Sweethearts' Second Saturday
- story by Ana Balka, photos by Ellis Anderson, Ana Balka
This Second Saturday Artwalk falls on Valentine’s Eve. Take a stroll with your sweetheart (or your parents, or your friends, or your dog) and enjoy a little post-Mardi Gras getting-out-of-the-house in Old Town Bay St. Louis!
Shops will be open late, and both of this month’s Second Saturday Hot Spots will have what you’re looking for — whether that’s a scrumptious steak and seafood dinner at Trapani’s, or a 1st-birthday bash with prizes and performances at Smith and Lens, or both!
The Second Saturday Artwalk is sponsored by
Hancock Bank & People's Bank
Second Saturday column
Smith & Lens
106 South Second Street BSL 228.313.6613 or 228.254.6006
The gallery will celebrate its first anniversary this Second Saturday. The party features the Surrender exhibit (which opens January 29), special surprise giveaways, and performances by Blackwater Brass, the Raw Oyster Marching Club, and Pearl Peterman’s Grown Folks dance troupe.
In 2014 Ann, a photographer, and Sandy, a silversmith and jewelry designer, were both selling work at the Screaming Porch, a unique gifts and housewares shop in the small building at 106 South Second Street that now houses Smith and Lens. When the proprietor of the Screaming Porch decided to move on, Ann and Sandy had a quick decision to make.
“There was almost no time for discussion; it was like, ‘If we're doing this, we're doing this now,’” Ann says, “and it was [to be] an art gallery.”
Their first call for entries in January 2015, Surrender, is now an annual happening. Participants contribute unfinished work and receive the half-finished work of another artist to complete by the end of the month. It is an exercise in letting go, says Sandy, and leads to “all kinds of insane creativity” with varied media.
The pair knew from the beginning that they were interested in having events, since they have access to a sweet patio on one side, and are next to the Mockingbird Cafe, who often host bands, on the other.
Two festivals in 2015, each celebrating the birthday of an iconic and famously self-aware female artist, left no doubt as to the galvanizing powers of the Smith and Lens team: July’s Frida Fest (for Frida Kahlo) and last month’s Dolly Should, which marked Dolly Parton’s 70th birthday and brought awareness and contributions to her Imagination Library literacy program. Both brought large crowds to Old Town Bay St. Louis (many in costume, and many from out of town), and both are intended to continue annually.
Solo artist exhibits totaled eight in 2015, with additional featured exhibits from visiting artists. The roster expands in 2016 with photographer Deb Schwedhelm opening February 26, with dolls by multimedia photographer S. Gayle Stevens debuting as well. Schwedhelm hosts a photographers’ workshop on February 26-28 in conjunction with the show, and classes in bookmaking (Stacie Smith), encaustic (Kat Fitzpatrick), and Polaroid transfer (Kim Turner Smith) are also available on the morning of the 28th.
When asked if they envisioned such an eventful first year, Ann considers. “It's definitely more involved than either of us thought it would be,” says Ann. “In a very good way!”
For more information on Smith and Lens’s first birthday party, look for them on Facebook and check out smithandlens.com. To register for Deb Schwedhelm’s workshop and guest-taught classes on February 26-28, see http://www.debsphotographs.com/2016-usa-workshop/.
116 N. Beach Blvd. Bay St. Louis, MS 228.467.8570
After the storm, the restaurant relocated to a spot on Highway 90 for six years while the Trapanis built a hurricane-resistant structure on the lot where the business had previously stood. When Trapani’s reopened at 116 North Beach Boulevard in February 2012, it felt like more than a personal victory for the restaurant’s owners and employees. To residents of Bay St. Louis, having one of its iconic businesses up and running in its original location signaled a new stage of getting past the horrors of Katrina.
The Hancock Chamber named Trapani’s 2011 Bay St. Louis Business of the Year for refusing to waver “in their faith that Bay St. Louis could not only recover, we can be better than we were before,” said Mayor Les Fillingame when bestowing the award.
Trapani’s continues to serve the dishes it’s known for, with emphasis on seafood, traditional Italian fare, Cajun favorites, steaks, and famous appetizers like fried green tomatoes topped with crabmeat and hollandaise, crab cakes, fried calamari, and homemade onion rings. Everything is made onsite.
Tony says that the fish tacos may be the most popular item on the menu. Lightly dusted fillets are topped with a flavorful house-specialty Asian dressing. Asked about his own favorite dishes, he names the trout, and keeps going: “Sesame ahi tuna, crab cakes ... I like seafood. We have great steaks, too.”
Trapani’s Spaghetti and Meatballs and the Eggplant Delacroix come from family recipes that Tony brought to the restaurant. He remembers his mother being the chef in charge at home when he was growing up, but he honed his cooking skills “on the fly, right here,” in the restaurant.
The menu has a wide variety of lunch and dinner fare. You can get a po-boy with fried shrimp, catfish, or oyster, or choose a variation like panéed veal or grilled yellow fin tuna. And a gigantic, fresh Trapani’s muffalatta will more than satisfy that urge when it hits.
Dinner selections are choice whether you’re in the mood for wasabi tuna, stuffed flounder, panéed fish filet with loads of shrimp and crabmeat with pasta, or a hearty steak filet or ribeye. And of course, the oysters are terrific raw or charbroiled whenever they’re in season, with special prices on Oyster Thursdays.
The Blue Marlin Bar upstairs hosts live music on a semi-regular basis, and is also available for private functions.
To look at menus go to trapaniseatery.net, and get the lowdown on daily specials and happenings on Trapani’s Facebook page.