(This post was never published, thanks to some computer and connection issues. It was to have been the first post for BNC5.)
Today is a great day. I’m Downtown and using public transportation (the Skyway) and I had a fantastic lunch at a new (to me) place with an incredible view, Skyline Cafe.
I’m composing from the main branch library, in the Grand Reading Room. This desk is where I normally sit, because if I look over my right shoulder, I have a nice view of the central tower of the Saint James building. Both buildings overlook Hemming Park, and are within earshot of the tone of Big Jim and his four daily whistle-blows.
But perhaps I should take a step back, and make a proper introduction.
My name is Beth, and I love Downtown Jax. I don’t currently live in the core — I live in an in-town neighborhood called Saint Nicholas that is across the Saint Johns River from the football stadium — but I plan to live in the core in a few years, when a group of historic buildings is redeveloped.
My love of Jacksonville goes back to my childhood. I grew up in Lawtey, Florida, home of the sweetest strawberries this side of heaven and about an hour outside of Jacksonville. Lawtey is a great place to grow up, as it’s a rural town heavy on agriculture, but I was always a big city girl at heart. My grandparents moved from Jax to Lawtey when I was small but took the daily newspaper for as long as they lived there, so I was always reading about Jax. I moved here for college at the University of North Florida and haven’t looked back.