When I retired to Tampa, I was introduced to several local experiences. One of the most notable was Gasparilla, a series of several events throughout the year, but mostly the annual invasion and parade on the last Saturday of January.
Since many locals consider Gasparilla to be “just like Mardi Gras,” I realized that most people just did not know the difference. So, I volunteered to teach an audience of fellow seniors who were curious. I was eager to share my lifelong experience and new research on the similarities and differences. (More…)
Tampa’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics was the first time a Florida city entered a bid for an Olympiad. The story starts with a decision by FASTA, the Future Air & Surface Transportation Alliance to go forward with a Florida global airport project. Future global airports will have foot prints larger by a factor of 15 than the typical international airport. Tampa International, for example, is less than 7 square miles, is land locked and is air space limited. It is a great “20th Century“ airport.
Our typical international airports today provide excellent International and domestic air mobility but are neither designed nor positioned for the future additional full-up Intrastate and urban air mobility. Since we knew a project like this would require the average transportation planner and others to think big, we decided to get Tampa into an Olympic bid, since few things are bigger than an Olympics. (More…)
Every state thinks that they have the greatest natural environment and the best “birding” in the country. They’re wrong, of course. Florida is clearly the best. And we have some photographic proof in this article.
We also have some really interesting courses coming up in our Fall semester. We’ll give you more information about them at the end of the article. (More…)
When the OLLI Shutterbugs SIG gathered for a photo outing at Tampa Bay Downs on a bright December day, we dug into our memories for what this reminded us of.
Rich Edwards talked about growing up within sound of Roosevelt Raceway, the former harness racing track in Westbury, Long Island. He would fall asleep to the voice of the announcer calling the races. The track, he related, began as Roosevelt Field, famous for Charles Lindbergh’s takeoff on his nonstop flight to Paris in 1927. In the end it became Westbury Plaza, a shopping mall. (More…)
A frog jumps on my head and becomes slightly tangled in my hair this morning at 3:30 a.m. while I am sleeping. When I first feel it in my hair, I think I am dreaming of my Burmese cat, Spike, who was in my life for 16 years and woke me up when he had some kind of emergency during the night, or when he thought I should know something important that he knew and I didn’t.
But when the frog leaps from my head to the floor and the soft but distinct thud wakes me up, I turn on the light, see what is huddled there on the floor next to the bed, and try to decide what to do. Should I ignore it and go back to sleep? What if it jumps on my head again? I wonder – that’s cat behavior, but isn’t that unusual behavior for a frog? What was it trying to tell me? (More…)
When my wife, Jane, and I went on a cruise to the Greek Isles in 2016, a folkloric troupe from Crete came aboard ship and performed the elegant, vigorous dances of their island in traditional costume. We were right back there — similar dances, similar costumes — on Saturday night, November 10, when the OLLI Shutterbugs visited the Opa! Tampa Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Hyde Park Village. (More…)
OLLI Connects is about OLLI members sharing their experiences. But it’s hard to share an experience that hasn’t happened to you yet. So, we’re inviting you to a Christmas adventure with a smidgen of time travel thrown in: The Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum.
From now through December 23 you can, well, “stroll” through a Christmas world much like the one Cindy Knox depicted in our last blog post. We can’t promise that you’ll run into the Ghost of Christmas Past, but you will see: (More…)
(Regular readers of OLLI Connects will be familiar with our usual format. Since we don’t want you to get bored, we’re bending our usual formatting rules for this article. Read on. –Editor)
Inside Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s head is a master plan for renewing downtown Tampa from the Hillsborough River out. First came Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, then the Riverwalk. The third jewel in this triple crown is the $35 million restoration of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 25 acres on the west bank of the river, with a boathouse, community center and green-monster sculpture. (More…)
You may travel far and never know what’s under your own nose. I had to go halfway around the world to take pictures at the night market in Hong Kong. But did you know that Tampa has a night market of its own? Did I? Not until I started looking for likely places for the new OLLI Shutterbugs SIG to go shooting. We held our organizational meeting on Wednesday, May 9, and on Thursday night, May 10, six of us were rendezvousing at a truly unprepossessing spot near Ybor City: the back entrance to the loading yard of Coppertail Brewing. (More…)