Seek me as Pyra-DannyYelp communities around the country hosted a “Passport” week for its many members. Every day last week, Tampa Bay Yelpers were invited to explore a different place within Downtown St. Petersburg. I was especially excited—I love DTSP! Among the lucky victims of the Passport week were a couple restaurants, a bar, and even a cupcake shop.

Thankfully Yelp has its own page for members to review events rather than on the venue itself (lest reviews get skewed for all the freebies offered). And freebies they are! Besides all the Yelp-embossed items up for grabs, the Passport events included munchies, tours, and even free services or goodies. Besides the highlighted business, other companies such as photo booths, catering companies, and restaurants were invited to show off on the side.

A plate of desserts during the event at Florida Craftsmen.
A plate of desserts during the event at Florida Craftsmen.

Blech—I was only able to attend four of the eight events. (Due to limited spaces, not every event you RSVP for gets you in) Oh well—I had OTHER non-Yelp events every night I wasn’t Yelping it up bwahahaha.


Necklace made of bicycle gears
Can you guess what these necklaces are made of?

With Central Avenue’s growing arts district, it was almost a given two venues there would make the list.

On Wednesday, not only did Yelpers get to ogle the art within the Florida Craftsmen Galleries, but we also got to tour the studios on the second floor. The working artists up there were very welcoming and ready to talk about their choice of media. Melkshake and I lightly touched the stained glass works of Lee West, stroked Rebecca Skelton’s copper sculptures and chatted with Marie Gagne on her necklaces created from bicycle gears.

Back downstairs, my love of unique and quirky gifts could’ve walked off with half the items for sale. Bracelets made from license plates, purses from board games and lots of jewelry. I decided to be content with postcards imprinted with instructions for converting the postcard into mini airplanes.

A last minute cancellation allowed Shoes and me to attend Friday’s event at the Painting With Fire Studio. A handful of Yelpers sitting around a table covered in wire, glue, and shiny stones greeted us. Jewelry! My specialty. We were encouraged to create sea glass necklaces coiled in copper wires. In the side room, torches were firing full force as we were given metallic beads to coat with colored glass enamel.

Shoes working at the blow torch
Shoes working at the blow torch

In being an “experiencer” I’ve always battled with so-called “foodies” because I feel they limit themselves too much. I was glad the normally “foodie-oriented” Yelp decided to give us the experience of CREATING art instead of just the typical ingesting of food… and did I mention we got to create the jewelry we created? 

The results of our Beads and Sea Glass necklace

Partner Shoes and I exchanged the jewelry we created. Awww we’re so corny (But I’ll treasure it forever)

For Sunday’s “Black and White Ball” (held outdoors at the schmancy Vinoy Renaissance Hotel) my party arrived very late. With no more cocktails or food left, there wasn’t much to enjoy at the event… except get jealous at the streams of people floating by enjoying the outdoors. We couldn’t waste our B&W costumes! Time for a little modeling! Plus the inside of the Vinoy is great for picture taking.

The last event on Monday took place at Pia’s Esthetics Spa. (A Spa? I’ve never been before!) where my sis Angie and I had our first manicure ever. Other attendees also had the option of getting their eyebrows waxed or even tinted (I didn’t know that was possible). Of course there was a little more dawdling time here because there were only so many spa staff to handle each “appointment.” Luckily enough snacks and sangria kept us occupied.

My nail technician was very sweet and painted my fingernails with a nice gray gel. I also received a little nail care swag. I love the results! I think I’m inspired to continue keeping my nails nice.

Thank you Brett and the Yelp team for once again delivering some great experiences for this little blogger. I really enjoyed these events because they weren’t the typical food-centered affairs. Here’s to one of my favorite Florida places– Downtown St. Pete! (creaming Tampa)

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