dish_banNiece of the Week: Delores T. Van Cartier

Getting to know Delores has truly been such a pleasure. With a great sense of humor combined with an even greater sense of REALITY, she is truly a wonderful person. Stop by Hamburger Mary’s in GaYBOR to meet her today.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

The year was 1988. We decided to have a “Charles Dickens Christmas.” Together with our friends Dr. Walt and Jack we flew to London. We arrived the week before Christmas and stayed through New Year’s. We quickly discovered that the “Charles Dickens Christmas” was only in the books. London was not holiday decorated the way we do in America. It was very cold, damp and colorless.

We didn’t know that the government, Harrod’s Department Store, museums, and many businesses closed the week from Christmas to New Year’s. Christmas Eve was very wonderful. We had tickets to go to The Royal Albert Hall for their traditional holiday concert. I forget who the symphony was but they played all the favorites for three hours. We couldn’t help but to be overwhelmed by all the history and spectacular ambiance in this hall. Even singing great Freddy Mercury of Queen had played here.

After the concert we went out for Christmas Eve dinner where our large two-bedroom apartment was in West Brighton. The eatery had a special British holiday fare menu. It was warm inside after leaving the cold outdoors, with great food offered. There was pheasant, braised beef, turkey, scalloped potatoes, green peas and a huge selection of super yummy English homemade desserts. We had to try them because it was Christmas in London.

During our week after Christmas we did play tourists and we ventured to the famed Royal Windsor Castle to see the Queen’s getaway home. Oh shucks, she was gone! But the town of Windsor was beautifully decorated way beyond belief. The gorgeous royal castle was decorated much like an American city.

OK, on with the story…the next year we opened our first MC Film Fest store. It was located on South Hyde Park Avenue in Tampa, located right across from the University of Tampa. There was a new restaurant that had just opened up next to us called “Cafe European.” The owners also owned the restaurant we ate at on Christmas Eve in London one year prior.

The owners remembered us from that night. We all had a really great time together. We shared stories and were very close neighbors. What a small small world!

GaYBOR Holiday Party

Another great year of shared events has passed, and now we’ve had a chance to brag about the colorful decoration that the GaYBOR District Coalition Holiday Decorating Contest gives to the community. This year the big prizes given out were weekend stays at Doubletree Hotel at Walt Disney World, a 50″ HD TV, a premium bottle of wine and of course cash prizes and bragging rights!

The winner of the Best Decorated Retail Store was La France. Best Decorated Restaurant was Carne’s Chop House. Best Decorated Nightclub was The Honey Pot and Best Ybor City Residence went to Ybor’s Teresa. The MC was President of the GaYBOR Coalition, Mark Eary.

GaYBOR Ambassador Peter Clark from Fort Lauderdale (Hotspots Magazine) was present. Congratulations were given to all the GaYBOR Emeritus board members: Carrie West, D. Stephen Moss, Rich Kerin and Mark Bias, who started GaYBOR District Coalition. They were introduced on stage.dish_1

Bradley’s on 7th was the host again for this packed holiday event with over 250 business members. Thanks to all the food suppliers: New York, New York Pizza; Jimmy John’s Subs and numerous GaYBOR members.