Orange&Blue Fall 2017
Molly Donovan Editor-in-Chief
Mary-Lou Watkinson Art Director
Blog and Social Media Manager
Joshua Klafter Copy Editor
Nicole Irving Adviser
Photographers Savannah Austin Tamara Dobry Sammy Fadool Neosman Flores Maggie Spillane
Illustrators Amanda Price Savannah Austin 02
Cover Model: Triston Jefferson Photo By: Tamara Dobry Clothes courtesy of Sandy's Savvy Chic Resale Boutique
Letter from the Editor Orange & Blue Magazine has been around for years, but this time, we wanted to do things a little differently. When we realized there were only four of us putting this issue together, we knew we had our work cut out for us. But we tackled the challenge head-on, and every member of this team has given his or her very best to the following pages. Needless to say, it’s been a wild ride. And “wild” is the word we decided to focus on as the theme for our content, because when we thought about Gainesville, we realized it means so many things to so many people. Wild gets a bad rap, but just like the 352, the word is versatile. It’s embracing diversity and the things that make us who we are. It’s being uninhibited, free and open to new ideas and cultures. It’s trying crazy food (page 13), getting your first tattoo (page 55) and embracing your identity in a new age of openness and acceptance (page 29). Wild looks different for everyone, but despite its old, infamous reputation, wild is good. As you read these stories about the people, places and things that make Gainesville wild, we challenge you to think about what wild means in your own life. Love the things that make you different, and never try to hide them from the world. Take a walk on the wild side, because you never know what you might find.
Thank You We would like to thank our amazing adviser Nicole Irving, Ted Spiker, Diane McFarlin, Spiro Kiousis, Martha Collada and Hal Herman. We extend a huge thank you to our fantastic photographers Savannah Austin, Tamara Dobry, Sammy Fadool, Neosman Flores, Maggie Spillane, and our illustrators, Savannah Austin and Amanda Price. Also, a huge thank you to our cover model, Triston Jefferson. Orange & Blue is published semiannually by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications students enrolled in Applied Magazines. This issue was printed by StorterChilds Printing, Inc. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any means without written permission. Orange & Blue is protected through trademark registration in the United States. Send letters to Box 118400 College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. 03
Food& Drink 6 Must-Try Cocktails in Gainesville Carbs Speak Every Language Midtown vs. Downtown A Meatless Holiday
07 09 11 13
Health&wellness My Quest to Become Zen Via Reiki Healing Reviewing Apps to Help Your Mental Health Head Rush: The Aerial Yoga Experience
17 19 21
Fashion& Beauty Chasing Dreams and Dying Wool Beauty Products with Benefits Make Your Wardrobe Wild Living in a World Without Labels 04
23 25 27 29
Nature&Wildlife A Gainesville Safari: Your Wildlife Guide Bringing Ethical Fashion Full Circle Legacy in The Leaves A Gator in The Rough
35 37 41 43
Art& culture Just Getting Started: The Hails Paint on The Walls Stories That Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Fade Wild Imagination
47 51 55 59
Lifestyle& family A Gainesville Momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Night Out Morning Buns and Sweet Bread Wild Florida Laws
61 63 67 05
6 Must-Try cocktails in Gainesville By Molly Donovan
Photos by Savannah Austin
Freshen up your Friday night on the town by trying one of these tantalizing cocktails. Gin, vodka, tequila – we don’t discriminate. This list is full of colorful drinks available at local restaurants, because nothing says “Gainesville gem” like wild libations! Original American Kitchen / Spiked Sweet Tea Located in the heart of downtown, this joint is popular with students and locals alike. As far as drinks go, the most unique is the Spiked Sweet Tea. Priced under $10, it's loaded with Tito’s Vodka, Milagro Silver Tequila, Broker's Gin, Bayou Spiced Rum and Bulleit Rye Bourbon. It’s muddled with mint and homemade sour and mixed with – get this – sweet tea. Finally, it’s garnished it with honey and more mint. It’s the southerner’s take on a Long Island, and we’re all about it. The Swamp Restaurant / Swamp Juice This spot, which is right across from the University of Florida’s campus, is basically a landmark in our city and has been around since 1914. The cocktail menu varies depending on the specials the restaurant is running, but one drink that’s almost always available is the signature Swamp Juice, invented about 20 years ago. Prepared with Parrot Bay Coconut, raspberry rum, banana liqueur, a splash of pineapple and fresh lemon juice, this fruity drink will make you stand up and holler. Boca Fiesta / Jalapeno Margarita Another downtown favorite, Boca Fiesta is the place to go for your late-night burrito craving. Besides delicious drinks, this joint also serves a “weird meat of the month,” featuring things like alligator and kangaroo. If that’s not your vibe, stick with tequila and order the Jalapeno Margarita. Made with lime and
sweetened with 100 percent agave, the Jalapeno Marg adds a little spice into the mix. The combination of the zesty pepper and the tangy tequila is to die for. Blue Gill Quality Foods / Moonshine Lemonade Blue Gill is family owned and operated, and this place only serves the freshest food available from local farmers and vendors. It has a large selection of house-made cocktails, but the shining star is the Moonshine Lemonade. Available in three flavors (strawberry, blackberry or blueberry), the fruity moonshine is mixed with BG’s homemade lemonade for a concoction that will make you feel some type of way. The Social at Midtown / Lavender Bee’s Knees This bar opened for business last year to serve the 352 and prides itself on its amenities. The owners also love to brag about their cocktails, which are all made with fresh juice and homemade syrups. The Lavender Bee’s Knees is composed of Ford’s Gin, citrus and Social’s own lavender-honey syrup. Everything is fancier with lavender, so pinkies up when you drink this one. Loosey’s Bar & Table / Moroccan Martini Located in the heart of Haile Plantation, this place is famous for its burgers and brunch, which are two fine things to be famous for. As far as drinks go, the Moroccan Martini is a simple mix of Ketel One Oranje Vodka, lime, mint and simple syrup for a little sweetness – a fruity twist more fun than your basic cosmo. Sip one while you dine on one of Loosey’s weekend specials. Cheers, GNV!
carbs speak every language By Josh Klafter
Photos by Nicole Irving
When Huy Nguyen came to Gainesville in 2010, he had a vision. He saw Midtown, a strip of overabundant chains, and wanted change. He refused to be part of what had become the norm – original eateries coming and going as quickly as the students they serve. He acquired the building that would house his restaurant in 2009. With it, he was given a condition by the former owners. He could implement whatever changes he desired to the building’s facade, but he had to keep the staple breakfast menu that previously defined the popular diner. So Nguyen turned the restriction into the one thing that now defines the establishment. He combined the required breakfast fare with the traditional food of his Vietnamese culture, creating a cuisinal concoction that consistently delights the taste buds of Gainesville. Today, Bagels & Noodles stands as the longest-running non-chain restaurant in Midtown. “We are a family-oriented, homestyle diner – one of the few of its kind left,” said head waiter Toni Maultsby. Maultsby has been with Bagels & Noodles for almost seven years and has seen the growth of the eatery firsthand. She credits the restaurant's blend of traditional diner food with the stark originality of Vietnamese cuisine as the key to its success. But nothing comes without strings. Maultsby said there’s fear involved when a business is located in Midtown, one of the most volatile real estate positions for Gainesville restaurants. It is on
the minds of both the owner and the staff constantly. “Around here, you see business come and go,” Maultsby explained. Regardless of this fear, Bagels & Noodles has stood firmly near the corner of West University Avenue and Northwest 13th Street for seven years. The diner keeps a low profile among its Midtown compatriots with a bland exterior, but like a bagel with lox, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The restaurant provides a comfortable and homey, but overall traditional, dining atmosphere. This classic aesthetic serves as a potent juxtaposition to the sheer originality of the food combinations on which Nguyen prides himself. From the spicy breakfast burrito to the savory pho, dedication to the quality of the food is the cornerstone of the restaurant. It is for this reason that every single menu item is made fresh and in-house. Maultsby said the top-notch food is the reason for a consistent customer base at the popular eatery. The best part, she said, is seeing students come visit with their families, young and green, and watching them return and grow throughout their four years at the university. It’s the most rewarding aspect of being part of the Bagels & Noodles team. “The (parents) leave their children in our hands,” she said.
Your Go-to Guide: Midtown vs. Downtown By Josh Klafter
Photos by Maggie Spillane
Let’s set the scene: You’re getting ready to go out. You’ve showered and picked out an outfit, but everyone knows that where you go has a huge impact on what you choose to wear. Are you heading downtown for a night of casual drinking and banter or to Midtown to let loose and dance? Midtown vs. downtown is the age-old question among students and residents alike. Despite serving similar purposes in the community, the two are unique in both atmosphere and audience. Downtown: Something For Everyone If you’re under 21 and interested in the club scenes of Gainesville, downtown is probably not the best location for you. Despite a staggering variety of bars and clubs in the area, almost none are welcoming of individuals under the legal drinking age. However, if you are looking for fine dining, unique shops or exciting food, downtown has Midtown beat. From the massively portioned Crane Ramen to the vegan friendly The Top, downtown has all of your foodie needs covered. Furthermore, niche offerings in stores, clubs and bars see various sub-communities from Gainesville’s student and resident populations crawl out of the woodwork and celebrate their individuality. From the retro Arcade Bar to the abundantly stocked Arrow’s Aim Records, downtown has something for everyone. Midtown: The Difference is Night and Day Midtown’s food scene consists of traditional fast casual fare, which is perfect for a student on the go. With notable exceptions such as Bagels & Noodles
and Leonardo’s 706, familiar staple chains such as Jimmy John’s and Dunkin Donuts dominate the diet of Midtown-goers. This cheap, easy-to-consume food does come in handy after long nights of festive celebrations, which is perhaps what Midtown is most known for. Midtown is virtually synonymous with a cheap night of fun. Every Friday and Saturday, hundreds of college students flock to the strip for cheap alcohol, loud music and low cover charges. From the infamously seedy Balls to the always-crowded Fat Daddy’s, Midtown’s hotspots are iconic to most college students and alumni. Midtown modified its image after the closure of bars including Envy and Purple Porpoise to make way for The Social. The new joint helped turn Midtown’s reputation into one of a family-friendly strip mall by day, and a more restrictive, bar-dominated party center by night. The Social and Grog House Bar & Grill are currently the only Midtown establishments that allow students under 21 to enter. It is this differentiation that’s responsible for their booming success. Conclusion Midtown and downtown offer different options for daytime and nighttime fun. Downtown, with its variety in restaurant, bar and shop offerings, has something for members of all niche communities to enjoy with their friends or families. Midtown, on the other hand, while family friendly by day, becomes a college utopia by night. Proceed to party with that in mind.
a Meatless holiday: 7 Vegan Recipes the family will love By Orange & Blue Staff Photos by Sammy Fadool
Holiday meals are festive and fun, but sometimes turkey and stuffing gets a little bland. This year, consider mixing things up by transforming your table into a three-course vegan dream. Even hardcore carnivores will be sold by the colors and flavors in these recipes. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll satisfy every taste bud and bring the family together for tidings of comfort and joy.
maple syrup, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves Vinaigrette: 4 tbsp. olive oil, 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
THE FIRST COURSE 1. Eggplant Bacon: Ingredients Parchment paper, one eggplant, vegetable oil, honey, vegan soy sauce, garlic powder, liquid smoke Directions Preheat oven to 300 degrees. While it heats, cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into thirds, and slice each third into long strips. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder and liquid smoke. Place the eggplant slices onto baking sheets and cover both sides with sauce. Bake until the eggplant is cooked thoroughly and beginning to get crisp, or about 40-50 minutes.
Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sweet potatoes, pears, cranberries, olive oil and Himalayan salt. Add maple syrup, cinnamon and ground cloves, and mix again. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes. Remove the mixture from oven. Stir in the pecans. Place the mixture back in the oven, and bake for 8-10 more minutes. Next, prepare the vinaigrette. Add the ingredients to a food processor. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, and set aside until the end. To prepare the salad, add the spinach leaves and cabbage to a large serving bowl and drizzle lemon juice. Add the desired amount of vinaigrette and toss. Spoon the desired amount of sweet potato/pear mixture into each serving. THE MAIN EVENT
2. Roasted Sweet Potato and Pear Spinach Salad:
3. Chickpea Veggie Loaf:
Ingredients Salad: 4 cups of spinach, 1/3 head purple cabbage chopped, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Ingredients 1 tsp. coconut oil, 1/2 white onion chopped, 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper and carrots, 2 cans chickpeas, 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 2 to 4 tbsp. BBQ sauce, 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. chia seed meal, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper powder, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1/2 tsp. dried sage, 1 tsp. salt to taste, 1/2 cup or more breadcrumbs
Roasted Sweet Potato and Pear Mixture: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 large sweet potato chopped, 3 pears chopped, 1 cup cranberries, 1/3 cup raw pecans chopped, 2 tbsp. pure
Directions Add oil, onions, garlic and pinch of salt to hot skillet. Cook until translucent. Add zucchini and peppers, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain chickpeas. In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, cilantro and half of the cooked veggie mixture. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Mix the chia seed meal into the bbq sauce & lemon juice in a small bowl. Add spices, the sauce mixture and leftover veggies to the beans bowl. Mix and add in breadcrumbs. If too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined loaf pan. Even it out and press well. Cover the loaf with parchment, bake it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Bake longer for taller loaf for crisper edges. 4. Mexi-Cranberry Sauce Ingredients 1 bag cranberries, 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 whole jalapeno, 2 tbsp. cilantro Directions Combine cranberries, OJ and sugar in a medium saucepan on the stove. When it starts to boil, turn to simmer and pop the berries against the side of the pan with a spoon. Cool, and then add jalapenos and cilantro. Use to garnish the veggie loaf.
6. Nicoise Salad Ingredients Salad: 1 lb. small purple potatoes, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. black pepper, 2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt, 1 lb. thin green beans, 20 baby tomatoes, 1/2 cup black or Kalamata olives, 1/4 purple onion, 2 tbsp. capers, 1/4 cup basil leaves, 1/4 cup rosemary Dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. lime juice, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 small clove garlic (minced), 1 chopped scallion, 1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt, 2 tbsp. Umeboshi paste Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice potatoes into halves. Mix with oil, pepper and salt. Pour contents into a glass baking pan. Cook for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4 minutes. Drain beans and plunge in cold water. Once cool, cut into 2-inch lengths and add to potatoes. Add tomatoes, capers, olives and chopped onion to the potato-and-bean mixture. For the dressing, blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Toss into the salad mixture. Garnish with basil leaves and rosemary. DESSERT
5. Sweet Potato Casserole
7. Chocolate Mint Cake
Ingredients 5 large sweet potatoes, 1 1/2 tbsp. vegan butter, 1 tbsp. canola oil, 2 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. fine grain salt, 2 bags vegan marshmallows
Ingredients Cake: 2 cups almond milk, 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce, 2/3 cup canola oil, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 cups flour, 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 bag peppermints
Directions Peel and chop potatoes into large chunks. Place into a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and boil for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-cup casserole dish and set aside. Once cooked and drained, place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Mash the potatoes with butter and canola oil until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Adjust to taste if desired. Spoon into the casserole dish and smooth. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle vegan marshmallows on top and put the casserole back in the oven until the marshmallows are golden brown on top.
Frosting: 1 cup vegan butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/4 cup almond milk Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray. Mix milk and vinegar in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla and applesauce, and beat until foamy. Add dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix with other ingredients while beating. Divide batter evenly between two pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before frosting. Prepare frosting by beating together all ingredients until light and fluffy, adding the powdered sugar in small amounts until you reach desired consistency. Once cooled, frost and crumble peppermint on top to garnish.
My quest to become zen via reiki healing By Jennifer Jenkins
Photos by Maggie Spillane
I lie on a massage table with my eyes closed, inhaling the scents of green tea and incense that hang in the air as the Reiki master cups her hands around my ears and lays crystals on my back. Reiki, a healing method focused on the energy passing through a person and the chakras* to connect one more to his or her spiritual self, is said to erase the barriers hindering a person mentally, emotionally or physically. Having originated thousands of years ago in Japan, “Reiki” means “divine life force.” A Buddhist monk, Mikao Usui, rediscovered it in the early 1920s. Since then, it has traveled through Japan and beyond, giving rise to Reiki masters across the world. Rev. Sunemaura O’Brien, of Sacred Earth Ministry at 2606 NW Sixth St., started practicing Reiki 19 years ago. As she continued to pursue it, she noticed that she “saw colors and images” around her clients when she talked to them. O’Brien honed this psychic ability by drawing pictures of the energy fields she observed upon each healing. Stress definitely consumes a chunk of my mind. I manage a full course load, work and internships, all while trying to maintain an 80 percent plant-based diet (which mainly consists of PB & J and lattes). Hence, I find myself meeting O’Brien at her practice on a Tuesday morning. After discussing my purpose for seeking Reiki, she instructs me to take off my shoes and lie on a purple massage table with pillows at each end. Waterfall sounds flow from a white-noise machine, and flute music with solfeggio frequencies tangos through the room as I try to silence the noise in my mind. O’Brien drapes a thin red blanket on top of me, says a prayer and clears the air with a vibrational essential mist, “which
helps clear and balance your energy,” she says. As a shamanic Reiki healer, she mixes elements of nature with traditional Reiki. She stands at the crown of my head and slides her arms under the pillow, instructing me to breathe deeply in and out. For the next 10 minutes, she places her hands on different points of my energy field “that need work.” Every so often, I hear the whistling sound of O’Brien inhaling deeply and a whoosh as she exhales. She says she is gathering up “disharmonious energy…and, poof, breathing it out.” After this, a faint breeze whispers over me as her hands hover above me from head to toe several times; she then cups my feet and chants ancient healing words. When I sit up, O’Brien presses down on my shoulders, explaining that she is connecting me with the earth, closing the session by giving thanks to the divine. By this point, I do feel more relaxed. But a few hours later, this feeling dissolves as my mind races to keep track of the responsibilities that tumble back into my consciousness. For relaxation alternatives, O’Brien suggests yoga, sound therapy and spending time in nature to connect spiritually. A few days later, I decide to run through the rolling San Felasco trails to give the nature approach a spin. After crashing through a swarm of bugs and discovering a spider on my forehead, I take a mini hiatus from the wilderness scene. So for now, in my quest to develop my chi, I sign up for a yoga class. *Points of energy that correspond to nerve centers in the body.
reviewing apps to help your mental health
Photos courtesy of Uni – Magic AI Friend, Buddha Board, Pacifica and Headspace.
By Mary-Lou Watkinson
One thing that should not be wild is your mental health. Over the years, the issue has become more prevalent in our culture, which is a stride toward acceptance and change. With that, apps that aim to help people with daily life stresses have been released. When you think of mental health, most people recommend staying away from technology, especially social media. Using technology to your advantage, however, can have incredible benefits on mental health. We tested 10 apps that claim to help improve your mental state. Here are the best and worst two. 1. Headspace – Free with optional payments to unlock more content Headspace promotes meditation, relaxation and an overall stress-free life. The free portion of the app is a 10-day introduction to meditation with a guide that takes you through the proper steps to clear your head. The rest of the app is available through a monthly payment of $12.99 or a one-time charge of $399.99. You then unlock all the content on the app, which includes sessions on anxiety, stress, anger, relationships, productivity and more. Overall, the content is great, and the app is easy to use and navigate. 2. Pacifica – Free with optional payments to unlock more content This has a lot to offer. When you first open the app, it asks you how you feel. You can rank your mood on a scale from great to awful and then explain more in depth why you feel this way (stressed, tired, depressed, etc.). The app also features a community where you can talk to others about techniques to
deal with stress, goals to accomplish, inspirational quotes and various meditation options. Pacifica is free, but to unlock all of the content you need to pay $5.99 a month or a one-time charge of $199.99. I recommend this app to anyone looking for a little extra help in their day-to-day life. 3. Uni – Magic AI Friend – Free Do you ever wish you could just talk with a friend about what’s bothering you? Uni is a chatbot, which basically means you can talk to it, and it will generate a response back. The concept is strange, and this app fell short for me. It has a few other features besides talking, such as stories Uni will tell to help motivate you. I think these features are a good idea, but whenever I tried to talk to Uni about how I was feeling, it kept asking if I wanted it to tell me a story. I ended up still feeling like I needed to talk to someone about what was bothering me. Plus its sentences are grammatically incorrect, so who wants to go through the pain of reading that? 4. Buddha Board – Free Everyone loves a good Buddha board. You get to paint a beautiful masterpiece and watch it disappear as it dries, which is somehow relaxing. Naturally, having a Buddha board on your phone sounds like a great idea, right? That’s what I thought, but unfortunately, this app is a complete bust. It freezes up and doesn’t allow you to paint at all. Overall, while it seems helpful and is completely free, the fact that the app doesn’t even work completely defeats the purpose. Steer clear – it’s not worth your time and will only increase your stress levels, not help you manage them.
Head Rush: The Aerial Yoga Experience By Molly Donovan and Jennifer Jenkins Photos by Neosman Flores
Yoga on the floor is so last year. On a chilly Thursday morning in Gainesville, we woke up before the sun and headed to Flow Space for an aerial yoga class. The studio is a favorite for 352 yogis for its wide variety of special classes like Harry Potter and kitten yoga (complete with actual kittens). Behind the check-in space, a huge, open room full of natural light is where the magic happens. The studio was vacant except for the four students and the instructor. Neither of us had ever done aerial before, so for the sake of wild workouts, we gave it a try. Here’s what we thought: Molly: My first impression of aerial yoga? This stuff is hard. The tricks and lifts require upper body and core strength that I had to find deep within myself (and with a little help from the instructor). The long, purple material hung in a U shape from the ceiling, and the advice we heard the most was “trust the fabric.” That’s easier said than done when you’re hanging upside down swinging back and forth like a clock’s pendulum, though. Transitioning between each trick, I tried to channel my inner team USA gymnast but ended up looking like a limp noodle. For one trick, the instructor had us sit on the floor with the fabric held out in front of us. We had to use our core and legs to kick off the ground, propel around the fabric and fall into the “hip hold” position upside down. It took four tries for me to accomplish it.
My favorite part was the end, called savasana, where you get to lie in the fabric and take a mini nap while the instructor walks around and sprays essential oil in the air. Jennifer: Over the summer, a tarot card reader pulled a starfish card from her deck, explaining that it meant I could recover from anything, as their limbs grow back when they break off. I didn’t know her words would translate so literally as I sat sprawled out in a starfish position in a purple sash suspended from the ceiling. I failed to spiral down correctly, I see, as the instructor encouraged me to hoist myself back into position – falling backward into the sash, weaving my legs around from the back to the front, and then using what feeble arm strength I could muster to pull myself back up. When it came time for me to twist down to the right, ideally like a vivacious burlesque dancer, the guy taking the class next to me (clearly a regular) offered to spot me. “At least I’m in the back, right?” I thought. The instructor gave me a thumbs-up and a smile when I finally wiggled my way back down to the bottom of my sash. At the end, I felt pleasantly relaxed and moderately sore. Despite my awkward tendencies and lack of fitness, I really enjoyed aerial yoga and will likely go again. It’s a full-body workout and combines the strength component with coordination and flexibility, which I love.
Chasing Dreams and Dyeing Wool By Jennifer Jenkins
Illustration by Savannah Austin
“Sorry if it smells like sheep,” Jena Counts said when she welcomed me into her Palatka home. On the stove behind her, wound wool strips – dreadlocks in the making – bathed in a boiling pot of water. “We have (the dreadlock making process) down to a science, now,” Counts said, “but it used to take a lot longer.” Counts had to adapt to a quicker pace in fall 2016 when her hobby led her to New York City, where she created 12,500 yards of dreadlocks for the Marc Jacobs spring ready-to-wear fashion show as part of New York Fashion Week. Her dreadlocks topped on the heads of Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid and 77 more models who donned electric, rave-punk outfits on the runway.
She had only been selling on Etsy for about six months when she received a message from hair stylist Benjamin Muller, then assistant to the global Redken creative stylist, Guido Palau. She sent him samples of her colorful confections for an undisclosed project. Leading up to the big reveal, a messenger flew from New York, drove to Palatka, picked up the samples and took them back to NYC. Three weeks before the show, Palau told her the dreadlocks would be used for Marc Jacob’s SS‘17 show. When Counts, her daughter and her assistant Britney got to the city, they set up shop in a SoHo apartment. The trio and 10 assistants dyed 12,500 yards of dreadlocks in 24 hours.
Counts said it all started when she was surfing the web for new needle felting crafts to try and stumbled upon images of colorful dreadlocks.
The press from the show created a wave of new orders from designers, celebrities, brands and people who just want some funky dreads to braid into their hair. Counts has just begun producing a collection for another fashion designer based in Milan.
“I thought ‘Those are beautiful, I can do that.’”
“I can’t tell you (who it is),” she said with a smile.
Counts never considered selling the dreadlocks until her daughter, Skylor, told her that she should list them on eBay. The batch she posted sold out in 10 minutes. Inspired by the eBay success, she started her own Etsy shop, “DreadlocksByJena.”
Will she move to New York City? Maybe one day, she said.
“My husband would sometimes…just roll his eyes. He would say ‘What are you doing? A woman from Florida boiling wool…’” Counts said, “and I would say, ‘One day, I’m going to be famous for these dreads.’”
Until then, she looks forward to her grandbaby who is on the way, cherishing time with her family in Palatka. But one thing remains certain: Whether in New York City, Milan or Palatka, Counts will continue to write her own narrative. She chuckled, “(My husband) doesn’t roll his eyes at me anymore.”
Beauty Products with Benefits By Mary-Lou Watkinson Photos by Emily Purvis
Around the world, about 200,000 animals die every year from cosmetic testing, according to Humane Society International. Help animals, the environment and your body by adding these eco-friendly beauty items into your primping routine. 1. Badger Night-Night Balm $4.99 per 0.75 oz. tin at Cracker Barrel This product won’t put you immediately to sleep, but it will definitely help you unwind. It’s certified organic and has nine total ingredients, which create the relaxing scents of lavender and chamomile. It’s also cruelty free, non-gmo and comes in a recyclable tin that features a sleeping badger. With a great scent and smooth feel that protects your lips, you won’t want to miss out on this nighttime balm. 2. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask $15.99 per 2.0 fl oz. tube at Target Natural ingredients like charcoal, tomato, aloe and watermelon help fight acne while also treating the environment well. The product is paraben free as well, so it doesn’t include preservatives that can cause cancer. Coupled with the fact it is cruelty free and feels great on your skin, this is definitely one to have on your shelf. 3. Batiste Original Dry Shampoo $5.99 per 6.7 oz. can at Target Everyone has had those mornings when you wake
up, your hair’s a mess, but nonetheless, you’ve got to get out the door. Batiste’s dry shampoo is vegan and cruelty free, along with containing no parabens or sulfates, which can strip your hair of its natural oil and leave it more dried out than intended. This product also comes in a variety of scents and colors to match different shades of hair, such as blonde and brunette. This product is a must-have for those who are constantly on the go. 4. Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara $6.97 per tube at WalMart Mascara is a go-to of mine for days when I don’t feel like wearing a ton of makeup. Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara is one of the most eco-friendly mascaras out there. It is hypoallergenic, cruelty free, GMO free and more. The packaging is also 100 percent recyclable. This mascara is a stellar go-to for lazier days. 5. Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream $5.79 per 0.6 oz. tin at Target It’s easy for hands to dry out and for nails to suffer the consequences. Fortunately, Burt’s Bees has your back. Its natural cuticle cream will moisturize your fingertips, nails and cuticles overnight. The product has nine ingredients, is not tested on animals and has a pleasant citrus scent. If you’re having trouble with your nails or cuticles, then this natural cream is an exceptional option.
Make your wardrobe wild By Molly Donovan
Illustrations by Amanda Price
The Paris-born former fashion writer and editorin-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland, once said, “I’ve never met a leopard print I didn’t like.” We can’t help but agree. While the jury is still out on whether animal print is neutral, there’s no denying it spices up any wardrobe. Prints are not easily categorized. They’re bold and loud, which is the opposite of how most people dress these days. They also, however, pair with any color under the sun, which is more than can be said for other neutral colors and clothes in general. Essentially, it’s about your style, and winter is the best time to add animal print to your wardrobe. Gone are the days of zebra-print leotards and leg warmers. During the most recent New York Fashion Week, designer Heidi Klum said these are the days of leopard print loafers and overcoats. “My inspiration was New York City. New York City to me was always the urban jungle... In the jungle you find animals. You find leopards,” Klum said. “I feel like I can give women the opportunity to try and be a little wilder if they want to.” Animal prints demand to be seen and basically scream, “Here I am, world,” when you wear them, which is important to remember when pairing prints in an outfit. For the more subtle in nature, pair your favorite
little black dress or denim jacket with a pop of print on a scarf, shoes or a headband. Animal print goes well with brights, too, and current fashion gurus say to wear your favorite pattern with up to two other prints if you really want to turn the sidewalk into a runway. Another way to try this trend is by sporting a leopard-print overcoat. It requires much less commitment than a dress or a skirt, because it only needs to be worn outside. However, it still packs the power to completely revive your winter outfit. Prints are all about complementary colors, so choose a red or pink outfit underneath. For men, snake skin is all the rage. Whether it’s on shoes, belts or even wallets, this print has the look of sleek sophistication for an office setting or party. Remember, not overdoing it is key. One item at a time, fellas. Black and white pair well with this print, so you should save it for fancier occasions that involve suits. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, animal prints are timeless touches that take an outfit to the next level. They’ve been seen in movies, draped on celebrities like Audrey Hepburn (Who could forget the iconic red coat, pearls and leopard hat in “Charade”?) and in yoga classes peeking out from underneath Lulu Lemon workout tanks. Leopard is the easiest and trendiest print, so next time you’re out shopping, keep your eyes peeled for bold prints and pieces to update your look.
Kendall + Kylie Crop Top $3.99, Sandy’s; Banana Republic Metallic Skirt $7.99, Sandy’s; Embellished choker, $4.99, Sandy’s; Gold ring, $1.99, Sandy’s; Black pumps, $9.99, Sandy’s
Living in a World without Labels By Jennifer Jenkins
Photos by Tamara Dobry
The most inspiring characteristic pop icons Prince, Madonna and David Bowie promoted was that of expression. They opened the minds of those with traditional ideals and instilled a sense of empowerment in members of their audiences who sought to embrace their own identities. In this spread, three models at the cusp of their 20s show how a new generation continues to push against labels. Triston Jefferson, Anton Dolling and Madison Morse are artists in their own right. Whether they know it, by living uninhibitedly as true creatives and lifting up those who interact with them, they serve as examples of how expressing oneself can encourage others to do the same. Madison Morse: Seeing Things Through a Different Lens As Madonna scribbled her own bright path in the music industry, she championed gay rights and worked to challenge stereotypes imposed by society. In a metallic circle skirt, printed crop top, crimped hair and accessories galore, Madonna’s baroque aesthetic runs throughout Morse’s ensemble. Just as Madonna worked to progress the rights and inclusion of those who identified as lgbtq+, Morse lifted up the diverse group of models at the Pride Awareness Month fashion show by photographing them as they walked proudly onto the stage as their most genuine selves.
“Because I worked with a lot of the people who were modeling in the PAM show, it was cool to see them shine so much on stage,” Morse says. When figuring out her own sexual orientation as a lesbian in high school, she realized she didn’t have to box herself into certain stereotypes that made it seem like she should dress in more masculine clothing. “I can still wear dresses and skirts and be super girly,” Morse says. “I don’t see a need for (sexual orientation) to come up. It’s just kind of there.” As an athlete, photographer and international studies student, she considers those things as the ones that make up key parts of her identity. “I’ve always loved photography but started working with it a lot when I got to UF,” Morse says, “and I had a lot more independence to travel and find new people and places to photograph.” More than anything, she hopes normalizing differences will seep its way into our culture as a whole. “By experiencing more diversity, people are more accepting of it,” she says. “I hope we can get to a point where coming-out days are more of a celebration for people who already have, rather than an expectation.”
Forever 21 studded leather jacket $9.99, Sandy’s; Gold pendant, $3.99, Sandy’s; WYLDR leather pants $62.50, Wolfgang
Anton Dolling: Writing a Language all His Own “David Bowie’s unapologetic representation of himself… was a good reflection of what the lgbtq+ community tries to represent about themselves,” Dolling says. “You don’t need to be limited in the way you express things, such as sexuality and gender identity.” Regardless of interviewers who sought to categorize Bowie as straight, bisexual or gay, he refrained from identifying himself under labels, allowing his talent and zany flavor or rock ‘n’ roll to speak for itself. Bowie evolved like a vibrant chameleon throughout his career and cemented the “glam rock” genre in American culture. “That type of openness that he kind of showed really inspired members of (the lgbtq+) community as well as, I think, successfully opened the minds of other people who otherwise weren’t as tolerant of those types of behavior,” Dolling says. As Bowie manifested his own identity beyond the scope of what popular culture had offered, Dolling is creating a means of communication all his own. A third-year University of Florida linguistics and Spanish double major, Dolling realized his fascination with languages when he took Spanish in seventh grade.
Dolling identifies as gay and says one issue that faces people who are lgbtq+ is that society expects them to dress and act a certain way, likely from the ways in which gay men are represented in media and entertainment. Growing up, he said it was confusing, and he felt he didn’t necessarily fit the stereotype. Although Bowie helped reveal the importance of unfettered self-expression, in most TV shows, when a character is gay, their sexuality makes up the main part of their identity. “If you had a (straight) character, you certainly wouldn’t make the story about them the fact that they were realizing that they were straight,” Dolling says, “because it is normalized. And while being gay is less common, if it were, as we hope to be in the future, completely normalized, then certainly, it wouldn’t necessarily need to be something that is the only thing you focus on about a character.” Dolling hopes that media and entertainment outlets will begin to treat lgbtq+ celebrities and characters in the same manner in which they would highlight those who are straight, focusing on the talents and core values that make the person who they are rather than merely on those to whom they are attracted.
“When we’re born into this world, we have to critically analyze and think about As someone who is equally fascinated with and question the way things are working,” the social aspects of learning, teaching and Dolling says. “Doing that is the only way language, Dolling might go to Spain or that we will be able to improve our lives another country to teach English as a second and the lives of other people.” language after he graduates.
Velvet by Graham and Spencer leopard faux vest $39.99, Sandy’s; MICHAEL Michael Kors leopard blouse $19.99, Sandy’s; Gold necklace $4.99 Sandy’s; Banana Republic leather pants $11.99, Sandy’s
Triston Jefferson: Knocking Down Stereotypes, Building his Brand “I was excited to do Prince,” Jefferson says, “because… just seeing someone who is successful being androgynous or dressing how they want (makes you think), ‘If he can do it, why can’t I?’” Prince’s lewd and wildly sensual lyrics often led to his characterization as a womanizer, an image juxtaposed with his theatric ensembles that some characterized as feminine. In doing so, Prince created an illusory image that proved that one’s way of dress could not define his or her masculinity or sexual orientation, and vice versa.
People would sometimes say, “‘Oh my God, who is this stylist?’” Jefferson says, “and then they’re like, ‘Oh, he’s queer… that’s why.’” While Jefferson experiments with his style from time to time, wearing distressed jeans, a crop top and Dr. Martens one day to a dress with accessories on another, he says he receives a mix of positive and negative reactions when he dresses in more creative styles.
“If he didn’t dress like that, it wouldn’t be ‘Prince,’ you know?” Jefferson says.
“I just think it’s weird, because it’s just a piece of fabric that I’m (wearing) for me,” Jefferson says. “It shouldn’t be like, ‘only this gender can wear it, and it can only be fit for this gender.’ Whatever fashion I choose should be okay.”
Jefferson’s confidence in front of the lens comes as no surprise, considering the time and commitment he has dedicated to modeling and styling. He took a gap year from his studies at UF to maximize his work in these areas of the fashion industry.
For some who see Jefferson’s charisma and powerful form of self-expression through style, he has inspired them to become more proud of themselves, something he learned when he came back to model in the PAM show last year.
For years, Jefferson has held a vested interest in fashion. He chuckles when he recalls how watching the Disney show, “That’s So Raven,” inspired him to think about fashion design.
“I didn’t think I was helping anyone because, typically, you don’t have a conversation with everyone in the room,” Jefferson says, “But when I came back, there were two people who were like ‘Oh my God; you were here two years ago. This is the reason I am doing it now…’”
One day, he says he may want to see his own clothes on the runway, creating more innovative garments that are tailored to men’s body types. “You can just walk into a store and look at the men’s and the women’s section,” Jefferson says, “and the women’s section has a) more creativity and b) more product.” He says that style serves as a valuable form of expression for people who are queer, but the notion that men have great style simply because of their orientation is based on a stereotype and negates the value of his artistic abilities.
THANK YOU to all of the people who made this shoot possible! Makeup: Andrea Dela Cruz; facebook.com/makeupbyandreadc Hair: Stylists Alysa Doll and Mariah Weldon of Summit Salon Academy Clothing: Sandy’s Savvy Chic Resale Boutique and Wolfgang
A Gainesville Safari: Your wildlife guide By Josh Klafter and Mary-Lou Watkinson Photos by Savannah Austin
Gainesville easily lives up to its swampy reputation from alligators on campus to mosquitoes all year round. But along with our favorite wetland creatures, Gainesville boasts other animals in spots all over town that are, well, pretty wild. Here are four spots in and around Gainesville that will give you a taste of animals from beyond the 352.
100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, FL, 32667 Officially established in 1971, Paynes Prairie is a state preserve determined to keep Florida wildlife around for the long haul. This nature hotspot is home to eight unique hiking trails, a 16-mile biking trail and an observation tower with breathtaking views. If you are looking to reconnect with nature, all while having a great time with your friends or family, Paynes Prairie is perfect for a local adventure. MUST SEE WILDLIFE: Alligators, bison and wild stallions
The Santa Fe Teaching Zoo
3000 NW 83rd St., Gainesville, FL, 32606 Maintained entirely by student volunteers and Santa Fe College faculty, the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo is home to more than 75 different species of wild animals. This zoo not only contains a vast array of wildlife educational opportunities, but a massive variety of exotic animals to bolster these lessons, too. If hiking is your forte, the zoo offers a beautiful trail that lets you stroll through the exhibits. While providing an engaging and entertaining attraction for Gainesville residents of all ages, the zoo simultaneously serves as a valuable, hands-on resource
for Santa Fe students in related fields. MUST SEE WILD LIFE: Bald Eagles, White throated Galapagos tortoises and Asian small clawed otters
Two Tails Ranch
18655 NE 81st St., Williston, FL, 32696 Founded in 1984 by Theodore Svertesky and Patricia Zerbini, Two Tails Ranch sits on 67 acres of land in Williston. The ranch was built to house elephants that are retired but also has other animals. To visit the ranch, you have to schedule a tour, but they do offer rates for larger groups. You can even take a ride on the elephants. MUST SEE WILDLIFE: An ostrich, zebras and eight elephants
Lubee Bat Conservancy
1309 NW 192nd Ave., Gainesville, FL, 32609 The Lubee Bat Conservancy has just what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d think it would â&#x20AC;&#x201C; bats, and lots of them. Founded in 1989, the non-profit organization houses giant fruit bats, also known as flying foxes, on a 110-acre ranch. Visits are on a scheduled tour basis. However, in October the conservancy hosts the Lubee Bat Festival, where visitors can get to know the bats while participating in activities and eating local food. If you're a bat lover living in Gainesville, this is the place to go. MUST SEE WILDLIFE: Spectacled flying fox, Egyptian fruit bat, Malayan flying fox and African straw-colored fruit bat
Bringing ethical fashion full circle By Jennifer Jenkins
Photos submitted by Morgan Ginn
Morgan Ginn rides a boda-boda, the Acholi term for “vespa,” to her internship at Krochet Kids International each day on the rugged roads of Gulu, Uganda. Her friends and colleagues greet her fondly by the Acholi name “Apiyo,” meaning first-born twin. Her trip to Uganda took a total of 23 hours (her first time leaving the country), and for six months, Gulu is home. Krochet Kids International is an ethical fashion company that employs women in Peru and Uganda while equipping them with tools to start their own businesses in a three- to five-year educational program. Ginn’s love for ethical fashion grew after her twin, Megan, encouraged her to question who made her clothes. Ginn says she used to picture factory machines as the mechanisms used to crank out the polyester products that would occupy the shelves of fast-fashion giants, like H&M and Forever 21, but, “Nope, there’s a person behind every piece of clothing,” she said. As she researched the negative impacts of fast-fashion plaguing the welfare of people and the environment, Ginn decided to apply her creativity and fiery entrepreneurial spirit toward championing ethical fashion. A film Ginn saw, “The True Cost,” documented the tragedies ensued by the fast-fashion industry. The filmmakers followed a Bangladeshi garment worker from her day-to-day life in a crammed, stuffy factory to the additional sacrifices that she had to make in order to make a hardly livable wage. In one poignant scene, the woman, sobbing, said, “I don’t want to see people wearing clothes that were made with our blood.”
The film came after the Savar building in the garment district, Rana Plaza, collapsed, killing nearly 1,200 workers on April 24, 2013. The garment workers had been forced into the building that day by law enforcement, despite the concerns they had expressed to management regarding cracks in the foundation. “I love fashion so much,” Ginn said, “and it breaks my heart to know that people could be hurt from making my clothes.” Ginn’s relationship with Krochet Kids started when she received an internship at the company headquarters in California in summer 2016. Of all the ethical fashion brands she researched, Krochet Kids International stood out to her most because it focuses on the health of the communities in which the women work in addition to providing them with mentorship and a livable wage. “It provides full-circle employment,” Ginn said, because by helping women to start their own businesses, most of which are agricultural, “it makes the community stronger.” “One of the graduates, Agnes, employs 15 other people on a farm,” Ginn said. “The Krochet Kids founders saw the women and believed they were capable of so much more.” Each day, Ginn examines every item the mentees knit and sew to ensure each item is error free, so the brand continues to deliver high quality products. Ginn said the women are incredibly talented. On each Krochet Kids garment, the tag is inscribed with the name of the woman who made it. On the website, krochetkids.org,
a customer can find the woman who crafted his or her product and send her a “thank you” by clicking on the link, #knowwhomadeit. Ginn said these women occupy a special place in her heart. “They wanted me to know that I had gained a lot of aunts and moms and sisters,” Ginn said. “There is always someone there to give me a hug.” In addition to their warmth, Ginn sees the women as extremely resilient. Though northern Uganda has been plagued by war, the women have continued to push through each day with generosity overflowing from their hearts. They are as empathetic as they are resilient, placing community, love and family over everything. On Ginn’s blog, morganginn.com, she writes, “The strength of an Acholi woman is carrying a 40 pound carton of water on your head with a baby strapped to your back, another child holding your hand, carrying a sack of vegetables, and all while trekking uphill.” “Uganda values community more than I have ever seen before,” Ginn said. “If a woman has been sick and cannot make it to work, other women will chip in and take over her workload so that she can still have a paycheck.” Next spring, Ginn will return to Gainesville to complete two more classes she needs to graduate. She plans to post more content on NotTheNewBlack.com, which she started with a fellow Krochet Kids International intern, Courtney Jones, who now works at the Krochet Kids headquarters in California. On growing the site, Ginn hopes to continue spreading awareness on the effect that
the garment industry inflicts on people and ecosystems across the world. Ginn said consumers have the ability to change the fast-fashion cycle if they look at their purchases as a form of activism. Even with eco-friendly lines of clothing brands like H&M “conscious” and the ASOS “eco edit,” the wellbeing of the garment worker is not guaranteed. On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy people are urged to contact brands about an article of clothing that they own and ask, “Who made this?” – calling for transparency in an industry where the faces behind the sewing machines are hidden. After graduation, Ginn aspires to create her own company that will focus on social marketing, changing attitudes toward consumerism and ethical fashion. Although Ginn will have already spent six months in Gulu, Uganda, by the time she returns to the states in the middle of December, she plans to come back to visit, possibly to weave the talent into her vision for her own ethical fashion company. Until Ginn’s return to the states, she continues to work with the “mothers, aunts and sisters” she has found in her temporary home. “Everyone has become my family,” Ginn said. “I feel like I need to come back.”
Legacy in the Leaves By Molly Donovan Photos by Savannah Austin
Under a white tent at the Wednesday Union Street Farmer’s Market, shoppers crowd around a table full of plants and herbs. Prickly cacti and succulents in varying colors are lined up next to a carton of fresh mint and a blooming bok choy. Firefly Farms, a more frequent vendor at the market, is one of a few tents that sells home-grown plants to the strolling guests. Some shop for weekly groceries, and for them, Firefly offers herbs, vegetables and eggs. Some peruse, hoping to decorate their home, so Firefly offers a wide variety of flowering plants that would fit right in on a coffee table or windowsill. Kathleen Taylor and her husband, Andy Hemmings, own and live on the 14-acre Firefly Farms in Lacrosse, and growing is Kathleen’s full-time job. Andy, an archaeologist, helps too, but mostly with the heavy lifting and the upkeep of their many farm animals. “I’ve been growing plants forever and ever,” Kathleen said. “I don’t get to leave (the farm) very much, but that’s the lifestyle. I feel like if I’m not working with plants, it’s not me.” She said one of her favorite parts of growing is the relationships she builds with her regular customers. Every week, they arrive to say hello and ask questions about the plants they’ve purchased. Between exchanges of dollar bills, Kathleen takes the time to answer all of them. “It’s fun. It feels old-timey to me,” she said. “It’s part of what makes this an awesome community to live in.” Along with the farmers market, they also sell to local nurseries and to Ward’s Supermarket. She lets customers
know any time she’s taking plants to Ward’s, because she usually remembers what her regulars are shopping for. The couple has always been conscious of food and its origins, and it’s one of the things that inspired them to dive into growing in the first place. From that passion, they branched into more exotic species; Andy often brings back crazy plants from digs and excavations around the state, like a recent pink lemon tree. “I think a lot’s been robbed from us a little bit when it comes from our food. We used to grow all our food, and society has changed that,” she said. “It makes food a lot richer when everything has a story behind it. It means more than when I would just buy it at the store.” To Kathleen, that’s exactly what plants are – stories. When her mother passed away, she continued to make cuts from some of the plants her mom kept. The plant travels wherever the buyer takes it, she said, and it makes her feel good to know she’s been able to keep her mother’s legacy around. “That’s a really cool thing to think,” she said. “You have a plant that’s belonged to someone before you, someone you love, and there’s versions of it that are years and years old because that one plant’s just been living forever.” Her best sellers, the decorative succulents, are a testament to that. They live longer than most plants, need little water or sunlight and are fun to grow, too, she said. Kathleen said she hopes to continue gardening for a long time. A life spent in nature, she said, would be “just groovy.”
A gator in the rough By Molly Donovan
Photos by Savannah Austin
When Gator the tiger came to Gainesville in 2009, he didn’t have a name. He was just a cub. Less than one year old. Playful. Starving. In Florida, there are few regulations for “photo cats” set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It’s something that Christine Janks, one of the owners of a local wildlife conservation, said leads to the disappearance and likely death of dozens of tigers every year. Located on County Road 225, the Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation serves as a home for rescued and retired animals in need of saving. Christine, along with her husband, Barry, dedicate their days to the upkeep of all kinds of animals, rarely leaving the premises. Unlike zoos, Carson Springs hosts private tours and field trips, which focus on education and the preservation of endangered species from around the world. Gator was bred in Northern Florida by a man who used him to earn money – probably thousands of dollars in just months. He was dragged to fairs, birthday parties and events all over the state to have photo after photo taken with children for cash. Unfortunately, Janks said, this is a common side job for Florida “entrepreneurs” who take advantage of the lax breeding laws in place for big cats. “They are wild animals,” Christine said. “They don’t choose to be hauled around in a little cage and have kids mauling them. They’re not puppies.”
But tigers can only be photographed around children until they reach 40 pounds, something that typically happens within the first few months of a cub’s life. Since tigers cost more than just pocket change, usually about $5,000 a year, owners will starve the cubs to keep them under the weight limit. When Gator arrived at Carson Springs, he had been alive nine months. He had been fed only milk since his birth. He should have weighed 150 pounds. He weighed 75. “He almost died because of his previous life,” Christine said. He was one of the lucky ones, though. “I think there’s a big, big question of where (the tigers) go after they hit their weight limit, because too many of them just disappear,” Christine said. Janks said approximately 15 tigers are bred every year in Northern Florida, which totals about 75 in a five-year period. Sanctuaries in the area can’t afford to take on an animal from which somebody else has been profiting, especially when it often arrives malnourished and with other health problems. In Gator’s case, another rescue facility took him from the breeder, but couldn't afford to keep him, so they asked Carson Springs to take him in. He developed severe stomach bleeding and stomach ulcers soon after he arrived, and the Jankses took him
to veterinarians at the University of Florida. He was there for six hours, and the bill came out to $3,000, which was a huge blow to the new facility reliant entirely on donations. Christine said it was overwhelming but worth it. The cat has subsequently grown up to be one of the stars of the show at Carson Springs. “Everybody loves Gator, and he loves people,” she said. Since 1999, Carson Springs has served as a thoroughbred horse farm. But one day, Christine’s passion for big cats took them to South Africa to investigate cheetah conservation. They quickly fell in love with the country and wildlife it offered. They bought a farm in South Africa and flew the 17-hour flight often, but issues with the country deterred them from making a permanent move. “We realized we could do the same thing here,” she said. So they dedicated 80 acres of their land in North Florida to animal conservation and got their first cat, a serval, in 2008. What started with rescue animals like Gator eventually branched into endangered species breeding, and now the couple care for the only pair of breeding jungle cats in America. To date, Carson Springs has 80 total animals, including five tigers and 25 endangered species. “But really, all wild species are endangered,” Christine said. “Just because they’re not listed doesn’t mean they’re not. Wild animals are disappearing so quickly that what’s plentiful one year could be gone the next.”
Gator’s neighbors include animals like Henry, a 36-year-old retired rhino from India. He was once the leading sire in the U.S. and will now live the rest of his life munching hay and willingly posing for pictures for his fans. Scarlett the hyena has a jaw pressure stronger than that of any mammal. She can break bones like toothpicks, but when Christine walks up to her enclosure, she whines and lies down for a belly rub. Carson Springs has bred more hyenas in the last five years than any facility in America. Abigail the baby jaguar leaps around and pushes a plastic toy back and forth between her paws. She’s a new addition, only a few months old, and is part of a plan to reintroduce jaguars into North America that could span generations. On an average day, the tiger who was once so close to death now roams his 25,600 square foot enclosure, taking naps and basking in the sun. (The legal limit for a tiger enclosure in Florida is 240 square feet, which is about 10 times smaller than the average American home.) The once emaciated cub is now 7 years old and weighs close to 500 pounds. When Barry or Christine approach the fence around his home, he bounds over and stands on his hind two legs, waiting for a treat, usually raw chicken, from his keepers. For tour groups and field trips, he’s a natural performer in his new, safe home. For his species, he’s a miracle. For the Jankses, he’s family.
just getting started By Molly Donovan
Photos courtesy of Vanessa Vlandis
In a small neighborhood off West University Avenue, a blue house at the end of the street vibrates with the sound of electric guitars and the crash of a bass drum. In a bedroom strewn with cords, amps, instruments and boys sitting in a circle, the Hails rehearse for their biggest show yet. In a few weeks, they open for the Plain White T’s in front of thousands. For now, they sit on the bed and make jokes between chords and riffs. As they talk, they pick melodies out of thin air like apples from a tree. Then, with the tap of a drumstick and a metered count to four, they turn serious and start to play. Composed of four students from the University of Florida, the Hails were born in 2015 when Zach Levy met Robbie Kingsley in the dining hall at school. Over mass-produced buffet-style food, they talked about music – something they had both been passionate about their whole lives. Levy was already in a band in Miami but wanted a group to play with in Gainesville. Kingsley had only recently discovered his love of singing. Like Lennon to McCartney, Levy suggested to Kingsley that they combine their talents to form a band and play locally. “I thought he was crazy,” Kingsley said, but he accepted. From there, they continued on like the iconic British boy band of the ‘60s. After playing with a revolving door of guitarists and bassists for a while, the other members of the band trickled into the group one by one. After the Levy/Kingsley duo came guitarist Dylan McCue. Then came guitarist and backup vocalist Franco Solari. Their
bass player, Andre Escobar, joined last and commutes from Miami to play. The name, coined by Kingsley, pays homage to Florida football. “I saw the name on a poster, ‘All hail, Florida, hail,’ and I thought it was a cool word, so I pluralized it,” Kingsley said. “It doesn’t really mean anything, but I thought it had a nice ring to it. I like names that are simple.” At first, the group got together to play covers of their favorite rock songs. They started jamming in Levy’s room and realized some of the melodies they played were worth writing down. In 2016, they threw a party at Levy’s house and played for their friends that showed up. It was their first live show. In the weeks that followed, the quiet neighborhood off West University Avenue grew used to the shaking house on Saturday nights as the band continued to play sets at parties, growing their following and spreading the word, one keg at a time. They invited McCue’s fraternity brothers, their friends and got Levy’s dad on board to manage them. Eventually, they made their way to the High Dive, a stage frequented by musicians from Gainesville and the occasional out-of-town group. “Now we play there about once a month,” McCue said. At the High Dive, fog, lights and thumping bass flow through the wood-paneled room when they take the stage. The four guys and their bassist play for Gainesville audiences who dance and drink to the rock ‘n’ roll. Levy
keeps the beat, Solari and McCue take alternating guitar solos and Kingsley sings, usually walking back and forth across the stage, reaching out to fans and sometimes lying on the floor. “I got asked at Swamp the other day if I was in the Hails, which was pretty cool,” Kingsley said, “but overall, yeah, it’s been cool to see our shows go from just a couple people to a whole room. We bring our friends, and they bring theirs and it goes from there.” They all fell in love with music at different points in their lives, all for different reasons, and most early on. “My dad owned a recording studio in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Levy said. “Growing up, it was kind of instilled in me. My grandma was a famous concert pianist, so there’s just a lot of history in music there. I started playing piano in second grade and went through a bunch of different instruments, and I ended up on the drums.” “I started because of a telemarketer,” Solari chimed in. “My mom got a call from one at a music school. She asked if I wanted to learn guitar, so I said, ‘Sure, why not?’” Although they’re all pursuing degrees from the University of Florida, their heart are in their music. Solari and Levy study finance, McCue studies marketing and Kingsley studies advertising. When asked if they wanted to pursue music as a career instead, there was a unanimous “yes.” As the band evolved, so did its music. Shows started out with exclusively cover songs, but slowly the group slipped more and more originals into sets. Writing is something they all do together and want to emphasize as the band’s following continues to grow. McCue and Kingsley graduate this year, but plan to stay in Gainesville in pursuit of a record deal. Solari and Levy have another year of school to go.
Solari said juggling it all is tough sometimes, but worth it. “There was a point last year where I was at school all day, taking exams, would play with another organization, CRU, from 5:30 to 10:30 and then would get picked up to play a Hails show at midnight,” he said. “I was just so exhausted, and I had to figure out how to balance that. Some shows I’ve just had to miss, and I don’t enjoy doing that, but I have to have boundaries for myself.” In July, after spending the summer playing in and around Miami, they released their first EP and added their music to streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music. “The majority of our sets became originals after that happened,” McCue said. “We still do covers, but people are starting to recognize our music.” Fans can expect more original music in the days to come. Until then, the Hails are hustling for more gigs and to pass their classes. This summer, they played churches, South Beach hotels and on morning newscast NBC 6 in the Mix. They traveled to Atlanta for the Plain White T’s show. “We took a break from writing that first summer, and when we came back we just really hit the ground running,” Kingsley said. “It comes in waves. A lot of it just stems from one person having an idea.” As a band, they’re hopeful for more opportunities to travel, play with big names and get back in the studio. For now, they’ll sit on amps in Levy’s bedroom and jam. “We’re just getting started,” Kingsley said.
paint on the walls By Mary-Lou Watkinson Photos by Maggie Spillane
Jenna Horner is an artist and a Gainesville native, and she has never considered another career.
name, made more of an effort to contract local artists over muralists from out of town.
She’s been creating things for as long as she can remember and uses her art to make a living. Her favorite outfit is paint-covered overalls.
Jesus Martinez painted two murals for the organization and doesn’t plan on painting any more. He feels the program has issues when it comes to how it treats local artists and how funding is used.
“I’ve always been really enthusiastic about making new things and also about working with different materials,” she said. The first time she ever painted on anything bigger than a canvas was in 2015, when she teamed up with other Gainesville artists to produce one of the first wall murals commissioned by the city.
“I could paint a mural for a couple hundred dollars,” he said. “I don’t understand where thousands and thousands of dollars are going to to paint murals.” With the different opinions they have on how 352walls is affecting the Gainesville community, Jenna and Jesus represent a city of artists divided.
The project was part of 352walls, an initiative that aims to bring public art to the community through colorful murals on noteworthy buildings across town. The hope and heart behind it is to make Gainesville a cultural destination for the state of Florida and beyond. Since its creation, the city has funded more than 15 murals produced by more than 30 artists, from the historic High Dive to new places like Depot Park.
Jenna graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with a degree in painting. She said she tried to find as much work creating art as she could, but making art for a living is not the most financially stable job.
Jenna normally creates multimedia pieces for individual clients. She loves painting anything, but she especially appreciates all the opportunities 352walls has given her, from helping her make art in different ways to the work she does collaborating with international artists.
That first mural, which is featured on South Main Street, sparked something inside of her, and now she is currently working on her ninth.
But while Jenna is grateful to be part of the initiative, some artists who have worked with 352walls wish that the program, which has the Gainesville area code in its
“I was constantly signing up and applying for different positions, and I saw an opening through an old professor from UF sending me an email,” she said.
“It opened up a huge door for me for sure,” she said. “I got out of my studio and realized, as far as how it affects the community, definitely one of my biggest intrigues with it is that it is public art.”
She likes that the public art movement, which is free art on display for a community, helps people think outside of themselves and pull away from the technology of today. “I find that art in general and my art, the way I’ve talked to people about it, can affect them in ways that I would never anticipate,” she said. Jenna understands the opinion of artists like Jesus, but she doesn’t think that 352walls meant to outshine or overlook anyone with their decisions. “I think that they’ve given that concept of universal quality that art has, and I think that it’s been pretty good,” she said. “Personally, I really appreciated the fact that we did have international artists coming in because it also brought hype to the fact that we’re already here.” Jesus, though, still feels unappreciated when 352walls hires artists from outside of Gainesville. They’re commissioned from places like Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Buenos Aires to paint murals in a city already full of talent, he said. While Jenna said she values the opportunity to learn from these artists and help her own work by seeing their skills, Jesus says it’s just not fair. He was approached by the founder of 352walls, Iryna Kanishcheva, and painted two murals for the project – one by Depot Park and one by the High Dive. He likes the project as a whole and enjoyed the work he did, but he said he can’t stand behind the way local artists are taken advantage of.
“What I don’t agree with is how they treated me and how they view local artists,” he said. When Jesus worked on the High Dive mural, an intricate painting of a woman with a glowing orb, he said he was paid half of what the other artists got for their murals. “I don’t want to be treated as a small guy just because I’m not an international artist with fame,” he said. “I just feel like I’m a human being just like them, and I want to be treated and paid the same as them.” He believes the people currently running 352walls do not understand street art and are doing a poor job of handling the money for the murals. If he works just as hard as any other artist, he feels that he should be paid the same. “Bring some culture in here, but also expose some of the culture that’s (already) here, which they don’t do at all,” he said. Jesus still appreciates that international artists are brought to Gainesville, and he would like to see more collaboration with the local and international artists. “It just would be cool if they just included us in their plans a little bit more – just a little bit more,” he said. “That’s all I’m asking.” The goal of the walls, though, is something Jesus stands behind. And despite the varying opinions of artists, Gainesville continues to get brighter, one painted brick at a time.
stories that don't fade By Jennifer Jenkins
Photos by Savannah Austin
In the early ‘90s, Keith Bucella rode a Harley across the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. On balmy afternoons, he would head to Washington Square Park, where he sat under the trees, engaging in conversations. Time slipped away as he chatted with street performers, artists and the people walking by. His love for meeting strangers and hearing their stories flourished then and continues to grow now that he works as a tattoo artist. In this trade, he can take pieces of his customers’ narratives and transform them into pieces of body art that reveal layers of who they are, one needle at a time. Bucella believes tattoos reveal glints of identities, rekindle memories and build connections. A third-generation tattoo artist, the artistry of ink runs through his blood. A tribal tattoo with aquamarine shading sits on top of Bucella’s right forearm. His father and grandfather had the same one, and Bucella’s father gave him the tattoo when he was just 9 years old. “That was the last tattoo that my father did before he passed away,” Bucella said. “A tattoo isn’t just about a tattoo a lot; it’s a memory.” In 1992, he started apprenticing at Peter T’s, a tattoo shop in Hempstead, Long Island, which used to be his grandfather’s. It was called Michael’s in the early days. In 1995, he moved to Florida to help his brother. He started off his career in the sunshine state working in construction and owned a company until 2006, but then a friend asked him to do a tattoo on his wife. “It was a cross with two flowers on it,” Bucella said, “on the calf.”
After that, he realized that his true passion was still the art and stories he used to love, so he plunged back into tattooing, leaving a toe still dipped in his construction company. Now, on an autumn afternoon in Gainesville, Bucella stands beneath a shaded oak tree outside of his very own tattoo parlor, Addiction. He reminisces on his job and favorite pastime – needling what means the most to his customers onto their bodies. The shop sits on West University Avenue, right between Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Leonardo’s 706. Although he sculpts, builds motorcycles, practices calligraphy and sketches (a lot), tattooing remains his favorite creative outlet. “I know skin,” he said, “so I’m in the perfect industry because I get to work with skin.” He said in today’s culture, it’s not easy to connect with other individuals like it was back in the day. Even though social media posts saturate modern means of communication, when a client sits in Bucella’s chair, the screen between face-to-face interactions dissolves, and the art of befriending complete strangers is as easy as it was in Washington Square Park all those years ago. “People let down their guard when they are getting tattooed,” Bucella said, “and that’s cool, because you get to know who the real people are.” Six days a week, Bucella tattoos clients alongside manager Marc Veneziano and artist John Schmitt.
According to 2010 Pew Research polls, tattoos have increased broadly across all age groups. The data shows that among young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, 38 percent have at least one tattoo. The American Pediatric Association used to flag tattoos as indicators of radical behavior in adolescents. Now, the association outlines specific guidelines for parents to consider in case their children want to get tattoos or piercings.
reflect Japanese art and intricate illustrations. His pristine line work prevailed as he sketched a dragon tattoo surrounded by flowers onto the forearm of one of his clients.
In the seven years that Bucella has owned Addiction, he has met a diverse clientele.
A Captain America shield hangs on the wall above his desk and candy-colored action figures cover the ledge separating his station from Schmitt’s. The decorations echo his animated aesthetic that he infuses into creations. Disney characters, comic book characters and iconic cartoons pack his vibrant portfolio.
“I have people bringing in their 63-year-old grandmother to get a tattoo,” Bucella said, “and at the same time, there is an 18-year-old getting his tattoo done with Grandma.” As he spoke, a young woman and her parents walked toward the shop. “Hey guys, how are you doing?” Bucella said. The group strolled up to him, and the young woman pulled out an image of a Disney-key tattoo on her phone. “Marc, you gotta come look at this,” Bucella said to Veneziano, who was standing outside the front door of the shop. He peered at the image, and an elated look flashed across his face as he delighted in the animated sketch. The group walked inside to discuss pricing and an appointment time. “I would have so much fun doing that tattoo,” Bucella said about the woman who had just visited the shop, “but that is really Marc’s specialty.” He, Schmitt and Veneziano each have their own flavor that they infuse into every tattoo. Schmitt has honed a unique dexterity for ornate designs that
Veneziano’s station commands the most attention in the tattoo shop, its walls lined with bold sketches of Marvel superheroes.
Bucella describes his work as more traditional. On an October afternoon, a client came in for a follow-up appointment for a sleeve that Bucella started on his forearm. A wall of intricate roses circled the lower half of his arm with the word “blessed” scripted along the underside of it. After Bucella prepared the client and his tattooing instruments, he began shading the rose petals surrounding the script with blush ink. “My mom was a painter,” Bucella said. “I looked at her shading techniques to apply to my own work.” Each week, Bucella and his coworkers discover new works they love. Veneziano said his favorite tattoo “changes every week.” Off the top of his head, Bucella said a multi-colored toucan he completed on a client’s shoulder is one of his favorite works yet. “The color was just blinding,”Bucella said. “In this world today, everything is so gray, so it is nice to be able to say, ‘Yeah, this is me.’”
Wild Imagination: the Creatives of Gainesville By Josh Klafter
Photos by Maggie Spillane Part 1 – The Artist
Part 2 – The Author
Kiana Rathjens’ private drawing coaching began at age 4. But when she was rejected from art school, she treaded away from formal art and began using the activity therapeutically.
Alexis (Jordi) Burton was 10 when she realized her biggest passion in life. When her poolside “pretend games” evolved into a full-length novel, she realized she was meant to be an author. Over the next 13 years, she has meticulously perfected her craft.
“It’s a good way to get feelings out that you can’t necessarily say in words,” she explained. “My art helps define me in times when it’s harder to define myself.” She suffers from anxiety disorder, so she sketches to relax. Drawing is her favorite form of creative expression. Although the inspiration for her creativity has changed over the years, all of her work has one staggeringly common thread: people. “You can’t really get bored with people,” she said. Her dense and varied portfolio reflects the obstacles she has faced over the years. The vibrant pages mirror her fight against mental illness and the loss of her grandmother, whom she shared a close bond with. “I’ve learned to draw more for myself and the people I care about,” she explained.
Her short stories mostly fall under the umbrella of realistic fiction, but her novels reflect her forte for fantasy and science fiction. “You have to think of your characters as real people, people that will have lives before and after the book ends,” she explained. After amassing an astounding backlog of 46 unpublished novels, she successfully published “Call Me Anastasia,” the first in a five book series, in July 2016. It was her rejection of traditional publishing houses, combined with her disdain for losing creative control of her work, that led her to independently publish under her own company, Burton Publishing. She has sold roughly 125 copies of the book. “I no longer feel like I have to have people validate my work to be an author,” she explained.
Her realization that her art should be for herself, not to conform to a strict standard, was a major turning point in her evolution as an artist. For now, she has no plans to incorporate art into her career. Instead, she aspires to be a clinical psychologist.
Burton shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Regardless of medium, Burton knows she wants to write for the rest of her life. Her writing reflects her unabashed dedication to her craft.
“I don’t need to be the world-class artist I wanted to be when I was 5.”
“You have the power to shape worlds and people,” she said.
your guide for a wild mom's night out By Molly Donovan
Photos by Neosman Flores
As a mom, wild takes on a whole new meaning.
At 5 p.m. on a Tuesday, odds are you’re scrambling to find something for dinner while the kids fight and “work on their homework.” Wild means being in bed before 10 p.m. with a glass of red wine.
5-6:30 p.m. – Happy hour at One Love Cafe 4989 NW 40th Place One Love features fresh, local food in an open, spacious setting. Grab an avocado chicken flatbread, a glass of chardonnay and park it with the girls by the fire for some dinner and small talk.
But every now and then, you deserve to pass off your motherly responsibilities and treat yourself to a night with the girls. Gainesville’s nightlife often consists of college students in their partying prime, but there are ample places for moms to enjoy a refreshing night on the town. Anne Marie Musgrove, a local mom who's lived in Gainesville for five years, said for her, nights out are a way to catch up with friends. As a mom of three kids under 6, she and her girlfriends try to have a night out once a month and usually gather somewhere for drinks and appetizers. She said typically, they stay away from movies and shows, because they want to be able to talk, not sit in silence watching something. “When we do these mom’s nights, it’s because we want to be able to spend time together away from our kids,” she said. “If we’re at a movie, we can’t do that. We love to sit outside.” With this in mind, the O&B editors put together a guide for a mom’s night out in Gainesville – from the time you shut your door at home to the moment you walk back in and head to bed. Moms just want to have fun, right?
6:30-9 p.m. – Painting with a Twist 618 NW 60th St. Ste B Painting with a twist is BYOB and the perfect place to unwind and release your inner artistic skills. A team of artists talk you through a painting while you sip wine, and at the end of the night, you have some new wall decor to take home. You go, Picasso! 9-10 p.m. – Concert in Bo Diddley Plaza 111 E. University Ave. Next, head to downtown Gainesville for more outdoor music. Every week, Bo Diddley Plaza hosts a free concert series featuring local bands until 10 p.m. With plenty of food and drinks around, downtown is the perfect place to end your night. 10-11 p.m. – One more cocktail at The Top 30 N. Main St. This night only happens once in awhile, and the kids are long in bed at this point, so why not treat yourself to one more nightcap before you head home? The only thing more eccentric than the decor at The Top are the drinks, so don’t miss the Florentine Kiss!
Morning Buns and Sweet Bread By Mary-Lou Watkinson Photos by Sammy Fadool
Every week, Amanda Bowers arrives at her bakery at 2 a.m. Once there, she and her husband Bryan begin what they call the “bake off,” where they bake dozens of pastries they prepared the day before. Then, at around 5:30 a.m., her husband delivers the baked goods to cafes and coffee shops in the Gainesville area, such as Opus Coffee, Pascal’s Coffeehouse and CYM Coffee Co. The rest of the day is a family affair filled with preparing more pastries – like their famous morning buns or dark chocolate croissants – bagels and sweet breads with her husband and son to be baked for the next day. Bowers then returns home between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. “We do tons of little things like that,” she said. “It’s a way so that we’re not baking all night long. It’s a way so that we can still have a life.” Bowers created BakerBaker between 2010 and 2012 after living in Italy for a few years. She said she baked pastries for her Italian friends, and they would always tell her how much they loved the food and that they couldn’t get high quality goods like that anywhere else. “When I got back to the states, the same kind of thing happened where the grocery store stuff wasn’t very good, and if you went into a higher-end place, it was really great but the difference in price there was so huge,” she said.
She took matters into her own hands and began selling her food at the Haile Plantation Farmers Market. She continued selling there for about two years until she made enough revenue to buy a warehouse space and become a certified baker. From there, Bowers was able to afford a commercial retail location, and BakerBaker became a Gainesville staple – selling handmade, high quality pastries at a low price. “I just went into it going, ‘I really want families to be able to afford this,’” she said. “I have two kids, and we would go into a bakery, and I couldn’t afford to get everybody something, and that bothered me.” BakerBaker became a hit with Gainesville residents and college students alike. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the store would usually sell out of all its food within hours. Bowers said her husband thinks it’s because of the pricing of the products. “We went ahead and did this thing where we said all of our pastries cost $2 each or three for $5, and that was an extremely popular way to sell pastries,” she said. However, Bowers said she thinks the bakery was so popular because of the welcoming atmosphere and friendliness of the employees. “I like to think that everybody came in here because I insisted that everyone was very nice to every single person that came in here, no matter
who they were,” Bowers said. “So, we’ve always had a very homey feeling, and I feel like a lot of people needed that.” Eventually, Bowers said BakerBaker faced a choice. They couldn’t continue to afford the space they occupied while still making their food from scratch and selling it at low prices. “We had to decide, do we want to get bigger or do we want to stay the same?” she said. “So we quit the farmers market, and we quit the retail location, and we just do wholesale now.” Gone are the days of walking into the bakery and being greeted by a friendly face, but fans of BakerBaker can still enjoy the signature homemade food by visiting any of the coffee shops and cafes where they sell. Although they don’t get to greet customers with smiling faces in a place that feels like home, the Bowers family still continues to put their heart into every product they make – no matter how early in the morning it is. “I’ve always loved baking, and I’ve always loved really good food,” Bowers said. “It’s just me, my husband and my son, and we make a lot of baked goods every day.”
Places to find BakerBaker pastries: Opus Coffee All UF Health/Shands locations; open between 6:20 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tower Road (ITProTV); open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pascal’s Coffeehouse 112 NW 16th St.; open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CYM Coffee Co 5404 NW Eigth Ave.; open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fiore’s Sweet Cup 2835 SW 91st St.; open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Alpin Bistro 15 SW Second St.; open between 5 p.m. and Midnight, closed on Mondays Menu items include: Morning buns, bagels, plain croissants, dark chocolate croissants, banana bread, triple berry danish, trip to Sweden and chocolate chip cookies, among other baked goods.
Wild florida laws By Josh Klafter
Illustration by Savannah Austin
As a state, Florida comes with a fair share of wacky laws. We sifted through all of the legal code books and came across some intriguing finds. The following are some of the most out there, bizarre and wild laws that govern the sunshine state. Destin City Code Sec. 4-12: Store Owners Beware If you live in the city of Destin and own a store, you can’t allow an individual to give out live ducklings on your property. That’s right: You aren’t permitted to approve the free distribution of many baby animals, including ducklings and chicks. If you do dole out little ducklings, you may be hit with a fine of up to $500 or up to 60 days in jail. So next time you see an individual holding a mysterious box filled with tiny yellow birds outside your store, don’t hesitate to shoo them away. Florida Statute 798.02: Sorry, Unmarried Couples Until a recent repeal by Gov. Rick Scott in 2016, it was illegal for unmarried people to share the same roof. However, the law only applied to heterosexual couples. What made this law so difficult to enforce over the years was its enormous burden of proof. The prosecution would be required to provide evidence of lewd behavior between the man and woman. If proven, the couple could be fined up to $500 or spend up to 60 days in jail. Thanks to Scott, if you’re squatting with your honey, you’re now good to go.
Miami Beach City Ordinance Sec. 10-7: Pigs are Illegal If you live in Miami Beach, it’s illegal for you to keep a pig. Whether you are a zookeeper, farmer or simply a quirky pet owner, you are breaking the law if you have a pig. But don’t worry too much, if your pig-keeping is a first-time offense, you’ll be let off with a warning. If you are a serial pig owner, however, you may be subject to a hearing and in turn, a court-decided punishment. Florida Statute 823.06: Public Building Doors Must Open Outward Ever pushed a door that said pull and felt like a moron? Turns out in Florida, if you enter a public building and you need to push instead of pull, the building manager is violating the law. The origin of this law’s creation is out of concern for fire and emergency safety. However, if not complied with, the manager of the building can be convicted of a third-degree felony. Car or Elephant? It doesn’t make a difference Whether you are parking your new Chevy or pet elephant at the meter, you face the same parking fee. The origins of this obscure law can be traced back to Sarasota, the home of the Ringling Bros. Circus’ winter headquarters. However, the Orlando Police Department said there is no actual proof of this law’s existence. Rumor or real, the next time you return to the lot an hour late, you may find a parking ticket taped to the back of your elephant.
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