The following is an excerpt from Somewhere in the City, a local blog that chronicles Jacksonville culture. Written by four locals passionate about the River City, Somewhere in the City often highlights the many wonderful things Downtown offers. DVI and Somewhere in the City have partnered to share these Downtown stories, and below, you’ll find the first installment of this partnership, the writers’ Christmas Wish List. We’ve specially pulled their Downtown picks for holiday gifts.
Republished from Somewhere in the City
Now that we’ve all recovered from Thanksgivukkah, after overindulging ourselves on turkey and latkes, we have fallen into December and that special chill is in the air (well, at least half the time!). It’s the time of year for parades and holiday lights, warm drinks and cozy sweaters, laughter and cheer. And while many of us may go away to visit family over the Christmas break, many of us have Santa come in our chimneys and through our lanai doors right here on the First Coast. No matter where we are, near or far, Jax is always close to our hearts, especially during the holidays. We did so much shopping supporting local on Small Business Saturday that we realized: All the presents we want this year are right here in Jacksonville!
So we thought we’d put together our wish list to inspire you…or maybe just to give our family and friends a little hint-hint, wink, nudge! Here are our Northeast Florida (Downtown) Must-Haves this season:
A Hand-Made Messenger Bag from Burro Bags
My husband talks about Burro Bags non stop. I didn’t realize how awesome they were until I took the time to read their website. Every product they make is hand-made and durable. They use products strictly from the good ol’ USA. What I’ve heard about non-stop lately is their custom bags. Let’s just say our family has now started saving up to get this as a gift. Durable, long lasting, and a cool city gift to have.
Pink and Aqua Tee from Strght & Nrrw
I had heard of Strght & Nrrw before but didn’t know too much about them. I recently heard its founder, Jay Harris, speak. What he had to say and the way he viewed his business had me on board. I knew I’d want to support him, especially since they’re located right in the middle of Downtown and they’re huge city advocates. They were even a venue in One Spark. If you’re going Downtown any time soon, make sure to stop in and say hello to Jay. He has a ton of awesome stories to share.
A “Dingo Loves Jax” Series Calendar from YLC Art
Yvonne C. Lozano’s work is fun and bright, and I love her commitment to the spirit of community. I was honored to be included in her “I M JAX” project, a database of Jacksonville residents in interactive silhouettes. Her “Dingo Loves Jax” series takes you through highlights of the First Coast, and who doesn’t love the gift of a calendar during the holidays?
MOCA boasts one of the hippest young professionals groups in town with The Contemporaries, a group of on-the-rise art lovers who host some seriously entertaining events. Their New Year’s bash is always a hit, but this year is set to be the party of the season with a fantastically on-trend theme: Pop Art. What better way to ring in the new year than in Downtown Jax at a fabulous party with friends, drinks, dancing and a celebration of breaking away from tradition?
A #DTJax T-shirt from Downtown Vision, Inc.
You might not be able to get it off a store shelf, but that makes this one-of-a-kind find all the more special. A #DTJax shirt lets people know several things about you at once: 1. That you know where the movement’s at, 2. That you take pride in your city, and 3. That you understand that technology and our community are evolving together. Using social media as a tool for positivity – now there’s something we could use #MoreofThis holiday season!
A Lil Sparky by Dolf James from One Spark
One Spark left such a remarkable impact on Jacksonville this past year and showed people far and wide what realized potential can look like in our city. What better way to remember this moment in history than a Lil Sparky? Sitting on your desk or coffee table, Lil Sparky reminds you on those tough days to keep pushing- if Jacksonville is going to become the city we all want it to be, we have to keep working on it every day!
RAM tokens to spend at the Riverside Arts Market
The Riverside Arts Market has to be one of my favorite places in Jacksonville. Eating lumpia and drinking fresh lemonade as a cool breeze blows under the bridge and local music acts play in the background… simply heavenly. RAM tokens are a fun way to give someone the gift of the RAM experience… it’s like an arcade for adults! They work like currency with all the RAM vendors and can be spent on whatever the recipient desires. More inventive than a traditional gift card, and it supports local business!
I’ve had the pleasure of taking a cruise on the Foxy Lady as well as hearing the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra live. The idea of both in the same night? Sounds like a Downtown night made in heaven! This partnership provides an ideal packaged evening of a smooth St. Johns cruise followed by symphonic bliss. The cruise is offered with several different JSO events, but the best option to me sounds like Verdi’s Requiem- the soaring heights of Dies irae is the kind of music symphonies are made for!
I went ghosting with the premier of Swamp Radio…and I loved it! Seriously, there is some amazing original programming coming out of Northeast Florida lately (Al Letson’s State of the Re:Union, anyone?), and I’ve even heard rumors of more Jacksonville-based podcasts coming in 2014. Swamp Radio offers a fun look into all things exclusively North Florida and records with a live audience in tow! The marshlands of the Intercoastal never had a better voice than this, and episode two will record in the fabulous Florida Theatre in Downtown.
Tickets to The Nutcracker with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Note: this event has passed.)
Recently speaking with the Jacksonville Symphony’s Bassoonist (Anthony Anurca) has inspired me to give the Symphony a second listen. The way he described the music and how interactive the whole performance is made me want to see the orchestra from a new perspective. Anthony described how every performance is different depending on the night and the feelings of everyone involved. It is a truly unique experience.
Tickets to the Artist Series presents Broadway in Jacksonville, presented by FSJC
The inner drama kid in me did a quick little maniac dance of her own when I saw that Flashdance the Musical was coming to Jacksonville. The Times-Union Center for Performing Arts always brings such great performances so this is bound to be good.