Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Plans

[Charles] So judging by the trickle of traffic on Florida Avenue, we will assume that everybody that isn't already out of town will soon be heading out the door. Tampa Street Market will be closed from Friday to Monday for a much needed long weekend. In order to help you fine folks find something else to do besides come visit our little shop this weekend, I've assembled a list of things that could be worth doing this weekend with help from many of the media outlets available from my little computer here.

How about....

Music and Art with Heart

Friday, May 28

Music and Art with Heart benefits Mote Aquarium and clean up efforts for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Live music and live painting from local artists and a silent auctioned of all created works.


Dean Johanesen
(941) 730-5322


The Back Alley

121 bridge street
bradenton beach,, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-1800

I'm just gonna guess that the crowd will be thin this Saturday at the Seminole Heights Community Garden Saturday morning so if you are in town, bring gloves and a hat!


From Creative Loafing's Green section

Proper Composting Workshop- Saturday, May 29; 12-2 pm. Join us at Twigs and Leaves Nursery for a unique two-hour composting course. Attendees will learn proper composting methods for quality and safety. Composting is an integral part in remediation of waste and reusing of vital nutrients. Topics to include: proper composting, composting manure and meat, creating a home compost, worm composting (vermiculture), and the future of composting. The course will take place on Saturday, April 24 from 12-2pm. Course fee is $35 per person or $100 for a four-course series, Student fee $20 per course or $75 for four-part series. For further information or a class schedule, visit or 727-793-5766. Twigs n Leaves Nursery- 1013 Dr. Martin Luther King St. South in St. Petersburg.


Sweetwater Organic Community Farm’s Sunday Market- Every Sunday (through May 30); 12-4 pm. Our on-site market features organic produce harvested fresh from our own farm, as well as organic fruits and veggies from other farms. Every week you can enjoy native plants, organic vegetable transplants, and unique products from green vendors and artisans including; fresh baked goods, local honey, homemade soaps, handmade jewelry, organic coffees, veggie burgers and fruit smoothies. You can also enjoy our wonderful ‘Sweetwater Sunday Music Series’ featuring some of the best local musicians and our popular open mic. So come check it out! Shop for your produce and environmentally-friendly products, have a picnic lunch, meet like-minded individuals, and enjoy our orchard and gardens under the trees all while listening to some great live music! Bring your friends, family, and leashed dogs. It’s a great way to support local programs, agriculture and business. Last Sunday market for the season and “clean the fields” harvest bonus share, first come first served. 6942 W. Comanche Ave, Tampa.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Weekend Roundup - Hub Grub II, Oil Spill Photos, and a little Lucero

Not sure who to credit the photo to, got it via email...

[Charles] Here's the latest from some of the blogs I read:

Alan from Bicycle Stories has some great photos from the Hub Grub Ride II which drew out over 120 people this time with a biking politician in tow -Linda Saul Sena and the new police chief Jane Castor.

I am so disgusted and depressed with the oil spill and the damage it is causing on our shores that I can't even stand to write about it right now. Instead I'll send you to some of the shocking Photos from a Treehugger reporter on the spill.

Maybe Kevin Costner can help with the cleanup? From Core77

And if you need something to listen to check out 9Bullets' discussion on some of their favorite bands tunes including Lucero and Drag the River.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hub Grub Ride II: The Trek Strikes Back

[Charles] The Seminole Heights Bicycle Club and Alan Snel, our neighbor, bike blogger, and one of the fearless bicycle advocates in Tampa, have put together another Hub Grub Ride for this Saturday. It sounds like they are heading out from the Garden Center at 2:45 and heading through the neighborhood en masse. They will head to Reservations, Starbucks, Viitals, Smoking A's, The Front Porch, Ella's Folk Art Cafe, The Refinery, and The Independent. It's easy to look at this as a way to shamelessly promote our neighborhood businesses, but the larger point is to shamelessly promote our neighborhood's bike friendliness!

We will probably miss out on all of the fun because we'll be working at the shop but feel free to stop by and say hi. I'll even refill your water bottle for you if you're running low. With that many stops and possible beverages available I'll be happy to help with hydration. Also, if you don't have a water bottle, I'll offer half price to anybody that wants to buy one if they are participating in the ride! How's that for service?

Enjoy the ride folks and enjoy the beauty of our neighborhood. There's something about the way the neighborhood looks from a bike that is so different from the view of a car. Please allow me to get philosophically sidetracked as biking always reminds me of the start of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

"In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. " - Robert Pirsig

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Do Florida politicians understand waste at all?

Photo from Robin Milcowitz of SHCG

[Charles] I've received a couple of emails and faxed a few protest letters this week against a bone-headed bill called HB 569, as in "569 ways to waste mulch". Let me be clear, I'm not a very good gardener or protester, and my cop-out answer is the same for both, because I'm soooo busy! Right, I know, everybody's busy, and that's why this year I resolved on Earth Day to do more letter writing and email forwarding on environmental issues. (I decided that this year I would make an Earth Day resolution as my contribution to the celebration, but that's a different post)

So anyhow, these people, we'll call them "legislators" for lack of a better term, have decided that one of their very favorite ways to champion alternative energy is to use something we call waste to energy. I like to refer to it as "wasted energy" because honestly it's sort of like saying well, "I'm going to burn tires for heat this winter to cut down on all those nasty emissions from the coal plant." So "waste to energy" is the darling of waste management folks in many places including Florida because you can avoid making a new landfill and burn bad stuff and make energy, and who wouldn't like that? Well, what if the fuel in your fire was say... dollar bills? That's not something I'd want to make a log out of, but what do I know right? That's silly anyway, nobody advocates burning dollar bills for energy do they? Well... If you are one of the thousands of gardeners and landscapers and farmers that uses the mulch that is generated in our system right now that is exactly what you are talking about.

Wasted money - You see, in Tampa I can put out a separate can of yard waste - leaves, limbs, and grass clippings and those travel separately to a mulch maker like Mother's Organics out in Seffner that upcycles them into mulch and compost that they can sell back to customers like gardeners and farmers and me. This is apparently a waste of a perfectly good source of methane though. Yep, if we could just get this stuff into our landfills and let it ferment then we could make one of the most noxious greenhouse gases around. Wait, what?! Yep, that's right we can make good ole clean burning methane (except it's not so clean and pretty hard to capture). On top of that in Florida, they don't really want to tap methane, they just don't want to have to send two separate trucks and deal with two separate waste streams.

That means that all of that useful organic material that we work hard to harvest from our yards will go right in the pile of stuff to burn. How about this for a protest? How about let's all pile up our leaves and sticks and go right back to burning them in our yards like we did in the 50's? That way at least I don't have to buy back the energy from them after they burn it for me!

Okay, now that you are as annoyed as I am, please take sixty seconds and follow the link below and pass along how you feel about this bill to those folks in Tallahassee that know so much more about what's good for Florida than you or me...

or link here...

This easy link was setup by the amazing folks at Green Florida that have been instrumental in projects that we proudly support like our Seminole Heights Community Garden as well as all of the community gardens that they have helped grow. For additional info on Green Florida

For more information, the original letter from Green Florida is here:

Also, to get involved with our Community Garden here:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Plan for Tropical Heatwave this Saturday

Ella is in for it this weekend... My daughter doesn't know it yet, but I'm dragging her and her mom to one of my favorite events of the year.

WMNF's Tropical Heatwave is our community radio station's big fundraiser/concert/block party in Ybor City. This is something that is well covered by the official media with lists of bands not to miss and all that.

Some of the things that they don't talk about in all of the news coverage is the unpredictable and outlandish fun that is inherent to this show. The volunteers at WMNF are really dedicated folks who pour their hearts into this event with decorations and details to handle for months in advance. The funny thing is that all of that love and good spirit flows over to the crowd and for the most part, this will be one of the nicest blend of crowds all year. Parents with kids stand shoulder to shoulder with old hippies and young rockers in a real testament to the way this music overlaps and influences each genre.

Also, don't forget the food! Vegetarian options are usually well represented at WMNF shows. I remember crouching down on the sidewalk last year and sopping up tibs from the Queen of Sheba restaurant with some of their world class injera bread.

For me, I want to see lots of bands, but also, I realize that you don't want to spend the whole show just juggling for position and running up and down stairs at the Cuban Club. My plan (which will definitely fall apart by Saturday) consists of catching a few bands I want to see and not running around too much because I'll be wearing a backpack with our little Ella in it and she'll be wearing the adorable pink ear protection seen above.

My Heatwave plans basically consist of deciding where I want to be and who I really don't want to miss. My personal preference is to stay near the Cuban Club and not slog too far afield.

Here's my plan so far:

5:00 -- 5:55
Tomas Delamnoy & Somos Musica
Salsa and merengue - Cuban Club Bandshell
(catch the first part of this set, I hear they are amazing)
5:25 -- 6:25
Nervous Turkey
Raucous blues - around the back at El Pasaje Plaza
(we'll get here in time to catch all of Ernie's fun and full on harmonica action )
6:20 -- 7:35
Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge
Latin jazz - Cuban Club Bandshell (top notch latin jazz and representative of the Saturday Latin Jazz and Salsa show on WMNF - one of the best shows on the radio anywhere)
(I'm already in too many places at once!!!)
6:00 -- 6:55
Electronic rock - at Crowbar
(hope to catch them although Crowbar might be too much of a haul and it'll be time for a beverage...)
6:50 -- 8:10
Ruthie Foster
Blues, folk & R&B - Back at El Pasaje Plaza
(I saw Ruthie back in the day in Texas when I was in college - she was awesome then and she has only gotten better, this is one of my do not miss shows of the day)
8:00 -- 9:05
Rachel Goodrich
Quirky folk-pop - down in the Cuban Club Cantina
(this looks like a fun show and I've heard good things about her - check out her Youtube videos from her New World Brewery shows)
8:10 -- 9:15
Lumiscent Orchestrii
Romanian Gypsy punks from New York City - Cuban Club Ballroom
(there will be dancing and this is one of the best rooms for dancing in the city, honestly this room always makes me happy I came to the show - it just sends your mind spinning to ballroom dances of a bygone era)

After that it is useless to plan. We might be worn out by then, or we might go on to see something at a far flung venue. I have never made it to the end of the night at Heatwave and that always means I miss someone I would love to see. This year with my new daughter I don' t expect to make it much past 9:00. That's okay though, the music is contagious and I know that these are the experiences that will shape her mind and tastes whether she remembers it or not.

With such a great selection of bands and the friendliest concert goers in town, I wouldn't have her first real concert be anywhere else... See ya Saturday!!!

Photo from the amazing local photographer Elawgrrl who will most definitely be at Heatwave...

Check her out at Flickr -

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brooklyn Designs 2010 - Wish we were there!

[Charles] So we are definitely furniture design nerds over here at TSM. We attended ICFF a few years ago and we have been known to hit places like the Noguchi museum or the Cooper Hewitt over the typical tourist attractions. Instead of dwelling on our depressed state from not being able to afford to go to NYC this year for design week, I've decided to post a few of the best designs I've seen while doing a virtual tour through the coolest and most outlandish new eco-friendly furniture pieces. Brooklyn Designs (May 7-9) is held on the weekend before ICFF and showcases the best of Brooklyn design studios which tend to be the greener design studios in New York.

First off, check out Uhuru Designs where they are happy to mix salvaged wood and metal just like somebody else we know... They probably have a pretty nice workshop and I'm gonna just say, it must be nice to have salvaged wood planks from Coney Island available for incorporation in designs like these. I can't hate on em too much though - this stuff is amazing!

Another place in Brooklyn I tried to drag Amy to was City Joinery where they do some really amazing and unique woodwork such as this table - The Winged Eliptical.

Another studio called Ecosystems caught our eye earlier this year with their interesting shelf support system that allows for user configuration or as the London Financial Times referred to them - "Legos for design savvy adults."

If you'd like more info on Brooklyn Designs here's their link.

Also, you can read Core77 or Inhabitat for more info on the designers, parties, and the hobnobbing that goes on in the city.

Hopefully this time next year, we'll be sending posts from our own visit!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day Madness Tonight!

[Charles] Okay so maybe not madness, but definitely silliness. We were asked by some of our awesome customers to stay open a little late to accommodate some last minute Mother's Day shopping, and well since we basically do whatever they want then why not? So, we'll see you tonight until 8:00. Stop by and check out the new lighting and home goods from 2Jane like the Stem Vase above (perfect for displaying Mom's flowers this Sunday). It should be fun to chat and shop and we even have some wine left over from the Earth Day Celebration. No we didn't drink it all! See you tonight!

Also, don't forget this weekend is the last of the Seminole Heights Sunday Morning Markets before the heat drives us all back to our air conditioned caves for the summer. Please head out and show the love for our hood so that this thing comes back in full force in the fall. We want the organizers and all the vendors to know how much we enjoy it!