Monday, December 28, 2009

This Changes Everything.

Hyperbole aside, I think this will really be a good series. We have such a talented stock of diverse bands in the city, currently. And they all seem to support one another. More quality points to the 5 points theatre and Flat File!

Posted via email from the urban core

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Riverside Arts Market Has Had an Extraordinary First Year

Here is a summary of the market’s inaugural season:

·  RAM has become a Jacksonville phenomenon in its very first year. It has had a major impact on the city.
·  It took 16 years of planning
·  The organizers went through 3 mayors and 4 governors and at least 10 different federal, state, and local agencies
·  For something that did not even exist a year ago, it has made a major change in Jacksonville.
·  Economic impact - several million dollars. (The market has had over a million in on-site sales, and add to this the salaries, purchase cost of artists' and vendor's raw materials, hotel rooms, sales tax, advertising, printing, stimulus of local businesses, etc., and the three-fold recycling of money in the local economy, RAM has had well over $4 million in local economic impact.


Over 700 different artists have exhibited at RAM.
Nearly a half million visitors have attended RAM. (38 weeks x 15,000 avg. per week. RAM has drawn more people than our NFL team.)
The average price of item sold at RAM is $30 to $50, but some artists have sold work in the thousands of dollars
RAM has over 150 volunteers that have participated at RAM.  30 of those are semi-regular weekly participants. 
(38 weeks x 12 volunteers per week x 4 hour shifts per week = 1, 824 volunteer hours).  
Plus RAM’s steering committee “RAMROD” has put in well over 8,000 hours, pushing RAM volunteers into over 10,000 hours.
Over 250 different entertainers have performed at RAM.
Over 100 non-profit organizations have received free exposure at RAM.
·  RAM has become one of the top twenty community markets in the U.S. in its first year, and  RAM was recognized in USA Today as Top 10 River City Destinations.
·  RAM is the largest weekly free outdoor arts and entertainment venue in Florida, perhaps in the South.
·  RAM has become one of the most spectacular public spaces in Jacksonville, if not Florida.  RAM has a devoted following of weekly local visitors, and out-of-town visitors have begun choosing RAM as a destination for their vacations (not just a stop on the way to Disney).
·  In a harsh economic environment, RAM has provided
free entertainment for thousands of people, close to home.
provided employment and income for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
provided low-cost storefronts for local entrepreneurs to start, grow, and promote their businesses.

Exposure at RAM has stimulated hundreds of business opportunities outside of RAM for its artists, vendors, entertainers, and staff members.
promoted environmental friendly public activities, including biking and walking to shop, shortened driving distances for shopping and entertainment, recycling, home-grown produce, etc.

RAM’s success has spun off a growing number of other local markets.
RAM has stimulated the arts; it has stimulated awareness of the importance to buy hand-made locally-produced products; it has promoted riverfront activities.


RAM sold/gave away over 2,000 pineapples in one day.
RAM had a dog parade, dozens of homeless pets adopted, a national break-dance championship, giant puppets, a man escaping from 2 straight jackets and chains while hanging upside down from an 18-foot tower, the Guinness Book of Records juggler, two state-champion magicians, two fire boats shooting water cannons in the river, a bag piper, a barbershop quartet, a body-painted man in a loin cloth playing a didgeridoo, an alligator exhibit, a dancing gorilla, a sitar concert, three full orchestras, zombies dancing on stage, several gravity defying acrobats, 31 clowns in one day, two fire eaters, the entire cast of the musical “Hair”, a 7-foot-tall masked magician, 2 human statues, over 20 belly dancers, over 60 dancing children, 4 hula hoopers, a human pretzel, a Viking ship, an Improv troupe, 10 celebrity chefs feeding over 1,000 people free food, a 9-foot-tall stilt-walking beauty queen, 38 different free Children’s Creativity programs, 2 puppet shows, a bubble party, 4 balloon artists, a hip-hop popper, a lacrosse demonstration, H1N1 flu shots provided, an 80-year-old fire truck, a fencing demonstration, a hybrid car test drive, a free health-screening clinic, several live television broadcasts, a Halloween costume competition, a weekly bicycle valet, pedicab service, and a backpack collection drive.

RAM has had dozens of newspaper and magazine articles, hundreds of blog and social media impressions, several national media attentions, and a documentary film.

RAM has over 1,000 free parking spaces available. If you are into that sort of thing. 

As a treat for reading all of this, here is a link to a great re-cap from JaxScene including a photo set of the last day and a great video of Greenhouse Lounge doing Kid Cudi!

Posted via email from the urban core

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cold City

This is a new blog format I am checking out. I'm not sure if I like it
but it definitely ties a lot of things together for me. Stay tuned.

Crimewave (La Riots Remix) by Crystal Castles   (11318 KB)
Listen on posterous

Posted via email from the urban core

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sure, we know how to Arts Market. But we were born to PARTY!

Hi! I'm RAMmy, hiccup, the Holiday Elf, hiccup!

The RAM team needed a little help telling you about this last week, hiccup, because there is so much going on.

And now I am back to tell you about Complimentary BEER, Complimentary WINE, and FREE ON-SITE PARKING! Whaaaaaa?!!

Nobody takes care of you like the Riverside Arts Market! (good time to mention we will be accepting donations on site for FRAM our Farmer's RAM which Starts January 9th!)

Like our Market all our beers are hand crafted (and wines are foot crafted?? Really we're not sure about foot crafted. Ask your wine rep.)!

So..We have Starr Hill Northern Lights and Jomo Lager on taps!

And its not a Riverside Party without Riverside's own BOLD CITY BREWS! Including Fritz, Killer Whale, and Dukes!

Beers are generously donated by North Florida Sales. Our wines are donated by Riverside Liquors who will be on-site to educate you about the fine wines you will be tasting!

Don't, hiccup, forget to, hiccup, designate a driver, hiccup. And be careful parking! We will have cab numbers on hand if you need a ride. Don't ruin the holidays by getting behind the wheel with a buzz.

There will be plenty of awesome food available FOR SALE from these fine food vendors of RAM. So soak up some craft brews with these great vendors:

Brown Bean Express- Coffee, Hot Chocolate, etc
Pizza Palace- Pizza, Tortellini, Salads!
Wazee's Funnel Cakes- Fries, Chicken Filets, Shrimps!
Gene's Dogs- Dogs and Sausages!
Mangrove Island Grill- Caribbean Dishes MMMm
French Quarter Beignets- and Chicory Coffee
Krispy Joe's Crab Cakes- and burgers and quesadillas

Please patronize our food vendors, they bring the YUM!

Here is some important and fun details on this party from the RAMfather:

6:30 The legendary dub fusion band Greenhouse Lounge starts playing to begin the festivities.
Complimentary wine and beer begin flowing, and our food vendors open up Jacksonville's
largest outdoor restaurant. Riverfront dining ya'll.

7:00 Juggler Bob "The World's Strongest Juggler" does a 20-minute show on the River Stage.

7:20 Stage presentation, recognizing our fabulous sponsors, volunteers, and staff.

7:40 RAM, The Movie: Highlights of RAM's First Year (it will make you laugh and cry)

8:00 The band Greenhouse Lounge starts playing again, and dancing, drinking,and eating continue.

10:00 sigh, it's over - for 2 months! Not counting FRAM!

THIS PARTY IS FREE. Parking, Free. Craft Beers, Free. Fine Wines, Free.

The only catch is that every party attendee is on the clean-up crew - clean it up while you party = zero trash.

Pss- Don't forget we'll be taking donations for FRAM at the site. If you are feeling as generous as we are please support our RAM and our Farmers.

End of the new message, hugs and kisses,


As you may know, Dec 19th is the last RAM of 2009, and it is jam packed with art, produce, and food...

Still have shopping left to do? Swing by RAM from 10am to 4 pm to avoid the crowded malls, and shop for unique local gifts at RAM. It's your last chance to find that one-of-a-kind present that will make your loved ones wish they were smart enough to shop at RAM!

Speaking of one-of-a-kind gifts, RAM T-Shirts are finally here! Until now, only volunteers and staff were able to showcase their love of RAM in shirt form, but now they can be yours...and this week they are only $ 10!

Or maybe you need an inaugural year canvas tote bag to carry all your Christmas goodies in? You can purchase these for only $ 5!

As always, our amazing Dr. Wood and the formidable Village Idiots ofVIP have some great entertainment planned for you, including Juggler Bob, the World's Strongest Juggler! Check out the lineup here.

This weekend is also your last chance to get your H1N1 Flu Shots from Winn Dixie!

Don't forget your Luminaria kits! All of Riverside will be lined with lights this Sunday at sundown...don't be left out! Luminaria will be sold at RAM in the Riverside Avondale Preservation booth located in F11 and F12!

See You Under the Bridge! - heart- RAMmy, hiccup

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


This video frames downtown as a raging disappointment. Our downtown is great. It can and will always improve.

I hope the series isn't as negative as the trailer.

Um, yeah. Lets go ahead and get this done.

Although we understand these things always take time, I think you will agree this project has been pushed aside long enough,” Choi wrote. “With thousands of new jobs and millions in revenue at stake, Hanjin Shipping expected much more support from both JaxPort and the city of Jacksonville. Despite our best efforts to make a Hanjin terminal in Jacksonville a reality, I’m afraid Hanjin Shipping will no longer be able to spend any more time or resources on this venture.

The story reads more encouraging. And the headline is an understatement (Port's blockbuster deal with Hanjin in trouble). But you got to give it up to Mr. Choi. His quotes are direct. If this doesn't get it done I will be surprised and disappointed. Here is the actual letter via the Florida Times Union.

Bring out your dead (batteries)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kristen Beach, (904) 630-2709,


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 9, 2009 – The City of Jacksonville Solid Waste Division will host six household hazardous waste and electronic waste (e-waste) mobile collection events throughout the city. With the approaching holiday season, the Solid Waste Division is prepared to accept e-waste as residents replace older televisions and other electronics with new ones they received as gifts.
The schedule for this year is as follows. Directional signage will be posted on the day of the event.
- Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
o Oceanway Park, 12215 Sago Ave.
o 0.5 miles north of 9A and Main Street (Highway 17)
- Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
o Ed Austin Regional Park, 3450 Monument Road
o 0.4 miles from intersection of McCormick Road and Monument Road
- Saturday, March 6, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
o Blue Cypress Park, 4012 University Blvd. N.
o 0.8 miles north of University Boulevard N. and Ft. Caroline Road
- Saturday, March 27, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
o Crystal Springs Park, 9800 Crystal Springs Road
o 1.5 miles east of Chaffee Road and Crystal Springs Road intersection
- Saturday, April 3, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
o Mandarin Park, 14780 Mandarin Road
o Go south on San Jose Boulevard toward Julington Creek. Turn right onto Westbury Road and left on Mandarin Road.
- Saturday, May 15, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
o Jacksonville Beach Public Works Department, Operations and Maintenance Facility parking lot
o 1460 Shelter Ave., Jacksonville Beach
Residents are encouraged to utilize a mobile collection or the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 2675 Commonwealth Ave., for the recycling of electronic wastes. The HHW Facility is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Types of waste which may be brought to one of the mobile events or to the HHW Facility include:
· Televisions*
· Computer monitors*
· Computer terminals
· CPUs
· Keyboards
· Printers
· Scanners
· Stereo equipment
· Radios
· VCRs
· DVDs
· Camcorders
· Desk and mobile phones
· Pagers
· Power tools
· Small kitchen appliances (i.e. microwaves, toaster ovens)
· Health and beauty appliances
*There is a limit of 3 Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) and televisions per customer.
These items will be collected as part of normal garbage collection service if left at the curb. However, once these items enter the waste stream with normal garbage they cannot be recycled and are disposed of in the landfill.
These items are only collected from residences. Businesses should check for available recycling centers to arrange for the recycling and/or disposal of any e-wastes.
Household Hazardous Waste
Household hazardous wastes cannot be collected curbside with regular trash. Residents may bring these items, however, to one of the scheduled mobile collection events or they may take items to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility located at 2675 Commonwealth Ave.
Types of waste which may be brought to one of the mobile events or to the HHW Facility include:
· Paint
· Paint thinners and paint strippers
· Rechargeable batteries
· Photographic chemicals
· Thermometers and thermostats
· Drain cleaners
· Pool chemicals
· Aerosol cans
· Pesticides
· Antifreeze
· Fertilizer
· Acids
· Gun powder
· Ammunition and fireworks
· Fluorescent bulbs and tubes, including CFL light bulbs
· 20-pound propane cylinders
For more information or to arrange for special handling of unusual waste material, call (904) 630-CITY (2489) or visit keyword search hazardous waste.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


video from Fredneck

There are more than 200 art, food, produce, educational, and entertainment opportunities every RAM. This weekend is the next to the last one for this year. You don't owe it to us. You owe it to yourself. And you owe it to your momma to bring her out. Doesn't matter if you like the sitar or guitar, you can sit down or get down.

Don't believe me? Ask Ron Littlepage who declared us the winner of 2009!

Or you can read what has been the best article about RAM yet. Here is a quote to get you goin':
"We had about 1,000 dogs on the lot," Allegretti said. "A truck pulled up and the driver said: Where do you want the alligators? And he was serious. Wayne arranged for an alligator and snake show without telling me. He likes to do that."

Wood said he always wanted to be a circus ringmaster so he intentionally put himself in charge of the wackiest bunch of people: street performers from musicians to jugglers to fire-eaters.

"I help give the market its color and flavor," said Wood, who searches the Internet for free performers.

Much of it is word of mouth, said Wood, who has recruited first-time child performers, local adult musicians just seeking an audience and full-time street performers who travel the country and live in station wagons.

"The buzz is out there now that RAM has become a premier spot," he said.

Meanwhile, he said he's thrilled that so many people return week after week to RAM to shop for organic produce, eat lunch or enjoy the food court and a riverfront concert.

"It's been phenomenal. Amazing attendance. Many thought we'd be a flash in the pan," he said. "It's just fun. You see people there with smiles on their face."

If I haven't convinced you to check out this event yet, check your pulse.


Blood Glucose
Body Mass Index
Blood Pressure
Bone Density
Waist Circumference

Here is some Bonus Video from Tom P, from the Finals of the Summertime in the City BBoy contest.

Need Content?

If you are looking for "why I am here?" type content, I highly suggest this fascinating documentary found on Globatron. I found it a great escape. Made many current troubles feel small.

Looking for something a bit more gritty and local? Try this weeks UJW podcast. A phenomenon in itself.

Of course you can always check JaxReader. Always Fresh. Always Local.

Friday, December 04, 2009

What do RAM, free beer, the Florida Gators, and Holiday Shopping have in common?

They are all available in Riverside this Saturday!

Riverside Arts Market from Michael Walter on Vimeo.

Only 3 Arts Markets Left!

It is really easy to park nearby (Fidelity lot is probably the most convenient) and walk with an umbrella. Deals are made in the rain so don't let it stop you! YOU WANTED TO BE MORE LIKE PORTLAND DIDN'T YOU???!

The RAM team finds it bittersweet that we are winding down the year. But last week showed us that the Community is still on board! We have had a great turnout and our artists and vendors have had some great deals for your Holiday shopping needs. This weekend will be more of the same and even more of the different. Almost every booth is sold out (we have had a couple cancellations! If you are an approved artist email Brandy)

I have stayed on plan with my pledge to only buy Holiday gifts at the Arts Market! It is so easy now (we have 170 booths of unique local culture!) and we are bringing back something fresh for you! We have our inaugural season tote bags for sale at our water tables. These reusable sturdy canvas totes can handle the biggest produce hauls. Only $5! Get them for all your friends, families, and co-workers! They will love them and proceeds support the market! Just fill 'em up and toss 'em under the tree!

Don't forget Luminaria!

Visit the new Riverside Avondale Preservation booth is F11 and F12, the place to get your Luminaria kits!

Visit Debbie Ferrell in booth 302 to purchase one of her beautifully hand woven baskets. They are perfect for gifts, and this RAM artist will be retiring at the end of 2009, so get your Ferrell originals while you can!

Last weekend to pick up the keys (ticket) to your new CAR!
THE MOCA CUBE: This could be the best gift opportunity ever. $30 gets you and a friend admission into the MOCA Cube Party. MOCA parties are always great but at this one, your gift recipient might be heading home with a new car. Only a limited number of tickets will be sold to this event. With the purchase of your ticket you or your lucky friend could end up going home with a Nissan Cube. You also get a 6 month membership to the museum, which is a great gift itself!

You got me a tie? I got you a car!

So you read this far and probably about to give up because I haven't said anything about free beer.


Bring in your receipt from any RAM merchant for any item over $10, and get a free beer, small soda, or small popcorn! At the Five Points Theatre! Valid until December 6th (including at the SEC Championship Game). Limit one per person. What a great way to watch the game. 20 foot Tebows!

RAM has always been supportive of neighborhood business, but how can you not with excellent deals like this! Its a Holiday, Football, Art, Party Stimulus Package! That is change I can believe in!

Seriously though folks, this event has brought so much joy. We are super glad to have shared this joy with so many, but we really want you to bring your friends out while we celebrate our last 3 weeks of the season.

We are also beginning our sponsor drive season. If you know a business, small or large, who might like to support the best thing since the river, let us know. We can come tell the story! See why the largest company in Jacksonville, America's Design Build Leader, our paper of record, and more great companies sponsor the Riverside Arts Market!

See you guys under the bridge!

Also, if you would like to donate a small gift to our volunteers we are going to start collecting them this Saturday. We are looking for tokens of appreciation. Don't go crazy. Please have them wrapped with 'volunteer' written on the tag or paper. We are going to hand them out randomly so if they are gender specific write which. We have a ton of volunteers and are so proud and happy to work with them. They are the heart beat of RAM! But you already know this!

We will present them with these gifts at our Holiday Bash December 19th! Save that date. We will close the market as usual then reconvene from 6:30pm to 10pm for a big free community party at the market site with live music, beer and wine for sale (proceeds benefit FRAM), and holiday cheer! Food vendors who wish to stay and serve food may do so!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Buy a Burro Bag for Christmas and gain a friend for life. UPDATED!

DEALS @ The Library Alley and 229 Hogan Street:
we are going to have new coozies, all the shirts we got, and a ton of bags! should be tight there is anew logo for burro thats going to be tight!
library alley with t-shirts, wallets, tote bags, messenger bags, hip bags
deals - 3 shirts and a tote bag for $40
hip bags are $5 off

I gave one of these bags to my sister last year and she calls me every holiday and on my birthday now!

You will be able to get these somewhere tonight. Not sure where yet. Anyway, cool commercial. Here is their website.