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Tag: west coast

Ybor City’s Cuban Heart Beats Strongest After Dark

The young Latina leaned against the door jamb, disinterestedly watching tourists stream past. Her four-inch stilettos, strapless bustier, and leather hotpants suggested the oldest profession on earth, yet she stood in the doorway of a family-owned bodega where Ybor City’s residents gather each day to sip strong espresso, share gossip, and slam dominoes….

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The House That Bowling Balls Built

Everywhere I went in the small village of Safety Harbor, Florida, people told me the same thing: “You have to see the bowling ball house.” It was easy to find, but even without directions it would have been hard to miss the pyramid of 200 bowling balls stacked on the front lawn. Fascinated,…

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Punta Gorda – Florida’s Gulf Coast Painted Lady

When Dr. Robert Andrews first proposed that a series of historically accurate, educational murals be painted on downtown buildings in Punta Gorda, Florida, some residents opposed the idea, insisting the murals would be nothing more than “graffiti.” Business leaders, on the other hand, loved the idea. They formed the Punta Gorda Historic Mural…

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Seeing Double at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida

Although I don’t pretend to understand the surreal images of distorted females and melting clocks that pervade the art of Salvador Dali, his work had always intrigued me. I simply assumed the symbolism was an unknowable product of a demented mind. So I was surprised when the docent at the Salvador Dali Museum…

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Jammin’ at Pastry Art’s Open MIC Night

Sarasota’s split personality has always intrigued me. As a retirement community, the average age of its residents is well above the national average and even significantly above the Florida average. On the other hand, several universities and community colleges located in Sarasota County, including the renowned Ringling College of Art and Design, infuse…

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Peace River Wildlife Center – Rescuing Animals and Educating Humans

When John Audubon first visited the Punta Gorda area on Florida’s Gulf coast in the early 19th century, he wrote that wading birds were so numerous that thousands flying overhead transformed daylight into darkness. Yet less than 100 years later the profligate population had been decimated. In small part, the decline was caused…

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