Growing up on Florida’s Gulf Coast, anything more than about ten miles inland might as well have been on Mars. Tallahassee was a place I drove past on Interstate 10 while on my way to somewhere more interesting. Oh, and it was the state capital. When I came to FSU Law, that was pretty much all I knew about Tallahassee. Now, after two-and-a-half years of living here, the city has completely won me over, and wish I had discovered it sooner. There were quite a lot of pleasant surprises in store for me here, but I want to single a few of them out for special mention.
First off, Tallahassee is gorgeous. I am not sure if there is a record for the municipality which has the most parks per square mile, but if there is, then Tallahassee should at least be in the running. There are large wilderness parks, modern urban parks, even a chain of parks that runs for several blocks through the city center; and in general a very large amount of green space. Even downtown, there are many enormous old oak and pecan trees that line the avenues and shade the cozy old Southern houses. There are flowers everywhere. And, to top it all off, FSU’s campus is itself a work of landscaping and architectural magnificence. Sure, it doesn’t have an ocean view, but Tallahassee is nonetheless a truly beautiful place to live.
Second, Tallahassee is creative. Being home to two major state universities and also the state government means that Tallahassee is at the intersection of huge streams of talent, curiosity, and opportunity. This makes it an exciting and engaging place to live. Almost everyone you meet is working to bring an idea to fruition, and this creates an atmosphere that encourages creative thinking and entrepreneurship. One easily-visible result of this is the lively culinary scene: do you like gourmet, farm-to-table, avant-garde cuisine? We’ve got you covered, several times over. How about homemade Cambodian/Puerto Rican food? We have that, too, and everything in between. I also firmly believe that Tallahassee is the best-caffeinated state in the Union: even if you confine yourself to small, independent coffee shops (most of which roast their own beans), it would take you more than a week to visit them all if you went to a new one each day.
Finally, Tallahassee is just plain nice. Perhaps this is a consequence of the other two points I mentioned: between the gorgeous scenery and fantastic lifestyle, folks in Tallahassee have every reason to be in a pretty good mood. People say hello to one another in the street, talk to one another in line, and help one another out even if they are complete strangers. The sense of community is very strong here, and it makes Tallahassee a very comfortable place to be. It is a very outgoing city, and it is very easy for a newcomer to make friends and become involved in the community.
Bailey Howard, 3L