Though Brucci's Pizza owner Bruce Jackson was born in Syracuse, New York, his grandparents hail from Italy, and he grew up feasting on Italian recipes that had been passed down through generations. At his restaurant, the chefs follow the same timeworn recipes as his grandparents when dishing up Italian favorites with a New York–style flair. They whip up lasagna layered with meatballs and italian sausage, grill paninis, and hand-toss housemade dough for pizzas, strombolis, and calzones. Their specialty pies include the Brooklyn—topped with diced tomatoes and fresh basil—and the Syracuse Stuffer—laden with sausage, beef, pepperoni, and ham, as well as green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
But Brucci's Pizza is more than just an eatery—it's also a gathering place. In addition to weekly specials, the three locations host regular events. The Ponte Vedra and Fruit Cove locations host a Monday kids' night, and the West Beaches location facilitates live music twice a week, played by bands that are not made up of animatronic rodents. The chefs also issue a standing challenge: if any guest can devour a double-thick, 16-inch Fuhgeddaboudit pizza—smothered in seven toppings and gobs of extra cheese—within an hour, it's on the house.
As they observe the vibrant exhibits of aquatic life inside the Miami Seaquarium, many guests don't realize that they are walking through a movie set and a hospital. In the onsite lagoon, bottlenose dolphins swim through waters once traversed by Flipper, who filmed several television episodes and films at the venue. The Seaquarium is also recognized as a manatee critical care facility. Its staff has accomplished several historic treatments, including monitoring the conception and arrival of the first manatee born under human care and conducting the first manatee neurological surgery.
These facets of the Seaquarium—along with its many conservation efforts, educational programs, and shows—underscore a united commitment to wildlife consciousness. The animal attractions enable visitors to witness the allure and fragility of oceanic fauna up close, whether they are petting the back of a stingray or washing a dress shirt on the rough back of an 8-foot nile crocodile. Special encounters decrease the distance even further, sending patrons on underwater Sea Treks through the reef display or helping them to lead marine-mammal training routines.
It's hard to pinpoint the biggest personality inside the Seaquarium tanks, but Lolita the killer whale—who performs daily alongside pacific white-sided dolphins—claims the title of heaviest, period. On the other end of the scale, macaws and cockatiels perch around the Tropical Wings section of the park, and endangered sea turtles lounge at Discovery Bay. Elsewhere, a watery playground and three-story ropes course keep legs from growing too wobbly after a trip to Shark Channel or a smooch from a sea lion.
Though the experienced stylists at Hair Distinctions perform a slew beauty services that range from signature blow-outs to hair extensions, they specialize in corrective treatments for hair problems that result from Florida’s harsh climate. Tools from their blow-out bar help reinstate shape and health to humidity-ravaged hair with services when combined with keratin treatments and deep conditionings. Regardless of the treatment, the stylists draw from an arsenal of gentle, top-of-the-line products from Redken, Mixed Chicks, Davines, and Lanza. A newly installed blow-dry bar separate from the rest of the salon allows guests to come in for the Blow-Dry Bar or even an up-do, complete with shampoo and scalp massage.
To compliment newly revitalized heads of hair, the staffers can apply makeup for special occasions.
The Tampa Bay Times traces its origins to the backroom of a pharmacy in 1884, when the bay area was a sleepy backwater. In those days, only 480 people read the four-page journal. But over the course of the next 50 years, cadres of plucky, adventurous businessmen, including W. L. Straub and Paul Poynter, oversaw an unprecedented expansion in the newspaper’s circulation and prestige as they promoted the region’s booming growth in business and population. Paul’s son, Nelson Poynter, took over as editor in 1939, establishing a reputation for journalistic integrity that led admirers to revere him as a patriot and genius and detractors to denounce him as a muckraker, a communist, or a delirious sleepwalker.
Readers of the Tampa Bay Times witness Nelson Poynter’s legacy for sober, detailed analysis in the pages of today’s publication, which has claimed nine Pulitzer Prizes—including one in 2013, and two won in 2009, one of which was awarded to its nationally renowned PolitiFact.com fact-checking operation. In addition to informing subscribers with journalism scaling in scope from local to national, the Times’ bureaus extensively cover hyperlocal news with hometown papers for each of the Tampa region’s distinct cities and districts, where reporters publish stories on sports, entertainment, government, and politics.
Licensed massage therapist Amanda Howard first conceived of Crystal Blue Health Spa for a school project, and she realized her dream with the spa's opening in 2011. In the interim, she crafted a menu of soothing spa services, including massages, body scrubs, and facials. Amanda navigates the treacherous terrain of knotted musculature during Swedish, deep-tissue, hot-stone, and aromatherapy massages, which wheedle backs into relinquishing stockpiled stress, tension, and missing socks hidden beneath shoulder blades. For surface-level pampering, the spa's resident aesthetician treats visages to deep-cleansing facials and exfoliating body scrubs. The hot-chocolate scrub emulates its wintertime namesake with a sweetly scented, warm elixir infused with Giovanni PureOrganic Technology—an essential-oil medley designed to nourish and heal wizened pelts—and the hypoallergenic tropical scrub's jojoba, macadamia, avocado, and sweet-almond oils replenish thirsty pores more effectively than dunking them in a pool of Gatorade.
As an undergraduate, Dr. Kellie Mosley-Mendez started out as a business major before she had a potentially dangerous mole removed. The experience inspired a change of career plans. With the help of a physician who took her under his wing and even became her godfather, Dr. Mosley-Mendez started on a path that transformed her into the board-certified dermatologist she is today. Her proprietary skincare line includes medical and cosmetic solutions for all skin types. When she's not treating her patients with general and cosmetic dermatological services, Dr. Mosley-Mendez is performing free cancer screenings and educating young people about sun safety.