Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Standing watch for his Juliet: He's way too cool and thinks he's on a Venetian balcony so save him from his shattered dreams of love.

I can't stand guys like this. Thinking they're so superior and above us all. And there is a entire group of these pathetic creatures. Oddly stiff and uncommunicative souls, I seem to find them in unexpected places or perhaps they're following me around to get some camera face-time. Whatever the excuse, it's creeping me out. Whatever their story, they never cease to amaze me with their strangely imaginative clothing with unintelligible sayings and vain, look-at-me posing. Lighten up guy. Definitely got to get a life. [I've met others like you in this very same condition: the steamy hot afternoon couple and a man and a woman getting set to hit the night spots in SoHo.] It's time to come down off your balcony and move on. Your Juliet is in a new place in her life and left you and your Ybor City, or is it South Beach, clothing choices way behind. And that hat isn't doing it for you either. As you continue to gaze off into eternal and empty-headed space, just know that you can still grow from this experience. A whole world exists after living every minute on a wildly decorated balcony. Have you noticed there is neither a window or door out to you, nor a ladder down. (When that sinks in your cool demeanor will certainly get icier and more indifferent.) Find him before it's too late. His Juliet gave up. Help him please to see how inhuman he really is.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not an Aluminum Airstream but a very close kissin' cousin and being very smart and thorough about it.

This small house, on a quiet road, is sitting on a nice size piece of land surrounded by a beautiful canopy of tall old oak trees. What stuck me as I approached it was that it looked forgotten and forlorn. Without knowing its story, what I think makes its special and stand out amongst its peers is that it is covered entirely in aluminum. Walls. Roof, Windows, Awnings. Screen door. The all shebang. (You'll never have to lay a paintbrush to this baby. Ever.) Like its distant brother on wheels, the iconic and not-so-humble Airstream travel trailer, this tiny mansion on the lush grassy lawn is thinking big. Built for the ages. The owner figures if it's covered from head to toe in solid aluminum it'll last forever. They say that after a 75 year history, 60% of all Airstreams are still around. That's a real target for this house to set its sights on. Except for a few bangs and car dents here and there, to be expected from homeowners thrilled and anxious to get home to their snugly little aluminum castle, the roof looks tight and waterproof and the walls seem to be reflecting all of the sun's rays really, really well. (That sure keeps the air conditioning bill down.) I don't know if it'll surpass its iconic brothers on wheels for longevity, but it's got a good shot at it. Stay in the race little aluminum palace. You already win for the world's most creative and thorough use of aluminum. Hands down. (Now we must do something about that pesky and unsightly plywood over the window. Darn! I hear a weekend project revving up. )

Sunday, June 28, 2009

House For Sale: Tons of Cozy, Rustic Charm. Minor work to make perfect.

[Write your own best selling points here. Use your imagination.]

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Warning and Control Overhead NEVER Looked or Sounded More Serious

I was meandering around the southern portion of Tampa this afternoon and found some interesting buildings and what-nots to photograph. I shouldn't have been surprised to find a giant circus-like fireworks tent being erected and had a ball watching it and taking a few pics. Turns out it was a very colorful subject that I posted one on Tampa Daily Photo. But while on that drive I got to the very end of a street that borders federal property; Tampa is home to MacDill Air Force Base. The base has been an important part of our community from the late 1930s and is proud to have two of the nine U.S. military unified commands: United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command. Both have important, lead responsibilities for our presence in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. MacDill is also home to the 927th Air Refueling Wing which is host to the others on base. The refueling wing flies KC-135 jet tankers. You can't imagine my surprise when as I came to the dead-end, and was starting to make a u-turn to head back toward home, this incredible flying machine went right over my head. With its landing gear, it appeared to be landing at the air base. I felt like I could reach up and touch it and looking through the camera it appeared to be an arms length away. This plane, the E-3 Sentry, the AWACS, is pretty unique in our military tool box and there aren't but a few of them flying. I found online a lot of information about this very special plane its function is to serve as an airborne surveillance and command aircraft for control and communication. It carries a flight crew of 4 and 13 AWACS specialists. Its wingspan is 145 ft. 9 in. and length is 152 ft. 11 in. I felt and sensed every inch of its width and length as it passed right over my head. The plane, according to one website, here, is built by Boeing Defense & Space Group to carry out airborne surveillance, and command, control and communications functions for both tactical and air defence forces. They played a major role in the United Nations' enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia and during the Kosovo crisis. AWACS aircraft were also used by the USAF during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. These remarkable aircraft have performed some critical missions for our U.S. military. To see one, ever, especially flying this low and slow at the end of a runway, was a great thrill. Words can't describe what I felt as I clicked the shutter and the plane was quickly out of my camera range. Good thing digital is so immediate or I would have been crazy waiting for film to reveal that I had gotten the one shot.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another day of Tampa Sunshine: NOT! The heavy morning rain flooded streets. How fun is that?

I do love it when we actually get a real hard downpour. We are still under tight water-use restrictions and fresh, potable water is hard to come by. What we need on Florida's west coast is a good hard daily rain that soaks in and gets to our aquifer...but that isn't happening much. The sunshine that is falling every day is beautiful but makes a person and plants kind of thirsty. Even before daylight this morning, the welcome sound of rain drops could be heard. And lightning strikes all around. It was pouring and continued most all morning. I ventured out and had to pull over to try to capture Tampa drivers, going about their business, navigating some of our more flooded intersections. Tampa sits right on the water so if it's high tide, and it really rains hard, the rain that doesn't make it into the ground has no where to go. It stands, like on these streets. Cars and trucks of every size - and height - tried to go through without stalling out. Actually, it's pretty funny watching the circus of dodging and weaving as drivers try to avoid the bigger waves caused by the 6,000 lb. SUVs that fill our neighborhood and roads (chosen specifically because you sit well above every other regular vehicle and you are far superior.) The little 90-lb. moms have to get the youngsters to daycare - even if the water is two-feet deep at the driveways and they can't get into the the MacDonald's drive-thru without a flat-bottom boat and oars. I hope your day is filled with plenty of sunshine and just enough rainfall to fill your rivers and reservoirs. It's darn hard to drink 95-degree liquid sunshine everyday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Delightfully small flower shop: Size doesn't diminish the sweet fragrance

There cannot be a smaller flower shop in the entire bay area, or one on a busier street. But size doesn't matter when the shop looks this colorful and inviting. The Bay Bouquet Floral Studio is on Platt, one of our one-way streets heading into the downtown. My recollection from when I was very little and my grandparents lived at the end of Hyde Park Avenue is that this was once a farm dairy store carrying fresh milk, cream and eggs. As I picture going in, I think they had loaves of white bread, too...funny what the mind does when you try to bring back old memories. The florist shop is easy to miss as you speed by, but if you slow, it is the sweetest and most welcoming little shop you'll ever find. It claims it produces "Custom designs with panache." I believe it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just a suntanned, silver-haired guy, a rowboat and two Florida pelicans. I know there's a bigger story here somewhere

It's late afternoon and the nearest boat slip for launching into Tampa Bay is quiet. Just a couple of guys donning life jackets and putting their "personal watercraft" into the water and a man hauling his sailboat up onto its trailer. And this man. As I watched him he seemed to be talking with the two jet sky guys and gesturing about something. But, otherwise, he seemed to be sitting in bottom of this small fiberglass boat, the oars behind him, tied up at the dock. Did he notice the two Florida pelicans creeping up closer to him and eyeing him hungrily. I don't think so. Would he care? Probably not. I wondered what he was up to. He might have been coming in from a long, invigorating row out on the bay, or was pushing off to get a bit of exercise. Logical questions, but I'll never know for certain. (I didn't want to mess with a serious old salt on his boat.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Army-Navy Surplus dates back to before the Greeks and Romans: Some of their surplus might even be hiding here

I guess asking the question, “When did Army Navy surplus stores first appear,” is like asking when did man first think to invent weapons or decide he needed a tent over his head? There was probably a shop just off the Appian Way carrying barely-used surplus Roman officers' tunics and shields. This store, the Army Navy Surplus Market of Tampa, carries pretty much everything you would imagine they could fit inside the building. Some things, like the aircraft wing tank and radar device will have to stand out front in the sun and rain. Every square inch inside is jammed with goods. New. Used. Very used and collectible. Ratty. New and smelling of rain repellent chemicals or gun oils and grease. And camouflaged. Did I say camouflaged? Three-quarters of the items inside the store is in some state of camo. They carry military surplus but a good selection of camping and hunting equipment plus a wide assortment of heavy-duty work clothing, boots, shoes and hats. It's a wide and unusual assortment that comes in handy when you need a costume for a Halloween party or themed social event. And if you don't see it, you must ask because there is a good chance it's in there. Hidden. Really hidden under gun belts, pilot's jackets, cowboy hats or knife sheaths. It's there somewhere and they love to hunt with you for whatever it is you need. It's a part of every town's retail heritage. I'm sure they have their ups and downs through good times and recessions, but I think their business will be with us for a very long time. (Now how am I going to fit that aircraft wing tank in my trunk.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Discover Tampa's 500 Years of Recorded History: The NEW Tampa Bay History Center Awaits You

Unknown to most people, Florida natives and tourists alike, in the year 1528, Pánfilo de Narváez led the first European expedition of what would become the United States. And his expedition was followed by Hernando De Soto in 1539. These journeys ashore marked the start of the discovery of this continent. The new Tampa Bay History Center presents this story of the oldest recorded history in the United States, before the Jamestown settlement and Plymouth Rock (our history beats them by 80-90 years.) The museum was built very near the location of the U.S. Army’s Fort Brooke where Tampa began as a military outpost and settlement at the mouth of Hillsborough Bay. The Tampa Bay History Center, the fantastic design on the right in the photo, is the first regional history museum of its kind on Florida’s west coast - on the left in the photo is the St. Pete Times Forum, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and a terrific, year-round concert venue. The 60,000 square foot, four-story museum opened its doors this past January during a fun, weekend-long celebration which included grand opening ceremonies with its board of trustees, staff, government officials and hundreds of friends and donors. There were lots of activities for members and the public inside the museum and outside in Cotanchobee/ Fort Brooke Park. They had music, flamenco dancing, cigar-rolling and historic re-enactments plus really delicious food from the Columbia Café. The museum is located on Old Water Street on the Garrison Channel in Tampa’s Channelside district. The History Center features over 40,000 items in its collection and covers the area’s 12,000 years of history including our area’s first native inhabitants, the first exploration of the region by Spanish conquistadors and our fascinating and colorful story in the 400-plus years since the Spanish first set eyes on our shores. The exhibitions include a 1920s cigar store, cattle drives and branding, cigar label art, our military history and so much more. The story is told with incredible artifacts, theater presentations and interactive exhibits and displays. On the first floor as you enter the three-story atrium (which you can visualize by looking at the photo,) is an extremely nice visitors services team who will greet you and sign you up for a membership and the famous Columbia Café. It serves their authentic, award-winning Spanish cuisine from the family-owned Columbia Restaurant’s delicious menu. The restaurant’s history and heritage in Ybor City is a great addition to the museum experience and stomach. Believe me. (And be sure to have their sangria, OK?) You can dine inside in the café or outside on the patio facing the park and water. A must-shop museum store and meeting and event space is also on the first floor. The museum contains important maps and charts representing four hundred years of Florida’s history, from 1513 to 1913. Named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513, Florida can be seen as map-makers saw it or often envisioned it to be. The collection is extraordinary. Aside from the fabulous collection (which is growing every day), café, gift shop and its friendly and professional museum staff, the Tampa Bay History Center has a superb waterfront location in Tampa's downtown. It’s within walking distance of the port and cruise ship terminals, major hotels and is even on the trolley line. It’s a must see in Tampa.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anime Animated Characters Come To Life at Tampa's METROCON Convention

Yesterday I discovered the wild and wacky METROCON Anime Convention that was held for three days at the Tampa Convention Center. A more detailed account of my "visit" to the convention to try and capture some of the promised costumed convention-goers is at yesterday's Tampa Daily Photo and yesterday's post here. Needless to say, I could not let the convention close without one more, relatively tame, photograph. These are two Anime characters that looks to me to be Goths...the subculture found in many countries. There must be an Anime character that's into the Goth music, aesthetics, and dress code of black, black and more black, which these two are representing extremely well on a scorching hot street corner in downtown Tampa. Her parasol is dead-on perfect for the 110-degree feels-like temperature we are experiencing this afternoon. It was fun getting just a taste of an entirely new and interesting segment of our world that I knew nothing about. It was fun and made finding subjects for the camera a real snap. The toughest job was keeping the shots clean, wholesome and marginally sane to these eyes. These cartoon characters are very, very real (in the minds of their most devoted followers, the otaku.) Check back in a year to see my continuing reports on Anime conventions. I will be there on your behalf. Count on it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pierrot Lives: Tampa's Anime Convention Comes to Life

I attended the METROCON Anime Convention - as an observer only - that is being held for three days in Tampa. Today's more complete adventure is on my Tampa Daily Photo post. Check out the longer story and photo. The convention, "Florida's largest," attracts participants in full costume and utter over-the-top enthusiasm. Because our convention center is minutes from my home, and I did need photos for today's posts, I grabbed my camera and gave myself 30 minutes to explore and shoot a few pictures if the convention-goers proved to be decent subjects. Well, they did. And I had a great time. And I'm still out of breathe and cannot fully describe what I saw. This young lass, that is known as "otaku," a Japanese word for those who absolutely love this cartoon phenomena. Obsessive. She was dressed in a fantastic, full Pierrot costume. Anime may be hard to understand or explain, but it is very popular. I thoroughly enjoyed my photo assignment today and may have to return tomorrow to make certain that what I saw today wasn't just some cartoon figment of my imagination.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hyde Park Architectural Styles can live side-by-side in colorful harmony

The extremely colorful house on the left, with a tin roof and Victorian-filigree here and there, is getting a scrapping and fresh coat of a whole palette of warm, sunshine paint colors - pretty bright, right? It was originally a small, 5-600 sq. ft. shotgun style wood-frame. I'm just guessing, but it was probably built in the 1920s. It took on an entirely new existence and identity over the past ten-fifteen years or so as the neighborhood around it, a local and National Historic District, become very desirable; everyone wanted a quaint bungalow and home prices climbed sky high. Existing homes, of which just about about architectural style popular in the first quarter of the 20th century was built, from Craftsman-style bungalows to Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie-style, became subject to strict Architectural Review Board control. Any alterations are carefully scrutinized to protect and preserve the homes and neighborhood. Because it became a place everyone wanted a piece of, this sweet little house has been enlarged, close to tripled in size, with the sensitive addition of an two-story structure to the rear. I think it looks great and fits the house and harmonizes with other homes around it. The much larger house on the right is relatively new, built on an empty lot where a little house once stood. (Empty lots are almost unheard of in the Hyde Park neighborhood and there are very few new homes.) The home it replaced may have been falling down or some dire fate befell it in its past. In it place is another popular style, the Mediterranean. The two present quite a startling contrast to one another. Whichever style you prefer, the wildly fun house on the left that's bursting with charm and color is my pick. Just plop yourself down in a rocker on that porch, drink in hand, good book and get real lazy fast.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Huge Grand Oak Tree Bites The Dust: It takes our history with it

Some days the most mundane, simplest things are happening around your neighborhood, home and life. But they grab your attention. The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department has been working for weeks to remove this once magnificent oak tree from almost right in front of our home. These trees were planted when our houses were built in the 1920s and '30s and this one had definitely reached the end of its useful life. It was probably planted about the time of the Jazz Age; the Great Depression was just on the horizon. Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were all the literary rage and the streets were beautiful, sturdy red brick. The tree shaded soldiers and airmen serving at nearby MacDill Army Air Field all through the 1940s and beyond, and saw long, tall-finned and overly chromed automobiles try to fit into garages built for Model A Fords. President Hoover gave way to Franklin Roosevelt and the tree was growing taller and beginning to provide real shade for kids as they skated and biked the sidewalks and went door-to-door for the scrap metal drive during World War II. This tree has had a very long life and was sick and ailing. It was time. But many in our neighborhood came out to see its dramatic end. This main trunk section, weighing a ton I'll bet, took an hour or more to cut through and then carefully position and lift into the waiting truck. It was a spectacle that none of us will witness again. The sad end to a really grand oak that had grown old, diseased and dangerous. It won't see this year's hurricane season and possibly fall on us or our homes. For that we are grateful. But, we will always miss the welcoming, cooling shade of its branches.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Like New Dock Available. Sunken Ships Need Not Apply.

I don't mean to make light of this situation. No matter what happened, or even the true boater's tale, it must be terribly upsetting to someone. Somewhere. Whoever last registered this Chris-Craft must have had a rude awakening when he grabbed his gear and headed over to the dock to take the old gal out for a leisurely cruise up and down the lazy river. I'm guessing that this boat, before it took on a bit of water, was a 56-foot Chris Craft made sometime in the 1960s. It could be a Sportfisherman, I'm not the yacht expert in my family. It's a guess though, based on Boats for Sale online, of which there are a large, very large number on the market. This boat won't ever enjoy another day under power carrying a party of funseekers, cool, refreshing drinks in hand, baking in the Florida sun. If the story had gone differently for the once proud boat, she would have made it to the new dock in the foreground and lived to enjoy a longer life on top of the water. Even boats have a day when they can't hardly keep their "head" above water.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yo Ho! If it's a Chest Full of Beads, Then It's Tampa's Bead Barn, Matey

No other city in the nation is so associated with the pirate culture and the craven, lusty allure of the bead like the fair city of Tampa. Each year, Tampa's Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, a century-old private group, invades our fair city, fires its cannon at ships in our harbor and takes the key from the mayor. Following their capture of our defenseless townsfolk, they land their pirate ship at the Tampa Convention Center docks and invade our streets with a couple of dozen other Krewes. Crowds of close to 400,000 men, women and kids line Bayshore Boulevard and downtown for the best vantage point to gather beads. BEADS. Oh, glorious beads of every size, color and description. For just one day, pirate beads are the coin of the city's realm as they are fought over, traded, hoarded and worn like real jewels. And guarded and protected as such. It's an annual spectacle of parades, music, food, fun and BEADS. Ah, treasured beads. But as the dark of night creeps in over Gasparilla - and exhausted parade and party-goers - necks weighed down with pounds of beads are unloaded. Lightened of their hard-won bounty, their treasure of beads, the good folks of the Tampa Bay area begin to return to life as they knew it, before the day's invasion. They will and do recover. In the morning, the bead is again worth pennies. Unlike the day before when a 48-inch strand of faux pearls was worth ten times its weight in pure gold. The Bead Barn is the best known and most successful purveyor of beads to blood-thirsty pirates and other Krewes. It knows its customer strikes a hard bargain (and frequently carries a pirate's cutlass to make a point.) The invasion doesn't occur until February so the truck is resting up for the next go-round of delivering tons of sparkling beads destined for treasure-hungry maidens and mateys watching the calendar and sharpening their bead grabbing skills.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is this canal in Venice, Italy? Tampa's Davis Islands and its Venetian-Inspired Canals

David Paul Davis had grand dreams. His dream for Tampa of developing a magnificent islands paradise in Hillsborough Bay became a reality. As Florida experienced a real estate boom in the 1920s, Davis envisioned an entirely new place and way to live on 834 acres brought up by dredging from the bottom of the bay resulting in 11½ miles of water frontage with seawalls, canals and 27 miles of beautiful meandering streets. Plans included homes and businesses, hotels, a yacht and seaplane basin, swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts and a coliseum. Most of his plans became reality and many are still part of the laid-back island lifestyle today. Original and elaborate marketing materials Davis used to sell his development featured couples enjoying a life of waterfront luxury and living on canals that brought to mind those of another island, Venice, Italy. Drawings showed fabulous wood-hulled yachts cruising through the waterways past Mediterranean-inspired homes. The $1,683,582 in sales of homes and lots in his new islands subdivision was a world’s record at the time. This photo of one of the original canals is taken from the Riviera Drive bridge as it crosses over to Riviera Isle. Living today on Davis Islands is just as comfortable and relaxed as Davis envisioned it would be in the 1920s, even before the first shovel of dirt was turned. Even before there was a bridge crossing from Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard to the low spoil land in the bay, Davis had confidence that if he built it, they would come. And they did. His dream came true. Living can still be very good. Davis just knew it would be.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Deep Blue Sea never seemed this huge: Tampa Welcomes the World's Largest Sub-Sea Construction Vessel

Over the course of history, the bays and waters surrounding Tampa have seen every watercraft man could imagine, construct and navigate. From the canoes of the Native-American s who lived along these shores - the Calusa, Creek, Miccosukee and Seminole tribes - to the sailing ships of the 16th century Spanish explorers, the bays and rivers just in from the Gulf of Mexico have known ships of pleasure, commerce, cruising and war. Deep Blue is just the latest to find our port. And for decades that was because of Tampa Repair and its facilities and world-wide reputation for shipbuilding, maintenance and repair. Because of the proximity of the residential islands that front Sparkman Channel and Seddon Channel, it's rather easy to keep an eye on the comings and goings of some of these awesome ships - not counting the fun and colorful cruise ships that come here from all over the world. Here's what I discovered about this giant ship: The Coflexip Stena Offshore (CSO) Deep Blue is the world's largest "ultra deepwater pipelay and subsea construction vessel. It can lay flowlines and umbilicals, and support developments in water depths ranging from 75m to 2,500m." The ship is enormous. It has a length of 206.5m It can carry rigid pipe. Its engines develop 45,000hp and it has the following capacities: "29,606bbl fuel capacity, 377bbl of hydraulic oil, 5,629bbl of fresh water and 9,082bbl of technical water." Its specification are way beyond my understanding or comprehension. All I know is it is quite a sight. Enormous and overwhelming. The website continues: "Hotel accommodation is provided for a total complement of 120 persons, comprising four executive single-occupancy cabins, 18 single-person cabins and 49 two-person cabins. Lifesaving appliances include four 60-man TEMPSC, located two port and two starboard of accommodation. Inflatable life rafts are installed on the upper deck with 100% POB capacity port and starboard," plus "Sikorsky S61 N type helicopters can also be accommodated on the helideck." Visit Ship Technology to learn a lot more. See my Tampa Daily Photo May 28th post about the Little Lighthouse for more on Tampa's ship repair industry. This is just one example of the industries of which Tampa can be very proud. Click on the photo of the Deep Blue. It's truly amazing.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Who can correctly identify this native Florida water bird?

I went out to shoot some boat traffic in the channel as it enters the Hillsborough Bay when this guy decided to take a swim right in front of me and dry himself on the rock. My presence didn't seem to upset him too much. He's pretty wet and was probably in the water having a delicious luncheon snack. Can you identify the type of bird.

Friday, June 12, 2009

SkyWatch Friday: Afternoon storm clouds rolling in over Tampa's Hillsborough Bay

Go to SkyWatch Friday to see the great magic and magnificence of the skies that cover our world. Enjoy the ride and your weekend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A special time and place: Ybor City's Trolleys Take Us Into Our Past

Tampa has a very strong tie to its history in the TECO System Streetcar System and I find it hard to ignore and not notice the tremendous connection with our city's past. Electric trolleys disappeared from our city's streets altogether by 1946 when buses and cars became the "modern" way to move about. If it wasn't for the long dedication and hard work of the Tampa & Ybor City Street Railway Society we would not have the scene like I captured in black and white nearby Centennial Park in Ybor City. “Dedicated to the preservation and restoration of a colorful part of Tampa’s transportation history – the electric Streetcar, " since 1984, the society has worked to restore this great chapter in our history. They have worked with the City of Tampa and HARTline to bring the line back and today passengers can ride from the Tampa Convention Center past the St. Pete Times Forum, Florida Aquarium, Tampa Bay History Center and into the heart of all the sights, sounds and food of Ybor City. It's a fun way to get around but an important link to our past. Long live the trolley.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6, 1944 - The Beaches of Normandy, France: American Cemetery and Memorial

I took these photographs on November 1, 2006 at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. It is a 172 acre cemetery on the bluff above Omaha Beach. Read my entire story in honor of this date, June 6, 1944 and all of those who lost their lives in battle at Tampa Day Photo. American and Allied troops, sailors and airmen participated on this date in Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. Over 9,000 men are buried here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

An Immigrant Family: Ybor City and its Heritage

An immigrant family, mother, father, and their son and daughter, are depicted newly arrived in Ybor City, now a part of Tampa. Simply named Immigrant Statue, it was designed by artist Anthony Cardoso and sculpted by Steve Dickey. It was dedicated in Ybor City's Centennial Park in 1992.

The inscription reads: To those courageous men and women who came to this country in search of personal freedom, economic opportunity and a future of hope for their families.
(To see today's Theme Day: FEET, a detail of this magnificent statue, click her for
Tampa Daily Photo.)