BLUE SKIES.....WARM TEMPERATURES....FLOWERS BLOOMING....IT IS FINALLY SPRING! THOSE OF YOU UP NORTH MUST BE REALLY HAPPY NOW. THOSE OF US IN SARASOTA ARE ALWAYS HAPPY........
With spring comes the countdown to summer vacation for thousands of Sarasota school age children. Many are fed during the school year by the various allfaiths food bank programs. These children need your help again this year....
LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP FEED THEM . Click here now to make a cash contribution, volunteer, or where to drop off food. School meals stop as does the allfaithsfoodbank backpack program. They need your help.
NOW OPEN at Target Center at University and Cattleman across from UTC, is renowned shoe retailer, DSW. When it's difficult to get parking you know something good is happening inside. People walking out with shopping bags is proof enough. DSW will bring only more traffic to that area. Good for the retailers, not so good for the drivers.
Coming back this summer is a program started last May by the SARASOTA Orchestra, a pops concert complete with fireworks along with a special appearance by Syesha Mercado, a hometown girl who was an American Idol finalist several years ago. ARTS IN THE BALLPARK is Saturday May 9, 7:30 pm at Ed Smith Stadium. Last year's event attracted several thousand who enjoyed music, hot dogs and fireworks in a beautiful outside setting. It was a sellout well in advance of its May performance, and after purchasing tickets today, it will be a sellout again this year.
The concert pays tribute to a wide range of American Idols, not the TV kind: Elvis, Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder and Judy Garland. Order tickets on line by clicking here. Or call 893-6300.
There's a new sensational caterer in town. His company is INNOVATIVE DINING. His name is Jeremy Hammond-Chambers. Most recently he was featured in an article in the March issue of SARASOTA Magazine. Not only does he cater private parties, similar to the one I attended, but he has a staff to provide daily meals to your house guests, if you want to treat them like royalty on their visit.
The party we attended consisted of a mixed selection of appetizers. All different, unique and delicious. After Fresh Market, Michael's, Morton's and other established Sarasota catered parties, it was nice to taste something different than the rest. Click here for their web site, menu ideas and contact information.
While on the topic of food, had the opportunity to visit one of the best here, The BIJOU CAFE, on a very busy Saturday evening before an Opera House performance. A few minutes before 7:30 the place began to empty and I thought they were through for the night.......
I was very wrong! By 8 pm the dinning room was nearly full. And deservedly so. Their soups, salads, breads and entrees along with impeccable service makes this one of SARASOTA'S best restaurants. Though not inexpensive, BIJOU is not overpriced for quality and quantity.
For a birthday dessert they have a neat twist on candles. Instead they bring a candelabra to the table along with dark chocolate delicacies. If you've never been at BIJOU you are in for a treat. When downtown for a movie, theatre, opera or an evening of dining; by all means try them. I guarantee you will be satisfied.
Next weekend is your last chance to see the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Anu Tali. She leaves after the Final Masterworks Concert on Sunday to await the birth of her first baby. There has been zero information regarding her appearances next season; however, I am confident she will be here. To ensure tickets click here now.
Last week's POPS program...The Music of Billy Joel & More was one of the best performances we've ever seen in SARASOTA. Michael Cavanaugh, handpicked by Joel to star in the Broadway musical Movin' Out was lights out. Accompanied by his own group of back up musicians, it was almost non-essential to have the orchestra behind him. In reality, this was a show better suited as a Van Wezel program than one with a full Symphony Pops orchestra. If you want to learn more about Cavanaugh who is on constant tour mode at the moment, click here.
JIM'S RANT....Why is it, Sarasota, after granting a construction permit for necessary commerce on Main St. is now after the fact demanding a traffic impact study before the developer can move forward?? Where was Sarasota County when University Parkway was being developed?? Why not a traffic impact study then??? Do you think politicians react to look important or necessary?? Instead of traffic studies on development of an unoccupied area, why not encourage more retailers and restaurants to recreate the vibrancy that once existed on Main St.????
Tracy returns to her editing position after her spring break.....until next week....JIM