Cigar City: Tales from a 1980’s Creative Ghetto


Cigar City is a collection of linked short stories about the young artists, writers, poets, musicians and actors who inhabited Tampa’s Ybor City in the 1980s. Drawn by urban authenticity and cheap rents, they created a surreal, chaotic, arts scene set against the backdrop of the empty cigar factories and shotgun shacks of Tampa’s immigrant past. The Ybor scene drew international artists like James Rosenquist and mirrored what was happening in New York’s East Village.

The stories are fictional but they capture the spirit of the district during the 1980s. The collection is illustrated with photos, posters, and graphic images from the era.