Saturday, December 6, 2014

DECEMBER 7, 2014


And while you are enjoying the wonderful weather, along with the sights and sounds of the seasons, you can still catch The 41st Annual SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE at First Sarasota on Main Street.  Performances run December 5th through December 14th.  If you have not seen this amazing performance and are in the mood for traditional as well as non-traditional Christmas music this one is for you. For a schedule of performances and to purchase tickets click here.

If you are searching some more POPULAR Christmas music you are in luck.  This Wednesday, the VAN WEZEL is showcasing its Colors of Christmas featuring four talented singers who have not been here in awhile.  Grammy Award Winner Peabo Bryson, Tony Award Winner Jennifer Holiday who you may remember from Dreamgirls, Season 2 American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, and singer songwriter Taylor Dane. There are good seats available. To purchase tickets online for this show as well as others click here.

Those of you who are back for the season and many of us who live here year round are in for a treat when visiting the new BJ'S.  Their prepared foods have been increased as has all their food product; and they've added a deli counter.   The store has  expanded by making use of warehouse space, and though they are by no means  a COSTCO , you do have the convenience of warehouse shopping without having to travel far.  BONUS: The gas is always several cents lower than most and they now offer a Master Card which gives you an additional 10 cents off per gallon.

This week marks the return of a SARASOTA Christmas tradition at THE TABERNACLE 4141 DeSoto Road....THE LIVING NATIVITY....Taking place daily at 7&8 pm from 12/11-12/14, it features nearly 100 cast members, live animals, and flying angels.  There will be cookies and hot chocolate or coffee during the performance.  Remember this is an outside presentation ; weather permitting.

Those of the Jewish Faith will be celebrating CHANUKAH in a few weeks and while shopping for family or friends here is an idea for an unusual but seasonal shopping experience at the newly renovated and expanded  TEMPLE-EMANU-EL gift shop.  Located at 151 McIntosh Road with special Holiday Shopping Hours...Dec 7 12-3; Dec 11 2-4; Dec 12 12-3; Dec 14 12-3; Dec 14 2-4; and Dec 16 12-3.

You will find toys, Dreidels, Menorahs, jewelry Kiddush cups, candlesticks, candles, Mezuzahs, greeting cards, gift certificates and more.  With many of the items made locally or in Israel. A dedicated team of volunteers are ready and willing to assist with all purchases.

What would a blog be without at least one restaurant.  No new additions this week, but a recent return to LUCKY PELICAN in Lakewood Ranch prompts these comments.  The opening of UTC has definitely made it easier to get a table, and the food is as good as its always been!! This continues to be one of our favorites in all of SARASOTA.

It is rare to read a John Grisham novel and find it trite and boring.  Such happened to me while reading his much anticipated new novel Gray Mountain.  Eagerly anticipated and an immediate best seller, it lacks the suspense and intelligence of previous books.    However, who am I to judge?  The book remains at the top or near of the best-seller list and has been widely reviewed most positively by well-known media and given 41/2 stars by Amazon.  I understand the new Michael Connolly book is one of his best. I will read it soon and will let you know.

  FREE tickets are again available for the PERLMAN MUSIC PROGRAM SARASOTA WINTER RESIDENCY rehearsals.  But you have to act this week.....
December 9 2:30-5:30pm at Pritchards Pianos 2108 Bee Ridge Rd. and next day 1:30-4:30 Pritchards Venice location 1855 S. Tamiami Trail.   There is a limit of 6 pp subject to availability.   There are also tickets for the Jan 2 final dress rehearsal before benefit concert the next night. The limit is 1 pp.  For a list of rehersal dates and locaitons click here.

This Saturday evening you are invited to Bayshore Drive to watch the 29th annual SARASOTA
Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.  The best viewing points are Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park.

The parade route has been expanded considerably so there are many areas downtown to get a view of all types of boats adorned with unusual Christmas lights and decorations.  Come early; stay late; and enjoy the wonderful restaurants on Main, Palm and Lemon.  With most of the attention focused on UTC let's not forget what got us here!!! Next week I plan on devoting considerable space to a new and exciting Main St.

JIM'S RANT....Cattleman Road from Fruitville to University is generating the kind of traffic envisioned when built.  Now more than ever with UTC open, more and more of you are using it.  BEWARE it is a speed trap going from 40 to 25 and back again, AND a day doesn't go by when I don't spot a police vehicle parked to catch speeders.  One wonders why they are not so diligent on other major city and county arteries!!

Tracy returns from her short leave of absence......until next week have a good one...JIM

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