Driving late at night is always an activity I particularly enjoy. It expanded my horizons and brought to me to new places while living in Orlando, allowed me to learn the streets and neighbourhoods of Jacksonville, Florida in less than four months and continues to provide me with a stress relief that is unmatched.
When I moved to Tallahassee, I had always envisioned spending my evenings alone, driving around the area. But when I got here a combination of my almost instantaneous induction into two social circles and the high price of gasoline prevented that idea from ever taking form. Instead the most driving I have done resulted from working across town from my apartment and regularly attending my friend's flag football games at Tom Brown
and James Messier Park. It was while driving to Tom Brown Field for the first time I saw The Capitol Building
in my rearview mirror, the sun setting on it and the moon rising next to it. From the Post Office where my box lives, I can see straight up College Avenue to Westcott Plaza
There was only one occasion where I did venture off into the night without a particular destination in mind. I only knew I was hungry for something different and I would not know what that was exactly until I saw it. Turns out that "something" was Village Pizza
off Thomasville Road; cold beer, tasty stromboli and reasonably priced.
Interestingly enough, that little trip was the last time I drove on Interstate-10
. Coming from a city where interstate, toll and other freeways are the primary arteries of transportation, I have very nicely acclimated to the fact that I-10 is simply a gateway to the rest of the country. The next time I anticipate driving on I-10 is when I head back to Orlando for several days sometime at the end of December. I laugh aloud just thinking about it.
I finally decided the other night that it had been too long since I drove for driving's sake, so I took off in my car with the windows down, the sunroof open and the heat blowing. It was an absolutely perfect night for a drive around town, the temperatures plummeting from the fifties down to eventual record lows. As I turned onto Gaines, I was immediately enamored by the fluorescent office lights of the Department of Education's Ralph Turlington Building
. Those lights are so terrible when you are in the office they illuminate, but when viewed from the outside in the middle of the night, that unusual building seems to stand as the guardian of downtown, the lights bringing the structure together. Bringing it to life.
After making that trek I decided to drive on the southern segment of Capital Circle, past the Tallahassee Regional Airport
(KTLH) and back around and up to my office building near Apalachee and Capital Circle. I had to test if my newly activated access badge was functioning after-hours. From there, I continued up to Miccosukee and took what I call the "back way" home from there.
In all, it was an experience I am looking forward to repeating. Who knows? Maybe tonight's foggy slumber into the high fifties will provide a chance to see something new and wonderful. Either way, I leave you with a present-day look
at South Monroe to compare with its 1946 counterpart above.