Niki Brunson Is Thankful to Call Jacksonville ‘Home’

When I was asked to write an essay, I thought, “What an honor,” and then my mind went blank. Suddenly, concepts began to flow, 

and I realized that I have so many reasons to be thankful.

In July, I had a four-an-a-half-inch tumor removed. Today, I am thankful that July 19 represents a new beginning for me, because I live in a city with premium medical services.

In April, we participated in One Spark’s inaugural crowdfunding festival in Downtown Jacksonville. Who wouldn’t be thankful for a platform to transform dreams into realities?

In February, my restaurant located in historic Eastside, Celeb’s Corner Kitchen, was awarded a Business Beacon Award by the BBIF of Orlando for our efforts to spark economic development and community service.

With so many reasons, I am most thankful I call Jacksonville “home.”

Today, creativity, innovation, responsive and responsible leadership, and cooperative economics are features of our future. With a backdrop of beautiful parks, numerous waterways and the beaches, we possess characteristics to create a “model” for successfully improving our quality of life and creating the ultimate vacation destination for guests and residents.

Next time someone repeats the myth, “There’s nothing to do in Jacksonville,” share a few of my suggestions:

From slow-cooked barbecue to fresh seafood, you can get it.

If you like Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, try The Jacksonville Landing.

The Jaguars have made it super-easy to join the NFL experience.

Check out your favorite national recording artist at the Veterans Memorial Arena, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts or The Florida Theatre.

Local artists from poets to painters perform nightly from Kings Avenue to The Elbow.

Prefer to shop? The outlets are great, but the St. Johns Town Center is here.

Need to get away from the hustle of the city? Take a drive down A1A through Guana State Park. It makes me feel like I’m on my way to a sleepy beach town in South Carolina.

I could go on and on, but it would take more space than I have here.