Archive for March, 2005

03/1/2005

Blood Lines

Sarasota manufacturer Rick Wheeler has always been physically fit, even swimming competitively in his youth. He attributes his strength to good genes, but genetics were against him when it came to his vascular system. As they had in his mother and sister before him, the veins running through Wheeler’s thighs throbbed with pain, itched and […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Literary Cats

Eleven years ago, a clerk at the Main Bookshop called owner Scott Proffitt asking how to throw out "some cat" that kept wandering in. Terrified he was referring to a regular customer, Proffitt flew downstairs to find a grizzled male stray lounging on the front counter. Dubbed Byron, that cat became the first of three […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

In the Swing

Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club, just off 8801 Stoneybrook Blvd., is a semi-private facility that’s played mostly by member-residents who live in homes or condominiums bordering many of the fairways of its 18-hole championship course. Before I teed it up, I knew I was in for a treat, because the course architect Arthur Hills is […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Made in Sarasota

"My pillows are not to be sat upon or leaned upon," warns lulu Meyer (yes, she goes by lulu, not Lulu). Don’t be alarmed; despite her order, which is delivered with a chuckle, anyway, Meyer is warm and approachable. And the pillows she’s talking about are hand-painted silk beauties that would tempt an owner to […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Crotons Come Back

The next time you come across a Florida landscape photo from the ’40s or ’50s, especially from the Miami area, keep your eye out for crotons. The plant, which is known for its dazzling display of yellow, red and orange against a background of glossy emerald green, has brightened South Florida landscapes for almost 120 […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Homefront

CASTLES IN THE SAND Remember how much fun it was to play in the sand and build the fantasy castle of your dreams? Sandcastles of Sarasota, one of the region’s premier developers of ultra-luxury waterfront estates, is busy creating its newest dream castle-a 9,000-square-foot home on nearly one acre on Siesta Key’s Big Pass. Architect […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Coming Home

Julie and Gary Hester made their fortune with a chain of British companies that specialize in property searches. So when they were searching for their perfect property away from England in the sunshine, they could have chosen anywhere in the world. And in fact, they scouted Italy, Spain, the Canary Islands, even Greece, where they […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Not Just for Laughs

Sarasotan Dick Smothers brings his more than 45 years of show biz experience to the Sarasota Comedy Festival this month (aided by wife Denby, co-chair for the two main events of the fest.) Yes, the brother that Mom liked best, who’s made his home in Sarasota for the past few years, puts in not one, […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Art Buzz

When the Houses of Indian Beach were first announced a year ago, it looked like a new generation of Sarasota architects might build in the development of 24 or so million-dollar homes on seven acres on the east side of Bay Shore Road near the Ringling Museum. Now it’s being called "Guy Place," since it […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Up in Smoke

Back in the day when a manly man could take a whiff off a cheroot, blow out a puff of smoke and pronounce, "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke," and not get slapped in his face, Sarasota had a cigar manufacturing business. Nothing to match Tampa’s burgeoning Ybor […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Palm Beach State of Mind

Whoever said that small and opulent don’t mix, that chic has to be shabby, and that bankers are boring never met Alice and Robert Brittingham. Like the couple themselves, the 1,700-square-foot West of the Trail cottage they recently rehabbed is confident, inventive, adventurous and unexpectedly playful. Framed by palms, bougainvilleas, hibiscus and a courtyard wall […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Sarasota Old-Style

Recent real estate headlines have been all about the big, glossy new master-planned communities east of the interstate and the boom in high-end condominiums in downtown Sarasota. But there’s a whole world of Sarasota neighborhoods that over the years have quietly evolved into havens of warmth and personality. That’s where you tend to find old […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Hot Seat

March is baseball month in Sarasota, as a gang of about 65 young, athletic millionaires called the Cincinnati Reds come to town for spring training and warm-up games against all of the other big names in major league baseball. It’s probably the best opportunity most of us ever have to see such talent in action […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Wholly Delicious

The new way to dine out is to eat in, as many Whole Foods Market take-out aficionados are discovering. You brave Sarasota’s downtown construction traffic, negotiate the market’s parking garage (or opt for valet), wind your way through the food-and-healthful-living-related aisles in this 36,000-square-foot store and brace yourself for a crush at the checkout counters. […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

That’s Entertainment

Donald Trump got married today-his third wedding. And according to the cover story in Vogue, he seriously considered having the whole thing televised in prime time live on Saturday night on NBC. It didn’t pan out; and while many people consider that a minor but important victory for good taste, I consider it a disaster. […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Where Trees Walk and Time Stands Still

It was a heist worthy of a master thief, flawlessly timed and brilliantly executed. Within minutes, almost from under my nose, a masked bandit had stolen not only my breakfast but most of my film. The scene of the crime was a long, narrow saltern, a desert-like tract of parched mud in the heart of […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Silver Sounds

Can it really be 25 years since the Jazz Club of Sarasota took shape in the living room of Hal and Evelyn Davis? It can; and the late Davises, who fondly birthed and babied the club because of their devotion to the unique art form of jazz, will receive tribute at this month’s silver anniversary […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Wooden Ships

When George Luzier, 80, was a young boy in Sarasota, the only way to have a boat was to build one yourself. So when he was 14, under the watchful eye of his yacht captain uncle Bob, Luzier built his first boat under a pine tree on Hudson Bayou, then a playground of vacant lots […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

News, Views and More from a Reporter’s Notebook

Best Bite Although it’s not on the printed menu, it’s often on the "specials" board and nearly always available if you ask. I’m talking about taramosolata at El Greco CafĂ©, a splendid example of the classic Greek appetizer. A whipped combination of olive oil, fish roe (caviar, if you prefer), shredded bread and touches of […]

Read More >>
03/1/2005

Sixty Down, Hundreds to Go

As far as I know, Carl Hiassen hasn’t used this in a novel yet, but here’s betting you a paycheck he will. After all, it’s just "over the river and through the woods" down I-75 and you’re in Jurassic Park. Remember those seven-foot-long monitor lizards that showed up living in the Cape Coral canals five […]

Read More >>