Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heritage Village 2

Last time we went to Heritage Village we got there late and didn't have time to really see everything. So we finally made our way back to finish up exploring the "living museum."

All the buildings are set in a woods-like park.
There are brick paths and such leading to some of them.

Inside the old one-room school house.

Old metal kitchen sink.

Anana wasn't too keen on using the outhouse.

Made a point to take a pic of the old typewriter's "&" key for you! ;)

State of the art entertainment like a stereoscope and wax cylinder photograph.

At the old post office with old switchboard in background.

In the "garage" with an old phone and testing equipment.

Old oil glass jars in the garage.
Apparently, the nozzles also fit on standard Bell Jars so if you broke your glass oil jar, you could use a Bell jar instead.
I missed the blacksmith demo, but he was nice enough to heat up a piece of metal for me very hot so I could get a photo of sparks! Anana stayed safely away from the open flame.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Etsy Craft Party

Each year Etsy has a Craft Party Night that celebrates their birthday. Groups all around the country have Party Nights on the same day and consist of things like crafty demos, etsy vendors and such. The one around here was at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club and I was a vendor.

(I actually took this a few days before the event because I wanted to check out the location. It's why it's empty here!)
My booth!
View from behind the scenes at my booth looking out.
Another shot as I sit behind the booth.

One of the food trucks and some of the vendors in the grassy field.
Crafty demos and such on the wooden platform next to the courts.
Some of the shuffleboard courts the night of the event.

 If I'm honest, the entire thing was a bit of a fiasco. At the last minute, the building we were SUPPOSED to be in was changed to one without A/C. This is Florida. In June. It was 96F outside Thursday not factoring in the humidity and heat index. The building I was in had one door tied shut and all but 4 windows nailed shut. So NO breeze, no ventilation or anything.

You know how you get in your car when it's been sitting in a parking lot for hours in the summer sun and you are sweltering in the oppressive heat because it's just all trapped in there? Yeah, it was like that. I drank 2, 1-litre bottles of water and sweat so much I was drenched. One of the organizers actually fainted from heat exhaustion and had to be attended to by paramedics.

We had a surprisingly good turnout and lots of compliments and people taking my card but only three small sales. In the end, I was out more in costs then I made. *boo* Plus, I was miserably hot from 3pm - 9:30pm when I left. So was my fiance.

Neat location but there's just NO WAY I will ever do a non-a/c event like that again in summer!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens is a botanical garden in downtown St. Petersburg. Founded about a hundred years ago by a plumber with a passion for gardening, the gardens expanded and were purchased by the City of St. Pete a number of years back to preserve them as a historical landmark. It's set about 10 feet lower than the street, hence the name "Sunken Gardens."

One of many fountains and koi ponds in the Gardens

A fun, touristy sign inside the Gardens.

A "Rainbow Eucalyptus" tree. The trunk is so colorful it looks fake! (But it's not!)

The growing stone. Legend says if you sit on it, you will have luck in gardening.

Typical Florida, it started to pour out of nowhere so we took shelter in a fake cave overhang. To entertain himself, Anana sat on my fiance's head.

Can't tell from the lighting, but it's raining as we peer out into the Gardens.

The rain cut our visit short, but I'm sure we can try again another day!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea

Well, today Anana is experiencing the "fun" of Hurricane season in Florida! Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the 2013 Hurricane Season is in full force and is drenching the area in heavy winds and rain. There was a tornado warning this morning and the entire area is under a host of advisories and safety alerts due to the weather.

I added the red arrow to point out where I am and where the storm is. It's pretty close by and as you can see, my area is under Tropical Storm warnings.

It's raining too hard and the wind is blowing sideways to try and get any real shots (don't want to ruin my camera!) so I just took this quick one on my balcony.

Just a little bit of rain! LOL

We'll be fine though. We're staying inside where it's nice and dry!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Florida Sunset

We often have really stunning sunsets around here and most times, you don't even pay attention to it because it's such an "ordinary" occurrence. Tonight's though was exceptional and I rushed out to my apartment breezeway to get a few shots.

Turns out, it's very hard to get both the close-up foreground AND the far away sunset in focus and with the depth of clarity and color I was trying to capture. It's not an aperture friendly situation.
The sky loses definition with the close-up on Anana but you can still see the colors of sunset.
So I had to do a smidge of cheating, combining the lighter version of Anana from one shot into the background accurate version of another. It's not a great bit of Photoshopping, but then I'm really not a post-edit kinda photographer!

Look at that sunset!

And here for viewing pleasure is just one "regular" shot I took of the sky itself without Anana in it.

Super pretty!
Of course, sunsets are here and gone almost immediately, but I was still pleasantly surprised to catch this one tonight, even if I did have to "cheat" a little so you could see him in the photo! ;)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Farewell to The Pier

You may recall seeing The Pier in the background of the art show entry back in April. At that time, we didn't get a chance to walk over there but we did yesterday for the final time.

The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg was built in it's current, inverted pyramid form in 1970 and opened to the public in January 1973. Latest in a long history of various piers on the same bit of land, The Pier as it's officially called, is being torn down for a new replacement known as "The Lens." The Pier needs a lot of repair and city council members felt it was was better to use the money to build something new, rather then invest more money into something dated and damaged.

I put together this little map to give you an idea where The Pier is located. The larger map shows some of the general Tampa Bay Area with the little insert map giving you a better idea of how it juts out into the water.

This sparked a LOT of controversy among St. Pete residents, many of whom didn't want to see The Pier demolished. There's a strong "Stop the Lens" campaign underway and these residents hope that they can force it to go to a public vote. (The city residents didn't get a vote, the city council did both to demo and on the winning design to replace it.) We'll see come August 27, 2013 whether or not the city council agrees that enough signatures were included on the petition to bring it to a public vote or not. There's A LOT of info about the older versions of The Pier, the current battle, the new plans and more here if you're curious:

A shot from the "pier" part and the front of The Pier

In any event, the City of St. Pete is moving forward with their plans to close it which started with the last official day open on Friday, May 31st 2013. We made the trek over there to see it once more and brought Anana with us. It's bittersweet that he'll be the last Little Visitor to ever get his photo taken at this St. Pete landmark!

Thousands of people came throughout the day to visit once more, see the view one last time or to take advantage of extremely cheap sale priced items on whatever was left in the remaining stores inside. Every single news team in the area also showed up with multiple news vans, reporters and cameras and crew all over the place reporting live.

There was a small aquarium on the 2nd floor and this display was in the center on the ground floor atrium as a "teaser."

The view from the top! Looking back at the Downtown St. Petersburg skyline.
(It was pouring when we got there but it did stop eventually so I could get some shots. Everything was puddled and totally wet though!)

Looking out at the view of the Bay from the back of The Pier's top floor. From here, you're looking back towards Tampa.

Lots of people fish from The Pier and they also had a place you could buy food to feed the resident pelicans. They don't know that The Pier is closing down though so they were still hanging around waiting for a handout.

Final shot looking back at The Pier as we head back to the parking lot and our car.

After that, we headed home. Love caught my cold and I'm still coughing up nastiness myself so it was time to say good bye. I can't say I was a massive fan of The Pier but anytime we were in Downtown St. Pete, I did enjoy heading up to the top floor and looking out at the view and taking some photos. I'll miss that. I'm on the fence about The Lens idea and who knows when or even if it will wind up happening. Glad though that we got a chance to say farewell and take one last LV for a tour.