Ybor City is a bit of an acquired taste.
While some people prefer foie gras, others are partial to grilled cheese. That doesn't mean that fattened duck liver is inherently better than buttery, toasty, cheddary goodness - it just means that some people have a certain idea or standard of what a "quality experience" is. In a gastrointestinal sense or otherwise.
I'm not here to convince anyone that Ybor City is awesome. Okay, yes I am. I lied. (Sometimes I do that for attention because my parents never gave me enough as a child.) But it's not because Ybor owes anything to me. It's only because I think that people take advantage of a place that brings me — and many others — such joy.
I love those people who have only been to Ybor on a Friday or Saturday night, went out to the club with the intention of getting sloppy and sweaty, got into a fight because someone grabbed their boob that their shirt was struggling to keep under wraps in the first place, shoved 6,000 calories worth of pizza into their mouth, went home to sleep with the random and equally-sweaty person who grabbed their boob earlier, puked up Bacardi O and Sprite in the bushes next to their apartment on the way to the stairs, had sex with the sweaty person anyway — now with the added bonus of vomit-stench — possibly contracted some sort of communicable disease, woke up with the kind of headache that makes them promise themselves that they'll never drink again, and then have the audacity to say, "Ugh. Ybor's gross."
News flash: You're
gross not the classiest.
Although Ybor may provide the type of weekend landscape that facilitates the urge to commit as many sins as humanly possible in one night, Ybor's not the culprit here. If you wake up with the spins and the intention of purchasing Plan B at some point in the day, you're only manifesting your own destiny, friend.
I can't speak for Ybor, but if I could, I would think that Ybor is happy that it makes you feel like you can let loose and be yourself. And, sure, it always wants you to have a good time. But it's your buddy, not your scapegoat.
For those of you who don't feel the love for this little town that holds such a special place in my heart, I challenge you to take a walk down 7th Avenue on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and stay true to your negative opinion about Ybor until the end of the day. I doubt you can do it.
Sure, Ybor City may not be everyone's cup of duck liver, but it has a lot to offer if you give it a chance. It's my intention to help you give it that chance. I hope you stay tuned for more of one person's ramblings about what makes this town so special.
I'm a grilled cheese person anyway.