Tag Archives: Florida

The Dali Museum: A Surreal Experience

Dali photo by Philippe Halsman

“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” ~Salvador Dali

My trip to Florida earlier this month just so happened to coincide with the opening of the new Salvador Dali Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. I visited the old museum last year when I was in town to complete my internship, but I just couldn’t resist to be part of the first wave of people to experience the new museum.

The $36 Million museum took four years to be completed and officially opened January 11th (1/11/2011). It is the largest collection of the artist’s work outside of Spain, with 96 oil paintings on display, and over 2,000 other pieces of his work.

The view of the museum

The building itself is something to stop and stare at as you make your way down the Baywalk downtown. Its walls are made of 18-inch-thick concrete to withstand even a category 5 hurricane (something rather crucial for a Florida museum). The 75 foot-high triangular glass dome called “The Glass Enigma” is a spectacular sight to see, made up of 1,062 panels. As you walk up the large spiral staircase to the galleries, you can peer out the glass dome for a beautiful view of Tampa Bay. Inside includes a library, theatre, gift shop, meeting rooms and the Cafe Gala named after Dali’s wife. The grounds around the museum have even been outfitted with huge rocks that were brought in all the way from Cadaques, Spain where Dali grew up.

Looking down at the spiral staircase

If any art lovers out there ever find themselves visiting the Tampa Bay area, I would highly recommend stopping into the museum.

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This Time Last Year

It’s funny how you can look back on things  and decide they were even better than you previously gave them credit for. Like when you were younger and you couldn’t wait to drive a car, make money, or pick your own clothes.

I’m just getting into the groove of 2011, but I still find myself looking back. Looking back at Facebook photos, archived emails and blog posts that remind me of where I was and what I was doing exactly 12 months ago.

My first picture as a Pinellas News Intern

Not only was I still a journalism student last January, but I was also an intern at the Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida. Who would have guessed it would have been such an exciting and such an eye-opening learning experience. Not me.

It all started with a trip down to the Sunshine State. Funny enough I’m back down here right now and I wish I could be spending my days again reporting for the community paper. But my internship is long over and whats more is that little paper no longer exists.

As I took a drive downtown yesterday to visit my old stomping grounds as an intern reporter, the nostalgia really set in. This little community that I had known as my vacation hideaway since I was three years old became a place full of lively stories and interesting people that I was so eager to meet and write about. In the beginning I was quite intimidated at the thought of having to report in a city where I hardly knew anyone or anything, but that all wore off quicker than I expected just by talking to the natives and doing as much research and exploring as I could.

The view of downtown St. Petersburg

Not only did the internship give me a ton of great reporting experience that I have been able to build upon in my career, it gave me many memories and a newfound appreciation of the city of St. Petersburg that I will keep with me and think about every time I come back to visit.

Reporting from President Obama's town hall meeting in Tampa

Looking for a dose of the past? You can check out the stories from week one, two, three and four of my internship.

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2010 Photo Diary

Uploading the last of my 2010 pictures onto iPhoto today, I couldn’t help but browse through all my albums from the last year. The groups of photos sparked so many good times, so many happy memories, and new experiences that made it a year to remember. So I decided it would be fun to put together a little photo diary of my year in review. Here is to a wonderful year and to the start of another great one.

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The Intern Diaries Week Four: The Grand Finale

Some wise words

For some reason I have the lyrics of this old Sinatra song in my head as I write this post.  The end of my four week stint as an editorial intern at Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida has arrived. Four weeks, 21 stories, and dozens of Twitter updates later its time to go back to Canada for my last semester of J-school (more on that in a future post).

It seems like only yesterday I arrived down here, got my official press pass and started learning about this city by the bay. Four issues of the paper later, I have learned so much. There have been many high and low points, many great accomplishments and frustrating moments, exciting encounters, long hard days, and leisure time to explore.

I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities I was given at the paper (even if I was a little reluctant to learn Quark and Photoshop and get out there with that big Nikon camera). I can now say i’ve dabbled in almost every area of the newspaper business, and I’m sure if I stayed a little longer I would have been learning about the ads and circulation too. Although I’m looking forward to going home to see all my loved ones and get back to more learning at school, I’m sad to be leaving the internship, and, lets be honest, the subtropical weather.

Click here to read my articles in Pinellas News for January 29th.

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The Intern Diaries: Week One

Me infront of the City Hall Building in St. Petersburg

It’s official. I’ve survived week one as a Florida intern and so far, so good. Except its quite colder than I would like.

Here is a recap of the week:

  • I actually got a head start and covered a story the Saturday before I was supposed to officially begin. It was the inauguration of the mayor of St.Petersburg, Bill Foster, and I attended the swearing in ceremony at City Hall. Although I did not get a chance to talk with the new mayor, I got to speak with a few city council members and some locals who attended. It ended up being the lead story for the paper.
  • I got a swanky press pass that I will be flashing at every opportunity AND my own email address.
  • I was able to get an exit interview with the former mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Baker. We talked over coffee at a local restaurant, and the editor came along to take some photos and observe my interviewing skills. It was great to speak with the man who ran the city for nine years and I learned about how the community has grown and changed for the better over the decade. It was a little nerve racking to have the editor watch me interview my subject, but he said he was proud of how well I did considering I had no previous knowledge of politics in the city.
  • Later that day I attended a public hearing at City Hall, my first ever. A group of city officials have been assigned to discuss ideas for renovating the downtown Pier with an architectural firm, and they met to present some construction plans. I reported on the different suggestions presented by the consultants along with the costs and the reactions from officials.

Click here to read my articles in Pinellas News this week

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