Diverse Communities

Chrotts  001David and Sharon took us to visit a number of unique communities in the Dunedin area.

Chrotts  044Chrotts  029Ybor City, a neighborhood located just northeast of downtown Tampa, is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida.   It was founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor as a cigar-manufacturing center in the 1880s and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Spain, Cuba and Italy.  Ybor City has been known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter since.Chrotts  031Chrotts  036

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It’s a small neighborhood made up of a small number of streets with very interesting architecture – red brick buildings, wrought iron balconies and narrow brick streets.  It also has eclectic shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs  The cigar-manufacturing aspect is still present and visible in several of the shops, where cigar makers clean the leaves and roll cigars.  A very unique place.Chrotts  041Chrotts  034

Chrotts  153Tarpon Springs, a city in Pinellas County just north of Dunedin, has a strong Greek heritage.    This neighborhood was also established in the 1880s along with railroad service to New York.  Wealthy northerners built beautiful Victorian mansions; established churches and hotels; and started businesses.

Chrotts  150Chrotts  157Chrotts  159Chrotts  149Chrotts  151Chrotts  165Because the waters surrounding this area were teeming with sponges, divers from Greece came here and soon developed a flourishing sponge industry.  The many Greeks who migrated here also set up restaurants, pastry shops and markets, giving the neighborhood a distinct Mediterranean flavor.   In 1946, red tide attacked and killed almost all of the sponges.  Although there has been a slight resurgence in this industry, tourism is the primary industry in Tarpon Springs today.  The neighborhood still has the largest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the U.S.Chrotts  158

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Chrotts  024Chrotts  025Another visit was not to a specific community, but to a Latin market and restaurant in the town of Valrico, FL.  The Latinos Market includes a grocery store, restaurant, money wire transfers service, beauty parlor and watch repair service, all in one location.  The market has a vibrant feel.   The restaurant offers Dominican, Puerto Rican and Cuban specialties.  This was definitely a comfort food stop for us

Visiting all of these diverse communities is really enriching.  And seeing all of the Latinos at the supermarket brought back a lot of memories of living in Miami, Puerto Rico and Mexico and of visiting Latin America many times during our corporate careers.  A client of mine in the Bahamas said to me years ago “never forget where you came from”.  And being here helped me to remember.

~ Brenda

4 thoughts on “Diverse Communities

  1. I am so surprised that an area that I described as “vanilla” and lacking of any flavor other than white bread, you select as an area that is outstanding for being “Diverse!” A very interesting perspective and a great recounting of some of our time!!!   Good job!   David

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  2. Hector how is everything ? I still owe you a thank you, Flora still thrilled.

    Robert Wiseman

    On 5 Dec 2012, at 18:15, Island Girl Walkabout wrote:

    WordPress.com islandgirlwalkabout posted: “David and Sharon took us to visit a number of unique communities in the Dunedin area. Ybor City, a neighborhood located just northeast of downtown Tampa, is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. It was founded by Vicente Ma”

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