Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Glimpse the late-night RNC party scene in Ybor City

Scenes from Times reporters as they roamed the streets of Ybor on Monday night to check out RNC party action.

Ritz Ybor: On Ybor City's Seventh Avenue, the hottest ticket Monday night was a private concert by the bands Blues Traveler and Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Ritz Ybor. Only a select few delegates, lobbyists and guests were lucky enough to bypass the heavy security and reach the lavishly decorated club, which was booked for the week by a group called Magnum Entertainment. The Ritz Ybor was scheduled to host live music all week, though as with every other party, it seems Magnum's having to scramble to make sure thinks go off without a hitch. On the tickets to Tuesday's concert, the headliners were listed as the Drive-By Truckers and Robert Earl Keen -- but the Drive-By Truckers dropped out of the convention three weeks ago, and as of Monday evening, Keen was stuck in Texas due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

Honey Pot: It was trimmed in pink and white for the feel of a swanky South Beach nightclub — albeit one whose menu includes popcorn and white chocolate-covered raisins — for "The White House Party," a joint effort by center-conservative womens' groups RightNOW! and VIEW PAC. Guests included RNC Co-Chairwoman Sharon Day and Congressional couple Mary Bono-Mack and Connie Mack IV, who snaked through the room of folks mostly clad in "summer chic" white dresses.

Amphitheatre: The Michigan GOP delegation moved their party from hipster haven Czar to dance mecca the Amphitheatre, whose rotating dance floor fit the headline entertainment, classic soul group the Spinners (I'll Be Around, The Rubberband Man). As logos of Michigan's pro and college sports teams flashed behind the stage, Great Lakes Staters noshed on a decidedly un-sexy dish: Domino's Pizza (Ypsilanti's own!) while VIPs smoked boxes of cigars on the upstairs balcony.

In the street: The most surreal scene may have come around 11:30 p.m. Monday, when dozens of chanting protesters carrying a golden elephant coalesced near the heart of Ybor. They marched west on Eighth Avenue, then back east on Seventh, filling the Ybor strip with their bodies and chants. The whole way, RNC delegates and visitors dressed for a night on the town held their iPhones aloft to capture the scene. As the mass approached the Michigan party at the Amphitheatre, a man shouted down from above: "Is this a protest?" From the street came the reply: "It's a revolution!" Only when the mass reached Gaspar's Grotto did it momentarily stop. As a band played for patrons on Gaspar's open-air patio, the protesters co-opted the music as their own, and danced in the middle of the street.

Jay Cridlin, Laura Reiley

Glimpse the late-night RNC party scene in Ybor City 08/28/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]