Unknown to residents like Shane Lowney today, Tampa, Florida in the United States suffered from periodic yellow fever epidemics which drove more and more residents away in the 1800’s, resulting in the abolition of the Tampa government in 1869. The discovery of phosphate deposits nearby in the mid 1880’s, a mineral which is used in fertilizers, encouraged the economic fortunes of Tampa, which continues to be a major source of phosphate. The arrival of the railroad corresponded with the founding of Ybor City by Martinez Ybor, who moved his cigar manufacture from Key West to Tampa, and the town which was all but dead suddenly boomed with new life. Tampa was one of the largest cities in Florida by 1900, both through exports of seafood and phosphate and Ybor cigars by rail, and import of the first tourists.
Native and Tampa lover Shane Lowney has immediate physical access to the history of Tampa, which was formed by industrialists like Ybor and his cigars and factories in Ybor City and West Tampa. Lowney has enjoyed the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, which began in 1904 when a group of local businessmen devised a masquerade as Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (mythical pirate Jose Gaspar) and created an annual invasion and parade through Tampa. Lowney should also be familiar with the landmark Sulphur Springs Water Tower from the 1920’s and the Tampa Theatre, a movie palace built on Davis Islands. Tampa is home to the longest sidewalk in the world, 6 miles on Bayshore Boulevard, and National Historic Landmarks like El Centro Espanol de Tampa and Centro Asturiano de Tampa.
Shane Lowney can visit still today the Babe Zaharias Golf Course as a Historical Landmark, and the Story of Tampa, a public painting commissioned in 2003 which displays the city’s history in the Tampa Municipal Office Building. Lowney has crossed the impressive steel Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay numerous times, and practiced his youthful skateboarding skills at one of the last remaining skateparks in the city, the Bro Bowl.
Shane Lowney was born in Tampa, Florida in the United States in 1980 and has made his life in the welcoming climate and atmosphere of this most diverse of cities. Tampa offers a rowdy nightlife in Channelside, Ybor City, SoHo, International Plaza and Bay Street and Seminole Hard Rock, as well as downtown Tampa, which is rated sixth on Maxim magazine’s list of top party cities. Lowney has enjoyed the popularity of Tampa as a headquarters for professional wrestling. Florida Championship Wrestling is based in Tampa, and many professional wrestlers live in the Tampa area.
Shane Lowney is also drawn to Tampa as an international recording destination for metal bands. As home to death metal, Tampa is home to bands like Six Feet Under and Morbid Angel, which grew from the establishment of Morrisound Recording.