Best Of 2023

People, Places & Politics

People, Places & Politics
Winner: Aja Nikiya Estro
Finalists: Michelle Williams, Nadine Smith (Equality Florida)
Winner: Dunedin
Finalists: Pass-a-Grille Beach, Indian Rocks Beach
Shop dogs. They’re the best thing about anywhere, and on the second floor of the Kress Collective in Ybor City there is a nine-year-old very good boy that is the most art-literate, dapper furball in town. His owner, Tempus Projects founder Tracy Midulla, says Augy is a lab-pit mutt mix, and he can be found almost always at her side, sometimes just sitting in a chair and staring into the ether (listening?) as life at one of the city’s most exciting new venues buzzes around him. “Best dog I've ever known,” Midulla told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. One of the best, for sure.
There’s lots of talk of late about career politicians and term limits—that we need common sense citizens embedded in their community. Regular folks who have their ear to the ground. Well, how about a salon owner—that perennial location where friends go to find out local gossip and to vent? Indian Rocks Beach first realized that Cookie Kennedy was this unicorn in 1999 when she was elected to the IRB city commission. She’s now in her third term as mayor and IRB has a million bucks in the bank. “We need an authentic person who understands being a small business person, raising a family, putting food on the table, and creating relationships and partnerships that enhance the quality of life for all our citizens.”
Winner: Tampa Wing Chun Kung Fu
Finalists: 7th + Grove, Booze and Bubbles
Winner: Angie Soul
Finalists: That's So Tampa, Alyssa Young
Black-capped capuchin monkey Jack spent a day in the Palm Harbor wilds after escaping from Suncoast Primate Sanctuary last November. During that time, Jack experienced one of Pinellas County’s finest assets, the Pinellas Trail. That’s where Jack ran into local cyclist Natani Daehne, who filmed the encounter and sent the footage to the Tampa Bay Times. Suncoast Primate Sanctuary handlers weren’t far behind. They captured Jack the next day when another cyclist flagged them down. According to Suncoast Primate Sanctuary board member Nancy Nagel, the six-pound monkey was never a threat to anyone on the trail. Truth be told, we were kind of rooting for the little guy to enjoy a few more days of freedom.
Winner: Rachel Wilson, Gigglewaters
Finalists: Jack Kemp, Stella Myers CEO of Curv Exchange and Stellie Bellies
Winner: St. Petersburg
Finalists: Dunedin, Tampa