Bill Delaney
Bill is a writer, marketing director and higher education professional whose writing focuses on the culture and history of the First Coast. He is co-owner and editor of The Jaxson, Modern Cities, and Edible Northeast Florida magazine, and author of the book Secret Jacksonville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of North Florida. Reach Bill at wdelaney@moderncities.com.
Featured image for “OPINION | Changing the urban landscape in 2023”
January 24, 2023

OPINION | Changing the urban landscape in 2023

2023 could be a year of big change for Jacksonville’s urban core. Here’s a look at five trends to watch through the year.

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Waterfront parks: 5 models for Jacksonville”
December 20, 2022

THE JAXSON | Waterfront parks: 5 models for Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville boasts one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country, but historically, our public space along it hasn’t kept up. While investments like the popular Riverwalks and the ongoing renovation of Friendship Fountain Park have been positive additions, the city has a tendency to get in its own way, notably by spending $25 million and counting to turn

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Featured image for “OPINION | 4 myths about Jacksonville’s city government”
December 13, 2022

OPINION | 4 myths about Jacksonville’s city government

Jacksonville City Hall provides no shortage of things to criticize, but there are some common complaints that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Looking around the country shows that. Myth 1: Jacksonville City Council is too big Reality: Jacksonville City Council is smaller than the councils of other consolidated cities One recurring claim about Jacksonville’s city government is that its 19-member

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws”
November 29, 2022

THE JAXSON | Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws

You may think your miniature Christmas Village is a quaint tribute to the building traditions of yesteryear. However, its walkable, mixed-use, architecturally diverse layout is a flagrant violation of modern zoning laws and an affront to the single-family development ascendancy. Christmas villages are popular seasonal displays in no small part because they have the qualities that make real neighborhoods and

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast”
November 22, 2022

THE JAXSON | The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast

Five decades before the Pilgrims celebrated their feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts, French and Spanish colonists held feasts of celebration on Florida’s First Coast. Origins of Thanksgiving Thanksgiving has its roots in European traditions. All across Europe, it was customary to give thanks to God after the yearly harvest and other important events. In the age of colonization, it became customary

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | The last days of Adventure Landing”
November 8, 2022

THE JAXSON | The last days of Adventure Landing

For 27 years, Jacksonville Beach’s Adventure Landing has been one of the most popular attractions for kids and their families anywhere on the First Coast, but current plans for the property will shutter the park in the near future. The Jaxson’s Bill Delaney and photographer Erik Hamilton stopped by to take one last look. The adventure begins Adventure Landing came

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Jax lore: Alpha Paynter, ghost of TacoLu”
October 25, 2022

THE JAXSON | Jax lore: Alpha Paynter, ghost of TacoLu

Before it was TacoLu, the iconic log cabin off Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach was home to the famed Homestead restaurant for 80 years. According to widespread local tradition, its founder Alpha Paynter never left even in death. In honor of spooky season, here’s a look at the history and folklore behind one of Northeast Florida’s best-known haunted buildings. A

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Jax lore: Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery”
October 18, 2022

THE JAXSON | Jax lore: Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery

Jacksonville’s historic spaces offer no shortage of secrets and local folklore, and Evergreen Cemetery, the city’s oldest active cemetery, is no exception. Here’s a look at the ghost stories attached to this venerable burial ground. Founded in 1880, Evergreen Cemetery is Jacksonville’s oldest cemetery still in operation. The 167-acre site is the final resting place of 14 Jacksonville mayors, five

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Jacksonville could become an oyster town again”
October 4, 2022

THE JAXSON | Jacksonville could become an oyster town again

Oysters have been a staple of First Coast diets for thousands of years, although local oyster harvesting ceased in 1994 due to pollution. The rise of new oyster houses in San Marco and the Downtown Southbank shows that interest in this savory bivalve delicacy hasn’t waned — could it help spark a long-awaited rebirth of the Jacksonville oyster industry? Oysters

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Secret Jacksonville: Exchange Club Island”
September 20, 2022

THE JAXSON | Secret Jacksonville: Exchange Club Island

Although it hasn’t always been accessible or maintained, Exchange Club Island is an official city park and one of Jacksonville’s unique urban spaces. Here’s a dive into the colorful history of the accidental island beneath the Mathews Bridge. An accidental island More than 50,000 people drive over one of Jacksonville’s most singular parks every day without ever realizing it. Officially

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