I’m totally biased for LocalShops1 Community Awards even though I’m walking away with no nominations. No, no, don’t cry for me, Tampa Bay, I don’t do what I do for awards. No, the reason I like LS1 (as the cool kids call it) and their awards is that I see how founder Ester Venouzio operates, and I think it’s —and sweet baby Jesus, I hate this word — authentic. Over the years, she hasn’t always loved me and I haven’t always loved her, but she’s committed to local businesses. Hey, I don’t agree with all the nominees for Local Shops1’s Community Awards —look, the idea of local has more politics and controversy than the Trump campaign, so anyone who tells you they love all the choices is full of a pack of shit — but, after watching user nominations for “Bennigans” as the Best of the Bay for “businesses we wished hadn’t closed”, I kind of understand the logic behind how LS1 nominates its contenders. Also, just to show I’m not jealous, please go show your support for Kate Bradshaw as “future bestselling author” at the ceremony. Nope, not jealous at all.
LocalShops1 Community Awards
Marchand’s at the Vinoy, 501 5th Ave. N.E., St. Pete. Aug. 14, 4-7 p.m.