His honor, the Mayor of Tallahassee
Thought you might like to meet our mayor, Mr. John Marks. John was elected a couple of years ago, and he is a marked improvement over the last person who held the office.
Mayoral and city elections in Tallahassee are all non-partisan, meaning that we do not have Democratic and Republican party primaries. Now, the candidates can and do make it known what their political affiliations are in most cases. John is kind of a slightly left of center Democrat, which should put him at odds politically with me. But, I've met John on several occasions, and have found him a warm and friendly guy, with a determined notion to find concensus. : )
So politics aside, I think he's doing a fairly decent job at City Hall. I didn't vote for him, but that means nothing..... I am a county resident, residing BEYOND the city limits of Tallahassee. So, I couldn't vote for anyone in the mayoral race. The last guy who was mayor, the nauseating Scott Maddox, quit to become chairman of the Democratic Party in the state of Florida. He has now left that position, having done such a great job in the last election. (Democrats lost every single statewide election.... nice job, Scottie) The nitwit then ran for governor in 2006 and was beaten like a drum. He actually didn't make it out of the party primaries. Once again, I was denied the opportunity to vote against ol' Scottie.
But, I did enjoy his concession speech on primary night. : )
st. marks wildlife refuge
the st. marks wildlife refuge is a great place to visit to see florida wildlife. i have been there numerous times and have seen alligators, bald eagles, herons, ibis, wood storks, deer, bear, wild boar, and a florida panther. pictured are some rosette spoonbills which are very rare in north florida. from tallahasse take hwy 363 (woodville hwy) south to US98. take US98 east just past newport to the wildlife refuge.
Something totally different... a Chinese Buffet
OK, I was being funny. Chinese Buffet places are everywhere. Ubiquitous, if you're planning a Scrabble or crossword puzzle-solving career. Nothing new about Chinese buffet places, and to a degree, this type of restaurant is pretty much the same everywhere.
I've often heard a saying about Chinese buffet food, probably authored by a hungry college student surviving on "all you can eat for $4.91" type meals.... Chinese buffet food is great when it's good and still pretty good when it's not.
OK, I admit it, you CAN get horrible Chinese food. But, you won't get it at China First in Tallahassee. Of ALL the capital city's "buffet" Chinese places, China First is the best and most consistent for my money. Lunch buffet is usually $5.95, all you can eat (that's what AYCE means on signs in Tallahassee, by the way....). Dinner buffet is usually $7.95. I think they have a "seafood" angle on Saturdays for an additional buck. But since I don't go to Chinese buffet joints for seafood, I can't say for sure. : )
They do have a menu at China First, should you decide to forego the buffet. However, the waiter may die of a heart attack if you actually ask for one. I can't imagine the panic in the kitchen if they suddenly had to make something NOT on the buffet. : ) Maybe someday I'll go stir things up, but... I actually love the buffet stuff.
If you get a hankerin' for Chinese buffet in Tallahassee, I'd suggest China First. Reasonably clean, reasonable service and the quality of the food is very good. Don't let the restaurant's position directly next to a PET STORE give you any pause, either. Those are just rumors started by competitors. Oh we love their crab rangoon appetizers. The egg and spring rolls are good for buffet.
And the entrees are all good and quite varied. For vegetarians, there's always several veggie entrees to choose from. MY favorite entree is General Tso's chicken. China First makes it extra spicy....... good stuff.
NEVER try the desserts. There is nothing worse than a dessert item from a Chinese buffet line. I've often thought of "marking" one of the tea cakes' icing with an etch mark (using a toothpick). I want to see if the same cake is there the next day, and the day after that. It's rumored that the FSU school of archaeology calibrates their carbon-dating apparatus using Chinese restaurant desserts. Enough jokes... stay away from the sweets. Go get ice cream somewhere after your meal if you want dessert.
China First also has a decent list of reasonably priced and cold beers, both domestic and import. Get a Tsingtao, folks...it's a Chinese place. Drink your Budweiser with a burger.
old state capitol
the old state capitol was originally built in 1845. it was renovated and expanded several times and the existing structure has been perserved to it's 1905 appearence. when the new state capitol was built in 1978 the old capitol was converted into a museum. the museum exhibits the history of the florida legislature. a very interesting place to visit when in tallahassee. open daily, no admission charge. for more information see http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/museum/sites/oldcapitol/
"A Brief History of Tallahassee"
Tallahassee, Florida’s Capital City, has a unique history. Nestled among the hills, red clay, and oaks of Florida’s panhandle, Tallahassee may not seem like the typical Florida city. Yet the history of Florida and Tallahassee are closely connected.
"Tallahassee" is an Apalachee Indian word meaning "old town" or "abandoned fields". The Apalachee Indians lived throughout the panhandle from 500 through the 1600s. In 1539, Hernando de Soto spent the first Christmas in the New World in the woods near the present State Capitol. As more Spanish colonists entered the panhandle, disease and fighting reduced their population. The Apalachee Indians left and the area became an abandoned village, thus it was called "Tallahassee".
"Tallahassee" is an Apalachee Indian word meaning "old town" or "abandoned fields"
When Florida became a territory of the United States in 1822, both St. Augustine and Pensacola, the major cities in Florida at the time, competed to be the Capital. Unable to come to an agreement, it was decided to locate the Capital at a point between the two cities. Tallahassee’s tall hills attracted the search party, and in 1824 the City of Tallahassee was created, with a log cabin capital was quickly built.
Even as the state Capital, Tallahassee quickly acquired the reputation of an outlaw frontier town. Men on the street often carried guns and knives and duels were a popular recreation. After passing through Tallahassee, Ralph Waldo Emerson called Tallahassee "a grotesque place...rapidly settled by public officers, land speculators, and desperados." To end this lawlessness, a small group of police officers were commissioned, and Tallahassee’s Police Department has served the City ever since, celebrating over 150 years of service.
The rich land quickly turned Leon County into a thriving agricultural area. Tallahassee had several large plantations and crops included cotton, corn and sweet potatoes. In 1860, 9,089 slaves lived in Tallahassee.
During the Civil War, Tallahassee was the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi that did not fall to Union troops. At a small battle was waged at Natural Bridge, south of Tallahassee near the City of St. Marks, a put-together army of old men and students from the West Florida Seminary (now Florida State University) fought off an attack by Union troops.
After the Civil War, many of Tallahassee’s large plantations were turned into hunting lodges for wealthy winter residents from the North. Times were tough, with more laborers than jobs, and farmers caught in the never ending cycle of share cropping. Yet Tallahassee slowly continued to grow. In 1950, Tallahassee’s population reached 27,237, and farmers were no longer the majority of the rural population.
Today’s Tallahassee is a community where tradition and family are important. Government offices share the largest sector of the labor force, followed by services and retail trade. Two universities, Florida State University and Florida A & M, and Tallahassee Community College attract highly educated professionals and researchers. In recent years, Tallahassee has become home to super computers and the National High Magnetic Laboratory. With a population of over 150,000, Tallahassee is no longer the abandoned fields it once was.