July 20, 2009
Nine major public transit positions available in this week's classified ads!
|COUNTDOWN TO 2009 ANNUAL MEETING
Offering Far More than Tourist Destinations; Look Inside Orlando’s Coolest Neighborhoods
Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Orlando year-round? To see and hear theme park fireworks from your backyard or to own a season pass to visit the parks as many times as you’d like?
Orlando locals certainly know how good they have it, but they also know there’s more to living in central Florida than roller coasters and cartoon characters. Take an insider’s look at some of Orlando’s most happening neighborhoods.
New residential condos, trendy restaurants, and eclectic shops have reshaped downtown Orlando, the heart of the city’s commercial and cultural core, located east of Interstate 4 and north of the attractions area. Here, breathtaking new high-rises juxtapose with Victorian architecture, a thriving nightlife scene finds a home among historical landmarks, and Orlando’s “Cultural Corridor” stretches for blocks, offering theaters, galleries, and performing arts venues.
Lake Eola Park features a .9-mile loop, swan paddle boats for rent, playground, outdoor café, Walt Disney Amphitheatre, Orlando Farmer’s Market, and numerous special events throughout the year.
The route of a self-guided, eight-block downtown Orlando Historic District tour of buildings dating back to the 1880s, including the Orange County Regional History Center and Wells’ Built Museum, is available.
One of downtown Orlando’s most charming neighborhoods, centered around East Central Boulevard and North Summerlin Avenue, Thornton Park is Orlando’s center of new urbanism, with residential lofts, renovated Craftsman-style bungalows, and historic Neoclassical and Tudor Revival homes. They’re all within walking distance of a burgeoning collection of shops and restaurants. Historic Dickson Azalea Park and Fern Creek are located in this area.
Loch Haven Park/Ivanhoe Village
Though not actually a neighborhood but a 45-acre park situated just minutes outside of downtown Orlando at North Mills and East Princeton streets, Loch Haven is a local favorite and cultural destination. Just between downtown Orlando and Loch Haven Park along Lake Ivanhoe and North Orange Avenue, Ivanhoe Village is an emerging eclectic neighborhood dubbed Orlando’s newest Main Street. The area features Antique Row along Orange Avenue.
The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne: ViMi District
Just northeast of downtown Orlando, this expanding enclave of authentic Asian restaurants, shops, and markets is home to one of the largest Vietnamese-American communities in Florida. Dozens of Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, and Chinese restaurants crowd along Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue. The neighborhood’s grocery stores, stocked with everything from alternative medicines to exotic produce, cater mostly to Asian customers.
A short drive north of downtown Orlando’s major attractions, Winter Park charms visitors with tree-shaded avenues and a window into the world of Florida’s past.
Once a major citrus-growing region, Winter Park was a popular retreat for well-to-do Northerners who traveled south by train in the early 20th century. From those roots, a city sprang up where culture thrived and natural resources were well-protected. Today, Winter Park is 8 square miles with 20,000 oak trees and is home to almost 28,000 residents.
Winter Park’s Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art features the world’s most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Just northwest of downtown Orlando along Edgewater Drive is delightful College Park, with streets named for famous colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. Key West style bungalows mix with turn-of-the-20th-century mansions while young professionals mix with longtime residents in a burgeoning neighborhood sprinkled with colorful shops and restaurants.
Those nostalgic for the small town America experience of yesteryear will enjoy a visit to Baldwin Park, located just minutes from downtown Orlando. The neighborhood was designed to foster a sense of community, featuring narrow streets and wide sidewalks, miles of walking trails, distinct architecture, vibrant town centers and a mix of amenities that allow residents to live, work and play in their own neighborhood.
Located in Osceola County near the Walt Disney World Resort and developed by the Walt Disney Company as the quintessential American town, this idyllic neighborhood boasts dozens of “villages,” businesses, its own schools and thriving downtown, filled with a variety of shopping and dining options and special events.
Incorporated in 1883 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, Eatonville is the oldest African-American municipality in the United States and home to author and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who spent her early years in Eatonville and wrote about those years in Their Eyes Were Watching God and Dust Tracks on a Road.