TEN THINGS Great About Our Place

Posted by: Rick Pariani in Local Activities, News

Twenty-two years ago, in the Spring of 1997, I moved my family to North Florida. We started our family in Boca Raton, Florida, then moved to Laguna Beach, California. Prior to the Centennial Olympic Games, we relocated to the Buckhead community in Atlanta, Georgia. After the Games, we decamped Atlanta for Ponte Vedra Beach. Once our children were literally off-and-running with their careers, we down-sized into one of Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods, first platted in 1921.

Before coming here, we did enjoy our lives in those very pretty, and often celebrated, places.  It is true – wherever you are – it is what you make of it. In that regard, it is extremely easy to make our place thoroughly enjoyable. Here are a few things that are extraordinary about this place:

10. Regionally, we are steeped in history, heritage and traditions – from the settlement of St. Augustine in 1565 to the friendly, southern hospitality of today.

9. Friends and family are eager to come for visits – knowing there are numerous local and/or near-by unique events to experience and interesting destinations to explore.

8. The citizenry is active and engaged with a business, manufacturing and military legacy creating a viable, strong economy and a safe and secure community.

7. We have a thriving music and sports scene with nationally-acclaimed venues, top-ranked entertainers, deeply-rooted college traditions, a ground-breaking, name-brand NFL team helping to actively promote the sport in Europe and a faithful, supportive fan base.

6. We are in the midst of a shopping and dining renaissance as local entrepreneurs and national brands flock to the region to expand offerings and cater to immense pent-up market demands.

5. There are billions of dollars being invested in regional infrastructure – including shipping & cruise ports, roads and expressways, air transportation efficiencies and connections, commerce parks, drainage and flood-control, storm abatement and recovery measures and beach re-nourishment.

4. Our local education and health care institutions provide nationally-ranked and globally-renowned services – attracting people from throughout the country and from around the world.

3. We have superlative natural assets – from the ocean to our rivers and streams and interconnected green-belts coupled with truly unique national and state parks, historic sites and environmental preserves.

2. There is growing and promising momentum in the downtown core to anchor the region, attract investments, and to create a desirable, livable, urban environment to compliment the Beaches Communities and the highly-desirable suburban neighborhoods.

1. Our region has blossomed with cultural diversity, ethnic participation and educated and experienced youth while maintaining its original spirit – characterized by a genuine pride-of-place and deep appreciation recognizing the value of making this the best place it can be.

It is no wonder that many, many folks want to call it home.


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