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Old 03-05-2010, 01:56 PM
Location: Tampa, Fl
4,091 posts, read 5,086,957 times
Reputation: 3393


Google "Ronda Storms" and see what comes up. She used to be over Hillsborough County before actually being elected for congress I believe... Which says a WHOLE lot about the state.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:01 AM
Location: Tampa
47 posts, read 64,850 times
Reputation: 30
The heat is freaking horrible. You will sweat upon exiting your domicile. And during the worst heat, there's no breeze, even though we're surrounded by water. It's compounded by the excessive humidity. You can actually see the humidity change visibility when it leaves the state for cooler weather. It looks much clearer outside during those times.

The rain can make semi-trucks disappear in front of you while driving.

Home prices are still high, people don't want to drop their prices, and values have gone way down. That's a plus for you, kind of, and a minus for me.

The pay is very sub-par for many jobs. There's also a lack of specialization amongst certain industries. Because the market is so small—for a place that's supposed to be metropolitan—a lot of the people know each other. In my industry, job switching almost becomes like trading professional athletes because there's nowhere for anyone to go. If you intend on starting your own business, you'll be pretty set because competition is low. Unfortunately that means that the work produced is particularly "small time."

From what I've seen, having lived here all my life, a lot of the driving problems aren't people speeding and cutting others off, it's the people that go slow, merge into you while talking on their cell phone, and those that generally just don't pay attention or know where they're going that are problematic. Half of the people here like to go fast—personally I prefer that as I think it makes you pay attention. The other half likes to go really slow—I've seen 15 mph under the speed limit on major highways. Take that as you will. I do my best to both drive fast and not get in anyone's way or cut them off. Most people don't.

A lot of people will ride you, even if you're speeding. I've been at a stop light and pulled up to get someone off of me, and I must have moved 20 times by the smallest of margins—we're talking like an inch at a time—and they still moved behind me. My hope is that one day people will realize that traffic moves best when people put about a car length in front of them when they stop behind someone. If everyone did that, we could accelerate at the same time instead of having to wait for the person in front of us to move. But, people have to be stupid.

My rule for I-4 is that no matter how fast you want to drive, there is someone that wants to drive faster and they mustn't know how to use a blinker to get into the 2-3 open lanes next to you. I've had people ride my ass at over 100mph. This doesn't refute my previous point. Those people are at least paying attention and present less of a danger to other drivers, no matter how annoying they are.

Speaking of blinkers, it seems that everyone in this area has forgotten how to move their hand the three inches required to use them before making a turn. People have also forgotten that it's illegal to drive without their lights on in the rain. Also, there's about 10 people in this city that know how to park correctly.

Beware of small people in SUVs. They should require a special license to drive anything bigger than a car. They also need to bring parallel parking back into the driver's test and institute a limit on the amount of times you can fail it.

I don't know where people get the idea that traffic here is as bad as NY or NJ. I know people from both places and they'd wholeheartedly disagree. Having been to NY, I also disagree. I've never seen traffic stand still on a Sunday night without road construction and we never make our own lanes.

You have to drive everywhere, even when you're in the city. Public transportation may as well be non-existant. And in the summer, you're definitely not walking down the street much less TO somewhere unless you pack cologne/deodorant and a change of clothes and a bag to put the sweaty clothes in.

Transit projects wreak havoc on traffic and are never-ending. This is probably similar throughout the country, but I'm just noting it. We waste billions of dollars on road projects that don't directly increase throughput—pretty much everything done on 275 in the last 5-10 years.

There can be a lot of tourists at certain times of the year. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just throwing it out there.

There's no state income tax. Thanks tourists!

We have awesome beaches, but the best ones are really only known locally.

Despite what others have said, we also have crappy dumping grounds too and, at least somewhat outside our area, phosphate mining is rampant. You can check that out pretty easily on Google Earth. I call the huge mounds left behind Florida mountains.

There's a lot of subdivisions in certain areas. Those areas are terrible to drive in because you're typically stuck on one road with everyone else trying to get somewhere. The best areas are simple neighborhoods—which make up the majority of Tampa and certainly the incorporated section. I live in a simple gridded Neighborhood. Consequently I can get home in about 300 ways and none of them contain traffic. Much of Tampa South of Busch and East of Manhattan is like that. Unfortunately my office is in the other half. And it's surrounded by no-outlet subdivisions. I used to work in Ybor and my drive home was leisurely, even in rush hour. Now it's a pain and full of traffic.

There's a lot of areas that are just pure crap. It's usually easier for developers to start new developments instead of redeveloping areas, so Tampa has a lot of sprawl and a lot of essentially dead areas. Most of Waters, Busch, Fletcher, and Fowler could be redeveloped and be much better for it.

There's a lot of areas that are really nice. We have beautiful springs, rivers, and public parks. If you like kayaking, it's awesome here.

Downtown is relatively dead, even during business hours. I've worked there, I know. The riverwalk project brings some promise.

The streetcar system in Ybor is fun to ride, but expensive and relatively useless. I wish they'd reinstall the old system that used to go right by my house to downtown. The city has wanted to revive downtown for so long so they put in condos that still aren't completely sold. Why not make it easier to get downtown? If I could hop on a streetcar to downtown and connect to Ybor, I might actually go to those bars. Maybe there could even be one to SoHo. I'm not one of those *******s that just goes to bars to get trashed and drives home. The city is breeding drunk drivers and they don't seem to care. I mean who's going to pay $40 for a taxi just to get home and then have someone take them to get their car? When I thought about that and how many drunk people I see doing pub-crawls on SoHo, it scared me. They've got to get home somehow and they're not doing it sober.

That's probably good enough for now. I'm sure I'm missing a few things and I'm sure many of these can be applied to other places, but there you are.

Apart from bashing my city—it's good to be critical—I love this place. It's got a great vibe to it. If I didn't love it I wouldn't be stuck in my house here, I'd be stuck in another house somewhere else.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:25 AM
Location: Tampa, Fl
4,091 posts, read 5,086,957 times
Reputation: 3393
The one MUST KNOW about Tampa (from what I've heard EVERYONE else from out of town tell me) is the "bad areas" aren't like other states. It all depends on what block you're on. Nebraska north of Bearss, nice, quiet neighborhoods... Nebraska south of Skipper, drug dealers, prostitutes, gangs, and you name it. Bearss to Skipper = one block. This is just one example though I will say, ALWAYS avoid Nebraska. There is nothing good that can happen there. Skipper's Smokehouse and Malibu Grand Prix (or whatever it is now) aren't good areas AT ALL. Use common sense when visiting them. The nicer areas are on Dale Mabry in either direction, however, Dale Mabry at 275 isn't a great area (this is where North Tampa meets South Tampa).
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:12 AM
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,566,456 times
Reputation: 3494
You'll be fine if you remember two things: 1. You really are living in a banana republic.
2. Idiots and crazy people have just as many Jimmy Buffett fantasies as anyone else.
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