Wednesday, January 17, 2018

on market today

Yes- we usually do the moving on by traveling to new countries... but this time we are moving on with a new winter home.  Today our little condo in Sarasota-Bradenton (known by the SRQ airport code to us) has gone on the market.  We found a place we want to buy and now have it under contract with one open contingency so we are "acting as if" it's a done deal.

When we moved here we had a large single family home in Chicago - now we have a condo in Chicago. When we moved here we were Illinois residents and now we are Florida residents.  When we moved here a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom place was plenty but five years later, our lives have evolved to the point where we are looking for a smidge more space... so the next phase in winter housing has begun....

Here are some photos of our place which you have seen a number of times before in various posts- but if you know someone who is looking for a winter place let them know.  We have loved the area and are headed only a few miles away. Still within easy ten to twelve minutes of Anna Maria but actually even closer to downtown Sarasota where we spend most of our time on cultural activities and dining...

they say that networking and getting the word out to as many people as possible is what sells real estate most efficiently so here it is! Starting to show Saturday! come and get it!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

an italian in the kitchen

We tried a new place tonight and found much to like.  Last week we went out on one of those last minute grab a bite kind of meals to a local Thai place (which we would give mixed reviews even though it is highly rated by locals) and when we left we saw a new place a few doors down. The name of this place is Eat Organico Ristorante Italiano. 

Barb & John had been to eat there and gave us the recommendation so we tried it tonight and as I said we found a lot of things to like about it.  There is a real Italian in the kitchen! The menu has items not generally found in our local Italian (really Italian-American) places and because it focuses on seafood, there are some terrific choices one doesn't usually see when dining in these parts. 

We started with two wonderful dishes from the crudo section of the menu- the white anchovies and the snapper.  Both were very nicely prepared with a good balance of flavors. The winner- well they were both winners! If you aren't' fond of anchovies, then order the snapper - served on a salt block with olive oil and creme fraiche, this one is worth returning for tomorrow it was so good!

the interior is well lit and freshly decorated with a growing wall of herbs and white tablecloths...

There were several specials, as well as, the very nice regular menu- we have plenty to try the next few times we go -

Phil got the risotto di mare and I tried the fettuccini bolognese

 the pasta was excellent (made by the sister in law) and the bolognese was good but a tad red for my taste- I like the "gravy" as they say out east a bit more beefy in flavor and hence a bit browner in color (like this one shown below from Bologna itself)

We had enough to take home for lunch but also that gave us room to test the gelati - espresso for me and chocolate for Phil. 

all in all, a truly worthy meal.  We are looking forward to trying the salmon tartare and carpaccio di polpo along with some of the salad choices - the burrata and speck sounds great to me! Lots more to check out in the next visits!

But two thumbs up from the two of us! We can give this one a recommendation for sure!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

two weeks and a hundred years

Yes I know - been a while since I have posted but - we are in process with buying a new house (kind of unexpectedly), we had friends visit -  we caught up with local friends- we had dinner at Bern's - we heard the symphony - I started two classes at two schools -  I began working with Phil's physical trainer - we had a bunch of social plans - and we are getting our place ready to sell..... oh and yesterday, we went to the 100th birthday party of our dear friend Barbara Ramsey!

So please - forgive the delay in getting the first post of 2018 up online-

might as well start with the last week- our friend Mike came to visit between performing at a couple of shows and the Fort Lauderdale Folk Festival... also friend Neil is in town for a couple of weeks so we made arrangements for dinner at Bern's as both are wine aficionados.  We were joined by Elizabeth a long time friend of Neil's.  It was a really lovely evening catching up with everyone and having some outstanding wines!

The wines we had were as follows with my choice for the wine of the evening (WOE) starting off- followed by my choices for the rankings- others disagreed and put the Clos Vougeot first and the group was split on the whites as well- I preferred the Chassagne but others favored the Beaune Clos des Mouches.... that's what it's all about!

by this time in the meal the white wine glasses had been removed- LOL

the food at Bern's is better than you might expect because they grow their own and fish their own and slaughter their own etc... but you get a soup, a salad, a potato with garnish and veggies and onion rings with your meat selection.  They also have first rate fish but I am sure many more diners choose the steaks which they are known for... Mike, Phil and I shared the Chateaubriand and Neil had veal and Elizabeth had the snapper.  We did NOT go to the Dessert Room being too stuffed and sated with wine to even think of indulging in the end of the meal wines and fabulous desserts. Here is the food we did have - or most of it LOL-

Mike and Elizabeth had the lobster bisque and Neil had a TO DIE FOR vichyssoise which I will definitely order next time- it was outstanding!

But on we go- much to cover when I procrastinate about posting LOL

The night before Bern's, Mike and Phil and I had dinner at Blue Marlin in Bradenton Beach (our favorite local restaurant) and had two outstanding wines - a red and a white Burgundy - the 2005 Corton Charlemagne from Bouchard and the 1996 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes from Arlaud

I started with the burrata salad and the boys had the scallops with pulled pork -

then i had the black grouper with pecan crust and Mike has a lobster shrimp and scallop scampi dish and Phil had the Grouper Picatta - all YUM!


cake for dessert - chocolate mousse for Phil and me and Coconut Cream cake for Mike

Then working back we had dinner with John and Barb at Kasa Sushi on Monday (only one photo- of the sashimi) and Sunday we had a celebrate the New Year with Jean at Harry's (no photos- sorry)

and since I am working back to New Year's Day - we signed a contract on the condo we are hoping to buy - closing is early in February.  The first week of the year was taken up arranging inspections of various sorts and then working out the details of the deal.  Finding sources for work we will want done on the new place before we move in. Getting our place all tidy for photos for listing and showing...

Oh and by the way, I also started two classes for this term.  A college class at Ringling College of the Arts (the class is about 20% CE students and 80% matriculated students working on degrees there.  The class is twelve weeks long and is an Art History elective for the students who have to deal with three exams, a term project, a dozen or so quizzes to be completed online before class, as well as a very strict attendance policy. LOL the CE students have no such restrictions but of course will gain value from the reading assignments.  The subject matter is the Birth and Development of the Skyscraper.

The second class I am taking is taught by my teacher from last spring - it is on Chinese Art and is part of the Lifelong Learning Academy here in Sarasota.  I enjoyed her as a professor and apparently she has gained quite a following because virtually all the (sold out) class had taken either the class last spring or the one she taught last fall. So I am off to school two afternoons a week. And although it is now Sunday evening I haven't started my homework - AAACCCKKK!

We also went to the Symphony (second of our series of tickets for the season)

But here is a brief report on the BIG event of the first half of January 2018!

Our friend, Barbara, celebrated a full 100 years on the planet Earth and my what she has seen! I posted on her 99th and so you probably already know that she graduated from NYU with a degree in Sociology and worked during the war at a munitions plant (where she met the love of her life, Charlie, the father of her two daughters and her beloved husband of many many years.)

It was a true love match-
John was taking a lot of photos of all the guests in various groups but here are a few I can offer-

dinner party place settings (napkin folding by Allegra- Barbara's granddaughter)

just some of the flowers for the birthday girl

many many photos of people - some of whom we have come to recognize- along with a number of great stories about life at Lake Mohegan.  I think I mentioned last year that Barbara grew up at the Mohegan Colony.  Her parents - early pioneers in fresh air advocacy and her own mother, Norma being an early adopter of healthy eating and vegetarian lifestyle.

we were lucky enough to hear some funny family recollections - including one where Barbara's nephews went to visit her mother Norma and father and just as they arrived they got a lecture on what they wouldn't be eating while there- no cokes - no burgers - no fries ! They were so traumatized they went down to the local drugstore and gorged on Coke and fries until they were sick LOL

we heard the tale of how five year old Barbara ran in her bare feet to the neighbors house where there was phone to call her father in the city that her mother was having a baby and he had to come home to the tent they were living in at the Colony.  Why were they living in a tent? Well that was after the guy her father had paid in full to build him a house had absconded with all the money! Before they moved into the tent they lived in a chicken coop.  And no I am not making any of this up LOL

At the bottom of this group below is a photo of Barbara with a mule - apparently taken when she and Charlie were living in Venezuela. Another adventure and some of it pretty frightening.  Barbara had two little daughters!  The three ladies of the family are shown in the next grouping top center - Barbara with blonde toddler, our friend Barb, (Barbara Jane or "Beege" for BJ) and baby Beth...

I know it is not considered PC to comment on people's looks these days and I know that many of these photos will not be all that clear to the readers of the post, but trust me- this woman was so beautiful with the most amazing clear blue eyes -

Barbara with her granddaughter Allegra and Allegra's husband Sparrow.

LOL they reused the sign from 99 and we hope to have it re-used for many years to come!

So you can see that while I haven't been keeping up with posting I have been busy with life- and really isn't that the way it is supposed to be?  And there will be more of course... so stay tuned.