Saturday, November 23, 2013


One of Norman Rockwell's most famous paintings helped spur a bond effort for the Second World War in the amount of $132 Million.  Can you imagine what  that number would be  in 2013?  As you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday give thanks for all your blessings.  As bad as things look at times,  we are in a far better place in the good old USA.

With Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah falling on the same day,  it's only fitting I bring you this YouTube video provided by Editor Tracy.  Click here to, watch, and enjoy! Remember to light your first Hanukkah candle on Wednesday evening.

New owners have turned MADISON AVENUE Cafe & Deli into one of the better casual eateries on St. Armands Circle.  Located next door to Chase Bank with indoor and outside seating they make a strong alternative to Starbucks or Blue Dolphin for a quick breakfast served with some of the best coffee this side of Starbucks.

Lunch is also available, and dinner Tuesday-Saturday will feature some of the best delicatessen this side of Too Jays.  You can enjoy matzo ball soup, brisket, corned beef, half roasted chicken, stuffed cabbage, potato latkes and more.  Also serving beer and wine.  Dinner reservations are a must at either 388-3354 or Chef Sol at 893-7599.

There are so many worthwhile events on a daily basis, it is impossible to attend them all.  A few weeks ago, we were among the sold-out AJC 2013 Civic Achievement Award Dinner honoring Teri A. Hansen, President/CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  Teri has served in her current position since 2002, and through her leadership and outstanding staff, Gulf Coast recently surpassed $160 million in grants invested in the community.

Current AJC Regional President, Anne Varig  has followed in the tradition established by long time companion, Nate Benderson, in leading an organization that promulgates their core values of equality and religious freedom, civil rights and women's issues regardless of race or religion.  She is capably assisted by Executive Director, Brian Lipton. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of First SARASOTA Singing Christmas Tree.  If you have never seen this performance you will be swept away by the singing and staging on the largest church stage in Sarasota.  Performed by volunteer members, they will delight and entertain for 90 minutes.  Beginning Friday December 6, there are only 9 performances through December 15.  You can buy tickets in person 1670 Main St., call 1-888-684-5272 or click here to purchase tickets on line.

While shopping this weekend and working up an appetite for something different, I strongly recommend InfuZions in the Parkway Shopping Center on Lockwood Ridge and University Parkway.  Combining the best of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine , this is fusion dining at its best.  Located in the former location of a so-so Chinese restaurant in a shopping center that needs a kick start after the loss of Sweet Bay a few years ago, InfuZions  is the creation of Thailand/Gulf Gate owners as well as a few former Pho Cali employees.  Currently serving from a menu offering vegan, gluten-free and food allergies alternatives, it will soon be growing its own organic vegetables that will compliment the fresh organic produce already being purchased on the open market.

If you are a fan of Pho Cali or Lehan you will not be disappointed with the variety or flavors.  I found the food better, fresher and more favorable than either  restaurant.  Also featured at the bar are Bubble "Boba" Tea drinks.   Open for lunch and dinner daily,  they are already doing a brisk business thanks to word of mouth.  In fact, neighbor Malcolm Stearn gave me the heads up on InfuZions.  For reservations call  941-359-3658.
Next door to Infuzions  is the shuttered Sweet Bay.  A building permit has been posted, and though the posting does not indicate the business, I can state with good authority, a MOVIE THEATRE will be the tenant.  Whether it be reincarnation of Parkway Cinemas or a first run Cinema their opening will go a long way to reviving the shopping center.  At the very least, it will mean increased business for all current shopping center merchants. 

George Miles writes "We saw PURLIE yesterday at WBTT "Was the best show I have seen at West Coast....don't miss it..." PURLIE has showtimes scheduled Tuesday - Sunday until December 15.  For tickets click here or call 941-3676-1505.  Playing Captain Cotchippe is David Abolafia, a local talent, who is also doing a comedy turn at McCurdy's Comedy Club Sunday December l at 7pm. 

JIM'S past years, I  have looked forward to black Friday and going out among the crazies just to be there!!!  So much fun, goodwill and excitement....NO Friday has reinvented itself to Thursday..stores opening early on Thanksgiving to take advantage of eager Xmas shoppers....most of us know the best buys are at the last minute anyway..The shops at Ellenton are having midnight madness as usual, but even there many of the stores are opening early......
As always, thank you to Tracy,and especially this week for her timely and funny YouTube video. And those of you who are thinking about SHOW BOAT better get tickets NOW!! It is selling fast!!!!
Scene from this year's Chalk Festival. 
Especially timely on 150th anniversary of
Gettysburg Address



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