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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 l Volume 4 No. 2




20 44


58 14 - Shine Mural Festival Returns

30 - Are you Ready to Renovate?

16 - New Exhibits at MFA and James Museum

38 - Treasure Island Waterfront Home

18 - Blending is Trending in Interior Design

48 - Fashion Trends Are All About You

20 - What’s New in Kitchens & Baths

52 - Pet Tales – Preparing For a Storm

24 - Home Offices Are Ready for Work

64 - Auto Review – Acura MDX

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


September/October 2020

Inspirational Living Through Intuitive Design

Peaceful Cohesion In Customized Spaces

Design That Reflects Your Lifestyle

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Welcome Home If the COVID pandemic has done anything positive, it might be that it has brought home and family forward as priorities in our lives. Many homeowners are nesting, which makes it a good time for renovations and remodeling. Redecorating now might be the key to uplifting the spirit; while adding a home office could be the smart thing to do for many who are working at home now and in the foreseeable future. In this issue, our feature package offers ideas and trends by local design experts on all of these options. Interiors are front and center in this issue, from kitchens and baths to home offices. We particularly like the story on proper storage of wine and how to select a home wine cooler by wine columnist Will Howard. The cultural arts are slowly coming back to life in St. Pete with museums opening new exhibits and welcoming visitors (with face coverings, of course). We look at the 2020 Shine Mural Festival, a highly anticipated annual event that will, indeed, be happening in early November. This year the number of locations will be reduced, but an ocean awareness theme promises 10 amazing new murals will be added to the more than 90 Shine murals that currently exist. In this issue, we introduce two new columnists. Angela Ardolino has a large following in Tampa Bay as an animal rescue farm owner and expert on caring for pets. She writes about preparing your pooch for a storm or hurricane in our new Pet Tales column. Nitish Rele joins us as our automotive columnist, something he did for many years at the Tampa Tribune and as publisher of Motoring Tampa Bay and Khaas Baat. We hope you enjoy the issue.

PUBLISHER/CEO Beth Ann Drake EDITOR Marcia Biggs ART DIRECTOR Alicia Brown ADVERTISING Ed Barry Ad Director Betsy Phillips Senior Account Executive Debbie Radsick Account Executive CONTRIBUTORS Megan Simons Women’s Fashion Will Howard The Wine Cellar Nitish S. Rele / Ernest Hooper Contributors CO-FOUNDER/BUSINESS MANAGER Ralph Zuckerman Want SPL delivered directly to your home or office? Go to www.stpetelifemag/subscribe. You do not need a PayPal account.

Dorian Photography

Valerie Bogle

On the Cover: Interior Decorating by Kim Levell Design

Beth Ann Drake

bdrake� Publisher


September/October 2020

Marcia Biggs Editor

Photo by: Jorge Alvarez


When it comes to your heart, time is of the essence. Even during these times. You may be thinking about delaying your heart care due to COVID-19. Rest assured, as a heart care and health care leader, we’ve put enhanced safety measures in place to help protect you throughout St. Anthony’s Hospital. From connecting you to heart specialists for a diagnosis, to treatment options for a variety of heart conditions like rhythm disorders and heart attacks, to helping you recover with cardiac rehab, we’re here when you need us. And we always provide the high level of personal care that BayCare is known for. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our patients has always been standard procedure.

If your primary care doctor suggested that you see a cardiologist, we can help you find one: (844) 344-1952 or



September/October 2020

Tired Of Staying Home Staring At The Same Old Walls Since March? Our Interior Designers Are Standing By.

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Andi Sullivan Miller An Original By Andi

BY MARCIA BIGGS Andi Sullivan Miller never planned to be a fashion designer, but then she never planned a lot of things. Like having three strokes, the first at age 30, and going blind due to a genetic disease. Like developing lupus and being unable to walk for three years and losing the full use of her hands. Like becoming an expert at woodturning and starting programs across the United States and Canada at Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision. Like designing her own line of beautiful one-of-a kind ladies denim jackets. “My life has been a totally different path than the one I thought it would be, but a much better path it has been,” said the Treasure Island resident. Despite her physical limitations, Sullivan Miller is remarkably upbeat, humble and kind, concerned more about other sight-impaired individuals, particularly youth. Known primarily as an artistic woodturner, she creates stunning wood art from bowls and vases to intricate pens, letter openers and jewelry. In 2013, she founded the woodturning program at Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision in Tampa. The program eventually spread to cities with Lighthouse centers across the United States and Canada. She was teaching and speaking at woodturning symposiums and workshops across the country, until the COVID pandemic hit earlier this year and she found herself with some time on her hands. “I started working with fabrics and denim jackets,” she says. “ I am all about comfort and casual. I wanted a denim jacket that could be worn in Florida, in hot weather, that would be breathable and light and still be fashionable.”


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People To Watch She decided to cut panels out of a denim jacket and insert lightweight fabrics – beautiful fabrics from Italy, New York and Paris that would allow the air to flow through the garment. With assistance from her husband, Allen Miller, she selects fabrics and orders denim jackets. Once she cuts out the panels, each jacket with different shapes and sizes, she enlists a local seamstress to do the alterations. At first, she made a few for herself, friends and family. “One day I was out wearing one and a local boutique owner fell in love with the jacket and wanted to carry my line,” she explained. Now her fashionable jackets can be found at Suzette’s on Central and Suzette’s Too in Bellaire Beach; they range between $150 and $200. Sullivan Miller is donating the profits from each jacket to her charity, “Turning With a Vision,” to go toward funding woodturning programs at Lighthouses nationwide. An animal lover with five rescue dogs, her newest line of jackets features animal fabrics in the insets. She plans to donate those proceeds to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. “Each one is a canvas that I see in my head,” she explains. “I hope that someday I am able to totally fund my programs with the sale of my clothing.” She feels owners of her jackets will feel proud knowing “they are helping others like myself be more independent and to have hope. A new door has opened and pandemic or no pandemic, I intend to walk through it.” To see and order jackets, go to or check out Suzette’s in St. Petersburg and Bellaire Beach.


St. Pete Grand Prix Fans Waiting For Decision Will the streets of St. Pete be roaring on the weekend of October 23-25? That remains to be seen (and heard) as COVID-19 related closings and disruptions continue to keep most public spectator events in a constant state of confusion. Race officials were expecting the race to happen as of early September when this publication went to print, but a final decision on whether the race would be closed to spectators was still up in the air. “The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain our priority,” a press release stated. The weekend will be “subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings.” The March 13-15 St. Pete season opener weekend was called off as the pandemic began to hit full stride. It was subsequently announced that the city would host the season’s final

championship race on Sunday, October 25. The 2020 NNT Indycar season has managed to hold nine races, although without the adrenalin of fans in the stands. Nine season races were altogether cancelled, most others rescheduled. The Indianapolis 500 took place August 23 without a crowd. Last year’s winner of the St. Pete Grand Prix and series champion Josef Newgarden won his second race of the season August 30 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. If the race weekend does indeed take place in St. Pete in October, there is one small consolation for race fans: it will be televised. For updated information on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete, visit or follow it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Old or new we got you. St. Pete - Tampa September/October 2020



SHINE Mural Festival ARTivism is coming in Sea Walls: St. Petersburg Photos by Edel Mohr

Bait & Switch/Vitale Bros. 301 20th St. S., St. Petersburg

BY MARCIA BIGGS Have no fear, mural fans, the beloved annual SHINE Mural Festival will be back this fall, a bit downsized but promising to bring 10 new magnificent murals to the downtown area. The sixth annual SHINE Mural Festival will nurture a partnership with Hawaii-based PangeaSeed Foundation and their Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans project. The non-profit PangeaSeed Foundation spreads the message of ocean conservation via murals around the globe – currently there are more than 400 murals in 17 countries. “Now, more than ever, we recognize the critical need to nurture the arts, celebrate our reconnection to the environment and use art as a unifying force,” said a press release by the St. Pete Arts Alliance, the organizing entity. All 10 of the murals in this year’s festival will tackle different marine-related issues that coastal communities such as St. Pete are currently dealing with from the impact of single-use plastics on marine life to climate change and pollution degrading the oceans. “Our mission is to inspire the next generation to be ocean stewards,” says Tré Packard, founder and executive director

The 8th Funky Fish Town/Plastic Birdie 756 28th St. S., St. Petersburg


September/October 2020

of PangeaSeed Foundation. Packard will work with event associate director Jenee Priebe and the Arts Alliance Shine team in the selection of a diverse and inclusive group of Tampa Bay and Florida artists. In years past, up to 22 artists and teams from around the world were selected to create murals. This year, with a cut in state arts funding, organizers are keeping it local (or at least statewide) with fewer murals and home-grown talent, said Priebe. Earlier this year, Gov. DeSantis eliminated grant funding which would have provided $75,000, one-third of the SHINE 2020 budget. COVID concerns have also played into the downsizing of the festival, virtually eliminating the parties and social events that took place in previous years. “Normally we would do a lot of community interaction at the mural site – films, panel discussions, interact with school groups,” says Packard. “Youth outreach is a huge part of what we do. But we’re not doing social events now. Instead we are going virtual.” A Bright Spot mural is planned collaborating with local youth, he added. Packard is planning to utilize Facebook Live during the festival,

ARTS & CULTURE he says, which will provide real-time viewing of the mural painting, interviews with artists, and opportunities to promote the cause of ocean awareness to a broad audience. He’s also working with the Suncoast Surfrider group to organize a beach cleanup.

collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) which funded two murals - Portland artists Blaine Fontana and Jeremy Nichols (aka Plastic Birdie) explored the practice of fish farming in The 8th Funky Fish Town and the Vitale Bros. Bait & Switch.

The highly anticipated SHINE festivals have resulted in more than 90 murals around downtown St. Pete, with the city now touted in the tourism and travel industry as a “City of the Arts.” Audio and video tours have been created for some of the murals, including a new Drive-In Mural Tour created by PixelStix specifically for COVID times.

As in previous years, the festival relies on donations, contributions, grants and other funding to pay for paint, lighting equipment, food and water, and stipends for each artist, says Priebe. Sponsors are still being sought. Visit https://www.facebook. com/shineonstpete for developing news or contact festival director Janee Priebe at jenee@ or (813) 426-4305.

This year’s ocean theme builds on the 2019

Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans

This magnificent domed cultural center in the Mexican city of Santiago de Querétaro was completely wrapped in murals in 2018. It is entitled “El Baile Del Agua”./ Photo by Yoshi Yanagita

Pangeaseed Foundation meets with school groups in cities where murals are being painted to teach them about ocean awareness. This photo was taken in 2016./ Photo by Tre’ Packard Photo by Edel Mohr

Diarchy / Bekky Beukes 1100 1st Avenue N. St. Petersburg

Drive-In Mural Tour Enjoy a tour of more than 80 Shine murals in the airconditioned comfort of your own car with the new Shine Drive-In Mural Theater available on your smartphone through a free PixelStix app. Download the app, pack a picnic and take a cruise around downtown. With one exception, all murals in this map are paired together so that you can enjoy two murals at one parking site. Walkers can tap a small plaque on each mural with their smartphone that will take them to videos and background info on each. To learn more, go to

Convenience Consequence was painted in 2018 in Cairns, Australia by Fuzeillear. / Photo by Yoshi Yanagita

September/October 2020



New Exhibits Explore Cultural Diversity PHOTO/ THE JAMES MUSEUM

As they open their doors after nearly five months, two museums bring forward new exhibits focusing on diverse voices and cultures. In Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo, the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art once again steps outside the box, this time with images exploring the complex nature of individual and community identities in American Western rural culture. Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo features 41 black and white images taken between 1988 and 1992. From broncobusting action shots to intimate views into the lives of rodeo participants, the exhibit invites an expansive redefinition of cowboy identities. “We are proud to host this exhibition celebrating diversity in the West,” said Emily Kapes, Curator at The James Museum. “With so many different perspectives within the Western experience, we see this exhibition as an opportunity to feature the gay community, create dialogue, and inform museum visitors on these little-known competitions. The James Museum strives to be a welcoming and inspiring space for all and to amplify voices that are not often at the forefront of popular culture and mainstream Western art.”


September/October 2020

After getting hooked on going to rodeos, Blake Little wanted to become a part of the action. He learned to ride a steer, then a bull and slowly began to master the technique. In 1990 he was named Bull Riding Champion of the Year at the International Gay Rodeo Association. He says of the experience, “The sport, camaraderie, and atmosphere of this first rodeo experience transformed me. I was completely drawn to it and I had to be a part of it. I wanted to be a cowboy.” An overview of the special exhibition along with book and movie recommendations, art activities and more will be featured online as part of The James Museum from Home. Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo continues through January 31, 2021. For more information, call (727) 892-4200 or visit Facial coverings are required for entry. At the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, Derrick Adams: Buoyancy is a series of large-scale, vibrant paintings depicting relaxing at the pool. But what appears calm on the surface has undercurrents. Adams has observed that in art and in reality, images of Black people at play and simply enjoying life are not the norm. To fill this void, he created a painting and collage


series titled Floaters between 2016–2019, where Black men, women and children lounged in or rested on novelty floaties in the pool. He wanted to share these images with the world, and for Blacks to see themselves through a lens of freedom, fun, and leisure. In the exhibition, 12 of these mixed-media works come together in a colorful presentation in which Adams uses his art to reclaim and celebrate joy, pleasure, and respite for the Black image and spirit. “We are honored to present these powerful works of art by

Derrick Adams, who has grown as a revered and criticallyacclaimed artist in the contemporary art space in the past few years,” said Kristen Shepherd, the museum’s executive director and CEO. “The show is a true delight, and a real coup for the MFA and our community. We want our museum visitors to embrace these monumental paintings as the powerful, hopeful, and joyful images they are meant to be.” Derrick Adams: Buoyant is organized by the Hudson River Museum in association with the MFA, St. Petersburg. The exhibit runs through November 29. For more information, go to Facial coverings are required to enter the museum.


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September/October 2020



Trending is all About Blending


This year more than ever people are “nesting.” More time spent in the home has turned attention to our surroundings, and creating a more healing environment has become a priority. While people’s tastes vary, this year we are seeing a shift to natural materials and transitional styles that simplify and declutter our lives. We spoke with designer Kim Levell of Kim Levell Design to get tips for what’s trending in interior design.

Wallpaper is the new go-to for spicing up an accent wall. Peeland-stick varieties make it easy to create a one-wall focal point. Whether it’s a black and white theme or a botanical feature wall, adding one “wild wall” can change the dynamics of any room. Two of my favorite resources for bespoke wallpaper are Ananbo Papiers Peints Panoramiques out of Paris and Cara Saven in Cape Town South Africa.

Color and Texture Trends Think “Scandinavian meets sophisticated treehouse,” says Levell. We are seeing a contribution of weathered teak, as well, in keeping with a more natural look in addition to painted wood. Mix it all up just like metal finishes. Pops of color to accent a room are increasingly popular with just about every color making its way in, however, think 70’s version gold, blue, orange, and green as a starting point. Tropical and botanical prints are fabulous for walls, pillows and fabrics. Mix with pale blues and greys or even a solid rich velvet! Muted green is also getting a lot of attention this season. Almost a spinoff of the old avocado green, but with a more medium tone.

Kitchens and Baths Decluttering has become a metaphor for living, says Levell. Simplicity and clean lines with natural color palettes are all the rage this year. Plain English Cupboard Makers is a perfect example, bringing their Shaker style look from Britain to the US. Almost a throw-back to the ‘60’s, trends are more squared up with white or lighter counter tops. Marble, concrete and butcher block counters are popular as they weather with you through the years. Wood is making its debut as gold is making a comeback, replacing the chrome/stainless look of kitchen hardware and fixtures, and a pull away from ultra-modern is allowing more mixed metal looks.

September/October 2020

SPL LIVING Butler’s Pantries are increasingly popular, creating a secondary kitchen area. This is an ideal haven for a second dishwasher, toaster oven, microwave and storage. Perhaps a nod to the de-clutter trend, keeping the main kitchen simpler and more streamlined. Bathroom styles are leaning toward more of a greenhouse ambiance, bringing the feel of plants and woods inside. Free standing tubs are often the focal point, and open showers with glass doors that look like windows contribute to a more natural look. Keep counters simple, and don’t be afraid to mix up metals when choosing fixtures. This creates a very modern/classic vibe. Bright Ideas for Lighting Modern lighting is giving way to more of a vintage look and feel. Styles are moving away from metals and woods and people are favoring instead natural ceramics and glass. If you look at your lighting fixtures more like a piece of art than a necessity, your imagination is the only limit. Making a key investment in something like a pair of show-stopping floor lamps can change the tone of a room for years to come. Better Living Through Technology Integrating automation into your home can contribute to our self-care and overall well-being. Besides managing temperature, sound systems and security, you can create a more healing environment for yourself and others. “Turning off ” at night doesn’t just mean the lights. You can set Wi-Fi to turn off at a certain time each day which encourages not only your space but your brain to become more restful. Automatic blackout curtains and air purifiers can also lend to a more balanced sleep cycle. Reduce/Re-Use/Recycle Antiques are coming back and there are some great values to be had in mid-century modern pieces right now. We are not talking about Grandma’s overstuffed couch with the rolled arms, adds Levell, but more like that old armoire with the cleaner lines and classic wood finish. Blending this look in a dining room, for example, with contemporary lights and perhaps an old chest creates the transitional look that is trending right now.

Tips For Interiors Evaluate scale. A large piece of art in a small room can work, but make sure you scale your furnishings accordingly. Blend things together. Mix different looks and use one key piece to tie them together. An ultra-modern credenza and an antique table for example, can be tied together by a unique mirror. Keep it simple. When in doubt keep it clean and add one pop of color. This can be pillows, a piece of art or a statement wall.

September/October 2020



Make a Wish List for Kitchens & Baths Photos provided from Grand Kitchen and Bath

BY BETH ANN DRAKE Whether you are updating an existing kitchen or installing a new one, the hot hues this season are trending towards rich navy blues and cobalts. Matte black sinks and faucets as well as black stainless appliances are a great way to set off the rich colors in your décor. Brushed gold is also making a comeback, which makes pulling colors together in a kitchen or bath more eclectic now than ever. Well-appointed looks include colorful accent pieces such as a deep blue accent on a white counter or a wavy backsplash to set the tone. We chatted with Richard Valmain, owner of Grand Kitchen and Bath, to get a feel for what goes into the design process. His motto has always been, “There are no rules. If you like it, we can do it.” He urges clients to own their kitchen design. When a client comments “I don’t know what I like,” his response is, “Everyone knows what they don’t like.”


September/October 2020

Cabinets are a large part of kitchen décor, and Valmain offers four different lines that can meet all needs at all price points. From semi-custom to fully custom, every level is represented by quality products. And appliances such as the Sub-Zero Column series can accept custom panels for an integrated look within cabinetry. This refrigerator can even be monitored and controlled remotely with Wi-Fi connectivity. Adding to the clean look are touch open/close models with no hardware or handles.

SPL LIVING Smaller details that can personalize your kitchen are endless. Think bi-fold uplift motorized cabinet doors, or a dropped cook surface for ease of use and a cleaner look. Even moving powerstrips under the cabinets simplifies a look by taking the power source out of the backsplash. Technology isn’t just making life easier in the kitchen, it’s happening in customized bathrooms as well. Luxurious rain head showers mounted in the ceiling can also provide dimmable light, and if equipped with Bluetooth, can play your favorite tunes. Delta faucets can tell you the exact temperature of your shower before you get in and adjust accordingly. Medicine cabinets can be heated for a no-fog appearance and can even feature a TV in the mirror for those hectic mornings when you need to catch the news. Integrating the right elements into a kitchen or bath for your lifestyle and taste can be painless when you know what you want. You can find your inspiration from countless sources online and bring it to life in your own home with the help of the right people and/or team.

September/October 2020



Transitional Trends

“The challenge for any builder who cares about aesthetics is to design a home that is distinctive and striking, but still looks like it belongs there. Our homes are not separate from their environment – they are part of it, and their designs reflect that.” The demand for contemporary homes is on the rise, and Modern Tampa Bay Homes has long been a leader in designing and building unique contemporary homes throughout Tampa Bay. What people may not know is Richard McGinniss, President of MTBH with origins in Boston, is an experienced Historic Preservationist who has restored multiple homes dating back to the 18th Century as his family homes, as well as a history of joint ventures with conservation and preservationist groups. When moving to Tampa, he purchased and painstakingly restored one of the grand dames of the 1920’s boom that also served as an original model home on the water in Beach Park for his family home. When deciding to get back into the business of building single family homes, after running some of the largest development programs in the southeast, McGinniss


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came to the conclusion that the traditional homes being offered in the market were incongruent with the climate and lifestyle of Florida. “Who needs a pitched roof without snow and tiny windows to keep the cold out?”. So he formed MTBH and was the first builder to offer contemporary homes in this market. With his historic building background and with community concerns about “fitting in” with historic neighborhoods, he decided to offer homes that integrated classic, historically inspired architectural exteriors simultaneously integrating more fashionable contemporary interior and exterior living areas. Clients that appreciate the history of an area, but want new construction are going modern with a nod to existing architecture in a neighborhood. The results are designs that stand out, yet fit in. These one-of-a-kind homes are carefully crafted with scale to the neighborhood, using only the finest components. Every piece of the process is genuine. Sensitivity in craftsmanship is reflected in real materials. Classic architecture paired with


contemporary interiors allows for larger windows and spacious floor plans that bring the outside in-- a cornerstone of MTBH’s design philosophy. This niche has become ever popular with a younger clientele coming to St. Petersburg from urban centers around the country. Most of these “movers and shakers” can live anywhere, and are finding St. Pete but not finding the homes that fit their lifestyle. Homes have also been built for a client living in one of the most beautiful classics of the 20’s in St Petersburg, who became fatigued with the constant upkeep and energy inefficiencies of an older home. This infusion of new people and new life into older neighborhoods is reflective of the growth in St. Pete. The blending of old with new is part of the revitalization that attracts so many families and businesses to the ever-changing landscape of a burgeoning city. Some people find this an affront to the status quo. MTBH and their clients embrace this shift in a community that is evolving and built around the arts. The result is building a piece of art that they can call their home.

September/October 2020



Customized Home Offices are the New Normal

Dorian Photography/Designer: Marci Tempesta

BY SHAWN TANNEY RICHARDS The COVID19 pandemic brought many sudden and unexpected changes to our daily lives – including an inordinate increase in the number of people working from home. According to recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, what was once an anomaly became the new norm overnight. With higher than expected employee productivity, once skeptical CEO’s and business owners now foresee this phenomenon as a permanent change to business as usual. The Decker Ross Interiors design team has seen an uptick in requests from clients asking for professionally designed home office spaces, some of which need to serve a multi-purpose functionality. “When establishing a home office, considerations include determining your space requirements for furniture and tools to


September/October 2020

maximize organization and efficiency,” said Suzan Decker Ross, owner of Decker Ross Interiors. A window can provide ambient lighting and is important for eye health, particularly if you are on the computer a lot- not to mention a welcome change of scenery. Is a door necessary for privacy or noise mitigation? If video calls are required, consider your background. There have been some embarrassing and sometimes comedic examples of unintended background distractions! From a simple writing desk to accommodate a laptop to a more expansive executive desk, filing cabinets and storage shelves, work from home options abound and can be tailored to fit the specific needs of each individual.


In addition to an ample work surface, shelves and storage, this contemporary custom designed beachfront home office contains a comfortable hidden murphy bed for guests. Original art from local artisans, designer window treatments, and a colorful area rug complete the space. This desk with a view (pictured right) might prove to be a distraction for the homeowner, unless they’re seeking inspiration for their latest novel! Woven roman shades offer privacy and unique custom drapery panels add a designer detail by calling attention to the high ceilings

prevalent throughout this home. A tranquil dusty blue color palette, rustic modern writing desk and comfortable slipper chair offer both simplicity and functionality to this bay window office space. A contemporary slatted barn door (pictured below) opens into this stunning home office, which features color blocked drapery panels overlooking a spectacular golf course view. A “sputnik style” gold chandelier and angled furniture placement create a uniquely inspired workspace and a pop of cobalt adds a splash of color to this otherwise monochromatic color palette. Dorian Photography/Designer: Jen Kravchuk

Photo by Rob Harris/Designer: Marci Tempesta September/October 2020



Classic movie art by Adam Scott Rote looks right at home on the wall of this home theater room.

Make Art the Centerpiece of Your Home Art is a very personal part of your home’s décor. Frank Abreu’s best piece of advice? “Buy what you love. What triggers an emotion or memory.” Everyone has a different reason for their preferences, be it what Abreu calls “vacation collectors” who purchase pieces that evoke special memories, or that statement piece that “finds you” that you suddenly cannot live without. When asked about current trends that he sees, Abreu notes: “Shiny resins or a palette knife technique like Monet is popular. This layered technique creates a thick, elevated texture that can actually take over a year to fully cure/dry.” Artist Oliviya is a prime example of this technique. She studied in St. Petersburg, Russia, and currently resides in Israel. Many of her works are featured at Sottil Studios in downtown St. Petersburg. Another trend is theme rooms or theater rooms. “Many of our clients have cinema themed art in their theater rooms,” says Abreu. “These are usually signed by the artist as well as the movie stars they depict.” Adam Scott Rote is a popular artist for these


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collectors and his followers include Academy Award winners, actors and singers. Should art aficionados consider their art first, even when building a new home? “Art first, then work around it,” says Abreu regarding passionate collectors. “We have clients who rotate their art with the seasons. And that colored accent wall from the ‘90’s? It’s now been replaced with a wall of artwork.” Originals or one-offs are increasingly popular as opposed to reproductions. “No one wants to be at a dinner party and see the same piece they have on their wall at home,” notes Abreu. Given current social distancing guidelines, gallery shows have slowed, however Sottil Studios is hosting a very personalized version of online auctions for their artists. A new artist is featured every four days, and you can watch them create in their studio from day to day. Collectors can also chat with the artist via Skype and ask questions about specific pieces. To learn more, contact gallery director Frank Abreu at (727) 220-1567.


Q & A with Jeff Crain


What makes Guaranteed Rate Different? Guaranteed Rate was founded with the mission of delivering more value to customers than any other bank or mortgage company while providing its loan officers with the tools and flexibility we need in order to succeed in all aspects of business and life. The company was built on a principle of low rates, ground-breaking technology, complete transparency, excellent customer service and a quick, easy mortgage experience. In 2015, Guaranteed Rate launched the world’s first digital mortgage, bringing the mortgage process to the 21st century with online applications and real loan approval in less than 20 minutes. Why refinance now? With rates continuing to stay at historic lows, everyone interested in refinancing should talk with a loan officer to see if they can take advantage of this environment. This is a great opportunity for qualified borrowers to lower monthly payments. We are utilizing Guaranteed Rate’s technology to make the process of refinancing simple and fast. How has the pandemic affected home financing? In an effort to speed along the economic recovery, the Fed cut

interest rates to historic lows and has indicated that rates will be low for the foreseeable future. As borrowers look to benefit from the historic low rates, both purchase and refinance volume have been robust. This is good for homebuyers because lower rates create improved affordability, meaning borrowers can get more for their money and lower monthly payments. About Us Jeff Crain is the VP of Mortgage Lending for Guaranteed Rate in St.Petersburg. His constant dedication to a transparent and ethical lending process are just a few of the reasons he makes such an impact in the mortgage industry. “I moved to the Tampa Bay area when I was a teenager and I have watched St. Pete, Tampa and the beaches grow dramatically over the years. I am very lucky to have the privilege of raising my own family here today, so I know and follow the local markets closely.” Jeff graduated from Florida State University. Outside of the office Jeff enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Jackie, and his two sons, J.R. and Jackson. He enjoys coaching little league baseball and taking family RV trips to FSU football games.

Ranked #1 for Most Closed Mortgage Loans and Volume in Pinellas County!


September/October 2020


Renovations Bring Modern Style to Older Homes Photos from Strobel Design/Build

A rectory for a Catholic Church in Old Northeast was remodeled into a comfortable and stylish Mediterranean private home.



As we spend more time in our homes, renovations have become top of mind for many homeowners. Focal points for these projects are often kitchens, which is where families tend to congregate. Outdoor living spaces fall into the same category as a gathering space in the environment we are in. We talked with President of Strobel Design/ Build Mark Zdrojewski to get a glimpse of what is involved in the renovation process, especially when dealing with older or historic homes.

As Floridians, we can enjoy our outdoor living areas almost year round, and given current social distancing practices people are spending more time than ever outside. “Living better in an outdoor space can be achieved many ways,” suggest Zdrojewski. “Adding a pool or outdoor kitchen always maximizes outdoor space, and landscaping can create both privacy and ambiance at the same time.” Replacing windows and doors can also open up the home to the outdoors by installing new sliders or folding pocket doors.

“While kitchens were once just a functional room in a home, it is now a gathering spot. Older homes may need structural upgrades to open up that space,” says Zdrojewski. “Our clients want the modern conveniences along with the charm of an older home.” For kitchens as well as baths, this may include electrical or plumbing upgrades as well.

Whole home remodels or renovations can be more of a challenge especially with older or historic homes. Zdrojewski recalls a specific project in Old Northeast that was challenging but rewarding. “This home was once a rectory for the Catholic Church and the owners wanted to keep the historic value but make it trendy and also create an outdoor oasis. This meant keeping the front of the home the same but adding a wing in the back along with a garage and apartment. We also added a pool and created a courtyard that tied it all together.”

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Using “like for like” materials on historic projects is important, and Strobel Design/Build has decades of experience walking clients through the process. Often designs must be submitted to a preservation board to obtain a certificate of appropriateness. “Even if it’s a major renovation project, we want the home to reflect hints of how it was originally constructed,” says Zdrojewski.

His best advice when embarking on a renovation project? “Get professionally drawn design plans. Have a dream in your head, but put it on paper. A set of plans provides realistic objectives, aids in pricing and cuts out the unknowns that can pop up in the process.” Next, a “design agreement” takes a conceptual design plan step by step through your project to a successful completion.

September/October 2020



Pianos Hold the Keys to Style and Fun

The days of practicing scales on an upright piano have given way to both technology and the desire for a statement piece that enhances interior decor. As homes have become more lavish, grand pianos have soared in popularity. According to Sandy Boyce of Piano Distributors in Clearwater, more time at home lately has allowed people to “slow down and perhaps focus on a ‘bucket list’ item. For many that is the dream of making music.” She adds that the two hottest selling pianos are the Yamaha Disklavier and the Yamaha Clavinova. Both exude an authentic grand piano sound while including endless options for accompaniment and even recording. Known as the number one player piano, the Yamaha Disklavier is considered a true performance piano. Through digital electronics it can record and play back a piece exactly as originally played. This feature often enables listeners to enjoy the music of a family member for decades. You can create ensemble music with instrumentals or even include vocal tracks. An easy-to-use controller app provides access to hundreds of built-in songs and thousands of performances.


September/October 2020

Just as popular, the Yamaha Clavinova reproduces the touch and tone of a concert grand piano and is perfect for players of all levels. Known as a teaching piano, the CVP models feature “Follow Lights” that guide you through your first song and teach you to read music. “You can play a song the minute you touch the key, which makes it fun,” says Boyce. “And in our society of instant gratification, you can sit down and play beautifully.” If you are unsure where to place a grand piano in your home, Piano Distributors provides a free service to help you decide. Consultants bring a fabric template which can be positioned to help you choose the ideal space. Adding a piano to your décor can also improve your health. Playing music lowers blood pressure and keeps the mind active, which is one of the reasons they have become so popular with retirees. Boyce also sees a trend with many customers adding pianos to their second homes. As she puts it, “There is a piano for every lifestyle.” Piano Distributors is located at 2541 Countryside Blvd Ste. 6, Clearwater, FL (727) 532-9926,

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Let Your Windows Bring the Outside In

Windows allow us to connect with our outside environment. They allow natural light into our living space and can bring a sense of calm through nature views. This could be your beautifully landscaped backyard, a fountain or a more rustic scene. With these benefits come the challenges of reducing glare and energy loss or increasing privacy. We spoke with Shaun Roberts, Design Consultant/Owner of Budget Blinds of North St. Petersburg about the latest designs and technology that can enhance windows of all shapes and sizes. “Natural is definitely trending,” says Roberts. “Creams, browns and greys are popular, and we are seeing more woven woods as well as woven fabrics being utilized in window treatments. Plantation shutters are also a favorite for both bathrooms and kitchens. These can be wood shutters, or the vinyl version for showers and baths.” Roller shades are easy to use and can bring a modern flair to any window. Fabrics can range from sheer to blackout, depending on your needs. Dual Sheer shades (also known as Zebra shades) can be motorized and provide more adjustable options and versatility. Horizontal fabric bands can be opened in varying degrees or fully raised for a full view of the outdoors. These are increasingly popular in a variety of jewel tones.


September/October 2020

Natural Roman shades (also motorized) rise in folds and lower to a flat panel, and come in both woven woods and fabrics. All of these options can stand alone, or be paired with drapery panels. You can choose your drapery look from grommets, pinch pleat, back tab or rod pockets. Decorative shades can also help increase your home’s efficiency. When integrated into Alexa or Google Home they can open and close on a timed schedule or respond to your voice commands. Choosing the right window treatment can be overwhelming, especially in these times. Roberts notes: “We can provide in home consultations as well as virtual consultations which are free. Through video chat we can get measurements, show samples, match paints and discuss design options.” Another resource is where you can browse design and material possibilities. Shaun Roberts is Design Consultant/Owner of Budget Blinds of North St. Petersburg and is a certified Norman and Lutron designer/installer. To learn more, go to or call (727) 522-6695.

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Invest in High Quality Furnishings For Long Term Enjoyment

Most high-end modern and contemporary home furnishings are sourced from Europe, and like most industries they experienced a shutdown during the pandemic. Annual shows highlighting new designs were cancelled in Milan, London and New York. This created longer than normal turnaround times, but handcrafted production has resumed and timelines are getting back on track. These manufacturers limit their retail distribution in the states,


September/October 2020

and Michael Bush, owner of Home Resource in Sarasota, is an exclusive brand ambassador for many of them on Florida’s West Coast. “Cassina and Poltrona Frau are classic Italian designer brands,” he says. Cassina started as a family owned business known for product design and Poltrona Frau, which has been in business for over 100 years, is renowned for their leather hand craftsmanship.

SPL LIVING Quality and timeless design are the core value of the high end brands that Home Resource represents. Visiting the Poltrona Frau factory last year, Bush remembers a plaque in the entry that read Intelligence in Our Hands. “This was a testament to the skill and talent of the people working there and the realization that this furniture is of long-lasting quality,” he remarked. Whether you love a particular line of home furnishings or a certain look, Bush emphasizes the importance of design services, which they offer. “Our distinction is in space planning,” he said. “It’s our nature. We ask the right questions and work with you to identify furniture that fits your lifestyle, your design aesthetics and your budget. There are so many furniture options in the world and people need to work with skilled professionals to successfully navigate this process.” Bush’s top two pieces of advice for those shopping for new furnishings: “First, do your research. Look at magazines and find what appeals to you. Once you understand your design sense, we can steer. Next on the list: Walk through our showroom and see what is comfortable to you. Sit in it. “Understanding your comfort requirements can help us lead you in the right direction.”

September/October 2020



Waterfront Home is Made In The Shade BY MARCIA BIGGS When a St. Petersburg couple decided it was time to move to a waterfront home, they faced a quandary. Their Crescent Lake home had been remodeled only a few years prior, and they loved it. They had worked with home designer/builder Keith Beaver of Renovative Construction to create a comfortable enclave exactly to their liking. It had all the features and furnishings they wanted … except the waterfront access and view. When they decided to move to Treasure Island, they found a piece of property on the intracoastal that they loved -- an older home with an amazing view. They enlisted Beaver once again to be their designer and builder. “The house, unfortunately, was in pretty bad shape,” he said. “After some back and forth, we decided to demo it and build the new house.”


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Beaver was just the person to do it. Working on a second home for his former clients made it easy … their sense of style and furniture remained the same. He knew they loved their collection of colorful glass and local art, so they would need a showplace. The homeowners decided to mimic the Crescent Lake home as much as possible, with an open interior concept design that took advantage of the views. The 2,545-square-foot fourbedroom, two bath home was built of hurricanewithstanding concrete, with solar panels on the roof and other energysaving in mind. The owners loved the modern/minimalist components and clean styling that Beaver had created in the first home – epoxy concrete and tile floors, cable railings on the balconies, windows and


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Half page ad Historic Old Northeast | 726 19th Avenue NE, St. Petersburg 5 bed | 4.5 bath | 5,434 square feet with pool and spa | 3-car garage | Courtyard and gardens This exquisite renovated 1925 colonial estate is situated on an oversized lot that also includes a highly coveted water lot on nearby Coffee Pot Bayou with a dock and covered lift.

Offered at $3,200,000

$115+ MILLION SOLD | Top 1% of REALTORS® in Pinellas County Luxury Home Specialists Judy Holland, CNE, CLHMS, REALTOR®, BROKER ASSOCIATE Caryn Rightmyer, CNE, CLHMS, REALTOR® Tess Mullinax, REALTOR®

727.401.1771 | 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.

September/October 2020


SPL LIVING doorwalls and lots of them to bring a light, airy feel and astounding views inside. A deep soaking tub that rests on a bed of river rocks is part of an enticing bathroom off one bedroom. A sliding door hanging from a coaster rail closes the bathroom for privacy. Clean white furnishings and offwhite walls throughout allow the art collection to pop, and accents of dark wood give the home a sleek modern vibe. An outdoor kitchen and grill make the second floor balcony just right for cocktails at sunset. One of the four bedrooms needed to be a home office, and a game room from the previous home was reinstalled in the new home, complete with fitness equipment, shuffleboard, a pool table and an entertainment center with big screen TV and recliners, plus built in racks for paddleboard storage and pool floats. The homeowners are active, and spend a lot of time in the backyard and pool area. The new house had a pool, however, Beaver brought in added features like a gated dog park for their two pooches. The beachy backyard theme included sand areas, palms trees, hammocks, bright orange outdoor furniture and a firepit area. A colorful custom-designed aluminum heart sculpture by artist Clayton Swartz is the centerpiece aside the pool.


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Top Floor Penthouse, Northeast End Unit. 3,910 sq. ft. Unfinished with Design Plans Optional

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Elegant and Pristine Tower Unit. 2 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom 2,384 sq. ft.

FOR SALE • Ovation City Home - 201

One of a Kind City Home in Ovation. 3 Bedroom. 3 Bath, 3,372 sq.ft. Corner, End Unit over Cassis

FOR SALE • Rowland Place – 401

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Time is Right for Cellaring at Home


Cellaring wine goes back over 3,000 years. The ancient Egyptians built the first cellars that we know of today. They knew then, what is still true today: wine can be stored longer when the temperature is cool and stable. Today it’s rare to find a home that doesn’t have some type of wine storage, whether it is a large wine cellar or a small wooden wine rack. Since we have all been spending a lot more time at home this year, you may be interested in some insider wine storage tips. Here are a few basic principles to storing wine: • Wine hates heat. For ideal conditions, store wine at 55°F for longterm storage of all types of wine (still, sparkling, and fortified wines). Never store wine in an area without at least air conditioning. • Wine hates light. Store wine in an area protected from direct UV light. Never display your prized bottles in direct sunlight or directly under a bright light. • Wine hates movement. Don’t shake your bottles. Just leave them in the rack until you’re ready to open the bottle. Be careful to avoid vibrations in the wine’s permanent storage location if possible. In addition to these basic principles, wine should be stored laying on its side. This is done to keep moisture on the cork to prevent oxygen


from reaching the wine. If the cork dries, it could allow air to flow into the wine and wine to drip out the top. This is especially important for sparkling wines because they can lose the pressure inside the bottle quickly if the cork dries. Long term wine storage should try to maintain about 60% humidity. This is humid enough to prevent the cork from drying out, but dry enough to prevent moisture damage to the labels. Think of a cellar or wine closet as a place to let wines hibernate for longterm storage, but a wine cooler keeps wine at the perfect serving temperature so they’re always ready to drink. If you are thinking about building a wine closet or cellar in your home for longterm storage, I recommend Breezaire cooling units. They are professional quality and built for this purpose. The rest of the cellar is only limited by your imagination and maybe your wallet. If you store wine at home, but are not concerned with longterm storage, then a wine cooler might be the right choice for you. The options seem endless when it comes to wine coolers, but I think we can narrow down a few choices depending on your needs. Will Howard is wine director at Rococo Steak in downtown St. Petersburg.

September/October 2020

Best Small Wine Cooler

Ivation 12-bottle wine cooler ($189.99 Amazon) This cooler offers a great setup for cooling up to 12 bottles of wine at temperatures from 41°F-64°F and comes in under $200. This is the best option if you have limited space to work with. This cooler could fit under a counter or on a bar. The glass door is designed to prevent damaging UV light from getting to the bottles.

Best Overall Wine Cooler

NewAir 46-bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler ($1,121.29 Lowes)

This wine cooler offers plenty of storage with room for almost 4 cases of wine. There are also dual climate zones built in so that whites and reds will be at the perfect temperature in the same refrigerator. This wine fridge fits all the needs for most homes.

Most Beautiful Wine Cooler

Sub-Zero 30” Classic Wine Storage ($7,770 Sub-Zero) This built-in wine storage unit by Sub-Zero is one of the most beautiful wine coolers out there. This is nearly the price of building a proper wine cellar, but I’m going to say it’s worth it. It is gorgeous, holds 146 bottles, has dual climate zones, protects against UV light, maintains perfect humidity, connects to your home security system, and does everything you would expect an $8,000 wine cooler to do. If you like the Sub-Zero option, they also make these with built-in refrigerators, freezers, and even humidors. Wine, cheese, and cigars anyone?

You won’t find them in ordinary kitchens. Or atthem ordinary stores. kitchens. You won’t find in ordinary Or at ordinary stores. Sub-Zero, the preservation specialist. Wolf, the cooking specialist. Cove, the dishwashing specialist. Find them exclusively at your local kitchen specialist. Sub-Zero, the preservation specialist. Wolf, the cooking specialist. Cove, the dishwashing specialist. Find them exclusively at your local kitchen specialist. DEALER LOGO DEALER South Tampa 3347 Henderson Blvd. | LOGO Tampa, FL 33609 | 813-253-2421 Oldsmar 3790 Tampa Road | Oldsmar, FL 34677 | 813-749-2320


St. Petersburg

A new cookbook highlights the many flavors of the city Ever wish you could snag the recipe for your favorite menu item at one of St. Pete’s restaurants? A new collaborative cookbook between the City of St. Pete and 35 local dining spots makes it easy. Dozens of recipes for mouthwatering appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks are featured in St. Pete Eats, a beautifully photographed and executed cookbook written by Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin.



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mission to infuse those flavors with delicious, healthy options, through Healthy St. Pete,” Dr. Tomalin wrote. “In this cookbook, I’ve shared some of my own favorite recipes, and have enlisted the expertise of some of St. Pete’s finest chefs to give you an authentic culinary experience that can only be found in St. Pete.”

The hook? These dishes represent not only a cross section of St. Pete’s cultural richness, every one of them was chosen specifically with health in mind. Dr. Tomalin launched her signature initiative, Healthy St. Pete, in 2015. The program focuses on creating access to healthy food options, implementing free fitness zones in city parks and adding resources for individuals and families to make healthy living choices.

The hardcover cookbook includes recipes from favorites like Sea Salt, Trophy Fish, The Library, Dr. BBQ, Noble Crust and Dr. Tomalin’s own home kitchen. If you’re shy about cooking vegan or vegetarian, you’ll find inspiration in the popular Power Bowl recipe from Paul’s Landing or the Mapo Tofu Bowl from Ichicoro Ane. Gluten-free fans can try their hand at Szechuan Tuna & Bamboo Rice from Birch & Vine or Shrimp Spring Roll from La V. Ceviche offers up their recipe for Seafood Ceviche and Callaloo’s famous Callaloo Stew is part of the mix.

“We’re so fortunate to live in a city that overflows with flavor and epicurean experiences. It’s my

Miss going out to dine? Just pick your favorite restaurant and get cooking.


Participating Restaurants

St. Pete Eats can be purchased at for $20, plus shipping and handling. Additionally, limited quantities are available at these participating restaurants and area bookstores. BellaBrava Brooklyn South Callaloo Ceviche Datz Dr. BBQ Ford’s Garage

Fresco’s Hawthorne Bottle Shop Ichicoro Ane Intermezzo Kahwa La V Mandarin Hide Noble Crust Pacific Counter Paul’s Landing Pipo’s Cuban Café Punky’s Red Mesa Rococo Steak

Rollin’ Oats Saigon Blonde Sea Salt TeBella Tea Company Birch & Vine Canyon Café The Floribbean Left Bank Bistro The Library The Lure The Mill Tavern at Bayboro Trophy Fish Urban Brew and BBQ

This family recipe from Dr. Kanika Tomalin is a great summer salad with a spicy jalapeno kick. Avocado Jicama Salad 1 medium ripe avocado ½ cup jicama, chopped ½ cup cherry tomatoes ¼ cup chopped cilantro ½ cup feta cheese 1 jalapeno, diced (optional) Juice of half a lime 1 tbsp light olive oil or Italian dressing Salt and pepper Chop all ingredients into bite-size chunks. Fold together, mixing in olive oil and lime juice. Season to tase and serve immediately.

September/October 2020


SPL HEALTH SPL NEWS McNulty Counseling and Wellness 111 2nd Ave NE, Suite 1007 St. Petersburg, Fl 33701 727-344-9867 •

Counseling Practice Spotlight Are You Storm-Ready?

Alert St.physical Pete is an emergency notification service thatthat allows emergency Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg on the 10th floor health. “It’s important to understand no matter what to notify residents by change telephone, cell phone, texteven message, email of the Plaza Towers, you’ll find McNulty Counseling and Wellness,officialsyou’re going through, is always possible, though it may emergency sent onjust a family owned counseling and wellness center. Travis McNulty, regarding nottime-sensitive seem like it. Our goal is tonotifi treatcations. the coreAlerts of themay issuebeand not evacuations, information, gas leaks, boil waterabout notices, the founder, has certainly found a niche with his team of expert mandatory the symptoms. It’shurricane our McNulty Mission to break the stigma floodingreceiving events and National Weather Service notifications. Thewith Alertthe St. Pete licensed clinicians who are committed to inspiring hope and mental health counseling by providing clients contains information public and databases, including empowering change in individuals, couples, and families. A nativedatabase to best psychotherapy andreceived creating from long-term, most importantly, regionalsustainable phonebooks. However, no resident should in assume their St. Petersburg and a graduate of FSU, Travis always envisioned his change to empower the people our St.that Petersburg information is in the system. To learn more about Alert St. Pete and to add own private counseling practice and eventually enlisted his mother, community.” your phone number, go to Carolyn McNulty, also an esteemed counselor in the St. Petersburg community. “I’m passionate about helping people and I wanted MCW counselors actively give back to our community. During to create a practice that offers the most effective and efficient Covid-19, they’ve offered first responders and health care providers counseling modalities that are based on decades of research. I’ve free sessions, fed the homeless at St. Vincent De Paul, and partnered assembled our team so that no matter what your issue is, we have a with the Homeless Empowerment therapist on staff who specializes in helping you with that problem.” Project. The clinicians at MCW McNulty said. specialize in anxiety, depression, The November 3 elections are right around A smartphone app created by the City of St. divorce/separation, grief/trauma, the corner. Voter registration closes October Pete allows residents to request a city service “Our counselors operate from a holistic perspective to mental parenting and co-parenting 5 andissues, deadline to request a mailed ballot is or report problems such as potholes, graffi ti, health. This means we’ll take a deep look into your family, friends, gender identity, LGBTQ+, life 24. You can do both by going to the October broken sidewalks, storm drain issues, traffi c romantic relationship(s), work/life balance, sleep, diet, exercise, transitions, and more. They have Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections web code violations andare more. andsignal muchproblems, more to identify which areas out of balance. We’ll also been featured on ABC Action site at Here you can The SeeClickFix app allows you to report issues help you identify your triggers causing negative feedback cycles so news, Bloom, News Channeldownload 8, the 2020-21 Pinellas County that willleave be forwarded the appropriate citysomeone who truly NBC News, The Insider,also that you’ll our office to feeling like you’ve got and Bustle. Voter Guide where you can find detailed department to take care of the request. Users understands what you’re going through and a plan to get your life You can catch them every Friday on voting, address and names information willtoreceive email updates and status reports. You Counseling back where it should be.” The therapists at McNulty at 1pm on NBC’s Bloomchanges, for tips on and much more. also gounderstand to seeclickfithat web andcan Wellness life can be overwhelming and managing mental health and living site to report online. challenging and can often leave us feeling emotionally drained and life to the fullest. For a full list of physically exhausted. Eventually, anxiety and stress begin to impact services please visit their website not only family life and job performance but also friendships and or give them a call.

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Feeling Overwhelmed and Anxious? Having difficulty navigating through life? Feeling stuck?

We’re here to help!

Our Family owned Counseling and Wellness Center has a team of expert licensed clinicians who are committed to inspiring hope and empowering change in individuals, couples and families. Our therapists offer the most effective, research

Half Page based, Ad therapy modalities including Traditional Face to Face Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Teletherapy, Therapy in Motion (walk & talk), Art therapy, Mindfulness, and Holistic Therapy. Specializing In: Anxiety, Depression, Divorce/Separation, Grief/Trauma, Women’s Issues, Parenting and Co-Parenting, Gender Identity, LGBTQ+, and Life Transition.

727-344-9867 • 111 2nd Ave NE Suite 1007 • St. Petersburg, Florida 33701


September/October 2020

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Make Your Style Your Own With Accessories BY MEGAN SIMONS Most of us are spending more time at home in the last several months and that affects our lifestyle, our mood and our fashions. The truth is the biggest fashion changes are not only the result of inventive design houses, but social disruptions also create new fashion. When you think about wars, revolutions, they simplified the way of getting dressed for the time -- just to boom away with free expression and new, fresh, trendy styles afterwards. The French Revolution, for instance, eliminated all the over-the-top hair powder, hoop petticoats, lace, many extravagant elements associated with royals and aristocratic decadence. Fashion became more simplistic and naturalistic for a period, but that change did not last long. Cravings for self-expression, for unique looks started to evolve, eventually transforming into new, feminine, empire silhouettes. Comparably, deeply reactionary processes happened throughout the history of fashion. Post-World War II new fashion desires established some of the greatest names in the industry. Christian Dior opened a couture house in 1946 and his first line in 1947 encouraged women to be luxurious and beautiful. My belief is that we are going to see a renaissance in individual approaches to style as people are looking forward to having a reason to go outside again. The absence of thematic trends like ’60s mod, ’80s disco and ’90s grunge, creates room for personalized style. You are a complex individual, made of many interesting qualities that make your personality unlike anyone else. You do possess the power to construct a unique style that is a complete reflection of who you are. Know your body, know your colors, and know that accessories always elevate personal style.

Fashion from Pippa Pelure/ Photos by Clareese Littles / Hair & makeup by Kelli Otis


September/October 2020

We are starting to see fashion trends emerging for Fall and Winter 2020 with jewel tones gradually appearing

SPL FASHION on the runways and setting a magical mood. Animal prints are adopting new members of the animal kingdom to the fashion world: zebra stripes, giraffe spots, snake prints, all are embraced in a variety of colors and for both genders. A sleek pair of sandals will always be in demand and in style, this time choosing square toe and funky heel on strappy sandals or a pair of hip mules. When choosing jewelry go for bold -- everything looks better with a little bling! Big hoop and hip earrings will make a great statement, oversized chains are not going anywhere. The art of accessorizing is in ever-sotrendy layering. Use your pearls with vintage medallions, gold with silver, crystals with horns, ultra-long with chokers, mix and match to improve your look. Always in trend is functional, stylish, our all-time friend - the tote. If you love handbags, your heart may skip a beat on this one: neoprene is today’s winner. It’s practical and water resistant (happy to go with you on a boat, the beach or poolside) and holds your laptop like a champ. It will be happy to go on any trip and it is washable. Whatever you do, remember, retail therapy is a real thing, get yourself in a great mood. Megan Simons is the owner of Pippa Pelure, a fine fashion Boutique in downtown St. Pete. Contact her at

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Dr. Kevin Huguet


Bariatric and General Surgery

Specializing in Bariatrics and Medical Weight Loss Programs Dr. Huguet is an award-winning surgeon, practicing at the Minimally Invasive Institute of Surgery in St. Petersburg, FL. He was born and raised right here in St. Pete and feels honored to be a leader in the medical community of his lifelong home. Dr. Huguet earned his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 2001, where he graduated at the top of his class and received the prestigious membership to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. His internship and residency in general surgery were completed at the Mayo Clinic in 2006. In addition, Dr. Huguet competed a post-graduate fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 2007 where he was granted the title of Assistant Professor of Surgery for his research efforts. Dr. Huguet is committed to providing compassionate, high-quality care to all of his patients through minimally invasive techniques. He was voted by his peers as a Top Doctors List member for Tampa Magazine in 2019 and 2020 and awarded membership to Florida’s Top Docs in 2020. He has been awarded the Compassionate Doctor Award 20142018 and the Patient’s Choice Award in 2019 for his compassionate care. From the moment a patient walks into the office, they will have their own Bariatric Patient Advocate, walking them through every step of their weight loss journey. The Bariatric Patient Advocate will meet with the patient during their initial consultation one-on-one to advocate for them, explain the insurance process, patient benefits, surgical criteria, and next steps in their journey to a new, healthier life! 



We offer a comprehensive program for patients that are interested in both surgical and medical weight loss. This program will assist patients with weight loss whether they are gearing up for bariatric surgery, wanting to eliminate co-morbidities, or needing to drop some extra pounds for an upcoming wedding or family reunion.

Contact us today for your bariatric consultation at 727-335-SURG(7874) || 2191 9th Ave. N. Suite 270 St. Pete 33713


Dr. Jinny Gunn


Breast Surgery

Specializing in Clinical Research and Surgical Oncology Dr. Jinny Gunn was born and raised in Florida, and family has always been an important and influential part of her life. Following in her Grandfather’s footsteps, Dr. Gunn served in the U.S. Navy, then went on to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of California, San Diego. She then returned to Florida where she received her medical degree from Florida International University in Miami, and completed her general surgery residency at May Clinic Florida in Jacksonville. At the Mayo Clinic, her last year of training was primarily focused on surgical oncology and breast disease. After watching her Aunt fight a long and strenuous battle with breast cancer, Dr. Gunn knew she wanted to specialize in breast care throughout her career, in order to help other women in similar positions. She says that one of the things that sets her apart from others in the field is that she is a female, and can relate to her patients on an entirely different level than her male colleagues. From the time a patient walks into a consultation with Dr. Gunn, they feel at ease, despite what they may be going through. Patients are provided with a guidebook, that has been crafted specifically for them, which directs patients to local resources for wigs, curated massages, and how to talk to their families about cancer.

You’re unique, your treatment plan should be just as unique.

Contact us today for your consultation with Dr. Gunn at 727-335-2999

New patients welcome. Most insurance accepted and financing offered through CareCredit.  Now also offering Telemedicine.  


Hurricane Prep Plan A Must for Your Pet Editor’s Note: This issue we introduce Pet Tales, a new pet column by holistic pet expert and writer Angela Ardolino. She has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Lutz, FL. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. She is the founder of CBD Dog Health which provides high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Hurricane season is here so having a hurricane preparedness plan for your pet is vital. As they say: Prepare for the worst, Hope for the best. Several years ago, in August, Hurricane Irma was a category 5 storm barreling straight toward us. The whole Tampa Bay area was in a state of panic. The families who lived along the coast headed inland or traveled north, mandatory evacuations and shelters were set up, and pets could feel the anxious energy in the air. Even more troubling — there were not nearly enough shelters that accepted pets. Thankfully for my city (but woefully for others), the hurricane took a sudden turn and my city was not directly hit. However, it was clear that we needed an evacuation plan and ways to keep pets calm.


September/October 2020

Pet Tales

Step 1: Make A Plan Leaving your pets out of your evacuation plan can put you, first responders, and your pets at risk. Although hurricanes often come with fair warning, disaster can strike at any time and without a plan in place, you may not remember everything you need to do when acting in a panic. Before a hurricane hits, sit down with a pen and paper and make a plan. My family has two plans: the evacuation plan, and the plan to ride the storm out at home. For example: if a storm is a category 4 or higher and we are in the direct path, we will evacuate. This takes the “Should we? Shouldn’t we?” level of anxiety away. If the storm is lower than a category 3, I know my home will be structurally sound and we will be safe to stay. When making the evacuation plan, start by researching petfriendly hotels where you can stay, or locate a pet-friendly shelter in your area. A full list of pet-friendly shelters can be found at Remember, pet-friendly shelters and hotels will fill up fast, so plan two or three backup locations. If there is no way that you can take your pet with you, boarding your pet at a safe facility (like Beautify the Beast or Fire Flake

SPL PETS Farm) may be your best option. Although it may seem a last resort, never leave your pets home alone during an evacuation. If you will be evacuating out of the area, make a list of the veterinarians and emergency veterinarians nearby where you will be staying. Storms and evacuation can cause pets to suffer extreme anxiety and may cause them to act out, so knowing where to take them in an emergency can be a huge help. Step 2: Make a List of Supplies No matter what you choose, it is important that you and your family know your plan and remember the small details including enough food and water to last for two weeks per pet, and bowls. If you feed RAW you may need to get a freeze-dried version of your food in case you lose power or don’t have access to a freezer. Pack towels, extra blankets, cat litter, piddle pads or a kiddie pool with sod or pine shavings in your garage, balcony or back porch (in case your pet cannot go outside for several hours). Plan for two weeks, including: • I suggest Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and other supplements your pet normally takes and may need to keep calm. • A photo of your pet and clear description of your pet • Veterinary paperwork, vaccination records, and rescue alert stickers • Collars with up-to-date tags, leashes, carriers and special toys and beds for your pet Step 3: Jump Into Action Before a hurricane ever hits, make sure that your pets have up-to-date collars and tags. If you become separated from your pet, this may be the only way to find them. If your pet is microchipped, make sure to update your contact information. It is also helpful to make sure that any pet carriers, leashes, or harnesses are easy to find and still in usable condition. Make sure that any and all rescue alert stickers on your home are upto-date as well. As a Floridian, I know to keep a reserve of the supplies I made on my list during step one at all times. Stores will quickly sell out of many supplies that you might not think of (like dog and cat food, bottles of water, etc.) so during the summer I know to keep extras of those items.

If a storm is coming and you haven’t had time to stock up, make sure to start as soon as you can. Fill any prescriptions for your pet and make sure that you have any supplements they may need during and after the storm. It is also recommended that you keep a current photo of your pet, as well as a description of your pet, and any of your pet’s medical records, to help in the event that you and your pet become separated. If you plan to shelter at home, choose a safe room away from windows or outer doors, and remove anything potentially hazardous to pets. This includes plants that might be toxic or anything your pet might find on the floor. If you have a small dog or cats, make sure that air vents are closed and small spaces where they may become trapped are concealed. Your pet may become panicked during the storm and might try to hide, so knowing everywhere they could possibly hide or get stuck can save time and energy later. Step 4: Remain Calm Hurricanes are enough to rattle even the most stoic human’s nerves, so it is important for you and your pet to remain calm. Remain patient with your pets during and after the storm — the shakeup in their routine can cause stress, and when coupled with the loud sounds of a storm or the stress of evacuating, can cause behavioral issues. Using CALM, a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (CBD) can be helpful in soothing anxiety (especially noise anxiety associated with storms). If you still have electricity, playing soothing music can also help relieve some of the stress for both yourself and your pet. It is also important that you try to keep their routine stable as much as possible. After the hurricane has passed, make sure to remain calm when you take your dog outside, and do not unleash them until you have completely surveyed the damage. Although the damage may be stressful, staying safe is the most important and keeping yourself and your dog calm will help you recover from the storm. To learn more or contact Angela Ardolino, go to

Pet-Friendly Shelters Residents of St. Pete should know that Red Cross shelters do not accept pets during evacuations. Pinellas County pet-friendly shelters include: Oak Grove Middle School 1370 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater

Dunedin Middle School 70 Patricia Avenue, Dunedin Pet shelters will require proof of vaccinations.

John Hopkins Middle School 701 16th Street S., St. Petersburg

September/October 2020


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SPL EVENTS Scary St.Pete

Boo! It’s Halloween time and downtown St. Pete is loaded with creepy stories and reported hauntings that will send tingles up your spine. St. Peter’s Ghosts runs ghost walking tours for adults the second and third Friday of every month that include six haunted locations, three beverage stops and admission to the St. Pete Museum of History at a later date. The tour is completely outside and masks are worn by guides and required for guests. The 90-minute tour is $25 and can be booked at or through

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Fit City 5K

Come stretch, sip and groove on live music by DJ Ekin at Stretch and Sip from 9:30 to 11:30 am Sunday mornings sponsored by Michelob Ultra on the lawn of Mahaffey Theater. Enjoy a free 60 minute yoga session led by Crystal from Pure Strength and Movement and receive a swag bag with samples of Michelob Ultra’s newest brews. Space is limited; open to adults 21 and up only. Bring your own mat and towel; all levels of yoga experience welcome including beginners. Must register at

Run or walk, it doesn’t matter when you register to join in the City of St. Pete’s 4th Annual Fit City 5K. The Healthy St. Pete event will be a virtual 5K to support wellness initiatives in St. Petersburg. Simply pick your own route and log in 3.1 miles anytime between October 4-10. Walk around the neighborhood, at a local park or on one of the city’s trails. The theme is GLOW IN THE PARK and special glow gear will be included in the race packet. Registration is $25; for more information go to

Popera Opera On the Move

The show must go on for St. Pete Opera and, indeed it does with a series of monthly Popera pop-up concerts around downtown. The ambitious kickoff event traveled around with a stage on a trailer to three downtown locations on August 9 (see photo at Museum of Fine Arts) and featured brief selections to live piano. It was followed by a Three Tenors Popera on September 13. More mobile shows are set for October 25, November 22 and December 13. For locations and more information, check out Get ready for some fun! Photos/MrKamraMan

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September/October 2020


Women and Hair Loss:

Smile Through the Pain Hair may be the only attribute a woman has to frame her face and personality. It represents three phenomenal things: YOUTH, HEALTH and VITALITY. But what are the causes of hair loss in females? Can we do anything about it? Is there hope? Until recently, my primary clients for non-surgical hair restoration were men. However, in the last few months, I have seen several female clients who are desperate for help. Unfortunately, the age of women who are losing hair due to genetic factors is getting younger. Hormonal imbalances, toxic burdens, micronutrient deficiencies (especially vitamin D, iron, B vitamins, iodine), high levels of stress, lack of sleep and exercise have become the norm of our modern life and contribute significantly to earlier signs and symptoms of hair loss.

Want your confidence back? Want to look younger? Female Patient Before

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There are a few different types of hair loss: Female pattern Alopecia (due to genetic predisposition), Alopecia Areata (due to immune diseases, stress, prescription medications and recent surgeries), Cicatricial or Scarring Alopecia (usually with underlying autoimmune disease as a main cause), Traction Alopecia (due to traumatizing hair grooming practices), and Telogen Effluvium (sudden hair loss due to high fever, chemotherapy or very high stress levels). A Certified Trichologist is a specialist who treats hair and scalp problems, can determine what type of alopecia a client has and choose the right treatment. Treatments available in the hair restoration field range from topical applications of prescription and non-prescription remedies to surgical hair graft options. PRP (Platelets Rich Plasma), exosomes, peptides, nutraceutical replenishment, hormonal balance, proprietary formulated hair grooming kits and LED (Light Emitting Diode) treatments all have their own validity in the improvement of hair volume and thickness, as well as accelerating hair growth. Which therapy is right for you? We are all unique. What works for one woman may not bring desirable results for another. Find a Trichologist who is willing to dig deeper to find the cause of the problem and provide the optimal solution for the your hair loss problem. You deserve to smile again without pain!

• Non-Surgical Hair Restoration • Non-Surgical Weight Loss • Body Contouring and Detox • IV Therapy • Facial Aesthetics • Anti-Aging Therapy Millions of people - men and women - struggle with hair loss. If you desire a non-surgical, natural regrowth strategy that is safe and effective choose Wright Aesthetics. We offer a 90 day hair restoration protocol that was tested in 17 clinics around US. The results can be seen in as little as 30 days!

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BY MARCIA BIGGS If you’re looking for an escape from the current maladies of everyday life, an exploration of the new St. Pete Pier should be at the top of your list. For anyone with an inclination towards learning about our city’s history, start your pier visit at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, located at the head of the pier district near Beach Drive. The museum has reopened with refurbished interiors, a fresh coat of exterior paint and a new exhibit that pays homage to the city’s past in Building the Sunshine City. In the spacious new Hough Family Gallery, the multimedia exhibit features enlarged vintage photographs, blueprints, plat maps, video and artifacts highlighting 150 years of growth. It kicks off with a mind-mender -- a remarkably well preserved dugout canoe which was discovered on the bottom of Crescent Lake during dredging in

1924. Hewn from an 18-foot cypress log, historians believe it had been brought to the area by Spanish explorers during the late 1600’s with the Don Pedro Menendez expedition and confiscated by local Tocobagas. Pioneer Days are explored with large panels and images dating back to the late 1800s when African American labor cleared land, paved streets with Augusta bricks and built our first luxury hotels. In Trolleys & Trains, we see plat maps of St. Pete neighborhoods including some that were never built – and an extensive route map of the original trolley system, so thoughtfully planned it makes us wish it were around today. We see the mighty Orange Belt Railway station downtown and learn how both the trolleys and the trains were instrumental in moving people, citrus and goods across the

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September/October 2020

ARTS & CULTURE city and the state, continuing up the East Coast.

humongous pajamas and George Custer’s reading glasses. (Museum director Rui Farias confirms that the museum receives calls almost weekly offering all kinds of donations of city memorabilia, vintage photos and antiques, which keeps the collection growing in all directions.)

In Buildings & Churches, we find images of progress as the city rises with beautiful architecture, from banks and hotels to places of worship. The impact of growth and the destruction of historic buildings is not missing here, even a television news clip is on continuous rotation showing the implosion if the 300-room waterfront Sereno Hotel (1924) in 1992 (the implosion was also used in the filming of “Lethal Weapon III”). For anyone with an appreciation of history and preservation, Building the Sunshine City is a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past. But there’s more to see while you’re here. Don’t miss turning into the small back gallery that has been turned into the Odditorium, filled with unusual artifacts that may not be about St. Pete, but ended up here one way or another. Who can pass up seeing an Egyptian mummy, a two-headed calf, President Taft’s

Longtime favorites remain on display, such as the replica of the Benoist, the world’s first commercial airplane flown between downtown St. Pete and Tampa in 1914, which visitors see hanging upon entering the museum. The world’s largest collection of autographed baseballs, Shrader’s “Little Cooperstown”, is worth seeing, too. The private collection donated by local resident Dennis Shrader is astounding, featuring signed balls from historic baseball players to people like Fidel Castro and Charles Lindbergh. The St. Petersburg Museum of History is located at 335 2nd Avenue NE on the St. Pete Pier. For more information, call (727) 894-1052 or visit Facial coverings are required.


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The Courageous 12 Leon Jackson stood before 10 cadets at the local police academy last month and told the story of the Courageous 12, a group of black law enforcement officers who filed a 1965 discrimination suit against the city of St. Petersburg to eliminate segregation policies within the department.

the Courageous 12 that will be part of a mixeduse development at the old St. Petersburg police headquarters site at 1300 First Ave. N. The city announced the monument plans in August, and construction of the development will get underway in 2021. Jackson, 79, continues to build the legacy of his fellow officers. He’s written a book, Urban Buffalo Soldiers, the Story St. Petersburg’s Courageous Twelve, so a new generation can understand the deflating nature of being a cop whose ability to serve and protect was handcuffed by Jim Crow.

It’s a story Jackson knows all too well. He’s the last living member of the 12, a group that risked their jobs by challenging regulations that prevented the black officers from patrolling white neighborhoods or even arresting white offenders. The contrast can’t be ignored: a man who overcame the segregation of the ‘60s speaking to a group of would-be officers who’ll deal with the 21st century version of racial strife in America. “The police department did not want racism exposed,” Jackson said the day after he addressed the cadets. “We could have been fired, but we took a big gamble and it paid off.” The payoff will continue with the completion of a monument to

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“I remember when we would arrest AfricanAmericans or give an African-American a traffic citation, and they would tell us, ‘Y’all half police officers. You can’t arrest whites, you can’t patrol white neighborhoods.’ I didn’t say one word because I knew they were right. But one thing for sure, we did something about it.” Jackson says the message today’s officers should take from his story is clear: if you see something wrong, stand up and speak out -- just like 55 years ago when he sought to make a difference by joining

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SPL LIVING Freddie Lee Crawford, Adam Baker, Raymond DeLoach, Charles Hollands, Robert Keys, Primus Killen, James King, Johnnie B. Lewis, Horace Nero, Jerry Styles and Nathaniel Wooten. It took three years, but a U.S. District Court of Appeals finally sided with the 12. Jackson still remembers the first day he was assigned to patrol an area that included Snell Isle and Shore Acres. He had to ask a white officer for directions. Of course, even Jackson recognizes the differences for today’s officers, especially African-American officers. They’re challenged to address systemic racism and egregious behavior by fellow officers. At the same time, they may be at risk of being treated unfairly when they’re off duty and driving in civilian clothes. Jackson noted another difference. Ten of the courageous 12 grew up in south St. Petersburg and the majority graduated from Gibbs High. They knew the residents they served, the mothers and fathers who helped raise them looked at them with pride. Jackson said 95 to 98 percent of the community supported black officers.

Many of today’s officers don’t have that same familiarity with neighborhoods, although Chief Anthony Holloway’s push for community policing certainly has helped. I worry the support for officers may not be as high as when Jackson patrolled streets because some residents may look at black law enforcement as community traitors instead of community saviors. The challenges the modern-day black cop endures differ from the challenges Jackson faced, but they are no less daunting. Hopefully, the new monument will help every officer and every St. Petersburg resident recognize how far we have come, and how far we have to go. We must continue to strike a balance between holding law enforcement accountable and lending support to the officers that meet our expectations. With courage, it can be done. Ernest Hooper is the regional communications director for the American Cancer Society and a former Tampa Bay Times columnist.

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September/October 2020



Cruise Through Life on New Luxury Ship The ultimate dream home – living aboard an allinclusive luxury ocean liner that travels the world ports year-round and caters to a lavish lifestyle – is soon to be a reality. Storylines, a Delaware-registered company, is reimagining the cruise ship industry by creating more than just an ocean residence, but a way of life designed to attract adventure seekers looking for immersive cultural experiences, on a global scale. Residents will be able to travel to more than 100 countries, circumnavigating the globe at their own pace. With an average of three to five days in each port, adventure-seeking experiences are integrated into curated itineraries with immersive shore excursions. Additionally, Storylines will bring each destination to life onboard with enriching educational and entertainment experiences, and a signature Chef’s Table Market Gallery providing regional ingredients to create culinary offerings inspired by each port of call. The ship will feature 627 fully furnished residences across multiple categories, with units from 237 sq. ft. to 2411 sq. ft. and price points ranging from $297,000

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September/October 2020

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Rhea Machado Owner | Trainer Certified SAR K9 Handler AKC CGC Evaluator 386-262-4904 FB @fideliscaninetrainingllc

SPL LIVING to more than $8 million for a premium two-level penthouse suite. When not in residence, owners have the option to make their unit available through the Storylines rental management program. Worried about COVID? The ship’s press material stresses the ship will be a safe, hygienic offshore residential community, not a temporary tourist destination, and will have less than a third of the population of a ship of the same size. Advanced health protocols include green technology for clean air, water and surfaces, included HEPA air filtration throughout. “Our Storylines lifestyle is based around luxury and comfort in complete safety. What we have is a complete system to stop any major outbreaks of any kind on our ships,” said Storyline co-founder and CEO Alister Punton. And, oh yes, no buffets onboard. Additional amenities feature a micro-brewery, art studio, hydroponic farm and more. Prelaunch sales are available now. For more information, visit or call (813) 567-8679.

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Blinds • Shutters • Shades • Drapes • Home Automation

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©2018 Budget Blinds, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Budget Blinds is a trademark of Budget Blinds, LLC and a Home Franchise Concepts Brand. Each franchise independently owned and operated.

©2018 Budget Blinds, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Budget Blinds is a trademark of Budget Blinds, LLC and a Home Franchise Concepts Brand. Each franchise independently owned and operated.

727.204.3138 September/October 2020



Stylish Acura MDX is High-Tech on Wheels MDX (AWD with A-SPEC) Tires: 265/45R20 all season Wheelbase: 111 inches Length: 196.2 inches Width: 77.7 inches Height: 67.4 inches Weight: 4,486 pounds Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons City: 19 mpg Highway: 25 mpg Base price: $54,900 Price as tested: $55,895 Web site:

BY NITISH S. RELE Introduced in 2001, the MDX has undergone a transformation over the years. All for the good, of course. After nearly two decades, the stylish three-row midsize luxury SUV from Acura still possesses tremendous liveliness to go the distance. And during the journey, occupants can enjoy the coddling amid all the bells and whistles, especially the tech type. A 3.5-liter V-6 engine puts out 290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 267 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. And one couldn’t have a smoother nine-speed gearbox. Once again, the MDX is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive (our test drive). If a slightly energetic ride is to your liking, change the shifter into sport mode. Looking to save fuel? The Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system can operate in three or four cylinder modes for substantial fuel savings. An independent double wishbone front and a multilink rear suspension boost the SUV’s handling capabilities. If you come across untoward road conditions or a sharp curve, the motionadaptive power steering offers a solid on-center feel. As a result, the 20-inch tires stay glued to the path. Up front, it’s an attention-grabber with jewel-eye LED headlamps and daytime running lights flanking the signature diamond pentagon grille. The cabin is awash in extravagance with red/black cooled leather seats and Alcantara inserts (also on the doors), sport medals, distinct A-Spec trim instrument gauges and a thicker steering wheel. The supersized center console bin, which is 2 inches deeper and wider and 5 inches longer, can accommodate a laptop. And the second-row seat can go fore and aft 6 inches so third-row passengers can settle in effortlessly. The vast under floor bin in the cargo hold is a smart space saver. Passenger volume is a competitive 132.7 cubic feet. Other amenities are tri-zone auto a/c, power rear tailgate and moon roof, 12-way


September/October 2020

power heated/cooled front seats and noticeable metallic trim. And if you are looking for exclusivity, Acura has introduced an MDX Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) edition limited to just 330 models in Valencia Red Pearl. It’s one way of inching closer to owning a supercar. Yes, the PMC has been hand-assembled by the same wizards behind the track weapon, the Acura NSX. Making the invigorating ride secure are standard dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, front/rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, vehicle stability assist with traction control, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist (which maintains the ride in its path), blind-spot monitor, collision mitigation system, multi-angle rearview camera, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system. Packed with tech-savvy add-ons, the best-selling three-row luxury vehicle of all time (over 1 million units sold) displays swift acceleration, lavish cargo/passenger space and worthy fuel economy. Nitish Rele is editor and publisher of Motoring Tampa Bay and Khaas Baat. He can be reached at


Gulfport’s Metamorphosis into an Arts Haven


Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk is the oldest art walk in Pinellas County, tracing its lineage back to the handful of painters, fiber artists, jewelers and glass-blowers who set up tents on the north end of Beach Boulevard on November 5, 1993. Metamorphosis: Art for Hope and Healing, is the return of First Friday Art Walk as an outdoor, socially-distanced and creative showcase for leading artists from across the region to artistically express their stories of the challenges and opportunities of our unique year. Some of the Tampa Bay area’s most innovative artists, including several from local fine arts collective ArtJones, join the creative small businesses and arts loving community for a celebration of the healing power of art in a year that’s left its share of wounds. Ceramic artist Brenda McMahon heads the Arts Committee of the Gulfport Merchants Chamber and hopes the newly designed event serves also as a reintroduction of Gulfport as a diverse and creative hotbed in the region.

“Artists are communicators, yet we are more visceral and emotive than mental. Our ideas begin in the mind, but they are filtered through the heart and expressed through the hand.” Says McMahon. “Just as the earth cleanses ocean waters through its filters of brooks and rivers, art ideas have a similar filter system in culture. When conversations are expressed through mediums of paint, clay, steel and glass, they ‘cleanse’ the conversation away from judgement and toward understanding.” James Briggs is founder of St. Petersburg creative arts agency Carroway + Rose. If you go: Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk October 2, 2020 5-8pm Gulfport’s Third Saturday IndieFaire Monthly beginning October 17, 2020 5-9pm Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market Weekly beginning September 29, 9am-2pm

“Grief and Compassion” by Jila Davoodi

Visit or @visitgulfportfl for more information.

REDISCOVER GULFPORT @visitgulfportfl September/October 2020






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

(239) 228-0000 (239) 275-0333



Welcome to The ‘Burg

Help for Women-Owned Businesses

Jose Martinez, owner of Sartorial, Inc., welcomes new neighbors Tish DiFelice and Missy Hardy , owners of the new Coastal Soul Boutique. The new shop offers the latest in swimwear and casual wear, jewelry, gifts and accessories for the home at 400 Beach Drive NE #161.

The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women, one of Tampa’s most venerable nonprofits, has opened a satellite office in St. Petersburg to assist female entrepreneurs and small business owners with training, education and counseling as they navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 virus. The goal is to make it convenient for women-owned, small businesses in Pinellas County who would like to apply for emergency loans, achieve greater economic security for their families, and mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre for Women operates the only SBA designated Women’s Business Centre (WBC) on the west coast of Florida and recently received a supplement grant of $420,000 from the Small Business Administration to extend services to business owners impacted by the Coronavirus. “Through the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Impact Development loans and other funds available, our business advisors can help entrepreneurs determine which program might fit their needs and how to apply. There is a lot of money available to help entrepreneurs at this time,” said CARES Project Manager Brad Stevenson. For more information, call the CARES line at 813-550-2022 to schedule an appointment or email For more information about the WBC CARES program please visit

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September/October 2020

Luxury Open Air Event Facility Awaits You and Your Guests

The Barn at Crescent Lake Uniquely offers the perfect open air outdoor event facility in a beautiful and elegant surrounding for Weddings, Corporate and Private events. Located on an idyllic 20 acre private lake, we offer plenty of open air space for social distancing. Our newly rebuilt air conditioned venue has wall to wall sliders that open up for even more health and safety, while providing amazing waterfront views with an elegant chandelier atmosphere. The best of both worlds!

The Barn at Crescent Lake was the PERFECT venue for our wedding! The views are breath taking, especially at sunset! The lake was the perfect backdrop for our ceremony! The entire staff was amazing! Our guests raved about the venue, food and wait staff. -Victoria

We offer Educational Farm Tours to groups and individual families, Kids Birthday Parties, Beautiful Barn Weddings, Corporate, Private and Charity Events. For more information visit • 813-920-1948 9612 Crescent Dr. Odessa, FL 33556 • We can’t wait to see you on the farm!


E-Scooters Add New Transit Options to Downtown Area BY MARCIA BIGGS Love them or hate them, electric scooters are coming to St. Pete. It might be best to reserve judgment, though. The 18-month pilot program which is due to launch this fall, is the result of nearly a year of research and downtown stakeholder surveys by the City of St. Petersburg Transportation and Parking Management Department. City Council approved a micromobility ordinance in fall of 2019 that included the regulation of electric scooters and scooter share operators. This August, council voted to approve agreements with two scooter operators, Razor and Veo, to supply and maintain some 450 e-scooters for the pilot program. State legislation enacted in 2019 allowed motorized rental scooters to

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September/October 2020

operate in Florida at speeds up to 20 mph, yet allowed each municipality to devise individual scooter programs and ordinances. A comprehensive plan has been developed that creates a scooter program unique to the walkable nature of downtown St. Pete, according to city transportation manager Cheryl Stacks. The St. Pete program will prohibit scooters on sidewalks, the Pier and the Waterfront Trail (Demens Landing to Coee Pot Park), and require parking at least 5 feet from a pedestrian path or building entry. Some 100 initial parking corrals will repurpose unused space, utilizing existing bike share hub areas and converting a number of parking spaces or loading zones. The scooter ordinance allows driving

SPL NEWS within marked bike lanes and most shared use trails, on lower speed streets (30 mph or less), and double riding is prohibited. Riding area is generally within the greater downtown core and business districts, including the EDGE, Grand Central, the Deuces, and MLK Street Business District.

the scooters off the sidewalks.” Other cities allowed the scooter vendors to create and maintain parking corrals, which often became unsightly. In St. Pete, each vendor is being charged a one-time $40,000 fee to provide the city with funding to establish parking corrals. In addition, they are charged a right-of-way use fee of $1 per scooter per day and will be fined for “nuisance” scooters which are improperly parked. The police department and area hospitals will track crash and injury data related to scooters that will be part of a broad evaluation at the end of the pilot program.

Razor will offer seated scooters with baskets, Reo is stand-only. The appbased program works similar to the current bike share program, requiring riders to unlock the scooter using a smartphone or device and pay with credit cards. The anticipated cost is $1 to unlock/start (except in an Equity Zone) and 33 cents/minute for Veo and 29 cents/minute for Razor. City staff studied other cities with scooter operations in an effort to avoid frequently encountered problems and complaints, said Stacks, and noted that safety and parking management were priorities. “We have a highly walkable downtown with a lot of outdoor cafes. We heard loud and clear from other cities about the clutter problem, so we knew we had to keep

The city will work with scooter vendors to familiarize residents and businesses with scooter operation and the ordinance prior to the launch of the pilot program, added Stacks. “We are hoping to have some demo days to show people how they work,” she says, “along with videos and social media.” Keep updated on the city’s electric scooter launch on the Facebook page at


Raised $100k For St. Pete Pack-A-Sack Program

Half Page Ad About Us We’re an international SERVICE club with 1.2M members worldwide, not a social club. Being social is a byproduct of what we do to help our community and those less fortunate throughout the world. Rotary provides networking opportunities although that wasn’t the goal of Paul Harris.

If you are looking for ways to engage with business men and women committed to serving our community and our world we invite you to become one of 1.2 million Rotarians around the world by joining The Rotary Club of St. Petersburg, the largest and oldest service club in our community.

Are you interested in joining Rotary and making our community and the world a better place to live and work?

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September/October 2020


Keeping St. Petersburg


before First Place NARI Award Residential Interior $250,000 to $500,000


trobel Design Build, a State Certified Building and Remodeling Contractor in Tampa Bay, has received numerous local and national awards for their home remodeling projects. Since their beginning in 1983, Strobel Design Build has mastered the art of sophisticated luxury home and condo remodeling. Their hands-on, design build process gives each client a custom approach to their specific home remodeling project. Areas of expertise include: • Historic Renovations • Condo Renovations • Coastal FEMA Remodels • Luxury New Homes • Designer Kitchens • Designer Bathrooms

Every remodeling project or new home that Strobel Design Build crafts is unique and tailored to the needs of the client. Their philosophy is to maintain the character of the homes in St. Petersburg and the beaches while improving the way we live in them.

The Strobel Design Build team has over 40 years of experience building in the Greater Tampa Bay Area, and they are currently Tampa Bay’s most awarded design build firm. With multiple awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Strobel Design Build has the experience and credentials you need for your sophisticated luxury home remodeling project. The secret to their success lies in their process. Strobel Design Build combines client involvement, ongoing education and industry best practices for seamless design and renovation projects. The Strobel Design Build designers provide a concierge-level service to ensure that once they are finished with a project, their clients are left with the kitchen or home remodel they have always dreamed of. Call or visit the Strobel Design Build website for more information.•

National First Place NARI Award National First Place NARI Award

Residential Bath over $100,000 Residential Bath over $100,000

in partnership with Bright Wood Works in partnership with Bright Wood Works

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Design DesignBuild BuildPROCESS PROCESS


From architecture andand design to contstruction, From architecture design to contstruction, your ideas willwill come to life all all under one roof. your ideas come to life under one roof.











Mark Zdrojewski Mark Zdrojewski President President

For a FREE consultation onon your remodeling project, give usus a call at at (727) 201-3038 For a FREE consultation your remodeling project, give a call (727) 201-3038 or or visit our website www .S trobel D eSign b uilD . com • CBC 1257352 visit our website www .S trobel D eSign b uilD . com • CBC 1257352

DonDon Strobel Strobel Founder Founder

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St. Pete Life September/October 2020  

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