The haves and the have-nots
Tampa strikes me as New Orleans Part 2-a few wealthly people (from other cities) and a boatload of low wage jobs built around tourism, call centers, contract manufacturing, and awful schools. Tampa is a fun place if you are 1) single, 2) are not real ambitious about you career (maybe you can run that call center someday!), 3) like to party. It is not family friendly unless you are wealthy enough to afford one of the few good private schools in the area or lucky enough to get into a magnet school. Despite a great tax system, value-added businesses avoid Floritucky like the plague as the labor force sucks. No biotech, no real tech, very little advertising, no or little money mgmt (lots of sleazeball brokers). By the way, Tampa shouldn't have a city flag but a brass pole. Strip city. Neck it up!
fort de soto beach
when in the tampa area a great place to visit are the pinellas county beaches. fort de soto county park is a beautiful oasis in the tampa-st. pete metropolitain urban sprawl. fort de soto park offers a beautitul unspoiled beach, historic fort desoto, camping, fishing, and a ferry to edgmont key state park. fort de soto park is located on the southern most tip of the pinellas peninsula in south saint petersburg. from downtown tampa take I-275 across tampa bay then south past downtown saint petersburg. exit I-275 at pinellas bayway to terra verde. the address is 3500 pinellas bay way south.
Tampa's Cigar Industry-Cigar Capital of the World!
In the heyday of the cigar industry, Tampa had some 200 cigar factories producing millions of hand-rolled cigars each month, and was the largest producer of cigars int he world. This industry started in 1879 when Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his factory here from Key West, and other big manufacturers followed. Most of the factory workers were Cuban immigrants, who spoke Spanish and are credited with creating the Cuban sandwich. During the Great Depression, the cigar industry suffered and almost disappeared from Tampa. Today, just a few small manufacturers still exist in the city.
Today, about 24 of the old cigar factories still stand, 10 in West Tampa, west of the Hillsborough River and the bulk of them east of the river in and around Ybor City. The factories were typically built on an east-west axis with plenty of windows allowing for good lighting throughout the day, since the factories did not have electric lights. Many of this buildings are now in use as as offices, warehouses, industrial facilities, shopping centers, government offices, churches, or are vacant; none of these former factories are used for cigar production any more.
In Ybor there is a historical marker that says the following:
THE CIGAR INDUSTRY
In 1886 two cigar factories were completed
at Tampa signaling the founding of the
industry in the area. Pioneer manufacturer
was Vicente Martinez Ybor, a native of Spain,
who had made cigars in Havana and Key West
Ybor's move to Tampa was prompted by better
transportation and favorable terms offered by
Tampa's Board of Trade. Due to the efforts
of Ybor and his associates, Tampa became a
world tobacco manufacturing center.
Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials
In Cooperation With
Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Tampa Bay Downs - horse racing
A pretty nice track. Offers in and outdoor areas, restaurants etc.
I've been to some group events here that were nice. They cater.
Also offers poker
I don't know a thing about horses, horse racing or gambling but every time I've been here I've had a good time. See the website if you want to learn about betting etc (under education on their website below)
11225 Racetrack Rd., Tampa, Florida 33626
Main Phone (813) 855-4401
Toll Free (866)-TBDOWNS (823-6967)