Tallahassee, being a state capital and thereby a "government town", tends to be more liberal than most southern towns. In fact, we good conservatives often refer to our town as THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF TALLAHASSEE. I am constantly amazed at how enamoured our local officials seem to be with government intervention and wonton socialism. That being said, there is one area in which we are still "the south".
GUNS. People like to hunt here, and people also believe strongly in the 2nd amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads "the citizens' right to bear arms will not be prohibited". We have lots and lots of "gun and knife shows" that find their way to Tallahassee's civic center. In fact, local stores proudly advertise big sales on handguns and ammo on a regular basis. Take a look at the photo(s) with this tip. (they were photographed directly from over-the-air television)
Now before you go all psycho and fret about Tallahassee being a gun-slinging town, be advised that our violent crime rate is MUCH lower than that in some of the more "liberal and enlightened" areas of the country. Nobody down here is going to shoot you unless you need to be shot.
OK, I'm being funny with the spelling above. I meant to say Green Police. :)
Tallahassee is a city that has long valued its environment. There is a huge push to keep THIS city from becoming like the concrete jungles of south Florida. We love our trees, as I've mentioned on this site.
This photo shows some of the nifty little electric vehicles the local police department has purchased for patrolling the downtown area. Other than when it rains, I'd say that bopping around in these little go-carts has to be a fun way to check parking meters.
And, it's good for the environment! And speaking OF environment, look at all of those trees in the background. This photo was taken right in the center of downtown Tallahassee.
I've learned that people from other parts of the country are amused and enchanted (in some cases) by many of our Southern "sayings"....
Examples of the wisdom and colorful speak of Dixieland would be...
"He's as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine."
[TRANSLATION... He's ecstatic.]
"Oh honey, we'll be as fine as frog's hair."
[Basically, I love you... but said at a time that I love you might be too forward]
Stuck like a hair in a biscuit.
[gonna be tough to get rid of/away from]
"Tie a pork chop around his neck so the dog will play with him."
[Nobody likes that guy]
"He was grinning like a jackass in a glass house"
[a local favorite, but I've never been sure about it. I think it's the deep south version of saying he was grinning like a Cheshire cat]
"Quit dancing around the dead chicken" or perhaps "fish or cut bait"
[Make up your mind]
"That'll go over like a fart in church"
[they ain't gonna like that]
"He likes mayonnaise, but he don't know how to spell it."
[the person in question is, at best, of less than average intelligence]
"That dog won't hunt"
[that's a really, really bad idea]
"My momma didn't raise no fools"
[What do you think I am, anyway? Stupid?]
"I got to see a man about a dog".
[said by men around ladies....it's a secret code way to say "I have to go urinate" without saying it in front of "a lady"]
"He/She's as dumb as a stick."
[have you ever seen a stick on the admissions list for Harvard?]
There are literally hundreds of colorful southern sayings. As I think of good ones, I'll post them. Until then, if you make friends with a Johnny Reb and he says something that bewilders you, run it by me. I'll be happy to translate.
Following up a bit on the last tip...
...and since Tallahassee IS the state capital, we have our share of political demonstrations and events. Some are huge, such as the mess surrounding the 2000 presidential election situation regarding Florida's precious electoral votes. We ALL got tired of seeing the CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX news jerks hanging around stirring up trouble. And, that was before clowns like Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton showed up. Jeez Louise. :^/
One of the funniest part of the 2000 debacle was that it occurred in the middle of football season. Late in Nov of '00, the annual Florida-Florida State football game was scheduled for Tallahassee. And as anyone who's been here on a football weekend knows, hotels are booked WEEKS and MONTHS in advance. Soooo, as the game approached, the empty suits from network news started getting kicked out of their hotel rooms. Not to worry, the FSU fraternities came to the rescue. They rented out frat rooms (VERY spartan) to the likes of Wolf Blitzer and Greta van Susteren for $1200 per night, and even tossed in a Hostess twinkie cake and a Diet Coke, calling it a continental breakfast. God love those young capitalists. :)
And, many thanks to God for turning the 2004 election spotlight northward to Ohio.
On the day that I took the picture below, I was actually photographing a local eatery, ANDREWS 228 (see separate tip). At the time, I saw all of these green shirted folks hoisting signs and heading for the state capitol complex. It turns out that they were protesting or supporting (wasn't sure which) some sort of school/education issue affecting Dade and Broward (south Florida) counties. Maybe the new governor cut back on surf board maintenance aid or something. :)
For many of you living outside the USA, and perhaps even some of you Americans, it may come as a surprise that TALLAHASSEE is the capital city of Florida. No, it's not MIAMI or ORLANDO or TAMPA. And, with TLH being the state capital, it's no secret that much of our economy is based on state government and, yes... politics.
Be advised that political discussions are probably much more the norm in Tallahassee than many other towns, and a lively political debate can easily be had in a bar or on the streets. For the most part, these will remain civil and respectful. In many ways, it's good for the civic education of our population, I suppose.
Then again, I do kind of wish we had a few times when politics and government were more in the background around here. Then again, I never worked for state or local government. :)
As I'd mentioned in the previous tip, Tallahassee is a town very much in love with her trees and greenery. Take a look at the accompanying photo. This is taken right in downtown Tallahassee, and it looking directly at the Doubletree Hotel, from across the street. Although this huge hotel is only 70 meters, at most, away...you can barely see it through the trees of the Park avenue median greenery.
The city of Tallahassee has a long standing love affair with her old and stately oak trees. We've seen the horrors of what happened in south and central Florida, as developers stripped the land clean and then threw up condominiums.
The city of Tallahassee has done everything in its collective political power to preserve our old oak trees. Surprisingly, it's been pretty easy, as the citizens generally are all on board with the idea of a green and leafy Tallahassee.
In the accompanying picture, you see a street scene in one of our older neighborhoods, over near Myers Park. This area is considered a historic district, but it's not a bunch of monuments. It's a neighborhood, with families living in the lovely historic homes. Just look at those huge oak branches over the road.
When you're in the deep south, you owe it to yourselves to check out the local home cookin' cuisine. Southern food is a delightful mix of cultures and history, all rolled onto one lip-smacking tasty plate. It's generally simple fare, roasted and seasoned meats, fresh vegetables and wonderful soups and stews. Sometimes it may feature items unfamiliar outside Dixie, such as grits, okra and maybe crawfish. It may not be the healthiest plate of food that you can eat, but given my choice between living 90 years and never having southern fried chicken and living 80 and eating it once a week.... well, why skip your chance at heaven here on earth for an extra ten years of being really old?
When you visit the south, here's hoping that you make friends with the locals. And if given an invitation for a plate of home-cooked food, I'd take it. If you're really lucky, you'll enjoy "Sunday Dinner", which is actually and usually nice lunch. Old-time grandmas can make some serious Sunday dinners. I miss my grandmother's cooking sometimes, although many of her techniques and recipes live on in MY kitchen.
One other bit of advice.... it's always better if you cook and eat dinner with someone that you love. There's a saying in the south that "kissin' don't last, but good cookin' does". Well, I still believe in the longevity of kissing... But there's a lot to be said for true southern cooking.
In the accompanying photo, you see a simple southern meal. We had it the other night for dinner...... Southern fried chicken, homestyle garlic mashed potatoes (with lots of butter and cream) and fresh garden green beans, nicely seasoned with just a bit of crunch left in 'em. Very tasty indeed. My daughter Sara and I made this meal. We accented it with Miccosukee Iced Tea (recipe on my Miccosukee page) and some freshly sliced canteloupe. We had some pecan-pie squares with whipped cream for dessert. (my daughter's creation)
Trucks are an automotive status symbol in Tallahassee and the south in general. If you go to an auto dealership, it's not uncommon for over half of his/her stock to be in trucks.
All kinds of trucks are sold and loved in Tallahassee, from little-bitty Japanese models all the way up to GREAT big diesel hogs, Dodge Ram/Ford 350 monsters. Sure, these beasts gulp gasoline, and these days that's painful. But, this is Tallahassee and trucks are king...and queen. Yep, ladies love 'em too.
BTW, trucks are also considered "in" among high school kids, or at least a lot of them. Whereas snooty schoolkids in NY may gauge their click popularity by the model of BMW that daddy buys for them, in the south it's who gets the biggest truck. And again, it's not just the guys playing cowboy. And, you'll note I say PLAYING cowboy. Most of these kids driving in big old trucks are no more a cowboy than George Bush. Not picking on George, I actually like him. But, he's no cowboy.
BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE FOR DETAIL, AND THEN READ ON....
I hope you like the accompanying picture. It was taken in the parking lot of a local high school. (Lincoln High School) This truck, which I call the "Cowgirl Up" truck belongs to a cute little missy. (I've seen her parking this monster F-250. I notice she always backs into her space, to make it easier to get out in the afternoon) Anyway, check out the rear window decal and the horse/cowgirl paint job. yee ha! Yessireee, no little cute Mazda Miata for this Tallahassee lassie. : )
Tallahassee has become a much larger city than she used to be. Traffic can be horrendous at times. People drive like maniacs, too. This means, sadly, that people have wrecks. They're injured and killed. There are too many fatalities on our roads in Tallahassee. PLEASE do not become one of them.
There have been so many senseless deaths on our roads, and we are reminded of them by roadside shrines. Grievning families often plant flowers, or erect a cross, etc. at a spot where a loved one was killed. And, you'll notice that they're kept up over the years... fresh flowers, hedges trimmed and such. It's heartbreaking to imagine these peoples' pain. There are several around the local high schools, where mere children have been killed as they sped to and from school. There is nothing sadder than to attend the funeral of a high school kid killed in a car wreck.
If you stop and look closely, you'll sometimes find text and information included in these roadside shrines, talking about the departed family member.
In short, please be careful. Slow down and live.
People are all very friendly in Bradfordville, and it does well to conform to the society as you pass by walkers in the suburbs with their dogs. Naturally, they'll wave to you, and it seems insulting when the people in the cars don't wave back.
MISSION SAN LUIS -
I am very interesting in the history of the american indians. If you wanna know more about the history of indians in Florida you have to go there. Here you can see Site of Spanish / Indian village settled from 1656-1704. Ongoing excavations, exhibits, reconstructions. You can make special tours and living history interpreters every saturday. It´s free.
Location: 2020 W.Mision Rd. 487-3711
More Info: www.flheritage.com
Classification: Museums , Photography
While Gainesville is a pretty hospitable town to 'Noles fans, Tally doesn't reciprocate. Come into town for a Gator football game blaring the fact that you're a Gator fan and you might get your car keyed by some drunk frat boys. Show a bit of discretion.
Basically this is a Campus town, and a political(The Capitol)town. No one just drives by, and drops into Tally, just to see what's there, you have to make an effort to go to Tally. It is out of the way, and away from touristy places. Most people have a reason, such as go to school there, or visit the Governor, etc. My interest is I have a petit fille that is a Seminole.