Christopher Spata, Features Writer

Christopher Spata

Features Writer

I'm focused on the offbeat side of life. I love stories about people pursuing unusual goals, and what drives them. I've written about retirees attending Santa Claus School, competitors at the World Sign Spinning Championships and an optician rebuilding old Chuck E. Cheese robots in his bedroom. I'm also looking for hyper-local culture stories, from tracing the global path plastic beads take to Tampa's Gasparilla festival, to pondering mysterious butt graffiti in downtown St. Pete. I also contribute to our entertainment and Things To Do coverage. I previously worked for the Tampa Tribune and Ocala Star-Banner. I'm a rare, native-born Floridian, and collect all things Floridiana, from alligator ash trays to vintage postcards for roadside attractions. I say Florida isn't "weird," just more interesting.

Jon Stewart on Tampa's Warrior Games, Gasparilla and whether he'd ever do TV again

Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller, left, and Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, right, share a laugh with comedian and actor Jon Stewart before presenting the Heart of the Team award at the 2018 Warrior Games. (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Stephen D. Schester)
The talk show icon wants you to be as inspired by veterans as he is.

Radio host Mike Calta extends contract with 102.5 The Bone

Mike Calta, host of The Mike Calta Show on WHPT-FM 102.5 The Bone. [Cox Media Group]
Calta said he hopes to host the Mike Calta Show on the station for many years to come.

MTV's 'Floribama Shore' filming Season 3 in St. Petersburg

The cast of “Floribama Shore.” [MTV]
The reality series marketed as a “Jersey Shore” for the South is "going f--king crazy" in Tampa Bay.

We tried to cross downtown Tampa via scooter. Here's how it went.

Tyler Killette, left, and Tampa Bay Times reporter Christopher Spata tool around on electric scooters at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. [Courtesy of Chris Fasick]
They cost more than Uber, but might be worth it for a good time.

10 beloved, old-school ice cream spots in Tampa Bay

Allison Moffatof St. Louis, Mo., eats her ice cream cone at Larry's Ice Cream & Gelato Cafe. (Times, 2011)
These places are full of nostalgic charm.