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It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

Photos from 2023 #4: Neighborhood snapshots

Lake Roberta is on my daily bike ride, and four circuits around it make a mile. I stopped for a moment to take this photo, which is one of my favorite scene shots from 2023:

Sun setting on Lake Roberta, in Tampa’s Seminole Geights neighborhood.

I combine errands with my daily bike ride, which includes grocery shopping. The nearest Publix is around the corner from Lake Roberta, so the two are often tied together:

The Publix in Seminole Heights, an art deco-looking grocery store with palm trees and sun in the background, and my bike in the foreground.

Also on my regular bike ride: Patterson Street Park and the “paisley” with glass from Gott Glass, which I covered in the previous posting in this series:

A paisley-shaped granite table in the middle of a park, with colored glass inlaid into its surface.

I often end up passing by one of the few remaining Lustron houses in the world, just a couple of blocks over from our place. These are houses made of enamel-painted steel that came in kit form and were available in the late 1940s, and one of them is in Seminole Heights:

A 1950s-looking all-steel house painted metallic blue.

The house was on this year’s Seminole Heights House Tour, and the owners did a fantastic job preserving its 1950s vibe. I’ll post the interior photos that I took on the tour later.

There’s no shortage of murals in Seminole Heights, including many that feature our mascot, “Bite or Smite,” the two-headed alligator:

A “Welcome to Fabulous Seminole Heights” mural, featuring the two-headed alligator named “Bite or Smite.”

Here’s the mural behind Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, a long-time and beloved institution here in Seminole Heights:

The mural on the back wall of Ella’s Americana Art Cafe, featuring various insects as a band on their musical instruments.

Ella’s owner, Melissa Deming, has been running it for 15 years — her son pretty much grew up in the restaurant — and she’s looking to sell. I hope there’s a buyer out there who can keep it running with the same quality, care, and quirk that we in the neighborhood have come to know and love.

Here’s another mural featuring “Bite or Smite.” This one is on the wall of the service depot for ABC Autos:

A “Seminole Heights - established 1911” mural, featuring the two-headed alligator named “Bite or Smite.”

Two new local pubs opened in Seminole Heights in 2023. One of them is The Rollin’ Mullet, named because it’s “business in the front, party in the back” — literally! The owner, Angi Brittain, has an architecture business in the front, which features this fine octopus mural:

A building with a blue octopus mural.

In the back is the bar itself, a deck built around an Airstream trailer:

A large deck with a lot of people drinking beer. The deck has been built around an Airstream trailer.

It’s a lovely, lively place:

A close-up of Rollin’ Mullet’s deck, featuring the Airstream Trailer, which has a number of beer taps built into it. A server is pouring beer from one of the taps.
Joey de Villa smiles, with the Rollin’ Mullet bar in the background.

Spaddy’s Coffee is another place Anitra and I regularly go to. If you’re one of my Facebook friends, you’ve probably seen me post status pics here:

Joey de Villa smiles, with the Spaddy’s Coffee courtyard in the background.
The Spaddy’s Coffee courtyard, an open area tiled with brick featuring outdoor tables and chairs with umbrellas, and palm trees in the background.
The “Love” wall mural at Spaddy’s Coffee.

Another regular haunt of ours is The Corner Club, once a dive bar built into a windowless bunker, now a neighborhood cafe serving great homemade food, a nice selection of drinks, good coffee, and just a generally great place to hang out.

The spacious back patio at The Corner Club, featuring outdoor picnic tables and a small stage.

It’s where we often host our “Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer” meetups, like the one pictured below:

The attendees of the “Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer” meetup on the back patio at The Corner Club.

Also worth checking out: Rene’s Mexican Kitchen, a taco truck that makes excellent tacos and burritos. Their sign on Nebraska Avenue cracked me up, and I had to take a picture of it:

A sign with two arrows, one pointing left to “Tacos,” and the other pointing right to “No tacos.”

I wrote about the other new pub in the ’hood, Common Dialect Beerworks, back in January 2023, but I thought it was worth mentioning it again, as well as including some photos from that article:

The front of Common Dialect Beerworks.
The patio of Common Dialect Beerworks, looking outside in.
The interior of Common Dialect Beerworks.
The giant mural inside Common Dialect Beerworks.

It would be wrong of me to not mention the pub we go to most often: Southern Brewing and Winery. That’s because it’s the home of the Tuesday Afternoon Tipplers, a little “let’s get together every week over beer” club that the folks in our neighborhood formed years ago.

As you can see, we tend to go there, rain or shine:

Torrential rains falls on the patio of Southern Brewing and Winery.
Joey de Villa smiling on the patio of Southern Brewing and Winery, with the Tuesday Afternoon Tipplers in the background.

The selection is pretty nice…

The chalkboard beer menu at Southern Brewing and Winery and the beer taps below it.

…as are the people.

The Tuesday Afternoon Tipplers on the patio at Southern Brewing and WInery.

Every year, a few weeks before Christmas, Northeast Seminole Heights organizes a progressive potluck dinner where four house volunteer to serve as houses for:

  1. Appetizers
  2. Soups and salads
  3. Mains
  4. Desserts

Each hour, the entire group — about 80 people this year — moves from one house to the next, starting with the appetizers house and ending at desserts. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors, as well as reconnect with those whom you haven’t seen in a while.

We provided a lot of pea soup for the “soups and salads” house, whose backyard is pictured below:

People dining in a large backyard with string lights overhead.

A couple of days after the progressive dinner, we had the neighborhood tree lighting in Park Circle

People gathered near a lit-up Christmas tree in a park.

…and event which included a guitar player leading the Christmas carols and accompanied by a surprise guest musician:

Joey de Villa playing Christmas cariols on the accordion, with people gathered near a lit-up Christmas tree in a park in the background.

And finally, I’ll close with a couple of photos of home sweet home:

Our house, with the lights on around our trees.
Our house, with the lights on around our trees.

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