Cigar City Magazine
They came from far away lands to a city they knew little about. Cubans, Spaniards, Italians, Afro-Cubans, Jews and others. With little money in their pockets and big dreams in their hearts they set out to make a life for themselves in the Tampa Bay area. They ended up creating a history and culture that continues to thrive. Cigar City Magazine invites you to rediscover that culture, remember those people and relive the events that continue to influence life in Tampa today.
It was all made possible by two men. Vicente Martinez Ybor and Don Ignacio Haya who in 1886 began to build factories to manufacturer cigars. They also built housing nearby so that their employees could live close to work. This multicultural society prospered and its residents built clubs, hospitals and mutual aid societies. It was later named Ybor City and became a city within the city of Tampa.
Through articles, interviews, photographs and reader contributions, Cigar City Magazine began in 2005 to tell the many stories of life in early Tampa. It is designed for the intellectually curious and anyone who treasures history and the impact it has on the present and future.
Cigar City Magazine is the only publication on Tampa rich past. The first issue was released back in October 2005 and is the vision of Lisa M. Figueredo, publisher and founder, who feels passionately about her blended culture, history, and family. “We all have a responsibility to keep these stories alive by passing them on to our own children.” says Ms. Figueredo. By sharing the past, our children will come to know their roots and recognize the foundation of love and family they can carry with them into the future. They will become the voices of our ancestors.
Tampa Mafia Magazine
When you start talking about organized crime, things can get dicey. The people of Tampa, especially the ones still around to remember those days still feel a “duty” of sorts to keep quite of these things, as if these people are still amongst us and can hear our chatter.
We have to admit we are fascinated by the whole idea of the mafia and the people we knew and the whispers we grew up hearing.
We can’t help ourself when it comes to watching mob films like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and of course The Sopranos in which we found ourselves in a TV love affair with Tony Soprano!
At this point in our collective history, we’re not sure anyone would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, something called “The Mafia.” What you might be surprised to learn, however, is how prevalent-even rampant–organized crime in Tampa was in the early and mid-20th century. From bolita–an illegal version of the now-legal Florida lottery–to narcotics, Tampa’s experience with organized crime is as notable as Chicago’s or New York’s.
Still, there’s a fine line between exploring a topic and glorifying it. Indeed, some people would rather not dwell on the less-than-noble aspects of our local history. In the 1950s, Tampa’s reputation for corruption and vice was so bad it prompted one national magazine to label the area the “Hell Hole of the Gulf Coast.” Given such negativity, who can blame people for just wanting to forget?
Despite all of this or, perhaps, because of it, a few writers and filmmakers have chosen to focus on organized crime, determined to give Tampa it’s due. We are one of them!