tb-two* photo galleries
Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Juliet Paramor, Tarpon Springs High
It’s another Thursday evening inside UnderGrounds Coffee House in downtown Tarpon Springs, a regular gathering place for teenagers and others. Old and new faces smile back in the dim light, the work of local artists dressing the walls, including some new pieces replacing favorites that have disappeared. Pass by the front counter where the usuals are working and sink yourself into a couch; it’s good to get comfortable before the place fills up.
Coffee and music flow, especially on open mike nights at UnderGrounds.
When he saw the “For Rent” sign on the window of an empty shop on Tarpon Avenue, says owner Michael Szymanski, “I had enough sense to buy a coffee pot and a PA system.”
Working with his partner, Mark Brandon, the two already had an idea to rehab a house and manage it into a hostel, “but that kept falling through,” he says, so the plan morphed into the coffeehouse and the open mike nights. Whether you play acoustic guitar, sing, do both, play keyboard or harmonica or bang on pots and pans, you’re welcome to perform at UnderGrounds’ open mike nights.
Morgan Duong, a Tarpon Springs senior who attends SPC in the Early College program, is a regular performer at UnderGrounds. She began playing guitar and singing when she was 12 or 13, and started playing at UnderGrounds this past summer. “I was super nervous,” Duong says of her first performance, but she was really happy when she got a good response from the crowd. She writes a lot of her own songs, and she also performs covers. In addition to her musical ability, Duong has a knack for art. Some of her work is now displayed at UnderGrounds.
With open mike every Thursday, open poetry every Tuesday and most likely a performance by a band or two every Friday or Saturday, UnderGrounds Coffee House is a fun place for teenagers to hang out and enjoy coffee, music and each other. UnderGrounds, 212 Tarpon Ave. E, is open from 9 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday.
Szymanski is working on another project, his own record label, Opportunity Records, which will start by featuring regular performers at his cafe, many of whom will appear Dec. 3 at an acoustic showcase there, including Duong.