Day 105 – Temple Terrace, FL
On Wednesday (Day 102) Randy took the day off from work and was able to show me around Ybor City and also the part of Tampa along the Hillsborough River. 7th Avenue is the main strip in Ybor City and home to small cigar rolling shops/cafes, restaurants and clubs. There is a huge Shriners convention in town so they were setting up for a parade on the street. I can only imagine how hot the clowns in make-up were.
I didn’t get a chance to interview locals in Ybor City like I had hoped, to get a flavor of the history so check out the wiki page about it. I found it fascinating.
We stopped in at a shop and got cafe con leche and cigars (see video). I don’t smoke them often, but once I saw them being rolled I had to sample. It’s all about drawing the smoke into the cheeks because you’ll die if you try to inhale the thick smoke into the lungs.
Then we jumped on the trolly and took it downtown and walked a couple miles along the river. We ended up at a Curtis Hixon Park and saw some ladies with hula hoops and I had to try it out. I did a little hooping at the Forest Hostel in Georgia, so though I might remember the hip motion. I am happy to say I kept it spinning and even tried an advanced move under the helpful tutelage of Carissa. When in town she does a Wednesday night hoop gathering in the park for anyone that wants to join in.
I interviewed her and learned that in 2010 she quit her job and started working full time “to spread the joy of hooping and the love of God all over the world through hooping projects and partnerships” through her organization Hoola for Happiness. I like the story about how she started the project. I don’t think it matters what your beliefs are when working to improve the lives of others.
Thanks to Nick Weber for the slow motion footage of Carissa. He recently moved to Tampa from LA and works as a videographer. He let me try out his camera and explained how his mini dolly set-up works.