Do you have a desire for adventure, want to find fascinating and weird things or just wonder what kind of things are hiding in your local area? Then local author Joshua Ginsberg’s new book, Secret Tampa Bay: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, published by Reedy Press, is just right for you.
Ginsberg, himself a seeker of wonder, wrote the book to guide others to his favorite finds, and it’s not a short list. He found so many that he couldn’t fit them all into the book. Be it enchanting, historical, artistic or odd, there’s no shortage of variety.
“I wanted it to be such that whether you’re from out of town or you’ve lived here your whole life, there will be something interesting and something exciting for just about everyone,” he explained.
Some of those finds include a dolphin with an innovative prosthetic tail; the oldest restaurant in Florida, which is also the oldest and largest Spanish restaurant in the U.S.; an aluminum castle/home filled with artworks made from recycled materials; a tower and garden straight from a Tolkien novel; and much more.
When seeking for curiosities, Ginsberg likes to travel with his wife, who helped him pick which places got into the book. He also often travels with his shih tzu, Tinkerbell, his stalwart companion.
On how he finds secret places, Ginsberg said, “I usually start off either talking to folks, locals who’ve been in town a long time, about things that are strange and unusual, or I do a lot of research online as well.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ginsberg tried to keep the entries in Secret Tampa Bay as current as possible. Most of the places in it are still open, and he believes those that aren’t will reopen shortly.
There will be a release party and book signing set for Saturday, September 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. at South Tampa Trading Co. on 1916 S. Dale Mabry Hwy. in Tampa. Call for 831-7882 more information. The date and time are tentative due to the pandemic. The event will be free and open to the public.
To learn more about fascinating things that didn’t make it into the book, visit terraincognitaamericanus.blogspot.com. Secret Tampa Bay: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure is available wherever books are sold.