March 2016

port st. lucie - cresent ave sign

definitely floridaYou might do a double-take when you see these street signs in Port St. Lucie, Florida, which is somewhat fittingly named for the patron saint of people with vision problems. There’s a block in this town where the street signs have had misspelled names for years: Cresent (instead of Crescent) Avenue, Granduer (instead of Grandeur) Avenue, and Aubudon (instead of Audubon, as in the bird guy) Avenue.

port st. lucie - granduer ave sign

When an uninhabited tract of land became incorporated as Port St. Lucie in the 1950s, the newly-formed city hired a guy to hand-paint its signs. A combination of what passed for education in the area, his “enjoying a few beverages” during his lunch break, and the Florida Effect led to the initial hilariously wrong spellings on the street signs, and “Not My Job Syndrome” likely led the signmakers after him to repeat his errors.

port st. lucie - aubudon ave sign

The signs are finally getting corrected, and West Palm Beach-based WPTV has the details.

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proposed new mascot for florida man

If you’re a follower of the Florida Man Twitter account, you know that this handsome chap is its “face”:

florida man

…and it’s the perfect face for that account. In a single picture, it captures the essence of Florida Man: a regret-tinged “so it’s come to this” sort of moment that results from a poorly-made choice, unconsidered consequences, with optional intoxicants and nudity, occurring in the life of someone from the Sunshine State.

“Florida Man’s” expression isn’t all that different from Chris Christie’s as he stood behind Donald Trump during his post-Super Tuesday victory party at their headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida:

chris christie

A still doesn’t capture the existential dread as well as video (with music added for a little emotional underscoring and dramatic flair):

definitely floridaWhile Christie isn’t from Florida, the decision to abandon his campaign, his principles, and his dignity was likely made while here — a terrible decision that has turned him into a meme — is as “Florida Man” as it gets, and that’s why I think he should be its new face.

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The newest emoji

by Joey deVilla on March 2, 2016

chris christie undo

In case you don’t get it, I’ll provide an explanation. Better yet, since it’s going to be that kind of election, I’ll let a cute YouTube personality do it for me:

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jacksonville florida

definitely floridaAlthough this was released in December 2014, nearly a year after my move to Florida, I was unaware of the above ode to Jacksonville, Florida until yesterday, when my friend and Jacksonville native Hampton Catlin posted it to Facebook. Shot at Jacksonville Landing, a terraced open-air shopping mall by the St. Johns River and overlaid with tourist brochure photos, the video is acoompanied by some unremarkable elevator jazz, and then drowns it with out-of-sync vocals that sound like karaoke night with your co-workers who’d staved off stage fright by downing a few rounds of sickly-sweet shots (most likely buttery nipples, and they couldn’t stop giggling while placing the order):

According to a December 2014 article in the Florida Times-Union titled Video, song promoting Jacksonville draws negative reviews, it wasn’t put together by the city, the local chamber of commerce, or even a group of local businesses, but some amateurs who wanted to share their civic pride. The ringleader behind the effort is Laurence Walden, whom they describe as “a veteran entertainment professional who once was a producer and director of theme park shows at Disneyland”:

He’s lived in Jacksonville since 1999 and said he thought the city needed a theme song.

Walden said Thursday that he used Broadway show tunes as an inspiration for the music for the song. He used his own experience in Jacksonville as the inspiration for the lyrics which tout everything from the Jaguars to the Beaches to the arts and other cultural scenes and beyond.

“I wrote it about nine years ago,” Walden said. “It’s a theme song, not a pop song. … It appeals to a diverse audience.”

People who are not Walden have described said appeal with comments like “That is more than cringeworthy. It’s tragic,” and “I’m sure there was good intention, but that was bad.”

A far better song about Jacksonville is Duval Ditty (a nickname for Jacksonville, which is in Duval County), released 4 years earlier in 2010. It wins on every front, from the tune to vocalists who can keep time, to better dancing, to not showing generic chain businesses you can find outside Jacksonville, such as chain hotels and grocery stores, which were featured in the Jacksonville, Florida video. It’s even more impressive when you find out that it was made by students at Jacksonville’s Paxon High School.

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