Deep Thoughts….. The RNC

Deep Thoughts….. The RNC
Three Cheers for All the People of Tampa
Three Cheers for our Mayor Bob Buckhorn
Three Cheers for our Chief of Police Jane Castor
Three Cheers the RNC is over!!!!
    I am sure you know Gay people are everywhere and we do mean everywhere.  Did you know one of our favorite past times is to having cocktails with friends and dishing about how bad straight people behave?!?!? LOL YES, it’s true.  Did the largest convention in Tampa’s history, the visiting RNC ever give us all a lot to converse about. Many funny stories started with, “You will Not believe this!!!” Here is a sample of what we heard.  The rest of this dish allegedly happened. Nothing is confirmed true or false.
Wink Wink 
    Over & over again we heard “The RNC guests were some of the worst we have ever seen.” Rude, obnoxious, drunken are just some of the nice words to describe the delegates. The police had way more problems with the delegates than the protesters. Fights with over charging prostitutes & novel gouging drug dealers. Vandalism, stealing & looting was the norm. Were told to look the other way or to be fired over and over again. State ‘Delegatos’ walking out on their monstrous bar tabs and even lavish dinners. Trashed hotel rooms & condom littered limos. Bras found hanging on secured area hotel chandeliers. What has happened to our friendly West Coast city? The better than you attitude was everywhere.  There were more plastic AMSCOT credit card neuvo rich than at a tupperware party.  A call to room service…”We need a drawer full of knives right now to stick in our friends backs!!!”  A group of ladies were not patiently waiting for more shrimp to be put on the all you can stuff yourself table when they actual said “What is it with you people and those cigars? It must be a southern Gay fixation!!!” then all laughed… WTF???
    The encrypted gold invites to board the crowded mega yacht spaces at the Tampa marina were selective. At least $150 million in their personal or offshore accounts was the low benchmark. Wow 225′ luxury vessels are still called a yacht? The Coast Guard protected area had helicopters dropping off guests from the sky. And we thought those were all Apache Attack helicopters. Some of the small problems billionaires have we guess. What exactly is ‘Crossroads’ anyway?
    Free food events was like a cowbell! Haven’t these people eaten anything but Spam!  I thought that the police escorted convoy of beer trucks was just to much! Well, maybe needed! There were so many events with free lunches given away I think many local restaurateurs went to save on money on their weeks food bills. And there were only 2 ticketed cigar smoking conservative conferences this year.
    Taking down colorful Rainbow & Democratic flags & all those women posters. One little yellow bird told us, “If I hear… You obviously don’t know who ‘ I ‘ am?… one more time again!!”  I need an Advil!!
    The difference between a RNC delegate and a canoe is?  … the canoe tips. Wearing Alexander Amosu Silk lined suits, double starched OTR Ike Behar White shirts & Gucci Silk Ties, all knock offs, then complaining about the inside heat? Just go outside girl!!! It’s August in Florida…Really?? LOL
    Then there was the big Mormon Building on the river… The Marry-ville Riverside. Described by many as a “big out of control summer camp for juvenile delinquents running wild everywhere.” One little light blue bird told us, “There were so many people crying behind the scenes you would have thought Judy Garland or Princess Diana had just died.”  Oh the “Me first…Me first” shadowed empresses denounced. How can so called “church people” be so mean, cruel & insensitive? I guess it isn’t hard!!! We need NBC’s Saturday Night Live’s “Church Lady” to revisit us all now!.  Very expensive red Maserati cars were delivered by covered transport trucks to the hotels front door. Let’s just say major attitude were driving those cars who weren’t afraid of telling off the police. Maybe we were lucky not to have more of them in GaYBOR/Ybor City. Much of this you will never hear or will be denied. One thing is for sure…The RNC remnances will have the Gay Bars chattering & laughing for quite awhile!!!  I’m sure there were some nice people somewhere. But it’s much more fun to talk about the out of control straight bad ones.
     What about the GLBT Log Cabin Republicans? We didn’t see any of them! Humm… must have been busy practicing hiding in their Motel 8 closets.  LOL LOL  We are Voting for OBAMA.

9-30-12 Bus Accident, MC Film on TMZ, Protesters Come/ Gone

    The last day of the convention and there are mixed reactions from everybody. In Ybor City the day started with a convention bus hitting a building. It was very quiet in GaYBOR/Ybor City. That night our phone rang off the hook!!!! The TV Show TMZ TV had caught Homophobic Illinois’ Republican Congressman Aaron Schock,  in GaYBOR in front of MC Film – Gay Pride Store, The Ybor Social  -A GLBT Bar & The Ybor Resort & Spa – The Gay Bath House!!! ( From Wikipedia: Schock voted against amending federal hate crimes laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability. He voted against the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in December 2010. Schock is opposed to gay marriage.Schock opposes abortion and has voted to prohibit federal funding for the procedure.) Aaron Schock was asked about GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan physique & clothing. We think the real question should have been, “What are you doing walking around in the GaYBOR District?”  Hum……  See the video here  also in the
    One last Protest. The clandestine campfire group Westboro Baptist Church were protesting in Centro Ybor. What a wimpy group and a joke! There was nobody there to protest against in front of  the sand trooper police. Across  the street on the balcony behind the protesters was Sammy waving his rainbow flag. We noticed one person wearing a yellow poster talking back at them. Later that night to our delight we learned that person was Miss Tiffany Middlesex. You Go Girl!!!! Sammy insisted we take a photo from his balcony, showing all the protesters asses!!! LOL   Then came the final speeches on RNC fantasy night TV.  Thank You Clint Eastwood for helping the Democrats. Talking to an empty chair!?!?!  Tampa stood proud. Good Bye RNC.

8-29-12 Where are the Protesters? & TV Personality Ross Mathews Lures GaYBOR.

    Our friend Judy B. Goode called first thing in the morning. She was ranting and raving about the Republicans on TV & Facebook. We told her to put on a Gay Pride outfit and come to Tampa to join and experience the convention’s perimeter and the protesters. At 3pm Judy & Mark arrived in downtown Tampa. We couldn’t believe it and found plenty of empty parking spaces near Tampa Theatre. It was like a  ghost town. Judy found some rainbow suspenders, rainbow top and hat and rainbow streamers flying off her hat. Isn’t this suppose to be Tampa’s largest convention with over 75,00 visitors in the downtown???? There was nobody and we do mean nobody there! We walked the baron streets and could only get within 3 blocks of the Tampa Convention Center. We did encounter a few groups handing out a variety of their concerned issues literature. Near the Tampa River Walk & Kennedy Bridge we saw military gun boats patrolling the Hillsborough River. In the streets were barricades with the flip up road blocks. Just like you see on TV reports of the Middle East war zones. Wow, what has happened to our little friendly city?? At one point we walked into a traveling marching group of police officers. The khaki sand wearing officers were very nice asking us if we needed anything, water or directions. Walking away Judy said, “Darn…. even the police are nice!!!” We decided to head for Ybor City, maybe we would find some protesters there. Looked around. None there!!! We couldn’t think of any other places protesters would be this time of day.
    OK, so we had tried to protest very hard and it was now time for a beer!!! Into Hamburger Mary’s where we found Stephanie Shippae’ and Melanie Minyon sharing an order of Macho Nachos & toasting Holy Water.  When Stephanie shouted out “HEY Tea Cup meet  Ross Mathews… he’s famous and on the Tonight Show”. It was the real Ross Mathews!!!! Of course that could only mean on thing… Picture Time!!!  On the way home Judy said, “No protesters but we did meet Ross! It was a Great Day!”  That night we decided to protest from our living room. Drinking Patron Margaritas, eating Mark’s homemade seafood pasta and shouting at the RNC speakers on TV from our living room couch.

8-28-2012 Protests & GO Proud’s HOMOCON 2012 Party



8-28-2012 Protests & GO Proud’s  HOMOCON 2012 Party . The so called protesters were offset by an unannounced tropical storm now disastrous Hurricane  Isaac. Start of the day was to get out our weekly “Dishing with Mark & Carrie” blog and then search downtown Tampa for some more RNC tidbits. Yes, the gavel was struck and the 50,000 conventioneers were ready for the party to begin. The Official ‘legitimate” party that they say is.  Romneyville, the focal center of protesting groups leaders ‘info center’ north of downtown Tampa behind the Army & Navy Store had a smidgens of any group activity. Large signs were displayed all around the tented city block stating FOOD Needed.” Rain and wind is still a major problem to the tent city. Talking to some of the ‘info center’ leaders “nothing was happening” they stated. Mainly disorganized factions were gathered from just a few days prior.  Asked, “What are your causes?” There was quite the silence. Maybe exhausted or just plain tired from talking to the 15 thousand press members.

I headed to downtown Tampa and this time no incident. Really downtown Tampa was quiet considering the 50k conservative member convention was now underway. The biggest rallying group was a couple hundred supporters for Ron Paul for President were scattered in Lykes Gaslight Park. Quite the unique Ron Paul specialized corvette driving around the park. I met Charlie, a delegate to the convention for Ron Paul. He said that he has a house with 20 other Ron Paul delegates staying with him. He was very popular. Every few feet a different cause handed you literature or pamphlets. Still a humungous amount (over kill) of khaki brown wearing police patrolling our friendly light hearted city. Hundreds of police patrols are still walking, bicycling, riding in vehicles, standing inside fenced properties or riding police horses. Yes, today they are getting rained upon.

A bipartisan house was being built at Encore redevelopment, halfway between downtown and Ybor City. Republicans built half here in Tampa and the Democrats in Charlotte are to build the other half of this gifted giveaway house. The house will be given away and placed on a lot in Encore Project.

Creative Loafing Magazine held a panel discussion at there CL offices on 9th Ave with panelists Log Cabin Board Member, Sara Longfellow; Sally Phillips, GLBTA Democratic State Committeewoman; Nadine Smith with Equality Florida and David Warner, CL publisher as the moderator. The topic theme was “GLBT in today’s political parties; Are they invisible?” Comments and positions were debated by all the panelists on their own party’s platform position.

Back at our MC FILM store, we hadn’t noticed anything positive in store sales during the largest Tampa convention.  Zero sales = Zero dollars! We knew the delegates wouldn’t come in to buy but we did think the media and others would. Ybor City businesses and Tampa businesses are not getting any shoppers. Another sad day for store sales! I was talking with King Corona owner, Don Barco. He has had a lot of national media also interviewing him. One particular fun story is the FOX Network interview with an Emmy award winning broadcaster. He asked Don,” What is it with this close relationship between Ybor City and cigars?” I just laughed as Don was telling me the story.

Onto the night with the Gay Republican splinter Washington conservative based group, GO Proud’s  HOMOCON 2012 Party at the Honey Pot in GaYBOR. Before going we witnessed another Anti-gay mockery bully campaign on 7th Ave in front of Centro Ybor. On the balcony of Hamburger Mary’s we saw 2 battalions of 40 police along with a bicycle patrol of 10 separate the street banner holding self serving religious toting zealots and  the positive horn blowing, yelling in their face and holding there line, GLBT Yborites.

HOMOCON 2012 had been invited by the GaYBOR District to help identify nationally & internationally   the positive measures Ybor City GLBTA members have re-created to Tampa’s historic district.  We wore our traditional sparkling jacket outfits. Over 1000 attendees said they really liked Tampa but were unaware of its beginnings or culture.  The over 100 press members present from all over the globe interviewed us about our views of the GOP’s platform against GLBT rights and the convention being in Tampa. Tampa’s economical situation is very grave and unemployment for East Tampa at over 17%. We need all the financial stimulus help we can get.  We said “ Tonight, we are Switzerland.”

8-27-2012 The Police Horses Steal the Show

GaYBOR/Ybor City was  quiet early today. Just like before a big storm about to hit. Small changes happened over night. New posters everywhere, strange street signs for the RNC, and people we didn’t know with Northern manners. The convention has been called off today because of the weather but there are still police & protesters. We rode the streetcar down to Channelside with 3 other people in the car. Along Meridian Street were dozens of private dark navy blue rail cars parked. There were police everywhere and placed every 20 ft. Three Cheers for our Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor!!!! She must have given all the police a class on being nice & human courtesy!!! Many officers stopped us and asked if everything was OK? Did we need some water? Directions? Have a nice day. WOW WOW WOW.

The rain & cancellations killed everything. We only saw one small group of well behaved protesters. From the estimated 5,000-8,000 possible protesters arriving, they estimated a group of 125-150 marched.  We made a stop into the Metro Bar & Grille for a beer. Friends Rich & Tripp joined us there. Then the sun came out. We were 1 block from Gaslight Park where all the police horses were collected. Mark grew up on a horse ranch & we are both animal lovers. It was quite beautiful. The horses were all smiling you could just hear them saying. “Cool green grass feels great on our feet!!! & What’s up with the funny police riot face shield we are wearing?” We didn’t know that the horses wear police badges on each side of their bridals.

Then we ran into Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s personal administrative staff. Can we say photo time. The temp in city hall is chilly we were told. Let’s hope the rest of the convention goes as good as Monday did. WOW this is a little creepy in a nice way.

Today don’t ask me why, but I checked our myspace page. There was a page from my friend Rex Maniscalco that passed away 3 years ago. Rex had started Rainbow in Sunshine Project, a collection of LGBT photos from the Tampa past. Rex was also a Gay political activist who would have been totally involved  about having the  the RNC here in Tampa. I clicked on his Rainbow in Sunshine Project & here is what came up (((HUGS)) to Rex on the other side

8-26-2012 MSNBC at Channelside.

It’s official the big Republican National Convention will be postponed the opening until Tuesday. After a great Sunday brunch at Hamburger Mary’s, where the new head Chef Scott is doing a deliciously great job, we headed to Channelside District. Here MSNBC has set up in the court yard. The club formally known as “Howl at the Moon” is now called “The Elephant Bar.” The MSNBC Morning Joe Show with Florida resident TV host, Jim Scarborough will be shooting live from inside the bar during the rain/shine climate week. No credentials are needed to see the daily shows throughout the day/evenings. The Fox Network is set up in the designated credential needed area at the Tampa Bay History Center. The ‘Where in the World is Matt Lauer’ and  NBC News TV daily shows are at Jackson’s on Harbour Island.

Back in GaYBOR/Ybor City it was beyond quiet. With the storm, Hurricane Isaac lingering & the convention security scaring a lot of locals away, it is so- so in the historic area. Inside Bradley’s on 7th there was quite the Hurricane Party!!! But it is only the beginning.

8-25-2012 Are We Ready or Just Getting Ready

    After a late Friday night and working at the store we were awakened by the helicopters above our house at 7AM.  Today is the official street closure in downtown Tampa. We live close to the area so we get the Apache helicopter noise. On our way in we noticed around the Univ of Tampa and heading over the river to downtown that there were small groups of 8-10 police on each of the corners and on all 9 Tampa bridges. I said that it looks like ‘police sand stormers’ taking over Tampa. That isn’t very far from the truth. Police are very present and the RNC is beginning its party in Tampa. We noticed a lot of  patrols of 20-30 officers on bicycles and the ATV police mules are roaming the waterfront with Coast Guard armed boats securing the waterfront. All the cruises out of Tampa have been canceled this week. So none of the 3 major cruise ships are allowed at Channelside this week!
    The Ybor restaurants and clubs were pretty empty last night. Either scared of the security in place or for Hurricane Isaac. But the mood is slowly optimistic. The press is covering Ybor City at all possible angles. Sarasota Herald Newspaper did a story with Mark at our MC FILM store. Story is out Sunday!
    The direction of the big party disappointer hurricane storm isn’t known yet! Hurricane Andrew was 20 years ago to the day of its destructive passing over South Florida. We know of hundreds of friends that have left Tampa during the RNC to just get away. Our Gov Scott has put Florida hurricane preparedness efforts at a priority. And speaking of hot issues… Miss Joey Brooks was on the patio of Hamburger Mary’s waving at the 30 riding police bicyclists. One officer yelled to the group, ” Look up guys it is Ybor’s Mama Guava.” Joey was not impressed.
    We await the visiting crowds, that so far haven’t come to Ybor City… And further excitement.

Friday, 8-24-12 Tents & Train

8-24-12            It was a quiet day but oh so much is happening. The downtown street closures start today. I took pictures of the different tent locations. Also at the end of the Amtrak train that comes into Tampa Union Station was the Patron Tequila  Railcar as a caboose. It is so unique and owned by Paul Mitchell. The tents are set up all over Tampa Bay for Private RNC Parties, National Organizations, Special Political PAC Groups Tent Parties. We only hope that Mr Hurricane Isaac cooperates in the convention with little storm, wind and rain. We noticed government satellite trucks roaming downtown Tampa all over the place. And the Apache Helicopters wake even the dead! They fly in groups of 4 all over Tampa’s downtown area which includes GaYBOR/ Ybor City. Then to our surprise the fantastic quirky singing Kinsey Sicks Quartette from LA was doing a concert at the Tampa Theatre and was cancelled for RNC security. They were in the store and are touring GaYBOR tonight! The show a benefit for the TIGLFF is re-scheduled for October! The convention with Hurricane Isaac upon us continues

Thursday 8-23-12 Restoration & Visit to Camp

8-23-12           Yesterday Carrie was stopped by the seceret service & police. Today we started out by cleaning out our car. No more extra business cards, tools, posters, doggie treats. Just registeration, insurance and a bottle of cologne (LOL).  TV is a buzz about people blowing up bridges here. Personally we don’t believe it. Our Fl Gov. Rick Scott has been all over TV talking about Hurricane Issac. Hum…since the Gov was given a cold shoulder from the RNC he must be enjoying all the TV time. One station reported that they could not believe the “Complancy of the people of Tampa over Issac.” Guess that is because when we are in a direct hit 7 days out it’s no way coming close. National News reported that Republican spend $150 average in strip clubs and Democrate spend $50.  Below are 2 Gay Videos to make Facebook today.

Wrong Direction’s “Disclosure” – A Full Frontal Freedom production

Gay Hookers Gear Up For the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa

Now for Carrie’s Day…. Wow I got a great history lesson about downtown Tampa today. I went down to see the redevelopment of the North Franklin Street Project. I was also following up on a possible rumor of a presidential headquarters  Three magnificent buildings with a lot of Tampa history; Woolworth’s, SH Kress Building, and JJ Newberry’s Dept Store had been boarded up for 30 and 50 years respectively. At one time the buildings were set to be demolished by the owners for new renovations and building of new condos for downtown. Tampa City Council stead fast. Now with the upcoming RNC dollars have been given for downtown renovations and redevelopment. Thank goodness!

            I was taking pictures of additional buildings on Franklin Street. The old 911 Club, Old Solar Club are under major renovations. One building is just finishing up renovations Revolution Martini. I saw Larry Williams, an old friend I hadn’t seen in years also taking pictures of the old rehabitated dept store buildings. “ It looks great. I grew up in these wonderful buildings. Do you remember?” He said.  Mark & I moved to Tampa in 1980 and a few of the buildings were already in disrepair

and boarded up.  So I asked for the historic downtown Tampa Franklin Street Tour and he obliged.  I let Larry tell the stories of his yesteryear ‘been there’ memory.

First was the old Woolworth’s Art Deco Building. The new redo now has framed windows in place. This old 5 & dime had a Civil Rights sit in at the cafeteria lunch counter in February 1960. This has been a historical preservation nightmare. Different Tampa groups want the building as a remembrance to the African American Civil Rights Story. It was also the go to place for an array unique family items. I was in the Woolworth’s building when the Tampa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival showed film shorts during their festival in 1994.

Larry asked if the short stubby police officer had given me any lip? No, in fact he was sort of welcoming and friendly to me. “Well here he comes again.” Larry does have that limp wrist with attitude about him. We walked towards the next door to the historic Kress Building. Again, the renovations in front of the old national chain building was like a huge breath of fresh air. Opening up a store that had been boarded up for over 50 years…alive again! The store had multiple floors and was always very busy I was told. Still there were the big identifiable crests on the buildings exterior and the new windows that replaced the old ones just shined.  Scaffolding still in place we went next to the JJ Newberry Dept Store. Unique because the store had a full basement with a lunch counter there. It also had a 2nd floor landing for special men & women’s clothing.  “Let me show you something you might just have missed.”  I followed Larry around to Florida Ave. to the etched transom exterior doors as he pointed. On the upper glass had ‘JJ Newberry’s Office’. Dusty, old and faded it is historical and the glass not broken. An adjacent door had etched ‘ Newberry Dept Store Deliveries’. Work was continuing on at the backside as well with ladders aligned. The frontage of the backside of the Kress is as gorgeous as ever. “I bought a Tiffany Lamp here for my Mother and I still have it.”

A Miami Stage & Sound trucks and crew were inside the Florida Ave. backside of Woolworth building setting up sound stage equipment. We have secretly heard that this whole restored block was going to be Mitt Romney’s For President Florida Headquarters. Bain Capital was writing the checks. A lot of work left to do but a gem everlasting for downtown Tampa. Larry gave me a couple more pointers of wit. He was an elevator boy at the Floridan Hotel when he was in high school. The 911 Building just north on Franklin Street was the WT Grant Dept. Store and where the US Courthouse is was Sears and that the Hub in its previous location had Elvis Presley party there and he sang after his concert at the Armory Building on Howard Ave. back in August 5, 1956. Larry was at the concert and at the Hub to see him both times. We left in different directions again. We have more meetings and more blocks to historically cover.

Then came the afternoon: I went to Freedom Village in East Tampa where the Occupy Tampahas a campground. I talked to many of the different organizations that were there. Ron Paul For President, The Green Party For President Committee and a a number of other Occupy groups including Portland, Ore and Boston, MA.

There were a lot of disorganized efforts in this camp. This campsite village seems like a lot of independent leaders and no followers.  The old Occupy Tampa bus was in the back corner of the Joe Redner Park on Main Street.. The police have been driving around the camp in caravans. “We are really upset with Mr Frank Reddick. He wants us out!” said a couple of protesters. I didn’t say a word.  His picture is on the back of many posters. Tampa City Council is Untrusted!” Many other slogans were there as I snapped away pictures!