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    Posted May 11, 2012 by
    Tampa, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    City smackdown: Tampa

    It's in Tampa

    Why not Tampa? If you look at a picture of Tampa, you might think it's another mid-sized city like all the others in this country. But you would be highly mistaken. You would miss the rich history and culture that exists in Ybor City. The history of the Cuban and Italians ancestors that came to Ybor and started the cigar industry. The food from many established well known restaurants like Columbia. You'll miss new establishments like Tampa Bay Brewing Company. You'll miss the cultural establishments our Museum of Arts, the Straz Center of Performing Arts, the Glazer's Children Museum, the Tampa Bay History Center, MOSI, The Florida Aquarium, the Ybor History Museum, Victory Ship Museum, and many other small venues and centers across the whole city. You will miss the Bucs, Lightnings, Storms, USF Bulls, UT Spartans, and Yankees Spring Training. You will miss neighborhoods like Hyde Park and Seminole Heights that hold so much history and have their own flavor of culture and life. We have Harbour Island that is right across from where the GOP Convention will be that offers some of the best residences this city has to offer. We have Bayshore and Bayshore Boulevard that offers one of the greatest sidewalks to bike or run on early in the morning or late at night. Lined with condos and historic homes that sit right next to the bay. We have Channelside that is a rising neighborhood in our city. Once covered in vacant warehouses that catered to our port, now is covered in condo towers and apartment buildings that house thousands of residents. Our airport is ranked in the Top 5 in customer satisfaction and friendliest. And just in time for the convention, the airport has added and continues to add new restaurants and retails to give arriving delegates and guests the opportunity to taste a little of what Tampa and Tampa Bay has to offer.

    Outside and inside of Tampa, there is so much else we have to offer. We have our great beaches. We have Clearwater Beach, probably the busiest of beachers. We have Honeymoon Island, Fort DeSoto, Caladesi Island, St. Pete Beach, and even smaller beaches like Howard Park in Tarpon Springs. We have Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, and Lowry Park Zoo for a whole day of entertainment and fun for our visitors. You have St. Petersburg that has a great art community, Tropicana Field and the Tampa Bay Rays, Salvador Dali Museum, Chihuly Collection, The Pier, and great eateries and retail that line Beach Drive. We have a rich diversity in this region. Besides our large population of Cuban-Americans, we have Tarpon Springs with it's Greek influence and history, Dunedin and it's Scottish culture and history, a large Indian-American influence, and different cultures from across the globe in this region. We are diverse and it makes a great region to live in.

    Why do I love this city? Because it is home. It is a city that I have been able to live in and watch grow. I see areas that need improvements and changes, but I think that is what a city needs, someone that can see a better future. And I'm not the only one, there is many others in the city and in this region. Bob Buckhorn is a great mayor and he comes after another great mayor for Tampa, Pam Iorio. I see a great opportunity for this city and a great future. There is in no way we can stop developing or go backwards. Thousands upon thousands will see why this city is great and what it has to offer. It is way more than just a city with a skyline. I love this city, I don't want to be anywhere else, and that is why I believe Tampa tops Charlotte. Charlotte is an amazing city that has things that Tampa doesn't have, take light rail for example. But as much as I would like light in Tampa, I couldn't leave Tampa for light rail.
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