking With Rock Stars” will be filming two episodes during Savor St. Pete! Former Bad Company frontman and solo artist Brian Howe will be cooking in front of the live audience on Saturday. On Sunday, classic rocker and ‘80’s legend Martha Davis from The Motels will take a turn cooking in front of the live audience. Attendees will be part of the television audience promptly at 1:30 pm each day as they watch these two rock legends show off their culinary skills while sharing stories from their personal lives and careers. Whether you’re in search of the perfect Cab, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or an icy cold craft brew, you can sip through a vast array of wines and craft beers while learning from the experts and relaxing outdoors in the Savor Open-Air Lounge. A ticket to Savor St. Pete includes a complimentary collectible wine glass and stylish tote bag, along with unlimited samples from some of Tampa Bay’s best restaurants and chefs, including a host of national food brands, specialty wines, and craft beers.

If You Go Advance ticket prices are $75/general admission and $100/VIP, while available. Ticket prices at the gate will increase by $25. General admission runs from 1-4pm each day; VIP ticket holders will have early entry at noon. Savor St. Pete is presented by Publix and the City of St. Petersburg in partnership with St. Pete Life. TICKETS: Purchase online at where you can sign up for event updates. Check for Facebook updates @SavorStPete.

September/October 2019


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Elvis Costello at Mahaffey An entertaining evening is all but guaranteed when rock legend Elvis Costello & The Imposters perform at the Mahaffey Theater on November 10 as part of their “Just Trust” tour. Tickets are $55-$125 and available at or (727) 300-2000. Also on tap at the Mahaffey: Oct. 13 Wayne Brady Oct. 19 Randy Rainbow Live! Nov. 2 Chinese Acrobats of Hebei Nov. 3 World of Dance Live! Nov. 4 We Will Rock You Nov. 7 Terry Fator Nov. 8 Dane Cook Nov. 13 Mannheim Steamroller

Spirits of St. Pete

Nov. 15 The Doobie Brothers Nov. 21 Cirque Dreams Holidaze Nov. 20 Incubus Dec. 5 Tony Bennett Dec. 6 Il Divo: A Holiday Song Celebration Dec. 19 The Isley Brothers Dec. 26-27 Moscow Ballet’s Russian Nutcracker

Elvis Costello at Mahaffey An enter Crossing the Bay ‘Burgers who have been by Jane Austen’s enduring around for a while will classic, Pride and Prejudice, enjoy the new production reset in 1880s Tampa Bay. from Bill Leavengood, the Crossing the Bay follows creator of Webb’s City. His the struggle to bring the new musical about Old railroad and prosperity Florida – Crossing the to the tiny town on Point Bay: A Concert Version Pinellas and the tumultuous comes to the Palladium relationship between a September 20-22. Crossing strong-minded Florida Also on tap at the Mahaff ey: the Bay takes a romantic Oct. 13 farm girl and the entitled Wayne Brady journey back to the nephew a Northern Oct. 19 RandyofRainbow Live!rail founding of St. Petersburg, Someone me Nov. 2baron. Chinese Acrobatspour of Hebei and is a show packed withNov. 3anWorld orange juice! Tickets of Dance Live! are local history and alive withNov. 4$29, go toYou We $39, Will Rock characters. It is inspired Nov. Terry Fator Nov. 8 Dane Cook Nov. 13 Mannheim Steamroller

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Naot has Arrived BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU Local resident and serial entrepreneur Ken Atchison is at it again using his strong business acumen as St. Petersburg asked for more Naot shoes in his Natural Comfort Footwear stores, and he listened with opening the only brand dedicated Naot shoe store in Florida. With owning eleven varied stores state wide he certainly knows his shoes. The Naot brand has a long, rich history in Israel with craftsmanship dating back to 1942 and a store video showcases that lineage. Come see and feel for yourself the fashion and comfort combined at the new Naot store, 212 Beach Drive.

In St. Pete be sure to visit: Natural Comfort Footwear 208 Beach Drive, St Pete • 727-800-9213 Naot 212 Beach Drive, St Pete • 727-800-9213 Natural Comfort Footwear Outlet 341 CoreyAve, St Pete Beach • 727-360-8100 Margaritaville 6390 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach • 727-273-0521

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