How did YOU get here?
In a city where VERY few people are ‘native Sarasotans’, I have always found it fascinating to know HOW and WHY people found their way to SRQ! This is the 2nd of a series of articles featuring some of your Favorite People telling their OWN Stories!
Owner, The Broadway Bar
“I was actively working as a Graphic Designer in the Greater Washington, DC area in 1991, when I learned of my uncle’s passing in Sarasota. My uncle, Anthony Armento, owned the Broadway Bar. Much to my complete surprise, I learned that he had left the Bar to me! So I found myself in a new city charged with ‘saving the oldest bar in Sarasota’! I operated the existing Bar on N. Tamiami Trail until 2004 then re-opened in a new building and location in 2009.”
Joey Panek, Actor, “HuBster”
“I first came to Sarasota in 1998 on a national tour. We stayed at one of the (then) dumpy hotels across from the airport. And that was my perception of Sarasota. A year later, I came down to work at the Golden Apple Dinner Theater. They used to bring in a lot of actors from New York.
I came down on and off for the next six or seven years to work at various theaters in the area. I’ve been here steadily since 2006. I love this city.
I did however almost run away to St. Pete about four years ago before I found my opportunity at the HuB. That cemented it for me. Being able to live in this beautiful city and thrive in a creative work environment, contributing to the arts community, is awesome.”
Sarasota Talk Radio
“My Grandfather always wanted to retire in Florida. In 1971, he died before he could see that dream come true. My Father was determined not to let the same thing happen to him. Shortly after the funeral he announced he was moving us all to Florida; Winter Haven to be exact. My Father drove down first to secure a place for us to live and my Mother stayed behind to wait for the movers. Just days before we were to leave Philadelphia, the phone rang. All I heard was my mother exclaim, “Where in the world is Sarasota? And “Why do we want to live there? Your job is in Winter Haven.” My Father, in his travels, had been told of this sleepy little town that was surrounded by Paradise. One quick weekend drive across the state and he never looked back. I grew up on Siesta Key running barefoot in this sand. We built forts among the mangroves; we snacked on the abundance citrus fruits; and we played with the wild monkeys and beautiful parrots who were our friends. Four decades later, I can still call this Paradise. Lucky, lucky me.”
President, The Amazing Universe Broadcasting Company
“I moved to Sarasota Florida from Cherry Hill NJ in June of 2003, so its been over 10 years that I live here. Growing up and living most of my life in Cherry Hill NJ and the Philadelphia area, we all say …. I wanna go to Florida. As a child, we vacationed in Florida most years, I always Loved it. Most of the time we spent on the east coast of Florida, as I grew and was in business, I had some accounts in and around Sarasota and Tampa. I found that I liked the culture and relaxed attitude here even more. Back in 2003 I had 3 young boys and had been president of my home owners association for 6 years. I was tired of the snow, and knew that at that point, we could move anywhere we wanted, but this would be our only real chance as the boys were starting school. So we sold the house, packed the kids and moved to Sarasota. I Still feel like I live in Paradise. The spiritual community here was one that I embraced and grew in and found to be my passion. I am lucky to be involved with and exploring what I Love and where I live. Have a Great Day and … KEEP SMILING”
“Living in Hawaii in the 80’s served as a precursor to living this lifestyle. This native New Yorker had no desire to face the cold winters any longer. My ex husband was offered a career opportunity here in a local hospital. Not familiar with this area at all, the huge potential and a leap of faith were all it took to establish roots in East Manatee County. Since moving here in the early 90’s life has changed for me as dramatically as the landscape. Raising a daughter, the demise of that marriage, a new husband and being part of the ever- expanding music scene has been a joy and a bit of a challenge. Achieving my goal to be a working musician has been a source of pride for me. Once again I see huge potential in not only this ever growing area, but in myself as well. I’m truly blessed to be part of it all.”
“About eight years ago, I was going through one of those “male-menopause-midlife-crisis” phases, where nothing and no one seemed to be right for me. My marriage had gone pear-shaped; I was burnt out from 16 years in the rock ‘n roll business, and my people skills desperately needed honing. I decided to change pace, job, surroundings and attitude. I became a translator and started traveling the world. Greece, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland … I eventually landed on Florida’s East Coast. In keeping with my mood, I bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle (I mean, who wouldn’t?) and went from the east coast to the gulf coast. On February 17, 2001, my birthday, I rode into Sarasota and parked my bike outside the Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands. I bought myself an ice cream at Scoop Daddy’s, walked slowly around the Circle, and knew instantly that I was home. I met my wife Maria that evening, and within 18 months I had moved out of my flat in Hamburg, Germany and had become a resident of Sarasota.I have fallen in love with Sarasota, and Sarasota has warmly opened to my embrace. “
A Note from LeslieSRQ:
Join your fellow SRQ ‘friends’ on Facebook in the Group SRQ APPLAUSE to learn more about
living in this city we call “Paradise”!!!