Wednesday, July 18, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Sizing up Vodka Latke, Outback Bowl parties, Aqua Eve

Vodka Latke

'Twas Christmas Eve, and all through Mangroves Seafood Grille, nearly 200 minglers were stirring as late night gathering Vodka Latke was occurring. Singles from near and far congregated at Tampa Jewish Federation's Young Adult Division's giant JDate. (More than a few couples came, too.) Lots of locals, home for the holidays, reconnected over grouper sliders and mac and cheese as well. For those seeking extra help finding romance, event sponsor Tampa Bay Matchmakers was on hand as well.

Outback Bowl hospitality

You know by now that University of South Carolina scored with 11 seconds left to take the Outback Bowl trophy home Tuesday. But the Gamecocks and their rivals, University of Michigan Wolverines, all took home fun memories of 11 events preceding kickoff, from Clearwater Beach Day to Players Night at Splitsville to an afternoon at Busch Gardens. Wives of athletic directors and coaches won't forget Roy's sushi and short ribs luncheon Dec. 27. Out came the cameras as the ladies learned to hula from Polynesian dancers and drummers.

Gladiators and gladiatrix playfully pumped the Sunday Gridiron Gala, chaired by Tracie Domino and hosted by Bill Cammarata of MetLife and Bob Murray representing Mercedes-Benz Suncoast dealers. Event Show Productions turned A La Carte Event Pavilion into a Roman coliseum, with dancing gods and goddesses. Julius Caesar, watching from his center stage throne, commanded the DJ to keep spinning. More than 1,500 guests, visiting teams and corporate sponsors huddled at bars and buffets from all the Bloomin' Brands: Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's, Roy's and Fleming's, plus desserts from A La Carte Catering and Thompson Cigars on the terrace. Added window dressing: Sexy poseurs in lacy lingerie peeped through louvered blinds in a corridor to the ballroom.

Aqua Eve at the Florida Aquarium

A wave of glitzy fun seekers 1,500-plus strong streamed through the Florida Aquarium's eighth annual New Year's Eve celebration.

Mermaids flipped dreamily, Lovestruck Robot rocked the lobby and guitarist Casey Stidham drew a crowd in the Coral Roof. Buffets offered shrimp, oysters, poached salmon, burgers, mojo pork, black-eyed peas and collard greens as wine and beer flowed from Pepin Distributing. Champagne, party hats and noisemakers arrived with spectacular fireworks at midnight.

"Aqua Eve sold out four days ago and tickets went on eBay for $500," said jubilant aquarium CEO Thom Stork.

     
 
Comments
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Pinellas County softball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Pinellas County softball team

Player of the year: OF Faith Allen, Jr., Palm Harbor UniversityPitcher of the year: Tori Brennan, So., East LakeCoach of the year: Linda Derk, Admiral FarragutFirst teamP Alanah Rivera, So., Boca CiegaP Savannah Farkas, Sr., Northside ChristianP Bre ...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
AP sources: Kawhi Leonard going to Raptors, DeMar DeRozan to Spurs

AP sources: Kawhi Leonard going to Raptors, DeMar DeRozan to Spurs

The Kawhi Leonard saga in San Antonio is on the cusp of ending, with the Spurs reaching an agreement in principle on Wednesday to send the 2014 NBA Finals MVP to the Toronto Raptors for All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan. Danny Green also will be going to ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game, 8-6, in 10 innings

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game, 8-6, in 10 innings

WASHINGTON — A record 10 home runs . A slew of strikeouts. The all-or-nothing All-Star Game mirrored what baseball has become. Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer homered on consecutive pitches to begin the 10th inning, and the American...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Associated PressWASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders sharply curtailed the pace of construction in June as housing starts plummeted 12.3 percent. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 m...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
The history of drinking straws: ancient beer slurper, erotic object, ocean polluter

The history of drinking straws: ancient beer slurper, erotic object, ocean polluter

Our plastic pollution pandemic has a new poster child: the straw. Buoyed by a disturbing viral video of a researcher prying a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nose, the utensil rose to topple the plastic bag and six-pack can holder as the ite...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Food tours offer an informative, and delicious, look at different areas of Tampa Bay

Food tours offer an informative, and delicious, look at different areas of Tampa Bay

There is a running list on my phone of restaurants to try. A romantic evening at St. Petersburg’s Reading Room. The Safety Harbor double date night, so we can finally take our friends to Pizzeria Gregario. Splurging on the chef’s tasting menu at Nobl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snell’s All-Star debut

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snell’s All-Star debut

The Rays' Blake Snell makes his All-Star debut with a memorable first pitch, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he likes the Rays' new stadium plans, and there is controversy at the Home Run Derby.Plus, Florida head coach Dan Mullen says the Gators ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

BRUSSELS — The European Union fined Google a record $5 billion Wednesday for using the market dominance of its Android mobile operating system to force handset makers to install Google apps, reducing choice for consumers.EU Competition Commissioner M...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ new run defense will be tested early, often in 2018

Bucs’ new run defense will be tested early, often in 2018

Much of the focus on the Bucs upgrading their defensive line has been, understandably, that Tampa Bay finished last in the league in sacks last season, with just 22. But as Gerald McCoy pointed out several times in 2017, you can't get to the quarterb...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County softball

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County softball

Player of the year: P Jodi Handler, Sr., AlonsoPitcher of the year: Ashley Blessin, Jr., Plant CityCoach of the year: Bob Diez, ChamberlainFirst teamP Haley Murphy, Sr., East BayP Shannon Maloney, Sr., ChamberlainP Gabby Vallee, Sr., ChamberlainP Cas...
Updated: 1 hour ago