Saturday, August 2, 2014

AUGUST 3, 2014


Your favorite football teams have been in camp for almost two weeks.  Exhibition games are about to begin. The first is today's Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio; and in a few weeks you can join thousands on Sunday to watch AMERICA'S favorite game FOOTBALL; either in the comfort of your own home or at the dozens of Sports Bars in SARASOTA.

Which leads me to my first article announcing the opening of a new, better and bigger GECKO'S at Cattleman and Fruitville across the street from Sam's Club in the former location of shuttered Trader Vic's.  Several screens are available for all games on Sunday as well as college football on Saturday.  And along with the game comes the food GECKO'S is known for.  Salads, burgers, cheese-steaks, hot dogs, pizza, wings, fries  Not to be outdone by the food, there is a wide variety of beer along with mixed drinks and soda.

GECKO'S other locations are The Landings, Braden River Plaza, Twelve Oaks Plaza, Palmer Crossing Circle and Southside Village. As we move closer to opening kick-off I will try to feature many of Sarasota's best Sports Bars.

Today (Sunday) is the last day to take advantage of a tax-free weekend featuring clothing, computers and back to school items.  I doubt any of you will need the latter!!  Spent part of Friday at Ellenton Outlet Mall where parking was a premium, many stores packed to capacity and the average age made us look even older than we are!!  But, to lure customers, many locations around SARASOTA are offering incentives to get you into their doors.  Check today's paper for last minute deals.

Looking for an inexpensive lunch and dinner that is not time consuming? Try Jason's Deli in the Fresh Market shopping center off University.  Since opening a few years ago, Jason's has improved its menu with creative offerings featuring daily soup specials, several sandwich creations and an extensive salad bar as well stocked as their neighbor Sweet Tomatoes.  The entire menu is available for take out and delivery.  Offering gluten free as well as FREE ice cream. You won't go home hungry. For menu and hours click here.

RUMOR CONFIRMED....RUMOR CONFIRMED....Due to the overwhelming success at it's first FLORIDA location right here in SARASOTA....TRADER JOE'S IS seeking a second SARASOTA to be determined...I'll let you know as soon as decision is final..........

A new addition to our downtown area is the BALTIMORE  SNOWBALL FACTORY.   Located around the corner from El Greco on Orange Ave.  This is one of the only shops I know of in SARASOTA dispensing snowballs.  What a way to escape the heat with an inexpensive cup of chipped ice with your favorite flavor.  There are dozens of flavors  to choose from root beer, cheese cake,  Silver Fox/Almond favorite!!

  If you are planning a party or event, Baltimore Snowball Factory can come to you.  If you are looking to cut down calories while at the same time craving something sweet and cold this is the place for you. For a complete list of flavors and other information click here.

A few weeks ago, we saw a delightful movie at Hollywood 20, which has spread to several other area theaters.  Begin Again, stars Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley.  Mark plays a down on his luck music executive with a broken marriage and teenage daughter who he has little time for.  Knightley, whose boyfriend is Adam Levine of The Voice and Maroon Five, is attempting to enter the music industry. 

With New York as a background, Ruffalo helps her cut an album.  What she does with it in the end is a nice way to wrap up an entertaining couple of hours.  John Carny, who created  and created Tony winning Once, is the director/producer of this one as well.

Today is the last day to see a wonderful performance at Florida Studio Theatre, Becoming Dr. Ruth.  I wrote about the show in the last blog and had  a chance to see it myself last week.   What a character study by Susan Greenhill.  By the end of her performance you will be on your feet cheering.  Closing as well today,  is Clearly Invisible in the Cabaret.  Though I have not seen it, I am told Carl Seiger is an illusionist as good as any.

VAN WEZEL continues to announce shows for the coming season.   They are going to release the full list early September.  But if you want to get a jump with and early purchase you can call 941-953-3368 or click here and order on line.  Among the recent announcements are Capitol Steps 11/1, Wanda Sykes 11/16, Mannheim Steamroller 11/19 (a sure sell-out with some of the best Christmas arrangements around, and Kenny Rogers 11/29.  Along with Bill Maher, Audra McDonald, several Broadway shows and the usual number of Symphony Orchestras, you should be spending many a winter evening at VAN WEZEL.

WBTT this week announced their 15th year anniversary season kick-off. A fund-raiser, also at
VAN WEZEL on 10/6.  A one time only performance of an electrifying show, The Eve of Jackie:  A musical tribute to Jackie Wilson.   Award-winning Broadway singer Chester Gregory stars in this raw and jaw-dropping tour de force of Jackie Wilson during his last complete performance in September 1975, one night before his career ends during that  performance.

As you can imagine, tickets are not the normal WBTT price range. This summer's series was priced at $29.  Tickets for this show begin at $100 and close at $35.  Click here to purchase tickets for this show and the remaining performances of Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul.  We saw the show at a sold-out performance and highly recommend.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman's last movie before his untimely death in February, A Most Wanted Man,  showcases his depth as an actor and how much he will be missed.  John Le Carre's post 9/11 political passion play about sins committed in the name of national security showing exclusively at Burns is true to the book.

 It is also an art-house thriller with its psychological plot of more talk than action; however, don't let that keep you away.  Shot in Hamburg Germany where the 9/11 attack was planned, the city's gloom and beauty make the movie that much more compelling.   It will keep you guessing until the final scene.  If you did not read the book I recommend going on line for a review to better understand what you are about to see.

Those who have seen A Most Wanted Man have their own take on the ending.  This movie makes for great  discussion over dinner or drinks. My choice for sleeper hit of summer.

JIM'S RANT.....Seems like the only land-line calls are telemarketers of one kind or another.  I recently received one of  the most unusual.  I was awarded $7,000 no strings attached.  Just had to supply a credit card or bank account for quick deposit of money.  I may be OLD, but not stupid.  AND the area code was 202 for Washington, but the voice was distinctly Indonesian.  AND re-registering again at DoNotCall doesn't eliminate the problem as it was designed to do.....

Tracy did her magic again and Roberta had her usual comments!!!!...Until August 17.....JIM


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