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My Pensacola—David Stafford

DAVID STAFFORD
Day Job: Escambia County Supervisor of Elections
Pensacola Resident Since: 1970, with a few stints out of town

Much of My Pensacola happens to revolve around Palafox Street and its vicinity.  It’s where I work, eat and sometimes play.  It’s also where my wife works and my boys attend school – Episcopal Day School — and where we worship, Christ Episcopal Church.

Good Eats:
I love food.  During the week, my co-workers and I will usually hit one of our downtown favorites.  Jimmy Holler’s Dog House Deli is second to none – Chicago dog, hold the onions.  A few doors down, the Mahi tacos at Nacho Daddies are unbelievable, as are the pita pizzas at Hopjacks.  The soup and salad bar at Seville Quarter and Jamaican wrap from Ever’man are always good, quick options.

For dinner we love the Fish House.  Collier, J.P. and their crew always make us feel welcome, especially when we bring friends and family from outside the area.  McGuire’s is another local institution that lives up to its billing.  Nathan’s Special is more than a sandwich.  Half-price Mondays at Ozone are great for two hungry boys who love their pizza.  The black bean quesadillas and Mexican salad are our standard take-out fare from Cactus Flower.

Nightlife:
As a fledgling, wanna-be musician, I enjoy live music.  While I don’t get out to too many shows, I manage to catch a few here and there. Vinyl has brought in an impressive and diverse array of talent in their first year.  It’s an impressive venue.  The Fish House Deck is a great place to see a band, and Seville Quarter always has something going on.

The Wisteria is a good place to meet up with friends.  It has quite a history there on that tree-lined stretch of 12th Avenue.  And the aforementioned Hopjacks and Ozone have wide selections of pints to wash down their pizza.

Outdoors:
After school and on the weekends, we spend a lot of time at Roger Scott. We live in East Hill, and like many of our neighbors frequent Bayview Park.  From the tennis courts and the dog park, to trails for running and biking, it’s easy to find something to do.

The National Naval Aviation Museum is a world-class attraction, and it’s still free.  It’s perfect on an exceptionally hot or rainy day — especially the IMAX and simulators — and a must see for out-of-town visitors.  And we can’t wait for the National Flight Academy to open its doors to area students.  Fort Barrancas is yet another favorite destination onboard NAS Pensacola, as is the A.C. Read golf course.

We try not to take Pensacola Beach for granted and, in fact, enjoyed the boys’ last spring break there.  We like taking our bikes into Fort Pickens, exploring the trails and forts, and then hopping in the gulf at Langdon Beach.

Never Miss Events/Festivals
We never miss the Blue Angels Air Show at Pensacola Beach.  With a father and two brothers as Naval officers, I have a deep appreciation for our men and women in uniform.  Nothing compares to watching the F/A-18 Hornets perform their magic with Pensacola Beach as the backdrop.  The homecoming show onboard NAS is another must-see event.  We are so fortunate to be the Cradle of Naval Aviation, and the place that the Blues call home.

Gallery Night has helped the resurgence of downtown, as has the Pelican Drop on New Year’s Eve.  Evenings in Seville Square offers great music in an incomparable setting.  The Fiesta of Five Flags celebration each year gives the community a chance to celebrate its heritage and have some fun along the way.  And I look forward to the Blue Wahoos at the new Maritime Park stadium next year.