CL Best of the Bay Award

September 25, 2015

CL Best of the Bay Award It’s not all about winning.

Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay issue is kind of a big deal to people in these parts. When BOTB season opens up, everyone is all “vote for us” on every social media platform. I… more

Polar Cup

September 22, 2015

Polar Cup What’s on my mind when there’s a “feels like” 100+ outside.

During the painting of the Tampa Heights mural, Florida was super hot. If it wasn’t raining, the “feels like” temperature was steady around 104 on most days. Up against a brick wall, next to… more

La Segunda by Name…

September 21, 2015

La Segunda by Name… Honoring my Ybor roots.

Ybor City holds tons of history, memories and traditions for me. It is where my family settled down when they arrived from Cuba. My mother was born there. Ybor is where I first started… more

Devil Crab

September 20, 2015

Devil Crab A Sawyerfresh tribute to a Tampa culinary creation.

One afternoon, about 3 years ago, I had a memorable encounter with the famous Ybor Devil Crab. During one of my usual Saturday morning meet-up at La Tropicana, I challenged a cast of of… more

Tampa Heights mural

September 18, 2015

Tampa Heights mural Where Sawyer florals and Krol text unite.

Our aim for this project was to create an image that honored the history of the area, but had a modern feel. Being a Tampa native and Tampa Heights resident, I was extremely excited to… more

World on a String

July 27, 2015

World on a String Puppetry exhibit at Florida CraftArt

I have had a fascination with puppets since elementary school. First, there was an in-school wayang kulit (Indonesian shadow puppet) presentation that sparked interest in the art. Shortly after that, I took a trip… more

Amping up Meteor Watching Day

June 30, 2015

Amping up Meteor Watching Day with some planet watching.

All things space related kind of freak me out. Don’t get me wrong, I find topics like space, time and the universe highly intriguing. I’ve spent a good number of evenings having discussions on such… more

World Museum Day 2015

May 18, 2015

World Museum Day 2015 A visit to the Tampa Museum of Art to check out some Rockwell.

Norman Rockell, when I used to think of him, I would think of idealized suburban culture. I would think of happy families and freckle faced kids,Christmas gatherings and baseball games. The term “All-American” would… more

Zoominations at Lowry Park Zoo

May 10, 2015

Zoominations at Lowry Park Zoo Completely beat my expectations.

A couple of months ago, I saw an advertisement for a Chinese lantern display coming to our zoo. In my head, I imagined a cheesed-out Asian-inspired party on weekends, full of decently constructed paper… more

National Train Day 2015

May 09, 2015

National Train Day 2015 Second year and officially a tradition in my life.

Another year, another National Train Day in one of Tampa’s prettiest little buildings.

A perk of celebrating Train Day in Tampa is that our train station is absolutely beautiful. Now, I am a… more

Tampa Gets a Downtown Carnival

May 02, 2015

Tampa Gets a Downtown Carnival and I get pretty pumped!

I walk or ride the Tampa Riverwalk a few times a week. I am also a fan of celebrations. So, when I heard that the city was celebrating the new additions to the Riverwalk… more

La Segunda Central Anniversary

April 23, 2015

La Segunda Central Anniversary 100 years in Tampa, just over a third of that in my life.

There are few local businesses that can boast 100 years of history in a city. La Segunda Central can and all it takes is a step inside to understand why. Their interior has been… more

Sugar Sand Festival 2015

April 17, 2015

Sugar Sand Festival 2015 Fairy tales in the sand.

Last year was my first time at the Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater and I was impressed, so I added it to my list of must-do annual festivals. In 2014, I attended… more

Festa Italiana 2015

April 12, 2015

Festa Italiana 2015 My stomach has waited a year for this.

I began attending the annual Festa Italiana about 8 or so years ago. I’m not of Italian descent and I had never really been a fan of Italian food, but I had a friend… more

Tampa Water Bike Adventure

March 29, 2015

Tampa Water Bike Adventure One of the best views of the city.

Not too long ago, I noticed a Tampa Water Bike Co. had set up shop downtown. I like bikes, I enjoy water and I love Tampa, I couldn’t think of a drawback or reason… more

St. Patrick’s Day 2015

March 14, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day 2015 Another lovely River O’ Green in Tampa.

St. Patrick’s Day is such an anomaly in my festive world. I’m not Irish and I don’t drink. By all accounts one wouldn’t think I’d be such a fan of the holiday. It has two… more

Strawberry Festival 2015

February 28, 2015

Strawberry Festival 2015 A lesson in determination and looking on the bright side.

What do you do when Florida gives you a ton of fresh strawberries and an equal amount of rain? You round up your closest crew of adventurers and put on your best shit kickers. Then… more

Talk about design…

November 05, 2014

Talk about design… This building is amazing, even after almost 90 years.

Carousel No. 4 was the kick-off of Tampa Design Week 2014. In my opinion, it couldn’t have started in a more fitting venue.

A few months back, I wrote a post after walking… more

What the world needs now

October 30, 2014

What the world needs now is ska, more ska!

In high school, I was at a punk or ska show almost every weekend. Then, my body decided it was going to develop a crazy allergy to cigarette smoke. I had always gotten a scratchy… more

Representing my city…

October 18, 2014

Representing my city… with a little Tampa themed postcard action.

Everyone that knows me knows that I have hometown pride. So, helping out with creating a Tampa themed postcard was pretty cool.

I handled the drawings, while the color and text were added later. As… more

Ride, Sawyer, Ride…

September 13, 2014

Ride, Sawyer, Ride… upon your victory ship. The SS Victory, that is.

That big ship that sits behind the aquarium, it has a name and it is The SS American Victory Mariners Museum. Fact, I like to explore my hometown like a tourist. This big ship… more

Growing Tampa

August 16, 2014

Growing Tampa New Water Works Park opening near Downtown Tampa.

This week, the long awaited Water Works Park and Ulele restaurant opened. The plot of land that the park and restaurant now occupy had been unused and unloved for as long as I can remember.… more

Double Luck with a Double Rainbow

July 25, 2014

Double Luck with a Double Rainbow Reminds me it’s Survival Day.

Some know this day as my birthday, but I consider it my survival day. This day in 1982 was very close to being the last for both my mother and I. Well, the first and… more

Beauty Beneath the Grime

June 30, 2014

Beauty Beneath the Grime Tampa’s old-time charm still shows through the dirt and decay.

Sometimes I walk around Tampa and wish that many of the vacant, unused building would be fixed up and occupied. Then I realize what “fixed up” would look like and I hope it doesn’t happen.… more

Crepes and coffee

June 28, 2014

Crepes and coffee One of the best ways to ease the anxiety of a World Cup match.

For the past year, it has been a family tradition to go to La Creperia Cafe in Ybor every weekend for crepes and coffee. There have been times we’ve missed it or deviated from… more

When a Tampa icon gets a Sawyerfresh makeover.

June 27, 2014

When a Tampa icon gets a Sawyerfresh makeover. Nothing says macho like a skull, I guess.

Bucco Bruce, the infamous old Bucs logo. I have always been a fan of the old logo, but many take issue with him. Either because he wasn’t “manly” enough or because of the color combo…or… more

Solid folks, doing what they love and doing it well…

May 26, 2014

Solid folks, doing what they love and doing it well… now that’s inspiration.

There are people in this world with great talent, but they don’t pursue it more than a hobby. There are people in this world that pursue a dream, but lack talent to see it through.… more

There is no lettuce nor a lake

May 22, 2014

There is no lettuce nor a lake ...but the view is still pretty awesome.

Over the past 6 months or so, I’ve visited Lettuce Lake Park a number of times. The main reason was to walk the boardwalk and enjoy some of the beauty that Florida has to offer.… more

Farmer’s Market trip

May 07, 2014

Farmer’s Market trip Not sure why it didn’t happen sooner.

Maybe because they have always been out of the way for me or because I was comfortable with my local grocery, whatever the reason, I had never stopped by one of Tampa’s farmer’s markets. For… more

Cloud Nothings

April 22, 2014

Cloud Nothings Another fabulous Crowbar show.

Can’t really go wrong with catchy tunes at Crowbar. Cloud Nothings had an awesome set. As I stood there watching, all I could think was “If these guys came about 15 years ago, there’d… more

100 Artists X 100 Films

April 19, 2014

100 Artists X 100 Films Latest show opening at BlueLucy.

This was an impressive event with a total of 102 pieces being shown, each based on a different movie. Just to see that amount of work hanging is inspiring, but some of the pieces were… more

Revisiting my roots

April 13, 2014

Revisiting my roots An afternoon of hitting up some Tampa favorites from my youth.

Most adults who live in the city they grew up in sort of take it for granted. Places become just a backdrop for their lives. The life and history of those places become unimportant. That’s… more

Sugar Sand Festival 2014

April 12, 2014

Sugar Sand Festival 2014 Super talented people making beautiful things with sand.

Clearwater Beach, as a kid, it wasn’t the beach known for much beauty. When I arrived today, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the place had been fixed up since I last visited, some… more

Let’s Go Lightning

April 08, 2014

Let’s Go Lightning Hockey games, one of the only times I enjoy being cold.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Lightning game. A lot of things had changed since my last game. There were new players, a new coach, and they even added a Tesla coil… more

Food Drunkeness, Round 2

April 06, 2014

Food Drunkeness, Round 2 Ybor Italian Festival 2014.

Ybor and festivals full of food, can’t really have a bad time. The annual Italian Festival is another one of those events that I wait for all year. The only thing Fiesta Day has is… more

Unicorns and the Wheel of Death

April 05, 2014

Unicorns and the Wheel of Death First trip to the Renaissance Festival.

The Renaissance Festival, it comes ever year and every year I stay away. Strange, because the Renaissance is one of my favorite eras in art history. I think I had developed an aversion to it… more

Date with United Skates

March 29, 2014

Date with United Skates Nothing like the colors and sounds of a skating rink to get me pumped.

The skating rink, one of those things that just refuses to change. I used to spend a good amount of time at the skating rink when I was a kid. Skate Odyssey was the place… more

Airfest

March 22, 2014

Airfest Clean lines and solid colors.

I’m not a super patriotic military fanatic or anything, but I have always loved going to Tampa’s annual Airfest. I had gone throughout elementary and middle school and had developed a fascination with drawing WWII… more

New Orleans love in Tampa

March 09, 2014

New Orleans love in Tampa Soul Rebels at Gasparilla Music Festival.

I think New Orleans is great. I love the vibe and the music. When The Soul Rebels played at the 2014 Gasparilla Music Festival, I felt like I had been transported to Louisiana. This… more

First time at the Strawberry Festival

March 01, 2014

First time at the Strawberry Festival Endless color inspiration and some tasty treats to boot.

I’ve lived in Tampa all of my life and have never made it to the annual Strawberry Festival. I always figured it was a smaller version of the fair, which I’ve always liked, but wouldn’t… more

The new studio space

February 26, 2014

The new studio space The first time I’ve ever had a proper, at-home, studio space.

After leaving my Ybor studio almost a year ago, I’ve searched for a new place to work. While I searched, I made the best of my dining room and occasionally the living room. I had… more

Fiesta Day 2014

February 22, 2014

Fiesta Day 2014 An annual tradition of music and food drunkenness.

Fiesta Day is one of those annual Tampa events that I have to go to. Three reasons why this is a great event…1) It’s in Ybor, that is reason enough. 2) Latin music for me… more

Them lines up in my hair

February 13, 2014

Them lines up in my hair Finally got someone to do line work in my hair.

Scott Bentley at Bentley Salon was the first person to fulfill my request and I have to say, it came out wonderfully. I had asked various people to do this and I was always… more

Thanks to Boca and Elizabeth

February 11, 2014

Thanks to Boca and Elizabeth My eating struggles were cured for an evening.

I’ve lost a bit of weight and have been on an ultimate weight gain diet to help get some back. According to my calculations, I would need somewhere around 3700 calories a day to gain… more

Meeting Sir Dr. Admiral Rupert Xavier

February 01, 2014

Meeting Sir Dr. Admiral Rupert Xavier New work by Daniel Mrgan.

Tonight, I was finally able to see Sir Dr. Admiral Rupert Xavier’s Paper Plane Flights to Exotic Mind Destinations, an art show by Daniel Mrgan at Bluelucy. This was an extremely creative and… more

A Tampa coffee staple

January 31, 2014

A Tampa coffee staple El Molino roasters, the air freshener of the Ybor strip.

El Molino roasters has had a family history in Tampa since 1921. My first chance to grab a cafe con leche from their shop was a little over 2 years ago and I’ve been… more

Gasparilla Pirate Invasion 2014

January 25, 2014

Gasparilla Pirate Invasion 2014 A glorious day for an invasion.

People from Tampa tend to have this idea that they are pirates. I am included in this. Gasparilla season, as I call it, lasts from the end of January to about mid-March. Absolutely one of… more

14 years between shows

January 22, 2014

14 years between shows Seeing Mustard Plug again after 14 years.

The last time I saw Mustard Plug play was on my last day of high school. When I saw they were coming to Crowbar, I had to go. Skinhead blood may have been shed… more

Resurrecting an old tradition

January 18, 2014

Resurrecting an old tradition Back at the Monster Truck Jam.

Back in my college days, I used to go to the annual Monster Truck Jam every year. I had taken a break for a few year, but this year I was back in the action.… more

A day of color overload

January 11, 2014

A day of color overload A power plant, dinosaurs and an intense sunset.

This was a a day jam-packed with things to do. First a trip to the TECO Manatee viewing center, then off to Dinosaur World in Plant City. Every place I went seemed to… more

Florida snow and not the rain kind

December 14, 2013

Florida snow and not the rain kind Annual Snow on 7th celebration in Ybor.

Snow on 7th, a pretty spectacular event. It gives me the whole snow experience, minus the cold. This year, there was no carnival, but the parade was bigger and there was more snow. That totally… more

Captain Larry and the Tampa Water Taxi

December 10, 2013

Captain Larry and the Tampa Water Taxi Meet Captain Larry. He runs the Tampa Water Taxi. He likes good coffee, knows all about Elvis, and random facts about Tampa.

Tonight, I took my very first water taxi ride in Tampa. Slightly embarrassing since I’ve lived here all my life, but it had been on my Tampa to-do list for a while. The event was… more

The Storybook City: A Tampa Tribute

September 26, 2013

The Storybook City: A Tampa Tribute A storybook illustration of how I feel about and see my city.

Those that know me, know how much I love my hometown. I am one of few natives (of my generation, anyhow) that takes pride in being from Tampa. This piece was made to read as… more