Pensacola, Florida
Saturday October 25th 2014

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My Pensacola—Jenny Diamond

Name: Jenny Diamond
Day Job: Adjunct English Instructor at UWF, Starbucks barista
Pensacola resident since: 1985—minus a year here, a few months there. I’ve tried to leave, but I keep on coming back.

Good Eats:
It goes without saying—or at least it should—that Cactus Flower is one of the best restaurants in town. Lately, I’ve also been frequenting the adjoining coffee shop, Maximilian. Comfortable atmosphere, pastries and fancy breakfast choices, friendly folks, outside seats, and best of all, taquitos. Delicious, delicious taquitos. Plus, they feature a lot of local products made from folks right here in East Hill. Awesome new addition to the neighborhood.

Another East Hill favorite is definitely Ozone! Whoever decided to put pesto, cream cheese, artichokes, and cashews on a pizza was clearly a genius. Plus, they have great specials: Thursday is Ladies Night and Monday is half off large pizza night. Come on!

Just to throw a wrench in your Monday nights, I can’t forget about sushi at Dharma Blue. Every Monday night you can get $2 off of every roll, and their prices are already good to begin with! Try the Toshi Roll or the Zoo Roll…you won’t be sorry! Plus, their awesome porch dining overlooks Seville Square. Cheap, good eats with a view. Done and done.

Watering Holes:
Make new friends but keep the old, right? Keeping that in mind, an old favorite is Hub Stacey’s. Best patio, awesome staff who remember you and your order, and the kicker, half off for ladies all the time! Hubs is definitely my favorite place to grab a beer, whether it’s a casual afternoon, night out, or Sunday Funday.

A new kid in town that is quickly becoming a favorite is The Magnolia. For a smaller, quaint bar, they have an awesome beer and wine selection, and owners Bill and Kiley are just about two of the friendliest business folks you’d ever want to meet. Plus, Bill introduced me to Shiner Bock’s seasonal Ruby Redbird, bless his dear heart.

Outdoors:
I’ve lived in Pensacola nearly my whole life, and I gotta say, you haven’t seen Pensacola until you’ve seen it by kayak. With our various coastlines, inlets, and bays, there is so much to explore when you travel by water. I bought a kayak at the beginning of the summer, and it’s been one of my best purchases to date. However, if you’re not looking to own, there are several places to rent a kayak or paddle board at good prices: I recommend Key Sailing underneath Surf Burger if you’re on the island and Pensacola Paddle Sport Rentals at Bayview Park if you’re in town.

Growing up in Pensacola, I have awesome memories of camping and day trips out to Ft. Pickens—biking, fishing, walking the trails, clambering around the forts, ghost hunting. As an adult, I’ve found that my love of Ft. Pickens has only grown, although now I keep a more watchful eye for snakes! You can buy a year-long pass for only $25! If you haven’t watched a sunset from the pass or climbed Fort Battery for a 360-degree view of the island, go do it. Today.

Nightlife:
For a karaoke junkie like me, no night out is complete without a little drunken public warbling. Even if you’re too shy/sober to participate yourself, rest assured that karaoke is never boring. You can find Krazy George, Pensacola’s resident karaoke MC, at Hub Stacey’s on Saturday nights and Play on Tuesdays. Also, Cabaret features awesome karaoke on Mondays and Thursdays starting at nine. So take a nap, stay out late on a school/work night, and show the crowd that Christina Aguilera has nothin’ on you!

Arts/Culture:
The Culture Club on the first Thursday of each month at the Pensacola Museum of Art is such a fun way to start an evening out! From five to seven, you can enjoy the PMA’s awesome monthly exhibit, live music from a featured local artist, raffles, free eats and drinks, and the company of an eclectic mix of young Pensacola folks. Good times indeed!

Never Miss Events/Festivals:
Barktoberfest! An early-October festival in Seville Square dedicated to families and their pups. Seriously, one of the funniest and most fun events of the year! Dogs in costume everywhere you look. Plus, many shelters and rescues use Barktoberfest to promote their causes, collect donations, and attract volunteers and potential parents for furry babes needing homes. Bring your friends (of the two and four-legged variety) and check out this great fall event!