Ybor City Part 2 (dedicated to Apryl Foster)

This is the final Ybor City post, which includes a few favorites. The second part of this post is dedicated to a 33-year-old Tampa woman, who loved Ybor city and spent the last night of her life there.

First, 13 photos:

pps-356-3-2015-couple on path

This is Keith. We talked for a few minutes and even shared a “bro” hug. Did you ever meet someone where later you wondered more about their story?  Well Keith’s story is one I wondered about… and when I looked at my photos later, I just wondered what he was doing there, with a big ol’ backpack, resting up against the wall.
ybor city cigar smoke in air
Some folks go to Ybor city to enjoy a cigar. In this photo, I captured some of the smoke that sometimes fills the street outside of a cigar shop. It really was not too stinky – and actually dissipates quickly. Notice the little sign to the right says, “Please come In and TAKE PICTURES” -This is a very hospitable place.
Of course there are folks who work in Ybor city, and here is Hunter, on his break from his job with some take-out food for the staff. I took 4 photos of Hunter and I used these two because when I placed them side by side, I noticed how the street and walkway flowed with a little right bend.


Some people go to Ybor city to dine out and catch a movie – and we met Brenden while waiting for the valet to bring us our car. If it sounds fancy to have valet parking – it really is not; instead, it is more of a necessity because parking spots in Ybor are difficult to find – and for a quick ten dollars, the valet will park your car for you.  I also like the other folks in the background of this shot.
ybor city-2
Many people party at Ybor city. Here is looking down at one of the lines to get into a club. Linked to LULD week #83 and Dawn’s lingering look at windows.


This is cedric – he also works at Ybor city – and in this shot – I like the rainbow table, the different lights, and mosaic tile floor. Oh – and that Shamrock green ATM sign links to JNW’s shamrock this week.
This is Santiago and Kenny.  They kinda have a Breaking Bad feel to me – just a bit – ha!
ybor city- 3-castle
Do you see this building to the left? This is a major party place that looks like a castle inside and a lot of folks dress up in “goth costumes” to party there.  It felt quite sinister seeing some of the outfits (i.e. ripped shirts with fake blood – or dark zombie costumes). The next photo shows a collage of folks – and two of them were coming from this castle in Ybor.

pps-362-3-2015-ybor city people collage

pps-360-3-2015-coule nine year anniversary
This is one of my favorite photos from my trip – for a few reasons. I like the splashes of red. Like the umbrella pattern with the stripes of her dress. I also like the energy of this couple. However, the special part was when this couple said I made their night because it was their 9th wedding anniversary – and having their picture taken felt special to them.  I am going to send them a signed and framed print. 🙂
pps-365-3-2015-couple kiss
Love the smirk – and the shot!
keep left sign ybor city
Here is one of the street shots I took of Ybor city – the lights, folks walking, and limo all give a feel for the vibe here.

For Part 2 – here is my dedication to Apryl Foster.

Apryl Foster is a 33 year-old that went missing in early February-  after partying at a bar in Ybor city. I read about her story in the news while having some morning java at my cousin’s kitchen table.  I do not know many folks that still have the paper newspaper delivered, and so it is a treat to explore the jam packed Sunday News when I visit them.

morning news...
The Tampa Bay Times showed a photo of Apryl Foster’s parents releasing a dove in her memory. When I read that Apryl went missing from Ybor city – it was the day after I was there. I was glad that I was on guard when I was taking my pics.  I reflected back on how I stayed pretty close to the cigar shop that my mom and cousin were at. (You know… I was just being careful and situationally aware).


Anyhow, last week I checked on Apryl’s story to see what unfolded and found out that her death was actually DUI related (story is here).

She left the bar and while close to home, she pulled off the road for 50 minutes and then instead of going straight, she turned left and drove into a lake!

However, the part that shocked me was that they were keeping the DUI part private!   I guess it is because if the DUI news is released, it might interfere with other helpful tips that keep coming in, which could help with other cases.

4 apryl


Closing Thoughts…

I disagree with keeping the truth about the DUI quiet, because by doing so, they are robbing people of the full story!  So a big shout out of THANKS to Wfla, Channel 8, for reporting the truth.

Also, by not sharing openly that Apryl’s demise was DUI related, they are missing out on a chance to teach more people about the danger of drinking and driving.

Now I know some of you cynics out there might be thinking that “it does not make a difference” because no matter what we report, “people do not care and they will still drink and drive.”

But I think it does make a difference – it can…. even if it is a very small difference.

Every single time we share the truth about the dangers associated with alcohol consumption, we raise awareness — and it adds up — to one day sink into someone’s head to where they “get it” and to where they care!

So please….

Please don’t drink and drive!  Even if you have been doing it safely for years – today is the day to say “no mas” 

Here are some tips for teens: 

1.  Remind teens that driving buzzed is still driving impaired (and could be deadly). 

2. Talk to teens about how some people minimize impaired driving because they have “safely” gotten away with “driving after drinking ” dozens of times.  But it is like playing “Russian Roulette” with a vehicle. 

3. Judge Judy says that “automobiles can be lethal weapons” and we need to operate them with CARE and regard. 

4.  Young kids can benefit from learning about the addictive nature of alcohol.  For example, talk about not “driving under the influence” –  and also about not going through life “living under the influence” – Maybe also talk about how easy it is for some folks to use alcohol for escaping – for short-term coping – or how some people “party hearty” because they are conditioned to view that as the ultimate indulgent thing to do for enjoyment.  On a trip to Florida in 2009, this group of folks sat at this table, beachside, drinking for hours.  While talking with them (we knew them all), well I realized that a few of them viewed spending their entire Saturday getting smashed as their “right” and as their pleasant way to unwind.  I was trying not to be too critical at the time, but I was really shaking my head because these were older folks – and I guess I just felt a little sad for them that this was “the preferred way” they wanted to spend their entire day off from work.  I also learned that day that the way we “view” alcohol is sometimes  skewed and sometimes so conditioned to be one way.  

5. Use everyday examples to talk with tweens and teens about alcohol dangers — stories like Apryl’s are everywhere (sadly) – so let’s use these examples to teach.  For example, I saved an email from WiseGEEK (here) and then one day we were “conversating” about the topic, and I pulled it up on my phone and shared this snippet of sobering info:

“On average, one person is killed every 53 minutes in a drunk driving accident in the US. Drinking is found to be involved in nearly a third of all traffic deaths in the US. Additionally, a third of drinking-related traffic accidents are caused by repeat offenders, meaning those who drink and drive are somewhat likely to continue the habit. On average each year in America, about 1 in 2000 drivers are operating under the influence of alcohol on a given trip.”

6. Talk to teens about the damage that alcohol causes to the body.  It is not a health drink folks, and every time we indulge, it comes with a price to our physical body. 



In closing, I wish you a great ending to your week – and here is a Throwback Thursday song to wrap up the post, Losing Grip by Avril Lavigne (here).



Also, if you know anyone that needs info about alcohol – click here – or click on the link below for self-help alcohol awareness tips from helpguide:

Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Self-Help




50 thoughts on “Ybor City Part 2 (dedicated to Apryl Foster)

  1. A very powerful post Y. So sad to hear of this tragedy. May the knowledge of this death and your good information help at least one more person to make the choice to leave the car parked after drinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you sue – and I really like how you put it…
      “leave the car parked after drinking.”

      and let’s add -some more options…
      “arrange for a ride”
      “drink at home”
      “skip the bar – do something else and wake up with no hangover.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A packed post there 🙂 You captured some great street shots and I especially like the one you linked into my challenge – thanks for joining again.
    A sad end to your post though – what a waste of a young life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are a great storyteller. Every time I come here, I do nothing but listen quietly… 😉 (and I enjoy the photos that go with these stories too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for what you have done and advocate… Great tips for teens, I think all teens must at least know #6. These are great photos, Yvette!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a powerful post…I enjoyed the street photography of those smiling faces you met…and then the story about Apryl was very sad…Thanks for the tips for teens about alcohol…important stuff…
    All my very best,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your favorite photo (the red with the umbrella) is my favorite photo and I love the one that follows too.

    And on part 2 – I think that Apryl’s DUI should have been shared earlier as well. Very tragic story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for reading part 1 and part 2 Lisa 🙂 ❤ and I guess they are still not sharing the info – even though wfla reported it – they are keeping it quiet because (I guess) as long as folks think it is foul play – they call hotlines with random tips – they tend to rack their brain more and sometimes these late tips end up being clues to other cases…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Packs a punch, Yvette! As usual I start off like a grinning idiot, loving those umbrellas in the street in triplicate and the ‘looking down on Ybor’ with so much atmosphere. Then you get real! I love what you do. Happy Easter to you and the family (and thanks for the email which I’ve been too rude to acknowledge yet 😦 )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Agreed, we cannot talk enough about the dangers of drinking and driving. There have been a few deaths of young people in this area that I feel like are kept quiet and I just don’t understand who that is supposed to be helping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I know – and I remember in the 1990s when I went to that mourning class for parents who loved lost children (I went with mrs. Nerud because she lost two kids) – and well a good number of folks were there because of alcohol related losses – and so this is not a recent thing –


  9. Sad story about Apryl but I agree with you completely that the whole story about DUI should be shared publicly to raise awareness of the danger driving under influence. Honestly I don’t get why there are people who keep driving after drinking, I don’t have courage to drive even after drinking only one glass of wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Indah – and part of it is (I think) is that some folks handle their alcohol very week and maybe have hundreds of times where they make it home safe – not even aware of the cognitive impairment that was lurking and really underpinning their driving –
      oh — and this is another topic – but as PADI always teaches no drinking and diving…


      1. That’s worrying when they just “get used” to it 😦 and think it would be fine…scary!!
        😀 yes, that’s a rule of scuba diving too! Drinking and diving is as much as dangerous as drinking and driving! Awesome sign Yvette!


    1. thanks rommel – and also interesting how the standard umbrella has not really changed that much over many years – 🙂


  10. Great photos. I’m baffled by how you got Cedric in there twice. It’s seamless! Good job.
    And about drinking and driving, one life saved is one life saved. Each and everyone one, important. And if there are two, or three, all the better. Good for you. When I was much (much) younger, I recall a night when I got from here to there but don’t remember how. That day sticks in my throat and I thank God He was watching over me. I might not have been that lucky and things could have gone a whole lot different. Drinking and driving. NOT A GOOD IDEA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment gemma –
      and I took 4 shots of cedric and I was just messing around in PS – I am also trying to customize some of my street shots this year -I think that after this year I am not going to do people shots anymore – but we shall see….

      Also, I have a drive like that too – late 1980’s- just remember paying a toll – and I feel the same way (I know it was the grace of God I made it safely home – and thankful I did not hurt someone)…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely photos of lovely people, Yvette. Great how you combined that Cedric photo and matched it up. And the thoughtfulness of that couple’s anniversary photo, well, that’s just you! You do have a loving way! Your dedication to Apryl Foster and the dangers of DUI are so important. So many lives lost to driving under the influence. It’s heartbreaking. I would imagine most people’s lives have been touched by the tragedy of it in some way or another. God bless. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much L – and I took four of Cedric – I have learned a few things while doing this and one thing I do is always get a few extra shots just in case (and digital makes that very possible as opposed to “film” days $$) – anyhow, thanks for noticing that with cedric’s pic – I used PS to play with the image….

      and you are so correct – I bet everyone’s life has been touched in some way by duo related tragedies…

      hope y have a nice rest of your easter amiga

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s a very profound post in each and every way Y, The street portraits were so interesting, how you took care of the details and putting pictures together so perfectly well. They are all great shots, gives us a peek into how other people spend their day or lives.
    And a very important message in the end indeed. That was very responsible on your part. Prayers to the lost life.

    Zee ❤


  13. Great post. I’m still loving your street interviews/images. You’ve got guts 🙂

    I don’t follow the news much, so I hadn’t heard about Apryl. So sad to hear, her family is in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jennifer – well I do not think her story made it to the big news – and even the local news had little about it – so I am surprised I even heard about it while there (just a timing thing I am sure) – and thanks for comment on my street shots – 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So sad about Apryl, and thank you so much for highlighting the terrible consequences of driving while drinking. So, so dangerous. I love the way you put these photo ‘collages’ together…and same anniversary as hubby and me… 9 years 🙂 I wonder too about the guy with the backpack, always wanting to know the story behind everything. LOL’d at the Breaking Bad mention…another wonderfully rich post mon amie 🙂 ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice Part II, Y. The collages are boss. Those anniversary birds should be thrilled to get your gift, by the way. Good person, you are.

    Hooray for your cousin getting the newspaper delivered at home, and you for enjoying the chock-full-of-news, and for every Tampa Times staffer for bringing it to the city. Just a thought from an old newspaper guy, Y.

    About the Apryl DUI story, you are right in your assumption that this element may keep somebody, somewhere from drinking too much again and getting behind the wheel. However, if the family had asked the police to not release the information and they had not released it … I can understand that side of it from their point of view, too, grief wise for the family and wanting to catch a criminal wise for the police. It’s a dilemma, for sure.

    Here’s another reason why people should not drink and drive, of lesser import but something to consider. If you get pulled over by the police and are over the legal limit, you will get violations and restrictions and fines and punishments and shame and humiliation that will affect you for a long, long time. And that’s if you don’t crash your car, hurting yourself and somebody else. I know this because my luck ran out in May 2001 when I got pulled over in a speed trap after having too many after work. I was cuffed and taken to the station in the back seat of the police car. They towed away my car. I was in the published police blotter of the newspaper that I’d worked for two decades. (I was smart enough to tell my bosses about it the next morning so nobody was surprised when that turned up with the other names, at least.) I was guilty of the level below drunk driving — driving with ability impaired. After attending classes and paying the fines and waiting six months, I got my full license back instead of the to-work-only version. I knew that I’d never, ever put myself in that situation again. The classes worked. The shame worked. My vow has worked. I haven’t and won’t. So listen, people, if you would.


    1. thanks for sharing your personal experience mark – seriously – and I also really like how you worded this…
      if you drink and drive

      “you will get violations and restrictions and fines and punishments and shame and humiliation that will affect you for a long, long time.”

      well said.

      and regarding Apryl, I do not think it was her family that wanted it kept private – but the police tip line folks – because what I read is that “other” untreated tips will still come in – but if it gets publicly closed as a DUI – people stop sending in tips that could help with other crimes – well I guess there is a method behind their reasoning. Thanks again for sharing your personal story. 🙂


      1. Well, Y, my private little mess was in the public realm 14 years ago here, but you have the scoop in BloggyVille. I thought it might help change a mind or two, and you’d laid the groundwork with your fine post. Thank you that, my friend.


        1. well I thank you for that because it can be a sobering wake up call to hear this part of the consequence – it is not always death and a crash – but can be public humiliation – so let’s all keep talking – in blog world and out there too
          hugs xxoo


  16. @”Please don’t drink and drive!” – in French we say: boire ou conduire, c’est à toi de choisir! = drink or drive, YOU choose/the choice is YOURS!!! – I totally agree… our life is based upon choices and decisions we take/make every day… we’re the only responsible folks of them!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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