Across the Gandy Bridge from the hustle and bustle of Tampa lies the more sedate Saint Petersburg. Drive past Deadman Key to the white, sandy stretch of St. Pete Beach and you can find the unique Postcard Inn on the Beach. St. Pete natives and hotel visitors simply call it the PCI.
The relaxed atmosphere immediately welcomes visitors to their home away from home. Inside the lobby, rope intricately tied in sailor’s knots hang from the ceiling alongside bare light bulbs. Painted skateboards and surfboards are nailed to the walls in colorful and eye-catching displays for the hotel’s guests to enjoy. A quote painted boldly over the lobby entryway reads: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” The PCI is so much more than a beachside boutique hotel. Continue reading “Postcard Inn offers character and food to St. Pete”
Phyllis Grae-Nielson has just finished celebrating the 27th anniversary of Greek Unique, her fraternity and sorority based store. Located near the University of South Florida in Tampa, Greek Unique also serves the University of Tampa, St. Leo University and Florida Southern University.
Greek Unique offers hundreds of gift items for almost every fraternity or sorority. However, they are best known for their classic jerseys and made-to-order items.
“We have a lot of different options, we have about 208 different fabrics so people can come in and choose the fabric that we have and they can also bring in their own fabric,” said Cali Sanford, the store manager.
What makes Greek Unique so special is that everything that is made to order, besides the garments, is made by hand. The fraternity and sorority letters that are sewn onto the jerseys are hand cut and put together.
“The main things that we do are double stitch and embroidery, so double stitch is the twill letters that you see that go across most of the people’s shirts and the embroidery is just standard embroidery,” said Sanford.
Greek Unique is also a family-based business. The store was first opened by Grae-Neilson and her two daughters, both USF Alumni. Now it is run by Grae-Neilson and her husband Alistar Nielson, who does the embroidery.
“This is what I’ve been doing for 27 years, and I love it,” said Grae-Nielson.
Greek Unique is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 5025 East Fowler Avenue.
The store displays women’s clothing designed by Negoshian and her team. The men’s section is an assortment of popular brands, including Southern Tide.
Although she may be focused on fashion now, it hasn’t always been that way. Negoshian was a USF student and marketing graduate before she became a fashion designer.
“I didn’t have the inspiration until after I finished college and moved to Palm Beach and was really surrounded by fashion, then the idea came up that we were missing something in the market, affordable but designer quality apparel,” Negoshian said.
The brand is influenced by the Florida lifestyle. It is recognized for bright colors and unique patterns. Negoshian finds inspiration for her designs from living in Florida.
“Whether it’s the inspiration from the waters, or the shells found in the sand, or just walking around downtown St. Petersburg with the umbrellas and rod iron, inspiration is found everywhere,” Negoshian said.
Negoshian is looking forward to adding activewear to her collections, which will soon be available online and at the signature store.
The Harvest Hope Center reflects on the community garden’s success since its launch last November.
Harvest Hope is a part of the University Area Community Development Center, located on North 22nd Street. The Center allows volunteer members to grow fruits and vegetables for no cost in the garden.
“We’re trying to bring any kind of diversity into the diets of the people who live in our community, we know health and nutrition is a really big issue here, often we see obesity rates and we see people buying what’s cheap and fast and easy,” said Megan Gallagher, the Development Center’s sales coordinator. “We want them to have a chance to buy something that is healthy for them, that’s good for their kids and to teach them how to live that really good lifestyle.”
The garden contains 18 vegetable and 12 fruit plots, with numerous starfruit trees alongside them. Gallagher urges the community to take further advantage of it.
“Our garden is open to anyone in our community, we love having anybody come by, we currently have volunteer groups from all over Tampa Bay,” she said.
For more information about the Harvest Hope Center or how to get involved, please visit uacdc.org.