Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 2nd 2014

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My Pensacola—Chelsea Powell

Name: Chelsea Powell
Day Job: Office Specialist in the Provost’s Office at UWF
Pensacola Resident Since: Birth, although I had a brief stint in Tallahassee (and subsequently realized that attending a party school my first year of college wasn’t the best decision).

Good Eats:
The Elbow Room is, hands down, my favorite place in Pensacola. There’s nothing else quite like red lighting, Otis Redding on the jukebox, drinking a Sham Wow, and eating the best pasta salad I’ve ever tasted. Not to mention, Melanie is the cutest damn waitress around.

Retail Therapy:
On the Saturday mornings that I don’t sleep in I make a trip down to Palafox Market. My usual purchases include fresh, local produce, homemade hot sauce and organic peanut butter treats for my pup.  It’s always fun to walk around and look at the art, listen to the violinist and get some free samples.

Watering Holes:
The Wiz (aka Wisteria) – I fell in love with this tiny bar when I discovered that they carry Harpoon 100 barrel series. I tend to encounter the most interesting characters there and any bar that has the restroom located outside (tip: watch out for the uneven steps on the way out) is ok in my book. My friends Shelsie and Jake bartend there on Wednesday and Thursday nights; visit them for good beer and pleasant conversation.

Pensacola Bay Brewery – There’s something so satisfying about drinking a beer that was produced in the same spot. This dog-friendly bar is quaint and welcoming, plus you’ll always leave with a pint glass or mug.

Nightlife:
Nightlife for me isn’t about where I am, it’s who I’m with. Whether it’s getting owned in foosball at Play, getting saucy after one stiff drink at The Azalea, doing Flaming Dr. Pepper shots at End of the Alley, or just driving around town with the windows down blasting NOLA bounce music; my nighttime shenanigans are expectedly entertaining because of my friends.

Outdoors:
I always joked about how smug residents of East Hill are until I moved to the ‘hood. Now I’m as smug as can be, but with good reason: the area is gorgeous. I love going on runs so I can admire the eccentric houses overflowing with yard art or the multi-story Neoclassical homes.

I try to take my Chihuahua to Bayview Park as often as possible so she can heckle and out run all of the big dogs. The playground at Bayview has this little gyroscope thingy (I’m willing to bet that’s not the technical name for it) that may make you vomit, but at least you’ll have a blast doing so.

Arts & Culture:
Culture Club – My evenings on the first Thursday of each month are spent at the Pensacola Museum of Art’s Culture Club. Different artists are featured each month and it’s a great opportunity to meet other young professionals while enjoying complimentary beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres. I’m slightly bitter because I never win, but the raffles they have include some rad prizes and purchasing tickets is a great way to support the PMA.

Tag UWF – The Art Gallery at UWF is located in the beautiful Center for Fine and Performing Arts building. Not only do students get a chance to display their art in a professional atmosphere, but faculty and visiting artists are also featured there. The gallery is always free and the exhibition receptions offer snacks and a decent selection of beer and wine.
Never Miss Events/Festivals:

I never miss a Gallery Night. Palafox turns into a miniature Bourbon Street and fills with thousands of people having a great time. I never know who I’ll run in to or what kind of craziness the night will entail. Gallery night is arguably the best thing to happen to downtown Pensacola and I’m hoping the trial extended hours are here to stay.

After my recent weekend at Deluna Fest, you can mark my words that I will always be an attendee. I had one of the best weekends of my life singing and dancing along to some of my favorite bands with my closest friends on my hometown beach. What a ruckus!