Best of KEXP 4

KEXP is an independent radio station in Seattle which streams live and also hosts musical artists playing in their in-house studio.  The station makes these live performances available on YouTube.  I have discovered many new bands by following KEXP’s YouTube channel.  Here are some of my favorite live performances. See also Best of KEXP 1, Best of KEXP 2, and Best of KEXP 3.

Belle and Sebastian (2022)

Fontaines D.C. (2022)

Fontaines D.C. (2019)

Lucy Dacus (2021)

Jupiter & Okwess (2020)

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade, Part 1

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

After years of planning and construction, part of the Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade opened at 8:00 am on Saturday, June 4, 2022. The Riverfront Esplanade lies to the east of Beach Street between Main Street to the north and International Speedway Boulevard (ISB) to the south. The two-block section south from ISB to Orange Avenue is still under construction with a scheduled opening at the end of 2022.

Opening Day

I didn’t know it was open when I set out on a morning walk up Beach Street. Looking over to the park, I noticed the orange fencing had been removed and the teal-colored gates were open. I entered the park at the entrance next to the News-Journal Center and headed north to see the Halifax River Overlook, a raised platform with swings and views across the river.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade
Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

I left the overlook and continued north behind the News-Journal Center.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

Past the News-Journal Center, the path (with blue cushioned running trail) ran parallel to Beach Street past Bethune Plaza and the Brown & Brown Insurance building.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

This view is across the South Lawn towards Manatee Island.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

Soon I arrived at the Manatee Plaza where staff were handing out postcard announcements, park maps, water bottles, and bandanas. The plaza contains restrooms and is the gateway to Manatee Island.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

Although I have lived in downtown Daytona Beach for more than nine years, I had never visited Manatee Island. I now crossed the bridge and turned right, quickly arriving at the Amphitheater. This was not new, but it had been refurbished and had fresh grass laid down.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Manatee Island

I continued walking counterclockwise around the island with views across the Halifax River to several bridges.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Manatee Island
Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Manatee Island

The island had lots of palm trees, open grassy areas, several pavilions, and more restrooms.

I circled the island, then crossed the bridge back to the main park and turned right to continue north for a little bit. After passing under an orange inflatable arch, I decided to turn around and head back home.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

I retraced my route back south on the (main) Sweetheart Trail along the South Lawn.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

I passed again behind the News-Journal Center with a view towards the Halifax River Overlook.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

I passed the path where I had entered the park and continued south.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade
Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade
Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

I reached the south entrance at the corner of Beach Street and ISB and exited the park after finishing an hour’s walk. Below is the free gear I got.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Free Gear

Day Two

The next day, Sunday, June 5, I rode my bike through the Riverfront Esplanade to have a second look and to visit the areas I hadn’t seen the day before. I entered at the south entrance and rode along the main path, around the Overlook, past the News-Journal Center, and looped Manatee Island. At the Manatee Plaza I rode north along the North Lawn to the end I skipped the day before.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

When I reached the Josie Rogers’ House, I turned left and rode out to the entrance on Beach Street for some photos of the house.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Josie Rogers' House
Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Josie Rogers' House

The sign reads:

DR. JOSIE ROGERS’ HOUSE

Dr. Josie Rogers was born in Daytona Beach on November 26, 1876 – the same year the city was incorporated. In 1879, her father built this house, where she grew up. She became the first female Mayor of Daytona Beach in 1922, only 2 years after passage of woman’s right to vote. She was the first female physician in Daytona Beach and her office was open to both white and black patients. She served as Chairman of the State Health Department and Chief of Staff for the Halifax District Hospital. Her father, Durham Rogers, was instrumental with the incorporation of the Town of Daytona. He was the Town’s first surveyor, built the first ice plant and first bridge across the Halifax River (Main Street Bridge).

Not noted on the sign: This house is not in its original location, it had been moved years ago from the spot where Manatee Plaza now sits.

I continued around the house north to Brownie’s Dog Park.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Josie Rogers' House

The Dog Park, which includes an agility course, was not open. Dog owners must sign up for a dog park membership to use it.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Dog Park
Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Dog Park

I now reached the north entrance to the park.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade North Entrance

From here I re-entered the park and followed the (main) Sweetheart Trail all the way back to the south entrance.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade

I left the park, and turned right to ride north on Beach Street along the west perimeter of the park. At Main Street is located the main sign for the Riverfront Esplanade (see first photo, above). I continued north along the riverfront to extend my ride. On the way home, I stopped by Veteran’s Plaza for one last photo.

Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Memorial

I have been skeptical about how many new people the new Riverfront Esplanade will attract to patronize the riverfront shops of Daytona Beach. But as a downtown resident, I am pleased to have a beautiful new park in which to walk and ride my bike. I look forward to the opening of the southern section in a few months. Watch for Part 2.

50 Hikes: #26 Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area

50 Hikes: #26 Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area

This is Hike #26 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on March 6, 2022.

Although I hiked Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve for the second time in January, this was my first new hike from the book in 2022. The weather was beautiful all day, but the hike itself was one of the least interesting, so far. The entire perimeter trail was a double-track for horses and hikers. The highlight here is definitely the trees.

Continue reading 50 Hikes: #26 Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area

ERAU Cars & Coffee

ERAU Cars & Coffee

I originally had planned to go to the Central Florida Cars & Coffee on Sunday, March 6, 2022, so I had cleaned and detailed my car the previous day. However, when I saw the Instagram post from the Embry-Riddle Muscle Car Association about their Cars & Coffee happening that Sunday morning, I changed my plans. They had invited anyone to attend, not just students.

Continue reading ERAU Cars & Coffee

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve Hike

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve Hike Olga

A few days before this hike, my friend Olga sent me a text message asking me to pick a hike for the weekend. We had previous hiked the St. Francis Trail together and really enjoyed it. In August 2019 I had hiked Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, but that day was hot and miserable due to horseflies. Back then I knew I wanted to hike it again during a cooler time of year. So I suggested this hike to Olga.

Continue reading Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve Hike

Feeding the Embry-Riddle Cats 2021-2022

Embry-Riddle P.A.W.S. Feeding Station

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach campus is home to at least one colony of cats. In 2018, some students, with the support of faculty and staff, formed a club to help feed and care for the campus cats. They called it the Protecting Animal Wellness Society (P.A.W.S.).

Each year I donate money to P.A.W.S. During Winter Break, when most students are away from campus, local staff sign up to feed the cats. I previously wrote about feeding the Embry-Riddle cats in 2019.

Continue reading Feeding the Embry-Riddle Cats 2021-2022

50 Hikes: #18 St. Francis Trail

50 Hikes: #18 St. Francis Trail

This is Hike #18 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on December 18, 2021.

St. Francis Trail is in the far eastern side of the Ocala National Forest, just outside of DeLand, Florida.

Nearly all of my previous hikes from the book had been solo. My companion on this hike was my friend Olga. We started the hike around 10:30 am on an unseasonably warm December day. Olga was actually overdressed in jeans.

Continue reading 50 Hikes: #18 St. Francis Trail

HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona 2021

2021 HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona Logo

The Historic Sportscar Racing Classic 24 Hour at Daytona for 2021 took place from October 27-31. Instead of one 24-hour race, this event consisted of 24 one-hour (42 minutes of green flag) race sessions. The sessions began on Saturday afternoon, October 30, 2021, and finished the following day.

I had attended this race previously in 2015, its second year.

When HSR announced that Porsche would be the featured marque, I knew I wanted to go back this year. I bought a package of tickets and a Porsche Car Corral parking pass.

Continue reading HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona 2021