Sarasota Hotspots: Our Yoga-Loving 'Eyes + Ears' Walks Us Through Her Fave Beauty + Wellness Haunts
A very, very long time ago (you don't need exact numbers on this, so don't be so gauche as to actually ask), I had the good fortune to encounter Pamela Street in a work setting. We were part of a giant posse that toiled simultaneously on two fashion publications - WWD and W - and Pamela made me super-nervous in the best possible way.
She was calm, cool + collected while I was...not.
After Pamela took her calm, cool + collected act on the road with her to one of the biggest, most beloved American beauty brands of all time - Clinique - and then relocated to Cali, I stupidly lost track of her.
Happily, that losing-track-of-each-other jazz is officially over; Pamela now spends a good chunk of every year in Sarasota so she's in my orbit again. And over small plates of healthy yumminess at FarmTable Kitchen in Locale Market last week, I decided she needed to give FBP a full report on all her fave beauty + wellness haunts.
Before we get to that, though, I wanted you to see Pamela in all her super-fit, yoga-togs, snowbird glory:
Okay, off we go.
Pamela Street's Sarasota Debrief
A Little About Me…Where did it all begin, this treasure hunt to learn all about what’s out there? Definitely on a steamy July day in 1968 when I walked through the revolving doors of Fairchild Publications in New York to toil as a $100-a-week reporter for Women’s Wear Daily. No air conditioning, fine; manual typewriters, sure; rotary dial phones, okay. It was HOME. Loved the folks, the silliness and the daily grind of newspapering. Stayed for 20+years with a brief hiatus into the ethereal world of beauty: Clinique Cosmetics.
So now, as I inch my way into my seventh decade, I find myself in the tropical Oz of Sarasota to ward off the winter chill of New England. I still have that curiosity bug, a hard one to shake, and all the better to find the best routes while traveling the Senior Highway.
Here, some beneficial explorations in and around Sarasota:
1. Going a-Courting: Warrior Posing with Stephanie Cole Edmond at Rosemary Court Yoga is a tri-weekly must. Stephanie strikes the right balance - to use yoga parlance - between spiritual guidance and yoga professional. Encouraging those in her well-attended, mixed-level Hatha and Vinyasa classes to get “juicy” and “play with their edge” while working on those “sticky spots,” she descriptively eases you into “folding like melting cheese” or “rounding like a taco.”
With many years on the mat, you could call me a yoga veteran. But as I mentioned to Stephanie recently, I often feel that I’m not only not progressing, I'm actually regressing as the years pile up. “Progressing is not the word to use,” Stephanie replied. “Think of your practice as changing.” Works for me.
Rosemary Court is a short stroll from downtown on Central, just past 8th Street. For a cappuccino or fuller fare, check out Lolita Tartine with its perky red umbrellas, around the corner from Central on 5th Street.
Word to the wise: come early to Stephanie’s classes. They fill up fast. Click this link for the schedule.
Btw, here's Stephanie. Om...
2. Take This Tea & See: As the name implies, it’s Tea Central at Get Loose Tea & Art, farther up Pineapple at the corner of McAnsh Square. The shelves are filled with countless varieties of white, green, Oolong, black and herbal blends along with tea pots and other tea accessories. I favor the Green Goddess Pearl even with its hefty price tag of $28 for 100 grams. After all, we are talking “rare organic hand rolled tender Fujian choice leaves infused with jasmine flowers.”
Not ready to splurge just yet? Sample packets are available for $2 and you'll want to snap up several.
Co-owner Lisa Feistel reports the turmeric-laced Kapha Ginger Snap - “an ayurvedic full protection herbal tea” - is a favorite. And for a different kind of energizer, down the organic Matcha Smoothie. As a creamy liquid "lunch," it keeps my hunger pains at bay until dinner.
I went a little camera-happy at Get Loose. Below are pics of the shop itself, the Matcha Smoothie menu and a various + sundry teas.
3. New to the Hood: Although Dana tells me Bluemercury, the beauty/spa emporium, is taking over the entire planet, I'm really only concerned with new one in my neck of the woods. Conveniently, it has filled the slot left by Brooks Brothers at the corner of Main and Lemon downtown. Now I don’t have to haul out to University Town Center, where Kiehl's has an outpost, to get two of my medicine cabinet must-haves: Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque and Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. In addition to Kiehl's, Bluemercury stocks dozens of other brands, including its own. Walkins are welcome for the spa options, which include a 30-minute microdermabrasion ($135), a popular choice.
4. And On the Topic of Treatments...In the spirit of 'miracle cremes can only do so much,' I took in a getting to know you session at Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center. You’ll find the modern structure at S. Tamiami Trail between Clematis and Wisteria. This is home to four plastic surgeons who offer a wide range of procedures, including the "minimally invasive" kind. Think chin augmentation, laser skin resurfacing, fat grafting or Brazilian butt lift, some of the 29 options listed under three main categories: Face Surgery, Breast Surgery and Body Surgery. Doctors David Mobley and Scott Engel showed convincing before-and-after photos as we munched on hors d'oeuvres warmed in chafing dishes.
The Center gives these free and informative chats from time to time. The next step is a personal consultation, which will cost. Throughout the informative session, the doctors emphasized they strive for a "natural look" - not a stretched-out new look, but rather how you used to look. (So in a sense, the new you will be the old you. Hmmm...)
Check the weekly Ticket section (Thursdays) in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for other informational forums. A Dr. Sumeet Bhanot offers a free lunch seminar March 15 for his chat on “the latest techniques in facial rejuvenation and facial cosmetic surgery.” Call 941-966-FACE for more info.
But perform your due diligence before booking any procedures, and triple-confirm that any doctor whose handiwork you're considering is board-certified. That is crucial. Also, be sure to ask for references. Lots and lots of references.
5. DIY Types: Along Pineapple Ave, centering The Burns Court Neighborhood, you’ll find eclectic boutiques, antique shops and two beauty spots worth a look. Both Starflower and PHbotanical sell their own organic skincare products, which I hope to sample soon. Facials and massage are also available at Starflower and need to be booked in advance, as I regretfully learned when phoning just a day ahead.
And with one last pic - of a PHbotanical brew - I'm off to discover new Sarasota stuff.