This one is "Seven Reasons you Really Should Move to Tampa Bay" (picture found on the web - not my work)
- Duh... have you been outside lately? If you live anywhere in the U.S. other than Florida (and that would have to be south of the Panhandle (no offense, Pensacola, Tallahassee and Jacksonville) you might as well rent a truck and pack up your things now. See my Tuesday blog for pictorial evidence.
- Cuban coffee: Seattle may have Starbucks and Seattle's Best; San Francisco may have Peet's; but those guys ship everywhere. What you can't get in the mail - or on the West Coast - is a perfect Café con leche. Eat your heart out, America.
- First Presbyterian of Brandon: Seriously, folks, fpcBrandon.org alone is 100% enough reason to move here. This church is exactly why Rebekah and I moved almost 500 miles. And that was back when the church wasn't half so cool as it is now. Case closed.
- The Crosstown Expressway: I used to hate driving into Tampa. Then they built a new, elevated, expressway right on top of the old one - just for Brandon. I love running into people from New Tampa, Carrollwood, or Temple Terrace and telling them, "Thanks!" Their tax dollars at work; our expressway. Sweet!
- The performing arts: But you may have to hurry for this one. Tampa Bay is home to The Florida Orchestra, one of the premier symphonic ensembles in the Southeast. But very few people seem to realize what a gem we have. Every year our world-class musicians get paid less and the organization shrinks a little bit more.
- Diversity: Here's a little known fact. In its early days (late 19th/early 20th Century) Tampa was heavily influenced by Cuban immigration. Consequently, Tampa emerged as a rich combination of Latin, Mediterranean, Island, Caucasian, Black, Central American and Hybrid peoples. Institutional racism had to be imported. When the first county school system was organized, officials looked at the integrated schools and said, "We can't have that!" Today, a half century after Brown vs Board of Education, Tampa is once again probably the most ethnically integrated city in North America. We have the food to prove it.
- Professional sports: True, we the people built the Buccaneers new stadium and the Glazers (owners) won't let us watch on television. And, true, the Rays play in the worst baseball park in North America. And, true, the only way the Lightening were able to hold onto the Stanley Cup was via a strike the next season. And, true, our soccer team can never be as cool as the Rowdies were when soccer was "A kick in the grass..." But we really do have more than our fair share of competitive action around here.
Well, I know there's more, but that's enough for today. I'll happily take suggestions (serious and otherwise) for the next edition of this list....
Peace - and I really mean that - DEREK