Hi everyone! I’ve decided to extend my stay in Tampa for a bit longer in order to avoid the cold of New York City. As such, I wanted to introduce y’all to my hometown of Tampa. Let’s start at the Oxford Exchange — a bookstore, cafe, glorious oddities shop, and remote workspace all rolled into one.
The Oxford Exchange opened in September of 2012 in what was originally the stables for the nearby Plant Hotel (now the University of Tampa). The history of the building — built in 1891 — is felt throughout the space. With pictures of historical figures from Tampa’s past gracing the interior, all that is old has become new with an open, modern space that shows the proper amount of architectural respect for its ancestry. My hope is that more shops like the OE will open in downtown Tampa, which is undergoing a bit of a revival at the moment. Unfortunately, Florida has a bad habit of deciding to tear down historical structures in order to make way for new, unsightly buildings. [I’m looking at you, reinvented Tides Beach Club on Redington Beach.]
The cafe at the Oxford Exchange is open for breakfast and lunch, and you can get coffee, tea, and the like throughout the day at the espresso bar. The bookstore sells curious and lovely coffee table books, and boasts that it features selections from the Rizzoli Studio. Speaking of curious, the shop has a large selection of beautiful items, including home decor, good smelling bath trinkets, vintage jewelry, and other odds and ends that you never knew you needed. One final item to note is that the OE also sells memberships to its Commerce Club, which is a shared work environment. Now all New York freelancers visiting the Tampa area know where to go to get business done with espresso in hand.
I’ll have some photos from the Bayshore coming up soon, as well as photos from a few portraits I have lined up while in town. Any recommendations on other places to visit in the city?