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Falling in Love Again . . . with Sarasota

by Sylvia Babineau

Ready to fall in love with Sarasota?  It's an award winning town:

2010:  Longboat Key claimed the #2 spot on Conde Nast Traveler's Reader's Choice Awards in the list of "Top Islands of North America".


  • Dr. Beach named Siesta Key Beach the #1 Beach in the USA.
  • Trip Advisor gave Siesta Beach their Travelor's Choice Award.

In 2012:

  • Siesta Beach received a 10Besties Best beach Readers Choice Travel Award.
  • Sarasota was named the #1 Small City Art Destination (out of 25 cities) by American Style Magazine.
  • released a list of the top 10 places to retire in which Sarasota was ranked as the #1 place to retire. Venice even placed as #9 in that list.
  • CNBC released a list of ideal places to retire and invest, both Sarasota and Longboat Key were said to be ideal places to retire and invest. 
  • USA Today more recently stated that Sarasota is a "Greaty City for Retirees" because "It has an urban downtown, but many walk-able neighborhoods close by. There is lots happening, and it is possibly the cultural captial of Florida. And great beaches and keys nearby."

In 2013:

  • USA Today awarded Sarasota the title "Best Waterfont View to Visit.
  • Sarasota's Pine View High School is one of the main reasons that families all over the world move to Sarasota. This school provides gifted students with a world-renowned and has been continually awarded by US News for “Best High School”


Ever wonder about the Bronze plaques on the Circle?

by Sylvia Babineau

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon last weekend, St Armands Circle held its 28th annual Circus Ring of Fame Induction Ceremony which recognizes those who have made “a significant contribution to the art and culture of the circus”. With dozens of inductees from around the world, the Ring of Fame began in 1987 as a way to honor world famous circus performers and the rich circus heritage of the Sarasota area. Each inductee is then honored with a bronze wagon wheel plaque, which celebrates their contribution to circus art and heritage.

The Ring of Fame graces the central park of St. Armand's Circle. There visitors and locals alike stroll past decades of circus history, reading the plaques and conjuring up childhood memories of circus greats such as famed animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, astounding aerialists the Flying Wallendas and Lillian Wetzel, timeless clowns Lou Jacobs and Emmett Kelley. The Ring includes the most famous showman of all times, P.T. Barnum, as well as the visionary who brought the circus to Sarasota, John Ringling.

Because the annual Circus Ring of Fame ceremony draws veritable who's who in the circus world as current and past performers gather to honor their peers, this year it  also played host to Tortuga Films - a CBC TV crew from Quebec who are shooting a documentary called After the Circus. According to director/ screenwriter Viveka Melki the project is an intimate portrait of the circus family community who are determined to support each other through thick and thin. The film will air in Canada in December of 2015. With the temperatures in the 70s, the film makers enjoyed one of the main attractions that drew John Ringling to our city.


This Weekend in Sarasota

by Sylvia Babineau

Looking For a Fun Run?

  • The Wilde Automotive Family Ringling Bridge Run is happening tomorrow, Saturday, January 17th, and there is still time to sign-up
  • Online registration is closed, but runners can sign up (or pick up race packets) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Friday) at the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch of the YMCA- 1075 South Euclid Avenue in Sarasota,  941/ 955.8194,  or on race day at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
  • The race starts at 8:00 am at the Van Wezel, and proceeds south along Tamiami,  across the Ringling Causeway Bridge, and then back to the Van Wezel, 4 miles.



The 3rd Annual Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival on Gulfstream Ave: 

  • Saturday & Sunday, January 17-18, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • An outdoor gallery of original handmade fine art- painting, sculpting, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics – and more. 
  • Admission and parking are free. 
  • The Humane Society will have their “Big Mac” mobile adoption center onsite. 


Cabaret: The Players Theater,  838 N. Tamiami Trail

  • This classic and moving Kander and Ebb musical is set in the midst of the Nazi takeover of 1931 Berlin. Glitzy, moving, and surreal, this musical revolves around cabaret performer Sally Bowles as she battles her onstage stardom and her offstage loves. Songs include “Cabaret,” “Maybe This Time,” and “Money.”

  • Tickets $25-$30

  • (941) 365-2494


Joseph's Coat Skyspace 

  • Saturday January 17
  • The Skyspace, created by internationally renowned artist James Turrell, is a gathering place for contemplation, and  sustained experience.  At sunset, a sophisticated system of LED lights is employed to change the color of the space.  In doing so, the artist changes the context in which you view the sky and can radically change your perception of the color of the sky and its spatial relation to you. As you gaze up at the sky through the 24’ square aperture in the ceiling, you are invited to contemplate light, perception and experience.  Joseph's Coat is a unique experience.
  • 5401 Bay Shore Rd.
    Sarasota, FL 34243
  • 0-$5

Wine & Dine in Italy:

  • Eating a leisurely Italian meal and drinking Italian wine is one of life's treasures. Come be a part of this class as we tour this great country and some of it's offerings.
  • Publix Aprons Cooking School, 2875 University Parkway Sarasota 34243
  • Saturday June 17 at 6:30 pm
  • $45

Guess Whose Coming to Sarasota?

by Sylvia Babineau

This time of year Sarasota's visitor population grows with the arrival of vacationers and those who own second homes here.  Known as snowbirds, they are here to escape the brutal winter months in the northern U. S.  Who are these snowbirds and where do they call home?  A recent study shows that New Yorkers own more second homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties than residents of any other state with 13,110 homes; Ohio residents came in second with 7,903; Illinois residents came in third with 7,856, and Michigan residents came in fourth with 7,540.  Internationally, Canadians own 9,517 parcels —  far more than any other nationality. The United Kingdom came in second with 1,685.

Sarasota was one of  10 U.S. cities recently identified by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) as a city that will experience increased home purchases by baby boomers over the next several years.     The criteria: lower taxes, the job market, migration patterns, cost of living, housing afford ability, and inventory availability.  The other 9 cities identified are Orlando, Ft. Myers, Albuquerque,  Boise, Denver, Greenville, Phoenix, Raleigh,  & Tucson.




Sun, Fun and Real Estate

by Sylvia Babineau

The weather outside is . . .  Delightful!  New Year's day in Sarasota is sunny with a high temperature of 81 degrees and absolutely no forecast of snow in the foreseeable future. Or ever. The beaches are a hotspot of activity with families, couples and singles who have escaped the frigid temps in the north.

Luxury condominiums and single family homes still offer tremendous opportunities to those looking for a home here.  Since home values are expected to increase dramatically in 2015, NOW is the time to find the perfect home, or perhaps a home away from home, in Sarasota, Florida's largest small city.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5