As of October 22nd, I started at vendor booth at the famous Ybor Saturday Market.
It all starts with pile of gear and supplies, at 7am.
Up and running, open for business!
I am first up, right at the front door of the Market.
As I took the picture, it led me to think that although it has been a staple of neighborhoods across the country for ages, it is getting very little use these days. As many people have turned to email, text messaging and other forms of electronic communication, the tried-and-true mailbox is getting less and less personal use. As creditors and other bill collectors offer virtual payment due notifications as well as online and mobile payment systems, the mailbox stands basically as a pretty symbol. It has stood the test of time and weathered the storm, but there’s one thing that old-world items cannot stand against: the unbelievable force of the Digital Age.
The one institution that is taking it squarely on the chin is the U.S. Postal System. The look, feel and thrill of receiving an actual letter, is all but forgotten these days. With Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook waving the banner of our everyday lives, few if any people sit down and create an actual letter. However, I personally have one. My dear friend, Katherine, takes the time, effort and love to send me a postcard from wherever in the world she may be, as close as her home in Colorado or as far as her new adventure in Japan. And in that, my love and caring for her is anything but virtual.
Take a good look. We’ve all seen this before, though we rarely recognize it when so plainly put. A choice. Pure and simple. Left or right, up or down, job or college… right or wrong. Each and every day of our lives is filled with choices. Some so little we barely notice, and yet subconsciously do. And some so large and frightening that we freeze in our tracks, and do nothing. But choose we must, and choose we will. So, choose wisely.
While walking our local 1/4 mile path, I noticed this majestic tree that somehow loss a significant part of itself. Obviously, the fallen limb has died away, without the care, love and nourishment of the trunk itself. To get deep, for a moment, it can be said that without the close connection to family and friends, a small part of us “dies away” when we too are forced to break away.
It hit me like an explosion. An explosion of color! I was in Publix for milk, lemonade and bananas. I picked a bunch of bananas and grabbed one of those thin plastic fruit bags for transport. With bananas in one hand and the still closed bag in the other, I was one hand short, so I placed my yellow bananas atop a group of green bananas. Immediately, I saw The Picture! Just as immediately, I whipped out my Galaxy S5 and snapped a quick photo. Yes! Spontaneous Photography was born!
Here’s how I created the term, in four words: Just Take the Shot! Simply put, when something interesting, creative and/or thought provoking grabs your attention, just take the shot! Before it gets away, you over think it or Life intrudes. You see, an image in Spontaneous Photography can be purely beautiful, even if no one really sees it… but You!
Ybor City. Classic. Historic. Beautiful. I never thought there would be a city that I would love as much, or more, than New York City, but then comes historic Ybor City. With its old world flavor and charm, it is the perfect visual candy after an over dose of gleaming glass and chrome towers. Cobble stone streets and crosswalks, sidewalk cafes and a fully functional trolley car transit system! Yes, Ybor is the place to be. And I am blessed and honored to have my photography studio right in the heart of it!
The Gateway to another time and place… Historic Ybor City! It may not be very large as in square mileage, but it is huge in character and personality. In fact, it is officially listed as a neighborhood (located just northeast of downtown Tampa), and designated as a National Historic Landmark District. And in 2008, the American Planning Association was so taken by Ybor’s busy 7th Avenue, which is the main commercial thoroughfare, that it recognized it as “One of the 10 Great Streets in America!”
I love the trolley cars, though I have to admit, I have yet to ride one. With their distinctive sound and “old movie” appeal, some people actually ride the trolley as a ride, with no real place to go.
The stylish but modern Muvico Theater. As much as Ybor City holds fast to its Old World ways and looks, there must be places and activities that speak to a broader audience. Also in the area is a game room, for young and old, alike.
The Italian Club. Tampa’s first Italian-American Society was organized April 4, 1894, with 116 Italian and eight Spanish immigrants. It started its monthly meetings on the first Sunday of every month, at 10:30am, even though organized religion may have preferred otherwise, and that schedule continues today.
No Ybor City photo set would be complete without the world famous Columbia Restaurant! Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.
Rich in history, culture and food. When visiting Tampa, one must visit Ybor City, to dine at the Columbia if for no other reason. Who else shares my opinion? In 2010, Nation’s Restaurant News crowned the Columbia as a “Top 50 All-American Icon!”
Cigars are even more of a staple in Ybor City than the wonderful food, and King Corona is a long standing cigar bar and restaurant that serves as a daily meeting place for many residents and workers.
Right above the King Corona is the Ybor Art Colony. It is cooperative of artist, painters, sculptors and photographers, me being one. I am proud to call Florida my home and Ybor City my business location. And with the support and connections of other creative individuals in the Colony, I feel more energized than ever in my craft!
To view the entire Ybor City gallery, please visit this link: Ybor City Historic District