Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Old Mini in Ybor City

A few weeks ago I was in Tampa and took a swing through Ybor City with my family.  I was searching for a good Cuban sandwich and a couple of pounds of the local coffee.

Ybor City was founded in the late 1880s by Cuban, Italian, and Spanish immigrants.  Up until about World War II it was home to some of the largest cigar factories in the U.S.  After World War II, like many urban areas, it went through a period of decline and abandonment.  

In the last twenty years Ybor City has seen a rebirth, becoming a home to artists, bars, nightclubs, and little shops.  There are also several good coffee companies that make a variation of the Havana dark roast.  And if you like cigars, you can still find places that hand roll Cuban seed tobacco in the time honored fashion.  

Today Ybor City has an eclectic vibe that is equal parts beatnik, goth, and Spanish/Cuban.  It's Tampa's French Quarter but with it's own unique eccentric flavor.  Almost as if to punctuate that point, I stumbled upon this classic Mini outside a cafe.  An old VW Beetle or 1950's Yank Tank might seem a more obvious choice, but the Mini perfectly sums up the offbeat vibe of the community.    

No comments:

Post a Comment