Friday, March 27, 2009


First off, biggie tea is djing the back patio of the burrito gallery tonight for happy hours which is like 5 to 7 and such. I spin you win. What do you win? Decent music and some happy hour pricing. Ok, so not much. However if you are into local art this is a great time to be downtown because Art After Dark is tonight! This is a signature art event in this city. Prices are fair food and drink are yummy. Discover the Florida Theatre selected awesome local artists tonight. Then when you are done, follow your ears back to bg and catch the 74 Soundsystem. IRIE MON, every last Friday downtown, Mon.

THEN. This weekend lots to do but I will point out some awesome things on one park alone. The Northbank Riverwalk Park! First off get on your two wheeler and take a spin with CM Redman for JaxParks Get Out There's...

Tour de Riverwalk
9 a.m. - Saturday, March 28
The Jacksonville Landing/Northbank Riverwalk
2 Independent Drive

Have you ever thought about exploring downtown Jacksonville on a bike? Now you can during this family-fun, scenic cycling tour of the Northbank Riverwalk. The ride begins at the Jacksonville Landing and continues along the St. Johns River. There will be a short rest stop at the Fuller Warren Bridge before returning to the Jacksonville Landing for refreshments with District #4 Councilman Don Redman. Bike helmets are required for all riders.

Too bad Lance is in, well, France. Anyway, keep it wheel!

Then you have some Yoga:

Yoga along the River with Padma

10 a.m. Saturday, March 28
2 p.m. Sunday, March 29
Forest Street Park - Downtown
505 Alfred Dupont Place

With our hectic lives, now is a great time to explore new ways to reduce stress. This mind-body experience may help. It introduces participants to the joy of breathing fresh air while moving through a traditional Ashtanga yoga class. The free activity is for beginners and experienced yogis. Please bring a yoga mat and dress accordingly.

All the yogis in the house. The yogis the yogis. Sounds awesome. Get it in before the tree is installed starting Monday!

Added bonus:

Check out the CHAOS at the Riverside Arts Market. But if you are not a vendor or a sponsor or a cop PLEASE DON'T TALK TO ME! I WILL BE HERDING CATS!

I have a huge RAM post coming but have so much to do. (I know I shouldn't be blogging but Art After Dark deserves the mention and my traffic is off the hook). Check out the RAM site. You could spend hours there but if you only have a minute check out its fantastic history. This is a 16 year old project that hasn't even begun yet. I am in awe and a bit overwhelmed as we race to the starting line!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Like in (state name), there’s really no projects in (city name), because (city name) is built out with streets and so forth, so all the money goes to brand new roads. Or expanding existing roads like I-(?) between (city) and the (state) line, a total waste of money. They’re saying it’s $250 million to widen it, it’s probably three or four times that. Here they are, taking this stimulus money and using it all for roads that are really the kinds of things that were considered good back in the 1960s and 70s, but now are pretty much discredited. A lot of these road projects are controversial -- local groups that aren’t connected to government contracts are resisting them -- and all of a sudden the feds come along and fund roads that people really don’t even want. It’s pretty bad.

If you tell me the person who said this, the org he leads, or the city he is talking about I will give you a burro bags huggie. First correct answer of each of the questions. So 3 total huggies. The huggies are coozy hand cooler things for your diet coke or pbr, not diapers. Though I could hook you up with one of those too. I digress.

Monday, March 23, 2009


From an urban friend who cares about your neighborhood. To make a difference, you need to fill out the survey TODAY!

The majority of "influential" people invited to participate in the
Reality Check are people who live in outlying areas -- they seem to
have little interest in pushing the "strong, healthy core" agenda,
including transit, air quality, water/river health, infrastructure
spending, etc. This worries me, as this exercise could drive policy
for the next 50 years.

Here is a direct link to the survey, which will take about 20-25 min
to complete (also more info about Reality Check). I realize few have
time to spend on a survey, but this is critical for Jax's urban


Please take survey, and spread to your urban affinity email lists as
promptly as possible. Thanks.

Let me see, what do I really want for my district....

or for me...or for my company...or my friends?..Hmmmm...its so easy....

Looks like this one is over. Congrats to Waste Management. Well played.

sent from Murry Hill

Friday, March 20, 2009

Peace be with you

"They that love beyond the world, cannot be separated. Death cannot kill what never dies. Nor can Spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their Friendship. Death is but crossing the world, as Friends to the seas; they live in one another still."

William Penn from Fruits of Solitude

RIP Starr

Heaven is luck to have you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

April 4

Day One!

from the portland market, of which our market is based

Draft of my first Director's Note:

I write this note to all fans of the Riverside Arts Market, volunteers, vendors, farmers, foodies, musicians, artisans, and of course artists. I am writing perched in my new small office in the Buckland House, home to Riverside Avondale Preservation our benevolent sponsor organization. There are so many people and businesses who have contrubuted so much that I am going to do thank yous in a later Note. I would hate to miss someone on day one.

I will admit that I am a bit overwhelmed with expectations of not just myself, but my family, and the scores of people who helped get me on the path to this office and this great project. Although calling an event that will last for years and years a project is a bit of an understatement itself. And expectations are running wild. Why? Well if you have ever been to a consistent art event in this city you know how incredible they can be. I'm thinking of all of our great cultural events, the arts festivals, Art After Dark, Five Points First Fridays, our Downtown First Wednesday Art Walk, St. Augustine's Art Walk, World of Nations, Art in the Park at our legendary Jazz Fest, our symphony, you can go on and on.

What makes these events so much fun and so popular? It is you of course. Our cultural community, from our artists in their closet size studios and garages to our patrons who come from far and wide, all know that making art and supporting the arts and local creativity enriches our lives. Make it a free event and you might have half of Duval County at your doorstep! Do it monthly, like Art Walk, and you will have record breaking museum crowds, thriving outsider art shows in basements, and a pulse to a downtown that was once on the ropes. Do it weekly and we may see, every Saturday, with the ones we love, a cross section of our Cultural DNA, an up close look at our cultural roots, and a quality of life summed up in one great event. Every Saturday.

I can go on an on (as many of you know). But as the "dog that caught the car" I've got to get back to the multiple decisions and plans so that we can come as close as possible to matching your expectations and mine. We are so close to APRIL 4th! Always remember, The Riverside Arts Market is your market. It will always improve and it will always be right next to our greatest asset as a city, the beautiful St. Johns river!

More swell updates to come!

Your Pal,


What do you think? Send comments to my new email director(at)

And get on our email list asap by visiting

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Flag from the Mexican Army

The flag

There are many conflicting accounts of what the flag of the Saint Patrick's Battalion actually looked like, further confused by the fact that no actual flags, or depictions of them, are known to have survived to the present day. The only version of the flag known to have survived the war was subsequently lost or stolen from the chapel at West Point.

Some dude with a monacle is hoisting a guiness today from his library with this flag above the fireplace.

Erin Go Braugh

Seperate fact from the Blarney.

Block party in the cinco or $2 guinness at o'springfields?

Check back soon for great news!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Al Letson needs your help Duval

Beautiful People,

Everyone has been asking me about the progress of the radio show. In the near future you'll be hearing three episodes on WJCT. But you can also go to and download the podcast. We are working on a segment for the Jacksonville Episode of State of the Re:UNION "Bold New City of the South?" And we'd like a contribution from you. Please read the notice below, and spread the word.

State of the Re:UNION needs your help. For our third episode, we're featuring Jacksonville, and who better to tell us about the city than you? Pen a personal letter to Jacksonville with your thoughts, your story or your perspective on the city that surrounds you. All submissions should be 300 words or less and submitted via e-mail to cityletters(at) with the subject, "Dear Jacksonville." The deadline for submissions is March 31st. Selected letters will be read by the author, aired on the show, and posted on the show's website. For more info check us out at


OH SNAP! Did you hear that batsauce? (After clicking the above link) I bet brother Al actually got permission. Unlike UJW who will probably find a new intro. There is enough locally farmed DUVAL tracks that we don't both need the same sauce track! But for a track that is almost 10 years old its pretty amazing two totally independent projects picked the same one. Go batsauce! Forget billboard think anthropology. Forget newspapers and think, time capsule.

Huge news coming later today. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I am impressed with the humidity.

The downtown scenes are my favorite. The ending is great. Adams Street for life.

On transit UPDATED

Motormen by Riverside Streetcar

photo: Florida Memory

Why would it say 11th Street?

Says “2009 the Year to Put Transit in the Driver’s Seat”

Washington, DC – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today addressed the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Conference, saying that enhancing our nation’s transit systems is the key to helping the nation tackle challenges from energy and climate change to sprawl to economic development. Dodd delivered his remarks as the Committee prepares to renew the nation’s surface transportation law, which will include transit. As part of the Committee’s transit agenda, Senator Dodd will hold a hearing on Thursday entitled “Sustainable Transportation Solutions: Investing in Transit to Meet 21st Century Challenges.”

Senator Dodd’s remarks as prepared are below:

For three-and-a-half decades, APTA has been dedicated to creating a future where we recognize the vital role public transportation plays in our economic growth as a nation and our quality of life as a people, as demonstrated by the historic ridership levels we read about this week.

Obviously, we meet at a transformative moment in our history. I hardly need to outline the challenges our nation faces.

Global warming threatens our health, our competitiveness, our leadership in the world, and the very future of our planet.

Our energy policy leaves us dangerously dependent on some of the most unstable countries around the globe.

And meanwhile, our economy is withering.

Twenty-thousand people are losing their jobs every day – nine- to ten-thousand people watch their homes go into foreclosure every day. The credit markets are still frozen. And the confidence and optimism of America is at record lows.

And if you think those are big challenges, just look at where we will be in forty years.

Our population is expected to grow by another 50 percent in the first half of this century. In all, we can expect 150 million more people requiring another 200 billion square feet of homes, office buildings and other construction.

Just to begin turning back the effects of global warming, we will need to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 percent – this at the same time experts predict world-wide use of oil will be going up, driven most by our biggest competitors, China and India, who have already challenged the United States’ supremacy in the areas of manufacturing and technology.

Critical to addressing nearly every one of these challenges is the same thing:

A world-class transportation system.

I should note here that there have been a lot of comparisons made recently of the current economic crisis to the Great Depression. A little further back in history was the Great Panic of 1873, which led to a depression that lasted six years.

One of the underlying causes behind that depression was a massive failure in our transportation system – it resulted from the “Great Epizootic horse influenza epidemic,” which ground the street railway industry to a halt, leaving men to pull wagons by hand as trains and ships full of cargo were left unloaded and communities went without goods and services for long stretches.

Today, neither the health of our equestrian population nor transportation system are at the root of our economic crisis – but the latter is certainly in no condition to help us out of it either. It’s inefficient, deteriorating and responsible for a third of our carbon footprint.

It’s not hard to see why. Our federal transportation policy today is rooted not in prioritizing projects of the greatest importance to our country – but in ensuring that everyone gets their fair share of the money.

Instead of measuring performance, we measure how much gasoline is sold in each state to determine where scarce resources will flow.

Instead of debating national priorities, we endlessly debate funding formulas.

Instead of basing our decisions on what’s best for America, all too often we base them on who chairs what congressional committee. As a result, instead of national leadership, we literally pass the buck on to the states with little accountability or transparency.

Please do not misunderstand me – State Departments of Transportation do their very best with what they are given. But America will never meet the challenges of this century with 50 states carrying out 50 different plans with no national vision.

When our politics is small, our ambitions become even smaller, and America can’t afford that right now.

The question should never be, “Are we dedicating enough funding to highways or rail?” but rather “Are we advancing our national interest?”

Are we reducing congestion? Are we tackling climate change? Are we reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil? Are we managing land use smartly?

And above all, are we keeping America’s communities and businesses competitive in a global economy?

Of course, our highways continue to play an incredibly important role in moving people and freight.

But there’s not a person here who believes all our problems will be answered simply by building more highway lanes. Congestion on our roads costs us five times as much wasted fuel and time as it did 25 years ago, not to mention billions of dollars in freight delays.

Our current approach to transportation is simply not getting the job done. And one reason why is our failure to appreciate the role of transit.

A friend recently told me that for years, transit has been regarded as a “necessary evil.” But today, transit’s just plain necessary.

As I mentioned, the number of transit riders is growing and reaching levels we have not seen in decades. 2008 was another record year for transit – Americans took over 10 billion trips on public transit, the highest number since the Interstate Highway System was created in 1956. In my state, nearly 38 million customers rode the New Haven Metro-North line in 2008.

Public transit saves over 4 billion gallons of gasoline annually and reduces carbon emissions by some 37 million metric tons a year – that’s equivalent to the electricity used by almost 5 million households.

And transit is so much more than buses and rail lines – it’s the glue that holds our transportation systems and our communities together.

If highways and rail are the arteries on which our national transportation system depends, delivering people and goods from one region to another, then transit is the capillaries – the lifeblood of any vibrant community.

But as you well know, for all the latitude we give states to build new highway capacity with federal dollars, getting approval to build new transit systems in our communities with federal dollars is brutally difficult.

While the Federal government is prepared to pick up 80 percent of the costs for new highway capacity projects, it generally pays less than half of that for new transit projects.

Congress is scheduled to write a new the surface transportation law later this year. As chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee responsible for the transit provisions in that bill, I believe we have a unique opportunity to redefine public transportation in America.

For me, the goal is clear: laying the ground work for an integrated transportation system – one that coordinates land use and economic development plans to meet the challenges posed by global economic competition, climate change, our energy needs, and population growth in the coming decades.

By coordinating housing and transportation policy to encourage smart land-use, we can generate economic growth and create vibrant communities where people can live and work with a smaller carbon footprint.

I was recently in North Carolina, where cities like Charlotte are demonstrating the difference “transit-oriented development” can make. Ridership on its new light rail line has exceeded the wildest expectations and private development investment along the rail line is already closing in on $2 billion dollars.

A Brownfield site in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut is another project potentially in the pipeline. When completed Fairfield Metro Center is expected include 860,000 square feet of office space, retail space for newsstands and dry cleaners, a hotel, and condominiums. Creating 3,000 construction jobs and, perhaps more importantly, 2,700 permanent jobs, it will be powered by fuel cells, solar power and other energy efficient technologies.

It’s all contingent on access to mass transit, an on-site commuter train station and underground parking, connecting the complex to communities throughout the state.

None of these projects happen by accident. They happen because community leaders recognized the need to integrate land use and transportation decisions and involve every aspect of its city government—from planning to public works—in this effort.

It’s time the Federal government mirrored the example set by these communities.

President Obama has assembled a very smart, very savvy team – Carol Browner, overseeing energy and climate change policy at the White House, Shaun Donovan at Housing and Urban Development, Steven Chu at Energy, former Congressman Ray LaHood at Transportation, and Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be meeting with many of them to convey my strong belief that we can’t afford to treat housing, transportation, the environment and energy as discrete policy issues any longer.

That means making issues like transit more than just a piece of our next transportation bill – but also bedrock components of our climate change, housing and energy efforts.

That is why I’ve written President Obama, urging him to establish a White House Office of Sustainable Development – to ensure that we are coordinating all of these issues the most comprehensive, integrated, holistic way possible.

The Banking Committee is exploring ways to encourage states and localities to devise a broad vision for coping with congestion, environmental concerns, housing, land use, and economic development issues.

That is what Connecticut is working towards with the Tri-City Corridor commuter rail line, linking New Haven, Hartford and Springfield – better connecting the region with New York and Boston to reduce congestion, create jobs and stimulate our state’s flagging economy.

Further, with a severe recession and an unemployment rate that could get into double-digits, we’re finally looking at funding some of the projects that have been sitting idle for years.

The stimulus offered us a good opportunity to get the economy moving in the short-term with investments important to the long-term success of the country.

But we shouldn’t confuse a down-payment with a new policy. And we shouldn’t confuse “shovel-ready” with “future-ready.”

And we can’t get there without finding an effective way to provide new funding for large, complicated infrastructure projects that are important to our continued regional and national economic success.

That is why one of my top priorities in this Congress is creating a National Infrastructure Bank – an idea I developed over the course of several years with Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska, former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman and financier Felix Rohatyn, who helped prevent New York City from falling into bankruptcy during the 1970s.

The need was obvious. Only hours after we proposed this legislation in August of 2007, the bridge carrying Interstate 35 over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis buckled and broke, killing 13 people and injuring than 100.

The National Infrastructure Bank would ensure that important projects receive funding – creating a new funding stream for projects that offer the greatest economic and environmental benefits which communities often cannot afford to build on their own. It would encourage regional approaches to infrastructure needs, and seek to expand private sector participation to fund big projects through a competitive, merit-based process outside of formulas and earmarks.

Governors and Mayors across the partisan divide support the Infrastructure Bank, from Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

President Obama co-sponsored our infrastructure bank legislation as a Senator, endorsed the idea during his campaign, and included it in his budget outline. So, I’m hopeful to see action on the bill this year.

It comes down to our commitment, yours and mine. The Department of Transportation’s mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.”

It’s a worthy, ambitious mission that deserves better than the collection of modally-focused agencies we have there today.

The Department of Transportation needs to be more than just a building. It needs to provide the leadership necessary to make our entire transportation system work. And under President Obama and Secretary LaHood I am hopeful that it will work.

When Secretary LaHood comes before our Committee on Thursday, I will press upon him that while transit alone won’t magically solve any of the major problems facing our nation, it is a critical part of the solution to so many of them – from metropolitan congestion to our dependence on foreign oil to getting our economy moving again.

I’m committed to making transit a priority – not only for the Senate Banking Committee, but for the country. But to make that possible, I need your help – your boots on the ground, going from office-to-office on Capitol Hill, making the case to your representatives in Washington that the world of 2009 is a very different place and this is a very different moment. It’s a unique moment – and the choice is clear:

America can continue down the road of unchecked sprawl, increased congestion, more oil consumption and less open space.

Or, if we want to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we can develop our communities and our country in a sustainable way—making our economy leaner and more efficient and reducing carbon emissions—by making a historic commitment to public transportation.

That is our goal today and in the coming months.

And when future generations look back on this moment, let them remember 2009 as the year America put transit in the driver’s seat. Thank you for all you do – and thank you for having me.

I hope someone from Jacksonville is going to this:


Washington, DC – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, announced today that the Committee will hold a major series of hearings, briefings, and meetings on ways to enhance our nation’s transit systems and expand transit options for all Americans. The series will focus on important transit issues such as the nexus between housing and transit, promoting economic growth through transit-oriented development, addressing energy and environment issues, building new transit systems and enhancing the capacity of our existing systems. Later this year, the Committee will play a critical role in writing a new national surface transportation law.

“Public transportation plays a vital role in creating economic growth, reducing pollution and decreasing our energy consumption,” said Dodd. “Millions of Americans rely on our nation’s transit systems to get to their jobs, school and other responsibilities each and every day. I am eager to press forward on our transit agenda, and for the Committee to be a leading voice in how to improve our nation’s transit systems – a discussion vital to preparing our nation for the challenges of the 21st century.”

The first hearing in the series, entitled “Sustainable Transportation Solutions: Investing in Transit to Meet 21st Century Challenges,” will be held this Thursday, March 12th. Dodd will also be laying out his ideas on transit in an address to the American Public Transit Association Conference on Tuesday, March 10th. More information about both events can be found below.

v Tuesday, March 10th:

WHAT: Address to the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Conference

WHO: Chairman Chris Dodd and APTA Members

WHEN: 9:00 A.M., Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WHERE: J.W. Marriott Hotel, 14th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC

v Thursday, March 12th:

WHAT: Banking Committee Hearing: “Sustainable Transportation Solutions: Investing in Transit to Meet 21st Century Challenges”

WHO: Chairman Chris Dodd and Members of the Senate Banking Committee

Panel One: The Honorable Ray LaHood
Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Panel Two: The Honorable John Hickenlooper
Mayor of Denver, Colorado, representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Mr. Joseph Marie
Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, representing the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Dr. Beverly Scott
General Manager and CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and Chair of the American Public Transportation Association

WHEN: 10:00 A.M., Thursday, March 12, 2009

WHERE: Room 538, Dirksen Senate Office Building


Kate Szostak
U.S. Senate Banking Committee
Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Direct: (202) 224-1088
Cell: (202) 657-9911

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Saturday, March 7, 2 – 6 p.m.
5 Points Theatre
1025 Park Street, Jacksonville

Join St. Johns Riverkeeper and Equinox Documentaries as we celebrate the St. Johns River.
2:00 p.m. Introductions
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Screening of “In Marjorie’s Wake”
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Screening of “My St. Johns River, Our Responsibility”
4:15 – 5:00 p.m. River Kayak Presentations by Seth Dent, Keith Legette, and Michelle Thatcher
5:15 – 6:00 p.m. Jennifer Chase musical performance

Sponsored by 5 Points Theatre and Resident Community News Group, Inc.

Thats FREE PEOPLE! Even cheaper than when kids would pay a nickel to go watch the matinees! Very very awesome. But I will be out of town. Doh! I am also missing the UNC DUKE game Sunday on the HUGE SCREEN. With their sound system that ought to be almost like you are there.

Watch this to get amped up.

SUNDAY! Doors at 3, tip off at 4! So awesome

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Gosh, I am hoping you can help me out. I am hosting an art show this Friday that includes artists from Chicago, Philadelphia, Massachussetts and NYC (our buddy, Steve Forster). It is a people doing people things theme. I used a new direct mail company....and it's Wed. and no one has received their cards......major glitch!!! Is there any way you can pass this on so SOMEBODY shows up to eat the cheeses and drink the wine? I would sure appreciate it.
Eileen Corse

I think we can help with that! Check out this show. You may remember Eileen curated the Steve Forster show for Return of the City!



Calling All RAM Artists and Vendors -

The time has come to submit your Riverside Arts Market Application!

FINALLY, we have gotten the go-ahead from the city and state agencies, and we are now ready to receive applications. Click on this link to go to the RAM website to print your application form:

You can submit your application by email or by U.S. Mail.

Once we receive your application, it will be reviewed and you will be notified shortly. If you are accepted (highly likely!), you will then make a reservation for your booth space (a different form, which you'll receive after you are accepted.) Please do not delay - remember, it's first-come, first-served. The earlier you get your application in, the better location you'll get.

The Market will start on Saturday, April 4th, 2009, so time is of the essence! Crank it up! Get your application in the mail ASAP, and start making beautiful works of art to sell at the Market.

We are working 24/7 to get everything ready to make this a wonderful experience for you, as well as a spectacular event for the city of Jacksonville.

Thanks for your participation!

Doug, Cindy, Teresa, Pamela and Wayne - "the RAMRODs"

Awesome! Make it happen!

PS- Art walk is tonight!

Monday, March 02, 2009


JAXREADER is on the RISE! I have been adding new blogs almost daily. What is funny is that a couple days after I load a cool one I will get an email from that publisher that asks to be added. Thats just odd. Kismet. But there is some good stuff from sites new and old. You can catch up on all of them at

Sometimes they are hilarious, sometimes sublime, all the time fresh, all the time local.

Want to help the project? Spread the word. Stick a lil widget on your gidget.

Stick the code found here on your own blog or myspace or something asap. And thank you all for feeding the reader.