An August 2003 trip
to Tampa by kmclark
Quote: While I've visited my cousin here a few times, this trip was totally different both due to family changes and RCICommunity research -- now I'm able to tell him what I might be interested in seeing!
Attraction | "Salvidor Dali Museum"
The Morses and Dalis developed a close personal relationship with Dali often offering Morse first dibs on newly completed works; hence, the Morses compiled an extensive collection in the 40+ year period. With seemingly vain efforts to keep the collection together and to avoid estate taxes, Morse's offering of the works was published in "The Wall Street Journal". St. Petersburg Attorney James Martin enlisted the support of city leaders and officials to acquire the collection.
Martin and Richard Dodge (Director of Leisure Services) presented the city for consideration to the Morses and finally reached an agreement that the Marine Research Center's warehouse would prove suitable as its location on Tampa Bay is reminiscent of the Cadaques area where Dali's parents had a summer home (and is subject of several early works).
Foundations were established, $2,000,000 appropriated, and building redesign/work started immediately. Today the building and grounds are exquisite and serve the city very well indeed.
For us the current exhibitions of botanical prints: "Fruits and Flowers", "The Essential Dali" and "Dali's Bronzes", along with permanent drawings, prints and paintings were exciting and stimulating. I highly recommend the tours which provide details, insights and humor. In selection of a favorite piece, the responses basically went to the very large, elaborate and classical paintings with which the tour culminated (see below). However, I found some of the smaller classical works were equally as, if not more, impressive. There's currently talk of moving the museum inland from its shore site to protect it from waters and flooding. This collection is so wonderful . . . it's a shame to lose this building but I'm glad the value is recognized and this move is under consideration. Check out the museum's website (www.salvidordalimuseum.org) and see if you don't agree that the collection is awe-inspiring and well presented at St. Petersburg's beautiful Salvador Dali Museum.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 31, 2003
The Dali Museum
One Dali Boulevard
St. Petersburg 33701
My first surprise was the size of Tampa's airport (and many others - I love Pittsburgh), although I'm getting better at navigating it, even through rerouting trauma. He was kind enough to wear the same special lavender shirt (or similar) as in a family photo he'd initially emailed me, so I could easily spot him (although he towers over others) in a crowd.
Secondly, I was made aware of the enormous number of horses that are quartered here and nearby and that he actually had a horse of his own. Her name is Breeze and she was a gentle ride. Hunting of wild boar is also available as he does in the northern part of FL with some success, and his cooking is excellent, with a preference for mesquite.
The houses are seemingly small and comfortable with no cellar or attic, so accumulation of "stuff" is Spartan (St. Petersburg's Bay Shore area -- SO not!). There are lovely floral accents everywhere. We shopped on "the pier" which had some very nice shops and refreshing ice cream for relief from the heat regardless of season. We dined at "Cody's" and "The Crab Shack" . . . not upper crust but very nice with good food although, I must confess, it's quite nice to eat "at home" with family, all members being excellent in the kitchen and at the grill. I became acquainted with several fine craft and yarn shops during my first (and second visits) – "Carol's" and "The Knitworm". This is also a land of the long-leaf pine needle (with which I sometimes weave baskets) and there's one on the adjacent property which gives my cousin a good supply from seasonal droppings. There's also a little but productive grapefruit tree on the premises - looks like a lollypop tree that kids draw but the fruit is yummy.
My current visit, from which I write, is quite different . . . "we" now have a Jacuzzi and a little pond (with fountain and lights) in the backyard . . . I love it!
Tampa driving is hellish and I hope to never be behind the wheel here. Prices vary from those in New England as do items carried by large chain stores. I adore the shoes here and generally wait for another visit to buy less clunky styles, although it's appearing younger folks are settling in the area and it's showing in the shoe departments.
Still, the Tampa/St. Pete area has tons to offer in culture, innovations and good food. The flora is exquisite and plentiful. This current trip we found the Dali Museum on the IGOUGO net and we went...wow! (See other entry.) We've visited the Renaissance Festival, sited so well in a forested area - a thrilling experience with no electric rides (totally muscularly powered) and fun to watch. There is also (among so many other functions) an International Food Festival offering so much more than items to test the pallet. Goods and vendorph from several south American countries gather here with offerings that make unique gift giving treats. It's really nice that way as well as tasty.
The local terrain seems flat and never-ending with everything a body could want and it's so different from my home in the foothills of the Berkshire mountains - a true refuge (and they even offered to transport/house my dog!) How great is that!!! Not every airline does, but USAir does/Southwest doesn't.
The whole Tampa area has tons of activities to offer anyone/everyone enjoyment - from the mundane to the sophisticated- it's quite a place.