Florida Wetlands

As viewed from Ballast Point Park
As viewed from Ballast Point Park

Tampa is home. It’s where I’m from. It’s made and shaped me, and even though I technically don’t live there anymore, I still drive in to Tampa Monday through Friday for work. Yet, I am beginning to feel a little distant and almost removed, as if I’m becoming more the visitor then the resident. Tampa is not now, nor can it ever be a place that is totally in my past. It will remain somewhere entwined with my present, always.

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Tampa holds my “remember whens” and my many eclectic “this and that” moments from another time.

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All these well aged pieces of me, now weathered by the storms of my life, imprinted my psyche with a rich green patina of a place I call home. Even though that home was not always pretty, pleasant, or safe, yet, it is home. It is Tampa.

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A Tampa that I now view through a different lens as I walk on its streets with my Nikon strapped around my neck and my shutter constantly clicking.
Downtown Tampa Bridge near Performing Arts Center

I enjoy the downtown area, especially the new river walk that’s developed in the last few years. It always feels nice strolling along the river.

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I’ve spent many weekends watching the Hillsborough River roll lazily along its way and observing as it pours itself into the Gulf of Mexico. Watching it triggers a sort of nostalgic feeling in my mind and I enjoy visiting the riverwalk.

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It’s like I am seeing an old friend again.

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Tampa is a kaleidoscope of people, personalities, nationalities, affiliations, and buildings. It’s Ghetto, Retro, Modern, Trendy, Vintage, Shabby, Urban Chic motifs are everywhere.

One can get the impression that Tampa is trying to make itself into something it hasn’t yet quite identified.

I get an image in my mind of an indiscriminately designed decoupage of people, buildings, and styles converging against a lush green, sunshine filled wetland. It’s quite the canvas! I’ve taken many photographs here and they always show me something new, something beautiful that I hadn’t noticed before.

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No matter how far I travel, or what town I live in, I will always be a native of this town. Yes, Tampa is home, and as Dorothy so appropriately said it “there is no place like home”.

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