Best Of 2020

Allendale Methodist Church

St. Petersburg’s Allendale United Methodist Church has been no stranger to activism since 2017, so it came as no surprise to see the house of worship say something about the murder of George Floyd. One side of the church sign said “George Floyd was lynched today by the police. We can’t breathe!” while the other reads, “White Supremacy: The most dangerous virus infecting our country since 1492.” We’re going to need this kind of moral clarity and gumption to call it like it is over the next month, and maybe four years. allendaleumc.org —Ray Roa

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'Pint And A Pocket'

Ron DeSantis’ lack of a plan to combat, track and contain coronavirus is extremely bad news for bars and breweries, and while many of them are still navigating the governor’s fuck up, several took Halsey Beshears (DeSantis’ Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation since Jan. 2019) upon his 509 restaurant license loophole that basically let any bar open if it served food. None pointed out the ludicrousness of the 509 gimmick louder than Dissent Craft Brewing Company which offered a Hot Pocket and pint of beer special to patrons both desperate to get out of the house and pour money into one of their favorite breweries. dissentcraftbrewing.com —Ray Roa

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Tampa Bay Times Mugshot Galleries

Progressive media junkies have long questioned the continued use of mugshots by Tampa Bay Times (and other papers across the country). In the midst of the George Floyd protests and a push for racial justice, Sarasota Herald-Tribune—alongside all Gannet-owned properties—made the decision to discontinue the publication of mugshot galleries. The following day, June 10, CL contributor Jo Ellen Schilke further explored the ethics of TBT’s continued use of the photos in her article, “It’s 2020, and The Tampa Bay Times still has a mugshot gallery.” Five days later on June 15, the Times announced plans to drop its mugshot galleries. “The galleries lack context and further negative stereotypes. We think the data is an important resource that our newsroom will continue to analyze and watch carefully, but the galleries alone serve little journalistic purpose,” Executive Editor Mark Katches said in a statement. It’s about damn time. —Jenna Rimensnyder 

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Winner: SOHO Juice Co. sohojuiceco.com

Second Place: Sweet Soul ilovesweetsoul.com

Runner Up: Escape Root Juicery escaperootjuicery.com

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Best Acid Trip Comedown: The Venus 'Ancestor Stimulator'

Best Acid Trip Comedown

The Venus 'Ancestor Stimulator'

The Venus’ 19-track debut album was written in 2016 with a lot of psychedelics on hand; that time forced frontman Alexander Charos to face pain that’d been buried deep within him. A new album, Ancestor Simulator, captures the inevitable comedown of that chemical whirlwind, but it’s also a poignant and artfully composed and produced reflection on what it’s like to face America’s demons head on and fight for a more just and equitable world. “I’m more hopeful now for our country than I’ve been in a long time. I hope that we can keep this momentum going and actually change policy and vote out the final old guard of racists and bigots,” Charos told CL.”Don’t stop protesting and don’t stop singing.” thevenus.bandcamp.com —Ray Roa

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Winner: Elliott Darrow @elliott.darrow on Facebook

Second Place: Naomi Ardjomand-Kermani adifferentkindofdifferent.com

Runner Up: Anthony Koedel @anthony.koedel on Facebook

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Winner: Joel D. Wynkoop imdb.com

Second Place: Jorge Diaz voyagela.com/interview

Runner Up: Cranstan Cumberbatch theweeklychallenger.com

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Winner: Bailee McQueen backstage.com/u/baileemcqueen

Second Place: Emily Pedone imdb.com

Runner Up: Katie Michaels theatretampabay.com

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Winner: Carrie Graves - The Wellness Tree thewellnesstree.org

Second Place: Emily Armstrong - Art of Acupuncture artofacu-stpete.com

Runner Up: Dr. Liem Quang Le moffitt.org

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Winner: Drew Garabo Live theboneonline.com

Second Place: The Nut House - WiLD 94.1 wild941.com

Runner Up: Serrano in the Afternoons hot1015tampabay.com

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