Monday, June 29, 2015

Paper Source is a Source of Happiness

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 1:59 PM

click image WS DEVELOPMENT
  • WS Development
The newest addition to Hyde Park Village is the fabulous paperie, Paper Source, a haven for the creative fine-paper lovers. With a friendly, welcoming environment that can be felt from the moment you enter the door, and endless possibilities, even if you aren’t into paper crafts, you will walk out with a whirl of ideas and an itch to return.

Showcasing innumerous paper craft ideas, fun greeting cards, a colorful spectrum of envelopes that match you with your “colorscope,” a fun horoscope-esque chart of personalities, and impressive walls of exquisite domestic and hand-dyed imported paper with beautiful designs, it would be impossible not to fall in love with everything. The store also has fun crafts for kids, as well as an array of party and office supplies, and gift options such as their outstanding collection of hand-crafted journals.

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Page Turners: Tampa Bay's Literary Happenings

Wordy whirls for the bookishly inclined.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Bob Suren will be in town over the Fourth of July weekend and he’ll be promoting his new book, Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records
CRATE DIGGER: Bob Suren, author of the memoir Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records, will make several stops in the Tampa Bay area over the Fourth of July weekend.
  • CRATE DIGGER: Bob Suren, author of the memoir Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records, will make several stops in the Tampa Bay area over the Fourth of July weekend.
, during his visit. He’ll read from and discuss his memoir at Planet Retro Records in St. Petersburg on Friday, July 3, 7 p.m. Permanent Makeup and Pillow Talk will also perform. The next day, tune into WMNF at 5 p.m. for his guest DJ slot. Then on Sunday, July 5 he’ll head to Tampa's Microgroove at 3 p.m. If you can't catch him earlier in the day, he'll be Mojo Books and Records for an after-hours reading at 8 p.m. Nude Tayne and Rahim Samid will also perform. All shows are free, but donations will be collected.

The Clearwater Library Foundation is offering an eight-week memoir-writing workshop at the Main Library starting Monday, July 6, 10 a.m. to noon. The class, which is open to writers of all levels, covers how to share personal experiences and shape them into narrative form, and provides opportunities to gain experience through brief in-class writing assignments. Annemarie Micklo is the workshop facilitator. 

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

A coup for local writers, actors and directors: 4X6

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2015 at 11:21 AM

CL SPACE CADETS: Theater fans will gather at the CL Space tonight for the first ever 4X6. - CHIP WEINER
  • CL SPACE CADETS: Theater fans will gather at the CL Space tonight for the first ever 4X6.

A proliferation of showcases highlighting locally written plays is one of our favorite theater trends of the past couple of years.

The 4X6 Fest Performance and Awards Gala is the latest such sampling, and it offers a cool twist — the four new one-act plays by six playwrights (Autumn Widdoes, Christen Hailey, James Rayfield, Jan Neuberger, Matt Cowley, W.L. Newkirk) were written and produced in 24 hours and will be judged by a panel (including yours truly).

Ashley Collins, April Bender, Jonathan R Thornsberry, Kara Goldberg, Lucinda Schlotterback and Ryan Bernier direct. Actors include Bridget Bean, Elizabeth Fendrick, Johnny Garde and several others. Brianna Larson, one of theater’s shining, up-and-coming talents and recipient of the Jeff Norton Dream Grant, founded what hopefully will be an annual tradition in Tampa Bay.

June 28, 8 p.m. at The CL Space, 1911 N. 13th St. (above the Spaghetti Warehouse) in Historic Downtown Ybor 1911 N. 13th St., Tampa. $5 admission at the door. Wine and hors d’oeuvres to be served. Seating is limited so arrive early.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

St. Pete ranks in Top 10 of best cities to celebrate the Fourth

WalletHub's list of Top 100 Best and Worst Cities places the Burg 10th for its balance of affordability and options.

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2015 at 1:11 PM


Fourth of July celebrations can get expensive. Each household will spend a projected estimated amount of $346.50 on food, drinks, and fireworks, the difficulty of staying within a reasonable budget is all too real while celebrating Independence Day, according to WalletHub.

With this in mind, the financial social media company made a list of the Top 100 Best and Worst Cities for Independence Day Celebrations, based on how well they balance holiday cost and fun.

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Detours & Diversions: History and Hot Dogs South of the Skyway

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2015 at 10:03 AM

  • Cathy Salustri
"We're going to die here!" a friend posted on Facebook recently. She was at an outlet mall, and I totally get it. Outlet malls are... well, let's just say they're not exactly my idea of a fun Florida road trip. When I think of parts of Florida I want to explore, little-known cracks and crevices of the Sunshine State, I do not think of outlet malls.

Which is why I was immediately suspicious when I read great reviews online about a place called Rippers Roadstand, located on the outskirts of the mega-complex that is the Ellenton Outlets.

I've lived in Florida since I was 7 and (thankfully) have precious few memories of living in the cold, bleak landscape of the north. One of the memories I've kept, though, is of Walter's Hot Dogs in Mamaroneck, New York. I mean, when a hot dog stand manages to get an article in the New York Times and a spot on the National Register of Historic Places,, it's not just your average bevy of Yelpers telling you to eat there. I'll admit, as much as I loathe people lambasting us Floridians with, "we have better pizza/bagels/sandwiches in Brooklyn/Manhattan/Philly," I measure every hot dog I eat against Walter's.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

LitSpace strengthens St. Pete's lit scene

A great new resource for local wordsmiths and aspiring writers.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:01 AM


The next step in enhancing the writing and literary art scene in St. Pete is the collaboration between Keep St. Pete Lit and the St. Petersburg Modern Arts Center, who collectively introduced the LitSpace Literary Arts Institute.

This free resource gives the public the chance to experience professional-level lessons in fiction, poetry and creative writing, in an environment dedicated to the development of the literary voice in St. Pete.

“We are excited to help make this important art form, literature, become a vibrant new component to the St. Petersburg arts scene,” says Maureen McDole, president and co-founder of Keep St. Pete Lit.

The LitSpace Literary Institute offers weekend classes that explore a variety of topics, such as: writing fiction, poetry, creativity in literature, vocabulary, and even mindfulness through writing. Registration is open to the general public, and is open to any skill level.

LitSpace is a place for people to grow as writers and literary lovers, no matter the level that they find themselves in the beginning. “All we ask is that the student is committed to developing their voice through writing,” says McDole.

Registration is available through Keep St. Pete Lit’s website. The organization also has a Facebook page that enables the subscription to updates on Keep St. Pete Lit. Classes are Saturdays and Sundays at varied times, and are held on the second floor library of the Morean Arts Center, 709 Central Ave., St. Pete.

More info at: and

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Billy Gardell: Big laughs, more than Mike Biggs

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 9:41 AM


Billy Gardell is Mike from Mike and Molly. ... But really, he's not.

What we mean is, Gardell is a lot more than his popular television character. Mike Biggs isn't known for tight premises and layered comedy. He's not the kind of experienced communicator the 45-year-old pro is on a comedy stage. And he's not able to keep an audience engaged with nothing but his thoughts and a microphone like Gardell does on a regular basis.

Still, TV  fans will be well-represented at The Mahaffey for Gardell's show tonight. We caught up with the comedian and asked about his show, his other projects and his future.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Theater Review: Reborning

Urbanite Theatre's sophomore effort is intriguingly offbeat.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 1:32 PM

OH, BABY: Megan Rippey, Natalie Symons and Brendan Ragan in Urbanite - Theater’s Reborning. -  - CLIFF ROLES
  • OH, BABY: Megan Rippey, Natalie Symons and Brendan Ragan in Urbanite Theater’s Reborning.

Runs through July 5 at Urbanite Theatre, 1487 Second St., Sarasota; 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; $20, $5 with student ID; 1-941-321-1397;
Sarasota’s nearly-new Urbanite Theatre continues to bring quirky, edgy new plays to its audience with Zayd Dohrn’s Reborning, a drama that resembles nothing I’ve seen in the last twenty years — or ever, for that matter. This strange tale of real and artificial babies asks us to study the psyche of Kelly, a damaged young recovering heroin addict who’s never far from a dose of alcohol or marijuana. Kelly’s job is making realistically detailed baby dolls for bereaved parents who want three-dimensional mementos of their deceased children. And speaking of lost children, Kelly herself was an abandoned baby, thrown into a dumpster to die by unknown persons, and mutilated and brutalized before she was tossed away.

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Hope floats: Aithan Shapira’s prints, paintings and sculptures

Inspiration and survival at the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 1:20 PM

GROWING OPTIMISM: Aithan Shapira’s “Tree Pots and Life Saver,” 2009, Collograph, nine panels. - Shapira incorporates and reiterates the life preserver as a visual motif. -  - COURTESY OF THE FLORIDA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM
  • GROWING OPTIMISM: Aithan Shapira’s “Tree Pots and Life Saver,” 2009, Collograph, nine panels.Shapira incorporates and reiterates the life preserver as a visual motif.

Hope: Artwork by Aithan Shapira
Through July 19 at Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S., St. Petersburg; 727-820-0100,

When Aithan Shapira was studying for a degree in printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London, he crossed the Thames River on foot nearly every day using the Hungerford Bridge. Often he would duck into an art museum along the way — the art-and-design fusing Victoria and Albert or the Tate Britain, where he walked on Friday afternoons to examine J. M. W. Turner’s light-filled landscape paintings after picking up a sandwich. But a less magnificent sight — a single, tattered red-and-white life preserver perched on one of the Hungerford’s piers, visible to pedestrians on the adjacent footbridge — also stuck with him.

A couple of years later, the image resurfaced in Shapira’s mind when he turned in his art to a subject inspired by his time away from the U.S. — hope. Hope as in Obama had just been elected (for the first time) and a new generation of citizens (the millennials, of whom Shapira, at 35, counts as one) was voicing its commitment to transparency and social justice. While Shapira was studying abroad, first in London, then in Australia, where he took on a Ph.D in art, hope seemed to have left America behind — or the other way around. Now it was back.
“I looked at that life ring and thought, there’s something about it that’s abandoned and no one can get to. Fast forward to when I was thinking what does hope look like — I thought of that ring,” Shapira recalled during a recent phone interview from his studio in Boston. “Hope was that abandoned life preserver.”

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Do This: St. Pete Pride & Weekend Top Events

Reverie, laughs, performance, art shows and more distract us from the miserable weather outside.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:59 AM

The below is a special extended-play version of the Do This weekend edition to include Pride events and Thursday happenings.


Ross Matthews at Tyrone Square Thursday evening!  Click here for more details

LGBT Open Mic Take a break from St. Pete and venture north county with Oral Fixation and Wordier Than Thou for their second annual LGBT Pride open mic. Bring poems, short prose, songs, jokes, rants, and raves. Features performances from Samira Obeid, Jeremy Gloff, Christopher Clawson, Figment and Masiel. $5 donation. Thurs., June 25, 7 p.m. Sawgrass Bar and Grill, 610 Athens St., Tarpon Springs. 516-906-2140.

Pride in the EDGE Organized by the EDGE Business District Association, the downtown St. Pete event will include nearly 50 businesses taking part in four features: Shop Proud, Dining Out, Pride Pub Stroll, and Open House. Unique activities across the district will include contests, live music, live demos, a collaborative mural painting, and art and craft classes. Commemorative event buttons are also available at various locations. Visitors wearing the button will receive added specials at participating businesses. Free. Thurs., June 25, noon-midnight. The EDGE District, Central Avenue and First Avenue North and South, between 9th and 16th streets, St. Petersburg. 727-329-8869.

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