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Ybor City

Sunday, 8 October, 2017

Those initial consonants, y and b, make Ybor sound fictional, even science fictional, and there is a created history behind this American city’s origins, but the place is real and Jason Isbell name-checks it in Traveling Alone:

“I quit talking to myself
And listening to the radio a long, long time ago
Damn near strangled by my appetite
In Ybor City on a Friday night
Couldn’t even stand upright
So high, the street girls wouldn’t take my pay
She said come see me on a better day, she just danced away.”

Note: Ybor City is a historic neighbourhood in Tampa, Florida, northeast of downtown. It was founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and other cigar manufacturers and became home to thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba, Spain and Italy. Today, the residents are mostly creative migrants from Miami, Atlanta and New York.


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