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Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer

Robbyn Mitchell

Robbyn Mitchell covers pop culture, entertainment, night life, local events and arts for tbt* and the Times. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a 2007 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.

Phone: (813) 226-3373

Email: rmitchell@tampabay.com

Twitter: @RMitchellTimes

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  1. From This Day: Brandon Golden and Christina Chin

    Relationships

    CLEARWATER — It was only their third date, but Brandon Golden wanted to make it special. He whipped out his rarely used cookware and invited Christina Chin to his home for a romantic Valentine's night 2012 meal of chicken fettuccine.

    "It was terrible," said Christina, 25, a product marketing manager for Greenway Health. "I really tried to eat it, but it was so bad."

    Brandon admits he's an awful cook. "I overcooked the noodles and dried out the chicken," said the 29-year-old, who works in sales for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ...

    Christina Chin, 25, and Brandon Golden, 29, of Clearwater were married in Sugarland, Texas, on Jan. 25.
  2. Designer Elizabeth Carson Racker wants to bring New York style to Tampa

    Fashion

    The main room isn't particularly large. From the front door, clients can see a wall-sized chalkboard calendar behind a desk facing three red chairs; this serves as the client consultation area. To the right are clothing racks and a fitting room neatly upholstered to mirror Rodeo Drive boutiques.

    It's all brightly decorated and inviting. Throw pillows and immaculately styled mannequins give all who enter a sense of place — even if a strip office park on N Florida Avenue between Fletcher and Bearss avenues is the last place one would look for a couture fashion house. ...

    Elizabeth Carson Racker is a local designer and star who is making her way up the fashion ranks toward her goal of taking New York and the world by storm. She most recently closed the 2014 Tampa Bay Fashion Week show. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Carson Racker
  3. Three from Tampa Bay on 'Survivor,' 'Amazing Race' Wednesday night

    The Feed

    Finding someone to root for on CBS's most popular reality competitions won't be hard for Floridians come Wednesday night.

    Two castmates on the newest season of The Amazing Race and one from Survivor all call Tampa Bay home. Each auditioned separately, and none knew each other prior to filming — a remarkable coincidence, even for a market that has produced as many reality TV stars as Tampa....

    Carolyn Rivera
  4. For Tampa designer, what's old is in, new and vibrant

    Fashion

    Marisol Perez hustles through the coffee shop parking lot, hiding under a Marsala-colored umbrella lined with peach-hued fabric roses.

    As she closes it, the meticulously placed buds become a fresh spring bouquet with a curved, brown wooden handle protruding from the center.

    "I made this myself," she notes as she shakes the rain off. "I'm very into the Victorian style."

    Perez, 40, of Town 'N Country, had to leave the dresses she created for her fashion line, Solimar Collection, in her car. There's no telling what sort of damage the deluge would have done to a flamenco dress made entirely of newspapers or a skirt and top crafted from duct tape and tiny squares of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Allure magazines. ...

    Krystal Trevino, 29, of Riverview and Allie Sparks, 22, of Land O’Lakes models dresses from the Solimar Collection by Marisol Perez at Cypress Point Park in Tampa.
Luis Santana/tbt*
  5. Ringmaster of love Jerry Springer to lead Valentine's Day Knight Parade through Ybor City

    Events

    Nothing says love like a gut full of beer and a neck full of beads.

    That's why organizers of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant'Yago Knight Parade want couples to come out to the Valentine's Day event and renew their wedding vows while they're at it. Of course, since it's Ybor City and the end of Gasparilla parade season, the king of love on daytime TV, Jerry Springer, will lead the afternoon ceremony. ...

    Jerry Springer will be at the parade.
  6. WWE star Chris Jericho makes the case for pro wrestling on Valentine's Day

    Saturday nights are for fighting — even when that Saturday is Valentine's Day — if the WWE has anything to say about it.

    Chris Jericho will be among several wrestlers coming to town this weekend to give the crowd at Amalie Arena a show to remember, and a one-of-a-kind fan experience, on an evening when they should be having romantic dinners. This will also be a trip home for the wrestler who resides in Tampa with his wife and three children....

    Street-Smart publicity
  7. Chris Jericho talks about wrestling on Valentine's Day, taking Fozzy to Europe and more

    Blog

    Saturday nights are for fighting — even when that Saturday is Valentine’s Day — if the WWE has anything to say about it.

    Chris Jericho will be among several wrestlers coming to town this weekend to give the crowd at Amalie Arena a show to remember, and a one-of-a-kind fan experience, on an evening when they should be having romantic dinners. This will also be a trip home for the wrestler who resides in Tampa with his wife and three children....

  8. With ClassPass, go gym-hopping to mix up your workout

    Consumer

    Joining a gym or fitness studio isn't the only way for Tampans to fulfill that resolution to get in shape in 2015. A company new to the area is offering subscribers access to group exercise classes at 34 participating fitness centers in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties for $79 a month.

    ClassPass, which began as Classtivity in the New York area several years ago, allows members an unlimited amount of classes, but only three visits to the same studio per month. The service launched on Jan. 26 in Tampa Bay, the 26th market to join the program. It previously launched in Miami late last year. ...

    At a workout studio like Soul Rooster in Tampa, ClassPass can serve as an invitation to regular membership.
  9. Fetish Con moving from Tampa to St. Petersburg

    Events

    Fetish Con has quietly ended its 10-year relationship with Tampa, moving its annual bondage and adult entertainment convention/trade show to St. Petersburg.

    The reason remains a mystery because the Hilton Tampa Downtown, which hosted the convention for several years, the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, which will be the convention's new home come August, and Fetish Con have declined to explain. ...

    Ivy Palmer and Samii Manning of Miami laugh with Bernie BondageBunny during Fetish Con at the Hilton in Tampa in 2013.
  10. From This Day: Ami Hewlett and David Parrino

    Relationships

    TAMPA — It had only been one month since David Parrino met Ami Hewlett, but just the thought of her returning to college in Tennessee had him in a tailspin.

    "I went out to Czar with friends but I wasn't having a good time," said David, 28, an application scientist who lives in Seminole Heights.

    Ami was on a road trip back to Tampa with family when she received a strange voice message. "He said, 'I think I love you. Oh no!' and then the line went dead," said the 28-year-old, who's in graduate school studying public health. "I had to have my 14-year-old cousin relisten to it to make sure he said what I thought he said."...

    Ami Hewlett and David Parrino, both 28, were married on Dec. 13, 2014 in Ybor City.
  11. Tampa leather goods company Branch & Wilder a labor of love for designer

    Rows and rows of tiny tools line the walls of a small studio space in the back of dilapidated cigar factory on N ­Albany Avenue in Tampa.

    Chris Pass smiles as he picks up each one, remembering keenly where he acquired it and how useful it's been since founding Branch & Wilder, a handmade leather goods company, in 2013.

    "I started this as a hobby first, which is dangerous, because instead of thinking, 'I made this amount,' you end up thinking, 'Sweet, now I can buy this new tool,' " laughed Pass, 26, a digital advertising employee from Seminole Heights. "That's how I ended up with so many of these things. ...

  12. For Krewe on the outside, Gasparilla 2015 parade politics a mystery

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the past five years, the Anna Maria Island Privateers haven't been allowed to march in the Gasparilla Pirate Festival parade.

    Sometimes the reason was clear — new parade rules mandated floats be towed instead of driven, for example. Other years, the explanation got murkier.

    "They told us they had too many pirate krewes and weren't accepting any more," said John Swager, 51, a plumbing shop manager and Privateer since 1994. ...

    Suzanne and Brian Olsen of the Anna Maria Island Privateers trade pirate treasure with Bruce Snider, left, of Ye Mystic Krewe of the Santa Margarita before the start of the 2011 Chasco Fiesta Street Parade in New Port Richey. 
  13. Tampa sports bars gear up for nonstop Gasparilla, Super Bowl parties

    Monday can't come fast enough for Tampa sports bars preparing to deal with crowds for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest and the NFL's Super Bowl all in one weekend.

    Food orders have grown exponentially, and staffers thinking about taking a day off can think again, say some bar managers about what may be the most jam-packed two days of the year.

    On top of the two main events. Hattricks Tavern also has a home Tampa Bay Lightning game to think about....

  14. Interview: Mario Lopez dishes on Gasparilla game plan

    Events

    This year, Gasparilla organizers picked the right man for the job when they reached out to actor, author and radio and Extra host Mario Lopez to be one of the grand marshals for the annual Pirate Fest's parade.

    While on the red carpet of the Golden Globes earlier this month, the man who became famous as A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell took more than several tequila shots with some of the biggest stars in the world — transforming the stuffy step-and-repeat into an outdoor party. ...

    Mario Lopez.
  15. Charlie Murphy talks career, comedy before Tampa's 'Black and Brown Comedy Get Down'

    George Lopez called Charlie Murphy when he was gathering comedians for an all-star benefit to erect a statue of Richard Pryor in Peoria, Ill. The roster of comedians invited to perform included some of the most famous names in the industry's past 20 years, and Murphy, who has only been doing stand up since 2003, was among them.

    "How could we not go there to pay homage to one of the greatest to ever do this?" said Murphy, 55, who rose to prominence on Chappelle's Show. "Everybody was on their game and we killed it. Promoters seen that and it started from there." ...

    charliemurphy.com