Sunday, March 2, 2008

VM Ybor - Part of the Urban Corridor

We encourage stories from and about VM Ybor. People, places and events ...

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By: Jennifer Howe

Tampa, Florida - The Tampa Heights neighborhood was established back in the 1880's and sits just north of downtown. It is experiencing a re-development now as the city's newest, oldest suburb.

Gene Howes is a documentary filmmaker who has spent a lot of time walking these streets, photographing the unique architecture.

"I love this area,” said Howes. “I love the diversity of it. I love the history of it, and so it's fantastic to be a part of what's going on."

He's now contributing to a new magazine dedicated to the people of Tampa, Seminole and Riverside Heights.

We met the editor of "New Heights Magazine” at the old Tampa Fire House #5. Jay McGee started the magazine after realizing how many stories could be told about the neighborhoods and what they've accomplished.

Jay said, "What I could do was kind of act as a facilitator for all these neighborhoods by creating a magazine that talks about, not necessarily what we all need, but what we all have."

He wants to write about history to preserve it. The old fire house, for example, is about to get a face lift. A Tampa man is turning it into an art gallery.

"We have this future vision of what we'd like it to be, but we don't want to get rid of the past," said Jay McGee.

He has drawn on the memories of the people who live here. They are the authors and photographers who have filled the pages of new heights with stories.

People like Gene Howes who finds beauty in these old streets.

"It just needs to be noticed, and I think that's what the magazine will do," said Gene.

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