Last week, instead of battling crowds at the mall, Molly and I ventured out to St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia) for a fun day of exploring, sipping coffee, and snapping pictures.
St. Petersburg is only about 40 minutes from Tampa. It is full of great hole-in-the-wall cafes, has an eclectic art culture, and a fun night life. And yet I rarely go! I don't know why, I really should make more of an effort, it is an excellent local gem. Anyways, Molly and I wanted to check out the budding street art scene. There is a particular alley just off Central Avenue (between 6th and 7th Streets) that has recently been transformed into an outdoor gallery of amazing mural and graffiti art.
Behind the trendy 600 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg is a long alley filled with one of a kind and often changing murals. Apparently some of these murals were first commissioned to deter graffiti artists from tagging the back of the buildings. But what started as a plan to deter graffiti artists has turned into a city-wide artistic movement. Large scale murals, some commissioned and some not, have begun popping up on the back and sides of buildings all over down town St. Petersburg. The city is also home to several great art museums and the Picasso/Dali, Dali/Picasso exhibit is next on my to-do list.
So Molly and I decided to take a walking tour of these incredible works of art (we did ours on our own, but more official tours are offered as well). Since most of the murals are concentrated in one area, it is pretty easy to see all of them as you sip your coffee and stroll down the alley just north of Central. Each mural has it's own vibe and the mix of styles and colors creates an electric vibe. My favorite by far was the Twiggy mural pictured above (the colors are really vibrant in person).
We snapped a ton of pics (and of course I took the opportunity to take some outfit photos) before heading towards the waterfront. It was such a lovely day enjoying some local art, strolling in the cold weather, sipping coffee, and dining outside overlooking the ocean. Days like these remind me that every once in a while I really need to slow down and enjoy my local art and culture (not just when I am in Europe!).
What are your favorite local gems?