Category Archives: Print

Food Review: The Burgers Bring the Charm to Charm City

By: Catherine Kouretsos

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Charm City Burger Company logo

Deerfield Beach, Fla – An area in the Miami Metropolitan district, has been making headlines for more than just their beautiful beaches and warm weather. Among the abundance of every form of food restaurant available, Deerfield Beach just happens to be the home of the best burgers in the nation at Charm City Burger Company thanks to the owner – a retired five-star restaurant chef, Michael Saperstein.

Recently after having a friend tell me he drove over four hundred miles for a burger, I decided I needed to give this place a try. After an almost five hour drive, we arrived to Charm City. There was little to no parking in the restaurant parking, so we had to park in a nearby grocery store parking lot and trek on foot to these luxurious burgers. After passing two dumpsters and seeing no sign of that says Charm City, we walked into a small, quaint building and figured we were there.

Luckily we were and we entered from the back end which led us right to the cash register and order table. The restaurant is about the size of the average American living room, but magically happens to hold over a hundred people. It looks moderately clean, just your average hole-in-the-wall place with an informal dress code. The age ranged from kids to grownups like Judy Krajec and her son, Kris that are Charm City regulars. “We come here at least once a week. I have family from Boston and they fly here once a year here to get a burger and get out of the cold.”

I was surprised by how reasonably priced their food was. I ordered the Cowboy Style burger and a coconut Blue Bell milkshake with a side of beer battered onion rings. The total cost was a little over thirteen dollars for me, but well worth it for the large quantity and quality of the meal.

There are no waiters or waitresses at Charm City because you serve yourself. They give you a number and call your number when your food is ready to be picked up from the order table. Then you find a place to sit among all the other costumers and eat your meal.

When we finally found a place to sit, we ended up outside in the front of the restaurant which boarded a main street and the store. There I also found the sign that says, “Charm City.”

My coconut milkshake was stirred by hand and to perfection with the soft cream being soothing for this hot Florida day. The plate was simple because there was no plate. My burger sat in a white cardboard box with a smaller box within it and next to the burger which held my onion rings and Charm City sauce. The plate wasn’t well executed, but the food made up for that. As I readied myself to take a bite of my burger, I couldn’t even fit the whole burger into my hand, let alone my mouth. I took a bite, anyway, and could immediately taste the aged pepper jack cheese and sautéed mushrooms. The juice and grilled onions were overwhelmingly satisfying with the bacon adding that hint of harshness to counteract the tenderness of the beef. The burger was cooked to a tender taste that added its own natural flavorings with every bite.

The beer battered onion rings held their own status of greatness and were deep fried to literal perfection with the thousand island based Charm City sauce for dipping.

I could understand why people have flocked all over the US for this genius of food. It was well worth the five hour drive because it was quality food for a great price. While there, I saw the countless awards on the walls that praised Charm City and I couldn’t help but think to myself and agree that they are well deserved. Charm City is five-star quality for a one-star price.

Duke’s solar panels are worth it in the long run, but are our parking problems over?

By: Jason Saab

 

The reopening of the parking garage’s seventh floor at USFSP has brought a sigh of relief from many students regarding the parking situation. The solar panels that were donated by Duke Energy are nearly complete, and the seventh floor is available again.

Duke Energy Florida awarded USFSP a one million dollar SunSense grant towards the construction of the solar panels on top of the parking garage. This is for research into the integration of storing solar energy in newly developed batteries that will be installed with the panels.

The State President of Duke Energy Florida, Alex Glenn, said that “this effort is a true collaboration with USF St. Petersburg and the USF College of Engineering”. The panels will also help manage energy costs and promote sustainability, according to USFSP Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska.

The solar panels will measure about 7,100 square feet, with 328 individual panels that will provide an average of 164,250 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year of the 19.1 million kWh USFSP uses, as well as providing some shade on the seventh floor.

However the biggest effect this project will have is reinforcing the idea of the need for sustainability. Duke Energy Senior Planning Analyst Joe Pietrzak said that “this new 100 kW solar array represents one of the largest and most efficient solar arrays in St. Petersburg.”

Pietrzak concluded that “The data and technical research we will gain from the battery storage aspect of this project will assist us in to promoting and using the sun to help offset the growing need for some electricity in Florida.”

The battle for the seventh floor may be over, and though we got some shiny new solar panels out of it, the war for reliable parking is never finished.

Feminism is the New Black

By: Sarah Norcini

 

Home to artists and fandoms, Tumblr may not seem like a place for more serious issues. But in the past year, Tumblr has become a stomping place for feminism. From entire feminist blogs to the casual feminist post, the subject has become unavoidable. What’s also unavoidable is the positive impact Tumblr has had on feminism. This blogging website has changed the game of the gender equality movement, and will probably continue to do so.

This website has made women more proud of being called a feminist.Many posts on there seem to say the same thing: that the users came onto the website to blog about their favorite show turned out to be radical feminists. And these posts just don’t have a few notes, either. Notes on a Tumblr post keep the count of ‘likes’ and ‘reblogs’, just like Twitter. The notes on those posts range from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands. Which is a lot.

There are other types of feminist posts, too. They range from simple statements to commentary on articles from the media, TV shows, movies, and music. The overall gist of these posts is that all of these forms of media are representing women wrong. A big part of the feminist movement is for more and better representation of women in general.

For example, there is something called the Bechdel Test, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. This test, originally meant for films, has now expanded into all works of fiction. What it tests for is if in the work, two women talk to each other about something other than a man. Tumblr feminists have rallied around this test, and there are numerous posts on the site regarding it.

All of these women and men are raising their voices on Tumblr, and it’s even expanded to other forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Even though those websites have different formats, the idea of feminism still is there.

However, there is the argument that social media and feminism in general is a fruitless attempt at making a change. There are users on Tumblr that claim there is no point in being a feminist. Both males and females on the website believe that feminism is something they don’t need. This has also spurred men’s right activists and anti-feminists. There is nothing wrong with them having their own point of view, but Tumblr users are quick to judge and have no hesitation in expressing their anger at those users.

The point is that Tumblr is the central place for making a change in the feminist movement. Users from all over the world, both male and female, have started a making a change in society. This movement also expands to the world of celebrities. Emma Watson and Beyoncé are two of the better known feminists. They call for a change and their passion will hopefully do just that in the coming years.

Weird and Surreal on the 600 Block

By: Kelsey Al

 

The walls are lined with antique medical equipment and animal skulls. Art pieces made of furs and industrial equipment are dispersed around the two spacious, well lit rooms. The 600 Block of Downtown St.Pete is known for being the hub of our area’s creative spirit. Tucked off the main street of Central Avenue is a gem that goes by the name Dysfunctional Grace.

The taxidermy and oddity shop has been locally owned and operated in its current location for two and a half years. Co-owner Elizabeth Ann is one of the many artists that contributes to the pieces on display. In addition to her own work, Ann sells work from various artists from the area that fits the theme of the shop, which centers on the beauty of death and nature.

The prices of pieces range from as low as 20 dollars for small items such as air plants mounted in an antique frame to upwards of 3000 in the case of a real giraffe with metal gears attached to the head. The money keeps the store up and running, and commission goes to the artists that made the pieces possible.

Ann says her business began when she got fired from her previous job. She decided that she no longer wanted to be part of the corporate world. She has been making morbid artwork for about four years, beginning when her father died. According to Ann, the best part of owning Dysfunctional Grace is “being her own boss”. She loves not having to answer to anyone or following her own rules. She gets to sleep in and is surrounded by things and people she enjoys.

All of the materials used in the pieces on display in the unconventional shop are ethically obtained. No animals were harmed for the intent of the artwork. Many skulls and skins were either found from road kill or obtained from collectors. “I don’t even kill bugs” says Ann. The co-owner says she tries to keep her sources local, including searching at thrift stores and estate sales in addition to community collectors. The store and the artists involved strive to support other small businesses in the process of creating revenue in order to keep the vibe local and close knit.

Though the company does not have a high influx of customers due to its unusual nature, Dysfunctional Grace does have a lot of regulars. Ann says that a lot of her customers that visit frequently become more like friends. She allows artists to sketch the objects and pieces on display for any projects they may be working on without purchasing anything.

One regular customer, Hope Williams, says that the items in the store make great gifts for unique people that “may not want soap or candles for their birthday”. She says that a lot of her steampunk and goth friends really enjoy the store and go browsing for fun. Williams says that Dysfunctional Grace is a home away from home for the weird folks looking for a place that fulfills their curiosities.

Elizabeth Ann and her store of oddities are uncommon individuals that serve as a source of inspiration for many in the St. Pete area. While many of her neighboring stores sell art supplies like yarn and thrift store dresses with the shoulder pads cut out, Dysfunctional Grace provides an alternative to the creative community and hopes to reach a wider customer base while continuing to provide one of a kind specimens to the area.