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Good reads

  1. Transgender star Esme Russell spends a life learning to love drag

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    Esme Russell glides through a packed Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City during her second show of Saturday night.

    Esme shops for wigs to use for her performances.
  2. St. Petersburg tattoo artist named one of Rebel Ink's most wanted (w/video)

    Human Interest

    Down a quiet street in St. Petersburg, one of the country's top tattoo artists quietly inks in a chest-sized jewel of a client who traveled all the way from Michigan to get work done by Kristel Oreto.

  3. Twists, turns and colorful characters brought Lightning hockey to Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    Good quest stories start at the beginning, so let us untangle all the various narratives about the improbable birth of the Tampa Bay Lightning and begin with the bold desire of one man, a man whose life was defined by hockey, a man who got emotional when he talked about hockey, a man who would let go of his …

    Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito decided in 1990 that he wanted to bring an expansion franchise to Tampa Bay.
  4. Love, etched in stone on Tampa's Riverwalk

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    Love is patient, love is kind. Love is on a brick down by the Hillsborough River, which your correspondent noticed on a stroll a few months ago.

     Jennifer Rodriguez proposed to her boyfriend Roger Strawbridge with a brick in the Tampa Riverwalk section by Curtis Hixon Park last February.
  5. Letter from Japan: Living, and learning away from Florida

    Human Interest

    My most important lesson in Japan cost ¥190, and it came from a convenience store.

    Alex Orlando, a former Tampa Bay Times reporter, is now living — and learning — in Japan.
  6. Just another night for Lightning's national anthem singer

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — She's not sure where the music inside her came from, but maybe it started in Greenville, S.C., when she was two. She doesn't remember this, but her mother has told her the story. Sonya Bryson was obsessed with dolls, soft fuzzy ones. She sat them in front of her at one end of her crib, and she sang. Her …

    Technical Sargeant Sonya Bryson, United States Air Force, seen on the Jumbo Tron, signs the National Anthem before the start of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.
  7. Digital love: Couple goes from Tinder to #gio2016

    Human Interest

    One day in late November 2013, Nick Giovannucci was bored, playing on his iPhone. He was on Tinder, the dating app that matches your profile with eligible others based on shared interests and geography, then asks you to swipe right if you like what you see or left if you don't. If both parties swipe right, it's a …

    Kristina noticed Nick's Snapchat username was listed in his Instagram bio, so she addedhim with no intentions of actually sending him any photos.
  8. Conjoined twin boys separated at 5 months

    Human Interest

    JACKSONVILLE — For the first time in their 5-month-old lives, conjoined twins Carter and Conner squirmed in separate cribs.

    In this May 7, 2015 photo released by Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Dr. Carolyn Bannister, chief of pediatric anesthesiology for Nemours Children's Specialty Care, starts Conner's anesthesia prior to surgery at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville. For the first time in their 5-month-old lives, conjoined twins Carter and Conner squirmed in separate cribs. The Jacksonville boys who shared a liver and small intestine were successfully separated Thursday after a 12-hour operation by three surgeons, five anesthesiologists and 12 other staffers. [Nemours Children's Specialty Care/Michael LeGrand via AP]
  9. A tale of two mothers: What one gave up to ease the ache of the other

    Human Interest

    LINDSAY

    When she got the call, Lindsay told herself not to get excited. So many things could still go wrong. Remember what happened last time?

    Denton August Lee, nicknamed Gus, gets tests in the hospital before he is allowed to leave with his new adoptive parents, Josh and Lindsay Lee.
[EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  10. Welcome to hockey country

    Human Interest

    Here we are again, on the edge of our seats, our flags unfurled, our overpasses adorned with lightning bolts. The hockey team from Tampa Bay is again making a run at greatness, up two games to none against the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey organization in the world.

    Lightning fans gather at Amalie Arena last month before a playoff game against the Detroit Red Wings in Tampa. The Lightning ousted the Red Wings with a Game 7 victory and the team is enjoying a ton of support.