THE SHOPPING SEASON IS IN FULL SWING...SINCE THANKSGIVING MORNING!!!!
STORES HAVE BEEN OPEN WITH LONG LINES AND PLENTY OF BARGAINS.....
But the fun has just started. Tomorrow marks the opening of another major retailer new to the area as H&M finally arrives at UTC with its chic reasonably priced male and female apperal. If you are one of the first 100 shoppers in line an "Access to Fashion Pass"with values ranging from $10 to $300 awaits you.
The next three Thursday evenings 5-8 gives you a rare opportunity to visit the C'Da'Zan at night and experience some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations in all of SARASOTA. The dates are December 4,11, and 18. Admission is free with your membership or $5-10 with children admitted at the $5 fee. Among the many delights is the ten foot tree that stands TALL in The Grand Court. Admission is included with Art After 5 or if not interested in the total RINGLING experience enjoy this seasonal tradition on its own.
If you are looking for a special dining treat over the holidays or just want a GREAT meal, PUCCINI'S 2881 Clark Rd. off of Swift Rd. is still serving some of the best Italian in SARASOTA. A menu created by owner/chef Richard with daily fresh specials bought at market that morning and prepared for your table so that all dishes are served piping hot at the same time. You can bring your own booze; and that includes wine, vodka, bourbon, gin or whatever.
It is a special treat to dine in the kitchen where you can watch Richard perform his magic for his restaurant full of diners. There are two seating's at 6 and again at 8:30. Reservations are a must by calling 941-923-7002. For kitchen dining I suggest you book several weeks in advance; especially this time of year.
This coming weekend, the SARASOTA Orchestra, under the direction of Evans Haile, presents their second Masterworks concert of the season American Dream. It is a concert of shorter works and performed without an intermission. The grand finale is one of our all-time favorites Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Anu Tali returns next month, but under her guidance and influence our wonderful orchestra has never sounded better.
And if you haven't had your fill of CHRISTMAS music by now, Andrew Lane is conducting a seasonal Great Escapes Jingle All the Way December 10-13 in Holley Hall. To purchase tickets for ALL concerts click here.
While on their web site check out the schedule for next year's PoPs Series. Voices of the Movies, The Music of Billy Joel & more as well as always popular On Broadway are their musical salute to the American experience. Andrew Lane is conductor here as well.
The Westcoast BLACK Theatre Troupe begins a new production Wednesday through the 21st of this month.........................................
Langston Hughes BLACK NATIVITY. This joyous holiday gift to the community is a celebration of the Nativity with spiritual along with Christmas music, paired with the poetry of Langston Hughes. Since this is not a part of subscription series, tickets are available now, but won't be for long. Click here for schedule of performances and purchase of tickets.
Every week, or so it seems, I am able to bring a new restaurant experience to you. I am happy to report this week's is one of Florida's first from a new chain CHICKEN KITCHEN. Now open at 5215 University Parkway adjacent to Kohl's, 11-10 Mon-Sat and 9 on Sunday, Chicken Kitchen is as healthy a fast food you can get.
I've had their Chop-Chop salad either over rice or a bed of lettuce & tomatoes along with several toppings chosen as salad is prepared. The chicken is fresh and cooked right in front of you as you "construct" your salad. In addition to salads they offer a chicken platter, wraps or plain salad without the chicken, and of course, kid's meals. If you're into healthy eating or love salads, by all means treat yourself to the Kitchen. For a complete menu and additional information click here.
There has been a change in movies at the Burns Cinemas, instead of The Imitation Game, FORCE MAJEURE, a movie we saw at Cine-World is playing. This is a phsycological drama of a family on a ski vacation in the French Alps, and what happens in the aftermath of an avalanche. It not only has subtitles, but requires every bit of concentration and discussion afterwards. If you like a "thinking man" movie, then by all means see this one with another couple, and be prepared to dissect what you've just seen.
JIM'S RANT.....Oh for the good old black Friday days....midnight store openings; door busters where hordes of people get kicked, shoved and fight for special bargains...no more....Thanksgiving morning and I'm on line getting 50% off on HP Ink Cartridge's before the first bite of turkey...what a country......
Here's hoping for a better week of shopping, eating and parties as we get closer to CHRISTMAS/HANUKKAH........Roberta was editor this week, as Tracy took a leave of absence...until next week...JIM
PS....The SARASOTA Craft Show returns to Robarts Arena next weekend. There is an admission charge and only cash accepted at entrance, but if you are looking for an unusual present this will be the place.