Editors' Picks

What We're Loving in Sarasota This Month

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, there's much joy to be found.

By The Editors February 6, 2021

If you’re pining for live music, the Saturday night free concerts at Hart’s Landing are a way to listen to regional bands and have a beer under the stars. The concerts take place under the eastern span of the Ringling Bridge at Doc Werlin Park. The backdrop is the bay, sparkling with lights from the bridge and downtown. Most people wear masks; plus, the park is big enough that’s it’s easy to keep a physical distance. The audience brings folding chairs, maybe a cooler and a dog on a leash. But it might be better to support Doc Werlin’s Place at Hart’s Landing by buying a beverage there and leaving a generous tip for the band. Every Saturday night, 7-10 p.m. Go to Hart’s Landing’s Facebook page or call (941) 330-0650 for the schedule of bands. Parking is tight, so consider using the public parking at Bayfront Park and walking the short distance to the bridge. –Susan Burns, editor-in-chief

For decades, February has meant the start of the Sarasota Opera’s winter season, and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t changed that for 2021. It has altered the size and scope of the productions, with the opera wisely choosing to present shorter, smaller-cast productions of Rossini’s The Happy Deception (Feb. 12-25) and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Maid to Mistress (Feb. 19-March 4) instead of earlier announced, larger spectacles. With health and safety protocols in place, that means we can still get our opera fix this month. Check it out at sarasotaopera.org. —Kay Kipling, executive editor

Heading to Selby Public Library with my two young sons on a Saturday morning is like visiting a friend's house, even if the Covid-19 pandemic has severely limited the library's programs and offerings. My kids' faces are hidden behind masks, but the friendly librarians still recognize them as regulars, quiz them about what they've been reading and load us up with book recommendations and fun activities. In an insane time, Sarasota's libraries have been a lifeline for kids and young families, so we’ll be headed there this month, too. —Cooper Levey-Baker, senior editor

Impressionism with a pop art twist? Sign me up. Selby Gardens' Roy Lichtenstein: Monet's Garden Goes Pop! opens this month as part of the gardens' Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, and it's sure to be spectacular. The exhibit features Lichtenstein's screen prints—including the rarely seen Waterlilies and Haystacks—and includes elements of Monet’s iconic garden, including his green Japanese bridge, trellises and benches. There will also be Lichtenstein- and Monet-themed lectures, performances, family programs, special tours, school curricula, and additional programs that complement the exhibition. The exhibit runs Feb. 13-June 27; find out more at selby.org. —Megan McDonald, digital editor

Passion fruit is ripe for eating this month. And despite the shriveled appearance of this palm-sized fruit, whoever tasted it first called it right. Passion fruit has a bright, tangy, sweet, tropical flavor with a floral hint. Its yellow insides deliver a juicy, slightly pulpy texture with delightful bursts of crunch thanks to semi-soft seeds to savor rather than avoid. A hearty climbing vine that requires little upkeep, passion fruit sprouts fuchsia or violet flowers that recall Fibonacci's sequence. As an added bonus, the showstopping blooms attract butterflies and bees. Fruits ripen about two months after the vine flowers, and they’re ready to eat once the skin shows a wrinkled appearance. Use it in homemade ice cream, fresh mojitos, salad dressing, or add to any base type of recipe like crème brûlée or buttercream icing. Or cut one in half and scoop out the goodness with a spoon—the skin acts like a convenient bowl. –Kim Doleatto, associate editor

Since 2004, the Embracing Our Differences outdoor exhibit has decorated Sarasota’s Bayfront Park with 50 billboard-sized works of art from local and international students of all ages. The exhibit is free and open to the public from January to April and remains an activity we can still enjoy during the pandemic, with plenty of space for social distancing while strolling through the park. Themes of diversity, tolerance and love are shared with onlookers, and art displayed has been chosen from thousands of submissions to the Embracing Our Differences organization. To learn more about the exhibit, visit embracingourdifferences.org. –Allison Forsyth, editorial intern

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