3. OK, if you want to get technical, Hooters actually originated in Clearwater.
4. I only included Hooters because we have pretty much exhausted the fascinating facts about Tampa.
5. Seriously, though, its a really long sidewalk.
Also, according to a story I read in the New York Times Magazine, theres a monkey that has been running around the Tampa area for more than three years now evading capture. The article says that the monkey known as the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay is hugely popular here; it has a blog, on which it announced in 2010 that it was running for mayor. Unfortunately, because of some legal technicality, it did not win.
(For the record: It would definitely have won in Miami. And then, two months later, it would have been indicted.)
But the big story, at the moment, is Isaac. The convention planners have done all they can to prepare; National Guard troops have brought in 65,000 pounds of shrimp cocktail enough, at normal rates of delegate consumption, to last nearly two days. But still there is concern. The worst-case scenario is that Isaac will develop into a major hurricane, veer eastward toward Tampa and this is the ultimate public-safety nightmare get hold of Donald Trumps hairstyle. If that thing gets airborne in the community, nobody is safe.
Despite the personal danger, Ill be on the scene here, providing you with daily reports. Hotel space is very tight, so I wound up in a place that is next door to I am not making this up a strip club. When I was checking in, a guest was asking the front-desk clerk if something could be done about the cockroaches in his room. Theyre big, he said. They fight back.
So you can imagine how very excited I am to be here, at this exciting time, in this exciting city. With its exciting sidewalk.