Nephew of the Week: David Rodriguez

This HOT nephew is from Miami. With a killer smile and great personality, David is one nice guy! You will find him working hard at Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza and Hamburger Mary’s in GaYBOR.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up: OK, Hum Us a Tune…

The year was 1996. Tampa was the host city for the largest (until that time) convention at Tampa Convention Center, the “GALA Choruses Festival V.” There were 86 choruses, 23 small ensembles and more than 4,700 singing delegates registered from around the world. Again, this was the largest convention Tampa had ever seen. The Hillsborough County Commission and Tampa City Council fought for this convention and had passed sexual orientation rights in the city and county but the county was wavering!

We were proud to be the hosts for the OK Gay Men’s Chorus, led by director (and friend) Rev. Franklin Roberts from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We said that the 40 singers and backup band had to sing for their supper! In our back yard we had cooked a huge Cuban-style Tampa feast of BBQ roast pork, seafood paella, black beans, yellow rice, Cuban bread and plantains.

After the festive dinner, the group serenaded us and 100 of our close friends in our back yard.  Of course we had invited all our neighbors too. The Oklahoma cowboys had also brought with then a couple of their friends. The friends turned out to be none other than the outlandish gay comedy singing duo, Romanovsky and Phillips. We had all of their CDs.

They did a surprise set to add to the beautiful Tampa night! The guys were the headliners for the big pride show the next day!

Tampa had a major gay pride event with all the visiting choruses marching in the Tampa Pride Parade. It was like no other Tampa gay event since.

A few days after the Festival V had finished in Tampa came some very sad news. The men’s chorus from France left JFK in New York on TWA Flight 800. Twelve minutes after takeoff the plane blew up and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. All 230 onboard were killed. This was at the time the third-deadliest airline crash in America.

BIG News at the Ybor City Wine Bar

Having just celebrated their first anniversary, BIG news was just announced. The Ybor City Wine Bar was just approved by The Society of Wine Educators as a wine school.

The wine school will begin the first Saturday in April. The program that will be taught is the “Certified Specialist of Wine Certification”. This is for anyone who has a serious interest in wine. The cost of the program is $750 and includes your book, exam fee, internet access, 24 hours of class time, certified instructors and all the wines that will be tasted during the program.

Flan Festival

Again, the dessert carriers were carefully opened and presented for the annual Flan Festival in Centennial Park. A full array of flans were up for the cash grand prize and of course a year of flan bragging rights. The many entrants had flan in traditional and non-traditional categories.

The selected judges, including myself, had their hands and mouths full tasting all the different varieties that were prepared. Some recipes had been generational hand-me-downs and others were modern takes with light calorie-conscious recipes.

The Ybor City Saturday Market had the park filled and the people’s sweet tooth appetite palates drooling. Congratulations on a packed day in Ybor.

New in GaYBOR

This Saturday at the Ybor City Social Club, there will be a new monthly event debuting called “Fetish Divine.”dish_last

This is a PANSEXUAL event. Guess that means everything goes? All we know is that both floors will be packed with interesting people and very adult toys! Hosted by Keevan LuCre, this is going to be HOT!  Be sure to check out their web site at Tell them the naughty Mark and Carrie sent you!




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