APRIL '20 Also in this Issue:
an Armed Forces News Section
Interzone Art Center Goes Public
Pensacola Businesses Adapt to
Oldies but Goodies
The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet
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DOWNTOWN CROWD APRIL 2020 CONTENTS Publisher Malcolm Ballinger
Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden Editor Gina Castro
Gina Castro, Editor
Art Director Guy Stevens Graphic Designer Garrett Hallbauer Editorial Assistant Dakota Parks Editorial Interns Josh McGovern Sean Williams Advertising Account Executives Paula Rode Paula@ballingerpublishing.com Geneva Strange Geneva@ballingerpublishing.com Becky Hildebrand email@example.com For advertising rates or news tips contact Phone: 433-1166 · Fax: 435-9174 DOWNTOWN CROWD is published by Ballinger Publishing. Offices located at 314 N Spring St., Ste. A, Pensacola Florida 32501 Published by Ballinger Publishing
8 This past month has been a strange one. At first, it seemed like COVID-19 was a distant nightmare, but as we all know now, it’s not so distant anymore. It seems like the situation keeps escalating each day. Despite this stressful situation, our community has shown it’s stronger than ever. When I heard that the government was temporarily closing all of the breweries and restaurants, I was scared for my community. My heart went out to Pensacola’s working class and business owners. Instead, these local breweries, retail stores, physical trainers, restaurants and artists found creative ways to continue serving the Pensacola community. Restaurants and retail stores are doing curbside pickup, physical trainers are teaching at-home workouts, and artists are creating online galleries. You can read more about this moving story in this issue.
Downtown Crowd is locally owned and operated. It is published monthly for distribution in Pensacola, Florida. All Right Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2020
Although we probably won’t be able to hangout in groups or explore downtown for awhile, we included a story about a new addition to Pensacola: Interzone. It’s a new space for artists to showcase their work. Since April is National Poetry Month, we captured the ins and outs Pensacola’s poetry scene. Once it’s safe to be out and about, you can enjoy local poetry nights again.
I don’t know about all of you, but I’m a social butterfly, so sitting at home the majority of the day has been a bit draining. As a pick me up, we’ve included lots and lots of pictures of dogs. We rounded up some of the best places for you to enjoy time with your dog, once COVID-19 blows over. Also, since we’re all feeling a little lonely these days, we did a feature about the perks of adopting a senior pet. The Pensacola Humane Society needs your help, so if you have love to give and time to spare, adopt or foster a senior pet. Lastly, if you're looking for some feel good stories, our Military Matters section has you covered. There are several service members from the local area achieving amazing things across the nation. As for us at Downtown Crowd, we’re all working from the safety of our homes. We will continue to share uplifting stories about our amazing community each month. Even though we are practicing social distancing, we are doing our best to connect with our community more than ever before. So, please feel free to reach out to us with interesting stories or news to share. We would love to hear from you. Follow us on social media @DowntownCrowd for some daily humor.
20 8 The Blank Canvas: Interzone Art Center Goes Public 11 5 Questions with Creatives: Morgan Walker 12 Dog-Friendly Downtown
15 The Perseverance of the Pensacola Poetry Scene 16 Beers and Frankfurts 20 Oldies but Goodies 22 Pensacola Businesses Adapt to COVID-19 24 Military Matters
ON THE COVER: Big Mac at Emerald Republic Brewing Co. Photo by Guy Stevens
DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 7
"Legal Tender" Opening Reception
THE BLANK CANVAS: Interzone Art Center Goes Public by Dakota Parks
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Tucked into the historic Brownsville neighborhood on North V Street, the building that houses Interzone Art Center dates back to 1955. Over the years, the nearly 3,000 sq. ft. building has housed a variety of people: the Brownsville Post Office, a hardware store, a pharmacy, a digital media education school, a seafood restaurant—and now an
art center. Six months ago, a fluctuating group of Pensacola artists set out to construct an “artist-run space.” Artist-run spaces are facilities operated by artists instead of private owners or local governments. These spaces give artists the freedom of curating their own exhibits, hosting experimental events and collaborating as a group for programming. Local artist and figurehead for Interzone, Matt Pham, has wanted to open a community art space in Pensacola for the last ten years. Pham has worked as a freelance graphic designer, a talent booker for Sluggo’s and the art director/marketing coordinator at the Pensacola Museum of Art. His artist medium gravitates towards social practice art—art that engages human interaction and social discourse. “This space is really a response to a need that we have felt in the community. This isn’t a business, so we
don’t have employees or anyone getting paid. Everything being done here is based on volunteerism,” said Pham. “My name might be on the lease, but I couldn’t have done this without my friends and the art community. It’s been about 20 or 25 people of all ages and aspects of life in and out helping. The priority for us is making space for artists, and that extends to performances, musicians, classes and workshops—anything people want to do to share their work.” Space, as Pham explained, isn’t cheap though. Interzone went through six months of constructions and bills still have to be paid to keep the community space afloat. Money is a stressful subject for the artists involved in the project. While Interzone is staying afloat through the resident artist rental workspace in the back half of the building, donations at events and a soon-to-be artist cooperative, they are still actively crowdfunding. One of the first exhibits in the space, “Legal Tender” was created in juxtaposition to this anxiety about money. “So much of the art that we make is about the current moment in the artist’s lives: what is taking up the most of their energy, time and brain space. For me, it’s been money. I feel like I’ve been jolting up in the middle of the night and yelling,
‘money!’ I really just wanted to take the anxiety out of it for a moment and turn it into an object that we could play with and make art with” said Pham. Creating an inclusive art space free of gatekeeping is one of the most important aspects to Interzone. Pham explained that while they have a number of events in the works right now, they’re hoping to put out a call for curators and programmers soon, so that the community can decide what it wants to do with the space. Another unconventional way of doing this, is by creating a domino-effect of curating where artists can invite and curate other artists into an exhibit. The artists at Interzone are also working with community activists to ensure that the space is intentionally inclusive to the community and not whitewashed. “If you look historically at art spaces, artists find these buildings that have cheap rent because that’s all they can afford. We have to understand the logistics of a group of white artists moving into Brownsville, which is disproportionately a black neighborhood,” explained Pham. “This is a neighborhood building—we can’t separate ourselves from these houses; they’re in the DNA and history of this space. It also tends to be a trend that when artists get together to create
EVERYONE DESERVES A SPACE TO FEEL COMFORTABLE, SHOW WHAT THEY CREATE AND JUST BE WHO THEY ARE.” – MATT PHAM
these spaces, they tend to be white artists. Deciding to be an artist is a privileged decision—spending that much money on a career where you will make no money— some people just can’t take that risk. We have this presumption that everyone values art, and that there needs to be space and money spent on art,
Eugene Broyles Under Pressure Releif Print From the "Legal Tender" Exhibtion
but that’s not true. That’s also privileged thinking.” While the word “gentrification” floats around the air, the artists working on the project are doing everything they can to make the art center reflect the entire community—not just white artists. Family homes surround the art center building, and people from the neighborhood have interacted with the space by coming to talk to artists, hanging out and seeing the artwork. Others in the neighborhood have voiced their concerns that no one should ever charge money to see art—hence the decision to take donations at events rather than charge admission and keep those that can’t afford it out of the space. As the space continues to evolve, it will evolve with the needs of the community. So far, Interzone has hosted a pop-up show with their resident artists, put out a call for works for the “Legal Tender” show and even hosted a dance party. For the future, they’re already working with theatre production companies and
film festivals for renting out the space. They’re continuing to generate ideas for several upcoming exhibits and shows. Pham explained that there are so many ways the community can get involved with Interzone: come to the events, donate if you can, check out the GoFundMe, come volunteer on the weekend, and if you’re an artist, respond to calls for work and put your art on display. “We really want to be a general use art space. If anyone in the area has had an idea that was too big, or they didn’t have the opportunity, space, or time to do it, we’d be more than welcoming to host them—whether that’s through collaboration or space rental. Everyone deserves a space to feel comfortable, show what they create and just be who they are,” said Pham. To keep up with Interzone and their upcoming events, follow @interzone.pensacola on Instagram and Interzone Pensacola on Facebook. Check out their GoFundMe: www. gofundme.com/f/interzone-pensacola-art-space. If interested in getting involved hands-on, contact them about volunteering on the weekends.
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5 QUES TIONS WITH
CRE ATIVES MORGAN WALKER BY S EA N WI L L I A MS
Morgan Walker is an artist dedicated to showing her love of all things animal, fun and creative in each of her vibrant creations. With a penchant for dogs, Morgan adds a colorful, cartoony flair to each of her drawings. Morgan is active on her Instagram, @mewdesi, where she regularly takes on commission work for dogs and animals of all shapes and sizes. Morgan was born and raised in Fort Walton Beach and sticks around Pensacola where her job at Innisfree Hotels keeps her connected with the downtown and beach communities. For her, working with fellow creatives keeps her focused on improving her own style and sharing it with others. What has been your main inspiration for drawing? What draws you to your particular style? In addition to dogs, I was fascinated by the natural world and obsessed with Zoobooks and National Geographic as a child. Around the same time, like most kids in the 90’s, I found myself drawn into the world of animated films like the Disney classics, early Dreamworks films and so on that created stories revolving around creatures with character and worlds filled with a sense of adventure. These interests followed me throughout the years, and I’ve found that I love creating pieces with that same sense of playfulness and whimsy while also intertwining my interests of plants and animals. I currently have an ongoing series that combines cuisine and animals to create a world of “crEATures” that simply started out as an exercise (thanks Shelley Henseler!), but has become one of my favorite projects to date that showcases this! I’ve also been influenced through pop culture which is where my current series called “Ruffengers” was born from. I aimed to challenge myself to draw different dog breeds, but wanted to bring my interest of comic books and movies to the project. Naturally, I came up with the idea to draw my favorite superheroes as canines! Quite the parody, I know! But it has allowed me to explore a new drawing style and develop skills in character design. It’s my biggest set of drawings to date, and I hope to release the next set of illustrations soon! What inspired you to draw so many dogs? Drawing dogs is the outcome of growing up with a passion for animals dating back to when I was a little girl! I grew up in a “dogs rule” household where Shih Tzus ran the roost, and anything with paws was my favorite thing. In 2018, I worked with a great friend and fellow
artist, Rachel Hogue, where we painted and donated a photo-op for the Pensacola Humane Society’s Barktoberfest event. We illustrated a wall of Halloween-esque portraits, and this kicked off my recent spree of drawing canines! I’ve found that dogs have the ability to bring so much love and joy to someone’s life. Capturing that in fun, festive illustrations is something I enjoy immensely. Are you self-taught, or did you attend art school? How long have you been working on art? I attended the University of West Florida and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design where I honed my skills in branding and illustration, but I have been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. I get the creative gene from my dad and both of my grandmothers and was blessed to grow up in a family and community that was always supportive of my artistic endeavors. I remember always making custom birthday cards for friends using whatever art supplies I had and drawing characters on banners for high school football games. I eventually found my way to my art and design career at UWF after switching majors from Environmental Science to Graphic Design. What is your creative process like? How long does a typical drawing take you? What kind of tools do you use for drawing? My creative process has changed over the last few years, especially since I acquired my iPad Pro. I typically worked in Photoshop and still love that program, but have also discovered Procreate where I can draw directly on my iPad screen to create an illustration. I still love to sketch directly on paper, though! Having a physical book of all of your ideas is super
satisfying, and I love the act of working and reworking a sketch. After I finish a sketch, I usually take a picture and place it within Procreate where I will move onto line art, color exploration, and then work in my details using brushes that differ depending on the project. Most of the brushes I use are from Retrosupply online, and I can’t recommend them enough! A typical illustration can take anywhere from 2 hours to a few days, depending on its level of detail or how much I’m wanting to experiment with the piece and subject matter. How do you “market” your art? For example, do you take commissions or do freelance work?
I do take commissions and accept freelance work! I have passions in both graphic design and illustration, so I love exploring jobs in both of those fields as part of my business. I especially cherish the jobs where the two combine forces such as with branding, t-shirt design, packaging and board game design. I also hope to take on more pet portrait commissions this year! I have plans to both open an online store selling prints and enamel pins and sell at conventions and local markets. Another way my art is put out into the world is through my job with Innisfree Hotels where I create works for the hospitality industry and local communities such as the From the Ground Up Garden.
DOWNTOWN Pensacola is home to many pet-friendly places. But with any city, there are laws dictating pets in public and private property. Recently, a bill floated through the Florida Senate that created backlash among dogowners. House Bill 243 stated that any non-service animals would no longer be allowed into dining establishments or places of business. While the bill wasn’t passed, it reminded Pensacola of laws that haven’t been strictly enforced. The Market on Palafox Street, open every Saturday, even put up signs during the event that strictly said, “Sorry, No Dogs Allowed.” While it appears the city of Pensacola is no longer turning a blind eye to previous laws restricting pets in public spaces, dog owners shouldn’t be wary of taking dogs out on the town. As said before, Pensacola is home to many pet friendly restaurants, activities, bars and breweries. However, due to growing concerns of COVID-19, these places can be enjoyed after we’re done social distancing. – by Josh McGovern
Downtown Nightlife It’s difficult to mention just one restaurant and destination in downtown Pensacola. While many places and shops don’t allow dogs to come inside, it’s hard to ignore the numerous outdoor seating areas on the sidewalks and under the cover of canopies. If leashed, a night downtown with your dog can be a fun experience. Grab a bite, get some ice cream and share a waffle cone with your dog. Take a walk down to Palafox Pier and have a look out at the water.
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O’Riley’s Pub One of the few Irish Pubs in Pensacola, O’Riley’s is an exciting place to be on game days. O’Riley’s atmosphere isn’t limited to inside. In fact, outside seating is often packed, with numerous tables and TVs on the sidewalk. Bringing a dog won’t separate owners from the excitement of the pub. Put a team spirited bandana on your dog’s collar, drink a Dublin Donkey and enjoy the outside atmosphere that makes O’Riley’s a popular bar and restaurant in downtown Pensacola.
Brew Ha Ha Brew Ha Ha: the brewery covered in beautiful art. Dog owners will recognize Brew Ha Ha from the postcard mural on the building’s side. Brew Ha Ha goes above and beyond and features a sandy dog porch for your dogs to play while you have lunch and drink a beer. It doesn’t get much better than this for you and your dog.
Perfect Plain One of few breweries listed, Perfect Plain features a designated dog patio where owners can
bring their dogs and sit and drink while looking out at Garden Street. A night out with friends can be accompanied by extra guests that walk on all fours without having to worry about not getting in with your dog.
Pensacola Bay Brewery No better way to wash down barbecue than with a cold beer. Pensacola Bay Brewery offers petfriendly seating areas, both indoor and outdoor, and water bowls for pets. Pensacola Bay Brewery
is located in the historic downtown, easy for walking with your dog, and is across the street from a park where you can bring your dog, as long as it is leashed and you clean up after it. Emerald Republic Brewing Co. If you're looking for an open space off the beaten path, Emerald Republic Brewing Co. is the place for you. Emerald Republic has a gated courtyard, so you won't have to worry about your pup running into danger. You can relax in a hammock with your
four-legged bestfriend, but be sure to keep your furbaby on a leash. Oar House There’s nothing quite like sitting at a wooden bar, polished to a shine, watching boats coast by on the water. Oar House captures a notable Florida on-the-water dining experience and allows dogs. Ask the waiter for a dog bowl and they’ll most likely give your dog refreshing water on a hot day.
Sound and games to play, allows pets in the outside dining area. The staff is more than willing to provide water to your dog.
Dog House Deli Dog House Deli serves delicious gourmet hotdogs and sandwiches with four dog-friendly tables outside the restaurant. Dog House has ‘dog’ in the name, and welcomes pets at any hour. Pet owners can enjoy lunch or dinner with the company of their dog beside them.
HO2 Pensacola HO2 offers a different kind of entertainment for tourists. At HO2, you can rent pontoon boats, paddle boards and kayaks. What makes HO2 pet friendly is it allows owners to bring their dogs along for any adventures. Although, some dogs might tip the paddle-
board at the first sight of a fish, so your best option may be going for a kayak or boat rental, something a little more secure for your dog.
Pensacola Beach Dog Park (East and West) Hearing Pensacola Beach
brings to mind sandy white beaches and tepid, calm water. Locals know these iconic white beaches, when they are barefoot and ready to swim. Designated on two ends of Pensacola Beach, the East and West dog parks allow open space for dogs to experience Pensacola’s beaches
with their owners. While your dog must remain leashed, the designated dog areas provide doggie bags and wipes, as well as trash bins.
Red Fish Blue Fish One dog, two dogs, all are welcome at Red Fish Blue Fish. The scenic restaurant known for fresh food and relaxed lawn seating with a view of the Santa Rosa
Hot Spot Barbecue Pulling up to Hot Spot Barbecue, you and your dog will smell smoker cooking up some of the best barbecue in Pensacola. Keep yourself from drooling, your dog won’t be able to. Another pet friendly spot close to downtown but off the beaten path. Summer days aren’t the same without the smell and taste of barbecue, but as hot as they can be, water and shade are provided to dogs when outside at the picnic tables.
DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 13
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The Perseverance of the Pensacola Poetry Scene
HEN TRACING THROUGH the history of the Pensacola poetry scene, the first word out of most local poets’ mouth is Sluggo’s. Sluggo’s was open for nearly 30 years across eight different locations, and it was partly a punk music venue, part vegan bar and restaurant and part performance art space. When the business shut its doors for the last time in 2016, it left a void in the art and music community, but it especially left the local poets without a gathering space. Today, the poetry scene in Pensacola has persevered and thrives throughout the
by Dakota Parks
city in several locations. To celebrate the National Poetry Month of April, we’ve taken a moment to talk to local poets and map out the open mics across the city. Charles McCaskill is a local poet, author of two poetry books and a staple leader of Pensacola Poetry. When Sluggo’s shut down, McCaskill took the initiative of finding a new space for the wayward poets to gather. Constant Coffee has been the home of the Pensacola Poetry open mics for the last three years—every Tuesday, rain or shine. “My favorite part is how con-
tagious the energy to create is. We've had people come, who say they aren't artists the first time, but then by the third time, they've written a poem based on something they heard at our event. Or someone struggling to put their grief or anger into words, becomes inspired to find those words in our space,” said McCaskill.
LOCAL POETRY NIGHTS
The poetry nights at Constant Coffee have a revolving door of visitors from open mic newbies, first-time readers, regular attendees and poetry scene veterans—those who have been around from the very beginning. Even the regulars agree that Constant is one of the most forgiving venues, and the best spot in town to try out new poems or get on the mic for the first time.
Night Moves Sunday nights from 6-8 p.m.
“Our open mic style is very casual and laid back,” said McCaskill. “We are a diverse collection of people. I was born and raised here—all 31 years of my life, and I've never seen an artistic space so diverse in this city. Across age, across ethnicity, across belief. People who have shared at our events represent the wide variety of lives in Pensacola— in a way that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else here.” While the Constant Coffee poetry nights remain a constant and a much-needed backbone to the poetry community, the poetry nights at Dolce & Gelato are shaking up the typical open mic experience.
Constant Coffee every Tuesday from 6-8pm. (Follow Pensacola Poetry for updates) Dolce & Gelato one a month; usually on the third Thursday from 7-10 p.m.
Open Books fundraising open mics (Follow on social media for dates) Music Open Mics also friendly to poets Waterboyz Thursdays from 7-11 (Will resume in the summer) Goat lips Chew & Brewhouse Monday, Thursday and Sunday starting around 7 Asia Samson is a full-time poet, performer, slam poetry coach and regular host of the Dolce & Gelato poetry nights. Samson has been writing poetry since his childhood and started touring the country in 2006 performing poetry in the college circuits. He moved to Pensacola in 2012 from his hometown in Miami and quickly fell into rhythm with the local poetry scene. “Compared to Miami, Pensacola is quieter, the city is smaller, and the people still have a love for poetry—I just had to
find them,” said Samson. “The poetry community here is so pure and supportive compared to bigger cities where it’s competitive and cliquish.” Samson curates a lineup of local and visiting poets for the monthly poetry nights at Dolce & Gelato. While they still keep to the traditional roots and keep the microphone open for pop-up poetry, as Samson explained, curating a poetry set allows them to showcase poets and host themed nights like LGBT+ and teen night. “Across our society, we’re constantly on our phones, we’re constantly on social media and we’re constantly distracted. Poetry breaks that,” said Samson. “You’re forced to come into a venue, put your phones down and listen to somebody talk. It’s important to have that community space where we can sit down and share opinions, thoughts, feelings—even if we have differing opinions, we can educate one another and learn from each other. At one point, none of us liked poetry. If people just came to these poetry slams and local poetry nights, they might fall in love with it too.” Pensacola is home to a wide variety of poetry rich venues— all of which are free, welcoming and showcase the wide variety of people across our city. Poetry is often stigmatized as a confusing and flippant hobby, but the local poets in Pensacola pour their hearts out weekly and tackle a wide variety of issues that almost any attendee can relate to. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 15
Beers and Frankfurts Global Corner & Emerald Republic Team up for Frülingfest by Sean Williams If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good lager. Germany is known for its hearty food and even heartier beer, but it’s hard to find the “real thing” somewhere as far away from Germany as Pensacola. Thankfully, The Global Corner is hosting its own Frülingsfest, a German festival sometimes called the “Spring Oktoberfest,” this April to bring that “real thing” to town with traditional food, beer, music and more. The Global Corner and Pensacola’s Emerald Republic Brewing Company are teaming up to hold a German-styled cultural festival on April 24 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Being called a “Spring Oktoberfest,” this event aims to celebrate German culture by providing guests with authentic German food alongside a oneof-a-kind lager brewed just for this event by Emerald Republic. Tickets will cost $50 each or $90 for a pair of them beforehand and $60 at the door with around 100 spots available.
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Vanessa Mayes, the director of The Global Corner, says that this event will be one of two held each year. “These fundraisers come with the goal of educating the community about world cultures with one country being featured each year,” says Mayes. “This year, Global Corner has taught over 6,000 children in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties about Germany and hopes to bring a taste of this European country to Pensacola with Frülingsfest.” The Global Corner is a notfor-profit organization that works to educate children across the Pensacola community about other countries, languages and cultures. For the last 13 years, The Global Corner has continually visited elementary schools to highlight the intricacies of cultures from around the world. Since 2008, the Global Corner has shown more than 75,000 of its “virtual international adventures” of countries like Italy, Kenya, Japan and more.
“We bring the geography, language, art, music, dance, and stories of a day in the lives of children from a particular country,” Mayes explains. “Our two-and-a-half hour in-school immersion program expands children’s horizons and opens their hearts and minds to promoting global competency and nurturing cultural appreciation.” Mayes says that, with local schools teaching geography less and less, if at all, The Global Corner opens the door for students to learn about the world in ways they otherwise would not be able. “The Global Corner meets a need in the learning gap that exists in social studies education,” says Mayes. Frülingsfest will be an extension of these efforts by bringing The Global Corner’s mission to adults. While attendees won’t be able to experience the “virtual adventures” shown to elementary students, they will be treated to delicious, traditional German food and beer. More than that, Frülingsfest will be a fundraiser for The Global Corner’s efforts in the classroom. The proceeds will go toward funding The Global Corner’s educational programs and curriculum for next year. Phil Zayas, owner and brewer of the Emerald Republic Brewing Company is excited to host Frülingsfest
alongside The Global Corner. Emerald Republic will provide both a space for the event and a specially crafted beer typical for a traditional Frülingsfest. “They approached the brewery about hosting the fundraiser and making an authentic German beer, so that is what we’re doing,” says Zayas. “Even though we have two different mission state-
“Even though we have two different mission statements: we make beer and they make kids smarter, we found that we’re a good fit for this year’s event.”
ments: we make beer and they make kids smarter, we found that we’re a good fit for this year’s event.”
Zayas explained that a “helles” is a traditional lager for a German Frülingsfest. Typically, a helles is reserved for late spring or early summer, so it will fit right in with Pensacola. Emerald Republic will have plenty of beer to go around, and Global Corner will bring along its own selection of German food. “Typically, in Frülingsfest, there’s a few different types of beers like a Maibock, pilsners and helles, which are actually pretty popular for Frülingsfest. We’ll have helles, which is a German white lager. It’s crisp and something that can be drunk in the summer heat,” said Zayas. As for the décor, Zayas is leaving it up to Global Corner “I’m leaving the German décor to someone who knows Germany a lot better than me. Global Corner will be decking out the facility with traditional German decorations.” This year’s Frülingsfest will likely see other breweries around Pensacola hosting their own German brews, but only the Global Corner’s fundraiser offers the truest German experience. Food, beer and more will all come together that night to provide a glimpse into what a typical German festival really looks like. For more information, visit theglobalcorner.org or call (850)-332-6404.
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Oldies but Goodies The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet by Gina Castro photo by Guy Stevens
20 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
Did you know that puppies and kittens are more likely to get adopted than senior pets? That’s kind of old news, but it’s true. Everyone knows that if you are going to adopt a new furbaby, it’s most likely not going to be a senior pet. But what’s so great about puppies and kittens? Sure, they are cute, clumsy little things, but they typically aren’t potty trained and can sometimes ruin clothes, furniture and anything in between. While senior pets, on the other hand, have already been there, done that.
The majority of senior pets are potty trained and calmer than the average puppy or kitten. Unfortunately, there are quite a few misconceptions stacked against senior pets. The first being that senior pets require more work than puppies and kittens. “Some people are afraid to adopt seniors because they automatically assume that the pet is going to come with a bucket load of health problems,” Lauren Cappas, volunteer coordinator at Pensacola Humane Society (PHS), said. “We have some senior dogs that are perfectly healthy and probably run faster than most puppies.” Dogs are classified as seniors at just age six, and cats are considered seniors at age eight. Unfortunately, Cappas explained that pets as young as two years old have issues getting adopted since they’ve outgrown their puppy or kitten phase. As of March 23, the PHS has a total of six senior dogs and seven senior cats. The majority of its senior pets are in good health, and fortunately, PHS has been a no-kill shelter for the past 35 years. However, one of the dogs, Roxy, has heartworms, which are being treated. None of PHS’s senior pets require a hefty list of medications and none of the animals have any physical issues that could prevent them from being your new best friend. Of course there is the common phrase “You can’t teach
“They are experienced, nice, calm and so full of love. They are like a really good whiskey.” an old dog new tricks,” which funny enough, isn’t true about dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are never too old to be trained. In fact, Cappas said that older pets have better attention span than puppies or kittens, which makes it easier for them to learn new tricks. Older pets typically already know basic tricks and commands like “sit,” “down” and “come.” So, you wouldn’t have to worry about teaching your senior pet basic tricks on top of newer tricks like “high five” or running alongside you. Another misconception is that senior pets end up in animal shelters because of their history of bad behavior. Cappas said that there isn’t just one answer for how these animals end up in shelters. “You don’t know why they are in the shelter,” Cappas said. “They could have been with a family for eight plus years, and now they are with us, or they could have been taken from an abusive situation and now they are living shelter to shelter.” Cappas explained that some families have to relinquish their pet(s) because of financial issues.
Despite the situations these pets come from, each one of these senior pets is ready to find its forever home, or “furever home” as PHS calls it. “They are experienced, nice, calm and so full of love. They are like a really good whiskey,” Cappas said with a laugh.
Come meet your new (old) best friend
Much like aged whiskey, senior pets’ extra years are only a bonus. Each of these pets come with its own personality and adorable quirks. If you are not ready to adopt, you can still be a friend to these seniors through the PHS foster program. PHS is always looking for foster volunteers in the Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Milton areas. PHS’s need for foster volunteers is even greater now because of the COVID-19. To find out if you are eligible to foster, visit www.pensacolahumane.org/foster. Due to concerns of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), moving forward the Pensacola Humane Society (PHS) asks for the public to limit groups touring the PHS facility to two people at a time. PHS’s dogs and cats are still looking for their furever families, so PHS is doing everything they can to remain open to the public and continue adoptions and fostering. PHS’s hours of operation remain Tuesday- Saturday, 12-5, and Sunday 1-4.
Big Mack Adult, Male 70 lbs.
Adult, Male 68 lbs.
Senior, Female 8.6 lbs.
Female, Senior 54 lbs.
Adult, Female 13 lbs.
Senior, Female 10 lbs.
DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 21
Pensacola Businesses Adapt to COVID-19
by Gina Castro
Businesses all across the nation have had to adapt every week, if not daily, to adhere to the protocols regarding COVID-19. On March 17, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered that all bars and nightclubs closed immediately. Shortly thereafter, the City of Pensacola ordered all restaurants to offer only delivery and take out and for movie theatres, bowling alleys and businesses alike to close indefinitely. The City announced that events as far out as May 10 are canceled. Although the safety of the eldery and the immunocompromised are of utmost concern, local businesses, business owners and employees are struggling to keep business flowing. 22 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
“We’ve been asked, as every bar and restaurant in the community has, to either shut down or completely change our business model overnight. It causes anxiety from top to bottom,” DC Reeves, owner of Perfect Plain and Garden & Grain, said. In an effort to help Pensacola businesses, the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) partnered with businesses to offer a curbside pickup service. Businesses can be added to DIB’s curbside pickup list by emailing dibmerchants@ideaworks. co. The Pensacola Chamber of Commerce created two Facebook pages to help local businesses spread the word about what services they are able to offer during
this pandemic. The Facebook groups are Pensacola Take Out & Delivery Options Amid COVID-19 and Retail & Small Business Offers Amid COVID-19. The Mayor of Pensacola Grover Robinson announced on March 23 that he will be donating his $100,000 salary during the pandemic to the city’s sanitation department and Pensacola Energy to help those struggling to pay bills. “What I wanted to communicate to you is I’m not afraid. If I was afraid for myself, I would be doing something to retain that (salary),” Robinson said. “I’m not going to ask you to lose your salary if I’m not willing to do the same at this particular time.”
Many businesses and employees in the area are feeling the economic impact of the pandemic. Tina Crowell, the owner of Ciao Bella Boutique and Salon, said that her retail store has been dealing with COVID-19 since the beginning of January. When Crowell was told by her vendors in China that their facilities were closed due to the virus, Crowell was worried about running out of merchandise, so she bought enough merchandise from her vendors in LA to get her through April, which took a great amount of capital. “Then as the virus spread and came to the US and panic sent in, the last thing people wanted was to shop and traffic got slower,” Crowell explained. Her boutique is now closed until further notice, but her online store is available at shopthebella.com, which will be offering free shipping until May 21. “Such uncertain times for us all. However, we are proud of our town and have faith that the commu-
nity will continue to support each other,” Crowell said. The owner of Kingfisher Craft Sandwiches Brian Kaderavek said that his business saw a 75 percent drop in sales the weekend before March 23, which is the date the city ordered restaurants to do to-go orders only. “We’re really happy to be established in the year and the half that we were open before this happened because we have a lot of regulars who have been supporting us,” Kaderavek said. “We’re concerned about the staff. We’re trying to give them as many hours as possible and help them if they need to file for unemployment.” Kingfisher is offering take out for its full menu. Since Kingfisher’s sales have dropped, Kaderavek has had to make the tough decision to cut his staff by 50 percent. Kaderavek and his wife are doing their best to give their staff additional hours by having their employees renovat-
ing and cleaning the building and updating the menu.
“Right now, it’s not about adapting to increase sales. It’s about changing our methods to operate as safe for us and the public as possible and, hopefully, continuing to do enough business to stay afloat.”
A major concern for the majority of these businesses is their employees. Jason Taylor, the owner of the East Hill Barbershop, tried to keep his employees working by doing outdoor house calls, but after two days, Taylor realized that though being outdoors slimmed down the risk of exposure, these house calls could pote ntially prolong this pandemic. So, the barbershop stopped all cuts. “It was the most difficult decision I have had to make since opening the shop,” Taylor said. “It affects not just the fellas who work in the shop but their families as well. It’s heart-wrenching.” Although closed temporarily, East Hill Barbershop is selling gift certificates online at vagaro.com/easthillbarbershop/ gift-certificates. Perfect Plain has been selling hand sanitizer, crowler cans, bottled beers, and packaged margaritas and other cocktails on the curb. “Our focus is to withstand and maintain our business as long as we can to keep our employees employed. We have not laid anybody off,” Reeves said. “We’re trying to support our people the best we can, but our community has certainly made it a lot easier for us.” Perfect Plain has sold hundreds of hand sanitizers throughout the community, which 100 percent of proceeds go to the brewery’s staff. Perfect Plain also do-
nated hand sanitizer to the Pensacola Police Department, Covenant Hospice, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and the Baptist Home Health Care, to name a few. Reeves is also donating all proceeds from his Save Pensacola Beer t-shirts to employees in need from any Pensacola brewery. The shirts cost $31.18 each and
are available for presale at perfectplain.com and eventually curbside pickup. If you, or someone you know, work at a Pensacola brewery and are in need, email DC@perfectplain.com. “That grant money isn’t just for Perfect Plain employees,” Reeves said. “This is about helping people's lives.” Businesses that have always been a to-go food model are
also experiencing a slow business. Randy Russell, the owner of the food truck Nomadic Eats, said that he feels very lucky to already be a to-go restaurant, but he has noticed that business has slowed down. “Right now, it’s not about adapting to increase sales,” Russell said. “It’s about changing our methods to operate as safe for us and the public as possible and, hopefully, continuing to do enough business to stay afloat.” A fair number of businesses are taking advantage of the Internet and social media to help them stay afloat. Physical trainers Sherilyn Sperling-Charvat, owner of Tiwala Fitness, and Tuck Massey, owner of Tuck Training, have been offering online fitness classes and at-home workouts to avoid spreading COVID-19. “In order to stop the
spread, it takes trainers, like myself, to be responsible about training their clients and where they are training their clients during these uncertain times,” SperlingCharvat said. Check out their Instagrams to see how you can train with them online: @Tiwala_Fitness and @TuckTraining. Local artists are working around social distancing by creating online art galleries to showcase their work. Artist Kreg Yingst said that he makes 95 percent of his income from art festivals, which have all been canceled or rescheduled for the fall. “I’ve brought the art festival indoors as a virtual exhibition where people can view snapshots of the art gallery,” Yingst said. “I’ve invited many of my friends, who are in the same predicament, with the hopes of generating greater interest for all.” You can view Yingst’s virtual exhibition on his Facebook page @kregyingst and his Etsy page etsy. com/shop/kkyingst. You can also view Pensacola Museum of Art’s online exhibits at pensacolamuseum.org. A pandemic has hit our world, nation and community. Now is the time for us to all do our part by taking social distancing seriously and, if you are financially capable, shopping locally. Stay safe, Pensacola.
MILITARYMATTERS AN ARMED FORCES NEWS SECTION
PENSACOLA STATE COLLEGE SALUTED AS MILITARY FRIENDLY SCHOOL by Troy Moon Once again, Pensacola State College has been acknowledged as a top school for military veterans.
programs that assist veterans are Veterans Student Support Services and Veterans Upward Bound.
PSC was named one of 625 “Military Friendly Schools” for 2020-2021 by VIQTORY, a veteran-owned company that connects former military members to civilian employment and educational opportunities.
“With nearly 20 percent of our total enrollment either veterans and their dependents or active duty personnel and their dependents, it’s extremely important for us to let the military community know that we have scholarships, special support services, grants – there’s a whole litany of services – that are here to help them succeed and move forward,’’ said PSC President Ed Meadows.
This is the eleventh consecutive year that VIQTORY has named Pensacola State College as a Military Friendly school. In November, Pensacola State was named one of the 2020 “Best for Vets Schools” by the Military Times. “This community loves veterans,’’ said Bill Tice, director of the college’s Veterans Student Support Services. “Pensacola State College is very pro-military. We’re fortunate to have two TRIO programs that focus specifically on veterans.” TRIO is a federally-funded initiative that includes eight programs targeted at specific demographics. PSC’s TRIO 24 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
VIQTORY rates schools as “Military Friendly” based on six criteria: Academic Policies and Compliance; Admissions and Orientation; Culture and Commitment; Financial Aid and Assistance; Graduation and Career; and Military Student Support and Retention. PSC exceeded standards in all six categories. The college scored best on “Culture and Commitment,’’ with the college rating exceeding the “Military Friendly”
benchmark standard by nearly 95 percent. “I think this award is indicative of the success of the students with military affiliations that attend Pensacola State College, whether they are active duty, veterans, or dependents of someone with an affiliation,’’ said Michael Johnston, the College’s executive director of Institutional Research. “Our military students achieve great success while being enrolled, they have impressive graduation rates and have no studentloan debt. This allows them to enter the workforce or advance in their current roles with a quality education.” Because of the relationship of Northwest Florida to the military, PSC offers numerous services to help active duty military, veterans and military dependents to succeed: • Specific mentoring/onboarding programs for new military/veteran students • Formal mentoring or advising program in which faculty or staff members who are current or former members of the military mentor students who are military service members or veterans • A minimum of three fulltime veteran counselors or advisors on staff. • Student Veterans Association (SVA), which is on campus, for military service members or veterans
• Career planning services for military service members or veterans
• Assistance in integrating with non-veteran groups and services on campus
• Training of staff to support military/veteran students
• Transition assistance
• Academic support/tutoring • Academic advising • Study skills workshops • Financial aid counseling • Career planning services • Assistance in finding workstudy opportunities • Assistance in finding nonwork study employment
• Accommodations for military students with disabilities. Meadows said it is important for Pensacola State to earn the “Military Friendly” designation “because of the number of military that we have in our area and the number of veterans who have retired to Pensacola and Northwest Florida.”
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PENSACOLA NATIVE SERVES ON U.S. NAVAL FORCES SOUTHERN COMMAND/U.S. FOURTH FLEET STAFF
that foster regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central, and South American regions.
By Lt. Lily Hinz
“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
Five years ago, Petty Officer 2nd Class Laurin Robinson, a native of Pensacola, Florida, joined the Navy because she wanted to carry on her grandfather’s legacy and is now serving on the staff of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet. Robinson is an information systems technician (IT) who is responsible for network administration, database management and computer hardware and software implementation. “I love being an IT because the skills acquired in the rate are translatable and relevant,” said Robinson. Robinson is 2010 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. According to Robinson, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Pensacola.
26 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM
“You have to choose to either work hard to make something of yourself or opt to fall to peer pressure and become stagnant," said Robinson. "In the end, you must own up to the life you choose." With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships
According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.
Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and career, Robinson is most proud of accomplishing a seven-month deployment, in 2016, aboard the USS Roosevelt (DDG-80). “That deployment tested my skills not only as an IT, but as a true sailor," said Robinson. "We faced many challenges that tested everything I had learned from my time in recruit training through “A” school, and pushed me to retain and apply valuable knowledge quickly." For Robinson, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down
Laurin Robinson photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anna-Liesa Hussey
from generations and one she hopes to continue. “My grandfather served as a cook in World War II and he stayed in the Navy for 28 years,” said Robinson. “I love that I am able to carry on his legacy.” As a member of the U.S. Navy, Robinson, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing un-
forgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow. “To me, serving in the Navy means selflessness, adapting constantly to changing scenarios, and sacrifice,” said Robinson
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