An important thing to know in St. Petersburg is that streets go north and south, while avenues go east and west. For example, our hotel was at the corner of 3rd and 4th – which you could only possibly find if you know that it’s 3rd Avenue and 4th Street. There are a few streets with names: Martin Luther King, Jr. Street (which, being a street, runs north and south), Beach Drive, Central Avenue (and yes, east and west). But mostly, it will be numbers—plus you need to notice whether a street is north or south, as there is, for example, a 9th Avenue S and a 9th Avenue N, Central Avenue being the dividing line for avenues.
This sounds insanely complicated, but in fact, if you keep in mind the directions that streets and avenues run, all you need to be able to do to know where you are is count.
Downtown St. Petersburg is quite walkable, and so those of us who showed up early for the conference accepted the recommendation of one of the event planners and hiked the three blocks to Sea Salt (on 2nd Avenue N).
It was a great choice. Fresh seafood is not all they offer, but it was abundant and caught the attention of many of those in our group, which grew steadily as the evening progressed. (Name tags made it easy to figure out who the other conference-goers were, as people kept arriving.)
Lots of folks went for the raw oyster platters. I ordered the seared sea scallops with sautéed leeks and Tasso ham in truffle cream sauce, and I was in paradise. It was just an appetizer, but my fellow writers had started talking about going out for dinner, so I figured that was where I’d stop.