Platform Art, a nonprofit arts organization, champions emerging artists in the fields of visual arts, film, fashion, music, and performance. In the spirit of a Parisian salon, Platform throws casual art parties that exhibit work in a festive, non-gallery atmosphere. Party #17, "We're Not in Canvas Anymore," will regale audiences with an audiovisual smorgasbord of paintings, sculptures, live music, fashion, and velvet-Elvis portraiture. The evening will culminate in honoring the creative collaboration between local children and artist/educator Paula Allen with the unveiling of their mural created for Platform Art. Following its Platform Art debut, the piece will travel to Imabari, Japan, as part of a cultural exchange, then on to Club Med for a much-needed vacation.
The expert botanists at Tyler Floral harness the artistic power of flowers to create complex, sweetly scented floral arrangements. Combining rich red roses, stargazer lilies, and white freesia, the Sweetly Scented bouquet whisks noses to a state of blissful happiness ($65–$85). Awarded annually to the wizard who banishes winter to its frosty burrow, the Springtime Reward can also be used to taunt acquaintances who don't believe in spring ($45–$65). The sunny Rainbow of Blooms lugs a bag of joy into every room it enters and liberally applies smiles to every person it sees ($45–$65). In addition to flowers, Tyler Floral cares for a slew of houseplants, such as the Chinese evergreen, that offer to transform rooms into lush forest habitats ($35–$75).
In the 1920s, guests of the newly opened The Terrace Hotel entered through a lush, tropical garden right off Main Street. Parts of that garden remain today, including three-tiered topiaries and a shaded walkway lined with palms. Walk inside the restored hotel and it still feels like the Twenties, as black and white ceramic tiles and period fixtures can be found throughout.
Guest rooms have elegant, four-poster beds and large windows that let in enough natural light to keep terrifying shadow puppets away during the day. Each room also contains a coffeemaker and a selection of gourmet coffees and teas. The Terrace Grille serves surf 'n turf right downstairs, underneath a decorative metallic ceiling.
The attacker lunges in and throws a punch. Before that punch lands, it's blocked with a forearm and a series of counter strikes are already disabling the assailant. At Downtown Lakeland Martial Arts, a team of highly trained instructors teaches this close-combat self-defense system. It's called wing chun kung fu. On day one, students begin to learn these fighting techniques, building toward a defensive strategy that works in real-world scenarios. Instructors incorporate a variety of combat styles, from krav maga to judo to ninjitsu and more. They even train students the quick-striking tactics necessary to overcome an attacker wielding a knife or gun. Whatever the situation, students are instilled with the skills, discipline, and focus needed to safely protect themselves as well as those around them.
Hurry Joey squeezes filling meals into fast-paced lives with a menu full of American favorites and breakfast delights. Thinly shaved sirloin curls about griddled onions and peppers, melding with melted mozzarella to create the house-special philly cheesesteak ($5.95). The chicken stir-fry pita ($6.25) coops fowl and veggies within a tasty, transportable pocket without ruining favorite pairs of jeans, and the pressed 8-inch cuban layers ham, salami, and roast pork beneath a blanket of swiss cheese ($5.15).