As many of you know, I get restless when I’m not traveling so I frequently look for a dose of culture near home to tide me over between trips. This January, I decided to do a photo project on Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Tarpon Springs is notable for having the largest concentration of Greek-Americans in the US (based on 2004 census data). Founded in 1882, the first Greek immigrants to the area arrived in 1905 to work in the sponge-diving industry. With them, they brought their food, faith and culture. Today the area offers an opportunity to experience a bit of Greece here in the US.
It is easy to overlook the substance of Tarpon Springs if you don’t venture beyond the main street. Certainly, there are some fantastic restaurants and shops on the main drag, but if you stop there, you will miss much of what makes this town special. If you really want to feel what makes this town Greek, you need to get onto the side streets. Better yet, ask the locals what not to miss.
I contacted the Tina Bucuvalas, Curator of Arts and Historical Resources for the City of Tarpon Springs as part of my research. She provided a wealth of information on where to shop, eat and visit. She also gave me insight on what it was like to live in this distinctly Greek city. Because I only had 24 hours, I would have missed so much if it hadn’t been for her direction. I hope you enjoy this sampling of the photos I took for my project. Additional shots are posted on my Flickr page.