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Night city offers day entertainment

Long lines, crowds of people and thumping music are what most students picture when thinking about Ybor City. But Ybor has another personality during the day — one that makes it a cheap source of entertainment.

During the day, Ybor offers a unique mix of shops and restaurants that will suit any taste or budget. Metropolitan Deluxe, located at 1600 8th Ave. E., offers a wide range of items from furniture to barware and soaps. It’s right near Centro Ybor, where there are other generic homogenous shops like Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters.

Saturdays bring a fresh market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where vendors sell arts, crafts, candles and jewelry. Some offer products for sale that benefit a local charity or organization. The fresh market is located at Centennial Park (that’s 8th Avenue and 18th Street); check out for details and events.

If you want a cup of coffee, skip Starbucks and try Studio 1515 at 1515 7th Ave. Studio 1515 is a coffeehouse where local artists present their work, and it puts Starbucks to shame.

For a little entertainment over lunch, visit 7th Heaven Psychic Café at 1725 7th Ave. E. Artichoke dip is a specialty and psychic readings start at $15.

A cheaper lunch can be found at any of the pizzerias — such as Roma — scattered along 7th Avenue. Most offer New York-style pizza that will make most full after just one piece.

There is always the classic Columbia Restaurant, which offers excellent food at reasonable prices for lunch. Don’t leave without trying the “1905 salad” and sangria. The Columbia has been in Ybor since 1905 and is located at 2117 7th Ave. E.

For the art lover, the Brad Cooper Gallery, which can be found at 1712 7th Ave. E., has a free exhibition through Jan. 29 titled “20/20: Twenty years, twenty artists”.

You may have made some incredible memories in Ybor with your friends in the middle of the night, but during the day, the city is a completely different place. Whatever you’re looking for, be it food, art, culture or history, you can find it in Ybor City during the day.