Saturday, December 14, 2013

DECEMBER 15, 2013

Where else, but in SARASOTA, will you be able to visit downtown and find pianos on several street corners?  The City Commissioners this past week approved a pilot program to place up to six pianos on public sidewalks during the day.  Downtown businesses will sponsor and store them at night, and local artists will decorate the Spinet pianos with the public encouraged to play.  Current plans call for at least four in place before the end of the holiday season. There will be an opening night celebration.  Keep checking your blog for date.

While Downtown, I encourage you to visit the new restaurant ROAST.  Located on the corner of 1st and Pineapple adjacent to the Opera House, it has dining rooms on two floors with beautiful courtyard dining when the weather cooperates. 

An eclectic menu offers  burgers, fish, steaks, along with small plates and sides of fries, vegetables, deviled eggs, tuna tartar and more. Complimentary Valet parking is available across the street.  Open as well for lunch and Sunday brunch call 941-953-1971 or click here for view of menu and more information.

I am embarrassed to admit I had never eaten at SOUTHSIDE DELI until last Friday.  Boy,  what I've been missing! They have one of the most expansive menus this side of Naples, and ALL good, or at least what we ate.  Located on Hillview St. in an area of SARASOTA housing among others Hillview Grill, Pacific Rim, Sam Snead's and Morton's, it is easy to overlook, but not anymore.

The sandwiches can be halved, soups come in all sizes and everything is served HOT and quick.  And of course there are several salads on the menu. To complete the experience they offer homemade desserts, sixteen flavors of homemade gelato or soft serve ice cream. Open Mon-Fri until 8, Saturday until 6.  Closed on Sunday.  Breakfast is also served daily.

I recently wrote about Madison Cafe and Deli opening for dinner with a deli menu featuring brisket, stuffed cabbage and more. That is still being considered; however their policy for the next few weeks is to open for dinner with reservations only.    So, if are interested in REAL deli call SOL at  942-388-3354 and he won't disappoint.

This week, we had dinner at COLUMBIA, where the Cuban Black Bean soup and 1905 salad were as good as ever.  Sometimes taken for granted due to longevity,  you can never go wrong here especially on a warm SARASOTA evening where sitting outdoors was preferable to eating inside.

all faiths food bank sponsored a luncheon at Temple Emanu-El honoring its more than 3000 volunteers.  Quite a number for any organization, especially one in SARASOTA.  Executive Director Sandra Frank gave out several awards while Rabbi Brenner Glickman, who not only is Emanu-El's Rabbi, but works tirelessly with all faiths gave a welcoming and invocation to the group.

Catered by Paul Mattison, who is also on the board, it was a tasty lunch and showed the appreciation the food bank has for its volunteers.  The picture above is of Temple volunteers who attended the luncheon including Rabbi Elaine Glickman, Rabbi Brenner Glickman's wife and an Executive Board Member with all faiths.    If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity please call Fran Talley, volunteer coordinator at 941-375-1107 after 1/1/14!

SARASOTA'S ascendancy from small sleepy Florida city to a thriving metropolis has never been more evident than in our recent awarding of :  World Rowing Championships  at Benderson Park in 2017;  NCAA 2018 Rowing Championships,  the 2014 and 2015 YMCA National Masters Swimming championships and now selected to host Pentathlon events starting next year and leading up to OLYMPIC trials in 2017.

The Pentathlon is the oldest OLYMPIC competition consisting of fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, running and shooting.  Most of the events will be held at Benderson Park.

From time to time I am fortunate to meet and use the services of several or more of SARASOTA'S skilled practitioners   One such person is DOREEN CLYNE who is a licenced  therapeutic massage therapist.   Doreen  provides private in-home services.  She specializes in Deep Tissue and Swedish Relaxation.  She also offers Sports Therapy, Reiki and Hot Stone Therapy among others.

Doreen has an MBA in Health care Administration and most recently moved here from Maui, Hawaii where she served as massage therapist at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua.  She was on an advance team helping establish the SARASOTA Ritz Carlton spa. She recently left the Ritz to form her own massage therapy business which is divided among private clients and offices of several medical professionals, complimenting their practices with specific massage therapy.

Services start at $80 for one hour, $100 for 90 minutes and $140 for two hours.  If you mention Jim Knows Sarasota you will receive a %10 discount for your first appointment.  Call 941-487-0134 and schedule one now!!!

JIM'S RANT.....Our paper must be pleased with itself for featuring their 'GRIDLOCK" article on last Sunday's front page.  We've been here 11 years and traffic on University has increased every year, but not to the extent implied in the article.  We will wait and see what happens when UTC opens before passing any more traffic judgement.  AND, if you live this way, by now you know the
short-cuts to avoid any "gridlock" on University or I75.....

As usual, Tracy did her great job of editing.  I leave you this week with a picture of the Great Bobby Hull whom I spent time with on Thanksgiving.  He is wearing the Stanley Cup ring from 1961 and the commemorative 50 year anniversary  ring from 2011.  I am wearing this year's Ring...won by his and my CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS......JIM

The cup is a small replica of the 1961 Championship Cup.



Saturday, December 7, 2013

DECEMBER 8, 2013

Saturday, December 13 marks the 28th annual SARASOTA Christmas Boat Parade.  It starts at 6:30pm, with best viewing along Bay Shore drive. Several boats will be decorated with lights, trees and even Santa will be parading along the bay during this yearly holiday tradition.  Arrive early and eat at one of the many downtown restaurants.  For more information and good viewing suggestions click here.

Celebrating it's 10th anniversary, THE PERLMAN MUSIC PROGRAM/SUNCOAST, will be offering free rehearsal tickets at its winter residency Monday, December 9 through Wednesday December 11, at the Rotunda, USF Sarasota-Manatee 8350 N. Tamiami Tr 10am-2pm.  On Tuesday tickets will also be available at Pritchard Pianos-Venice 1855 S. Tamiami Tr.  $5 E tickets are also available on line for guaranteed up-front seating. Recital and Rehearsal performances begin on Monday December 23. The last performance will be Jan 4 with a final concert  at  Sarasota Opera House For a complete schedule of rehearsals, how to contribute and to purchase E tickets click here.

CIRCUS SARASOTA is offering two special productions to celebrate the season.  A new show CIRQUE DES VOIX  has performances  beginning Friday December 13-Sunday the 15th.  It will be performed under the big top at Tuttle and 12th.  This show is spectacular combining circus arts with the 100 voice Key Chorale.   Also returning is SAILOR CIRCUS holiday spectacular "It's a Wonderful Life" at their arena at 2075 Bahia Vista St. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets in advance click here.

UTC update.....Had lunch at CHEESECAKE FACTORY/
International Mall in Tampa last week.  We have been going to this restaurant since discovering it in Silver Spring MD. several years ago, and am happy to report it just keeps getting better with age.  Their Cobb salad compares quite favorably with the one I always eat at SAM SNEAD'S.  The menu has been downsized, but not the portions. Also learned NORDSTROM is putting its money and energy into a New York location opening next year.  The fourth anchor pad  is still available for them, but if NORDSTROM does come this way it won't be in time for the Mall opening.

If you are hungry after reading the above, I am pleased to report the opening of DEMETRIO'S on University and Lockwood Ridge.  Literally impossible to drive into other than Lockwood ridge going South,  the place was packed with people waiting inside and out.   The menu is extensive as well as  inexpensive with portions that come in several sizes.  Tried the meat Lasagna and Sausage Sub.  The Lasagna comes with salad.  For a casual Italian or Greek meal try  DEMETRIOS;  just be prepared to wait.

AT LONG LAST.......The Fall/Winter movie releases are rolling out and there are three I can easily recommend.  I have not seen  12 Years A Slave, All Is Lost ,The Hunger Games: Catching Fire or Inside Llewyn Davis.  I did previously recommend Academy Award possible  Best Documentary,  ARMSTRONG LIE now exclusively at Hollywood 20 and MANDELA which will be here CHRISTMAS DAY ; now more than ever compelling with his passing on Thursday.  If you are not fatigued of the television coverage  of his life, death and funeral, you will find this a fascinating biography of one of the world's most influential people of all time.  I did see the following...........

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB starring Matthew McConaughey in his second Academy worthy performance this year (the other being Mud) is a true story of one mans fight for drugs against the FDA to help him battle HIV in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and is gripping from start to finish.  Jared Leto also gives an Academy worthy performance portraying a transvestite so believable I thought him a woman until he revealed his real self.


THE BOOK THIEF , based on the hit novel of same name gives you a feel of what life was like in Nazi Germany as a couple hides a young Jewish girl who has a great fascination for books.  Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are suburb as the parents and newcomer Sophie Nelisse will steal your hearts with her performance.  This one is playing at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas.

Judy Dench gives a gut-wrenching performance as a woman who searches for a son she was forced to give up as a teenager in PHILOMENA, playing at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas as well as  Burns Court. Her performance is Academy Award caliber, but after seeing Meryl Streep in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, Streep is the one to beat next February.
THANKSGIVING with the MILES family.  A most enjoyable afternoon and evening with George, Janet, Tammy, Taylor and several of their family flown in from New Jersey, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and University Park.  Three delightful Ringling College students were also invited and one is studying here all the way from Swaziland.  The warmth of the evening along with an unending parade of turkey, sides and desserts made this one of my more memorable Thanksgivings.

Looking for something different to do over the holidays in of all places SARASOTA?  The OR1OLES are turning Ed Smith Stadium into an ice rink with "ICE ON THE DIAMOND" a dazzling holiday themed show on a specially engineered ice stage on the ballpark's main field on Friday Dec. 20 at 7pm.  Tickets are on sale now at the stadium box office daily 10-4 and 10-2 on Saturday.  

While at the craft show this weekend, we saw local artist Su Griggs who invited us and all of you to an open house Saturday, December 14 1-6pm at her home 1750 Loma Lind St. SARASOTA, 34239.  You can RSVP 941-586-7972.  Art will be on display for sale along with refreshments for good cheer. 

JIM'S RANT.....Wonder why more and more of us use the DVR to record regular television programming?  Just count the commercials on any given break.  You can watch a 60 minute program in under 45...Oh for the good old days of real FCC control......saw The Sound Of Music,and though it garnered big ratings, it seemed dated and was slammed by most critics as being stiff and out of touch......

Have fun shopping this week.  I saw an interesting feature  comparing Black Friday prices to earlier ones in August....THE SAME!!!!  Buyer beware!!!

As usual, Tracy did a fine editing job........Until next week....JIM
If you did not attend Farmer's Market last weekend you missed a great opportunity.