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The Journey Toward Equality
Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 3:44 pm
The Journey Toward Equality
Exhibit Chronicles St. Augustine's African-American HistoryBy Nancy Moreland
For generations, the St. Augustine story focused on Spaniards. With the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014, attention is shifting to the integral role of African-Americans in the city’s narrative. St. Augustine has always been known as a city of “firsts.” The same holds true for African-American history. Now through July 15th, the St Augustine Visitors Information Center is helping visitors and residents gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable story.
The Center’s current exhibit, Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience, tells the story through interactive exhibits and artifacts. The exhibit is divided into four themes: arrival of the first African-Americans (both slaves and freedmen); the first free Black settlement, Fort Mose (pronounced “Moh-say,”); St. Augustine’s connection to the Underground Railroad; and Civil Rights history.
Journey’s compelling displays bring the past into the present. St. Augustine’s earliest Black residents may not be here to tell their stories, but Journey can. We learn of Estebana, the first-known Black child to be born in the New World. Her 1595 birth record - fragile as an eggshell - is here. So is the 1598 marriage certificate of Simon and Marin, African-American citizens of St. Augustine. And how can we begin to imagine the slave experience? Rusty shackles and a bill of sale take us closer to the tragic truth. A century or more removed, another artifact commemorates the hard journey toward equality. The arrest record of Martin Luther King, Jr., (opposite right) documents his height, weight and fingerprints. The words “City of Palatka” are crossed out, replaced with a handwritten, “St. Augustine." The Old City arrested so many of King’s fellow protestors, it had to borrow forms from Palatka.
Journey also sheds light on lesser known aspects of African-American history. Did you know there were Black conquistadors and much later, Black cowboys? Or that interracial marriages existed in Colonial St. Augustine?
Like the rest of the nation, St. Augustine has been slow to come to grips with a complicated chapter of America’s history. Journey, at least, is one step closer toward understanding.
Insider Tip: Because the Journey video "ties everything together," Docent John Mofran encourages visitors to make time to watch the well-done production.
Journey runs through July 15, 2014, at the Visitors Information Center, 10 Castillo Drive, next to the parking garage. Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets: Adults $4; seniors (60+) $4; children 6 and under, free; children 7-12, $3; family of 4, $15; military in uniform, free; St. Johns County residents, free.
Questions? Comments? Please email nmoreland@OldCity.com.
effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information on City Blog. Change is
inevitable, however, so before embarking on your Old City adventure, verify
hours, fees, etc. with the contact information provided above.
Sharing and re-posting this blog is encouraged. When sharing, please credit OldCity.com.
Photo credits: City of St. Augustine.
Exploring the West King Street Shopping District
Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 2:48 pm
Exploring the West King Street Shopping District
Spend an Afternoon on the Eclectic Side of St. Augustine
By Nancy Moreland
Some people recognize a great neighborhood long before it becomes popular. (Think of the Beat Generation artists and writers in San Francisco’s North Beach area.) In a picturesque town like St. Augustine, Florida, West King Street might be considered more gritty than pretty. The neighborhood hasn't really shared the spotlight with other Old City historic districts. Not yet,
anyway. If you haven’t visited West King Street lately, you owe it to yourself to explore the area. The neighborhood's small, but growing contingent of entrepreneurial
urban pioneers are transforming the street, one business at a time. West King has an artistic, eclectic vibe and a refreshing authenticity.
Art with an Edge
It's best to explore West King is on foot. Parking isn't a problem, thanks to three free parking lots. For an an eye-opening first stop, visit the gallery at 228 West King, known as Space Eight.
Plenty of St. Augustine galleries peddle pastel beachscapes and quaint
street scenes. How many feature contemporary artists working in Pop
Surrealism, Underground or Street Art styles?
Space Eight doesn’t shy away from the edgy or controversial. The gallery is a window into a larger national and international art scene. Owner Rob DePiazza works with an extensive network of artists who share his aesthetic vision. For more information: 904-829-2838.
Insider Tip: Space Eight is not open on weekends, except during First Friday Art Walk.
Fun and Funky
Just up the street, on the corner of Pellicer and King, is Furniture Effexx.
The store sells a mix of mid-century modern, industrial and vintage furniture that could dazzle the dullest living room. Owner
Nathan Toothman has assembled a whimsical collection of quirky,
Toothman's flair for furniture began as an outlet to balance the demands of a job working with autistic children. As he began refurbishing vintage furniture, his design talents emerged. After falling in love with St. Augustine, he went full-time with his hobby, opening his shop at 233 West King. He’s optimistic about the neighborhood, citing the spirit of “cooperation versus competition” among businesses. “We’re bringing the street up, one shop at a time,” he says. For more information: 904-819-5450.
With prices low enough to incite envy in other antique dealers, Unique
Finds & Furniture at 215 W. King, Suite 2, is a boon for bargain
hunters who enjoy the hunt as much as the discovery. You
never know what you’ll find, but there’s an honest simplicity in the shop’s vintage accents and functional furniture. For more
A Cup of Jayells Joe
The only thing more comforting than coffee brewed from Jayells Coffee Company beans is the warmth of Lynda Fisher’s smile. The owner of Jayells, Fisher is a Nebraska native who exudes down-to-earth Midwestern charm. When it comes to coffee beans, however, she’s as sophisticated as a sommelier. Fisher began roasting coffee beans a decade ago, but her love affair with java dates to childhood. “Drinking coffee with my dad is one of my fondest memories,” she says.
Fisher can custom-roast her organic, fair trade coffee beans to suite your palate – whether your taste runs to mellow, spicy or full-bodied. A caffeine connoisseur’s dream, Jayells isn’t a coffee shop, but you can sip samples and purchase fresh, whole beans by the pound to brew at home. Her shop is located at 215 W. King, Suite 3. For information: 904-729-6771.
When you spend more than 20 years restoring historic properties, you
amass a treasure trove of architectural salvage. That was the
impetus for Elaine H. Darnold, Inc., Architectural Salvage.
Darnold and her husband Kenneth have worked on some prestigious St. Augustine properties, including the Casa Monica Hotel and Ponce
de Leon Hotel, now Flagler College's Ponce Hall. Her salvage collection
includes antique heart pine timbers, antique doors, windows and
“We repair, restore and reuse materials in their original locations when feasible, but we also find new purposes for items that cannot be reused in our restoration or new construction projects,” Darnold says. This is Darnold's way of honoring “the spirit of the original craftsmen who contributed to our City’s architectural history.” The store also features artwork and furnishings created by Kenneth Darnold. Located at 9 Leonardi Street, the store is housed in a 1920s-era building with ironwork balconies that would be right at home in New Orleans. For more information: 904-829-0790.
You don’t need to leave West King Street to fuel your explorations. Nathan Toothman recommends King’s Bistro at 6 Mackey Lane for lunch or dinner. Like other West King businesses, the Bistro holds pleasant surprises for those willing to scratch the surface. Located in a small, unassuming house, it’s run by Chef Michael, who cooked for three different U.S. Presidents. “People return to my shop to thank me for sending them there,” Toothman says.
Cabo Taco fans will be happy to hear that the restaurant is no longer MIA. In February, Cabo Taco will begin serving breakfast and lunch at Jackson’s Garage Bar at 223 West King. Evenings, Jackson's will convert back to a bar.
Present Moment Café at 224 West King holds a special place in the hearts and stomachs of many locals. The kitchen staff transform healthy ingredients into beautifully delicious vegetarian dishes that delight the eye and taste buds. You’ll have no trouble being in the moment with their Pad Thai, a delicate blend of tastes and textures. Funky artwork and friendly servers give this neighborhood café a mellow 1970s ambience. For more information: 904-827-4499.
Insider's Tip: Many West King businesses keep unorthodox hours, so it's wise to call ahead.
Every effort is made to verify hours
and important information. Please confirm hours and other pertinent information
before embarking on your Old City adventure.
Comments? Questions? Email
Sharing and re-posting this blog is
encouraged. Please credit OldCity.com when sharing.
Photo credits: Architectural Salvage: Elaine Darnold; All others: Nancy Moreland.
Catch the Holiday Spirit in St. Augustine
Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 10:18 am
Catch the Holiday Spirit in St. Augustine
Five Places to Get Your Jingle On
By Nancy Moreland
In St. Augustine, like other parts of the nation, some big-box retailers began overlapping holiday inventories in September. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations, stacked aisle-to-aisle, created a surreal display of seasonal whiplash. Next thing we knew, Christmas tunes began belting out of our radios before Turkey Day. And while most of the country was covered in snow, the Old City stayed stuck in 80 degree weather.
It's enough to make a Scrooge of anyone.
Yet, even before National Geographic ranked St. Augustine one of the top 10 places to experience holiday lights, our town was a special spot to celebrate the season. Certain aspects of St. Augustine's personality protect it from falling completely under the spell of over-zealous commercialism: a strong sense of place and history, Southern hospitality balanced by an influx of cosmopolitan residents, a multitude of small, locally-owned businesses.
Here are five ways to boost your holiday mood, St. Augustine style:
1. Soak up the Nights of Lights on a Country Carriages tour. Viewed from a horse-drawn carriage at a 19th century pace, the display is especially magical. If the weather turns chilly, drivers provide cozy blankets. Private tours are $85/up to four people. Insider Tip: Share a carriage with another couple and you may be able to trim the cost of your fare. Ask your driver.
Nights of Lights tours run through February 2nd and depart nightly from the Bayfront.
2. Sip a cocoa concoction. On weekends from 5:30-close, The Kookaburra hot chocolate bar allows patrons to mix and match cocoa toppings with glee. The bar includes everything from white chocolate sprinkles to caramel, cherry, blackberry and peppermint flavorings. Overlooking the Plaza, Kookaburra coffee shop is the perfect pit stop. A cup of cocoa will fuel several strolls around town to admire the lights.
Want to sample a sophisticated cocoa drink a bit closer to what the colonials imbibed? Visit Casa Maya, at 22 Hypolita Street. Your server will whip up a mixture of Abuelita brand Mexican chocolate, with just enough nutmeg and chipotle pepper to make it intriguing. It's hot cocoa for grownups, deliciously different from the instant variety.
3. Inhale the scentual delights of Southern Lights Candle Company. As the sign reads, "Come in for the smell of it," and you'll discover tapers, pillars and votives instilled with a variety of exquisite aromas. All are handcrafted onsite by owner Susan Bradley a veteran candlesmith. Housed in an 18th century cottage at 12 Cuna Street overlooking Castillo de San Marcos , the shop comes by its historic patina honestly. It's one of St. Augustine's most enjoyable shopping experiences, akin to Williamsburg's colonial ambience. Insider Tip: Susan's bayberry tapers with jaunty bows make budget-friendly hostess gifts for holiday parties.
4. Indulge your silly side. Only the most hardened of humbugs could ride the Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley without smiling. Hop on, slip into the 3D glasses that turn millions of holiday lights into Santa's face and sing Christmas carols as you roll through a city high on holiday happiness. Fun for families, the trolley's a bargain at $9/adults Sun-Thurs; $12/adults weekends; $4/kids, 6-12. Tours run through January 4th and depart 6-8 p.m. from the Visitors Information Center, 10 Castillo Drive.
5. Attend St. Augustine's signature holiday event, The Nutcracker. Staged by the St. Augustine Ballet, this year's production features guest artists from the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. December 21 and 22. Tickets are $25 and $30.
Disclaimer: Every effort is made to
ensure the accuracy of information on City Blog. Change is inevitable, so
please verify hours, prices and important information before embarking on your
Old City adventure.
and re-posting this blog is encouraged. Please credit OldCity.com
Photo credits: Nights of Lights: OldCity.com; Casa Maya cocoa: Nancy Moreland; Southern Lights Candles: Susan Bradley.
St. Augustine Art: Sept. – Oct. Gallery Exhibits
Wednesday September 21, 2011 @ 12:00 am
Enjoy some of St. Augustine’s great artists by visiting these events going on in September and October:
“Walk in Peace” art exhibit ¦ St. Augustine Art Association
The St. Augustine Art Association will launch its 88th season this September with the premier of Don Trousdell’s “Walk in Peace” exhibit. A collection of colorful paintings and interactive installations, the exhibit chronicles the history and imagery of peace, as interpreted by the internationally acclaimed artist. A shoe drive will last throughout the month of September, and the “Walk in Peace” exhibit will be on view through October 2.
22 Marine St, St. Augustine
Event Pricing: FREE
Now through Sunday, October 2, 2011
Marianne Lerbs Painting Series “Menagerie” ¦ Taylor & Taylor
“Menagerie” is a word used to describe animal figures other than horses, in the old carrousel figures. But make no mistake, There is no intention of making “cutesy” in these images. A collection of impressions loosely inspired by antiqued archetypical zoomorphic figures is no strange subject matter for artist Marianne Lerbs. The works are contemporary, both old and new in a fresh revision of the mythical entities.
125B King Street, St. Augustine
Now through Friday, November 04, 2011
Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The P.A.ST.A. fine arts gallery`s featured artist for the month of September will be local artist Maricarman.
The show entitled : ” With All Colors ” will feature the artist`s work in acrylics. Born in La Mancha Spain, her work still bears a Spanish influence, but the contrast of a quiet relaxed lifestyle and bright light of St. Augustine are now her primary influence. The subject matter will consist of still life, figurative and paintings of Spanish villages.
The show will run through the month of September. The gallery is open seven days a week, Mon.- Fri. 12 to 4:00 p.m. and Sat.& Sun. 12 to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 214 Charlotte St., St. Augustine.
“Molting-It’s a Process” Mixed Media Painting Exhibit By Kathe O’Donnelly ¦ Hospitality Gallery -Center For Spiritual Living
1795 Old Moultrie Rd., St. Augustine, Florida
Paintings inspired by Joseph Campbell’s Myth & Spirit plus a retrospective of past paintings.
Gallery is open Tuesday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.. Sundays 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Now through October 30th
David Ouellette Contemporary Paintings ¦ Rotunda Gallery at the St. Johns County Admin Building
Renowned artist, David Ouellette will exhibit a collection of original pieces in the Rotunda Gallery located in the St. Johns County Administration Building.
St. Johns County Administration Building
500 San Sebastian View, St Augustine
Event Pricing: Free
Now through Friday, October 21, 2011
Gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
5 Things You Need to Know About the St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Monday August 15, 2011 @ 10:37 am
This weekend features not one but TWO concerts at one of Northeast Florida’s premier music venues, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Grammy winning bluegrass artists Alison Krauss and Union Station will play to a sold out crowd on Friday night while acoustic rock and reggae group Slightly Stoopid will take the stage on Sunday night. In its fourth year of operation since a major overhaul was completed in 2007, the amphitheater has become a favorite stop for musical acts from a variety of genres, as well as the preferred venue for St. Augustine residents and visitors.
So what is there to know about the amphitheater? Plenty! We’ve got five pointers for you that will make your next visit to the amphitheater the perfect night out:
The St. Augustine Amphitheatre has seating for just over 4,000 people, that's a lot of cheers when the lights go down!
1. Parking: On the day of an event, limited parking is available at amphitheater itself, but if you don’t make it in time to snag a space in the venue’s lot, go next door to the Elk’s Lodge. Behind the main lodge, the rear parking lot at the Elk’s Lodge is connected directly to the amphitheater’s lot, allowing for a very short walk to and from the concert. Parking is also available in satellite lots at the St. Augustine Pier and R.B. Hunt Elementary with a shuttle that provides a quick ride to the amphitheater. Please respect the rest of the community and do NOT park in the residential areas surrounding the amphitheater, there are plenty of other options!
2. Vending: Once inside, you’ll find vendors stationed on the platform prior to your entry into the seating area of the amphitheater. Most shows feature your typical concert staples–pizza, hot dogs, nachos, sodas, beer and cocktails. Frozen margaritas and daiquiris are usually on hand as well, both at the entry vending and in the lawn areas on the outside edges of the upper level sections. Most musicians also have a merchandise area under the stands in the entry area.
3. Restrooms: This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but if you’ve ever missed half a concert standing in a bathroom line it’s worth noting that there are two sets of bathrooms at the amphitheater, one of which few people actually know about. The main facilities are located off the entry concourses at the top of the amphitheater, but there are also men’s and women’s facilities plus porta-potties positioned to the right (east) of the stage. These are accessible to everyone, not just people seated in the pit area.
4. Weather: The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is an OUTDOOR venue. A canopy covers the lower two sections and pit, but it does not protect from heat or mosquitoes. Dress accordingly and bring bug spray. Patrons in the upper levels (sections 301, 302 and 303) are not covered by the venue’s canopy, so if it looks like rain you may want to bring along a poncho. In colder weather (it’s rare but it does happen in Florida) blankets are also permitted.
5. Seating: The seat numbers at the amphitheater can be just a tad confusing. If you ordered your tickets and were unclear why your two seats weren’t next to each other, you’re not alone. In the odd number sections of the amphitheater (101, 103, 201, 203, 301 and 303) the seat numbers are either evens or odds. So for example, the seat numbers in sections 101, 201 and 301 go 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc. so if you have seats 2 and 4 you are next to each other. In sections 103, 203 and 303 the seat numbers are odd, going in order 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. In the center sections, however, (102, 202 and 302) the numbers are sequential. If you’re still confused, fear not, the amphitheater has a knowledgeable crew of volunteers on hand to help you find your seats.
That’s all you need to know to have a great time at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre! Come out this weekend for either of the concerts going on or stop by Saturday afternoon for the Back2School Beach Fest!