About KATY TORRALBAS
Biography■ Find me on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.
When I was about five, I started making construction paper books and writing stories starring the family pets. Maybe I should have realized then that writing was the career for me, but it took me years to figure it out.
I grew up in a small, upstate New York town called Feura Bush and after high school spent four years studying English, history, Spanish and Latin America studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I swam in the gorges, stressed about classes and pulled all-nighters in the library like all other the students, but I also spent thousands of hours at the downtown office of The Cornell Daily Sun, the independent student newspaper.
As much as I loved my home state, I was ready for a change when I graduated. I wanted to live in a warmer place by the ocean where I could put my years of learning to speak Spanish to work. I started at the Daily News as a small business reporter, writing about main street issues, restaurants and retail businesses. Now, I'm a features reporter for the Neapolitan and Showcase sections. I love telling untold stories and writing about dramatic, unique or quirky people and events. If you have an idea for a story please, let me know.
SEE WHAT OUR FEATURES STAFF HAS BEEN WORKING ON
■ Stories I'm most proud of:
Forgotten, hidden, neglected: 8 graves occupy anonymous plot at busy Naples street corner - Delving into this anonymous black graveyard at Goodlette-Frank and Pine Ridge Roads was fascinating - even though I never figured out who they were.
Adrift no more: A young Cuban artist leaves behind everything he knows to begin again - This young man's immigration story moved me.
A lifetime of support: 'Mother Perry’ has battled segregation, fought for civil rights — and at 98 continues to inspire - She was a midwife who delivered 514 babies in 25 years and an advocate for children whose life inspired many. I was lucky to get to know Mother Perry before she died in 2008.
Paying the price Is Fifth Avenue South in jeopardy from its own success? - As a small business and retail reporter, I learned a lot by digging into the reasons behind sky-high rents on Fifth Avenue South before the bubble burst.
When I'm not working, I love to dance salsa, try new restaurants, discover new recipes, do yoga and spend time outside kayaking, beaching and enjoying the Florida sunshine.
A few of my favorite things:
■ Outdoor places I have (or want to) visit
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - This swamp is one of the most beautiful places in Southwest Florida. I've seen herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, a bear, alligators and the famous ghost orchid.
New York's Adirondack Mountains - I grew up camping in the Adirondack mountains and they'll always hold a special place in my heart.
Galápagos Islands - This trip hasn't happened yet, but I hope to go in the not-so-distant future -- and write a story about it.
Waterfalls at Iguazú - If you're going anywhere near this waterfall, GO SEE IT. It's breathtaking.
■ Food sites
Smitten Kitchen - This site will make you hungry. I guarantee it.
Mark Bittman - This NY Times food writer often inspires me to try new recipes.
■ Writers and journalists
Lane DeGregory - This St. Petersburg Times writer's stories always make me laugh and cry. If you missed her "Girl in the window" story it's heart wrenching and beautiful.
Marilynne Robinson - This woman's writing is luminous. I love it. I especially enjoyed her novel Gilead.
Tom Wolfe - One of my most memorable assignments was interviewing Tom Wolfe on the phone and then in person. He was friendly and open -- and yes, he did wear a white suit.
New clients: Naples lawyer trades legal pleading for hungry feeding - PHOTOS
Published 08/05/2011 at 8:45 p.m.
Katie Schweikhardt recently traded in her job as an estate planner and real estate attorney to become the food bank’s food coordinator in Collier County, overseeing the Naples Children & Education Foundation’s Lunch Boxes of Love initiative.
Naples-trained service dog helps wounded Tampa Marine find independence - PHOTOS/VIDEO
Published 07/02/2011 at 12:30 p.m.
They’re in the living room of Ty and Anna Edwards’ Tampa home, and this is the day Cody Bear, a service dog trained by Jeannie, will be placed with the combat-wounded Marine after nearly two years of training, home visits, ...
Get Growing: news from the garden community
Published 06/23/2011 at 3:37 p.m.
Get Growing: news from the garden community for Lee and Collier counties.
The Cafe on Naples' Fifth Ave. worth stop, but perhaps not trip
Published 05/13/2011 at 10:36 a.m.
If I were strolling down Fifth Avenue South on a weekend afternoon and wanted to grab a good, healthful and reasonablypriced lunch, I’d keep the Cafe in mind — especially if I wanted to dine in a tables-on-the-sidewalk kind of ...
GET GROWING: Pesticide training, plant clinic and orchids
Published 05/12/2011 at 12:02 p.m.
GET GROWING: Pesticide training, plant clinic and orchids for Lee and Collier counties.
Queen of tarts Lisa McDonnell’s French pastry skills honed on crusted cuisine
Published 04/27/2011 at 9:16 a.m.
Lisa McDonnell fell in love at a French bakery: One bite of pan au chocolat, and she was smitten.
GET GROWING: plant problems and clinics to diagnose them
Published 04/21/2011 at 9:34 a.m.
GET GROWING: plant problems and clinics to diagnose them in Naples.
Dining Review: French American Bistro serves up both hits and misses
Updated 04/14/2011 at 3:19 p.m.
Fresh, homemade baguettes and croissants stand out above all else at French American Bistro, along with smoked salmon entrees and French onion soup. But ham and cheese crepes were more miss than hit, and service, while friendly both times, was ...
Parks to close if federal shutdown; most Collier, Lee services would continue PHOTOS
Published 04/07/2011 at 8 p.m.
Some Southwest Florida parks will close, veterans’ services will continue and the U.S. Postal Service will remain on its schedule if the federal government shuts down at midnight Friday as has been predicted. Locally, those operations to remain open include ...
Free yoga classes help survivors regain movement and peace of mind
Updated 04/05/2011 at 3:26 p.m.
Pink Ribbon Restorative Yoga, a yoga program for breast cancer survivors, offers free classes in Naples to women who have had breast cancer — whether they had it years ago, are still in treatment or just had surgery.
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