Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30, 2015


But here I go..................

Welcome back to Jim Knows SARASOTA.  It has been several months since my last blog, and I want to use this week's to tell you where I've been this summer and tease you with some of the exciting events happening this season in our favorite city.....SARASOTA.....

Jim and Roberta at the Whitney Museum NY

 Two High School graduations, a trip to glorious Nantucket, theatre in New York and a wonderful adventure up The Hudson with friends from Atlanta.   In between I found time for lots of books, most of which I will recommend, movies and restaurants.  Sad to say SARASOTA had almost  as many restaurants closing as opening, but your favorites are still here and eagerly awaiting your return.

New York is an exciting city to visit this time of year with wonderful theatre, the new Whitney, and all those great restaurants of many varieties.  Two trips to New York allowed us to see four shows.  Both Tony Winners, one with five Tony Awards, and a sure to be nominated show when next year's nominee's are announced.

An American In Paris is a redo of a famous movie featuring exciting dancing and staging unlike anything you've ever seen on Broadway.  That it did not win the Tony for best musical is a travesty of justice. 

 I say that because the one that did Fun Home, was in my estimation unworthy of not only best musical but best score.  BORING!!!  Best play, The Curious Incident of the anything but boring.  Well staged, a wonderful  cast along with a design to grab anyone's attention, it is one of the best plays I've ever seen on Broadway.
BUT, the one show that you should see (try getting tickets) is Hamilton.  Totally creative from staging to its rap/hip-hop/contemporary score to its telling of America's traumatic beginning, it grabs your attention from first sound of orchestra and doesn't let go until the end.  Add a revolving stage at center and you are in for one of the all-time Broadway treats.

View from Times Square!!
Rooftop bar at Knickerbocker hotel
While in New York we stayed at the newly renovated Knickerbocker hotel conveniently located on seventh and 42nd.  By planning early we got terrific rates.  The amenities are first class and the hotel  restaurants are easily some of New York's finest as well as convenient to theater.   The one problem is getting there.  You have to walk through an area that has been designated  traffic free and is congested with all sorts of people; weird and otherwise.  

Whitney Museum on High Line
A visit to New York must include the 9/11 Memorial and new Whitney Museum.  Unfortunately time did not permit both.  We did spend a good part of a morning touring the Whitney located in the exciting meatpacking district; an easy subway ride from Seventh Ave.
  Not only is the Whitney a contemporary delight, it also affords an opportunity to explore the Chelsea area where lunch or dinner is available at some of New York's better casual restaurants.  Our choice one block away was Bubby's, offering a mix of ethnic and American food along with homemade desserts to die for.

I will continue our summer adventures with Nantucket featured next week.  But now onto SARASOTA. While most of you were gone, Moore's, a longtime Longboat favorite was sold to the Caragulio family.  Their intent is to demolish current building and add another Shore type restaurant, offering their menu along with stone crabs in season.

 Also closing Darwin's, one of our more popular Peruvian spots.  Reason cited was primarily  the homeless population in the area but most feel it was lack of business and a desire to devote more time to their very successful micro-brewery business in Bradenton.  Many SARASOTA bars and restaurants are now carrying Darwin's beer. A new restaurant has just  been announced for that location. More on that next week.

One of our favorites Toasted Mango Cafe has expanded to a second location, this time Siesta Key in the former location of vacated Javier's Cafe 6621 Midnight Pass Road.  Rumor has it a third location will open later this year or early next at The Landings.  Kimberly and Sandi deserve their expanding success as they continue serving some of the best breakfast and lunch meals in Sarasota.

Next week, I will give you much more than the following about the coming season.  BUT, I am going  on record that 2015-16 will be biggest cultural season ever!!!  WEST SIDE STORY kicks off the Asolo season in November.

 RENEE  FLEMING  is making her first ever Sarasota appearance with the Sarasota Orchestra at their annual gala in January,  the Ringling Museum's now annual  RIAF has a dazzling line-up comitted to this year's October 15-18 event, and Van Wezel's schedule is packed with Broadway and popular artists.  Add, West Coast Black Theater, FST, and more, you can see why I am so excited about fall/winter culture.

 Before my closing rant, I want to alert you to a very special event coming October 28.  The Advisory Board of  NATE'S HONOR ANIMAL RESCUE  is holding a benefit to raise funds for medical treatment of rescued dogs and cats.  Please read what follows and hopefully buy tickets to this very worthy event.

Finally, JIM'S RANT.....(Sorry for the length of this week's blog.  I promise shorter versions in the future)....In it's infinite wisdom, Sarasota has once again picked the beginning of fall to start a major renovation project downtown.  First Street from US41 to Pineapple is being widened for more pedestrian traffic along with a friendlier pathway to Main St.  This will eliminate several parking spots, affect restaurants, Opera House along with FST ticket holders and others.  Wouldn't the summer off-season months have  been a better time to start this 6 month project?????

Welcome back Tracy, and congratulations on Josh's graduation.  And congratulations to Cathi on Adam's graduation.  We are proud grandparents in  the FOX household.  Until next week's SHORTER version....JIM

GO CUBS!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment