Monday, July 25, 2005

Pacheco's Ybor

Thomas 3.2mi

Yesterday I went for a walk with Jan in the evening before going out to dinner with the family. I tried not to push too hard, as yesterdays run had left me feeling pretty wasted. I forgot to check my waking pulse again this morning, but my resting rate was 51 so I figured I hadn’t overdone it too badly.
Today is my off day. Tomorrow will be my “long run” although at this stage my long runs are actually a little shorter than my training runs. I am at Station 35 in Westchase today so I laid out a route on mapcard for a four-mile run on the golf course, but now I think I would rather go home and run in the neighborhood. This mapping project is starting to affect my choice of running routes. I used to prefer to run out here on the UTBT, but it is much harder to vary the routes and I just can’t see much historical significance in this area.
Lately I’ve been reading some about mountaineering and rock climbing and one of the things that fascinates me about these sports is the artistic component that is involved. Climbers are very concerned with issues of “style” and “ethics”, and they often plan their routes with an eye towards the elegance of the lines created and the moves necessary to execute them. Placing protection along a route has strong aesthetic and ethical concerns because all future climbers on that route will be forced to follow your lead. If you lay out a route that is unimaginative or clumsy you are doing a disservice to yourself, your fellow climbers, and ultimately the mountain itself. Many of these climbers are accomplished visual artists in their own right and they spend a great deal of time producing exquisite maps and renderings of their routes.
Last night I downloaded all of my mapcard routes for the last two weeks. I registered the routes against an aerial photo, and I made each layer semitransparent so that they would be darker where the routes overlapped. Once I had all of the routes in place I deleted the background so that I could see the lines of the routes more clearly. I was taken with the beauty of the lines in this map, and I immediately started thinking about new routes to run in order to fill it out or add new compositional elements to the line work.
I lay in bed with the image of this map developing in my head. I thought about the “Universe Within” exhibit in San Francisco where the vasculature of the cadavers had been polymerized and the rest of the tissue had been dissolved from around it. These were like three-dimensional maps of the vasculature suspended in space.
I kept thinking about Chantel Foretich’s installation about her walk to the House of Meats. A delicate sculpture suspended in space with a miniature replica of the House of Meats and a long ribbon of sidewalk leading back to her house. A sweet little poem about love, loss, and shopping for meat.
These running maps are beginning to form a sort of vasculature. I think of covering a floor with aerial photos and suspending this vascular model in the space above it. The man/city metaphor comes to mind again and I think of reading Williams’ “Patterson” again as well as Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”.
I just finished Ferdie Pacheco’s “Ybor Chronicles” and its imagery plays through my head on these runs through town. I try to imagine this city as he describes it in the 30’s and 40’s. Running down Central Ave. I can see how the two interstates (I-275 and I-4) have broken the continuity and the spirit of this part of town. Pacheco refers to Cuscaden Park as being in Ybor city and this strikes me as odd. I had never considered it to be a part of Ybor because it is north of I-4. I think of the trolley that ran up Central Ave. to Sulphur Springs, and I can’t believe I’ve never been on Central south of Robles Park. I would like to put together a Ferdie Pacheco tour of this part of tow, maybe for one of my long runs. Points of interest would include his home in Tampa Heights on Lamar, his grandparents house and the former Spanish consulate on Columbus, the Ybor social clubs (Centro Asturiano, Centro Espanol, the Italian Club, the Cuban Club), Cuscaden Park, the Columbia Restaurant, and the downtown landmarks on Franklin Street.
Some of the most vivid imagery in Pacheco’s book is a simple list of the sensory experiences of Ybor, especially the smells. The Cuban coffee being roasted, the devil crabs cooking, Cuban bread baking, and the ever-present cigar smoke. All of these conjure up vivid memories of the Ybor that I have known growing up. Some of these experiences can still be had for those who know where to look. Naviera still roasts their own coffee on Seventh Avenue where you can get an espresso and a pound of coffee so fresh that its oils soak through it s brown paper bag. Carmines still makes the best devil crab you’ve ever had, and Mauricio’s still bakes Cuban bread twenty four hours a day so that you can get a hot loaf for $1.30 on a drunken Friday night (they don’t bake on Saturday night because all of the Cuban restaurants are closed on Sunday).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi devon,

chantel here! hope this finds you well and still walkin your way through tampa, such a great site and as usual really compelling idea. are you sharing this with galleries and such or just doing it? i miss tampa like crazy. hope you and jan are real well... any chance you'lll visit nyc soon? emailme

take care,


11:15 PM  

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