I Love Downtown Saint Pete, St. Pete, DTSP.
I really really love living, working and playing here in downtown St. Pete, Florida. Why? Is it because I was born and raised here? Is it because I’ve traveled to over 35 countries on 5 continents and have a global perspective as to what truly makes up a great city? What makes up a wonderful living experience? Certainly some of both.
(NOTE = Since first publishing this blog, we’ve updated our name from I Love DTSP to Downtownstpete.com)
When you can have it “all” without having to give up much of anything, that’s a win-win. So what makes up the ingredients in a world-class city? Of course the downtown is the heart, that beats the pulse, the lifeblood of any city. A strong, vibrant downtown is one your cardiologist would smile and brag over. One he or she’d talk about with colleagues. Well we here in St. Petersburg, Florida, aka St. Pete, are lucky enough to have that kind of healthy heart. El Centro. Downtown. DTSP.
So what makes a great city?
Weather: Check, er no need to check it as yup it’s about perfect daily. St. Pete is world-famous for our sunny days and gorgeous weather. Excluding August which is hot and nasty.
Arts: St. Pete has a strong, diverse arts community, ranging from our gorgeous Street Murals, to the stunningly gorgeous Salvador Dali Museum, and every level in between. Some of my favorites, just a few here off the top of my head, are local superstars, including Mr. Thought Crimes himself BASK, recently featured on the mega hit film Iron Man 3, The omnipresent Vitale Brothers, Chad Mize of Blue Lucy, the master of high-impact oil paintings Don Kobasky, Sebastian Coolidge, globally recognized TES ONE and mr St. Paint Arts himself Derek Donnelly and shoot so many more. You get the point here. St. Pete is an arts town, recognized over and over again by the media and those people whose opinions count. Of course I cannot forget metal master Frank Strunk III.
Music: Diverse, excellent live music can be seen and heard every night of the week, at venues from the stately Mahaffey Theater, the nicely redone and always great Janis Live, the groovy Ruby’s Elixir – my favorites local nightly jazz spot and even occasionally my wedding and event venue NOVA 535 Unique Event Space, where the Bay Kings Band plays on 1st Tuesdays. The State Theater always has a youthful crowd waiting in line for it’s next show. You can always check with Daddy Kool Records and Tickets to find out what’s up.
Organizations: Well you know a city that is so loved that it wants to keep it all to itself. Well kind of. My pal, superwoman herself Olga Bof started the Keep St. Pete Local group, pitching that buying local goods and services, multiplies the money 3X, over buying nonlocal. It’s the truth. So let’s KSPL. When you buy from your neighbor, then he / she has more $$ to turn around and buy from you. Downtown St. Pete is full of Entrepreneurial spirit, in fact I started the Entrepreneur Social Club back in 2009, to connect, support and enjoy my fellow Entrepreneurs. Join us Thursday Nights or daily online on our vibrant FB page. The ESC has been supported by so many incredible people, especially Chris and Kim Jenkins, Mr. I’m Their Web Guy, and big Nick “I”m You when you can’t be” Mazeika.
Dining: Yes I could go on and on here, but let’s just say that there is a ton of diverse delicious cafes and restaurants to please the demanding palates of el mundo. A few of my favs are Gratzzi Restaurant, always extraordinary, the downtown house of deliciousness Bella Brava, my pal Jonny Reno’s new spot, RENO’S Downtown Joint, transplant Mickey’s Organics, healthy and delicious and Mazzaro’s Italian Gourmet Market. If I don’t stop here I’ll miss my flight home as there are SO MANY excellent choices. Come bring your mouth and your wallet, a few friends and enjoy dining for yourself.
The City: Seemingly little things like a cool mayor who cares, excellent sidewalks and streets. I can’t tell you how many cities have the worst, dangerous and embarrassing sidewalks and streets. Boo to corruption, graft and the ‘who cares” attitude of so many OTHER cities.
People: Downtown St. Pete enjoys a rich diversity that I can imagine most other city’s envy. We have all colors, nationalities, orientations and almost all the time we all get along quite well. St. Pete is inclusive and we have a strong loving LGBT community, for decades now, with the state’s largest annual parade. Strong smart kind leaders like my pal Jeff “Grown Folks” Copeland, who throws a wildly successful monthly First Friday party here at NOVA, his crowd is fun, friendly, diverse and open to everyone who is respectful. One love for all humanity. Downtown is the heartbeat, remember, and our people are the blood, the oxygen, the cells of the life of our wonderful home, and I’m proud to call them family, amigos, partners and lovers. It’s our attitude, a vibrant, warm, welcoming, we can and will get shit done style that is also laid back, unique and fun. I CAN choose to live anywhere, and currently I’m in Buenos Aires, typing away as I await my flight to Miami Beach for Art Basel. However, after visiting well over 300 cities worldwide, I CHOOSE to live in downtown St. Pete. Come visit, I’ll buy you a drink and prove that these aren’t just words, this is the reality of my, er our collective experience, living in what we feel is the greatest place on earth. A place full of Entrepreneurs, of the can AND WILL DO attitudes. A city that makes everyone feel like they are home. Even if it’s just for a while.
So are you creative? Entrepreneurial? A business owner or start-up? A success already and you want to enjoy the energy of like-minded people while mentoring them? Then connect with the Entrepreneur Social Club, in person every Thursday at NOVA 535 Unique Event Space in downtown St. Pete, Florida, or online here. The ESC is where we have an incredibly fun time while solving real problems, where we exclude religion and politics, while focusing on helping, connecting and enjoying our fellow Entrepreneurs and business owners. Why? Because if we don’t save our species, no one will. And I think we’re worth saving, don’t you? Then Join us!