Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bo's Ice Cream is for Sale

A Seminole Heights landmark, Bo's Ice Cream, is for sale, according to a sign on the property. It noted that after 50 years Bo is retiring. What a shame. I hope whoever buys it keeps selling ice cream and does not tear it down for a Walgreens or something. Of course to recoup the cost of the sale they will have to increase prices and sell of some of the land. It will never be the same!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

After dinner relaxation

Life in a 1922 bungalow is so interesting. We have been remodeling our kitchen since the beginning of January. A project that was supposed to be finished in one month. (Boy, were we naive!) New cabinets, flooring (concrete backer board and vinyl composition tile), drywall, counter, sink, bead board panelling, lights, outlets and etc. Everything is taking longer than it is supposed to, usually because some sort of problem is discovered. Tonight, after coming home from a hard day at work (does anyone come home from a soft day of work?) , I enjoyed a good meal and conversation with my wife, Susan. After dinner I was planning on working on the kitchen floor molding. I needed to get this done so we could move our appliances into the kitchen this weekend. We have not had a stove for 3 months and toaster-oven food is getting tiring. First the dishes needed to be washed. I was hand washing the dishes in my usual Zen-like state, enjoying the view out my new window. I looked down and discovered my sink was not draining. Since I just put this sink and new plumbing in 2 weeks ago, I knew it was not a stopped up p-trap. I knew it was not a blockage under the house because early on in the remodeling project I had replaced all of that cast iron piping due to several leaks. After two hours of digging up my backyard I discovered the problem.

At some point the main waste clay pipe that ran from the bathroom to the city sewer line was replaced with PVC. However the clay pipe that ran from the kitchen to the main line was not replaced. I knew this and thought the clay pipe must have collapsed, perhaps at the juncture of the clay pipe and the main waste PVC pipe. Not so. The intellectual giants who put in the PVC pipe never connected the kitchen clay pipe to the PVC pipe! Aaargh!

I found a blog of someone who has many stories to tell about remodeling an old house The Last Nail

Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

David West has died

According to an email I just received From Shannon Edge, director of City of Tampa Neighborhood and Community Relations, David West has died.

"It is with a very heavy heart and great sadness that I share with you the passing of David West Sunday afternoon. Words cannot do justice in describing what a positive difference David made in Tampa, especially in his North Tampa neighborhood and with Tampa Neighborhood Crime Watch. His support, kindness, commitment for change, big heart and friendship will be sorely missed but his sprit will remain with us forever.

David was everywhere in the community trying to make a difference, especially through his "Up With Hope, Down With Dope" anti-drug marches. Major Jane Castor also mentioned that David was going to be recognized for "Outstanding Citizen of the Year" by TPD at the Sykes Law Enforcement lunch. The Mayor also stated "David represented the very best of neighborhood activism. He truly made a difference.”

David was very involved not only in his neighborhood association of North Tampa, but in city wide activities. He was a past President of the Tampa Neighborhood Watch Association, a founding member of the Hillsborough County Prostitution Task Force, and member of the Southeast Seminole Heights (SESH) antiprostitution Exercise Club (among other actvities.) He attended every anti-drug march held in SESH and assisted in getting the SESH Neighborhood Watch Vehicle Patrol started. His efforts helped reduce prostitution activity in Seminole Heights.

He was a good man and will be greatly missed.

Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2005
MacDonald Funeral Home
10520 N. Florida Avenue
813- 933 - 4950
5:00 PM

David West at the former U-Save on Nebraska for a late night anti-prostitution walk with the SESH Exercise Club. Also in the photo is Betty Shaffer and an unknown TPD officer. Posted by Hello

David West with the SESH Exercise Club and TPD in another late night anti-prostitution walk. Also in the photo is Frank Roder, Marilyn Durst, Denise Toledo, and Buddy Williams Posted by Hello


What is is with restaurants in Seminole Heights? The number of failed restaurants is amazing. Rigo's (What a great place in its prime!) Stoopid's (?????). Seminole Heights Bakery. Several places in the strip mall at Powhattan and Nebraska. Sugar Daddy's and etc.

One of the best (worst?) examples is 5202 N. Nebraska (cor Frierson)

Since I moved to Seminole Heights in 2000 there have been 5 restaurants at that location.

The first was Old Tampa Cafe, that underwent new ownership some time after we arrived here. The new owners did not last long. It was not much of a restaurant, but the food was not bad.

Then came the Lunch Break. Aside from a coat of paint not much was done to the decor. The outside wall still had the Old Tampa Cafe signs. They did add decorations at each holiday. But they never took them down. Food was really good, being home style cooking. However it took a while for the food to be served. It did not seem as if they did any food prep. Sometimes people were not waited on timely. Suggestions were not appreciated. They would regularly not open up on time.

Then came the Gyro restaurant. Eager to please but lacking on experience in running a restaurant. Food was not very good. No changes in decor. The hours kept changing.

Seminole Heights Cafe took over. There were great plans. All of the old signs were removed and a new one put up. The exterior was painted and interior remodeling began. Then nothing for most of a year.

Now we have Martha's Restaurant. Soon to open on April 1. It is moving from another location on east Hillsborough Avenue where it had been for years. They seemed to know what they are doing. Complete interior remodeling. Wainscoting being put up. A new paint job of more than one color. They replaced the booths with tables. The booths that were designed for 4 people but could only really seat 2 so maximum number of customers could never be achieved. They redid the counter and placed stools there for the To Go customers. At the prior restaurants To Go customers sat at tables. This again will maximize the number of eat-in customers. Their breakfast/lunch hours are good (6A to 3P) with dinner on Friday. 4 to ???

I want several things when I go out to eat. Consistent quality. Food items should taste the same every time I go. Good and timely customer service. Decent environment. Consistent hours. (When a restaurant says it will be open it should be!)

My favorites are Three Coins, Nicko's and the taco bus Restaurant. Front Porch is good but the food is cooked differently each time I go.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Welcome to Seminole Heights. Commentary and photographs about life here in Seminole Heights. This is an interesting urban neighborhood, full of life and character. Many homes are bungalows that date from the 1920's, but all styles and can be found including the mini New Tampa style of the New Millenium homes. There is a strong diversity in race, culture, sexual orientation and political opinion. The three subneighborhoods (Old Seminole Heights, South Seminole Heights, and Southeast Seminole Heights) have very strong civic associations and the residents are known city wide for civic activism. Southeast Seminole Heights was named as 2003 National Neighborhood of the Year. This neighborhood is home to to community radio station WMNF 88.5, well known for its dedication to activism and progressive causes. City council member Kevin White resides here and council member Rose Ferlita works here. Several strong neighborhood watch groups exist, working closely with police in reducing crime.