One last LAUGH!!!!! MC Film & GaYBOR on TMZ!!!
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.”
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 http://www.myspace.com/rainbowinsunshine/photos (((HUGS)) to Rex on the other side
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.
8-24-12 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
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSAGR0arBUo&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Gay Hookers Gear Up For the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa https://s-static.ak.facebook.com/rsrc.php/v1/y2/r/5l8_EVv_jyW.swf?v=2307244257531&ev=0
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!