Our new Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said we will have strength thru diversity. Judging by the oath of office he is holding true to this!!! There were straight & Gay choir/chorus’s performing. The Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church Choir (with a few gay guys we noticed) & the Gay Men’s Chorale chorus group, the Una Voce Rays sang with distinction. Speakers were: USF President Judy Genshaft, Father David Toups – Christ the King Catholic Church, Tampa Police & Tampa Fire Fighters Bagpipe Honor Guard Band, Sergeant Joel Tavera- US Army Purple Heart & Bronze Star recipient, anthem singing Tampa Police Detective – Sonja Wise, Imam Al-Inshirah Abdel Jaleel – United Muslim Association, Chief Judge Manuel Menendez, Jr., Rabbi Richard Bimholz – Congregation Schaaral Zedek, Senior Judge E. L. Salcines, & dynamic, boisterous speaker Pastor T.W. Jenkins – New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Also in the audience of 1100+ were yours truly… Mark & Carrie!!! Many elected officials were in the audience to help congratulate the newly elected Tampa City Council and Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Watch our Video for a sampling of the event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUYvlLZUdLY
The former weathered Sans Souci Building on 1315 7th Ave. in Ybor City has moved on and has been totally renovated to house the 6th largest GLBT community center in North America, Metro Wellness & Community Centers. The week long Grand Opening Celebration event that included a huge ribbon cutting ceremony with out going Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Ybor Property Group developers Joe Capitano, Sr, Frank Capitano and Alan Kahana, Mark Huey – Tampa Economic & Urban Development Administrator and Vince Pardo – YCDC Mgr on Monday. Saturday had hundreds of national, state and local attendees tour the totally renovated 2 story 22,000 s/f yellow brick facility open house. Champagne, refreshments and hors d’oeuvres were served with Special Thanks to Stephen Moss & Steve Donahue of Florida Entertainment Group. Outside is a special patio designed by Tampa’s Pondscapes. Also part of the building is Bio Script Pharmacy and forthcoming USF Primary Pediatric Health Clinic.
The Metro Wellness Center is the largest HIV/AIDS service organization in the West Coast of Central Florida. It provides free HIV testing, substance abuse and mental health treatment and education, clinical services, HIV medical case management and counseling. More community health programs are in the works.
”This used to be a mafia butchershop. People came in but didn’t go out! ” voiced Metro Executive Director, Lorraine Langlais to the large open house group in their new white painted decorated community room. The 1906 landmark building also had been a movie theatre, telegraph office, Maas Bros.Dept Store and a Badcock Furniture store up until early 2003.
A very inspirational opening prayer by MCC Tampa Rev. Phyllis Hunt followed by Dr. Scott Strader, chair of Metro Board of Directors, welcoming all attendees.
”An eyesore but now a shining gem!” said Carrie West, Barrio Latino Commissioner and President of the GaYBOR District Coalition. ” This is a big triumphant moment not just for the GLBTA community but for everyone in Tampa, to help move forward and redeveloping the heart of Tampa, historic Ybor City.”
Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The Aids Institute. applauded the new beautiful facility , the volunteer staff and the exceptional turnout of committed citizens for this HIV AIDS event. ” I want to let everyone here in this room know that if Lorraine needs to get to the ear of the President of the United States, I will tell you she can!”
Terry Stone, Executive Director of Centerlink, GLBT Assoc of Community Centers spoke about Tampa Bays new Metro Center is the 6th largest GLBT Community Center in North America. ” It is bigger and more grandeur than what I was told and possibly imagined but that is Lorraine!”
Florida State House of Representative District 59, Betty Reed said that, “…the commitment of the legislature is for the need of… the overall health of the citizens in this great state.”
Metro Wellness Center is home for everyone! Welcome to GaYBOR and Historic Ybor City.
Looking for a fun one tank trip? Here is one of our favorite! A short fun 55 mile ride east of Tampa in Lake Wales you will find a lovely nature sanctuary, Bok Tower. http://www.boktower.org/ Located on the top of one of the highest points in Florida & surrounded by manicured orange groves, you will find the National Historic Landmark site, Bok Tower. The 205′ tall Carillon Bell Singing Tower was dedicated in 1929 by United States President Calvin Coolidge.. It was built by Edward Bok, Pulitzer Award Winner & publisher of Ladies Home Journal and an immigrant from the Netherlands. He built and gave the 60 brass carllon bell tower and the botanical gardens to Florida as a gift for being an American. Just as in 1929 there is an incredible 250 acres of exotic and protected botanical gardens at the base of the towering Iron Mountain. Today there is also a modern welcome center with cafe, museum, theatre & gift shop. There are Carillon Bell concerts everyday at 1 and 3 pm with live performances Saturday & Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday, so check the web site for the exact times and special performances.
The Great Brass Door and wrought iron gates on the north side of the Tower were the masterpiece of Samuel Yellin, America’s premier metalworker. The door depicts the Book of Genesis, starting with the creation of light and ending with Adam and Eve being ousted from the Garden of Eden. The iron gates leading to the Tower were hand-wrought and showcase zoomorphic figures with various expressions and wings for flight.
Buried at the base of the tower is Mr. Bok who was married had 2 sons. His wife was not buried next to him at the tower. He did have a very devoted gardener buried within site there. Humm…???? Just say n. After leaving Bok Tower the “Must Do Stop…Kinda” is Spook Hill. It is an old Florida Indian site.You will not believe your eyes! You drive down to the bottom of Spook Hill and stop & put your car in neutral. Then in total amazement your car rolls back up the hill????? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spook_Hill
*** And Who Did We Happen to See There.
On our Monday visit we ran into Tampa Bay TV and radio personality, Jack Harris, signing his newly released tell all humorous story and picture book, “Jack Harris Unwrapped” with his co-writing lovely wife, Joy Harris at the Bok Tower Information Center Entrance. A percentage of all the book sales will be donated to The Children’s Home, Inc. A best kept secret of Jack & Joy recipe from their book.
*** Curry Lime Chicken ***
1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast
Juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder, your choice
1 tsp salt
- Place chicken in a large re-sealable plastic bag, add the rest of the ingredients.
- Refrig for at least 4 hours or overnite.
- Preheat broiler for 10 minutes, Remove chicken from marinade.
- Place chicken on a broiler pan that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray
- Place broiler pan 2″ from the source of heat and broil for 8-10 minutes on each side.
Serves 4 – 6