By Ari Sinudom, DVI Intern

We at Downtown Vision know there are a ton of things to do in #DTJax in any given day, but do others? A local Jacksonvillian may have solved that issue. We sat down with Zachary Schwartz, the Founder and CEO of intoGo, a new app on the market that hopes to change the way people find things to do in Downtown and throughout Jacksonville. So, we’ve partnered with intoGo to incorporate all things Downtown.

What is intoGo?

IntoGo is a mobile app, the first of its kind. Unlike other online directories, intoGo learns each user’s preferences to give suggestions for fun things to do. When users swipe right to like something or left to dislike, the swipes teach intoGo the user’s interests so the app can give specific recommendations. IntoGo is strictly about having fun; and covers events, outdoor recreation, destinations, nightlife, dining, shopping, parks and more in the user’s area.  Its mission is to help people explore, experience and enjoy their community, one place at a time. IntoGo has one primary goal: to become the go-to resource when one is wondering what to do.

Google or Yelp list things to do around town, but can’t make specifically tailored recommendations for the user. IntoGo has the innate ability to capture ratings from each user for every recommendation.


Why Jacksonville?

Jacksonville originally drew Schwartz in when his family moved to town. He built a local directory called, then received first place at the 2015 One Spark in the “technology” category and secured investment. Schwartz then met his tech team, who all lived here and became a perfect fit.

Not only does Jacksonville have wide-ranging demographics, but it’s also a second-tier technology market. Residents are tech-friendly but not necessarily tech-savvy, making Jacksonville a perfect test market for intoGo. IntoGo headquarters are located in Downtown at 6 E Bay St.; an area the staff believes is the leading innovation hub in Jacksonville. IntoGo’s team enjoys the amenities and dining within walking distance of its office and is fond of the local businesses that foster and cater to a Downtown audience.

How does intoGo work?

  1. In the Explore section, businesses, events and places are stacked like a deck of cards. Clicking on a card will reveal pictures and details. Users swipe right if they like it, swipe left if they don’t and swipe up to skip. With each swipe, the app is able to learn the user’s preferences.
  2. Under the Guide Me section, users can see businesses, events and places recommended by intoGo. The more you swipe, the more confident the app is at giving suggestions.
  3. Users can set filters to refine their interests and distance. They can also search within intoGo for a specific interest.
  4. All likes are stored in the account tab for easy referencing and are sorted based on what’s closest to the user’s location.

IntoGo is integrated with Yelp and Facebook, making it easy for users to see more information and ratings for a specific interest. At 12 weeks old and 6,000 downloads, the app is clearly making waves and changing how Jacksonvillians do fun.

What’s intoGo’s future?

Schwartz believes intoGo can become a diversified internet tool, from app to web and mobile to desktop, where people go to make plans, to explore when they land in a new city or to figure out where to take that special someone on a first date. The app has more on its way in the coming updates: merging profiles for group suggestions, targeted in-app advertising and coupons, recipes and social elements. IntoGo wants to help enable users to find cool places where they can create memories, share experiences and enjoy life. The app is truly living by its slogan and is making it easy to “Find Fun Faster.”


by: admin in Art Walk, Spotlight No Comments  

By Julianna Rosano, DVI Intern

We talked with Viktor Lazarev, local artist at First Wednesday Art Walk, about his Art Walk experiences and diverse artwork.

Q: What initially drew you to display your paintings at the First Wednesday Art Walk?love 022

A: I wanted to display my artwork to people of all different walks of life. Art Walk gave me the opportunity to sell my art to create a living and support my family.

Q: What aspects of Art Walk make you keep coming back as a vendor?

A: There are a few aspects that keep me coming back, but the number one reason is my friends and new customers. The atmosphere overall is great and it’s exciting, vibrant and inviting. It’s the kind of place you want to be.

Q: At what age did you find your love for oil painting?

A: I was a young kid and there was just something about it that allowed me to sink deeply into it. From the beginning, I had a feeling, an inspiration and I knew God was behind it. It was that simple.

acrylic vikQ: Where do you find your inspiration for your artwork?

A: I like to observe the world around me, even the little things can inspire me to create new artwork and there is a little piece of my soul in every painting. Mother Nature is the best inspiration for my art and being able to create something from that is a gift.


Q: What is your painting process? Do you mentally create the images first or just begin to paint and see where it leads?
A: Most of the time I think about the piece first and create a plan. Other times, it’s spontaneous and I like to create as I go.

Q: How long does it usually take you to create one of your paintings?

A: When I have a piece envisioned, it usually takes a few days to finish. But when it’s spontaneous, or as the Italians would say “a la prima,” I can finish within a few hours or so. Sometimes those pieces turn out better than the ones I try to plan.

Q: Where can people find your artwork?jax.fla.

A: Being a local, you can see me and buy my artwork at the First Wednesday Art Walk, North Beaches Art Walk, Riverside Arts Market, the Orange Park Arts Market and the Jax Beach Art Walk. You can also find my art online at or

Q: What impact do you hope to have on those who view your artwork?

A: Love. I want to impact people with love. I want to awaken love in the hearts of those who see my work, regardless of race or religion.

Q: What advice would you give to other local artists?

A: Be yourself, have good basics and constantly learn from your favorite artists. Be original and show people something they have never seen before.

Make sure to #ShareTheLove and stop by the First Wednesday Art Walk on February 1 to see more of Viktor Lazarev’s artwork.

set up

by: Admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.


Instagram of the Week


Photo by @dan_malarkey
 Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax 
for a chance to be featured.


Things To Do Downtown


Arts + Culture


Family Fun 


Live Music + Nightlife


Sports + Fitness


Stories From



DVI Updates 


Buy your tickets to the #DTJax Gala: River of Dreams!


Join us for the 2nd Annual #DTJax Gala!
Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 6-9 p.m.
Friendship Fountain, 1015 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207
(35 and under and must show ID)
Early bird pricing ends February 19.



Take our DTJax Employee & Resident Surveys!
Each year Downtown Vision evaluates the state of Downtown Jacksonville and collects data on how to improve the Downtown experience. If you live or work in DTJax (Northbank, Southbank, Brooklyn/Riverside Avenue, LaVilla or the Stadium District) we want to hear from you.Respondents will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to the Downtown restaurant or retailer of their choice. A winner will be selected in January 2017 and contacted via the email provided.



Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center Public Meeting:
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will be hosting a public meeting on the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center (JRTC), a regional multi-modal transportation facility. The JRTC, as we like to call it, will be located in the heart of the LaVilla area. The state-of-the-art complex will integrate key local, regional and intercity services in one location. Please join us to hear more about this iconic facility.
Date: Thursday, January 12, 2017
Time: 4-6 p.m.

Location: FSCJ Downtown Campus Room A1058 – 101 W. State St. Jacksonville, FL 32202

2015 State of Downtown Report:
2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_01Downtown Vision, Inc. released an 18-month summary on the state and growth of Downtown Jacksonville. This report provides details on development successes and  announcements, office and employment trends, residential growth, retail mix, arts and culture, tourism, transportation and more. Read the report in it’s entirety on our blog or visit to download the PDF.


DVI Annual Report Available:
Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 2.03.20 PMHave you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report, which  highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2015-2016.

by: Admin in Featured No Comments  

IMG_3271 It’s summertime in the city and #DTJax has some cool amenities for you to enjoy. With the St. Johns River being one of them, we like to look at it as an American Heritage River in recognition of its ecological, historic, economic, recreational and cultural significance. In doing so, the public may gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the river’s importance to the quality of life for current and future generations. We like to take advantage of using the St. Johns River as much as we can and one way is by riding the St. Johns River Taxi. It is a great way to get to all of your favorite spots and even comes with a great view! New to the River Taxi are the Sunset Cruises running from Thursday to Sunday for just $20 a person and Saturday cruises to the Jacksonville Zoo for just $40 a person! Grab a group of friends or that special someone and take a ride on the river while enjoying the wind, water, live music and maybe even a few dolphins – if you’re lucky! Some of the DVI staff had a chance to check out the Sunset Cruise this past weekend and it could not have been a more perfect day to be on the water. IMG_3253 Pick up/drop off takes places at River City Brewing Company and if you get there early, it is a great way to kick off a date night and grab some dinner or drinks beforehand. Once you hop onto the taxi, you pick a seat with the best view. We recommend anywhere near the front, back or sides of the boat. You get the perfect amount of wind in your hair and some of the best photos of our beautiful #DTJax skyline. Once everyone is loaded on, a lovely musician begins to perform some great tunes while you’re staring off into the shimmering lights bouncing off the river. Another cool perk is that you can bring your own food and drinks to make it a party! What can be better than that? During our Sunset Cruise, we were able to experience a wonderful singer, beautiful weather (finally a break from all the rain!) and a family of dolphins swimming near by. At the end of the cruise, the taxi takes you back to River City Brewing Company where you can continue to enjoy the night by walking the Southbank Riverwalk, the Main Street Bridge or even hang out some of our favorite spots such as The Jacksonville Landing, Hemming Park or The Elbow. If you haven’t taken a ride with the St. Johns River Taxi yet, don’t worry. They are open Tuesday through Sunday. If you’re interested in signing up for a sunset cruise or a zoo cruise, be sure to buy your tickets today! For more information about the St. Johns River Taxi or anything else in #DTJax, visit our website or download our FREE app today! While you’re at it, please take a moment to fill out this quick survey and share your thoughts about the St. Johns River.


by: Admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.


Instagram of the Week


Photo by @mayday0821

Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.



Things To Do Downtown

icons-art-cultureArts + Culture
icons-nightlifeLive Music + Nightlife


icons-fitnessSports + Fitness



Stories From




DVI Updates 


Red, White and BBQ Art Walk:
Just a few days until First Wednesday Art Walk – Red, White and BBQ. Continue the celebration with live music by The Band Be Easy, local art, delicious brews and more! Plus, don’t miss the Front Porch at The Landing and Art Walk After Dark in The Elbow. For more information, check out our website. So get on your most patriotic garb and we’ll see you July 6!


We Have an App! #DTJax
Our new app, #DTJax, is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. It’s the best way to know what is going on, with a full list of our events, things to do and places to eat and drink. The app also provides information that can be found on our website including parking, hotel options and various directories.
Download today so you can know what’s up Downtown!


DTJax App Rack Card

Take our Parklet Survey:
We need to hear your opinion! Please take just a few minutes and fill out this survey. In doing so, you’ll be helping to shape our #DTJax parklet program!


St. John’s River Taxi and Tours:
With the warmer, summer weather here to stay for awhile, enjoy it on the water with the St. John’s River Taxi! The River Taxi is now available for eco tours, Jacksonville Zoo trips and sunset river cruises.


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 2.48.40 PM
Running every thirty minutes, the river taxi stops at the Northbank Riverwalk at The Landing, the Southbank at Friendship Fountain, Southbank at the The Doubletree Hotel, Southbank Riverwalk at The Lexington Hotel and at Metropolitan Park during special events. For more information, visit their website here.


DVI Annual Report Available:
 Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report, which  highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2014-2015.


by: Admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.


Instagram of the Week


 Photo by @flgilleo

Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.


Things To Do Downtown


Stories From




DVI Updates 


JTA Wants Your Opinion:
The Jacksonville Transit Authority held a design showcase on April 18 to show the public three different design concepts for their new project, the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center (JRTC). JTA would like public comments to help decide the future direction of this project so check out the designs here and email JTA your opinions by April 19 at 5pm.




Jazz Fest After Dark in the Core:
There is a lot of excitement surrounding this year’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and rightly so since it’s back in the core of #DTJax! The fun does not end with Jazz Fest, as there is Jazz Fest After Dark with ten stages, over 60 acts and all for free. Make sure to check out the website for more information and the full line-up.


So mark your calendars for May 27-28 for #JFADjax!



PSA for #DTJax Residents, Employees and Vistors:


The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will now be penalizing those who jaywalk with a hefty $114 fine. So, save yourself the hassle and only cross in crosswalks when the walking guy gives you the okay!


DVI Annual Report Available:
Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report, which highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2014-2015.


by: admin in Advocacy, Spotlight No Comments  

By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern

Since 1976, Black History Month has offered the world a chance to remember and honor African Americans who blazed new trails and ways of thinking, and who fought for equal rights no matter an individual’s race, ethnicity or gender. In honor of this month, #DTJax has highlighted some of the most influential African Americans that have impacted the Jacksonville community. Among the various leaders and activists, we have Asa Phillip Randolph, Clara and Eartha White and James Weldon Johnson.

Photo Credit: Black History 101

Photo Credit: Black History 101


Asa Phillip Randolph

Born on April 15, 1889, Asa Phillip Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida and moved to Jacksonville with his wife in 1891. From his strong upbringing, Randolph learned that color was not an indication of a person’s character or behavior. A superior student in writing, acting, singing and reading – Randolph attended the Cookman Institute in East Jacksonville and become valedictorian of his graduating class. Randolph can be described as a person of many attributes, but he is most noted for his organizational abilities and leadership in labor unions. He was a socialist, union organizer and civil rights leader most known in the African American community for these contributions:

Photo Credit: New York World-Telegram & Sun

Photo Credit: New York World-Telegram & Sun

  • Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters – Randolph was the founder and president of the first primarily African American labor union organization called BSCP. He established the Fair Employment Practices Committee and ended racial segregation and discrimination within the military as the leader of this organization.
  • 1963 March on Washington – Known as the largest political rally for human rights in United States history where Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., Randolph began planning and organizing this rally in December 1962.
  • “Freedom Budget” – a proposal written by Randolph that identified policies and programs to eliminate poverty within a ten year period. Although the budget was never fully passed, all minorities were given better access to schooling, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and better living conditions because of his hard work.

Clara and Eartha White

Known as American humanitarians, philanthropists and businesswomen who devoted their life earnings and time to help people in need. Both Clara and Eartha White’s social mission originated when they began feeding hungry people in her neighborhood on Clay St. in the 1880’s. After her mother passed, Eartha took over the former soup kitchen and turned it into a non-profit organization aimed at social services for all people in need. The Clara White Mission served as an arts and sewing center during the Great Depression, a rooming house for released prisoners and the homeless and a center for cooking, ceramics, and learning. Eartha White was also responsible for founding the Mercy Hospital; The Boy’s Improvement Club, a home for single mothers, an orphanage and adoption agency; and a halfway house for recovering alcoholics. Clara and Eartha White are two of the most generous social activists who dedicated each and every moment they had in order to help the local Jacksonville people.

Photo Credit: The Clara White Mission

Photo Credit: The Clara White Mission

The Clara White Mission still plays a large role in the Jacksonville community today – their  mission is to “reduce homelessness through advocacy, food, housing and vocational programs” in order to get as many people off the streets. In fact, CWM serves over 400 meals each day to people in need on 613 W. Ashley St. To find out more information, visit their website.

James Weldon Johnson

The son of Helen Louise Dillet and James Johnson, James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1871. Johnson was an author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, achievied songwriter and civil rights leader. He is most noted for his executive secretary and leadership position at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – an organization that aimed to put a halt to racial hatred, to stop discrimination and to achieve equality for all people. He was also known for his poems, novels, and anthems regarding black culture during the Harlem Renaissance. He was also appointed by the Roosevelt Administration in 1906, as the US Consul of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Essentially, James Weldon Johnson was an extremely talented, driven and influential African American born in the heart of LaVilla Downtown.


Photo Credit: The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Most recently in #DTJax, Lavilla has delegated the intersection of Houston and Lee Streets, as the “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” Park in honor of James Weldon Johnson and his birth site. The “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” anthem was written by Johnson and his brother John Rosamond and dubbed the “Black American National Anthem” in 1899. To learn more information about the park, check out this article.

The Ritz Theatre and Museum, described as a destination within the “Harlem of the South” area in 1929 where the people of LaVilla sought out entertainment and culture. Today, the reconstructed museum offers music concerts, exhibitions and lectures to represent the rich history of this community in #DTJax. Check out the website to learn more and book your tickets here.

Looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month? Attend the Ritz Chamber Players concert series on February 24 at the Hicks Auditorium on 303 Laura St. The spring concert kicks off with the first song as “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and ends on a piano trio. For more information or to reserve your seats check here.

To find out more information and facts about Black History Month in Jacksonville, check out this article.