Monday, September 6, 2010

Smoldering | guest post by Sean Patrick McArdle


It was the end of August, and it was as hot as a smoldering Cuban cigar in Tampa’s Ybor City, (pronounced EE-bore). The heat and the imminent late afternoon rain was the narcotic needed to get my reluctant model in front of my lens. 

After Georgia, it was my turn to spend quality time with my family and have the opportunity to show Mel and Gaia my favorite places near my home town in Florida. 

Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., this small corner café known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers is now in it's six generation of family ownership. Casimiro Jr. aspired to take the Columbia beyond its humble beginnings and envisioned an elegant dining room with music and dancing, the likes of which were unheard of in this part of the country at the time. The Columbia Restaurant has seen its share of change, but through its dedication of successive generations of family management, it has persevered as Florida's oldest and world's largest Spanish restaurant.

I was originally inspired by Columbia's architecture, but Melissa's values of quality food, supportive family and originality made me see the Columbia's true magnificence. Mel always helps me see things in a new light, and I was enchanted to capture her in mine.

22 comments:

  1. Oh I'm so pleased you managed to get your reluctant model in front of the lens, what a gorgeous photo.
    xxx

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  2. Dear Sean,
    What a fabulous restaurant, and how lovely that it has stayed in the family for so many generations. We are real 'foodies' and have just got back from eating our way through Tuscany !! This restaurant is a 'must visit' if we ever get back to Florida. I'm not sure how many Cuban restaurants there are in London, but I remember going to one in Islington that was good.
    Did you prepare for this photograph, as Mel's dress is a great match to the tiles on that fabulous building.
    Thanks for the great post and amazing photograph, as always. XXXX

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  3. well...me too, i'nm quite glad you took a pic of your "reluctant" model because Mel looks absolutely wonderful in that frame...The perfect model indeed! :-)

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  4. Great picture! So glad your trip was wonderful. Loved reading bits on twitter.

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  5. Hello again dear Mel,
    thank you so much for your lovely words of encouragement!
    many hugs to you and please tell me you're planning to go to Paris sometime soon ! :-)
    xoxo
    Lala

    ps: sadly i missed l'apéritif with Vicki and Sande at St Germain but i hope to meet Sande !

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous! I adore your wonderful sweet wife.

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  7. You have been all around, haven't you? And looking glam the whole way! XX!

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  8. Wow - I would love to go to this restaurant one day! Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  9. OMG AWWWWWW!!!!

    that was the sweetest guest post i've ever read. mel looks STUNNING!!! and that last part...

    "mel always helps me see things in a new light, and was enchanted to capture her in mine."

    melts my heart!

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  10. What a lovely photo...that mel is amazing! xo

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  11. And now I want to go there. Preferably wearing that exact same dress. Thanks for the beautiful image, Sean, and could you ask your lovely wife where she shops?

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  12. She is one hot Mama! Gorgeous, gorgeous photo! Wouldn't you just love to bottle up all those colors and the atmosphere and bring it home?

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  13. Oh, la, la! Melissa is gorgeous (as usual) but what a match for that stunning building. I just want to jump right in to that scene. Lovely guest post.

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  14. WOW, did you make Tampa look good. I think your lovely wife helped! Beautiful photo!

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  15. I love this photo , this place looks and sounds fantastic

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  16. Wow. This location is simply gorgeous. Would love to go there in person!

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  17. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I just LOVE yours :) I am your newest follower :)

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  18. what a gorgeous photo (how perfect is that dress for the shot?) and a sweet post.

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