From the Editor
What’s the Hot Dish on dining? Ivan Seligman can’t wait to share his discovery of the European Bakery and Café in Naples. What’s the score with The Housing Game? Chris Wadsworth wants you to chuckle along with him at the gentleman who got great publicity for offering a $1 million coupon to help sell his $7 million home in Fort Myers—and, at last report, still hadn’t made a sale. What’s current in the Style File? Jennifer Freihofer is excited to reveal that Naples is one of only 10 cities to play temporary home to DeBeers’ traveling Champagne Cocktail Fizz Collection beginning Dec. 23 at its store here.
Welcome to the Gulfshore Life blogs. You’ll find them at gulfshorelife.com, where they aim to keep you frequently and reliably clued in on three of the local scene’s most seductive pursuits. Listen in as Ivan, Chris and Jennifer take you inside their beats.
Ivan: The Search for Taste Thrills
My Mission: To sample as many spots as possible—especially the lesser-known ones—and report back on the delights I discover. Points are given for setting, cuisine and even the charisma level of the owners.
The Kindness of Strangers: To get the best angle for photos of what I’m eating in a packed restaurant, I’m often nearly falling in other diners’ laps. They’re almost always amused and often offer me a taste of their food. I accept—and return the favor.
On the Prowl: I drive up and down streets, stay friendly with the wait staffs and foodies, and can thus find spots like the French Bread Oven—which became quite excellent with a change in ownership.
The Process Challenge: I’ll taste up to a dozen dishes at a restaurant before deciding which one or two I’ll write about. It reminds me of the old cliché: tough work, but someone has to do it.
Happy Discoveries: I was so pleased to report on the pleasures of Inca’s Kitchen, Two Brothers Baci, KC American Bistro, A Table Apart, Gracie’s Cupcakes and Siam Thai Cafe.
Impact: How touching it was when one joyful owner of a restaurant told me that my one-paragraph write-up of his place drew enough new people to enable him to pay the rent. “You saved our family and our restaurant,” he said.
Chris: Whither the Housing Market?
The Action: The trend that keeps coming up is making upgrades and improvements to homes rather than selling and moving to a new house. People, though, are not skimping on improvements, often installing luxury items and amenities. Also, everywhere I turn, someone is touting new “green” elements—from organic cotton in linens to low-VOC paints, from recycled woods to even using second-hand furniture.
Personal Joys: I got a laugh during a visit to a beautiful 1939 home off of McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. The exterior just screamed classic old Fort Myers, but inside, it was outfitted in a hardcore ’80s style. A teenager’s room had putting-green grass as carpeting. While the bones were good, the home definitely needed an extreme makeover inside.
The different-looking homes really stand out for me. I got great pleasure touring a French country-style house in Naples. It reminded me of my days in Paris as a college junior. I also loved a home in Miromar Lakes done up in an old Hollywood, art deco style. I still dream about it.
Jennifer: Keeping Up with Fashion
Close That Deal: Everything is fast-paced when it comes to fashion. If I find a great sale readers should know about, it may be gone by the time the magazine goes to press. The same goes for a great shoe or bag. The blog is the perfect outlet and the perfect project for someone like me who always wants to know what’s going on before it happens.
Cool Celebs: I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Zac Posen, Tory Burch, Peter Som, Naeem Khan, Temple St. Clair, and St. John Knits creative director George Sharp and co-founder Marie Gray. Cool people, and it’s amazing what you can learn from them.
Striking Memory: The day Nordstrom opened. I was inside to take pictures and got to observe the waves of humanity rushing through the doors for the first time. It was like watching soldiers charge. People were so excited, they were practically running to get at the goods.
Fashion 101: Never stand between shoppers and the objects they covet.
You can catch Ivan, Chris and Jennifer each with new dispatches twice a month. They’ll keep you in the loop for sure.