Best Of 2014

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

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People & Politics

Best "I'm gonna miss that guy"

Don Zimmer was one of the few Yankee or Red Sox players that Rays fans adored, and that’s because the effervescent, super-cuddly “Zim Bear” spent 10 years on our side as a coach and advisor. Zim — who died in June at the age of 83 — got a touching tribute when Rays broadcaster Todd Kalas announced his death during a game against the Miami Marlins. “I felt like I was getting a gift every time we talked,” Kalas said as he choked back tears. “Really sad news.” Deadspin ran this video clip of his remarks.

Best "Opa!"

Once a month during the spring, summer and fall, the touristy Sponge Docks host a lively night that transports you to the Old World and will have you snapping your fingers like Zorba the Greek. During the event series Night in the Islands, revelers can enjoy Greek music — which includes the bouzouki, a mandolin-like instrument that characterizes Greek music — dancing, and dining on the street, preceded by an hour of free Greek dance lessons from 6 to 7 p.m. The district, with its whitewashed stucco buildings and eclectic shops and marina, conjures the Greek Isles and provides the perfect backdrop for the high-spirited Hellenic tradition. It’s a fun time all Tampa Bay residents should experience at least once. Saturdays, Oct. 4, 6-11 p.m. and Nov. 1, 6-11 p.m., Dodecanese Boulevard,

Best 'They Have Shows There??'

The airport is usually reserved for teary-eyed goodbyes and joyous reunions, but the airport’s marketing team also wants to keep people entertained. The best example of that is the Friday Flight series, which kicked off last October with a show by Tampa lounge legends The Vodkanauts. They greeted passengers arriving at TIA’s main terminal with swinging sounds and warm welcomes you can usually only get at a bar. Pretty unorthodox, but inherently Tampa — and we love it. 4100 George J. Bean Pkwy, Tampa, 813-870-8700,

Best 'Yes! We Got A Second Date!'

Livers cringed when Fest (Gainesville’s long-running autumnal punk rock bacchanal) decided to pregame with shenanigans in Ybor City, and while organizers weren’t exactly sure how fans would take to the idea of a couple extra days of partying at a site a couple hundred miles away, the gamble paid off. Revelers got 48 extra hours to hang with friends at official venues (plus not-so-official house shows), and folks who might not have been able to take the time off work got some mid-week action to satiate the itch. An encore performance is slated for October 29-30, and the beer-soaked streets of Ybor couldn’t be more excited.

Best Activity for Ex-Band Nerds

Were you a tuba or clarinet player in your high school marching band?  Then the Greater St. Petersburg Area Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band (The “Rounders”) is the place you need to be after you graduate. The very first band of its type, and known to be the largest permanent adult marching band in the world with more thn 500 members, is dedicated to those who have marched in high school, college or military marching bands, and dreamed of doing it one more time. With members’ ages ranging from 18 to 85, the band performs locally and travels around the world to participate in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Calgary Stampede, and The Cherry Blossom Festival.

Best Actor

Sullivan played Memphis, owner of a Pittsburgh diner about to be torn down, in American Stage’s excellent production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. Sullivan’s Memphis was a demanding businessman, an indefatigable justice-seeker, a fast-talking local hero who could also be unreasonable and short-tempered. Again and again, Sullivan showed us Memphis’ strengths and failings as a Rembrandt might: without judgment, without irony, with only a microscopic attention to detail. And the result was, we came away from the character awed by the dazzling, and wondrously inexplicable radiance of his humanity.