I live next to (not in, mind you, but next to) one of the nicest neighborhoods in Tampa: Hyde Park.
One of Tampa’s more historic hoods, Hyde Park was just citrus groves and farmland until the 1880s. Then, according to the Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, two growers built their homesteads here and Hyde Park became Tampa’s first suburb.
American Craftsman bungalows and Georgian-inspired brick homes replaced the orange trees. Construction boomed until the stock market crashed in 1929 and the country plummeted into a depression.
Today, the nicest Hyde Park homes are located between Swann Ave. and Bayshore Blvd. They’re bordered by the Hillsborough River on the east and Rome Ave. on the west.
I love walking these streets.
It’s overall pretty affluent. But there’s no apparent homeowners’ association so the area still maintains an organic vibe. A shabby beach bungalow sits across the street from a gated brick two-story home with columns and a fountain. A lawn with a topiary garden faces one overrun with rosemary bushes and tomato plants.
The best thing about my crazy rich neighbors is their dedication to holiday decorations.
Right now it’s Halloween. Every few houses, plastic gravestones and skeletal hands poke out of the manicured lawns. Felt spiders the size of children crawl across wavy-glass windows, and ghosts tethered to oak trees float in the breeze from the bay.
These guys must give away killer candy because every Halloween we have to compete for street parking with hundreds of parents who bring their kids here to trick or treat.
Keep scrolling for my favorite Hyde Park Halloween decorations. Which one do you like the most?