By Tenley Ross, DVI Intern
Along with “Best Place to Meet New People” and “Best Artsy Event” in Jacksonville Magazine’s Best of Jax 2012, the First Wednesday Art Walk can now add “Best Art Walk/Festival” to its honors from the magazine.
Jacksonville Magazine’s Best in Jax 2015 issue is out and Downtown Art Walk was named the best in town!
Hana Ashchi, Downtown Vision, Inc.’s Art Walk manager, leads the way for each month’s Downtown Art Walk.
“It is a great honor to know that after 12 years, Art Walk is still a Jacksonville favorite,” Ashchi said.
We’ve got a great summer planned kicking off with next month’s Art Walk. On June 3, Downtown Vision, Inc. is partnering with Bold City Brewery to host the 2nd Annual Big John’s Apricot Wheat Ale Summer Release Party.
But the Downtown signature event wasn’t the only Downtown Jax spot that snagged mentions in the issue. We’d like to give a shout-out to all our Downtown neighbors who made the list, too!
The Downtown Jacksonville renaissance began in earnest several years ago, and it was arguably Art Walk that led the charge. The free self-guided tour through venues in the Urban Core takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, 5-9 PM (rain or shine), and includes concerts, live art demonstrations, food trucks and dozens of open galleries. The theme changes monthly and most of the action is concentrated in and around Hemming Park.
Candy Apple Cafe
400 N. Hogan St. (353-9717)
You’d think that a space inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would feel juvenile. However, Candy Apple Café manages to fuse whimsy with sophistication. The Willy Wonka-esque interior belies an expansive menu full of offerings such as buttermilk fried chicken with pink peppercorn gravy and rock shrimp crepes with baby spinach and jicama slaw. Of course, dessert—particularly the candy apples dipped in toppings like candied bacon and rum-soaked coconut—is a highlight.
21 E Adams St., Downtown (598-5303); 1974 San Marco Blvd., San Marco (503-7013)
Indochine consistently gets readers’ votes for flavorful Thai favorites such as Näm sod (chopped pork, cilantro and chili garlic with lime dressing over mixed greens) and the famous Drunken Noodles. Order your entrées “Thai Hot” if you’re feeling especially brave (otherwise, stick to mild). For something a little different than the standard pad Thai, try the duck curry, an Indochine specialty dish of lean duck breast in sweet red curry with snow peas, tomato, sweet pepper, onion and Thai basil.
1201 Riverplace Blvd., Downtown (396-6200); 814 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach (285-0014)
Ruth’s Chris is nationally known for its white-tableclothed American fare and, though it might not be local, it’s a perennial favorite for a reason. Here, the focus is on steaks and chops (served sizzling on a 500-degree plate) and bountiful sides (lobster mac-and-cheese, sautéed mushrooms, potatoes au gratin). If you feel like sharing, try the porterhouse for two, a behemoth 40-ounce slab of prime beef. You’re gonna need a doggy bag.
Exhibit of the year
WHITE, MOCA Jacksonville
333 N. Laura St. (366-6911)
An art exhibit almost entirely devoid of color? MOCA Jacksonville’s WHITE (which ran January 24-April 26) was exactly that, and charted the pivotal role of the under-utilized color, which is often relegated to the background in works of art. The exhibition focused on iconic works (including photography, mixed media, painting and installation) in which white plays the starring role. Tara Donovan’s Haze (an installation comprised of an entire wall of translucent drinking straws) was a particularly striking feature.
225 N. Laura Street (674-0868)
Walk through this maze of books and get caught up for a few hours with some great coffee and captivating stories. The thousands upon thousands of books will draw you in each time to know just why this bookstore is set apart. Once you find yourself among the shelves and explore the numerous collections of books, you won’t leave disappointed.
1025 Museum Cir (396-6674)
The popular Museum of Science and History (MOSH) on the Southbank opens 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays at noon. The museum is packed with interactive exhibits just for kids, from the anatomy of a life-size blue whale replica in “Atlantic Tails” to experiencing a talkies movie theater in the “Currents of Time”.