Continuing from my last post about the chickens in Ybor City, a broader picture of the cute courtyard bar where the chickens hang out in the morning.
Ybor City is a neighborhood in Tampa that was started around 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers and boomed until the Great Depression. It slowly declined and stayed in neglect until the 80’s when artists started to move into the area. Now it’s filled with bars and restaurants and a few shops. It’s a neighborhood with it’s own personality.
It was quiet and empty on a Sunday morning.
A few buildings are vacant including this old Coyote Ugly bar.
The heart of Ybor City is the Columbia Restaurant. Opened in 1905 and still owned by the same family, it’s the oldest restaurant in Florida and takes up a city block. I grew up eating here with my family when we use to come down to Florida from Alabama to visit my grandparents. It was my Dad’s favorite restaurant. I still bring my sisters here when they come to visit and Brett and I come several times a year.
Eclectic stores along the street.
This is the best time to be in Ybor, when it’s just me and the chickens.
A fever of stingrays came by just as I walked out on the Safety Harbor fishing pier. They must call a group of stingrays a fever because you’re going to get a fever if you step on one. I’ve seen grown men cry from getting stuck with a barb from one after not doing the stingray shuffle. It’s supposed to be very painful. Luckily I don’t know that personally. Brett and I saw a man get stuck in the ankle at the beach a few years back. He could barely talk and was turning blue. It was a big barb. I helped his wife pack up their stuff and 2 sons and Brett helped him walk back to their car. We told them to stop at the ranger station on the way out to get some relief. The rangers would have put his foot and ankle in a big bucket with the hottest water he could stand to help stop the pain along with pain relievers.
Standing at the end of the fishing pier, I could see Tampa. Zooming in I could make out the airport and the football stadium. It was hot and hazy in early June.
Not many people on the pier.
I found some osprey taking a break in the water in the shallow area and one flew right over my head.
People have started putting locks on one end of the boardwalk. What they may not know is that so many people were putting love locks on the bridge in Paris that part of the bridge collapsed. They have since removed all of the locks in Paris but now people are putting them everywhere. This is symbolic of “locking” in your love for someone. Eventually the rangers will take them down so the rail of the boardwalk doesn’t collapse and cause injury to someone. And those locks are going to rust quickly in the salt air.
A small mangrove growing along the water.
Grasshoppers are everywhere.
I found a spot close to home that I could get out and go for a walk after work. There were a few parking spots close by and on a weekday night there were spots open. It was already hot in early May and that sun was bright at 6pm. I found some ruddy turnstones hanging out in the rocks next to the sidewalk.
Walking along the causeway, looking first towards Tampa and then towards Clearwater.
From the spot I stopped to turn around, you can barely see the Tampa skyline.
This was a good spot for a couple of weeks when there wasn’t many other places to go or the ones that were open were packed with people. Only a few people on bikes whizzing by. And a few dolphins swimming by.
Royal terns and willets on the sea wall across from the boat ramp at Davis Islands.
Pelicans and a great egret hanging around the island.
The view of Tampa across from the Davis Islands yacht basin right before sunset.
Watching the sun go down early in the quarantine in late March.
It was a quiet night. Most people were sitting in their cars watching the sun go down instead of getting out and walking around the small beach there. I kept saying I was going to get back over there but I just never did.
My sisters and I took the Cross Bay ferry from St. Pete to Tampa over Thanksgiving weekend one afternoon. When we got to the Tampa side we had a few minutes to walk around before heading back to St. Pete. You can take a later ferry but we took the next ferry back since we had plans later that day and well, we’ve spent a lot of time here before. I snapped the above before getting back on.
Passing back by the big boats as we were leaving.
The view from the upper deck including the selfie with my phone.
Lots of boats were following us out of the channel since it was a beautiful day. It looks like there was a sailboat class in the bottom picture. Lots of tiny white sailboats to the left of the yacht basin.
Bye bye Tampa (at least for a couple of hours).
Boston in the rear view mirror (or should I say from my window seat).
The sky from my window seat including a ring around the sun.
Almost home to Tampa. I could see south Tampa and the Davis Islands yacht basin.
Right before landing we flew over south Tampa.
It’s funny that we took 3 ferry rides while we were in Boston but have never taken the ferry across Tampa bay. It’s hard to do fun tourist things when you are working and on a schedule. When my sisters came to visit we booked the ferry from St. Pete to Tampa. It’s a little less than an hour each way. It was fun hanging out and being a tourist. As we headed to Tampa we got close to the TECO electric plant. It was so nice out that there were a lot of boats on the water.
In the middle of the bay you could see Tampa.
Passing by the ports and Davis Islands yacht basin.
We were close to the big boats at the port.
Heading into the channel. I took a ton of pictures on the trip so more to come.
Several years ago Brett and I went to an art festival in downtown Tampa and I just recently found these old pictures. In late February it’s usually beautiful, sunny and cool.
Looking across the bay at Davis Islands.
The University of Tampa minarets in the sun.
Most people are there looking at the art and I’m running around taking pictures of the birds. Mostly gulls.
It’s not often you can get close up to a ruddy duck or a wood duck. They are very different than the common mallards or muscovy ducks that most people see in their neighborhoods.
Turtles and alligators. The funny thing in the bottom picture is that the alligator has his foot on the other alligator’s head.
Scenes from the top deck of the Aquarium, looking down the channel and around the city. I know it looks like it was too pretty a day to be inside but it was so hot and humid that it was nice to spend the morning in air conditioning.