the city that sleeps on sunday mornings
Tampa @ 6am on a Sunday is, to be honest, a surreal experience.
Florida relies heavily on tourism for cash, and the tourism isn't going to slow down any time soon.
In addition to that, there are over 334,000 residents in the city of Tampa.
To put this in perspective, Killingly (the town I used to live in) has under 18,000 residents.
Normally I can hear cars rushing down the streets whenever I walk outside my apartment door. It is a constant sound that's always there.
The sound of the cars is not what you probably think it is. You don't hear horns blaring or sirens wailing. It's just the sound of normal traffic, i.e. tires rolling on pavement. Also, the sound is not loud. It's just there.
I should also point out that my apartment isn't directly next to the road. I do have trees around me, but I'm close enough to the main road where I can hear the car sound I'm talking about.
That sound does not exist during the early daylight hours of Sunday morn'.
Being that I live just a hop away from a major tourist attraction that commands lots of traffic, the lack of that sound always gets my attention.
The surreal part starts there.
When you hop in the car and go out for a drive (say, for a morning coffee at the 7-Eleven), that's when you really notice that Tampa's still sleeping.
Seeing Busch Boulevard completely empty is odd. That road has (along with many other roads) three lanes per side, and trust me, there's a good reason it does. During the week and most of the weekend, all lanes are filled up most of the time. To see it completely open like that just makes you go Wow.. in a few hours this will be filled up with cars again.
. . .
I've had an attraction to the city ever since I was old enough to remember going on car rides to Massachusetts cities with the family. I remember feelings of wonderment whenever going into Auburn to go to the mall, or to the Centrum in Worcester and the like. Years later in the late 90's I enjoyed traveling to Boston on business for the company I was working for at the time.
The Tampa Bay area continues giving me those good feelings I remember from my Massachusetts driving days.
Some people don't give where they live a second thought, but I take time to notice things like sights, sounds and how things change depending on what day it is, time of day and so on.
Tampa Bay is more than just palm trees, pleasant weather and beaches. She has a feel to her that is so different from where I was.. and I can't even begin to describe the differences..
..but it's all good, believe me. 🙂