Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, have a fondness for modern, whimsical art. And Vinik and his partners have laid out plans to transform Tampa's Channelside area into a dynamic urban center full of parks, public art and amenities.
A famous Lego art exhibition coming to downtown Tampa this summer will snap those two sides of the Viniks together.
The Vinik Family Foundation is announcing today that it will sponsor a free, family-friendly art installation from June 23 to Sept. 4 called "The Art of the Brick." It's a touring exhibition of imaginative Lego creations by Nathan Sawaya that has been drawing huge crowds around the world since 2007....
Watching ex-Buccaneer Brad Culpepper at the end of Wednesday night's penultimate episode of Survivor: Game Changers all I can hear in my head is ESPN's Chris Berman. "Culpepper's got the immunity ... He's headed to the finale!... And the final 6! ... He ... could ... go ... all... the.... way!"
But really, could he? Will people who have starved and scraped and fought for more than a month on a desert island award $1 million to a prominent lawyer and ex-NFL star?
It's been a much different season so far for the Tampa lawyer who was famously flipped off and cursed out ("Eff-you Brad Culpepper!") the last time he played Survivor: Blood vs. Water in 2013 with his wife, Monica. He was portrayed as the ruler of a dude-ocracy that pushed the little ladies aside....
05/17/17 The Feed
Brad Culpepper heads to 'Survivor' finale
Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper once again outlasted the other players on Survivor: Game Changers and is headed to next week's season finale, where one castaway will win $1 million.
He won a critical Immunity Challenge to be safe from eviction and will be among the final six players when the finale airs from 8 to 10 p.m. May 24, followed by a live reunion show on CBS. ...
1 National Bike Month: There are several free bike rides — some for a good cause — to choose from this weekend for National Bike Month. On Friday, cyclists will meet at 8 a.m. at Station Square Park, 612 Cleveland St., Clearwater, for a leisurely 4-mile Bike Your City ride that includes free bike lights, a T-shirt, safety information, bike checkups, food and drink. On Saturday at 9:30 a.m., cyclists 18 and older will meet at the Sierra Club Office, 1990 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, for a bicycle ride on the Pinellas Trail to St. Pete Beach to participate in Hands Across the Sand, a worldwide show of support for ocean-friendly environmental policies. Helmets required. Or join the regular weekly Sunday Bicycle Rides, this week taking a tour of Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. Meet at Shelter 5 at 7:30 a.m. Sunday for a 25-mile ride along the waterfront to Upper Tampa Bay Park and back. Helmets are required. (727) 415-8993. ...
PULLING STRINGS: Damien Escobar
The streets of Queens were the first stage for Damien Escobar, who at age 9 busked with his brother as the hip-hop violin duo Nuttin' but Stringz. Escobar, a classical music prodigy, graduated from Juilliard at age 13. Before the duo dissolved in 2012, Nuttin' but Stringz made it to the finals of America's Got Talent, played for presidents and toured the world. Escobar, now 30, has said he had a tough transition on his own but eventually took up his instrument again. His covers of songs by Alicia Keys and John Legend went viral. Now touring behind his solo album Boundless, he takes the stage at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com....
It's unheard of in the comic book world for something like My Favorite Thing Is Monsters to be sold out everywhere.
But this gorgeous book has been getting buzz since it surfaced at last year's Comic-Con in San Diego. When it finally arrived in stores in February, critics swooned — and not just the kind of reader you'd find in every Kevin Smith movie. Real, bona fide literature-loving critics from the New York Times and London's Guardian called it a dazzling story with beautiful cross-hatched art worthy of a museum....
Those of us who are shopping-challenged have long learned the very best gift you can give your mother is your attention. Luckily, several attractions in the area are giving moms free admission this weekend with at least one paid admission by her adoring minions. Among them:
• Florida Aquarium has free mom admission 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with at least one paid guest. $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000....
Oscar-winning film producer Jon Landau stopped by a media sneak preview of Pandora, the new land at Disney's Animal Kingdom based on the film Avatar.
I’ll admit it. The Survivor “loved ones” episode is my favorite every season. They’ve done this since the beginng in 2000 — 34 seasons ago if you are counting. But I don't love it because I'm a sentimental sap, though I am a little bit. It’s really kind of an exercise in hate watching. This time, the second the castaways hear they are about to see loved ones they break down sobbing. They look like POWs at this point so the starving, exhausted players don’t take much to release the water works.
I turned to my kids as we watched what looked like a group nervous breakdown and said, “I love you guys but if i hadn’t seen you for a month i don’t think it would break me.” And my oldest, the sweetheart, responded with: “I’d be disappointed in you if you did.” That’s love, folks.
But deep in my sun-dried heart I do love the outpouring of love for moms and spouses and sons. And they saved the best reunion for last: the Wonder Twins that are Tampa's own Brad and Monica Culpepper. The big lug didn’t even wait on the landing circle, he ran to the edge of the jungle as soon as his wife of 25 years (their silver anniversary was Tuesday, by the way) and scooped her up.
Asked what he means to see her, Brad in a series of choking sobs tells his wife who succeeded much more than he ever did in this game: "I never realized how hard it was on you. I’m so proud of what you did.”
The reward is a barbecue and the players are shackled by threes to complete an obstacle challenge that Brad, Andrea and Aubry win handily. But the twist is they get to pick one member of the group to join them with a loved one....
Plan your weekend
Call your mom
Mother's Day: Sunday is Mother's Day and if you forgot to buy a gift, give your mother your attention. Several attractions in the area are giving moms free admission this weekend with at least one paid admission by her adoring minions. Among them: Florida Aquarium, the Chihuly Collection of glass art, Dinosaur World, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Lowry Park Zoo. There's many more to be found at Tampabay.com/holiday....
AUTHOR TALK:Paula Hawkins and Edan Lepucki
The author of the blockbuster book The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins is making Tampa one of only six stops on her U.S. tour for her new book, Into the Water. She will be joined by fellow bestselling author Edan Lepucki (California) for a conversation about balancing literary and popular fiction, and the process and pressure of following up a groundbreaking debut novel. Admission, $40 ($50 for two), includes a copy of the book. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8982. tampatheatre.org....
1Train Day: Tampa's historic Union Station will have a series of free family-friendly events to mark the anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. Amtrak dropped the event this year due to budget cuts, but the Friends of Tampa Union Station volunteers will keep the celebration rolling. There will be train displays from the Florida Railroad Museum and railroad clubs, historic exhibits, live music and food trucks 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 601 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa....
Survivor notebook: Brad Culpepper on the deal he made, the outing of Zeke as transgender, kinder editing05/10/17 Blog
After trying for several weeks to get an interview with Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper on his current run on Survivor: Game Changers, I finally got a sit-down with the former football star in his downtown law office. You can read that here before tonight's episode that promises to be a tear-jerker. The exhausted players get a visit from loved ones so Brad and Monica Culpepper will join forces like the Wonder Twins....
05/09/17 The Feed
Brad Culpepper sat in his Tampa high-rise office, water view gleaming behind him. He wore a short-sleeved shirt that showed off a striking bicep injury, torn from years on the football field.
Culpepper, 48, already had fame and money. The scion of a prominent Florida legal family, he was a key member of the storied late-'90s Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Now a lawyer, he stars in stylish TV ads with his brother-in-law striding in slow motion up courthouse steps....
So far Survivor: Game Changers is living up to its name. It seems like every week they come out of Tribal Council baffled at what just happened. That includes last week’s eviction of Debbie from the way-too-cocky Alliance of Six. Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper looked dumbfounded this week in the aftermath of the vote.
"I was totally blindsided,” said the former All-American defensive tackle who should know something about sacking the opposition. "I was in a great position before tonight. I went from being in pretty good shape with six to being in terrible shape with four.”...