by RhondaK from the Weekly Planet Best Of The Bay Issue, September 25, 2003
BEST THING ABOUT TAMPA BAY
I have always felt a weird magnetism to things like skylines, industrial wastelands, radio towers, train tracks. When I was four years old my mom used to drive me around for hours so I could look at water towers, and houses that burnt down. I love skylines. They are calculated, man made. They are the symbol of 20th century progress, they are a symbol of growth and accomplishment, they are a symbol of status, they are a symbol of pride in the city you live in. They are the heart of the city, the focal point, the center that everything else wraps around. And Tampa’s skyline is a daily reminder that I managed to escape the imprisonment of a small western New York farm town.
BEST PLACE TO BE LONELY AND HEARTBROKEN
I-75 North or South
If you go south, you hit Riverview, and the fabulous glowing factories in the distance to the right, and the blinking radio towers to the left. If you hit the 75 north, you hit a creepy darkness and towns like Dade City. It’s the unknown and the unexplored to me. Kinda like love. I have always loved radio towers. They are little blinky lights that are way, way off in the distance. They are fun to chase, like fireflies. They are a symbol of communication to me, and they give out invisible waves that send information to places faraway. They also symbolize isolation and loneliness for me. They carry and emote so much information, yet they are so desolate and far away.
BEST PLACE TO PISS FLORESCENT
Davis Islands Yacht Basin
Four to six of us were out there in the park next to the basin. When one of us found out that piss glowed green in the water when we launched it off from the seawall, we all had to try it. A few times. Tampa’s skyline is to the back of you and ahead are the barrier islands with all the factories. It is luminescent out there. Some of the stacks even shoot flames. But if your dick does that when you’re going for the glow-in-the-dark pee, know that you’re in trouble. Keep yourself safe.
BEST PLACE TO KISS WITH POP ROCKS IN YOUR MOUTH
Ballast Point Pier
Pop Rocks are a lurid hot pink. The secret to the Pop Rock kiss is for both people to have Pop Rocks in their mouth. Location is particularly important for any act of kissing. Particularly a fizzy, sweet kiss. Tampa’s skyline is really dramatic from the Ballast Point Pier. I like hanging out there with my friend Khris. We’re just kissing friends. He’s boyishly innocent and fun to hang out with. Not everyone will share their Pop Rocks with you. Not everyone understands kissing against the city’s skyline.
BEST PLACE TO PLAY INNER-CITY KICKBALL
American Legion Playground
I like playing kickball here at the corner of Florida and Sligh avenues. Usually six to eight neighborhood kids join us. One, Tyrone, bugs everyone for the keys to their car, though it isn’t likely he can reach the pedals. I really like these kids ’cause they’re so energetic, and they just hang out with us. They don’t notice that we’re weirdo looking twentysomethings playing kickball. We’re all just a bunch of kids hanging out. After kickball, Bo’s Ice Cream is the place to go. While convulsed in a state of brain freeze, you can see Florida Avenue sweep into the city’s north side.
American Legion Playground, 106 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, 813-231-5275.
BEST PLACE TO MEET AN ANONYMOUS TRICK
Gay.com…mostly a bunch of shallow whores looking to get laid.