Thursday, November 13, 2008

40 Things I Love About St. Petersburg - Going Global

This blog is the beginning of a new list: 40 Things I Love About St. Petersburg. It is sort of like a gratitude piece, but I really do appreciate my town. I will also include things from surrounding areas like Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin, etc. For those of you not from here, this may open your eyes to some wonderful things and entice you to visit, especially as the snows begin to fall.

For years I wanted to get the hell out of Florida. I dreamt of a world in NYC or London or someplace cool and exciting. But alas fear, doubt and lack of creative potential left me in my own backyard and I decided to make the best of it. Then Voila! Life in St. Pete (and the whole Tampa Bay Area) got cool. Forget the Condo Barons and the chain mistakes and you have a great little town with class, culture and a lot of heart (though it can be awfully stone-cold at times.) St. Pete in particular is a great village to be a part of from sunny surf (cliché, but think about it when you are shuffling through sleet up north), music, art, theatre and literature downtown, a few right steps into a sense of culinary equity, fun places to just hang and an open-minded spirit.

One place downtown that I always appreciate is the Globe Coffee Lounge . It’s like a coffeehouse, but with more of a loungie atmosphere and now beer and wine. Strategically located at 5th St and 1st Ave N, the Globe is a hotspot for politics, art and the competitive sport of board game playing. In fact, wanna-be afficiandos can try their hand at anything from Connect Four to Scrabble, Monopoly and backgammon. It is also a great place to meet up with friends, hold encouraging soirees (like the St. Pete Creative Group’s monthly meeting) or book clubs.
Opened a decade ago by resident WMNF DJ and all-round hip chick JoEllen , the Globe filled a hole in a town that looked like it was on its way out. We struggled to keep the cool intact, but real estate sent the hippies packing and Dog Street had to close-up shop. It was a time when people went downtown to go somewhere, not just anywhere like now.
It’s common for people of all ages to keep it cheap and wander through the Avenues in search of a place to sit, eat, smoke a cigar, have a martini or just watch the crowds. The Globe provides a bit of shelter, plus something to warm your insides as you let things pass. They now have a full menu, but it is really the atmosphere that suits me. I wish I was a regular and could claim a touch of cool for it, but I have left it mostly to the young hipsters that are finding their way to make St. Pete more saintly. I stumbled in a couple weeks ago for the Creative Group meeting and found that on that night I wasn’t the oldest person in the place, nor was I a standout in my own geeky way. I was introduced to the group by the Mac doctor at work and crashed the meeting with a few designers in tow. We were there to network and try to get our symbolic artistry off the ground. I met a few people; one woman who had published her own works and was in the process of her second novel, how inspiring; and a girl who couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 rocking us out with original verse on her guitar. Very cool indeed.
Comfy and cozy for body, mind and soul, the Globe is a winner for anyone who misses the old-style family room or basement and would like to take an hour or so to refresh their game skills, discuss the events of the day and to celebrate life with like-minded folks.


humanobserver said...

I have heard a lot about that city....It is good to know that you have decided to give your readers a broader look of the city....Keep it up.....

Turner Publishing said...

Good morning!
First off, I promise I’m not spam. I’m with Turner Publishing and we have a book titled “Historic Photos of St. Petersburg” that we were hoping might interest you. I’m going around to all the bloggers asking if they’d like to receive a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a possible review on their blog. This book is a 10x10 gift book showing a pictorial narrative of St. Petersburg through beautiful photos pulled from archives (some have never before been viewed). If you are interested, please email me with your address and I’ll have one shipped out to you right away. If you have any questions, you can visit our website at or give me a call at the number listed below. We'd appreciate any feedback given and would love the opportunity to work with you! I appreciate the time you've given my email and hope to hear from you soon!
Thanks so much,
Liz Chenery