Monday, August 12, 2013



Over 1000 participants and thousands of visitors have jammed Benderson Park for the first three days of competition.  Any day now, SARASOTA should get official word as host of 2017 World Rowing Championships.  Wasn't it nice of Governor Scott to visit?  From a non-supporter to a supporter when he finally realized the good this facility is doing for SARAOTA's and Florida's image around the WORLD!!!!  Better late than never.

This next item will cause some controversy and I hope if you disagree with me you email and let me know your take on these two restaurants.  During the time between blogs, we went to both restaurants...each on a Sunday.  P.F. Chang's is an exciting, hectic and noisy addition to Sarasota's growing list of restaurants.  The service is adequate and the food is tasty; without a reservation,  the wait is horrendous.
Yummy House opened last year and has improved in every category....service, food quality and portions.  For authentic Chinese cuisine, Yummy is head and shoulders above Chang's.  Visit either one NOW, because in a few months the wait for both will be intolerable.

Other restaurant news this week...HOB NOB is undergoing a complete renovation to the tune of a half million dollars and will be closed for several months.  DRY DOCK is closing this week and will reopen with an expanded dinning area the middle of October.  The entire entry area will be for waiting and drinking.  Food will be served outside and upstairs. A second elevator is also under construction.
Serving Sarasota for several years in its Main Street location, Divino's is offering its famous menu at slashed prices through early October.  If you have not eaten there recently or in several years, I suggest you give it a try; especially at prices better than most Savor Sarasota restaurants offered.  The Sole, Caesar Salad and pasta is as good as remembered.

The newest Daniel Silva novel, The English Girl, takes Gabriel Allon to London, Russia ,Corsica and France  as he searches for the lover of Britain's Prime Minister who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom.  Silva's books take place in  authentic locations, and this one is no exception.  As I read the book in less than a week, I was filled with remembrances of places once visited.  For late summer beach, pool or lazy afternoon reading, Silva's latest is for you.

Looking for a television show that is exciting, dramatic and guaranteed to keep you attention for the entire hour?  BBC America's BROADCHURCH Wednesday's at 10 is that and more.   In fact, it is so good, FOX has bought the rights for its 2014-15 season; while BBC has committed to another season.  The story is simple. An 11 year old boy is found dead and at first his death is considered a suicide.  But further investigation reveals foul play and the race is on to find the murderer and the reason for the murder before it happens to others.  You can catch up ON-DEMAND.  Like a good book, this one is hard to put down.

Continuing with television, I am now using Xfinity X1 which is quite an improvement over anything Comcast has offered to this point.  The remote system offers you a variety of options from multiple recordings to improved guide and Apps which include Pandora. 

Currently playing at Florida Studio Theatre is a Michael McKeever play about the art world, specifically Art Basel held each year in Miami Beach Florida.  The play has some terrific moments from an excellent cast, and though much better than the recently completed Underpants, it sometimes struggles to keep the comedy flowing and is difficult to follow without first reading a review.  Nevertheless it is an easy and inexpensive way to spend two hours away from the heat and sun.  Better hurry.  South Beach closes this week.

A new restaurant opening soon!!  If you like oysters and mussels and calamari and other seafood, you will now have another option on University Parkway.  Half Shell Oyster House on Main St. in downtown Sarasota is expanding to the former Red Elephant location in the Kohl's shopping center.  Opening date has not been announced.

And if you missed Justine Griffen's front page Business News article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune,  popular fitness clothier Lululemon has a showroom right here in Sarasota at 330 Palm Avenue .Their present location is open only a few days a week. Thursday-Friday 10-6, Saturday until 5.   Hopefully they will have a full-time location in the future.

JIM'S RANT is directed at most, not all,  department, convenience, supermarket, and box stores.  Other than Nordstrom, which is not here and will  probably be represented only  by their Rack store, where are the floor walkers to assist with questions?  I was in WalMart this week and could find no one to help with product location.  Target is similar as is Kohl's, Stein Mart, Dillard's, Best Buy and many more.  Other outstanding service can be found at Publix and Bed Bath and Beyond.  If you know of any more with good service let me know, and I will include in the next blog.

I'll be back again the end of this month and will resume the weekly blog at that time.  As always, thanks to Tracy for her assistance in making me look good.  If you have any comments please forward to and I will post.  Enjoy the last days of August....JIM


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