The big event is here so there's nothing going on
The Times' Susan Thurston says stores and restaurants in Tampa have had decent business but nothing great. It's understandable. Last night downtown was dead. Channelside was dead. The public library is closed. The history center is closed. Curtis Hixon Park, the city's typically inviting green space with the views of the minarets across the river, is fenced off. This morning I walked again the mile or so from the Times' office to the convention center. There's a lot of standing and waiting. Officers of the law with their new taxes-purchased outfits are stationed on every corner. They're all one-man checkpoints if they choose to be, even outside the "perimeter," asking to see your credentials, wondering why you're here.