Actually, I hardly ever do a big night out. ´Cause I work nights during the week, when the weekends come, I want to be home. But I do love Café Paradiso -- they have great food and they´re near my house. We do a lot of takeout from there too. It´s a small Italian restaurant, so you don´t feel overwhelmed by the crowds. It´s great. I love any of the pasta dishes, especially the ones with seafood, but I also like Ossobuco, which is a yummy veal shank.
Cafe Paradiso, 4205 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-835-6622.
BEST RADIO STATION
I hardly ever listen to the radio, but when I do I listen to WUSF. I listen to it in the morning so I can get all the news. When my kids are in the car, we listen to 97.1 (alternative rock station 97X). They have a lot of people yelling on that station, which my kids seem to like. I like a lot of my kids´ music, but I think because I work in a newsroom and I´m surrounded by noise so much, that when I finally get in the car by myself, I don´t have anything on. Just quiet. Or sports radio -- I still listen to that. I listen to all the guys on the Sports Animal (WDAE-620 AM), but Chris Thomas (who died earlier this year) was my guy. He was so special, so doggone unique. He transcended sports. I am glad Ian Beckles is doing well, though. He´s great fun to listen to.
BEST SHOPS CLOSE TO HOME
DKM Accessories and Georgette´s
I have all sorts of little shops I frequent. DKM is my favorite drop-in store. It´s in an old house, and she just has things nobody else has. Debbie, the owner, is a friend of mine. It´s eclectic. If I want to get a gift for someone, or some last minute shopping for myself, I definitely go there. I have a necklace I got from there and every time I wear it on the air, I get about 20 e-mails. If I need something to get all glitzed up, for a big fundraiser or something, a hot night out, I go to Georgette´s in Hyde Park. She has all that stuff.
DKM Accessories, 3104 W. Palmira Ave., Tampa, 813-902-0044 and 250 Westshore Plaza, Tampa, 813-288-0499; Georgette´s, 1619 W. Snow Circle, Tampa, 813-254-1141.
BEST PLACE TO BUY VEGGIES
Garden of Eat-N
They have all sorts of stuff to choose from, and it´s really fresh. They also have fresh flowers there. It´s covered, but it´s an open-air vegetable and garden market.
Garden of Eat-N, 3401 West Shore Blvd. S., Tampa, 813-835-8300.
At the moment, my fingernails are not looking too good ´cause I´ve been gardening. That´s one of my hobbies. So I need to get to Spa Jardin soon. I love to go there and be pampered. I love the setting; it´s real quiet. It´s in one of those little old houses with a tin roof. I primarily go there for a manicure and pedicure. Occasionally I´ll get massages, but they also do facials and other stuff there.
Spa Jardin, 4121 Mac Dill Ave. S., 813-835-9549, www.spajardin.com.
He used to be with Studio RG. He was the RG. He bought a house and is having it redone to put a full salon and day spa in there. Now, he´s renting a space in someone else´s shop. He´s at Jorgeo right now. What I love about my haircut is it´s easy to handle on the first day of the cut, and it´s still easy for me to work with the day before I´m due for another cut. To me, that´s the mark of a good haircut.
Jorgeo Hair Salon, 1712 S. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-254-8114.
BEST LOCAL ATHLETES
Brad Johnson, Derrick Brooks, Brad Richards, Rocco Baldelli
Well, my favorite left. John Lynch. But I think (Bucs quarterback) Brad Johnson´s pretty awesome. He´s a Florida State boy. I like the way he operates. He´s a cool cucumber. He takes everything that comes his way in stride, on the field or off. And he´s a family man. I´m also a big fan of (Bucs linebacker) Derrick Brooks, another FSU guy. I love to watch how intense he is during pregame warm-ups. I´m very impressed with (Lightning center) Brad Richards. I met his parents during the Stanley Cup playoffs up in Calgary. When you see where someone comes from, from a hard, working-class life, then I see a guy like Brad giving so much back, I love it. He´s real active in the community. I love (Devil Rays outfielder) Rocco Baldelli ´cause of his name, because he was a volleyball player -- but he´s also obviously a great baseball player too.
Pass-a-Grille and North Redington
I like those two ´cause they´re easy to get to. But I´m not that much of a beach person, with skin like this. I prefer to sit in a condo and look out at the beach. I get the benefit of the beauty and not the skin damage. You may have noticed I have a few freckles (laughs).