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Parking proceeds will make it a Super Sunday

Less than a block from Raymond James Stadium, across a fence from the looming Super Bowl frenzy, lies Dewey Street. It is as far from the flash and hoopla — and as close — as a place can be. Here, everyone knows one another. At precisely 5:58 p.m. each day, at the home of Mario and Carrie Quevedo, the smell of strong Cuban coffee fills the kitchen. At 6 p.m. comes a gentle tap on the door. Julia Victors, having walked over from her house two doors down, helps herself to her usual chair. Her husband passed away nine months ago. Since then, the evening coffee has become another part of a neighborhood routine forged by decades of familiarity. Lately, the conversation has centered on next weekend's Super Bowl. On this street, neighbors will lease their lawns, piece by piece, to park some of the more than 20,000 cars that will jam this part of Tampa. Parking cars is another familiar routine here. Bucs games bring in about $20 per car, a nice annual bonus. But the Super Bowl, rumor has it, could mean $75 to $100 per car, or close to $2,000 per house. The logistics will take care of themselves. Neighbors will iron them out over coffee and on porch steps in Cuban Spanish, spiced with gossip. "This is a TCO," Mario explains. "Typical Cuban Operation." While the economic impact of an event like this on the city is hard to calculate, the impact on this street is more certain. It means light bills paid and prescriptions filled. It means new paint and summer vacations. It's a brief, bright glimmer of opportunity shared by neighbors, just outside the reach of those stadium lights.

Parking proceeds will make it a Super Sunday 01/24/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 24, 2009 3:31am]
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