Thursday, December 10, 2009

Think Ybor sucks? No, you suck, a-hole

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge pup.

"Ybor’s dangerous. Ybor’s dirty." Well guess what, fuckface, I think you’re dirty. And when you’re texting on your iPhone while driving your Beamer around Hyde Park, you’re pretty dangerous yourself. I’m not gonna lie: I was out at Gbar one night many months ago, and my best friend – who is a heterosexual male, by the way – was leaving the club. Instead of being a good friend and walking him back to his car, I let him walk by himself. I mean, no big deal right? He walked down an alley to take a piss and was jumped…dick in hand. The punks didn’t steal anything - they just beat him down and left him. So, yeah, Ybor can be a bit dangerous, so here’s a lesson: walk in groups at night, and don’t pee in the street. Done.

Ybor is also fucking fascinating. Walking down the street on any given night is like watching a movie with hundreds of characters. And when I say characters, I mean characters. I always tell people that I can feel my ethnicity change depending on what part of Seventh Avenue I’m walking down.

I fucking love that about Ybor. You can hear T-Pain and Taylor Swift within ten steps of each other. Then there are the hole-in-the-wall bars that are more fun than any establishment with a strict dress code: ladies – tits out, short skirts, tall shoes. If you’re wearing a perfume that is made by a celebrity (excluding Sarah Jessica Parker and Elizabeth Taylor…I just don’t see it being their market) then you get extra points. Guys – your shirts must have some sort of bedazzling, embroidery, or embellishment. Your hair must be spiky or cut low with clean edges. Again, celebrity fragrances are a plus, and sunglasses inside are pretty much a home run. Really, I’m not that much of a hater -- I need to shake my ass as much as anyone else -- but I prefer the places that I can go meet people and have conversations.

I just moved to Ybor not too long ago, and I’m still discovering its awesomeness. Walking the street in the daytime feels like you’re walking through a movie set: the look and feel of the buildings, the little boutiques, tattoo shops, bars, record stores, people with pets eating pizza al fresco – it just feels alive. The other day I decided that I’d walk the unbeaten path and went down every back alleyway I could find. The results surprised me.

Graffiti is prevalent in any city; especially a busy, cultural city. I’m not going to say that the street art I found in the back alleys was particularly pleasing to the eye, but it was attractive in another way. If I had to estimate, I’d say that 82 percent of the art I saw had a positive message attached to it. You call it defacing government property, I call it inspiration. And it didn’t end with the spray can. Ybor is home to many creative types: artists, musicians, and people that just want to say something. There are these stickers I found around the city that are obviously done by the same person. They’re all hand-written or stenciled images on white postal labels. The first one I ever saw said “Polar bears are highly irresponsible animals.” It was so random and hilario

click to enlarge weallare.
us. Then I started seeing these stickers all over the place.
click to enlarge quitbitching.

So, yes, maybe there is some crime. And, yes, there are some homeless people -- one in particular that I see all the time wearing the same dirty business coat, with four years of mat clumped on his head, that I feel may secretly be Jesus -- but what city doesn’t have those things? Maybe we should just listen to the hoodlums a bit more and start doing something about it rather than shitting on the city for thriving. Or you can just Google “how to avoid a bum” on your Windows-capable cell phone.

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