Beer and the Bible...many sides to Tallahassee
Tallahassee is (a) a college town, (b) a capital city in the deep south, (c) full of legislators and governmental support staff and (d) packed with what you'd simply call "rednecks". (No disrepect intended, some of my best friends are rednecks) So, you end up with some really interesting parings and ironic situations.
We are clearly the bible belt, and a great percentage of our population can be found in church on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and numerous other times. (not me, by the way...not a church guy myself) This is a town that still cares what church candidates running for office attend. (Note to Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney... good luck down here, Mitt. You're gonna need it!)
Yep, lots of religions folks here... and yet, you'll very possibly find those same folks out on Friday and Saturday night tying one on bigtime at a bar, partying their God-fearing hearts out. (not me...not a big party guy myself) So, Tallahassee is absolutely a town of contradictions in behavior, with a wide range in behaviors exhibited in the short time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Tallahassee and Leon County was actually DRY (NO liquor sales, period) until the late 1960s. Now, we're big city on alcohol sales...supermarkets, etc. You can buy what you want pretty much 24/7. Surrounding counties and smaller towns all allow liquor sales now, but most ARE still officially DRY on Sundays. There's that bible belt influence.
North Florida, home of both the Friday night "belt" and the Sunday bible belt. :) The scene photographed above was a perfect statement. Here is First Baptist Church, the city's largest, and literally a city unto itself. This place has a parking lot almost as big as the local airport! And parked right out front, a huge Budweiser truck.
Now before you plan to attend Sunday service at FBC, the truck was actually making a delivery at a club (Paradigm) across the street. Members at First Baptist may like their on days other than Sunday, but they don't have coolers in the Church basement. :)
Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
SPECIAL NOTE, 7/6/08. For those of you who have heard the story of "the lucky duck", she's doing well. At this time, she's moved to a permanent home out at the Tallahassee Junior Museum. She can't fly well enough to be released into the wild, so this lucky duck will live the rest of her life being well cared for. If you'd like to help Goose Creek take care of rehabbing animals, please send a check made out to Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, attn: Noni Beck. The address is 830 Watt Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Please drop my name (Pete Chamlis) and say that you read about Goose Creek on my VT page. :)
Also, if you'd like to see a photo taken today (1/21) of the famous duck, look at my second tip photo. This is my daughter Sara holding the rescued duck. :)
Here's the original tip text:
e Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is really nothing more than a collection of people who truly love rescuing and rehabilitating injured wildlife. If you truly have an interest in this endeavor, give Goose Creek (Noni) a call when you're in Tallahassee.
My daughter, Sara, who lives for this type of vocation, has volunteered with Goose Creek and Noni for over five years. In the attached photo, she's holding "Goober", a beautiful little adult Eastern screech owl. Goober cannot be released back into the wild because he cannot fly. So, Goose Creek takes care of him and uses him in educational demonstrations. My daughter has been working with Goober for years, and they make quite a pair. BTW, if you're wondering about Sara's (my daughter) outfit, she was wearing a skunk costume on this day. She was doing wildlife talks and demonstrations for small children at a local festival.
ALSO, IF YOU TRULY HAVE AN INTEREST IN CARING FOR INJURED WILDLIFE AND WOULD LIKE TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS TO A GROUP THAT WILL SPEND EVERY PENNY YOU GIVE TO THEM ::ON:: THE ANIMALS....NO ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS OR SALARIES, IT'S ALL VOLUNTEER, please contact me and I'll tell you where to send your dollars, euros, shekels, rupees, kroners or whatever. Thanks!
Andrews 228, home of the $5 martini!
Andrews 228 is another venture of Tallahassee's leading local restarauteur, Andrew Weiss. Among his past wonders are ANDREWS SECOND ACT and TUTTO BENE, which was absolutely THE best Italian place we've ever had in town. Both are closed now. But Weiss presently runs both ANDREWS 228 and ANDREWS CAPITAL GRILLE.
228 is a bit more upscale, featuring American and Italian dishes with a nice updating. Try out "lobster-cargot" as an appetizer. :)
228 is a great place for a special dinner...right downtown, and if the weather is nice, you can go for a walk after dinner. EVERYTHING is good. They're mighty proud of their martinis here.... a sign at the door proclaims "the home of the $5 martini". They're quite good.
The "lobster-cargot" appetizer is good, as is the black olive tapenade crostini.
Andrews also features the Caesar Salad, a la "Hans". Hans is Andrew Weiss' dad.
The butternut ravioli sounds good, and if you're into seared tuna...they have the best. (never one of my favorites, but...)
You'll love the place. Enjoy and take somebody special to dinner there.
The Florida State University
The younger, more lively Tallahassee resides here. If you're from afar, this is your typical college scene, however, there are many beautiful buildings here and it's nice to just take a little stroll around campus every now and then to get a breath of fresh air.
This is my home.
"Welcome to my life."
Well, this is the place I was born in, and aside from the fact that I'm leaving in less than six months, it seems that the less amount of time that I have left here, the more beautiful this city tends to get. Maybe I'm maturing, but I think that as I get older, I think that all the amorous qualities of this city vividly awakened. I wouldn't think that these days I come to find certain characteristics of Tallahassee that bring opportune moments for photography. The weather is clear; when it needs be, it rains. However so much that the rains come, it is purely magical what it does to your soul. There are many beauties of Tallahassee. You just have to know where to look for them. It wasn't until I knew that I was leaving this place when I realized all that this city has to offer. Now that I've come to the realization, I'm destined to make a really great Tallahassee travel page for people to see what took me too many years to discover.
"The Capital and Capitol"
Andrew Jackson wanted to make a capital for the new territory of Florida way back when. In doing so, he hired two horsemen to ride on horseback on what became a 20-day expedition, one going east from St. Augustine and the other going west from Pensacola (the two lead a disputed vote for capital.. the first of a history of disputed elections). Where they meet is where they would build the capital, which discribes its geographical location. Back then, anything below Alachua County was swampland and was very hard to build on and actually have a town with a steady population due to all the diseases from mosquitoes and everything else. It happened to be that where they met was also near the location of an old abandoned Appalachee town (Tallahassee is Appalachee for "old town" or "abandoned fields." The capitol is, as you know, on the top of a hill. This isn't the first one. There were two before the Old Capitol that weren't nearly as ornate, and weren't even in the same location. The first one was a weak little shack log cabin that was incompleted due to lack of funding, the second was a two-story house looking building. They weren't in the same place because there was a waterfall where the New Capitol is now. Tallahassee was founded on the principle of the waterfall being the central focus. It came from a natural spring that is now being incredibly polluted, as it's been re-routed to the canal bisecting Franklin Rd. After that took place, they build the Old Capitol, which looks much different than it does today. Think of it as the same building without the dome and with a brick exterior. In 1891, they put the white exterior on and repainted it and placed a small cupola and plumbing were added. In 1902, the dome was installed and two enlargements to the wings were built to support a larger state government. Since the capital was still being disputed, the state government issued a grant to build the New Capitol in 1977, and it's not been contested ever since.
"Center of Downtown Tallahassee"
Over the summer I worked in the office of the County Commissioners, and this was a part of my daily walk to the parking garage after work in the mornings. Beautiful blue skies like in this picture are very typical of Tallahassee; especially if the meteorologists say that it is going to rain. Since we're near the coast, it is relatively difficult to predict Tallahassee weather, but most of the time it is beautiful.
The city used to be a place for outlaws; dueling was very popular until the TPD was founded and rich farmers moved in and started heavy plantation farming. By the time of the Civil War, the only major battle fought was one just south of Tallahassee in St. Marks after it was over already. The only capital west of the Mississippi River to not have been captured by the Union, Tallahassee's plantations were dismantled and turned into hunting lodges for the rich Northerners in the winter. By the 1950s, there was a more diverse population of a little over 25,000 or so people. Now with over 225,000 people, Tallahassee's urban population is growing at a slower pace than the rural part of the city surrounding it, which is in contesting for annexing to contribute to the growth of the city. I live in Bradfordville, a town on the border of the Tallahassee limits which will probably be annexed into the city in the next five years at its rate of growth.