Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

Check out the rest of my photo tour of Sarasota. The building below sits on the boundary between the Rosemary District and Gillespie Park, neighborhoods located just to the north of downtown. It houses the Rustic Grill Restaurant, which is reputed to be a great dinner spot. They’ve done a great job with the outside of this building – the adobe, the paint job, the landscaping, etc.

The Rustic Grill Restaurant in the historic Rosemary District

The Rustic Grill Restaurant in the historic Rosemary District

Architectural details at the Rustic Grill Restaurant

Architectural details at the Rustic Grill Restaurant

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Some days my creative juices abandon me and I can’t think of a thing to say. Other days I am so overflowing with things to say I hardly know where to start. Since today is one of those ‘overflowing’ days I decided it would be better to let my photos from the past week tell the story for me, so here goes – enjoy!

Sarasota News and Books

Sarasota News and Books

One day earlier this week I decided to veg out at a wonderful little bookstore – Sarasota News and Books – downtown on Main Street in downtown Sarasota, Florida. Not only do they have a great selection of books, they also have a delightful cafe with cute little tables and cushy sofas where you can enjoy a decadent dessert and a Cappuccino while you get lost in a novel.

The delectable little dessert below had a hard chocolate outer shell and was filled with layers of creme custard and chocolate mousse. I know I shouldn’t have, but I just couldn’t resist!

Deeeee-licious chocolate desert from the cafe in Sarasota News and Books

Deeeee-licious chocolate desert from the cafe in Sarasota News and Books

Several days this past week I’ve done walking tours of the Rosemary District, which is just north of downtown (where I live), as well as Gillespie Park, just east of Rosemary, snapping photos all the way:

One of the many sidewalk cafes on Main Street, downtown Sarasota

One of the many sidewalk cafes on Main Street, downtown Sarasota

Main Street facades are adorned with lively colors.

Main Street facades are adorned with lively colors.

A beautiful old building on Main Street that has been totally restored

A beautiful old building on Main Street that has been totally restored

Art Deco Door in downtown Sarasota

Art Deco Door in downtown Sarasota

Another old door in the Rosemary District

Another old door in the Rosemary District

I found this intriguing door knocker on an interior design shop just down the street from my apartment. I shot it with deliberately low contrast....

I found this intriguing door knocker on an interior design shop just down the street from my apartment. I shot it with deliberately low contrast….

....then used Photoshop to posterize the image. I love Photoshop!

….then used Photoshop to posterize the image. I love Photoshop!

More tomorrow…..

On Friday, January 19th, St. Petersburg, Florida officials raided a community of homeless people who had taken up residence in tents under the I-375 overpass. Ostensibly this was due to concerns about fire code and health and safety violations: people smoking and cooking inside their tents, tents located too close to the street, and the lack of permits. To remedy this situation police and fire officials showed up with scissors, knives, and box cutters and slashed the tents to the ground, in some cases with the inhabitants still inside. The whole operation took less than ten minutes. Watch the graphic video below:

This, however, was not the first time that the homeless made the local news during the past week. St. Pete is still reeling from bad publicity over two homeless men who were recently shot and killed in broad daylight in two separate incidents, just 30 minutes apart, two days prior to the raid. The murders shot fear through Read More

I was sitting at a little table on the sidewalk in front of C’est La Vie French Cafe and Bakery yesterday, enjoying a cup of coffee and minding my own business, when a couple of women sat down at the table next to me. Usually when I am eating alone I have my nose buried in a book and I am fairly oblivious to what is going on around me. But in this case I just couldn’t ignore their conversation. The woman who monopolized the conversation (I’d be surprised if her lunch partner spoke more than a dozen words the entire time) was VERY loud and VERY British with a VERY proper accent. So although I was eavesdropping, there was no way around it. I’m sure the people across the street could hear her. As I am fond of saying, all things happen for a reason because it provided the subject for today’s post.

Eavesdropping at C'est la Vie in downtown Sarasota

Eavesdropping at C’est la Vie in downtown Sarasota

She told a story about coming to America and trying to fit in. She had heard that Americans like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so whenever she had guests, she served them in all varieties: plain peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and jelly with bananas, peanut butter and jelly with marshmallow creme, etc. Each time, her food went uneaten and she noticed that her guests were casting sidelong glances at each other or whispering behind her back as she brought out the serving tray. Eventually, someone took pity on her and asked about the sandwiches. Apparently, in the UK the word jelly refers to Jell-O. I just about choked on my croissant trying to hide my laughter. Something was definitely lost in translation.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a bunch of Yogis during a retreat in Thailand a couple of years ago. We were all sitting around after dinner discussing the different meanings for the same word in different cultures. Most of these people were from the UK and Australia and almost all of them had traveled to the US, so every one of them had funny stories Read More

My eyeglasses are now broken in two places and taped with clear packing tape instead of masking tape so that I can see out of at least one corner of each lens (sorry Dad, still no duct tape). It became obvious that these lenses were not going to last another week until I could get in to see the first doctor that was recommended to me so I began calling everyone I know here in Sarasota to get other recommendations. One ophthalmologist recommended to me was Dr. Menschner. I called right away and, luckily, he had a cancellation today, so I beat feet over to his office to get my eyes examined. Dr. Marschner is a great guy. I took a liking to him instantly and it was immediately apparent that he knows his stuff. My problem was not with the doctor; it was with the stupid forms that I had to fill out before I could get in to see him.

It started out badly when the woman behind the front desk wanted my insurance card. I explained that I do not have insurance that covers eye exams. She strongly suggested that I provide my insurance card anyway, because some eye issues are considered medical treatment and there might be a slight possibility that I would be covered even though I do not have optical coverage…blah, blah, blah. This required a lengthy explanation (which I really did not want to get into) about the fact that I have recently retired and my previous insurance ended December 31st and Read More

No, I’m not lying on the floor with the keyboard on my belly in an attempt to call for help. I just feel totally incapacitated. I broke my glasses yesterday. My eyesight has never been great. In fact, I had an operation on my left eye when I was 12 because I was so cross-eyed. I wasn’t born with this affliction – it just happened as I grew older. Sometimes the muscle that holds the eyeball in place doesn’t grow as it should during adolescence, resulting in the eyeball being pulled to one side and “Voila!'” you get crossed eyes. That’s what happened to me.

Struggling through with broken, taped glasses

Struggling through with broken, taped glasses

The eye doctors tried everything: visual exercises, eye drops, they even tried putting a patch on my good eye to make my ‘lazy’ eye correct itself. But the only thing that happened was that I couldn’t see the lines on the writing paper when I was doing my homework. For about six months my vision was a blurry-eyed mess that caused my writing to wander all over the page.

My parents were understandably concerned. Some of the doctors had told them that I would probably never be able to hold a decent job and most certainly I would never be able to drive. So they sought out expert help. They took me to a specialist named Doctor Lieberman. I loved it because he was located in the Jewish neighborhood of Chicago and my Dad took me not only to see the doctor, but he introduced me to Lox and Bagels as well. For me it was an adventure. Only later did I overhear Read More

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