Archive for July, 2006

07/1/2006

See Clearly Now

Freedom has many definitions. To someone who’s been wearing glasses since elementary school, it may have little to do with the land of the free and the home of the brave. Susan Haggard, 43, began wearing glasses when she was nine years old. At 15, she got contact lenses. "Remember the hard kind, the ones […]

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07/1/2006

One Great Room

Before Dianne Belk and her husband, Larry Calder, retired, they searched the country for active arts communities. In Sarasota they found a varied cultural bill of fare and a warm welcome from groups they now champion (the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Ringling School and the Sarasota County Arts Council among them). But few homes seemed architecturally […]

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07/1/2006

Line in the Sand

For a community that takes pride in trumpeting our cultural riches, we seem plagued by a strange condition. I refer to our architectural amnesia, which prevents our leaders from attempting to preserve our architectural heritage, including the few remaining examples of the internationally renowned Sarasota School of Architecture. For a time, it was fashionable to […]

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07/1/2006

Made in Sarasota

From the street, Beth Surdut’s home near Southside Village is pure Old Florida. Confederate jasmine clambers over the trellis that leads up a tiny garden path to the front porch, and bougainvillea blooms abundantly in the shady side garden. Get closer, however, and unusual items appear-two diminutive statues of the Hindu monkey demigod Hanuman flank […]

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07/1/2006

Summer Events

On Exhibit The Divine Miss B This grand painting by Alfred Stevens portrays a Who’s Who of 1889 Parisian society. But we recognize only one of the people, making us ponder the temporal nature of "celebrity." The figure who stands out is Sarah Bernhardt, painted in the white costume she wore in Victor Hugo’s Ruy […]

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07/1/2006

Real Estate Go$$ip

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH SERENE SYLVAN LEA Sylvan Lea, just east of I-75 and a mile north of Bee Ridge Road, has narrow, winding streets beneath a thick canopy of oak trees. Hawks, owls and other wildlife habituate this private community, which is sheltered from winter winds and delightfully shaded from summer heat. Architectural styles are eclectic, […]

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07/1/2006

Homefront

JUST SIT RIGHT BACK Soon, many residents of Palmetto’s Rivé Isle will be able to embark on idyllic boating excursions simply by stepping out of their own back doors. The 255-acre gated island community, currently being developed along the Manatee River, will offer 157 home sites with private docks prime for exploring inland waterways or […]

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07/1/2006

Southern Comfort

Age: 58. Design experience: Graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design in 1971, while working for Jacobson’s on St. Armands. Bought Whitney Design & Associates [with John Griggs] in 1984 and will become president of ASID Florida West Coast Chapter this fall. Style defined: Usually more simplified. I am a Chanel suit. Every home […]

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07/1/2006

Simple Seven

1. Kick it up a notch. The basic charcoal grill where you’d occasionally burn a few hot dogs is passé. Outdoor cooking options have grown up. Today’s lanai or patio can hold a complete kitchen stocked with everything you need to whip up a gourmet meal. You need equipment for cooking, chilling food and drinks, […]

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07/1/2006

Summer Pleasures

Summer is the season for dining out. On steamy Southwest Florida evenings, who wants to hang over a hot stove? Even a fabulous outdoor kitchen positioned next to an azure pool can’t summon the reluctant chef. And, best of all, we have our restaurants to ourselves! Last year, a friend’s summer holiday plans fell apart […]

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07/1/2006

A Seasoned Performance

After 30 years of practicing law in New Jersey, Jerry Finn has returned to his first love: theater. Finn, 74, and his wife, Terri, founded the Banyan Theater Company in 2002 to bring to Sarasota "more sophisticated, literary, even challenging" works during off-season summer months. Now the Banyan does 50 performances of three plays in […]

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07/1/2006

Urban History

The first thing to know about the house Ernie and Loretta Ritz built is that it is a trompe l’oeil masterpiece of un-Americanized Mediterranean style. The second thing to know is that it’s located above Bacco’s restaurant on Lemon Avenue in Sarasota, directly across from Whole Foods Market. Amid the dust of downtown renovation and […]

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07/1/2006

Stage Magic

Despite years of going to the theater here and writing about it, putting together this awards story never gets any easier. In fact, it gets harder. That’s in part because it’s simply harder to see every show presented in the Sarasota-Manatee area. Once upon a time there were only half a dozen venues; then a […]

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07/1/2006

God on the Streets

This month, we take you somewhere glossy lifestyle magazines like ours rarely go-into the haunting world of the homeless. And your guide may be as unexpected as the journey: comic novelist Robert Plunket. A noted author whose cultural commentary often appears in the New York Times and other national publications, Plunket is best known in […]

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07/1/2006

Lost World

Though names have been changed, everyone in the story is a real person who was homeless in Sarasota this spring. I had arranged to meet Rick in front of Resurrection House, a social service agency for the homeless that’s located on the picturesquely named Kumquat Court, just north of downtown. A friend who knew a […]

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07/1/2006

A Sharper Image

Style isn’t static; like bread, it gets stale. Real style requires regularly reinventing your look, not in drastic Madonna-fashion, but by sharpening your focus on who you are and what’s happening in your life now. A new job, a move, a change in your body or outlook-all can call for a new crease in your […]

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07/1/2006

Sarasota’s 10 Best Places to Take the Kids

Skating and blading may roll in and out of fashion, but Stardust Event Center just keeps rolling along. Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids have a blast rolling or blading around the self-contained rink. The 24,000-square-foot arena also hosts numerous birthday parties, with both parents and kids rockin’ to the beat. And […]

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07/1/2006

Mr. Chatterbox

People often ask me, Mr. Chatterbox, how did you become what you are? What could have possibly transformed you from a naïve youth from the suburbs, stumbling and bumbling and unsure of himself, into a mature artiste, full of wit and wisdom and able to hold an audience in the palm of your hand for […]

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07/1/2006

The Social Detective

In the old days, before the baseball cap became the ubiquitous symbol of Americans, hats were serious business and defined individuals in the deepest possible way. We were, literally, our hats. When my father was a TV and movie producer, he wore a Homburg, now known as the Godfather hat. When he was an investment […]

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07/1/2006

Street Talk

NOISEMAKER SAY ANYTHING Christine Alexander and Rick Hughes report on their arts e-newsletter. Quick-witted amateur theater cohorts Rick Hughes, 46, and Christine Alexander, 34, turned their artistic passion to publicity last summer, creating anything arts, a biweekly e-newsletter promoting the local arts scene. With a steadily growing readership and just enough ad revenue to cover […]

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