Obviously I haven’t been keeping up with the site, but look, that’s changing — and so is the site itself. This “blank canvas” theme is just a placeholder for the time being (though I do appreciate its spareness). Expect something to happen, at some point. New content will be flowing regularly, though.
So, the big news: in February, I became the new Managing/Online Editor for Creative Loafing, the Tampa Bay alt-weekly newspaper where I spent five-plus years as a staffer and have been contributing more or less continually for more than a decade. My friend and former co-worker Joe Bardi jumped ship for another gig, and Editor In Chief David Warner (another former co-worker; actually, my old boss) invited me to fill the slot.
I’m starting to find my groove, and really enjoying collaborating with old and new co-conspirators. It’s put the current book project back a bit, but not too badly, and it’s worth it to have a full-time spot that I can honestly say excites me.
I’m irresponsible. I’m a cretin. I’m really totally busy.
Anyhoo, here’s the piece I did for Creative Loafing on Tampa Bay community radio station WMNF 88.5‘s annual Tropical Heatwave music festival. I’m a big supporter of WMNF, not because I love every program on the station’s roster, but because I love the fact that the station exists. They’ve got another fund drive coming up, so if you can afford to give a little, please do.
The back story is here. Basically, we had an inordinately dissatisfying experience on what was supposed to have been a special occasion, and when the folks at Marchand’s got wind of it, they asked if we would consider giving them another shot.
We went back last Thursday, and enjoyed a truly exceptional evening. The service was superlative (thanks Dean!), the food was delicious (I had the frog legs and the rabbit, Becky had the prawns and the filet) and since our previous visit had been our Valentine’s Day dinner, they made us a special Valentine-themed dessert sampler.
Obviously the crew at Marchand’s went out of their way for us. I don’t expect special treatment when we go back. But we will be back; I think that was the whole point, and I appreciate their commitment to customer satisfaction.
PLUS, we found out that Chef Mark Heimann is now experimenting with a locally sourced farm-to-table menu, which we wholeheartedly support.
PLUS PLUS, our server Dean has a great, funky collectibles arcade in the Grand Central district of St. Pete called Central Oddities; you should stop by.