Photo taken at the Dowtown Jacksonville Landing during Artwalk.
Jacksonville, Florida has a budding Arts scene. We also have an NFL football team, but I’ll focus on the arts, as that is more of my interest. We have had three or four One Spark Crowdfunding arts festivals, and not just any city can claim that honor. On the first Wednesday of every month, there is an Artwalk in downtown Jacksonville. Artists show their creations, and crafters and small businesses peddle their wares, giving samples and demonstrations. Music fills the air, from amateur to promising, talented bands. The man on the corner with his saxophone, who seems to only know variations of old t.v. show theme songs such as I Dream of Jeannie, is a welcome piece of the amosphere. Homeless folks park themselves in Hemming Plaza, and at nightfall, they head to the Sulzbacher Center or City Rescue Mission. (Those are the ones I know of). A year or two ago, our mayor decided to have seating in Hemming Plaza that is bolted down. It is now hard to tell a homeless man from the guy who has gathered with his old buddies to play chess in the park. Yes, I believe this is a good change for our downtown area!
There are beautiful historical buildings.
There are signs of art fused with everyday images.
There are shops, bookstores, a library, an art museum, and galleries. Chamblin’s Uptown bookstore shown above.
Art of all mediums is displayed at The Art Center in the downtown Jacksonville Landing. Pictured here: a porpoise, of recycled mechanical and metal parts. Artist: Kenneth Balser. (I happen to know him. Let me know if you’re interested in his work 🙂 ).
I’ll admit, we do have some impressive architecture. (Part of the Library in downtown Jax.)
*Capoeira demonstration by a local Jacksonville Ji Jitsu business during One Spark Festival, downtown. If you didn’t know, Capoeira is a Bazilian martial art.
Let’s not forget our people. We are diverse, represented by people of many nations, countries, ethnicities, etc. We have lifetime Jacksonville natives, we have people of many countries or from different states who came here to our Navy base, and we have retirees who came for the weather, from any of the states. There are even snowbirds who live here during the winter and spring months, going back home from May to October for a cooler breeze. How I envy them! Jacksonville is the ultimate melting pot. Just look at the many variations presented in this photograph alone. Our people are beautiful.
And the homeless folks I mentioned, they are part of it. Diverse, unexpectedly intelligent. They are you, and me, with a one-degree difference……….but that is a topic for a whole other blog entry.
I know I have tended to loosely define neighborhood. Yet, one of its definitions is “district or locality.” Our city covers such a huge square mile area. So, my neighborhood is huge. My city is beautiful. It is also imperfect. Just like every city. But I am glad to be here.
*This post is in response to Jacqueline Obyikocha’s Thursday challenge. Jacqueline is super supportive of her fellow bloggers and inspires me without fail. Peruse her blog, and subscribe, at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/ Please show her some love. Start by looking at her “Echoes of My Neighborhood” responses at this link: http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/category/travel-2/dubai/echos-of-my-neighbourhood/. They will be sure to amaze you!