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By Carol Tisch July 1, 2011

Sarasota’s “citrus streets” (Lemon, Pineapple and Orange avenues) meet at State Street, the heart of this newly emerging shopping and arts district crowned by eateries like Pastry Art and Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. Browse boutiques owned by internationally revered brands Brooks Brothers and Eileen Fisher and drool over the gourmet wares at Sur La Table. Lust after designer bijoux from names like Gellner and Etienne Perret at Optional Art; watch artisan Ned Bowman as he crafts Sarasota’s most unique jewelry. Study the art at State of the Arts Gallery, and channel your inner ballerina at Ballet Studio 20.

Pineapple Square and City Place encompass some of the choicest real estate in the heart of our city. Watch them evolve and grow while enjoying the treasures that are already here.

Raise the Barre Thanks to a donation of space on Lemon Avenue, Sarasota Ballet opened its Studio 20 with dance classes for all levels and ages, and options from Zumba to yoga and beginner ballet ($10 per class; $90 for 10). (Photo commemorating the company’s 20th anniversary by Barbara Banks.) Sarasota Ballet’s Studio 20, 20 Lemon Ave., Sarasota , (941) 359-0099 ext. 120.  

Urban Mythology At the heart of Sarasota’s urban core, master jeweler Ned Bowman creates legendary works inspired by archeology, mythology and ancient motifs, like the wildflower cluster ring of sterling, gold and peridots ($450). Bowman Originals, 1400 State St., Sarasota (941) 316-9594.

Visual Dialogue Tre Michel and husband David Steiner exhibit the work of a dozen top names (including David’s) at their newly expanded State of the Arts Gallery, now double the size. Don’t miss sculptures scaled for interior installation by Jorge Blanco, whose monumental aluminum works repaint the landscape with color and whimsy. State of the Arts Gallery, Contemporary Fine Art, 1525 State St., Sarasota, (941) 955-2787.

Gatsby Gear Timeless classics are the hallmark at Brooks Brothers, where the newest fashion looks for summer are strikingly retro. Regent cotton jacket ($298), tartan vest ($198), and flag tie ($75). Brooks Brothers, 1500 Main St., Sarasota (941) 316-1502.

Simple Pleasures Each piece in this outfit exudes Eileen Fisher’s elegant understated style: a long cardigan ($218) tops a tank in linen jersey ($98) and chambray skirt ($138). Tie it all together with a linen gauze scarf ($158). Eileen Fisher, 1501 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 365-2435.

Citrus Strand If life deals you lemons, wear them in the form of giant South Sea pearls. What better ode to Sarasota’s citrus streets than Gellner’s necklace of lemon, pineapple and pink grapefruit pearls (price on request). Optional Art, 119 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, (941) 955-4400.

Chill Out Take an ice cream break with your fave flave served up in Meri Meri ice cream cups ($14.95 for 24 cups and wooden spoons) in multiple summer-fresh patterns designed in England. Sur La Table, 22 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota (941) 365-0380.

Steak It Out

Need a protein boost after a day of power shopping? Downtown’s hotspot for prime aged steaks is Hyde Park in Pineapple Square. The elegant Art Deco-styled restaurant isn’t open for lunch, but its happy hour martinis ($4) and small plate bar menu ($5) are the hottest ticket in town (available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.). The menu will please carnivore or vegetarian, with treats from sirloin sliders to shrimp cocktail, and Margherita pizza. 35 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-7788. Gallery hoppers will adore an espresso break at Pastry Art, where the staff is comprised of local (but not starving) artists who serve up delectable fresh-baked goods and intriguing conversation (breakfast and lunch, too). 1512 Main St., Sarasota (941) 955-7545.

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