Unexpected Tampa

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The University of Tampa in downtown Tampa, Florida is host to one of the most unusual architectural buildings Kongo has seen in some time and was completely surprised to discover it during a business trip there this week.  The  former Tampa Bay Hotel was built by railroad magnate Henry Pant in 1888 as one of the premier anchors to his hotel line.  The unique stainless steel minarets are fascinating to observe. Continue reading “Unexpected Tampa”

Ybor City

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Kongo took a walk through Tampa’s historic Ybor City district this afternoon. Ybor City, just about a mile from downtown Tampa, was founded by immigrants from Cuba, Spain, and Italy in the 1880s. The industry of the day was cigar making and Ybor City immigrants rolled millions of cigars annually. You can still find places where they hand roll cigars even today and then sit down and smoke them with say a Cuba Libre under an umbrella on the sidewalk. (Kongo did this and it was great!) Continue reading “Ybor City”

Tampa

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Kongo left chilly New York yesterday and flew down to Tampa where it was 81 degrees when he stepped off the plane. What a difference a flight makes! In NYC there was constant hustle and bustle, crowds, traffic, people scurrying about, horns honking, sirens whooping. In Tampa the traffic is civilized and sparse. When Kongo went for a short walk with his camera near his hotel (another Hyatt) he wondered where everybody was…like WHERE IS EVERYBODY? Tampa is clean and scrubbed compared to gritty NYC. The picture above is the Tampa Convention Center about 30 minutes before sunset. Continue reading “Tampa”