Pensacola, Florida
Thursday October 23rd 2014

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My Pensacola—Nicole E. Sturgill

Name: Nicole E. Sturgill
Day Job: All Things Considered Host/Feature Producer, 88.1 FM WUWF
Pensacola Resident Since: April 1, 2011

Good Eats: Blue Dot Barbeque on North DeVilliers Street is a real treat. While covering Black History Month, I became aware of this unique place. Now I understand why locals are hooked on these delicious burgers. When my husband first tasted the Blue Dot’s mouth-watering burger he said he didn’t see what all the fuss was about. However, when he knew I was going to that side of town next, he asked, “Will you bring me a Blue Dot?” We’re both hooked and can’t wait to go back to try the ribs. We also like the soul food at Five Sisters Blues Café.  I’m also a sucker for Shanghai Buffet’s fried cheese wontons. We’re fans of Flounder’s Chowder House on Quietwater Beach, too.

Retail Therapy: I like to visit consignment and pawn shops because I never know what I’ll find!  My favorites are Ken’s Corner, Cash USA and Pawn USA. I’m always looking for old string instruments.  While I browse, I come across all kinds of neat things. I recently found an old washboard that I ended up giving to Sonja Griffin Evans at the Gumbo Gallery on North DeVilliers Street, and can’t wait to see how she turns it into a painted masterpiece. My other recent favorite find is a cast iron cornbread mold pan. Yard sales are great. And, of course, any Goodwill shopping experience can lead to new dresses, skirts and jeans for my wardrobe.

Nightlife: I’m still new to the area, so I’m sure my list will grow the longer I live here. So far, my husband and I have enjoyed the live music at Flounder’s and Crabs at Casino Beach Boulevard. Mostly on the weekends, we like to kick back and relax at home and sometimes entertain guests with home-cooked meals and live music. We plan to expand our list this summer.

Outdoors: The beach is my favorite place to go. My husband and I moved from Kentucky, and we don’t plan to take the beautiful beaches for granted. I like to collect sea shells for art projects that I have yet to start.  Nature walks are cool because they’re so peaceful. Listening to the birds chirping, coming upon a creek where we can watch the fish and frogs swim and jump around is a nice experience. However, the last time I went on a nature walk (I won’t mention where) I ended up with a bad case of Poison Ivy. That kind of ruined my outdoorsy spirits for a while. We’re planning to go camping this summer at Big Lagoon State Park. My parents are talking about coming down from Kentucky to join us.

Arts & Culture: I am just now realizing how much I, as a singer/songwriter/musician have in common with visual artists.  I was recently blown away by the artwork at the Gumbo Gallery, where there are paintings by various local artists on display. I love to go to there and gaze at these works and connect in my own way with the painters. I like to think about what they might have been thinking and feeling while they were working. I also like to see where in my memory or imagination the pictures take me, and what kind of feelings that evokes. It’s quite a refreshing experience that I highly recommend for anyone who wants to step away from normal routines.

I also look forward Gallery Night. Artists need places to share their work; not just their interpretations of other people’s work. It’s great that Pensacola has a place for its artists to put their hearts out there while helping bring the community together.

I enjoy Ballet Pensacola and the Pensacola Opera, as well as WUWF’s Gallery 88.  The most recent exhibit was Like Mother, Like Son, by Kathi Gordon and her son “Smokey” Joe Waitsman.  I was so excited to purchase a smiling half-moon carved out of cow bone for my 6-year-old niece’s birthday. I told her that her new necklace is special because it’s the only one of its kind in the world, just like her.  She loves it.

Never Miss Events/Festivals: I am always excited for Gallery Night. I also looking forward to Artist’s Row on the first Saturday in April, as well as the DeVilliers Cultural Heritage Arts Festival in May.  The Estevanico Arts and Gospel Festival, in October, is sure to be a rewarding experience, too.