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3 signature Sarasota events come to a close this weekend.

by Sylvia Babineau

The 17th annual Sarasota Film Festival came to a close Saturday night at the Sarasota Opera House with the announcements of the films given awards by the jury. Following the awards presentation, a film directed by Florida filmmaker Brett Haley was shown. “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” stared Blyth Danner as a widow being courted by two suitors, played by Sam Elliott and Martin Starr. Danner and Haley were in attendance.

A highlight of this year’s festival was the appearance of Jane Seymore who accepted accepting the festival's "Icon of Television" award at the Sarasota Yacht Club on Friday.

The Sarasota Open tennis tournament had a different atmosphere this year - moving the venue from Longboat Key to Lakewood Ranch it exchanged the island glitz of a resort setting for country club charm. An all Argentine final is being played today between sixth-seeded Facundo Bagnis, a resident of Buenos Aires and second-seeded Federico Delbonis, from Azul, Argentina. Bagnis who has been nursing a sore shoulder came back from a 0-3 deficit in the second set to beat Ireland’s James McGee, 6-1, 6-3in the semis. Delmonis beat the American Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final.

Finally on a beautiful Sarasota Sunday the annual Suncoast Boat Show has the downtown area and Marina Jacks abuzz with boat lovers viewing all the latest offering from the Gulfcoast’s leading boat dealers.

Gallup poll finds Sarasota has the greatest well-being in America.

by Sylvia Babineau

Time Magazine reported the results of a Gallup poll that found what we all know already. Sarasota is a great place to live !

The survey looks at how people feel about their day-to-day lives with the index measuring  financial, social and physical well being. Over 175,000 people from all 50 states were interviewed about such things as physical health, financial stability, community activity and supportive relationships. The poll was conducted from January through December of 2014.

The 100 most populous cities were considered and we are in good company. Rounding out the top five on the list were Honolulu, HI; Raleigh, NC; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA and El Paso, TX.

 

The specifics of the poll included:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvia Babineau hits a Trifecta . . . Twice!

by Sylvia Babineau

The Aria on Longboat Key is now sold out thanks to Sylvia Babineau, the Broker-Owner of My Realty Company.  Sylvia sold the last three condominiums available,  listed at $ 3.6, $ 3.625 and $ 3.85 for a total of over $ 11 million volume. The 5-acre property on the south end of Longboat Key is one of the  last estate properties in the area. Known as Villa am Meer, the 5 acre site sits behind a landmark masonry entry gate. Construction of the newest condominium project on Longboat Key in eight years began last summer.

Sylvia also listed 3 luxury residences at the Orchid Beach Club, and then  sold all three herself for $ 3.5, $ 3.8 and $ 3.9 totaling  $ 22.4 million volume.

OOOPs, we almost forgot the $1.9 million sale at The Orchid Beach Club on Lido Key.

 

 

HIGHLAND GAMES CELEBRATE SARASOTA’S HISTORIC LINKS TO SCOTLAND

by Sylvia Babineau

 

This weekend Sarasota played host to the 21st Annual Celtic Festival and Highland Games. The skirl of the bagpipes reminds us of the deep connection Sarasota has to Scotland. As you wander along the waterfront in downtown Sarasota you will see a historical marker that commemorates the spot where late in 1885 a number of Scottish families first came ashore. Instead of the established town they were promised they met wilderness and many did not stay. But those who did along with settlers who were already here platted the Town of Sarasota on July 27, 1886.

 

The company that had lured the Scottish settlers was owned by the Gillespie family of Edinburgh and they sent son John Gillespie to Sarasota to sort out the discontent. Gillespie remained in Sarasota to oversee a 40-acre experimental farm and was responsible for the clearing of three miles of Main Street and  the building of a substantial wharf on the waterfront. He also built a hotel on Main Street. In 1902, he was elected the first mayor of Sarasota.

 

Besides the haunting music of the pipes perhaps Scotland’s greatest contribution to the rest of the world is the game of golf. John Gillespie is credited with introducing the game in the US 1904 when he built a nine-hole golf course east of the present Links Avenue. It is considered to be one of the first courses ever built in the US. With the game firmly established, the game’s legend, Booby Jones was asked by the Adair family of Atlanta, Georgia to help them sell lots they were developing in town by playing a match against Walter Hagen in 1925.  In 1927 Sarasota built a municipal course named for Bobby Jones and Jones himself attended the ceremony.The names of Gillespie and Jones are still prominent in Sarasota.

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".

2011: 

  • 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.
  • TopRetirements.com 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 11-19 of 19

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