Friday, October 08, 2010

Skywatch Friday, Season 4, Episode 13 - Paradise Found: Autumn in Tampa


Fall weather has really arrived in Tampa and along the Gulf Coast. When I took this picture it was 78 degrees, 47% humidity, a light, almost cloudless sky and no wind. It is so nice our air conditioning, which runs about 300 days a year, is off. It was a delightful evening to walk along the channel on Davis Islands and watch the sunset and lights come up on the boats and buildings of Harbour Island and downtown office towers. If you look close in the left center you'll see the blue roof of the Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk of the Tampa Convention Center. THE place to sit, cool off with a drink, enjoy the pet friendly atmosphere right on the water, have something to eat and watch the sunset in the western sky.


Visit Skywatch Friday to see the beauty and wonders of the world's most magnificent skies. It's always an amazing show and all brought to you by Skywatchers from all over the planet.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Roland Manteiga: Conscience of the community


Roland Manteiga (1920–1998) was the owner and publisher of La Gaceta newspaper in Tampa's Ybor City. A trilingual tab paper, it is still a weekly must read by everyone who's anyone...or wants to know all that's happening in Tampa and Hillsborough County. To learn more about the statue and the colorful and exciting life and times of Manteiga, click HERE.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Knight and Shining Vacuum Cleaner


Honestly, could there be a stranger, more eclectic collection of "stuff" for sale? Really?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Flintstones' Car: Fred, Wilma and Pebbles Ride In Style




Last September I posted the hilarious M & Ms Peanut chocolate car (left). Check it out HERE to see what the imagination, automotive painting skills and design talent can create on four very shiny wheels.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Non-political Blue Dog

Our Pekingese, Dr. Porter, has a basket-full of chew-toys. After his "spa" visit yesterday, for an overdue bath and grooming, he got to pick out a new toy. One of his favorites at home, "worm dog," is a smallish pink dog. All on his own he wandered the aisles and chose a new toy, Blue Dog, to chomp in his mouth and carry out from the store. He was so proud. He's the man! (WARNING: DO NOT try to take this toy from his mouth. NOTE: Pekingese have teeth like piranha.)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hanging Around Gaspar's Cigar


This pirate-looking cutthroat hangs from the flag pole in front of Gaspar's Cigar Shop on South Westshore Blvd. (Note that he is actually under lock and key so forget about adding him to your mannequin collection back home.) Gaspar's was voted "Best Cigar Shop" in 2008 & 2009 and offers fine premium cigars in an all-hours smoking environment. Visit Gaspar's HERE to see what a great Tampa cigar shop looks like.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Now Serving Pelican Sandwiches?

It appears as though the diner clutching his huge c=sandwich and cold drink has just realized he's about to bite into the meat of a fine feathered Florida waterbird. This mural is on the side of Coco's Sandwich Shop on South 22nd Avenue in Tampa's Palmetto Beach neighborhood. They serve a lot of Cuban sandwiches, maybe a fried alligator or two, but no pelicans yet. (I wonder what pelican tastes like?)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Len Prince: Changing Identities - Photographs of Jessie Mann


This evening was the Wrap Party for the exhibition Changing Identities: The Len Prince Photographs of Jessie Mann. The event, hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg Friends of Photography, featured the photographer in a very casual one-on-one discussion of his art, his model and muse, Jessie Mann (the daughter of photographer Sally Mann), and an enlightening Q & A with Len about his techniques and working relationship with Jessie. It was all terribly interesting and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the artist. The print shown above, my favorite in the show, features Jessie in a pose that strongly resembles the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in front of her mirror. It's an exceptional image and a very powerful example of Len's body of work with Jessie Mann.

Here is the Museum of Fine Arts' description of the exhibition: "Len Prince is celebrated for glamorous portraits of Hollywood stars and sleek advertisements for Cartier and Estée Lauder. In 2001 he met a self-possessed young woman, Jessie Mann, who had practically grown up in front of the camera. Sally Mann’s nude photographs of her children, including Jessie, created great controversy, igniting debate over child exploitation, censorship, and the nature of art.

"By the end of Prince’s first session photographing the adult Jessie, she had become his muse. What followed was a five-year collaboration exploring archetype, transformation, and identity. These have become some of Prince’s most accomplished and respected photographs.

"Prince and Mann make compelling images that reference paintings, famous photographs, historical figures, and mythology. They have been inspired by Ingres’ sumptuous Grand Odalisque, May Ray’s solarized image of Lee Miller, and Robert Mapplethorpe’s self- portrait in leather chaps, among other images. While these photographs can be disturbing and stark, they are often beautiful and fascinating. Theatrical and seductive, these unforgettable images explore the relationship between viewer, subject, and artist by examining personae and their meaning, as well as the very nature of the self." - Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mighty Sturdy Electric Standup Vehicle and Environmentally Friendly, Too.


This secuity officer in Ybor City is ridng a T3 Series electric standup vehicle (ESV) from T3 Motion of Costa Mesa, CA. It's pretty cool and the lights were even flashing like on a police squad car. And, it's might sturdy!!

This from their corporate website: "The T3 Series is a zero-gas-emission, clean-energy innovation that is simple, intuitive and economical to operate. With significant breakthroughs in its proprietary power management and propulsion system, this performer delivers high "mpg" equivalent, long battery run time, short recharge time, and plug 'n play battery modules.

It is highly stable with a low center of gravity, offers wide visibility for the driver elevated on an 9-inch platform, strikes a commanding presence, can access restricted spaces including elevators and narrow corridors, handles curbs easily, and is highly agile with a zero-degree turning radius. And it's very quiet.

The T3 Series is designed to enhance patrols to save driver energy and increase response times. Lockable, onboard storage is easily accessible. For maximum flexibility, two swappable battery packs mean virtually no downtime. And, with dramatically fewer parts than gasoline-powered vehicles, the T3 Series is high on reliability and low on maintenance. Not to mention an operating cost of around 10 cents per day.

The T3 Series is truly the next generation in green personal transportation solutions."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SS American Victory Ship


The SS American Victory is docked just behind the Florida Aquarium in Tampa’s Channel District. I posted a photo that more clearly shows the length and size of the ship HERE. She was built in Los Angeles and delivered to the U.S. War Shipping Administration on May 24, 1945. She was named after American University in Washington, DC, to honor the school’s contributions to war training and weapons research during both World War I and World War II. Regular tours of the ship are available and it is quite an adventure as you explore a good portion of the ship and learn of its history. Very well worth it! For more info about the SS American Victory click HERE.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go-Fast Boats Partying at Sunset


The docks of the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel on Garrison Chanel were packed with "go-fast" boats gathered for a "fun run" by the West Coast Powerboat Club of Florida. Headquartered near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, the go-fast boat owners and guests were partying up a storm in Tampa with music, food, drink and lots of good looking people. A blast!!

The boats ranged from sport and multi-use center consoles to luxurious performance cruisers plus the a bevy of sleek, colorful Go-Fast boats that such as Spectre, Donzi and Cigarettes.

The homes, apartments and condominiums of Harbour Island are across the channel and have a great view of the incredible watercraft and all the fun. The weather, too, was perfect.

Friday, September 17, 2010

SKYWATCH Friday, Season, 4 Episode 10

Tampa's late summer sky in all its glory.

Visit Skywatch Friday to see the beauty and wonders of the world's most magnificent skies. It's always an amazing show and all brought to you by Skywatchers from all over the planet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Time for Simple Pleasures

Ah, the simple pleasures. To just kick back and enjoy a fine cigar and superb glass of wine as I explore and capture the people, places and things that are Tampa. It's the good life and terrific city.

I've been absent for several days as an important change have developed that will alter my life and daily routine for many months. It's an extremely positive and even exciting change - a new and challenging opportunity in my career that will take me away from Tampa each day at least through the summer and perhaps into the fall.

I am really looking forward to this unique and unexpected adventure which lies ahead.

I will try to visit your sites and comment as I can, but I won't be able to post with any regularity. I will be buried in new responsibilities and am not sure what the weeks and months ahead will mean to my time. I already miss the fun and great pleasure Tampa Daily Photo and Tampa Florida Photo have given me...and the friendships that I have with you and my loyal Followers.

I will miss you and look forward to the days ahead. When I can, I will return.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's warm in Florida

It's not terribly warm right now in the Tampa Bay area but compared to many parts of the USA it's sweltering. Walks on the beach have become a bit nippy, but I haven't shoveled any snow. It's even warm enough that Ann Taylor mannequins are now going topless. Not a sweater, earmuff or wool scarf in sight.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Offshore racing at Rick's on the River

I found this mural of offshore race boats on the wall at Rick's On the River.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gotta see Godspell at the Jaeb Theater


We were thrilled to be given tickets for the musical Godspell performed in the the Robert and Lorena Jaeb Theater at Tampa's Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The Straz is the largest perfroming arts center south of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and tonight it was a full house. All four theaters were packed with audiences to see a wide range of musical theater - Wicked is playing in the largest space, Morsani Hall, Swan Lake by the Moscow Festival Ballet, Stepping with Step Afrika! and the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico fill the other theaters - and Godspell, first performed in 1971, is in my favorite performance space at the Straz, the wonderful and intimate Jaeb Theater. Our seats, with great thanks to Courtney, a wonderful friend of the family - were right at the stage; there were no better in the house. The musical continues through May 16. I highly recommend it. It was a terrific evening and an early Valentine's date night.

Although it was in the low 40s when we left at 9:30, the night was crisp, clear and invigorating. We stepped down to the riverfront and the gorgeous fountains to take some photos of the lights and colorful reflections. I would have lingered but Mrs. Tampa DP was freezing to death. Next time, when it warms a bit, I'll take some nighttime photos of the nearby and brand new Tampa Museum of Art.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Simple Dock Construction


Equipment filled the narrow canal behind some beautiful waterfront homes as an owner had a private, multi-level, floating dock built. No simple task but from the looks of the results so far, this should last through all but the worst hurricane.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ambulance by chopper: Air Methods to the rescue


If you spend any time at all on Harbour Island, Davis Islands or along Bayshore Boulevard near downtown, you will see a helicopter either taking straight off from the landing pad on the waterfront at Tampa General Hospital, or one coming in over the water to a careful landing. A patient in need of critical emergency care is always at stake. Tampa General is the area’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and one of just four burn centers in Florida. The Air Methods Corporation that operates this helo is the largest provider of air medical emergency transport services and systems in the US. They claim to transport almost 100,000 each year who all require intensive medical treatment from from either an accident scene or or general care hospitals to one such as Tampa general which provides highly skilled trauma care. Air Methods operates 300 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft at 249 bases in 42 states. Wow. They are quite a company and one which provide life-saving services. Literally.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Too big for the frame


345 Bayshore Boulevard is a condominium tower right at the bridges to Davis Islands.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

MONOCHROME Weekend Vol. 2 Issue 24


If you sometimes think the world looks better in black and white, and every shade of gray, go see some of the most interesting people and places HERE at Monochrome Maniacs!


It's made possible each week by
Aileni.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

NEW Tampa Museum of Art Opens

The new 66,000 square foot Tampa Museum of Art, on the left, opened today with a public grand opening opening ceremony and about 2,000 guests. It is a spectacular building designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz from San Francisco, CA. On the right is the soon to open Glazer Children's Museum. Both front the just completed Curtis Hixon Park on the Hillsborough River. My daughter, Kris, who is an accomplished photographer, took the photo.

Friday, February 05, 2010

SKYWATCH Friday Season 4 Episode 30



One of my favorite scenes: the minarets of the University of Tampa shot from across the Hillsborough River as the sun begins to set.



Visit Skywatch Friday to see the beauty and wonders of the world's most magnificent skies. It's always an amazing show and all brought to you by Skywatchers from all over the planet.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sail Pavilion on the waterfront at the Tampa Convention Center


The Sail Pavilion is in the bottom center with a blue roof. What a terrific place to stop, relax, kick back and enjoy life in Tampa. It a wonderful place when you're downtown and is easy and close by wherever you might be. It's the perfect hang-or if your attending a convention at the Tampa Convention Center or visiting the Tampa Bay History Center. If you're a guest at the Waterside Marriott, Embassy Suites or Wyndham Harbour Island Hotel, this is the escape you will really appreciate. If you're a walker, jogger, boater, bike rider or just exploring Tampa's Riverwalk, you'll find this is the place to stop and take a break. You're right on the water and can really enjoy the sunset view or watch boats docking...yours preferably at the public docks 10 yards from your seat at Sail. They serve a variety of beverages including cold beer, soft drink or healthy beverages.

After making your way around Tampa’s Riverwalk you will delight in finding Sail Pavilion. Pus, if you own a Pekingese, or some other brand, it is very dog friendly. They have water dishes and complimentary dog bones. Your hound will think it's his/her place. They are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 4:00 p.m.—10:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m.,and Sunday 11:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

WATERY Wednesday #73


I posted a shot of this ship, the Lucky Lady II, once before. It is docked in front of the Shoppes at Knights Point on Harbour Island.

Click HERE to see other wet and Watery Wednesday images from around the world.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Snug at the Dock: Hunter Sailboat and Ocean Yacht

Which would you choose? The delightful and fine handling Hunter sailboat or the exceptional Ocean Sportfishing and Cruising Yacht that sits beside her?

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Little Woman Atop Her Mighty (strong) Steed: Botero's Rape of Europa


While visiting the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts last Sunday, we got to get up close and personal to three monumental bronze sculptures created by Fernando Botero. These huge sculptures are part of the exhibition, The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. Botero, born in Columbia in 1932, created "The Rape of Europa" in 1999. That's one fine looking little woman atop that steed. Right? She and her animal weigh approximately 2,500 pounds!

Her is what USA Today Magazine wrote about Botero in August 2008: Botero converted his painterly ideas into "bronze and marble sculpture, which have become a seminal element in his oeuvre. His monumental bronzes are seen by perplexed strollers along the Champs Elysées in Paris, in front of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and along Park Avenue in New York. The large figures transform their surroundings into a world of fantasy, as seen in Venice where his bronzes adorn the squares along the Grand Canal, or when his sensuous nudes are mirrored in the reflecting pools in front of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.


The Piti is a fantastic place to see Botero's work. The last time I was there I enjoyed a Bristish car show lined up on the sidewalk out front. (Our son studied architercture there and actually lived in the buiding directly across from the Piti. A favorite coffee shop is right there, the Bar Piti. (Oh what a great city!!)

The subjects of his sculpture - The Baroque World of Fernando Botero - includes a selection of recent sculptures never before shown in North America. They "draw from ancient Greek mythology,' points out Miranda Lash, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art....Zeus reappears again in 'Rape of Europa' (1999) as Europa's comically placid and portly steed. The soon-to-be ravished Europa sits proudly on the back of the bull, seductively in control, an attitude assumed by many of the women in Botero's sculptures. ..."

A Latin American painter, sculptor, and draftsman, Botero depicts the "comedy of human life—moving or ironic, baroque in expression, sometimes with a mocking observation, and sometimes with a deep, elementary emotion. He has created a world of his own with a particular blend of violence and beauty."

The current show in St. Petersburg is the first retrospective of his work in North America since 1974. Included are 100 paintings, sculptures, and drawings selected from the artist’s private collection. Many works have never been exhibited in public. (The exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. John Sillevis from the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, curated the exhibition. ) This show at the MFA runs through April 4th.

Botero's works are collected by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Hermitage Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn and others.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Giving me the finger?


We spent Saturday afternoon and evening at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg with the Friends of Photography, a small group of folks with a passion for photography. While there we had the pleasure to explore three really huge bronze sculptures that are part of the exhibition, The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. Botero, born in Columbia in 1932, created The Hand in 1985. The position of the middle finger is particular revealing and pointed and must have some meaning for the artist that I could not uncover. It weighs approximately 2,500 pounds!

Botero explains his use of these "large people", as they are often called by critics, or obese figures and forms thus: "An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it."
You would instantly recognize his paintings and sculptures as they feature unusually large, tremendous, XXX-plus sized women and even some men. Big. Rotund. As in three seats on a commercial jetliner.


A Latin American painter, sculptor, and draftsman, Botero depicts the "comedy of human life—moving or ironic, baroque in expression, sometimes with a mocking observation, and sometimes with a deep, elementary emotion. He has created a world of his own with a particular blend of violence and beauty." In 2005, Botero produced a series over 80 paintings and drawings which depicted the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The current show in St. Petersburg is the first retrospective of his work in North America since 1974. Included are 100 paintings, sculptures, and drawings selected from the artist’s private collection. Many works have never been exhibited in public. (The exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. John Sillevis from the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, curated the exhibition. ) This show at the MFA runs through April 4th.

Botero's works are collected by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Hermitage Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn and others.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

She's a Big Gal: Fernando Botero's "Woman Smoking a Cigarette"



We crossed Tampa Bay to spend an afternoon and evening at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg with the Friends of Photography. This small but special group of men and women of all ages brings a passion to their interest in the history of photography, photographers and the medium since its very beginnings in the 19th century. We gathered just before the closing of an exhibit called the Legends of Photography. Many familiar and famous names were represented on the walls. Afterward we gathered at a fine restaurant to continue our great discussion. The group includes some collectors, several well-known photographers, those just started to explore photography, spouses, friends and young couples. I was really looking forward to going because of the unprecedented exhibition at the museum, The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. (It runs through April 4.)

A Latin American painter, sculptor, and draftsman , Botero depicts the "comedy of human life—moving or ironic, baroque in expression, sometimes with a mocking observation, and sometimes with a deep, elementary emotion. He has created a world of his own with a particular blend of violence and beauty." This is the first retrospective of his work in North America since 1974. Included are 100 paintings, sculptures, and drawings selected from the artist’s private collection. Many works have never been exhibited in public. (The exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. John Sillevis from the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, curated the exhibition. )


On the grounds of the museum, located on Beach Drive facing the Vinoy Basin, are three of Botero's largest and best known sculptures. This greatly oversized bronze figure, created in 1987, is called Women Smoking a Cigarette. She is magnificent as are all of his sculptures. Smoking Woman weighs approximately 2,500 pounds!! You've just got to love her. I'll post one or two more in the days ahead.