Street Talk - January 2005

By staff January 1, 2005

Best Bite

If you're a fan of paté, don't miss a new menu item at downtown Sarasota's popular Bijou Cafe.

Billed as an appetizer, the Bijou's trilogy of patés is substantial (and rich) enough to serve as a tasty lunch or a light dinner entrée. Three (obviously) different paté selections are featured in each serving. Two are duck, including a creamy duck mousse with truffles and a classic unadorned duck paté, cloaked in a white wine aspic. The third element in the trilogy is a coarse-ground pork paté campagne that would feel right at home in a bistro on Boulevard San Germain-des-Pres.

Priced at $11, the trilogy of patés is served with toasted bread rounds, cornichons and fresh vinaigrette-topped salad greens. Add a glass or two of crisp white wine, and you've still got room for the Bijou's signature crème brûlée. Just close your eyes and you'll feel Paris all around you.-Bob Ardren

Hot Seat

Fred Piccolo has weathered some good times and bad as president of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport since 1995. Luckily for him and the entire community, our airport looks to be on the upswing again, as a federal grant enabled Sarasota to bring discounter AirTran Airways into service here.

Q: Will Sarasotans again enjoy competitively priced flights?

A: We're seeing evidence of that already since AirTran's arrival. Some of our existing carriers are lowering their fares to compete.

Q: Can you give us examples?

A: On the Atlanta route, Delta's fare is $40 lower now than in November. That's because AirTran arrived in December and forced the other carriers to reduce their fares. Pricing in Tampa is cheaper because they have had lower-cost carriers up there.

Q: Do you see the funds spent with AirTran as chumming in additional airlines, too?

A: It will bring both better pricing and more flights. There's a tendency in this industry, as in so much of retail, to have a pack mentality. Now we have other low-cost carriers looking at us as well. And now others may have to enter the market to protect their market share.

Q: Is there really enough business to support state-of-the-art airports in Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota and Fort Myers?

A: Right now we have about 1.6 million passengers a year bleeding off to Tampa. If we could capture just 30 or 40 percent of that, it would be more than sufficient to support this airport while having a negligible effect on Tampa. Tampa is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to expand right now, and our efforts could take some of the pressure off them. In the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area, there are five airports.

Q: What's with the name "International?" Do we really have international flights?

A: We clear a lot of general [private] aviation aircraft out to the islands. And we now have three Canadian charter carriers serving us. We extended our runway a couple of years ago, and given the attractiveness of our area to Europeans, and the overall expansion of travel and tourism, we believe we'll see increasing international traffic here.

Q: What keeps you awake at night?

A: The financial uncertainty of the legacy carriers. It's difficult to plan beyond about six months when you don't know what portion of the business is going to be left standing. Since we don't receive tax money for operations, we survive on our business activity. And when about 50 percent of your customers are facing bankruptcy, that will keep you awake at night, along with having a profound effect on an airport and the morale of its employees.-Bob Ardren

Now hear this

"Having watched Sarasota's Main Street since 1958, I have to say that the black olive trees are the best thing that have ever happened to it."

Harold Bubil

Real Estate Editor

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Art Buzz

Joseph Jacobs, who was curator of modern art at the Ringling Museum in the late '80s (where he organized exhibitions such as Abstraction in Question and the first museum exhibition of the now famous Mike and Doug Starn), is currently an independent writer and critic, and he's been chosen to write a new modern art section for the venerated H.W. Janson's History of Art, due out in 2006. (There some four million copies of the present edition now in print.) In his introduction to the new edition, Jacobs says, "This book is intended to suggest the many ways that quality, and thus beauty, appears in art." He adds that art today "has no fixed values and no hierarchies, including who can make it-man, woman, American, Chinese, white, black, yellow-what the medium is and its importance and what its meaning is." He hopes that "after reading it, you will find the world will not look the same."

For an image of the cover of the book that they can provide contact [email protected]

Jay Davis and Brady Dollarhide, recent graduates (1997) of the Ringling School of Art and Design, have made successful transitions to the New York art world. Both artists got their introduction to life in the Big Apple while in Ringling's New York Studio Program. When I spoke to Dollarhide, as he was installing work for a one-person show at Jessica Murray Projects' new space in Chelsea, he credited the Ringling faculty. "Leslie Lerner, Dolores Coe, Daphne Rosenzweig and Kevin Dean were amazing teachers," he said. "Sarasota was a great place to go to school."

Dollarhide's first solo exhibition, I'm Only Now, was presented at Jessica Murray Projects in 2002; and his work was part of the major exhibition Open House at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in the summer of 2003. Murray says that "his most recent work continues his investigation of the connection between portraiture and landscape"; and that he's expanding his "vocabulary of black-silhouetted poles, cords and trees," adding "exploding fences, extended caution tape, and discarded umbrellas."

Davis exhibited with Stefan Stux in 2000 and 2001 and was introduced in a group show curated by Max Henry at Mary Boone Gallery in 2001. Boone then gave him a one-person show in 2003, and he's become one of her artists. In her review of his work at Stux for Art in America, Stephanie Cash said, "Jay Davis depicts scenes that seem to come from a parallel universe, disconnected from our reality yet still closely allied with it." His "execution is precise, and his works have a surreal quality, though he borrows more from Dr. Seuss or Tim Burton films than from Dali."

Look for these two rising stars to continue to shine.

For photo of Jay Davis and example of work go to:

Use first image...They will find my head in a basket

Portrait of Jay Davis on the site is by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders for permission to reproduce this contact Timothy at his studio 212 674 7888

For images of Dollarhide's work see

For images

The Museum of Asian Art on Washington Boulevard recently received approvals from the City of Sarasota to build a new museum on a six-acre property just east of the North Trail at 47th Street. The museum now has five years to realize the project. Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt, CEO and founder, was in New York for the fall auctions of Asian art and says she "bought wonderful objects at Christie's and Sotheby's." Tony Falcone, vice chair of the museum board, says the new Sarasota complex "has the potential to be a spectacular edifice and contribute to the life of the cultural community." He's also enthusiastic about the exhibition of photographs, working drawings and models on view at the museum through mid-February, which focuses on the achievements of Pei Partnership Architects (PPA), founded in 1992 by Chien Chung, son of architect I.M. Pei, and his brother Li Chung.-Mark Ormond

Hot Topic

As a commissioner, what would you wish for Sarasota in the coming year?

County Commission Chair Jon Thaxton

To learn living within our means. Simply maintaining the status quo can result in decline; and in this case, that could relate to a much different Sarasota than the one we enjoy today. Resources such as water (drinking water, bay and river waters and wetlands), wildlife habitat and traffic are or will be threatened if sustainable levels of consumption and use are not established.

County Commissioner David Mills

I'd really like an integrated trail system for the county and the rail corridor between Sarasota and Venice that's imminent now. More young people ask me about trails than just about anything else. With problems like juvenile obesity becoming rampant, this is a safe way for kids to get back to riding their bikes to school.

Sarasota Mayor Richard Martin

A downtown that becomes the happening place we envisioned; the development of Payne Park moving forward; a university district that captures the imagination of the community; making strides toward creating decent housing for all and instilling pride in environmental stewardship; and my re-election, so I can continue shaping the city t I love into the quality place I know it can be.

Sarasota Vice Mayor Mary Anne Servian

More people living full-time downtown and having a positive influence on the revitalization of our city's core. Also, I'd like to see us move forward with an entertainment district as well as the university corridor. At the same time we must focus on maintaining the integrity of our neighborhoods.

County Commissioner Nora Patterson

Included in my vision: the redevelopment of the Newtown area, with positive solutions for the Sarasota Housing Authority tenants along with mixed-income and mixed-use development. A 2050 plan that really preserves open space and is not all golf course and lakes. Acquiring more waterfront land for the public before it is all developed. And that our conversations countywide would be more about community and less about special interests.

From the pages of Sarasota-Manatee Business

Hurricane Blues?

Did last summer's hurricanes hurt waterfront property values? Experts say no.

On the demand side, Tom Stone of Michael Saunders & Company says sales pick up when winter residents and visitors arrive and the storm's frightening images fade. Stone expects a shift in tastes toward new construction, because houses built to modern codes withstood the storms well. This shift might actually improve the values of waterfront properties that meet current codes.

David Kelly, director for graduate studies in economics at the University of Miami, says expectations are integral to property values, so for hurricane activity to hurt property values, the damage would have to be worse than anticipated. And, thankfully, we escaped the worst destruction. The threat he sees now is insurance rates going higher, as after Andrew.

Manatee Booms

Manatee County continued to boom in 2004, with more than $1 billion worth of construction under way, including upscale condominiums on the formerly blighted Bradenton "sandpile" and multimillion-dollar high-rise condominiums at Palmetto's Riviera Dunes Resort & Yacht Club. Bradenton and Palmetto officials have rolled out a joint marketing effort called Manatee Riverwalk to attract future development.

How big is the growth? The city of Palmetto, not so long ago known more for its mobile home parks and tomato packing plants, had a remarkable 4,193 projects in planning or development as of October. Most are residential, including two recently annexed parcels of land that will hold 1,200 and 1,500 homes, respectively.

What People Earn

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average annual salary for all occupations in the combined Sarasota and Bradenton metropolitan area is just $29,490, lower than most of Florida's 19 other metro areas.

Unfortunately, it's not cheap to live here. According to ACCRA, a national clearinghouse that tracks cost of living, Sarasota's index scores a fat 105.4 (out of an average of 100), making it one of Florida's most expensive cities. West Palm Beach (108.8), Miami (112.2) and Fort Lauderdale (116.8) all rank higher than Sarasota (Naples is not included because it does not participate in ACCRA).-Ilene Denton

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