Category Archives: blog

34th Street Wall

graffitiWe all see it - the 34th Street wall, a colorful collage of graffiti that differentiates our town from any other. We see it on our way to work, on our morning runs, on our way to get milk- we’ve seen it hold everything from marriage proposals to memorials, but what do we really know about this unique Gainesville attraction?

The 1,120 foot 34th Street wall surrounds the University of Florida golf course on SW 34th Street. The wall has served as a “community bulletin board” since 1979. It was first built to prevent erosion when 34th Street was widened from two lanes to four. In the past 35 years, it is said to have accumulated as many as 400 layers of paint. Although it is mostly maintained by members of the community and UF students, occasionally we will see professional graffiti displayed. We have seen countless messages painted onto the wall- birthday wishes, graduation and birth announcements, celebrations of athletic victories, and marriage proposals, as well as promotions, tributes, and news for community awareness. When musician and Gainesville-born Tom Petty returned to our town for a concert, the wall served as a greeting card when Gainesville painted the wall to welcome him.

Arguably, the most famous message on the wall is the permanent memorial serving as a tribute to the five victims of the Rolling murders. The memorial was painted by Adam Tritt in 1990 and lists the names of the five victims in simple white, red, and black paint. It has been painted over several times, but it has been regularly re-painted and touched up as the only memorial on the wall to be continuously maintained. When the painting celebrated its 20-year anniversary, a plaque was placed below it reading “In Memory Of”, which was followed by the names of the victims.

Although the graffiti is technically illegal, neither the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office nor the Gainesville Police Department have ever charged anyone for painting the wall, and the usual charges for criminal mischief have always been overlooked. In the past, there have been several attempts to prevent graffiti on the wall, including painting the wall white and applying graffiti-resistant coating, but eventually it became too difficult to maintain and the wall was informally turned over to the public. When the Florida Department of Transportation released road construction plans that would require removing parts of the wall, officials offered alternatives to keep the wall intact. The department has even provides waste containers to allow for proper disposal of used paint supplies.

When workers smoothed over the wet concrete 35 years ago, they unknowingly created one of Gainesville’s most talked-about features, a famous public diary that we hope will be preserved and continued for years to come.

Interested in visiting the wall? Get directions here!

 

Skate Station Funworks/ Splitz Bowling

bowlingIf you have children, then you probably are familiar with Skate Station Funworks, and Splitz Bowling. Located behind TJ Maxx off Newberry Road, Skate Station is a fun spot for kids of all ages. Children can enjoy bounce houses, a jungle gym, a rock climbing wall, mini golf, a batting cage, go carts, and a skating rink. Since they offer their space for rentals, my daughters have enjoyed multiple school trips and birthday parties there.

Splitz Bowling Alley is another family-friendly favorite located right across the street from Skate Station Funworks, off Newberry Road. Along with bowling, they offer tons of arcade games, food, and laser tag. If your child is looking for a place to hold their birthday party, you can rent out their exclusive back lanes.

The Funworks buildings are always loads of fun for kids and parents alike, and we never fail to have a great time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Gainesville Coffee Shops

coffee photoMy family is a bunch of busy bees! My daughters and I are always drinking coffee on-the-go to deal with our busy schedules. Here are a few of our favorite coffee spots in Gainesville.

Starbucks

Of course, Starbucks is a must. My daughters go to Starbucks to study in a quiet environment and for a great cup of coffee. The best part about Starbucks is the wide variety of products offered and the convenience of store location. You can find one on practically every street corner.

Maude’s

Want something more local? This is my oldest daughter’s favorite spot. Located downtown next to the Hippodrome State Theatre, this coffee spot has tons of delicious baked goods to go with a wide variety of beverages. Maude’s offers board games and good music, with an occasional live band and a bar for adults to enjoy!

Volta

This building has been talked about since its opening 5 years ago. Located on SW 2nd Avenue, Volta is a perfect spot for the serious coffee drinker. The owner judges international coffee competitions, so you know their coffee is top-notch. Their tea, hot chocolate, and other beverages also can’t be beat. Stop by Volta for one of the most-talked about coffee experiences out there!

Cymplify

Cymplify is nothing short of a hodge-podge! From a coffee shop, to an ice-cream parlor, a nursery, and a gift shop, Cymplify definitely has something for everyone. On the corner of Newberry Road and 8th Avenue, we always enjoy taking a visit to this unique store for some great coffee and a relaxing environment.

Keep up with your busy schedules by stopping in for a cup of Joe at any of our favorite local coffee shops!