Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ybor City


For Y day at the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I want to show you some of the beauty in a neighborhood of Tampa, Florida that is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in the State of Florida.  And, since my theme is America the Beautiful, and my secondary theme is using photos buried in my iPhone, this Y day was not a challenge for me at all.

Ybor City was not a desirable neighborhood when I lived in Tampa, but it has been transformed over the past 40 years, with the history and the Latin vibe shining through.  Daytime, it is family friendly.  Nighttime, more of a party atmosphere.

Here are some pictures of Ybor City, including a Saturday market I went to in 2013.

One of the highlights of Ybor City (named after a cigar manufacturer) is the Columbia Restaurant, which opened in 1905.

Here are some pictures taken near or at the restaurant.
A closeup of the tile work.
If you can't have living flowers, these are the next best thing.

It's been many years since I last ate at the Columbia, so I can't endorse the food, but I'd like to try their "1905" salad one day.  You will get some good Cuban food here.

And it is even more beautiful inside.  Maybe, I'll eat there the next time I visit Tampa (next year, perhaps?)

Ironically, for a neighborhood named after a cigar maker by the name of Vincent Martinez Ybor, the cigar industry Ybor City was once known for is fading away.

But, despite that, Ybor City is well worth the visit.

12 comments:

  1. Ohhhh, I just love fancy tile work, especially mosaics. This looks like a very pretty place. Now that you've teased us, Alana, you're going to have to go back and take some pictures of the inside and report back in this space! ;)

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    1. I suppose I'll have to. Just for research and blogging purposes, of course.

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  2. Look at that brickwork! The art and architecture are beautiful!
    @Get Lost in Lit

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    1. Yes, it is beautiful. I have more pictures - perhaps I'll find a way to work them into next year's A to Z.

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  3. Beautiful artistry in the tiles. Obviously a strong Cuban influence...I would think with the cigar industry...as In Havana. With a restaurant named Columbia...maybe all from South America. Which or what ever the influence, it has stood the test of time...for sure a salad made in 1905...LOL.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. Much of it is a Cuban influence, yes. When I visited Tampa in 1969, Ybor City was somewhat slumlike, but a cousin who grew up in Tampa (he no longer loves there) took me there and I saw the potential. I'm so happy the neighborhood is on its way up again.

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  4. This tile work is so beautiful. I'd love to try some authentic cuban food there. Sounds like a fun place to visit.

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    1. It is fun, Barbara, and the Columbia has high ratings on restaurant rating websites. They've opened several other "branches" now, but to me, the Columbia and Ybor City will always be intertwined.

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  5. I love the titles. I used to sell tiles (blank) to different people and some of them was done up quite creative.
    Coffee is on

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    1. They are amazing tiles. Beautiful designs.

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  6. So is Ybor pronounced like a long I - like Ibor? Anyway, thanks once again for a fascinating post and beautiful pictures - and when I see tile or mosaic, it makes me think of quilt designs!

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    1. No, the Y is a long E as in "eeee-bor". You would love to see the entire block the Columbia is located on. The tilework in my pictures doesn't begin to capture the beauty.

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