Two prickly thoughts I had after reading the New York Times profile of St. Pete

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As almost every resident of St. Petersburg knows by now, the New York Times has recognized the city as a top destination to visit.

In the newspaper’s edition of “52 Places to Go in 2014,” St. Petersburg makes number 49 on the list, falling before Belize and after Varazdin, Croatia.

The article states the city is “anything but stationary” and is in the process of “reinventing a Florida city’s reputation.”

It also lists St. Petersburg’s waterfront, Dali Museum and restaurant scene as reasons to visit.

To defenders of the ‘burg, it’s also important to note what the article did not say.

It did not say Tampa Bay. 

It did not say, “Spend a weekend in Tampa Bay, Florida, with one day dedicated to St. Pete and the other to Tampa.”

It did not describe St. Pete as a “second city” or as Tampa’s “sister city” or  anything like that.

In fact, the blurb did not mention Tampa at all.

For those who defend the ‘burg against regionalization for regionalization’s sake, the New York Times’ mention could not have come at a better time. 

Another prickly thought I had after reading the Times blurb was just how crappy a politician Bill Foster must have been that he could not win re-election in a city so obviously moving in the right direction.

Foster presided over much of what is highlighted in the Times article (the craft beer movement did begin under Foster, not Rick Baker), yet Foster was pretty much run out of office on a rail. And it wasn’t just because of dissatisfaction with his handling of what to do with the Pier. It was dissatisfaction with his handling of … well, pretty much everything. 

As I’ve written many times since Rick Baker left office, the City of St. Petersburg continues to prosper in spite of its elected officials.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.