Christopher Spata, Features Writer

Christopher Spata

Features Writer

I'm focused on the offbeat side of life. I love stories about people pursuing unusual goals, and what drives them. I've written about retirees attending Santa Claus School, competitors at the World Sign Spinning Championships and an optician rebuilding old Chuck E. Cheese robots in his bedroom. I'm also looking for hyper-local culture stories, from tracing the global path plastic beads take to Tampa's Gasparilla festival, to pondering mysterious butt graffiti in downtown St. Pete. I also contribute to our entertainment and Things To Do coverage. I previously worked for the Tampa Tribune and Ocala Star-Banner. I'm a rare, native-born Floridian, and collect all things Floridiana, from alligator ash trays to vintage postcards for roadside attractions. I say Florida isn't "weird," just more interesting.

That crazy, steel cube yacht from Tampa Bay is for sale

That funky looking stainless steel boat that many local residents may have seen lately is the Rendezvous 2018 houseboat made by Cubic Yachts.  It has three floors and 4,000-square-feet of air-conditioned space.  The Rendezvous 2018 cost $12 million and took 42 months to build.  It has a top speed of 6.8 knots.  JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times
First itís going to sail to South Florida for a big boat show.

Drag Queen Story Hour in St. Petersburg draws protesters. We went inside.

Drag queen Viktoria Sommers reads a Dr. Seuss book to children during Drag Queen Story Hour at Community Cafe in St. Petersburg.  [ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times]
Protesters and counterprotesters made a scene along Central Avenue on Saturday as a drag queen read Dr. Seuss to children inside.

At 40, WMNF still stickin' it to the man. But does it need to change?

WMNF 88.5 bumper stickers are posted on the wall in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, July 25, 2019. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
The “best little radio station on the planet” has maintained its vibe for 40 years. Its influence on Tampa Bay is a matter of perspective.

Everything to know for Tampa Bay Comic Convention

Kristopher Paul and Kanesha Price pose for a photo at the 2018 Tampa Bay Comic Convention at the Tampa Convention Center. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times, 2018]
The celebration of comic books, superheroes, sci-fi and all things geeky is back this weekend.

Kevin Conroy explains his mysterious Comic-Con tweets

Kevin Conroy, who has voiced Batman more than 40 times, will be a celebrity guest at Tampa Bay Comic Convention. He's seen here at Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in 2018. [Michele Eve Sandberg | Invision | AP]
The voice of Batman will appear at Tampa Bay Comic Convention, fresh off a touching fan encounter at San Diego Comic-Con.