Tampa Bay - February 12, 2013
Whenever the canadiens.com staff comes across a novelty landmark that’s listed as being “The Biggest Something in the World” you can pretty much bet it’s going into our On the Road Blog. We unexpectedly stumbled across such a landmark in Tampa Bay while wandering through the Channelside Mall located between the Aquarium of Florida and the home of the Lightning, the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Outside of a bowling alley aptly named “Splitsville” sits what according to Parade Magazine, is the largest bowling pin on earth.
Hooked by the ridiculously large pin, we entered to give the interior the once-over and discovered a luxury bowling alley and pool hall decked out in a retro 1950s malt shop aesthetic. In a glass case by the cash register we spotted numerous bowling pins autographed by celebrities that had made their way through the establishment at one time or another. Among them were stars from local teams like the Lightning, Buccaneers and Rays, and nestled between them all, even a pin signed by the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. Despite much pleading and attempted bribery, none of the staff would divulge what his average had been when he visited the lanes.
It might not be as elaborate as San Francisco’s, or even the one Montreal boasted in the early 1900s, but Tampa Bay’s cable cars are still a great way for anyone visiting the area to travel between different parts of the city. After disappearing from Tampa in 1946, the city finally opted to bring the classic mode of public transportation back on Oct. 19, 2002 with the electric “TECO Line” linking the Ybor City, Channelside and downtown districts together along 2.4 miles of track.