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Maybe not my style, but it sure seems nice

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By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 14, 2003

To paraphrase Fox Sports radio host Tony Bruno

It's not my style to party until 3 in the morning, but Corey Curry makes it sound awfully inviting.

In two years, the ambitious promoter has made a name for himself by drawing crowds to his themed nights at various bars around Tampa, and this weekend he's celebrating his birthday with a three-day celebration. It starts tonight at Club Joy and continues Saturday with a midnight cruise on the StarShip dining yacht.

Curry has a Sunday pool party planned, but only those who show up on Friday or Saturday can find out the details. Shrewd.

He also has designs on taking his success across the bay and staging all-day parties at the Coliseum. His hope is that people will swim, jet ski and picnic during the day and then come back that night for dancing.

"That bridge is like a Chinese wall or something," Curry said. "I don't know why people in Tampa won't go over that bridge, but once they see this club ... it's the most gorgeous club I've ever walked in."

Curry's entertainment company also is expanding into a new area. With the help of former Bucs safety Shevin Smith, Curry is helping arrange autograph sessions and other public appearances for several current players.

In addition to entertainment and marketing, Curry would like to some day produce his own television show. I like this guy's chutzpah.

It's not my style to criticize city officials, but why in the world are they enforcing metered parking in Ybor City on weekday nights?

I went to the Don Vicente Tuesday night and was amazed to see a parking enforcement officer at 10 p.m. Ybor supporters and city officials say they want to attract more upper-income adults with disposable income. Well, let me tell you, slapping tickets on Jaguars is not the way you do it.

Sure, the first three hours in the parking garages are free, but on evenings Sunday through Wednesday, convenience should be a hallmark throughout the district.

* * *

It's not my style to diet, but I have nothing but respect for a group of Tampa firefighters who began a 10-day quest to reduce their cholesterol Thursday. Not only will this result in a healthier group, but the firefighters are competing against fellow firefighters in New York, Dallas and San Francisco.

It's an interesting challenge for a couple of reasons: the contest will help raise money for the new Tampa Fire Museum, and if Tampa's finest win, they get a free trip to Hawaii.

* * *

It's not my style to criticize the competing paper, but when my picture appears in the Tampa Tribune, I expect it to be accompanied with proper identification.

In the Wednesday edition of the Trib, the back of my fat head was prominently displayed on page 8 of the Metro section, yet they failed to identify my melon or the lovely coif of fellow columnist Mary Jo Melone.

I think it was a real disservice to readers because given the size of my head, I'm sure some may have thought there was a technical glitch on the photo.

Mary Jo and I were two of the three journalists who participated in an engaging mayoral debate Tuesday at Middleton High. Yet there was no mention of us or host Mike Deeson of WTSP-Ch. 10.

Even if people did recognize my round mound without attribution, the Trib could have at least credited WTSP and the Times for sponsoring the debate, and Middleton High faculty and students for being gracious hosts.

I don't think those facts would have dented the Trib's circulation.

That's all I'm saying.

-- Ernest Hooper can be reached at 226-3406 or .

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