One Man and His Horn: Tampa

When I got back to my friend Jenny’s house after my day in Sarasota, she treated me to dinner and it was great.  After, we went to her favorite place and introduced me to some of her friends and they were nothing but friendly.  Since she showed me some of her world, I thought it would be neat to show her some of mine.  I asked her if she wanted to go to Tampa and hang out while I was working.  We went to Hyde Park, on a tip from a friend of a friend, she said “Stay out of Ybor City”  I already knew that, my friend Alex had sent me an article about a man who was arrested there back in 2008.

On the way there, we passed the shrimp boats and I know it’s corny,but I couldn’t resist- I said “Is the Jenny 12 over there”  She laughed and said “Yes, the Jenny 12 is there”  When we got to Hyde Park, there was a great area with shops and a little park.  So I set up across the street, so as not to be in front of any businesses.  I played two songs and already had a couple of people tip me.  I thought this was going to be great!  About two songs later, security came up and gave me the boot.  He was super cool about it.  He explained how it was all private property, and he explained what that included.  He also said the only part that is public is the median in the road.  I looked right in his eyes and said “Can I play there?”  He looked at me like I was off my rocker, and I laughed and said “I’m just messin’ with ya.”  He did tell me about a park a couple of blocks around the corner that was public.  I thanked him and headed there.

When we got there, I knew immediately I didn’t want to play there.  It was more or less a children’s park.  We went downtown.  Jenny took me right to Lykes Gaslight Park.  Unfortunately, there was nothing going on there.  It must have had something to do with being a Sunday.  She took some pictures of me playing and hung out on one of the benches.  It was fun, I played some of my originals and she liked them.  I asked her to give me a sentence, she couldn’t think of one on the spot.  Usually, I give it just over an hour, and if nothing is happening, I will stop.  We got something to eat and she showed me around Tampa.  Since the police station was right there, I saw the memorial for the fallen officers.  The rest we just drove through- Ybor City, Channelside and Davis Island, though Davis Island was an accident.  Then I took her back to her house in Brandon and left for St. Augustine.

Now, the way I understand the Busking laws in Tampa you don’t need a permit as long as you are in the downtown area.  or public parks.   Places like Hyde Park and the other places we drove through are off limits.  I am not sure even if you have a permit you can play in Hyde Park.  Granted, I was there on a Sunday, I don’t know what Saturday and Friday are like, but I would say don’t bother stopping in Tampa if you are a Busker.

I want to say thank you one more time to Jenny for putting me up for two nights and treating me to dinner.  I had a great time hanging out and meeting the rest of her family.


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