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View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?
Ybor City 8 61.54%
Little Havana 5 38.46%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-13-2020, 12:16 PM
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
5,025 posts, read 5,681,843 times
Reputation: 3955


Figured this would be fun. Which do you prefer?

Consider the following
1. Historical Significance
2. Architecture/Aesthetics
3. Nightlife
4. Pedestrian Activity/Overall Vibrancy
5. Food Scene (esp. as it relates to Cuban Sandwich and Bakeries)
6. Festivals (Guavaween/Knight Parade/Int’l Cuban Sandwich Fest vs Culturales Viernes/Calle Ocho Fest)
7. Connection to Downtown areas by foot or public transit
8. More overall entertainment/cultural attractions/happenings
9. More exciting future/development
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:13 PM
27,231 posts, read 43,971,352 times
Reputation: 32342
Little Havana by a mile in terms of authenticity and neighborhood (people actually live there versus Ybor's tiny population) and there's a vibrancy provided by that versus crowds imported on the weekend who exhibit little in Cuban culture. I know Ybor has an inferiority complex that rears itself from time to time seeking some kind of relevancy....but the reality stands, Little Havana is much more established and vital overall. If in doubt, check out the Google maps with varying businesses. Ybor is full of businesses like the Yoga Loft, the Improv, Crowbar, Al's BBQ, Blind Tiger Cafe, etc....very Americanized.

Not to mention it's quite small compared to Little Havana
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:39 PM
18,466 posts, read 8,292,857 times
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I agree with kyle....you can't compare the two....Ybor is nothing like Little Havana

...like trying to compare a strip shopping center to a mega mall.....
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:04 PM
313 posts, read 218,696 times
Reputation: 435
Ybor is kind of a dump....
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:13 PM
34 posts, read 21,529 times
Reputation: 40
ybor is ghetto and a dump, little havana has years of culture of Miami and a different vibe.
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Old 05-13-2020, 09:40 PM
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
5,025 posts, read 5,681,843 times
Reputation: 3955
A few things I'll say-first, I'll agree with Kyle that Little Havana has more residential.. is more authentic insomuch that it is more Latin oriented, is more vibrant, no arguments there. In defense of Ybor though, a few thoughts-feel free to disagree, this is what debate is all about-

1. The strip shopping center comment seems off base, perhaps other than size to me-I guess due to the fact that to me, Ybor DOES (though it loses handily in other categories) have a better architectural heritage and streetscape IMO.

This is the primary section of Little Havana for retail, IMO: https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7656...7i16384!8i8192

Little Havana's isn't bad looking by any stretch-but this is Ybor's: https://www.google.com/maps/@27.9602...7i16384!8i8192

To me, though perhaps not to everyone, that is a superior architectural aesthetic and pedestrian oriented streetscape-here is an interior shot in the area:
There is actually an event called the Ybor Architecture Hop, once a year which lets people visit a number of historic businesses in the area that are normally closed to the public. Particularly recommend the tour of the former Florida Brewing Company (now a law office)-which was the tallest building in Florida during the 1890's and 1900s.

Anyway hopping off that historical point-

About authenticity
2. I feel like any urban entertainment destination in a city is generally speaking going to reflect the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood and the city more than any historical roots the city might've had-that is true even with Little Havana.. which was not Cuban until 1960, but of course, when it did, it changed rapidly-Ybor changed to become a neighborhood for tourists and people from around the region, and so when it did, it added more Americanized, etc. businesses-I don't think there's anything wrong with it and frankly, it would be more problematic to have restrictions against said places opening. Miami of course, does have the surrounding residential you mention which is a big factor.. but it also is just a much more Hispanic metro/county population in general, and 8th St. reflects that. However, in looking, that area has apparently increasingly been populated by Nicaraguan, Panamanian residents, businesses, etc.. and I believe that cycle will continue. Also in fairness to Americanized/other chains... within even the main strip section of Calle Ocho which I think would be considered the hub/heart of the neighborhood... you have McDonald's, Pizza Hut.. a sushi place... etc.

Questions could be raised like that about other historical districts like that too-French Quarter, etc.

3. No real arguments on the size standpoint and I think perhaps most importantly-the population of locals and sheer size and density of Miami should certainly be factored in.-but, what I will say is this: Little Havana is about 3 SqMi as recognized by neighborhood boundaries-but that official designation covers a vast area-of places that also look like this: https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7809...7i16384!8i8192

and this: https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7651...7i16384!8i8192

Meanwhile-Ybor itself was sadly decimated and divided in half post-war years by freeways. However, the neighborhood itself does have a northern end that in total ends up being 1 SqMi. It's neighborhood boundaries does include things like this:

But also includes neighborhoods at the north end like this, with an annual tour of homes, nationally rated bakeries, and family operated cigar factories that exceed 100 years old:

And areas like West Tampa, which is perhaps more Cuban at this point now than Ybor is:
If Ybor's arbitrary boundaries were as large as those of Little Havana-it would potentially encapsulate this district too.

If looking at just the primary core historic areas... Little Havana's strip is not necessarily much bigger than Ybor's. I get that from a population and density standpoint it gets much different though:


Perhaps there is some level of "inferiority complex" from Ybor-but honestly I don't really see that or am not familiar-IMO it's not so large residentially at this point for it's residents to have a widespread/consistent identity like that (though it does indicate that over 20% that do live there are Cuban-a still decent portion). Ybor City has been a place that has been neglected and could potentially be much better than it is now-on that I would certainly agree-it has largely been ignored in comparison to newly developed City of Tampa districts such as Tampa Heights, Water Street, and perhaps even Midtown soon. But, I think for what it is, it does offer a pretty unique and interesting historical aesthetic, and a tremendous history, at least by Sun Belt standards.

I'm not sure I see the idea of Ybor being "ghetto" or a "dump" but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Businesses like this don't usually operate in "dumps" or "ghettos" though:

Also, perhaps Ybor's reputation and general neighborhood element might be getting a bump/rapid change soon-I feel quite conflicted about this.. as it is really resulting in a lot of affordable housing residents being displaced, and fast-but this will mean that this area may finally develop in the way that it should:

I see a lot of hate for Ybor, and I'm really not sure why-I mean I guess it could be considered somewhat gritty? But at the same time, I don't think I really use that sort of language or rhetoric about a place people live.. period. I'm guessing some either haven't been to the area recently.. that they've never been and are judging based on a cross-section of what was heard..or they've only gone at night and not seen what the neighborhood can be at other times.

Overall-on density and size alone-Little Havana is a more vital/dynamic neighborhood, especially when considering national influence over time and the festivals it hosts-but I think Ybor brings something unique and dynamic to the table to that in some ways Little Havana does not-and so I can kinda see some positives with both and hope both cities continue to pay attention to both, while also avoiding ruining current aesthetic present in each of them.

Last edited by theurbanfiles; 05-13-2020 at 09:50 PM..
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:08 AM
Location: Tampa
1,277 posts, read 1,091,911 times
Reputation: 1285
I think Ybor has more vibrancy as a night club spot. There is a lot of history there as well. Easier to walk during the day as well with a real streetcar access to the cruise port and downtown. They are on different levels.

These go to Ybor easily. There is not door to door traffic of bars/restaurants/clubs going strong in Little Havana. That is in south beach.

Ybor goes to
3. Nightlife
4. Pedestrian Activity/Overall Vibrancy
7. Connection to Downtown areas by foot or public transit
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:16 PM
Location: Not too far East of the Everglades
10,951 posts, read 3,701,592 times
Reputation: 2844
The OP forgot to place a Third Option...Both Alike . . . .

Not that both are alike at all, in my opinion...Both to me are Equaly Important in my LIFE.

And that is what Polls are for...The Person's Opinion.

Both known very well to me and spouse through our years in Florida since 1973. They bring back unforgotten memories with friends and family members no longer here at both Areas of the Sunshine State enjoying life fully.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:55 PM
Location: Greater Orlampa CSA
5,025 posts, read 5,681,843 times
Reputation: 3955
cjairo191: 3 and 7 I agree with-4 is harder for me to say-the door to door vibrancy on average I agree with, with exceptions like Calle Ocho Fest of course.. I do think they are hard to compare though because as mentioned Little Havana is so big-it also perhaps has more of that “front porch” vibrancy that is harder to quantify.

2 I think probably goes to Ybor.
1... I’ll call a draw. Obviously Ybor with the longer history and Little Havana with the recent significance.
Little Havana gets 5 and 6 I think, esp. festivals/events. COF sounds amazing, perhaps on par with Gasparilla even.

8 I will call a draw.
9.. I’m honestly not sure how development of Little Havana looks recently in comparison to Ybor.

Huasho-you made a good point-I should’ve included a tie category-that’s probably how I would’ve voted honestly
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:06 AM
Location: Not too far East of the Everglades
10,951 posts, read 3,701,592 times
Reputation: 2844
Cool . . . .
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