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Florida of the Day: Carole Baskin’s “Hey, all you cool cats and kittens!” masks

You can now buy masks from Big Cat Rescue (yes, it’s here in Tampa, and yes, I’ve been there) featuring Carole Baskin’s catch phrase, “Hey, all you cool cats and kittens!” online. Sardine oil not included.

Alas, there are still no sexy Tiger King-themed halloween costumes.

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This joke about Tom Brady’s overpriced immune system vitamins is just begging to be told

Tom Brady has been in Tampa only a few weeks, but he hasn’t wasted any time transforming into a Florida Man. First he gets kicked out of a park that was clearly marked closed as a pandemic measure, then he walks into the wrong house with his duffel bags, ready for a training session, and now he’s hawking non FDA-approved vitamins at $45 for a bottle of 60 pills whose ingredients are pretty much the same as Emergen-C.

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Pre-pandemic photos #3: Thirsty Thursday at the new New World Brewery

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Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligator“The Thirsty Thursday Throng” is Seminole Heights’ regular weekly gathering at a local bar to conversation, camaraderie, and craft beer. We were regulars at this event, at least until staying at home became the smart play.

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Our usual venue is Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, but we occasionally shake things up by getting together at some other place in the neighborhood. That was the case the last time we got together in person (Thursday, March 12th), when we decided to gather at New World Brewery’s  new location. They used to be in Ybor City, but had to relocate when the spot they were on got turned into condos. Ybor’s loss is Seminole Heights’ gain, and in the process, they got a nice large space, and it’s a quick Lyft or bike ride away from our place.

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We’re looking forward to getting back together with all the local (ir)regulars, and if you’re in the area once things get closer to what passes for normal, we’d love to see you there!

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Produce Wagon: A new gem in Seminole Heights

Wide-angle photo of the Produce Wagon from its left side, with Fabiola in a lawn chair behind the wagon, a large oak tree and house in the background, and Joey’s light blue bicycle on the right.

Produce Wagon. Photo by Joey deVilla.
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Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligator

“Is that new?” I wondered when I first biked past Produce Wagon at the corner of E. Crawford and N. 13th Avenue a couple of weeks ago. The red wooden wagon with the cheerful sign is only a few blocks from our house, and I’d been biking right by it for a few days. Yesterday, I went there when they were open (at that location, they’re open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.).

Wide-angle photo of the Produce Wagon from its right side, with Joey’s light blue bicycle in the foreground, and their whiteboard price list to the right.

Produce Wagon. Photo by Joey deVilla.
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I was greeted warmly by Patti Mars and Fabiola Garcia, the proprietors. I asked them if they’d just started because I hadn’t seem them before (we’ve been in our new house for a year now), and since their wagon and sign looked pretty new. Patti told me that they’d only been running Produce Wagon for a couple of weeks, but that Fabiola comes from a family with three generations’ experience in selling produce.

Closer-up photo of the Produce Wagon, showing its basket of apples, strawberries, eggs, mangoes, oranges, mushrooms, and bananas.

Produce Wagon. Photo by Joey deVilla.
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According to this Patch.com article, Patti and Fabiola had been thinking about opening a produce stand for months, but couldn’t find the right location at the right price. They shelved the idea until they heard an NPR report about how people aren’t eating as much fresh produce because they’ve been going to the grocery less often due to the pandemic. That’s when they decided to resurrect the produce stand idea and provide a way for people in the neighborhood to get fresh fruits and vegetables. Their produce comes from the wholesale markets east of here, which they pick up twice a week, very early in the morning.

I picked up some dinner fixings from them: zucchini, mushrooms, a vidalia onion, and a can of coconut milk. They also have cans of red, green, and Massaman curry paste, which I’ll keep in mind, as the nearest Asian grocery store is a couple of miles away. They’re understandably a little pricier than my usual produce market, Bearss Groves, but they can’t be beat for convenience and the opportunity to get to know another neighbor. I think I’m going to be a regular!

Produce Wagon’s whiteboard price list.

Produce Wagon’s price list. Photo by Joey deVilla.
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Produce Wagon is currently open at these locations and times:

To find out where they’ll be and what they’re selling, check out their Facebook page.