Monday, March 17, 2008

Tampa's St. Paddy's Parade and Beach Theater

Saturday evening was the 16th annual St. Patrick's Day parade held in Ybor City. It is an night time Illuminated Parade that runs down 7th avenue in the Historic District. There was a big crowd out for this years festivities, most in Green, and with over 95 floats, a few Irish bands and Bag Pipe players in Kilts, there were numerous Green Beads being thrown to the crowds. It's only March, and I feel like Tampa is all a big parade, as this is the fourth of the year. I think we are done for now until the Mama Guava Stumble in October for Guavaween, Tampa's annual Halloween celebration.
Before the parade, we headed to one of the best Irish pubs in Ybor City, the James Joyce Irish Pub, upstairs from the Green Iguana. Lots of International beers on tap, a separate dart room with real darts, and always live Irish music, and windows looking out on 7th Avenue. After literally climbing about 50 stairs to get there, you are ready for a Pint of something. They dont serve food, so it gets a bit smokey from cigarette's.
We all viewed the parade from in front of Green Iguana where they had live music in one half, and club tunes playing in the other half, and serving Green Beer of course, any beer poured could be made green with a little food dye. I got to see a few people in the parade that I recognized, it was a nice touch to get some primo beads that way.
After wards we headed to Blues Shark where some great live Jazz/Blues was playing, then The Forge, Club 714, Streetcar Charlies, and ended the evening close to home at the Green Iguana Westshore.

Sunday, we headed over to St. Pete Beach to watch a movie in the Historic Beach Theater. It was my first time to this theater I have heard alot about, I was not impressed. For a historic theater, I had the likes of Tampa Theater in mind, Beach Theater turned out to look like something from the 60's, just very plain, an old movie theater, very tiny lobby area, the concessions person and ticket box office handler with one in the same. Uncomfortable seats, it was what is was, but will not make me take the trek to St. Pete Beach to see an independent film, unless it's not playing elsewhere, like The Savages. The movie was very good though.
It was time for some dinner, so we went down the street to the water from the Theater, and were seated at a waterside table at Woody's. Great beachy crowd, live music, the site of the sun going down into the Gulf with some interesting Sea Fog hanging onto the shore and clinging to the high rise condos and beach front apartments. We had the lady from the table next to us try some of their wings(very friendly of her), they were some of the biggest and tastiest wings this side of the Bay as starters, then we dined on Big Fish Sandwich, huge filet of something, crispy fried, and a burger with spicey fries. All in all, a good meal, great atmosphere for a water front place on St. Pete Beach.

This week work takes me to Atlanta and Baltimore.

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