Kids Can Cook TV Show-The Orlando Times

The Orlando Times

Kids Can Cook TV Show

Exploring The Great Parts Of Southwest Florida With Safety

BY SYLVIA GARSON, GUEST WRITER TO THE TIMES

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As I headed out from the brand new Senator Moynihan train station just across the street from Penn Station in the heart of NYC bound between 8th and 9th Avenue and between 31st and 33rd Street. It was exciting to be taking the Amtrak Train to Southwest Florida to see how everyone is doing after this trying year we have all experienced. Before boarding I stopped at the wonderful new Metropolitan Lounge as part of the brand new Senator Moynihan train station, sparkling clean and filled with tasty treats and a variety of coffees. This great new station was also inspired by our Governor Cuomo who with his nightly talks helped my friends and I get through this most difficult year. And I thought about a recent conversation I had with my two besties, neighbors who are life partners, Q & Al who always looked out for me and I for them and we all agreed that Governor Cuomo’s talks had been a great help and lifted our spirits and gave us hope.

Traveling on the Amtrak Train was very pleasant and clean as can be. For lunch I had shrimp creole and beef in wine for dinner. The next day we were a little delayed and Kumar the attendant came to my little roomette to ask what I would like for lunch and all I could say was oh my goodness, I guess you could say I was full.

And since this was a special project I had embarked on to show just how the south was opening up safely and although Ft. Myers is my first stop I was also looking forward to visiting The Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District, as we also would be filming and highlighting many of the historic places located at the Ybor Historic District in Tampa.

On my way to Ft. Myers I first arrived at the Tampa station and got on the socially distant Amtrak Bus to Ft. Myers and everyone wore masks as they did on the train. The Amtrak Bus took me to Ft. Myers and it stopped at what used to be

called Grandma's Kitchen and now known as the Pilot Truck Stop and just a short six mile ride by taxi to my first stop.

Our first stop was at The Candlewood Inn & Suites, which is an extended stay also following safety measures and clean as can be. The rooms were like a home away from home supplied with everything you could want or need. The manager Patrick created an atmosphere of friendliness and helpfulness. I always like to say that positive approaches start at the top and that was certainly true of the Candlewood Inn & Suites located at 3626 Colonial Court, Ft. Myers.

The second stop was Ft. Myers Beach at The Hampton Inn & Suites, just a short ride to Ft. Myers Beach on the local trolley. You can park your car and relax on the fun trolley that also practiced safety measures, although many of the tourists seemed to forget that they had to wear a mask to board the trolley, and the driver made sure to supply them with a mask. The Hampton Inn was where we have taped a number of The KIDS CAN COOK TV Shows on location at this wonderful place.

As this is our safety segment project some of the footage will also appear on our very next KIDS CAN COOK TV Show which was planned for October in NYC.

I am mentioning this since a number of food companies have always contributed mostly non-perishable food items which was given out to the children on the show and I decided to see if these food companies were on board to instead send all these food items to a great local youth center right here in Ft. Myers. If you ever knew the story of stone soup, well you might remember how one person brought a stone, and one person brought a carrot, etc., etc. And the next thing you know voila there was soup which is pretty much how I began to try to help this youth center and with everyone helping out we not only have soup, but also backpacks for all the children filled with school supplies that will also be filled with some goodies all due to the great help from Target which started in NYC and also continued with Target in Ft. Myers Beach, Dicks also donated great backpacks filled with hats and t-shirts and with the great help of Target we also filled the backpacks with great school supplies.

As a community television show that began in 1991 with our first show taped at Dr. Martin Luther King High School and KCC continues to air today and continues to celebrate all children from all countries and foods from their respective country and culture. As I also try to reach out and do what I can in the community. So as I was alone in my NYC apartment trying to get through the pandemic like many others I had also suffered through two floods in my living room ruining many of my possessions, furniture, etc. Fortunately I had learned a long time ago that when things get tough the tough get going. I also call myself a writer and a fighter, also realizing that it is better to not concentrate on things you cannot do anything about but to go forward and perhaps even help someone else.

So I guess you could say I rallied the troops, and got some friends to help and volunteer and worked hard to get the help I would need to be able to help the youth center in Florida. I have always had a lot of support from this part of Florida, and I knew everyone was trying to get back to normal and wanted to do what I could to help. Target in NYC at 61st and

Broadway were great and helped me get started on my way, and I could not have gone forward without the wonderful help of Target.

Dick's also donated wonderful backpacks filled with hats and t-shirts. And since I fully understand the difficulties that some children are faced with, I wrote a short letter to read to the children and give them what I called my small crumbs of wisdom.

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To help the Lutheran Services of Florida Youth Center, contact Mr. Sam at 239-278-1030. The Ft. Myers Beach Library is a very special place that inspired me to write about taking safety measures, and keeping everyone safe. When you get into the elevator you feel as though you are surrounded by the ocean, and this fantastic library has four floors. One floor is a children's center with life size animals, also a floor that involves puzzles and shells. And the four floor is a book store and a restaurant.

And now having saved the best for last, I am heading for The Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District. This lovely Hilton Garden Inn is a great hotel and had taken some of the best safety measures and was clean as can be, which was also centrally located and walking distance to Ybor Historic District filled with history. A beautiful place to visit with so much to see. And just walking distance to all the restaurants with of course Cuban food, Asian food and more, much, much more. I took Salmon Teriyaki back to my room, it was great. And every type of cuisine was on 7th Avenue also known as the main part of the Ybor Historic District.

Our first stop was to see and film the Jose Marti Park, a Cuban territory with a wonderful statue located in the heart of Ybor Historic District which we filmed for footage on our next KIDS CAN COOK TV Show which will air in NYC. As we filmed and took photographs the street car passed by and blew the horn and all the children waved to the conductor.

Jose Marti Park is a Cuban Territory located in the heart of Tampa. The park is named after Jose Marti who is considered the apostle of Cuban Independence. Mr. Marti spent a lot of time in Ybor City giving speeches and fighting for Cuban Independence from Spain.

Cuban and Italian Club the Cuban Club was a place for Cuban immigrants to come together for social and cultural exchanges. At its peak the club had over eight thousand members. It also contained a theatre, a ballroom, a pharmacy

and a pool. Located on 7th Avenue, many of the buildings originally built by Mr. Vincente Ybor served as cigar factories and housing for the cigar workers.

The History Building is centrally located in the heart of Ybor City and contains artifacts and photographs of Ybor City from the beginning. A must see on your visit to this great place called Ybor City. I cannot wait to go back to Ybor City, Tampa and hope you also get to see this great part of Southwest Florida.

Special thanks to the following: Amtrak – Where safety is our top priority- 1-800-872-7245 www.amtrak.com; Candlewood Suites-A Home away from Home -239-344-4400- IHG Hotel www.candlewoodsuites.com 3626 Colonial Court, Ft. Myers, Florida; Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton -1-239-437-8888 www.hampton.com; Hilton Garden Inn Tampa-Ybor Historic District-1-813-769-9267 www.Hilton.com-Located in the heart of Ybor Historic District, Tampa; Target – A Store with a great heart- Target in NYC- 61st & Broadway – New Target in NYC -795 Columbus Av. NY,NY 10025- Target in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida – Target in Tampa, Florida.www.target.com; www.katzmannyc.com-JohnMacycheesesticks.com

All-In-123 Media-Where communication is our top priority, as we work with your company and create a project to meet your companies goals and expectations; kccsgarson@yahoo.com 239-810-3256; GOODZ Hardware Store- Ft. Myers Beach, Florida 1-239-765-8900 www.goodzhardware.com; Mango Rita's Restaurant www.mangorita's.com; A very special thank you to Alec Salamei of Coldwell Banker a great guy and realtor who volunteered and was a great as he helped us to deliver the backpacks and school supplies to the children at the Lutheran Youth Center 239-203-1213. For more information contact Sylvia Garson at kccsgarson@yahoo.com