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Photo by Norman Schimmel
Sarasota Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 5 years ago

Sarasota locals vow new year resolutions

by: Loren Mayo and Rachel S. OHara

Danae DeShazer
Public relations manager, Florida Studio Theatre

In 2012, I’d like to see more fruit drops and huge downtown parties for every occasion. I was bummed that the pineapple drop was nixed, so to make up for it, I’m talking a heart-shaped strawberry drop for Valentine’s Day, a kumquat drop for Presidents Day, a shamrock-shaped green apple drop for St. Patrick’s Day, and the biggest holiday of my year, a sequined squash drop on the day of the Tony Awards!

I want to eat at every restaurant downtown and have a cocktail at every locale downtown. I think a lot of people in Sarasota get stuck into the groove — because there are so many great places to be, why branch out, huh? But, I want to make downtown Sarasota my personal haven of gallivanting around each night. I love downtown! So many great new restaurants have popped up, too ... Eat Here. The Irish Pub. Maximo’s. Half Shell Oyster House. Yum, yum, yum!

Also, Sarasota’s 2012 mantra is get cultured! I want every Sarasotan to attend a cultural arts event, whether it be a day at the Ringling Museum, an evening at the opera, an edgy performance at Florida Studio Theatre, a super fun improv show or a First Friday Art Walk. Get cultured, y’all!

Ray Peper
Owner, John Carl Spa & Salon

I would like the merchants, apartment-dwellers and city managers to all coordinate the crossover bridge to the waterside and permit a wine bar, coffee shop and food vendor to open so we can celebrate the sunset. We need more places like O’Leary’s. But, without all three of those groups coming together, this will never happen.

My personal resolution is to take tango dancing lessons on the rim of a volcano.

Laura Daniel Gale
Co-producer, Black Diamond Burlesque; marketing director, Half Shell Oyster House

My wish for Sarasota is that we could find some cohesion in our downtown leadership — a vision that makes sense for who we are as a city that brings energy and people and events to all of downtown. Vibrant downtown equals vibrant economy. There seems to be a lot of grandiose ideas. While simple, obvious ideas are overlooked, or worse — canceled. I’m really encouraged by the new businesses opening on Main Street and downtown in general.

2011 was all about inner transformation, tons of personal changes and the start of many new chapters for me. So, 2012 is about focusing on outer transformation. — more running of the Ringling Bridge, biking along the bayfront and Pilates. Looking better on the outside to reflect how happy I am on the inside seems like a good plan!

Sam Davidson
Director of marketing, Westfield Southgate

My resolution for Sarasota is that we shift the focus away from what we don’t have and show off, more than ever, what we do have to offer. The time is right to put a global spotlight on Sarasota’s arts scene, world-class restaurants, philanthropic initiatives and intriguing personalities that work and play here. Let’s also get some preferred beach parking for the local residents.

My 2012 New Year’s resolutions are to be in the best shape of my life, learn how to stand-up paddleboard and visit the beach at least one day every week.  My goal is to maximize the opportunity that Sarasota offers to have the best quality of life in the world.

Suzanne Atwell
Mayor, city of Sarasota

I want to create a climate that government, of which my fellow commissioners and I are part of, is consequential. That working together, in partnership with government, with the community, with the business community, with our citizens — that we can all work to make better decisions for the city. I think that is critical so that people can look over at City Hall and say, “All right — they are working with us to make things better.”

As mayor and a commissioner, to stay above the fray and keep things civil in the community. I was profiled that I was a “cheerleader.” I took that as a compliment. I was never a cheerleader in high school but now, what an extraordinary city to be a cheerleader of. I’m an ambassador of this city, I can always do a better job and that’s what I am hoping ... that armed with all the great people in this community and a great commission, that I am able to do that. We can always work on that.

Jonathan Whitney
Attorney, Lutz, Bobo, Telfair, Dunham and Gabel

I would like to see more jobs and career opportunities created for college graduates. I would also like to see more redevelopment on the North Trail.

Less eating, drinking and parking tickets, and more exercise and community involvement.

Michelle Bianchi Pingel
Managing director, The Players Theatre

Our 2012 New Years Resolution for the Players Theatre and, hopefully, for the Sarasota community, can be that everyone come and see our Broadway series. It is an amazing lineup! Our two biggest shows are going to be “Full Monty” and “A Chorus Line.” I want record sales for all of those shows in 2012. That would be amazing!

No. 1, I am going to take the time to really tell people in my life, not only staff, but my family and friends how much I appreciate them. I don’t tell them that enough I’m realizing. And No. 2 I think from now on I’m going to eat dessert first. 

Brian O'Connell
Owner, Hodgell Gallery

"I resolve to raise awareness about our economic plate."

"I will work on serving people and being a good friend to people."

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