Ybor City

Nothing much going on lately to blog about. I got a new camera but the weather has been lousy for going out and using it. I am also getting a new DV camera in the next few days, but other than that, things have been slow. So, I decided to blog about something Hui-chen and I did a few months ago.

I enjoy good cigars, as well as pipe tobacco. When we visited my brother and my Mother in Florida, we went thorough Ybor City in the Tampa area.

Ybor City is a very cool, old world type community. Many Cuban people settled here in the 1950’s and brought their culture, food and skills with them.

Much of the signage is in Spanish. You can spend all day speaking Spanish if you like.

So, where did we go? To Havana Dreams Cigar Factory, of course! Many Cubans work in the US cigar trade, and especially in Ybor City. Here we see a roller making cigars the old fashioned way – by hand. Notice the form tool he is using for shaping the roll.

Surprisingly, the manager, Ernie, didn’t mind us shooting photos of his cigar rollers at work.

Here I am in the humidor, checking things out. Ernie is explaining some of the finer points about cigars that I did not know.

I bought some really excellent hand rolled “torpedoes” and they were great! Here you see Hui-chen and I posing in front of the store. If you look closely you can see Ernie taking our photo (reflection in the glass door).

You can see the full sized versions of these photos, beginning here.

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  1. very nice… i love smoking cigars as well. in fact, i just got a box of cohibas (minis) not too long ago.

  2. Andres, i consider this to be a great honor, since i am a foreigner living here in Taiwan!

    btw, do you like whisky bro? we gotta sit down with a bottle when i get back from Thailand! take care man.

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