It's been a while since I biked down Dale Mabry Highway at the heart of its commercial district, meaning the lovely stretch of asphalt, stripper joints and plazas north of the I-275 exit.
The great thing about bicycling is that you get a terrific upclose version of reality and can often make human connections that would never otherwise happen.
Like this fella hawking Valentines goodies out front of the Sweetbay supermarket this afternoon. Those are red Converse sneakers he's wearing -- a real classic. And he obviously does summer summer stock theater on the side.
At the lovely open pastures of grassy parking lots at Bucs stadium, there were inflated gorillas to add that homespun charm.
Dale Mabry is not exactly a scenic boulevard. Yet get beyond the entrances and you're in Yankees-town.
It's not even training camp time, yet these hardcores of the hardcore Yankees fans are waiting out new Yankees manager Joe Girardi in hopes of snagging an autograph outside Legends/Steinbrenner Field.