Old ones and newer ones. Interesting headstones in the Centro Espanol Cemetary near downtown Tampa. The small cemetary backs up to the Italian cemetery that I visited in early September so of course I walked through this one as well. It almost looks the same but many of the headstones and graves have not been kept up. Some of the tombstones were so old, you couldn’t read the names or dates.
It was a little creepy walking around with so many broken covers on the graves. Did storms do this damage? Vandalism? I was walking around on a Saturday morning and it’s on a busy street and there were a few other people walking around so I wasn’t alone but it still felt a little creepy. I wonder if they get a big crowd on Halloween night?
Many of the headstones were tile like the ones in the Italian cemetary next door. Maybe it was the sign of the times.
I left Centro Cemetary and stopped by Woodlawn Cemetary which is close by. This is a big cemetary with some notable Tampa people buried here. I thought the above was interesting. It was on a big plot and it looked like some of their children are buried in it and the couple are facing their children. They are under a huge oak tree so they’ll always be in the shade.
I thought this was another interesting tombstone.
I thought this was Sparkman’s grave, who Sparkman’s Wharf (a beer garden, food area and live music in downtown) is named after but after doing some research I found out it’s his cousin. This is the grave of George Bascom Sparkman and his wife, who was the mayor of Tampa from 1881 to 1883 and then again from 1887 to 1888. His cousin Stephen was a politician and was noted for created Port Tampa Bay.
The view of downtown Tampa from Ballast Point Park. It wasn’t that early in the morning in the beginning of August when I stopped by. I had been out running errands and had my camera in the car so I stopped for a quick walk on the fishing pier. The park sits down in south Tampa and from the pier you can see across to downtown.
There wasn’t many birds around the pier but I caught this scruffy young grackle with a snack left over from some bait fish.
I caught this “fever’ of stingrays cruising by the pier.
The views from across the bay include the Tampa port, the electric plant over in Apollo Beach, the downtown skyline and some buildings going up on Bayshore Boulevard.
I caught this squirrel with a snack in the parking lot next to my car.
One last snap of Tampa through the trees (this was taken with my phone so you can see how far away I was).
We didn’t get any rain this past 4th of July. It was sunny most of the day. Brett and I stayed in and relaxed on the couch watching movies since it was so hot. Right before dark I jumped up and decided to get out and try and get some firework shots. Last year I went right into the thick of chaos on the causeway where everyone shoots off their own fireworks but the traffic is so bad so I decided to head to the airport and see if I could get some shots from the top of the airport parking deck. Of course I wasn’t alone. The open top deck was packed with people. There was a lot of firework tailgating going on. I found a good spot to stand facing downtown Tampa but realized there was a lot of haze and fog right over the city. And so far away. I realized I wasn’t going to get good shots but didn’t want to run out and try somewhere else.
The cool thing was that you could see fireworks going off all over the city. You could see them across the bay and out on the causeway. They were everywhere. If only they weren’t so far away. I had brought my 200mm and these are very cropped.
The football stadium was all lit up and people were setting off their own fireworks all around the stadium. People were probably shooting them off in the parking lots there.
Heading over to the other side of the parking deck, I could see fireworks over at Rocky Point, near the causeway. Someone was shooting them off right behind that new building and it looked like the building was on fire from far away.
It was a fun night out and everyone was having fun just being out with friends and family. I think next year I’ll try and find a deck much closer to the city. From the airport, the tall buildings downtown hid the big city fireworks that were being set off by the city at Channelside so that was a bust. Hopefully next year!
Oaklawn Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Tampa. It’s located downtown although north of the current main buildings that is downtown today. There is something peaceful about walking around in an old historic cemetery. I like to walk through and look at the dates. Some of the headstones are so old that you can barely read the names. Some were almost completely worn down. Some have pictures and some tell short stories. The cemetery was started in 1850 and many of the early grave markers were made of wood. There are a lot of graves without markers due to the wood ones burning or getting damaged in storms. The cemetery includes many prominent families, pirates, slaves and confederate soldiers.
Thomas Pugh Kennedy arrived in Tampa in 1840 and started the first trading post with the Indians here. Many of his descendants still live here. Kennedy Boulevard that runs through a lot of Tampa was not named after Thomas. It started out as Lafayette Street and the name was changed in 1964 to Kennedy Boulevard after John F Kennedy visited Tampa in November of 1963 right before he was assassinated.
The headstones back then were very ornate.
Vincent Ybor and his family is buried here. Ybor started the cigar making business here in the area which became Ybor City.
This grave had a lot going on. Looks like it needs some love and attention.
Driving out heading into downtown. Brett and I went out for a drive on a cool morning in late November. We saw the cemetery and decided to stop in and walk around.
Why are these fairytale characters sitting on the grounds of a cool contemporary restaurant in Tampa? I had to find out. I vaguely remember hearing stories about going to Fairyland when we were visiting the grandparents in the Tampa bay area back in the 60’s. My dad had taken a few pictures of us when we were there. I was a toddler so I don’t remember being there. The original Fairyland Park was at Lowry Park which sat next to the zoo. It closed in the early 90’s and was torn down but some of the characters were stored in a warehouse in Tampa and forgotten. The owner of the restaurant (who also owns the famous Columbia Restaurant) grew up going to the park and when he found out there were characters that had been saved and stored, he was able to buy them and have them restored. It’s a little piece of Tampa history that was saved from oblivion. Story of the characters being restored here.
I hadn’t been over to Davis Islands in a while so I headed over for a walk around the yacht basin at the end of the island. There’s a small dog beach there that has a great view of downtown Tampa. The dogs looked like they were having fun jumping in the water. I wanted to join them but that water was not too pretty right there near the shipping channel.
Two panos of downtown in front of the small private airport on the island.
There are usually a few planes taking off on a Saturday morning but none were leaving this morning in mid-August.
Shots above of the quiet lagoon.
Looking closer, one of the docks at the boat ramp has gone missing. The other one is still there but looks like it’s about to crumble.