Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Will your shark require a stool, sir? Have you heard the joke about the shark, the life raft and .....


Admit it. You have always dreamed of having your own life raft at your entryway and several tons of shark overhead crashing through the foamy surf. If you thought you couldn't experience this in your lifetime, there is a place that's a little hidden away but is well known to a bunch of locals. It is Stoney's Bar & Package Lounge on South 22nd Street in Palmetto Beach. Stoney's wasn't always off the beaten path. These days, a drink doesn't come with the constant roar and pounding of heavy truck and car traffic and maybe that a good thing…although the owner might have a very different take as he closes out the register in the wee hours each night. Most of the traffic was diverted to 20th Street with its widening to six lanes. Locals who can walk over probably love the peace and comfort of their own stool with friends close by. Palmetto Beach has always been about friends, close neighbors and everyone knowing everyone. Of course, this hard working neighborhood isn't really that hidden away. Most folks have heard of it, but they don't have a clue where it is. It is in Tampa, just minutes south of Adamo Drive, Highway 60, and Ybor City. It's real close to Tampa’s port and the marine and ship repair industry have always been a big part of its economy and history. Although it sees it share of north/south traffic on 20th, its residential streets are quiet and unhurried. It has never seen the kind of attention Ybor City to its north has received over the years of rebirth and rediscovery. With the millions pumped into the widening of 20th Street, Palmetto Beach’s main drag, 22nd Street, has assumed an altogether new identity in traffic, feel and character. It’s near dead now compared to before the widening and improvements. I found that 1930s gasoline station, that I posted on may 12th, now reused as a laundromat, just up the street. Stoney’s is more of a local hang-out now and welcomes its regulars and workers from the port and the ships. Palmetto Beach is a quiet throwback to Tampa of the 40s or 50s. The street has pulled back decades to an earlier era and maybe that’s a good thing. The huge shark at Stoney's is just as fun and welcoming and if the night goes real long, and the car seems like a bad idea for the trip home, there is always the life raft at the ready. Tell the valet to bring the red raft with the netting around.

7 comments:

Jacob said...

You are very funny, Frank! Are you sure you weren't a comedian?

Love the shot. Great colors!

Lisa Wilson said...

That's too funny! Great photo.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Very lovely !! This is something amusing !! Great..Unseen Rajasthan

Cezar and Léia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting and informative post!
Hello friend!
My name is Luna and I came to visit you from Jacob's blog!
Your blog is really cool, conCATulations!
purrs and love
mommy Léia and Luna(from Brazil)

Hilda said...

That's a funky bar! Love it!

Christopher Raun Leth said...

That's a very fun image. It does seem like taken out of the 40's or 50's.