The trouble with trying to sell the Tampa Bay area
The mention of Tampa's giant Confederate flag in yesterday's Dan Ruth column made me think of this piece by Ben Montgomery from October 2008. It also (conveniently) doubles as a portion of an explanation for why it's such a challenge for would-be branders to tell the "story" of the Tampa Bay area. This part in particular:
... who are we?
In the Tampa Bay area, we live at the vortex of bloodshed and sunshine and amusement and unpredictability, much like it must have been in the early days, before Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, when the first North American exploration by white men was launched right here. Panfilo de Narvaez, 1528.
He had to eat his own horses.
We are diverse racially, economically, politically and ideologically, but the area is not so much a melting pot as it is a collection of tribes situated around a giant pool of saltwater.
We ascend from places like Jamaica and Cuba and Puerto Rico, and hang tiny flags from our rearview mirrors. We descend from states like Ohio and Michigan and Indiana, and unpack our futons and Midwestern values. More and more of us are coming from New Jersey and New York, our kids sporting Long Island blowbacks and white sneakers.