Tag Archives: Florida

Chill is one of 20 St. Petersburg Florida restaurants

featured in my new article

Twenty good Florida eats in Saint Petersburg

Chill Restaurant & Bar, St. Petersburg, Florida
Chill Restaurant & Bar, St. Petersburg, Florida

With an emphasis on independent ownership, Saint Petersburg chefs have the freedom to experiment or just create the best grilled grouper sandwich on the beach.

Lobster & Mango Salad, Sea Salt Restaurant, St. Petersburg, FL
Lobster & Mango Salad, Sea Salt Restaurant, St. Petersburg, FL

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The city cigars built on Tampa Bay

Ybor City Museum, Tampa, FL
Ybor City Museum, Tampa, FL

In a few square miles parcel of former Tampa marshland over two hundred cigar factories, manned by thousands of immigrant workers, were hand rolling half a billion cigars annually by the 1920s.

casitas
casitas

The fortuitous arrival in the 1880s of Spaniard Vicente Ybor turned a marshland into the cigar capital of the world and created a cultural phenomenon.

read more…

Cigars, Tampa and the revival of Ybor City

 

The Spanish Social Club, Ybor City
The Spanish Social Club, Ybor City

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunlight on St. Pete Beach, Florida

Some need people on a beach. I like it’s changing moods usually sans humans.

Sunrise at St. Pete Beach, FL

sunrise on St. Pete Beach, FL
sunrise on St. Pete Beach, FL

 

Morning  colors at St. Pete Beach, FL

day time colors, Sunrise at St. Pete Beach, FL
day time colors, Sunrise at St. Pete Beach, FL

 

Lunch at St. Pete Beach, FL

Woodie's, St. Pete Beach, FL
Woodie’s, St. Pete Beach, FL

 

Bird in late afternoon at St. Pete Beach, FL

Bird in the late afternoon, St. Pete Beach, FL
Bird in the late afternoon, St. Pete Beach, FL

 

Sunset at St. Pete Beach, FL

Sunset at St. Pete Beach, FL
Sunset at St. Pete Beach, FL

and….

Moonset

moonset, St. Pete Beach, FL
moonset, St. Pete Beach, FL

 

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Florida life before air conditioning

McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin (1852)
McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin (1852)

IMG_0642Other than the already centuries old Spanish domains in the north and the panhandle, south of St. Augustine Florida in the early 19th century was a land of bayous, forests, gators and mosquitoes. Fortunately, Florida’s still that way in some places.

 

 

 

 

The House of Seven Gables (1907)
The House of Seven Gables (1907)

Yet by the 1890s the Tampa Bay/Clearwater/Pinellas County Gulf of Mexico shore had been discovered by affluent Americans traveling by the new railroads that opened Florida. Their vacation homes would reflect the styles of the day from simple cottages to Edwardian mansions and Craftsman houses.

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Over two dozen historic structures – and growing – comprise the the 21-acre Pinellas County Heritage Village representing Florida life from the mid-1800s to the outbreak of the Second World War. You can continue the story at…

From tiny to grand at Pinellas County Historic Village

 

H.C. Smith Groceries (1915)
H.C. Smith Groceries (1915)

 

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Contented canines & humans in Mt. Dora, Florida

Alfajores with dulce de leche at Mr. Cebiche Peruvian restaurant, Mount Dora, FL
Alfajores with dulce de leche at Mr. Cebiche Peruvian restaurant, Mount Dora, FL

 

Peru is not what comes to mind when wandering Mount Dora’s Victorian and Arts & Crafts streets. Yet among the myriad number of restaurants and cafes Mr. Cebiche Peruvian Cuisine is an innovative addition to the town’s American Modern standards.

But its culinary choices are not limited to people. Piglet’s Pantry has been baking all-natural dog biscuits for nearly 20 years.

Piglet's Pantry line of doggy ice cream & decorated birthday cakes
Piglet’s Pantry line of doggy ice cream & decorated birthday cakes

Read more about …

Dog friendly Mount Dora has a Peruvian connection

 

Historic downtown Mount Dora, FL
Historic downtown Mount Dora, FL

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No Santa in a bathing suit

Talking to Santa at North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL
Talking to Santa at North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL

Decorated artificial trees can be seen in the window walls of downtown condos, the cafes on Beach Drive are full of festive diners inside and out on the sidewalks and kids are talking to Santa under the Live Oaks on a balmy Saint Petersburg Christmas season evening.

St. Pete Christmas Boat Parade
St. Pete Christmas Boat Parade

It’s starting to feel a lot like a tropical Christmas.

Christmas, North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL
Christmas, North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL

You can read more at…

A tropical Florida Christmas in Saint Petersburg

 

Christmas Tree, City of Saint Petersburg, FL
Christmas Tree, City of Saint Petersburg, FL

 

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Christmas 2015 arrives in tropical America

Tern nesting area, Boca Ciega Bay, St. Pete, FL
Tern nesting area, Boca Ciega Bay, St. Pete, FL

South Florida is the American mainland tropics and a festival based on a return of the sun – winter solstice/Christmas – seems lost when the sun shines for only a couple hours less during this season. Yet of course Christmas is beyond climate and  all areas of the globe have their own expressions.

Christmas boat parade, St. Pete, FL
Christmas boat parade, St. Pete, FL

Lighted boat parades are a Florida tradition and why not considering the enormous number of privately owned sea craft in the state. Both towns and yacht clubs put on numerous floating displays during December.

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Especially for children, St. Petersburg turned North Straub Park into Snowfest 2015 the first December weekend. Complete with 65 tons of snow that created a sledding area under the Banyan trees, the festival boasted an artificial ice skating platform, karaoke Christmas carol singing, crafts and, of course, sno-cones.

Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL
Snowfest 2015, St. Petersburg, FL

Traditional decorations on houses and the streets are popping up as if the tropic in all its natural glory does dress up for the holidays.

DSC03378

You can read all my articles and subscribe to my Examiner columns at:

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