florida

“…get your game on… go play…”

“All Star” – Smash Mouth (2008)

In 1869, John Heisman was born on this site, on the near west side of Cleveland, on Bridge Avenue in the Ohio City neighborhood. Heisman was an important innovator of many aspects of modern day college football, and is the namesake of the Heisman Trophy, the annual award given to the best college football player in America. John Heisman also coached at Buchtel College, which eventually became the University of Akron, my college alma mater.

Congratulations to this years Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, quarterback from the #1 ranked Florida State Seminoles football team.

Photo taken November 14, 2013


“And we’ll never be Royals… it don’t run in our blood… that kind of lux just ain’t for us… we crave a different kind of buzz…”

“Royals” – Lorde (2013)

A building exterior facade in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

Photo taken October 30, 2003


“If you want to destroy my sweater.. hold this string as I walk away… watch me unravel– I’ll soon be naked…”

“Undone – The Sweater Song” – WEEZER (1994)

Coyote Ugly Saloon
1722 East 7th Avenue
Ybor City
Tampa, Florida

Photo taken September 9, 2006


“…When it’s too hot, I light it up… Light it up… yeah, smoke ’em if you got ’em…”

“HARLEM” – New Politics (2013)

At the Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival
Centennial Park
Ybor City
Tampa, Florida

Photo taken November 17, 2006


“Heigh-Ho…”

“Heigh-Ho (it’s off to work we go) – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney, 1937)

Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida

Photo taken January 26, 2006


“Operator…. give me… infor… ma…tion…”

“Operator” – Manhattan Transfer (1975)

Historic Hyde Park neighborhood
Tampa, Florida

Photo taken January 14, 2007


“Everyday is like Sunday”

“Everyday is Like Sunday” – Morrissey (1988)

Cleveland Browns vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pre-Game
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida

Photo taken October 13, 2002


“He smoked a big cigar.. drove a cadillac car…”


Rock and Roll Band – BOSTON (1976)


The J.C. Newman Cigar Company
Ybor City
Tampa, Florida
Established in Cleveland, Ohio in 1895
Cuesta-Rey brand established in Tampa, Florida in 1884

The J.C. Newman Cigar Company moved from Cleveland to Tampa in 1954 and eventually purchased the Cuesta-Rey brand. Today it is the largest family-owned premium cigar manufacturer in the world– maker of many high quality hand rolled cigar brands, including Arturo Fuente, Diamond Crown, Brick House and Cuesta-Rey.

Photo taken September 9, 2006

From my vintage Tampa cigar label collection:

Cigar Box inner label, circa early 1900’s:

Cuesta-Rey promotional card, circa late 1920’s

cigar band, circa early 1900’s

LIFE magazine Cuesta-Rey advertisement, circa 1920’s


“Like a bird on a wire…”

“Bird on a Wire” by Leonard Cohen (1968)

A Ladybug found it’s way onto this hand rolled cigar that I purchased in Ybor City – Tampa, Florida.

Photo taken September 9, 2006


“One hit to the body… Sure went straight to the mark”

“One Hit to the Body” – The Rolling Stones (1986)

Captain America Diner
Marvel Super Hero Island
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Orlando, Florida

Photo taken April 3, 2003


“You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave”

“Hotel California” – The Eagles (1976)

Photo taken October 26, 2001

On the banks of the Hillsborough River, the former Tampa Bay Hotel, has been a national gem since its opening in 1891. Built by Railroad Tycoon Henry B. Plant, the lavish structure, of Moorish architectural design, boasted 511 rooms and covered over 6 acres of land and over 150 acres of lush grounds for guests to enjoy.

In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the United States Military used the hotel and it’s grounds as a base of operations. Teddy Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders” prepared for battle on these grounds, and Roosevelt took comfort in a luxury suite in the hotel, while enlisted men stayed in near-by tents. Years later, Hall of Fame baseball player Babe Ruth signed his first Major League contract at the hotel, surely, with a Tampa hand rolled “Optimo” Cigar (his favorite) clamped between his teeth!

Following depression era hard times, the hotel closed in 1930. In 1933, the Tampa Bay Junior College established residence in the old hotel and the school eventually grew in size and became known as The University of Tampa. Currently, “Plant Hall” as the treasured building is named today, houses University of Tampa administrative offices and student oriented areas, as well as the Henry B. Plant Museum.


The Tampa Life cigar box featured the Tampa Bay Hotel prominently on it’s inner label artwork, to attract customers during the time that the hotel was in operation.


One of Babe Ruth’s favorite cigar brands was OPTIMO, also hand rolled in Tampa, the cigar capital of the world at the time!


“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me…”

“ALMA MATER” – MICKEY MOUSE CLUB (1950)

Mickey Mouse Waffles
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
2101 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Photo taken February 6, 2005


“You’re the blessed…we’re the spiders from Mars…”

“Hang on to Yourself” – David Bowie (‘Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ Documentary, 1972)

An inhabitant to my front yard, at the time…. She stayed there for almost three months…
Land O Lakes, Florida

Photo taken July 11, 2010


Florida Gator

The Florida Aquarium
Tampa, Florida<

Photo taken December 27, 2006


The “Great I AM”

“Great I Am” – New Life Worship

Starkey Wilderness Preserve
Serenova Tract
New Port Richey, FL

Photo Taken May 18, 2011


Spanish Revival Style

Built in 1927
Designated National Historic Landmark
1130 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL

Photo taken October 30, 2003


The buzz on the street…


“The Bank of Ybor” building, at 1702 E. 7th Ave in historic Ybor City – Tampa, Florida, was built in 1910 and served as a bank until 1955. Today it is the home of BERNINI’S high end Italian restaurant. Much of the building’s interior and exterior charm from days gone by still contribute to the allure of the famous “Cigar City,” as seen here.
Photos taken September 9, 2006


“Flying High Again”

“Flying High Again” – Ozzy Osborne (1981)

The Gulf of Mexico coast along the shores of Honeymoon Island.
Dunedin, Florida

Photo taken May 29, 2011


“All along the watchtower, princes kept the view…”

“All Along the Watchtower” – Bob Dylan (1967)

Experimenting with artistic augmentation.
The Lighthouse
St. Augustine, Florida

Photo taken November 20, 2004


Artiste Cubano

Cafeteria Guarda Barranco
Calle Ocho, Little Havana – Miami
1390 SW 8th St.
Miami, FL 33135

Photo taken November 9, 2006


The Sponger

Tarpon Springs, Florida
Photo taken March 8, 2003


a thorny crown

A weathered nesting along the shoreline at Honeymoon Island State Park, North of Clearwater, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo taken November 16, 2003.


Hand rolled cigar city

Arturo Fuente Cigars
Ybor City
Tampa, Florida.

Photo taken September 9, 2006


A beacon in the night

The Lighthouse
Anastasia Island
St. Augustine, Florida

Photo taken November 20, 2004


A Honeymoon Island Sun Setting

Honeymoon Island Florida nearing Dusk
The Gulf of Mexico

Photo taken May 20, 2011


“…Where to Draw the Line”

“Draw the Line” – AEROSMITH (1977)

An artist practices his craft at the Clearwater Beach-fest.
Clearwater Beach, Florida

Photo taken April 30, 2005