Tampa City Center in downtown Tampa rises majestically over the glut of skyscrapers at the center of the city.
Skyscrapers which house so many of the businesses and agencies and enterprises which feed into the financial and social content of a great city.
And in the midst of those soaring behemoths, lies a patch of land and foliage and cobblestone and bubbling, splashing water on the street level at the center of the city.
The Tampa City Center sits serenely at the corner of Franklin and Jackson streets, and beckons businessmen and women, and citizens and visiting tourists and local office workers into a lush and shaded and near mystical corridor which runs straight through to Whiting Street.
It is a kind of Zen place. To be in the city, but not of the city.
Take a few short steps up off Jackson Street, and there right in front of you is a soaring fountain, with water tumbling up and out and transformed into a lush and mischievious figure pointing the way for your journey through the softly lit pathway between the towering glass and steel buildings overhead, all connected by shining skyways.
One can glance around and can almost expect fairies and dancing elves leaping about over the rise and fall of the cobblestones and inset levels of seating scattered about.
At the front of the pathway sits the plaque which announces the name of this spot of real estate.
The William F. Poe Plaza.
Poe, was mayor of Tampa between 1974 and 1979, and he and his family contributed much to this city with an emphasis on the fine ethics and ideals embodied by the family.
Right across the entrance, is a dedication to an equally distinctive citizen, also a former mayor of Tampa.
Capt. James McKay who was the mayor in 1859, and was the driving force behind rebuilding this city after it was nearly destroyed in the devastating hurricane of 1848.
The captain was also a hardy soul who organized brigades to protect cattle drives sent from this area to the frontlines of the Civil War, and the plaque dedicated to the captain marks the spot where he and his wife, Matilda built their first home.
Farther down the corridor of the Poe Plaza, and set just off and down the level which holds entrances to banks and fine hotels you will find a cleaners, a cafe, a chiropractor, a health spa, a deli and even a dentist. All of the mundane businesses required in any urban neighborhood.
Visiting businessmen and tourists and local workers and citizens alike, can linger, and maybe sit awhile in this place in the city but not of the city, and peep out at the roaring world of commerce outside,
Tampa City Center Corner of Franklin and Jackson Street