Sometimes you see them and don't have time to stop. Or you wait for the view that soothes you every evening on the ride home. Here are a few passing glimpses from the road.
Plastic fantastic lover
She's a long, tall beauty with bronze skin, jet-black locks, short shorts, dark sunglasses and do-me pumps. You can usually find this Latina hottie holding a handwritten sign announcing the day's special at Pewter Pirate Grog-N-Grill, 6209 West Gandy Blvd. in South Tampa. Gawk, blast your horn, holler if you must. Problem is, she can't hear. The babe on Gandy is made of plastic.
Glenn Bonner found her when he turned Ky's Krustaceans into the Pewter Pirate last May. "People drive by and honk, come back for a second take," says Bonner, "and then when they realize it's a mannequin figure they might as well stop in for a grouper sandwich." --Wade Tatangelo
Sit down and experience the ultimate ass grab. But first, you have to find the giant hand of South Tampa. Most folks don't even notice the distinctive sculpture located outside Old Hyde Park Art Center at 705 Swann Ave. Drive past and chances are you'll miss the artwork carved from a tree stump that was created by local artist Leroy Jackson and placed there a couple years back by Tampa Realistic Artists, which owns and operates the center. When we visited recently, Gloria Barreto and hubbie Luis Rodriguez were working on paintings. The couple agreed to a picture, with Barreto taking a seat inside the open hand. "It's a tight fit," she said with a laugh. --WT
Blinded by the Lights
Most weekdays, I leave my office and go to the YMCA on Palm Avenue in Tampa even though it's the opposite direction from my home in St. Pete. I do this out of habit and because I like to exercise regularly. But this ritual is in part motivated by the fact that I'll generally miss rush-hour traffic. By 6:45 p.m. or so, westbound 275 is pretty passable. When I hit the crest of the Howard Frankland, usually around 7, I look over to the oncoming lane and see the eastbound side logjammed with cars. The sight is especially dramatic when it's dark, all those stationary headlights beaming back at me. At those moments, I count my blessings that I'm heading the other way. I also wonder how those people endure the crawl day in and day out. I don't know why it's so clogged in their direction and not mine, but I damn sure hope it stays that way. --Eric Snider
Urban Explorer's Handbook 2007
Sensory Overload Edition
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