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Showing posts from August, 2013

Capen-Showalter House Raises $200,000 for Preservation of Historic Winter Park Home

The team spearheading the preservation of the Capen-Showalter house announced Thursday that they’ve been successful in raising $200,000 of the total $650,000 they need to raise to cut it in half, float it down a river and move it from its current location to the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens (633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789) in order to save it. 

Numerous contributions from the community and a generous matching grant from the Galloway Foundation helped advocates raise the fund in a little more than three weeks.

Thad Seymour, president emeritus of Rollins College and a co-chair of the effort, declared his enthusiasm and hopes for the project. "We are off to a great start, and it is gratifying to see how quickly and generously the community has responded.”

Gamble for Children: Shaken and Stirred Fundraiser for New Hope For Kids

Shaken & Stirred is a fundraiser for New Hope for Kids happening at Orlando MINI (350 S. Lake Destiny Road, Orlando FL) on Friday, October 11, 2013, 6-10pm. This annual Casino-night fundraiser supports the New Hope for Kids programs aimed at providing specialized support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one and to grant wishes to children with life threatening illness in Central Florida.

Shaken & Stirred is presented by Private Wealth Management and will provide a jazzy evening of activities reminiscent of a night at a Vegas casino: Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, Slot Machines and favorite casino games are sure to keep guests trying their hand at lady luck.
Guests also have the opportunity to bid on both silent and live auction items that embrace an active, lavish and fun-filled lifestyle. Costs for admission are $65 per person or two for $100. Guests will enjoy fine food and delectable drinks from local restaurants including Brio Tuscan Grille, Budweiser, Che…

Vespr Craft Coffee and Allures Lead Third Wave Coffee Learning Session

Vespr Craft Coffee & Allures (626 N. Alafaya Trl Suite 105 Orlando, FL 32828) is hosting an "third wave coffee" learning session Friday, September 6, 2013, 7-9pm. Attendees will taste eight specialty single origin coffees sourced from Ethiopia, Bolivia, and Panama, to name a few. During the tasting, coffee expert Edd Siu will educate and answer all questions pertaining to third wave coffee, which focuses on producing high quality coffee and promoting environmental conservatism and direct trading. Iced Bakery, a local mobile bakery, will be providing complimentary artisan baked goods.


JOY MCC Metropolitan Community Church (2351 South Ferncreek Ave) is commemorating World AIDS Day with a free showing of the film STILL AROUND on Thursday, December 5, 2013, 7-8:30pm. Seating is first come first served. Contact: (407) 894-1081, email us 
About: The shorts collection STILL AROUND admonishes us that despite improved treatment AIDS and its social effects have not gone away, but also that those living with the disease continue to live vital and complicated lives--they are "still around." Ranging from abstract dance and poetry to tours of the clinical and social spaces, STILL AROUND provides glimpses into the everyday challenges and hopeful solutions crafted by the diverse people engaged in the epidemic. The shorts have uniformly high production values and the editors provide thoughtful and visually unified transitions that create an arc through the many different ways filmmakers and subjects chose to represent their points of view. The individua…

Opinion: Urban ReThink Will Become a One-Person Events Company

By Mark Baratelli

Urban ReThink held a town hall Wednesday August 28, 2013 at which the future of the non-profit was to be the topic of discussion. After starting 15 minutes late, they took the stage and said nothing for 1.5 hours. They never said why they decided to close so abruptly, they have no solid future plans to speak of (which is understandable as the news seemed to *just* have been handed to them last week) and they admitted to not being good fundraisers or volunteer managers. Judging from what they said, the failure of the business was on their shoulders. 

It was sad to hear how sad the people in the meeting felt about the space closing. I know that much of the event programming was great. Also, losing a low-cost rental space stinks for smaller event producers. Overall, it's a loss for the community, of course. 
I am curious who will pick up the pieces and run with them. Based on the town hall meeting, I think Urban ReThink will drop co-working and venue rental and continu…

Dinner on Your Knees at Enzian Theater

By Mark Baratelli

I'm evolving into someone who *needs* something to do every weeknight after work. I don't want to just go home and pretend I am not bored. I want to be out and about, at least making an effort to enjoy life. 

Last night I went to the Wednesday Night Pitcher Show at Enzian Theater. The movie was Dirty Harry. It was worse than Red Chair Affair. Kidding. Rent it and see if the pacing of this classic doesn't make you fall asleep 30 minutes in. Maybe I am alone here. As always. 

I had a nice time and would go back every week. However, I would suggest, if you're cheap like me, to not come hungry or thirsty. The prices aren't crazy, but what's the point of going to a free movie if you leave having paid $23? I could have gone to an actual restaurant and gotten table service versus what I ended up doing: balancing a plate of food on my knees in the grass. Ok, either eat beforehand, or don't order the steak skewers.

Best of College Park Voting Continues

College Park Press has created its own "Best Of"contest for businesses in the 32804 zip code. Go vote for your favorite restaurant, date night and more.

Luba Lukova Art Show Opens Sept 6 at Valencia East

Internationally recognized, New York-based Luba Lukova is regarded as one of the most distinctive image-makers working today.

Whether by using an economy of line, color and text to pinpoint essential themes of the human condition or to succinctly depict social commentary, her work is undeniably powerful and thought provoking.

In a climate dominated by complex multi-layered imagery, Lukova’s work is a refreshing contrast. Using engaging composition and energetic contrasts, her distinctive style is powerful in its simplicity and vivid palette, often achieved with single ink on colored paper.

The show opens Friday September 6, 2013, at 6:30pm at ANITA S. WOOTEN GALLERY (Valencia College/East Campus, 701 N Econlockhatchee Trail, MC3-2 Orlando, FL 32825).

No More Fast Food Restaurants on Park Ave in Winter Park

By Mark Baratelli

Better late than never. After allowing two fast food restaurants that clearly did not match the ethos of the rest of the street, Winter Park commissioners are banning Park Ave from allowing any more fast food restaurants. They've got more strict and less vague rules to help them now. 

You could say that's snooty and elitist, but how many business districts in Orlando are legitimate destinations like Park Ave? 

The City of Winter Park commission got burned by BurgerFi and Firehouse Subs, who provided the required table service under the old rules and got themselves grandfathered in before the rules changed. Yes, the only stipulation for getting your restaurant on Park Ave was having table service. And Firehouse Subs will have it when they open. But BurgerFi's table service is just them bringing you your food. You stand in line to order and you get your own drink. It's fast food, and that's not why visitors seek out Park Ave.

Now if they can get …

The Acre Welcomes John Vanderslice and Alexander & The Grapes

The musician John Vanderslice performs with special guests Alexander & The Grapes Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at The ACRE Orlando (4421 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, Florida 32804). 7pm doors, 8pm show. Rain or shine. Tickets available at Park Ave CDs are $10 + ticket fee. 

The tickets: The first 100 tickets are hand-made, using 100 personal photographs taken by JV while on tour over the last decade. Tickets go on sale at Park Ave CDs in early September, with standard tickets available after the first 100 are gone. 

About: An intimate show in Orlando's most beautiful, natural setting, The Acre. Meet and hear the extraordinary John Vanderslice. This event will be a celebration of music and spectacle, with sound and visual experiences unlike any other on his East Coast tour.
John Vanderslice is touring on his ninth studio release, "Dagger Beach," which PopMatters calls "a weird and wonderful album." The producers are creating a weird and wonderful night to welcome hi…

In the Way Guy Ruins Proposal, Gains Internet Meme Fame

We've all had pictures at Disney World ruined by oblivious guests walking into pictures you're taking, covering up the subjects and forcing you to click "delete" with a mental shake-of-the-fist.  

On July 22, 2013 one such picture was posted on the massive online message board Reddit. It was simple enough. A wedding proposal photo ruined by a person walking right in front of the proposal moment, who realized it way too late. You can see it on his face. Redditors, those who read Reddit, created ‘In the Way Guy,’ what is now one of the hottest memes of the summer.  

Disney Recycling Plastic Utensils Now

By Ken Storey

Orlando Theme Park News is reporting that Sunshine Seasons, the cafeteria within EPCOT’s The Land pavilion, has begun to recycle all plastic utensils. Collection bins have been placed in the dining area. The bins will then be taken backstage to be rinsed and recycled. There are plans to expand the recycling program to include other plastic utensils.

OTPN mentions that the current system does cause flies and creates unpleasant smells, so expect the system to be updated soon. The system is somewhat similar to programs found in Europe and at IKEA where patrons place their used trays in carts in special busing areas. 

The separating and washing also allows for it to be exported to China, who enacted stricter solid waste import rules in the first quarter of the year. The new rules call for plastic imported to the country to be pre-sorted and washed. In the first five months of 2013 more than 68,000 tons of waste was rejected from entering China due to the new rules.

While rec…

Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute Fall 2013 Speakers

Celebrating its sixth year of bringing world-renowned intellectuals to Central Florida, Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute announces its 2013 fall season. This fall’s headliners include theoretical physicist Michio Kaku; peace activist Arun Gandhi; world-renowned violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman; and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

“For the past six years, the Winter Park Institute has delivered to the faculty, staff and students of Rollins College and our local community exceptional leaders and experts in a variety of disciplines from politics to filmmaking,” said Gail Sinclair, executive director. “We’re proud to offer these free programs as an extension of our commitment to promote high-caliber intellectual discussion.”All events are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Parking is available in the SunTrust parking garage at 166 East Lyman Avenue. For more information, visit, call (407) 691-1995 or email winterparki…

Urban ReThink Town Hall Meeting *This* Wednesday

On Wednesday August 28, 2013, 5-6:30pm, Urban Rethink is holding a town hall meeting at 625 E. Central in Thornton Park to discuss what's next for the organization, as they are moving out of their space on October 1. 

Below is a letter from Darren McDaniel, Founding Director:

It is somehow true. On October 1st, Urban ReThink will be closing its space at 625 E. Central. This was a decision, financial in nature, made by the executive committee of the Urban Think Foundation board. It does not mean the end of Urban ReThink--only the end of our current home.

This Wednesday the 28th at 5 PM, we will have a community conversation in the space on the subject. While we cannot speak to the framework, location, or composition of what is to follow, our August and September programs, events, and coworking opportunities will continue as planned.

We hope that you'll be a part of these last 40 days--that you'll join us for events and stop by to work, meet, and keep building the dream.

On behal…

Volunteers Needed for Osceola County Historical Society Pioneer Village

The Osceola County Historical Society is looking for volunteers to greet and give tours to guests at the Pioneer Village. Join them in educating the community and visitors to what life was like in Osceola County during the late 1800’s. If you can spare 1-3 hours per week, consider being a Volunteer in any number roles with their organization, from greeters and tour guides, to office help or grounds keepers, there’s a role that is a perfect fit for you. Training will be provided for all roles. To explore the possibilities, call volunteer coordinator Juana Kelly at 407-396-8644x7 or e-mail questions to Be sure to check out their website at

Accidental Music Festival Recommends...

Here is the list of concerts that the Accidental Music Festival recommends you go see during the month of September:
August 29th-31st - Total Bummer Fest - Mills/50 venues play host to way too many bands to list (e.g., XXYYXX, Zenas Fisk, Moon Jelly, Levek, and Alligator Indian)September 5th, 4-8PM - Silence 101 - Music of John Cage @ Gallery at Avalon Island September 8th, 5PM - George Weremchuk, saxophone - AMF alum performs music of Joan Tower, Lansing McLoskey, Katherine Ann Murdock and featuring UCF woodwind and piano faculty @ UCF Rehearsal HallSeptember 19th, 8PM - Collide Contemporary Music Series: UCF Percussion Group @ UCF Rehearsal Hall (Music for two marimbas and two xylophones, Thad Anderson and three upperclassmen, Marc Mellits, Jonathan Kolm, Paul Lansky, Scott Lindroth, Anderson) September 20th, 8PM - OneBeat @ Timucua - 25 diverse musicians from around the world come together to create new music! "A United Nations of Music" - NY Times.

Colorfully Lit Underpass Connects City #BringToOrlando

By Ken Storey

The Urban Art Museum in Mills50 has been making a name for itself with its successful kickstarter campaign to bring artwork to the district. A similar program in Birmingham, Alabama combining economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and business growth recently got some attention of its own with an underpass lighting scheme.

The rainbow colored lights, known as LightRails, transform an unwelcoming underpass into a Technicolor icon for the city. LightRails is the first of many permanent light installations that the program plans for Birmingham. The program plans to illuminate key structures and pedestrian traffic points throughout the city.

Hot Dog Food Truck: Anthony Weiner Mobile

While our local politicians have had their fair share of controversy, nothing tops New York’s Anthony Weiner’s double fall from grace. And what better way to mock it than with a food truck? 

A comical food truck spotted in Manhattan pokes fun at the TMI-picture-sharing politician. The “Weiner Mobile” is the brainchild of marketing group Good Days. The truck features a large mural of Anthony Weiner, along with ones of hotdogs, cell phones, and phrases like ‘Get My Weiners' and ‘Carlos Danger,’ the internet pseudonym used by Anthony Wiener.
The truck handed out free hot dogs to people waiting in line for cronuts. across the street. T-shirts featuring the truck's logo are also for sale.
Perhaps someone here should have done a pop-up cell phone charging station themed to Mayor Jacob’s textgate scandal

Elon Musk Vs Jeff Bezos for Control of Kennedy Space Center

By Ken Storey

Two years ago when the shuttle program shuttered, many feared it would be the end of Florida’s role in space travel. Now two years later, two internet billionaires are fighting over who continues our state's role in it according to Orlando Sentinel.

Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal who recently unveiled his hyperloop high speed travel idea, has SpaceX, a California-based space travel company that's sent two unmanned capsules to the International Space Station. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is using his $25 billion net worth to help fund BlueOrigin, a space travel company that's developing a line of reusable launch vehicles.

Terrace 390 in Downtown Orlando to Reopen as Brass Key Bistro?

By Ken Storey

You might recall Terrace 390 (390 North Orange Ave), the downtown "gimmicky sports bar" in the former Harvey's Bistro space at the base of the Bank of America building. It opened to negative reviews and minimal attention, most of which surrounded Casey Anthony's defense team celebrating her 'Not Guilty' verdict there. A 9-person scuffle in front of the bar a year after the Anthony incident didn't help attract a following either. 

The restaurant and bar shut down after two unpopular years on January 24, 2013, mere days after new owners bought it. It reopened in February but closed in late June.  In June, a proposal put in front of the City of Orlando Appearance Review Board showed a new restaurant coming into the same space with the name Brass Key Bistro. The signs in the windows promised "New Name Coming Soon. New Owners." The new bar never opened though. 

On August 19, 2013 local restaurant critic and food trend expert Scott Joseph…

New Pedestrian Gathering Area Coming to Church Street District

By Ken Storey

Church Street District in downtown Orlando is in the midst of a major facelift. Gone is Five Guys, in comes Red, a new concept from the owners of Graffiti Junktion. The train station next to 54 West is turning into Ferg's Depot Sports Bar. Another new sports bar, Church Street Tavern, is going into the former Dessert Lady space inside Church Street Station. Add in the new Mad Cow theatre, a new German restaurant, a tequila bar, rumors of a hotel and a new SunRail station and you get a very busy, very new Church Street District.

But wait there's (one) more.

The plaza in front of the former Five Guys at 54 West Churst Street is about to get a major facelift. Built in at least two phases, the new plaza design will include the addition of large date palms along the street, the removal of the two (seemingly non-operational) fountains, the removal of two oak trees which block the view of the second floor retail tenants, and the addition of a small stage and outdoor s…

Joseph Reed Hayes Jazz Play "Solos" Comes With a Guide

Joseph Reed Hayes' jazz play "Solos" runs September 20-23, 2013 at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave Orlando). Get tickets here. For those who might feel a little intimidated by jazz, the subject of the play, Hayes has created The Beginners' Guide to Solos. Find out the strange story of Billy Tipton, the odd connection Fats Waller had with Al Capone, the lush life of Billy Strayhorn, hear music from the play's soundtrack and learn how ragtime begat "free". 

Local theater legend Paul Castaneda directing; the dynamic Michael Sapp, who the Orlando Sentinel called "a force of nature", as "Blue" Miller; theater, television and film actor Kareen Kennedy as Ellie Grace; the music of Brian Groder ("Best of the Year" from Downbeat Magazine, Washington Post and AllAboutJazz); live performances by jazz /wunderkinder/ La Lucha and Jun Bustamante; a play about love, deception and the hardships and joys of the jazz existence…

Arts Groups Present Kristallnacht Events for 75th Anniversary Commemoration

November 9−10, 2013, marks the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht the beginning of Hitler’s Final Solution. During this terrifying night Nazi Stormtroopers, police, and Hitler Youth raided and destroyed thousands of Jewish homes, shops, and synagogues. Ninety-one Jews were killed and 30,000 Jewish men were taken away. The world saw what happened and chose to remain silent.

We attended a small morning presentation at Enzian theatre at which they told us about several Central Florida arts groups coming together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. They are presenting a schedule of events September through November (see below). 

Art Show + Dance Party Tonight

The group performance art show and dance party "I Believe In You" looks like a good bet for a quirky night of fun. It happens tonight, Saturday August 24, 2013, at 9pm at The Space (1206 E. Colonial Drive | Map). The performances run 9-11pm, with the dance party going "till late." Admission is $2 with a donation to their free clothing boutique. That probably means bring an old t-shirt or pair of shorts someone else might want to wear later. The thirteen artists in the show include Jessica Earley, Jack Fields, Ashley Inguanta, Melanie Lister, Sephanie Lister, Hannah Miller, Jorgan Nichola Trygred, Vanessa Andrade, Winter Calkins, Greg Liebowitz, Sam Myers, Coral Tschannen and Adam Vorozilchak. 

Rumors: Orlando Ballet Must Leave Building + Drunk Nurses

By Mark Baratelli

The following tidbits are unverified, unsubstantiated, gossipy, could-be-made-up RUMORS. They may be 100% false. You've been warned. 

Rumor #1: Both Central Florida Community Arts  and Orlando Ballet may have to leave the shared building they occupy due to an "air quality control issue." Because of that issue, it's a liability for the City of Orlando, who owns OUC who owns the building. The two organizations were told Thursday August 22 at 11am. It's possible that issue is black mold, according to one source. They will have to temporarily find another location. The move-out date is not known/ No one thinks anything will happen to the building (torn down), but something has to be done to make the building a healthy space again. 

There seems to be another problem as well: apparently there's a diesel fuel in a giant container beneath the building. If the pump doesn't work, the entire building smells of diesel fuel and this problem has not been…

Mixology in Orlando Panel at K Restaurant

None of these people will be on the panel on September 10 
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 10-11:30am, there will be a Table Talk moderated by Jennifer Massolo of The Liquid Projects at K Restaurant (1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804). This event is free and open to the public. Limited seating available.
The talk will open with a "kegs and eggs" breakfast prepared by chef Kevin Fonzo, in partnership with Lake Meadow Naturals. 

 The topic will be "Raising the Bar: Farm, Food and Spirits," and will highlight craft spirits and beer and the sectors’ growing expansion. 
Panelists: Moderator : Paul Johnsen of the United States Bartenders Guild – Vice President/Treasurer of United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) Orlando, Johnsen was named one of the “50 Most Imaginative Bartenders” in North America by GQ magazine and Bombay Sapphire in 2012.  Johnsen assisted in launching the craft  movement for Shula restaurants around the country, and is currently active as a mixologist…

The Daily City® Food Truck Bazaar | New Fall Stop Location in Titusville

The Daily City® Food Truck Bazaar, the nation's original traveling food truck event, will continue to make a monthly stop (4th Mondays) in Titusville for the Fall, but the venue will change. See below. 

City: TitusvilleNew Venue:
Searstown Mall, 3550 S. Washington Avenue, Titusville, FL 32780 Dates: Sep 23 Oct 28  Nov 25Dec 23
Times: 5-8pm

Girls Night Out this Saturday

By Jen Thuy
Contributing Writer
Twitter | Facebook

Ladies, looking for somewhere to go for a girls night out? MIX 105.1 and 102 JAMZ presents Girls Night Out this Saturday from 6pm to 9pm (5pm-9pm for VIP ticket holders) at the Church Street Exchange (located at 101 S. Garland Avenue).

Guests will receive a swag bag and each swag bag has a certificate for a free week of tanning at South Beach Tanning Company and more. Attendees will spend the night eating and drinking (there's going to be a mixology lounge), hanging out with local celebrities including on-air personalities and athletes and can bid on designer items. The event proceeds benefit Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach

You can purchase a ticket for $25 online until Saturday.

Cloak & Dapper Pop Up Shop This Saturday

Cloak & Dapper is a curated online men's store we told you about in April. They're doing a one-day pop up shop Saturday August 24th 10am-6pm at Twelve21 Gallery (1221 N. Orange ave., Orlando, FL 32804). All men's clothing, grooming goods, artisan supplies will be up to 75% off. They'lk have complimentary coffee, noshes and music.

Magical Dining Month Preview: Napa Restaurant at The Peabody Orlando

By Mark Baratelli
Magical Dining Month is September 1-30, 2013. This is when 60 Central Florida restaurants offer up a $33 three-course prix fixe menu (appetizer, entree, dessert). They also offer staycations: dinner for two and a room for one price. This is a great opportunity to try some great restaurants at a lower price point. A dollar from each meal during this month goes to help Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Florida. 
On Monday August 19, I got to preview the Magical Dining Month menu for Napa at The Peabody Orlando. First up, you get free valet parking with your meal. Classy. And if you want to sleep off the meal, you can get dinner for two and a room for about $160. Below are photos of almost the entire MDM menu. 

Cornetto Trilogy Marathons in Orlando and Winter Park Thursday Night

Orlando Lens
By Nicholas Ware Twitter | E-mail
Fans of the output of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright rejoice! Their newest instant-classic, The World's End, opens in multiplex theaters all over Central Florida on Friday. However, true blue fans will be pleased to know that there are three multiplexes in the area that will be running the so-called Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and the previously mentioned World's End) back-to-back-to-back on Thursday evening, August 22nd, starting at 5:30 pm. The Cornetto Trilogy is not a trilogy in the classic sense--the films share no heroes or story lines--but they are linked by their themes, cinematic viewpoint, copious popular culture references, and a fondness that the characters all seem to have for the Cornetto ice cream brand, a British equivalent to Drumstick. To see the films--in a theater, as its creators intended--head to AMC Downtown Disney 24, Regal Waterford Lakes 20, or Regal Winter Park Vi…

Domino's Apologizes For Its Pizza for No Reason

Everyone likes it when a major corporation apologizes personally for a complaint, even if we know it’s just a canned response. But what about when a company apologizes for a compliment?  That’s what happened recently for Domino’s Pizza. spotted the mistake recently on Domino’s facebook page.  The wall is mostly complaints so it’s understandable that Domino’s got confused when an actual compliment was given.  
The customer posted a picture with the caption "Best Pizza Ever! Pan Pizza. Keep up the good work guys!" to which Domino’s oddly replied "So sorry about that! Please share some additional information with us at and please mention reference# 1409193 so we can have this addressed."
The comment shows that Domino’s uses auto-reply bots which seem programmed to apologize for the numerous complaints that are posted on the company’s facebook wall.  It looks like the auto-bots have been reprogrammed or the facebook duties have been pass…

Bacon Bash at Peterbrooke for National Bacon Day

Bacon events are becoming plentiful: May 2012 Bacon OffSept 2012 Peterbrooke Bacon BashOct 5, 2013  Festival of Bacon Here's one to add to the list: the Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park 2nd Annual Bacon Bash on Saturday, August 31, 12-4pm at 300 South Park Avenue in Winter Park.For one-day-only guests can experience bacon creations including:

Chocolate-Covered Bourbon-Brined BaconClassic Chocolate-Covered BaconBacon-Wrapped Jalapeno PoppersBacon Chocolate Chip CookiesPistachio Bacon BrittleBacon Bites—chopped chocolate-covered bacon sold by the ounceGelato with bacon toppings

JetBlue Hotel at Orlando International Airport

JetBlue is building a hotel at Orlando International Airport, but it's not for guests. Employees coming to Orlando for training will be staying at the 196-room hotel during their training, which can last 3-6 weeks. Expected to open in 2015, the hotel will have a full kitchen, sports facilities and a meeting room. Photo Source

Cup O' Noodles Causes Riot in Polk County

Three containers of Cup O' Noodle soup are the apparent cause of a riot that broke out at in Polk County at a youth detention center. No one was killed, eight were injured, one with a broken leg. Listen to the 911 call.

The Daily City® Food Truck Bazaar Schedule This Week:

The Daily City® Food Truck Bazaar, the nation's original traveling food truck event, is coming to the following towns with the following trucks in August:

Thursday 8/22 Debary
5-8pm 880 N Charles Richard Beall Blvd
Coffee Urge, Bem Bom, Twisted Cuban, Saigon Sizzle, SwedeDish, Up In Smoke BBQ, Claw Daddy's, Curbside Chef, Café Rouge, Ice Cream Social, Yum Yum Cupcake Truck. All trucks subject to change without notice. 

Thursday 8/22 Lake Nona
5-8pm 12350 Narcoosee Rd. 
Cafe Cocoa Mo, Wako Taco, Fork in the Road, The Crepe Company, Melissa's Chicken and Waffles, La Empanada, Tastebuds, Carobama BBQ, Monsta Lobsta, Eclectic Kitchen, Sweet City Gelato, Yum Yum Cupcake Truck. All trucks subject to change without notice. 

Friday 8/23 Melbourne 
5-8pm 3845 N Wickham Rd. 
Coffee Urge, Bem Bom, Cafe Rouge, Fork in the Road, The Crepe Company, The Treehouse Truck, Melissa's Chicken and Waffles, Saigon Sizzle, Dixieland Diner, Up In Smoke BBQ, Claw Daddy's, Curbside Chef, Pastrami Pr…

Chandelier Makes a Forest of Your Dining Room

Denmark based design firm HildenDiaz debuted a new light sculpture in July 2013 that has quickly become one of the most talked about chandeliers of the summer.  Known as Forms in Nature, the sculpture features a central lighting source surrounded by a natural looking root system in a rough ball shape.  
The unique thing happens only when you turn on the light.  The roots surrounding the light cast shadows on the walls of the room forming what looks to be trees.  The light allows for any room to become sacred forest of shadows.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Coming to Mills Park

North Carolina based upscale causal restaurant chain Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has announced its first Florida location in the new Mills Park development.  The 7.400 sq ft restaurant (think Ruby Tuesdays meets Smokey Bones) will be the stepping off point for many more Florida locations.  Mark Eason, a Central Florida native and the CEO of Firebirds, mentioned Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville specifically in an interview with Orlando Business Journal.

Cigar-smoking Microsoft Kinect from Disney Research

By Ken Storey

Disney Research has released information on one of their latest inventions called Aireal. The compressed air generator has been described as a ‘cigar-smoking Microsoft Kinect.’  Disney Research describes it in a bit more detail; “The new technology uses controlled puffs of compressed air – something akin to smoke rings – to create the impression of a ball bouncing off a hand, of an arm tingling from the flutter of a butterfly’s wings, or of the rippling of air as a seagull circles a user’s head."

Graffiti Junktion Going to Lake Nona + Longwood

How about all these local Orlando restaurants popping out multiple locations? 4Rivers has numerous new outlets opening (including a new chicken restaurant), Hawkers is planning new locations, and now Graffiti Junktion, which already has five locations, is planning at least two more in the region.  
Orlando Business Journal's Anjali Fluker is reporting that the owner has finalized leases on two locations with at least one more in the works.  

Orlando Shuffle - Shuffleboard Event in October

With recent "shuffles" in Sanford and St Pete being extremely popular, it’s about time Orlando gets in on the shuffleboard renaissance.  Since 1913, shuffleboard has been a favorite pastime of Floridians. On October 5, 2013 we can all go and check out the fun game of yesteryear at the Beardall Senior Center (800 South Delaney Ave, just off of Orange south 408). 


Urban ReThink seems to be filling up local art and culture calendars lately with some interesting additions to their monthly Signature Series events; the Super Joy Riders: Do Gooder Bike Ride, the Artist's Survival Guide, and the sleeper hit Converse: A Spontaneous, Interactive Talk Show.

Host Mary Thompson Hunt brings her years of improvisational theatre experience and love of story telling to the Urban ReThink stage as she leads her audience through a series of questions, and then pulls people onto the stage to share their stories with other attendees. On paper this event could easily be just another feel good sharing circle or awkward business mixer, but with Mary's guidance it easily transcends the norm and becomes something really special and authentically "Orlando".

Last month's Converse had community activist Tim McKinney of United Global Outreach as a guest "storyteller" to share his work on the Transformation Village in Bithlo, which is fittin…