Life as we blow it: St. Pete’s evolving identity

Photo by Meaghan Habuda for @cl_tampabay

Photo by Meaghan Habuda for @cl_tampabay

A couple of weeks back, a few different elements coalesced to get me thinking about the city in which I live: the ongoing construction of yet another massive (maybe the tallest in the Bay area?) condo, the emergence of demand for a new downtown noise ordinance (made mostly by people who moved to downtown St. Pete for the vibrant culture, and now want to silence it when they’re ready for bed), and the arrival of a new pool/party area to hip downtown boutique hotel The Hollander—and its rent-a-cabana-by-the-hour policy, which to some sounds a bit like the kind of Vegas-style day-clubbing experience that might attract an element (read: rich bros) anathema to the city’s more, er, hipster-y characteristics.

The column wasn’t about these things in particular, but the Hollander specifically served as a nice jumping-off point to discuss St. Petersburg’s evolving identity, and to ask people in the community what they want “their” St. Pete to be.

It got a nice variety of responses, of the type you hope to get with such a post rather than the type you usually get with such a post. You can read the column and comments here.


Meet the Brewers: Chris Johnson of Six Ten Brewing, Tampa

Photo by Meaghan Habuda for Creative Loafing Tampa.

Photo by Meaghan Habuda for Creative Loafing Tampa.

Yup, I continue to meet the people behind Tampa Bay craft beer, and tell other people about it. I’m a couple behind, this one’s several weeks old, but I really enjoyed speaking to Chris Johnson and his wife Leslie—they’re both extremely nice, and passionate and knowledgeable about beer.

Read the feature here. All of the “Meet the Brewers” profiles are here.

Stuff I use

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In addition to the writing and editing I do at CL, I try to work on outside projects whenever I have the time. Since I haven’t run it down in a while, here’s a list of the stuff I’m currently using in the execution of, well, everything I’m doing professionally when I’m not drinking wine with the wife, hanging out with friends or trying to catch up on a little sleep.

COMPUTER: I’ve got two 13-inch MacBook Airs (circa 2012), one I bought to be my main machine while I was still working for a marketing company—with generous help from my wife and friends who pitched in with some gift cards for my birthday—and one corporate machine I inherited when I came back to the paper last year. I’ve gotten into doing more basic image optimization/manipulation, and the work laptop has InCopy and Photoshop on it, but both still run fast enough for my needs. There’s also an ancient (white, pre-Retina) iMac in my home office that I still use regularly when working in the paper’s CMS, doing research or using Google Docs.

PHONE: HTC One M7 (2013), the first year HTC went all-out and released this top-notch flagship with the brushed-metal chassis. I side-loaded the Google Now launcher, and keep it as close to stock Android as possible without rooting. There have been two new iterations, but mine’s still plenty fast. I’ll probably upgrade soon anyway, however, because A) I’m leaving my carrier of more than a decade, Sprint, because I’m dissatisfied with their coverage and B) The ONLY thing that sucks about this phone is the camera, and I’ve been needing to use my phone camera a lot more lately for work-related social media stuff, which has gotten me in the habit of using it for personal social media stuff (my Instagram account is, like, a month old). Plus, I’m toying with the idea of going bigger, to a Note or Nexus 6, so doing blog stuff without opening my laptop will be a little easier.

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Checking in


Yeah, so apparently I’m not so good at keeping the blog updated since I’ve been back at CL full-time. Sorry about that. What have you been up to? Uh-huh; uh-huh. OK, enough of that, it’s my blog and I wanna talk about me.

I’ve doing an irreverent news roundup for the CL blog every weekday called Sh*t Happened.

We got a new dog, Oakley, who’s either a miniature poodle, a mini labradoodle, or the love child of Fozzie Bear and Rowlf. That’s him up there, ain’t he cute? Continue reading