Category Archives: Web

The Best Burgers in South Florida

By: Catherine Kouretsos

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.

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Charm City Burger Company logo

We entered Charm City and went straight to the cash register and order table. The restaurant is small and 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.”

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Inside Charm City

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 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.

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Food pickup station

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 sauteed 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.

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Cowboy Style burger, coconut milkshake, onion rings

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.

It is understandable why people have flocked all over the US for this genius of food. Charm City serves five-star quality for a one-star price.

Growing Up Greek Showcases Tarpon Springs’ Greek Community

By: Catherine Kouretsos

 

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Photo of the cast, Shed Media

Tarpon Springs, Fla – MTV is airing a new reality show special about what it is like for Greek youth to grow up in the heavily Greek influenced Tarpon Springs, Florida.

MTV will be airing a special called “Growing Up Greek” on December 3 that highlights a group of young Greek people and how they are growing up in Tarpon Springs, which is ranked the number one most heavily populated Greek community in the US.

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Screenshot from “Growing Up Greek” sneak peak, MTV

“We’re the Sponge capital of the world, we’re Epiphany city,” says Barbie Perkins, 34, owner of Yiannis, a featured restaurant on the MTV special.

Perkins stars in the show along with her cousins in the half hour special produced by Shed Media.

She says she is proud of her Greek heritage despite the family drama that will be aired for the world to see.

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Screenshot from the 55-second sneak peak, MTV

However, members of the Greek community are not taking too kindly to the 55-second “sneak peak” that MTV leaked and have petitioned on Change.org to have the show cancelled or rewritten because it is a “gross misrepresentation of what it means to grow up Greek” and lessens to the community to the likes of what Jersey Shore did to the Italians. So far there are over 5000 signatures.

Perkins remains positive and thinks the Greek community is judging the special too soon, “What I don’t agree is that they are bringing religion into this. ‘Thou shalt not judge,’ so why are they writing letters to the Greek Orthodox Church for help? Only God can judge, so why are they?”

Growing Up Greek airs as a 30 minute special on MTV, Wednesday, December 3 at 11 pm with an encore on Thursday, December 4 at 7 pm.

66th Street Market vendor struggles to make ends meet

By: Sarah Norcini

 

For many vendors at the 66th Street Flea Market, it is not their only job. Angelina Herrington is one of them. For the past four months, she has been a permanent vendor at the market. Her business, Angie’s Place, is located on the north side of the building. She’s had her share of hardships, and dreams of opening her own business.

Angelina Herrington at her store

Angelina Herrington at her store

Four months ago, Herrington discovered this market. She drove by it because she was curious about it and wanted to see what 66th Street was like. And after working there she noted that “it’s not bad, but it could be a bit busier. It’s not bad, not bad.”

Herrington’s other job is being a cashier-stocker, and views becoming a vendor full time as a “maybe”. It’s all down to the economy, and how well she does at the market. But as she has been finding out, is a lot more difficult than she expected.

Although she’s not new to this business, she says that she wasn’t prepared for the responsibility. Herrington thought that she would just open the store, and everything would essentially run itself. She just hopes that in the end, it’ll pay off.

Herrington’s husband and daughter occasionally help her out. They come in a few days a week to help her with inventory. The products she gets are from yard sales and from people bringing in what they have. She doesn’t travel more than an hour away to get any of her merchandise.

The money she makes goes entirely to the rent of her space at the market. Rent is $400 a month, and she says she is just trying to get by.

The 66th Street Market sign on the side of the building

The 66th Street Market sign on the side of the building

She’s also found it difficult to get the word out about her business. She has a Facebook page, but she doesn’t do much else online. The customers she does have are there mostly through word of mouth. Herrington always gives them her card and encourages them to spread the word.

Herrington has reasons for why business isn’t great at that market. She says that other flea markets in the area get a lot of foot traffic. But this market does not, she goes on to say.

Another reason she gives is that the market is just difficult to find. “I’ve been here for six years, and I just never noticed it. The sign for the market is too high for drivers to notice and the building kind of blends in.” She also pointed out that her son’s girlfriend, who had lived there all her life, passed the building twice before finding it.

Herrington’s experience at the market hasn’t always been the easiest. Despite not being new to this business, she’s come across difficulties. The lack of advertising and location has been her biggest problems.  All Herrington wants to do is to open her own business, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup at Treasure Island Beach

By: Kelsey Al

 

Artists from around the world gather at Treasure Island Beach every November for Sanding Ovations, which is in it’s sixth year. The event is held behind The Bilmar Beach Resort and the finished sculptures stay standing for three weeks after the weekend competition.

First Place sculpture “Love Never Dies” by Jobi Bouchard

First Place sculpture “Love Never Dies” by Jobi Bouchard

There is no theme for the sculptures this year. Most of the artworks are abstract or surreal, and feature human forms. Third place and Sculptors Choice winner is Sue McGrew’s piece titled “Vertigo”. It features a vortex of bodies on one side, being sucked into the eyes of a portrait that loosely resembles the artist on the reverse side.

The sculptors use conventional tools like palette knives and spatulas, as well as instruments unique to the medium such as tubes for blowing away unwanted sand.

Artist Rusty Croft from California describes working with the fragile medium, “You have to find the limit of the sand, how far it will hold”. Croft has been in the sand business for 17 years, and says Florida’s sand has a lot of clay-like chunks that creates an obstacle for sculpting.

The first place sculpture, “Love Never Dies”, is two skeletons embracing each other on the ground, reminiscent of the mysterious skeletons discovered several years ago in Siberia. The artist Jonathan (Jobi) Bouchard is the youngest of the sculptors, and traveled here from Montreal. This is his third year competing and has won first place all three years.

“Go With The Flow” by Rusty Croft

“Go With The Flow” by Rusty Croft

In addition to live art, the beach was packed with food and art vendors. Multiple bands took turns performing. Visitor and artist Aaliyah Martinez says that she thinks this is one of the most unique events in St. Petersburg, and enjoys seeing contestants from all over the world. Two sculptors came from Amsterdam, one from Mexico, and several from the west coast of America.

Feminism is the New Black: The Impact of Tumblr on the Feminism Movement

By: Sarah Norcini

Over the past few years, the social media website Tumblr has become a large part of the feminist movement. From feminist blogs to the casual feminist post, this subject has become unavoidable.

What’s also unavoidable is the positive impact Tumblr has had on feminism. This blogging website has seriously changed feminism, and will probably continue to do so.

This website has certainly changed the way women feel about being called feminists. Many posts on there seem to say the same thing: that the users came onto the website to blog about their favorite show, and turned out to be radical feminists.

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.

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 really 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.  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.

This has spurred men’s right activists and anti-feminists. There is nothing wrong with them having their own point of view. 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 movement. It 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.

Oddities in Downtown St. Petersburg

By: Kelsey Al

 

The 600 Block of Downtown St.Pete is known for being the hub of 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 for two and a half years. Co-owner Elizabeth Ann sells her work and work from various artists from the area that fit the theme of the shop, which centers on the beauty of death and nature.

Preserved dove with roses and faux pearl eyes.

Preserved dove with roses and faux pearl eyes.

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.

Ann says her business began when she got fired from her previous job, and she no longer wanted to be part of the corporate world. She began making morbid artwork for about four years ago, when her father died. According to Elizabeth Ann, the best part of owning Dysfunctional Grace is “being her own boss”.

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. The skulls and skins were either found from road kill or obtained from collectors.

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.

Share a Bike comes to USFSP

By: Jason Saab

 

Many college campuses across the country have began Share-a-Bike programs for their schools., and USFSP is trying to join the club. Although USF Tampa started a share a bike system back in 2011, USFSP has only recently began to push for one.

Share-a-Bike systems work well for college campuses where there is a high concentration of students without a way off campus. Giving the resident students the option of renting a bike will give them a way to get around campus, or to go explore downtown St. Petersburg.

USF Tampa’s Share-a-Bike program had to be revamped after the bikes kept disappearing, and no students were held responsible. Since then, there is now an accountability check out at the campus recreation center.

Students can bring in their own bikes to make repairs. There are also inner tubes and brake pads for purchase if they need replacing.

Our neighboring school, Eckerd College, also has a share a bike program. Named the Yellow Bike Program, bikes are located around campus that students can simply pick up and take to where they need to go. However this is the same system that lost USF Tampa several of it’s bikes.

USFSP student government senators started Bill S14-020 named “No Handlebars” in order to get the bike sharing program going. Student president Cody Boyer delivered the State of Student Government adresss in October, making mention of the bike sharing program and that they have finalized the initiative in order to achieve more sustainability.

The program will launch on Get on Board day, a yearly USFSP event to showcase the campus activities. There will be nine bikes in the beginning with since the idea is still being tested.

About $3,000 has been spent on the bikes and the system. The majority of the funds have not been spent. If the testing goes well, the bike-sharing program will be brought into full effect at USFSP.