Meet Lawrence Parker! Lawrence is a financial representative with Northwest Mutual on Central Avenue in Downtown St Pete. Originally from DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Lawrence is a 4th generation Floridian. After graduating from UCF, Lawrence went on to proudly serve his county in the Air Force as a Firefighter.
I recently sat down with Lawrence to ask him about DTSP & what makes our neighborhood so special to him. “I love all of the random & cool little markets & shops. It makes street shopping & walking around so much fun especially when you come across a small locally-owned store that you never knew existed. ”
Thanks for sitting down with me Lawrence! You can read his interview below!
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “After 6 years in the military, I had a really strong connection to my community & realized that firefighting is hard on the body so…… I wanted to have a good impact in my community & still be able to help people. One concern most people have is their personal finances. I have always been curious about the rules of money & I like knowing how money works. I had the opportunity through a recruiter named Sarah Whitten & it’s all history from there!”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DTSP, and what do you love there?
A: “My favorite restaurant in DTSP is the Japanese restaurant at StationHouse: Ichicoro Ane. The ramen there is amazing. My favorite dish is the duck bowl. It is fantastic.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in DTSP?
A: “I have lived & worked in DTSP for the past two years & have lived in the Tampa Bay area for the past five.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in DTSP?
A: “Bob Devin Jones. He runs the studio@620. He has had a fantastic life & I love just to hear his stories & the interesting life that he has had.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “It would be Germany. I love the weather there & I have always wanted to drive the autobahn. I have been to Germany once but I did not drive on the autobahn. If I had the chance, I would rent a performance car…like a BMW. I also love motorcycles and would like to top out at 150 or 160 MPH.”
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: “’Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’! No questions asked! I even have a tattoo dedicated to the movie. It’s about a guy who, right before the end of the world, finds out his best friend is an alien. And they just hitchhike around the galaxy. First movie I remember seeing in a theater is “The Lion King”. I was 4 or 5 years old. I’m a big Disney fan.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Be yourself & do what makes you happy….. but most importantly have a plan for the future…ALWAYS have a plan for the future because it is coming whether you like it or not!”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It sounds basic but it is something that I have always wanted to do and I like a challenge.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “My favorite music is indie rock & the classic 90’s rap. Three bands I would like to see is Queen, Led Zeppelin & Babymetal. Babymetal is a Japanese kawaii metal band. It is comprised of three ladies from Japan that started the band when they were 13 years old & now they are in their mid-20’s. They put on a fantastic show & have a huge following.”
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about DTSP?
A: “Just downtown St. Pete in general. St. Pete is the king of cool little random markets. There are so many interesting shops to browse in.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in DTSP would you have lunch?
A: “ Well, I am not big on movie stars so I would have to go with Elon Musk. I would love to pick his brain. While he is some what controversial, he is an innovator. We would have lunch somewhere beachside…. out at St. Pete beach. Somewhere where we wouldn’t be distracted.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about DTSP?
A: “The little markets that I mentioned earlier or that there is so many transportation options. From buses, long-boards or bikes, it is easy to get around DTSP.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: “In five years my practice will be sitting nice. I plan on opening my own office at that point. Additionally, I want to have a lot of community outreach & want to open a center that has community resources. I want to give back to this community that I love so much.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I collect books & have a good size book collection. Historical fiction is my primary interest.”
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Simple, quiet & far. Everything is far cause I am originally from the country.”
Q: Who would you like to see nominated for this project, The Faces of DTSP?
“Bob Devin Jones. Look him up! A very interesting St. Pete local.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: “Samuel L Jackson. I want to get to know him. His character Jules in Pulp Fiction was unforgettable.”
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “ Driver, no questions asked! I hate driving with a passion.”
The Faces of Downtown St. Pete was created to showcase the diverse community we live in & the wonderful people that make it so special. If you would like to nominate someone interesting for this project, please email me at email@example.com.