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Today is Leap Day, an auspicious time to debut my new Around the Block column.

Created in 45 BC by Julius Caesar as a way to balance out the inconsistencies in the annual calendar, here we are now, centuries later, given a “bonus” day, a “time out of time” to find treasure, filling the day with what we choose to “leap into.”  

体育在线365When I first moved here 29 years ago with husband, Tom, and our 2-year-old toddler, Alana, everywhere we looked in our new city evoked treasure. 

The first time I walked into Rubyfruit Books, a feminist bookstore that offered books one couldn’t find anywhere else! The first time we discovered Nature’s Way, at that time the only “health food” restaurant in town. (Both Rubyfruit and Nature’s Way no longer exist, alas.) The list goes on.  

Our first time at the Junior Museum (now The Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science), walking on the boardwalk to view real live bears, panthers, otters, and whatever guest animal was on the docket.  

体育在线365Our first time visiting the downtown Farmers Market, or cooling off in the waters of Wakulla Springs. Our first time eating at La Fiesta which used to be right around the corner from our home on Myers Park (now further up on Apalachee Parkway), our discovery of Bamboo House (no longer in existence) that had the greatest mu shu pancakes, where our family enjoyed many cozy dinners.

体育在线365The first time we walked around Lake Ella, fed the ducks, and enjoyed a latte at Black Dog Cafe. The first time we swam at the public pool in Myers Park, just a hop skip and jump from our dwelling, or visited Maclay Gardens. All these memories rise up as I revisit days gone by. 

A year or two after settling here, I applied to be a Community Columnist with the Tallahassee Democrat and chose the name Around the Block for my column. I wanted to get to know Tallahassee better. I was determined to walk in different neighborhoods and discover hidden treasure, hidden because it wasn’t familiar until I took the leap to find what it had to offer.  

For each column I walked a “beat.”

I remember exploring Frenchtown, Midtown (long before it was the happening place it is today), the Co-Housing neighborhood tucked away behind Miracle Five movie theater that is no more (replaced by the Whole Foods shopping center) and Indianhead with its winding “Nene” streets and Optimist Park.

I wrote a column on Race Relations Study Circles that were going on city-wide, one of which Tom and I hosted in our home. I suppose all these columns still exist in our newspaper’s archives, for those of you who want to engage in nostalgia or plumb the history of that time. 

体育在线365Our city is evolving always.

When we moved here there was no Cascades Park, no Lucky Goat coffee, no All Saints Cinema (in Railroad Square). There was no Trader Joe’s, no Blue Tavern, no Zumba fitness classes, no dog parks. Restaurants have closed and new ones have arisen; more festivals are added to the city calendar. 

In the columns yet to come I intend to revive my mindful curiosity about this city that as far as I know, is my forever home. I will write about treasure I discover as I keep my eyes and ears open, wandering untrodden paths, meeting interesting people, watching red-tailed hawks circle in the sky.  

I wonder what you will do with your Leap Day. What will you see around your block you’ve never seen before? What treasure is calling to you?

Katya Sabaroff Taylor, author of My Haiku Life and Prison Wisdom, enjoys inspiring others to write their own stories and poems. Contact her at  katyata@earthlink.net.

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