Make us your home page

Arielle Waldman, Times Staff Writer

Arielle Waldman

Arielle Waldman traded in the chilly New England winters for the Tampa sunshine in 2007, when she moved to attend the University of Tampa. Now, she is an editorial assistant covering the Things To Do section and a staff writer reporting on human interest stories.

Phone: (813) 226-3321



  1. Seminole Heights draws escape game


    Leave your smartphones behind and take a trip down the rabbit hole at the all new interactive live puzzle experience, Rabbit Hole Escape Games.

    Teams of up to seven will enter the Bermuda Triangle room and use their skills to solve multiple puzzles.

    They will then have an hour to escape.

    "We're fans ourselves and got addicted," said Amy Walsh, co-owner of the family-owned business. ...

     Just a hint at what to expect inside Rabbit Hole Escape Games.
  2. UT students vie for prestigious $1 million business prize


    On Saturday, a group of University of Tampa students will pitch their business to five esteemed judges, including former President Bill Clinton, hoping to win $1 million in seed capital funding.

    Their business, Tembo Education, was created and developed just a year and a half ago, specifically for this competition from the Hult Prize, a foundation which supports young university entrepreneurs with a focus on social business ideas....

    A Tembo home educator in Lagos, Nigeria, trains a parent on educating her child with Tembo’s Early Childhood Education Curriculum, as co-founder Brent Caramanica supervises.
  3. Big Ray's culls family recipes to deliver seafood servings


    For his very first restaurant, Nick Cruz chose to treat diners to his favorite cuisine, seafood.

    Big Ray's Fish Camp serves up fresh grouper reubens, shrimp po boys, lobster and shrimp corn dogs, deep fried Oreos and deep fried key lime pie, among other menu options.

    "I had a catering business for about eight years, but cooking seafood is really my passion," said Cruz, 34.

    Opened for just over a month now in South Tampa, Cruz and his team see lines out the door....

    Big Ray's Fish Camp and Grille is an old-timey, no frills fish camp with menu items like grouper sandwiches and conch fritters. Owner Nick Cruz used fishing photos and fishing gear to decorate the interior. He also sourced local wood for the floors and tables.
  4. Creativeflow channels into new storefront


    TAMPA — Debra Peisner began selling her handmade jewelry at flea markets at age 15. She started with feathers and beads then worked her way up to leather, supplying a few stores as a teen. Now, the Creativeflow owner is expanding into a retail storefront.

    "My location has been there since 2011, but my work wasn't very visible," said Peisner, 57. "We have two fabrication areas, but I moved them into one and created the jewelry shop where people can now purchase items I have created."...

     The first pair of feather earrings Creativeflow owner, Debra Peisner created at age 15.
  5. The Braid weaves in sense of community


    Belly dancers, DJs, a Reiki master and wine tastings are just some of the activities planned for The Braid Mind Body Energy Center's grand opening in Ybor City on Sept. 13.

    Located in the historic Mediterranean-style, Casa de Lala, which was used to film scenes for the upcoming film The Infiltrator, the center offers a space for the community to just relax.

    "It's a nonprofit, educational center," said executive director Debbie Natter. "We offer a space where people can hang out in our tropical-style retreat, rent space to teach classes or take classes....

    A peek inside the historic Casa de Lala, home of the new, The Braid: Mind Body Energy Center.
  6. Downtown Holy Hog adds breakfast menu


    Holy Hog Barbecue's downtown location will start serving breakfast Sept. 8.

    Three signature biscuits will be introduced. The Backyard Pimp Southern Fried Chicken biscuit will feature a piece of buttermilk fried chicken topped with homemade pickled dill chip. The Big Bad Biscuit includes a choice of fried chicken or steak that is then covered in sausage gravy, collard greens and cheddar cheese. And the Redneck Cuban Biscuit: a stack of country ham, pulled pork, swiss cheese, MOJO mustard and dill chips....

    (04/21/2010 Tampa) Rib dinner at Holy Hog Barbecue in Tampa. Served with corn on the cob, beans, fries, collards and Texas toast. [EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN, Times]
  7. Moving Current dance collective opens its 18th season


    TAMPA — Moving Current dance collective is officially an adult.

    The University of South Florida's resident dance company celebrates its 18th season this year beginning with a fall concert that runs today through Sunday.

    The program features intimates, solos, duets and trios with works by artistic directors Cynthia Hennessy and Brian Fidalgo II, Bliss Kohlmyer, Kristin O'Neal and guest choreographer and former artistic director Erin Cardinal. ...

    Guest choreographer and former artistic director of Moving Current, Erin Cardinal, returns to the bay area for the dance company’s fall concert, which begins today.
  8. Saltblock Catering Co. delivers the flavor


    TAMPA — Saltblock Catering Co. started with a group of people who wanted to introduce locally inspired recipes to the community.

    "We focus on the experience as much as we do the food," said co-founder Ryan Conigliaro.

    From catering events to creating a pop-up restaurant called Back to the Table which brings homemade meals to a variety of local venues, the company has grown since it's inception in the city just 18 months ago....

    Saltblock Catering Co.’s executive chef Rocco Taliani and team member, Pistol Pete assemble Florida shrimp and grits at their recent Brunch n’ Brew event.
  9. UT grad brings organic flavor to Davis Islands


    Combining her passions for entrepreneurship and nutrition, University of Tampa graduate Kirstin Coolman, 24, opened Tasty Roots, an organic cafe on Davis Islands, in July.

    "I liked the location because of the small community feel. It's still in South Tampa but it's such a tight knit community, they don't even have a grocery store," Coolman said.

    The health food store and restaurant offers grab and go options as well as a few seats for indoor and outdoor dining....

    Tasty Roots owner, Kirstin Coolman is excited to bring organic products to Davis Island. Photo courtest of Kirstin Coolman.
  10. New Next Generation Ballet director brings wealth of experience to Patel Conservatory


    Philip Neal and Peter Stark met in San Francisco 31 years ago at a summer intensive in San Francisco, much like the one Neal now leads as the new artistic director of Next Generation Ballet and Patel Conservatory dance department chair.

    It's an interesting twist given that Neal replaced Stark, who left to join the Boston Ballet, but not that surprising given that the two remained friends all those years....

    Philip Neal leads the Patel Conservatory’s ballet summer intensive at the Straz in Tampa. Neal is the new artistic director of Next Generation Ballet and Patel’s dance department chair.
  11. Play looks to raise Alzheimer's awareness among African-Americans


    Performing in a theatrical production was just something young Garrett Davis wanted to check off his to-do list.

    Twenty-one years later, the playwright and CEO and founder of Garrett Davis Productions has amassed more than 20 productions and five national tours.

    He brings one of those shows, Forget Me Not, to the University of South Florida stage Saturday to help raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease in the African-American community. ...

    Daren McGill and Samantha McSwain perform in Forget Me Not, a play about Alzheimer’s disease that will be staged Saturday.
  12. Tampa's Riverwalk offers water recreation options (w/video)

    Human Interest


    The Tampa Riverwalk is beautiful. It's scenic. It's easy to forget you're in bustling downtown Tampa.

    "Locals and visitors alike love having that ability to get out on the river and see our city in a whole new way," said Ali Glisson, public affairs director for the city of Tampa.

    Connecting the Tampa Bay History Center and Channelside to Ulele and Water Works Park, the Riverwalk serves as a local and national tourist destination. Restaurants, bars, businesses, museums and artwork dot the 2.4-mile stretch and the main walk serves as a backdrop for events like the recent Riverfest....

    Tampa’s Riverwalk offers relaxation and recreation. Arielle Waldman, left, and Chelsea Tatham head out on water bikes rented from Tampa Bay Water Bike Co. The Tampa Bay Times reporters check out the numerous options on Page 8.
  13. Luminaries Award lights up collection of community biographies

    Human Interest

    The Junior League of Tampa will partner with WEDU to host the inaugural Luminaries Award luncheon Friday, but the recognition of the three award winners will extend far past the event.

    The accomplishments and community impact of Columbia Restaurant Group president Richard Gonzmart, Sister Claire LeBoeuf and former Gov. Bob Martinez will be preserved in the electronic world with WEDU producing digital biographies of each winner....

    Sister Claire LeBoeuf
  14. National Train Day showcases historic Tampa Union Station


    When the eighth annual National Train Day chugs into town Saturday, the historic Tampa Union Station will transform into more than a traveler's waiting room.

    The event will not only focus on the magic of trains, it will highlight the 103-year-old historic landmark, the importance of rail in Tampa and mark the 17th anniversary of the station's renovation.

    "It's (Tampa Union Station) been there for over 100 years and harkens back to the days when train travel was the main mode of transportation," said Jackson McQuigg, one of the original founders of Friends of Tampa Union Station. "It was a derelict building in the '80s. Amtrak actually moved out and into an aluminium trailer behind the building for 14 years. The station came so close to getting demolished, but through a grass roots effort, it was restored." ...

    Visitors browse exhibitors during a previous event at the Tampa Union Station.
  15. A touch of Tampa at the Straz for 'Beauty and the Beast'


    Thomas Mothershed grew up in Tampa watching his minister father sing for the congregation. The city is full of fond family memories for him.

    But he didn't know that years later, he'd be on his own stage in Tampa with the cast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast playing the role of a another famous father — Belle's bumbling but loving patriarch, Maurice.

    "Maurice is a single father, trying to make the world a better place for Belle while teaching her not to conform and to love, and be herself," said Mothershed 45. "I am on stage with the girl who's playing Belle, and we have what we call 'heart moments.' It feels like I have an extended daughter."...