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What Goes Around Comes Around: Nantucket to St. Pete

I love uncovering Olde Florida style. There are plenty of hold outs in Pinellas County and surrounding St. Pete. It's a big part of why I love this city.

I get my weekly fix at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club when I play league games. The Clubhouse and its surrounding buildings are classic examples of 1920’s architecture.

This week I’m living the dream while I stay at the Crystal Bay Hotel. Formerly the Sunset Hotel (with its “Bower of Tropical Beauty” - Don’t you love old school marketing descriptive language?) the hotel overlooks Boca Ciega Bay. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

The hotel has hosted celebrities like Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, Glenn Miller, and Robert Kennedy. What I didn’t expect to find when I explored the verandah was to find Jim Cromartie, a Nantucket artist-in-residence.

It’s a small world, and what goes around comes around. I know Nantucket well since I covered the island with my IPPY Award-winning John and Sarah Jarad Nantucket Mystery series. Jim owns the Cromartie Studio & Gallery on Nantucket’s Old South Wharf, which I’m very sure I’ve visited many times. When Jim was offered the opportunity to over-winter in Florida this year, he jumped at the chance.

Even though he was actively working, Jim graciously paused to answer my questions. First up was why the fresh painting on his easel was upside down. Jim explained that he flipped the painting whenever he needed to paint a straight line to let gravity help push the paint off his brush. And that, my friends, shows the hand of a true master.


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