Monday, May 19, 2008

Tampa Neighborhoods....Party, Party, Party!

Quite a few parties going on this weekend. A good friend of mine is living a life long dream of moving to Alaska, he leaves Tuesday for Anchorage, and on Friday of this past weekend, he threw a HUGE blowout party, with over 100 people showing up at his Tampa Wellswood neighborhood home. Wellswood is a neighborhood just north of downtown, and west of the Hillsborough River, a working class neighborhood, block homes were built primarily in the 40's and 50's, many run along the Hillsborough River. A very diverse neighborhood.

Saturday, some good friends of mine were having birthdays, and decided to combine them into one big house party in the South Tampa neighborhood of Port Tampa City. This neighborhood site just north of MacDill AFB, southwest of downtown Tampa. Many very historic homes, mixed in with brand new homes, bungalos to mansions, again a very diverse neighborhood. It was in this neighborhood back in the 1800's that the soldiers for the Spanish American and Seminole Indian Wars were shipped into Tampa, and used to be a huge port with a commuter train taking everything from supplies and trade to people vacationing in Tampa from the Bay to Downtown. Again, close to 70 people came by, always a good time meeting people for the first time, or just rekindling friendships with people you haven't seen in over a year or so. After the party, the weekend wouldn't be complete without a stop by the Green Iguana Westshore before heading home.

Sunday, after sleeping in late, we were invited over my friends place in Beach Park for a nice breakfast with her and her three adorable girls. It was relaxing time to hang out in this beautiful older two story colonial type home. Beach Park neighborhood in Tampa is full of muli-million dollar homes mixed with larger older type homes, one of the weathliest areas of Tampa located just off Westshore Blvd, south of Kennedy Blvd, and most lots have very old mature oaks and landscaping so it is very lush. Later we went over to Rita's on Kennedy Blvd for some frozen custard. Kind of like soft serve ice cream, it was very thick and good, but I still favor Gelato for a tasty cold treat, and now that my fav place in Hyde Park, La Casa Dolce, closed, i'm looking for another Gelato place in South Tampa to satisfy my Gelato fix. Sunday evening, my buddy took me out for a belated birthday dinner to Square 1 Burgers on Henderson Blvd in South Tampa. Very pretty place, they took a historic furniture store, and dramatically turned it around into a funky looking, upscale diner like establishment, a very long bar, great art work and lighting. We both had the Buffalo Burgers with our choice of numerous toppings and sauce for dipping the burgers. The Buffalo Burger was very moist and cooked perfectly medium(even though we weren't asked how it was to be cooked), on a choice of soft fresh baked bun, toppings on mine included sauteed mushrooms(finely chopped grilled mushrooms), and cheddar cheese with a thai-ginger sauce for dipping. My buddies was piled high with provolone cheese, sauteed onions and lettuce, tomato, pickles. All burgers are served with a tangy, oniony cole slaw. We also split a HUGE portion of chili cheese fries...also very delicious and filling for two people. I will be back, there are probably over a thousand ways you can prepare one of these very good burgers.

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