Nephew of the Week: Brandon Valentino

This very talented performer has studied at The American Musical and Dramatic Arts Academy in both Los Angeles and New York City. He is currently performing in the cast at Hamburger Mary’s.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

A very close friend of ours was the owner of several high-end fur boutiques up north. He sold them and moved to Florida. Before you know it, he was back in the business again, this time working in a department store in Fort Lauderdale. He told us about a special customer. She was an elderly woman who would come to the department store twice a week. She would always order one chocolate chip cookie and have two cups of coffee. Then she would come to the fur department and ask “What’s new?” She would always try one coat on and say “Maybe someday I will come back and buy this coat.” Everybody liked her and were very nice to her. Then one day she passed away. To the surprise of everybody she was very wealthy. She left our friend in the fur department, the servers and the cosmetic department $5,000 each, once a year for the rest of their lives.

Italian Fest, Ybor-Style

Again, the Annual Festa Italiana Weekend in historic Ybor City brought out another record crowd. The weather was superb with sunny skies and 80 degrees with warm breezes. The Italian restaurants and food vendors scored big with the 15,000 locals and out-of-town visitors. It was like being an Italian for a day even if you weren’t Italian! It was a combination of authentic flavors, distinct wines, cultural sounds and ambient traditions of being in Italy.

A large tour group of Italians flew over from Italy on a charter just to attend the growing popular international festival. The charter included the winners of TV’s Italian Idol (like our American Idol TV show) and a top five contestant from the American Idol show.

The weekend consisted of movies, Italian language classes, fierce bocce ball competitions, a music festival, wine making/tasting and the Sunday all-day food festival. Dressed in native attire, elementary school choirs sang in Italian, and dance groups provided great entertainment for the masses.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcomed the large crowds sitting in chairs under tents and trees in Centennial Park. It was great to see many of our Ybor friends restaurants including, Bernini, Carne’s, Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza, Ybor City Wine Bar, Hamburger Mary’s, Tony’s Restaurant and Stone Soup all supporting the Italian Club event.

Saturday Ybor City Market

The Ybor City Saturday Morning Market features a growing number of vendors. This is the oldest continuous open-air market in Tampa Bay. The early morning crowds buy fresh baked bread, candies, homemade canned items, field fresh produce, independent craftsman hobbies and gifts.

Manager Lynn Schultz has had packed weekends with a variety of events and venues including the Flan Festival, Cuban Sandwich Show, and the Festa Italiana held at the historic Centennial Park in Ybor City most recently.

New Bear Shirts at MC FILM

A new assortment of fun spring bear shirts have arrived at MC FILM, with sayings like Bear Wrestling, Advice from a Bear, and Bear Trails. Dress for the occasion with eco-friendly bear, dish_lastwitty dog and funny cat-minded shirts from a national eco-friendly shirt company.


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