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Showing posts from November, 2013

Downtown Orlando Grand Openings: Aloft Hotel, Skyhouse Orlando and Kevin R. Tyjeski Park

Skyhouse Orlando rooftop pool
The grand opening of the Aloft Hotel (500 South Orange Avenue) was originally scheduled for September 26. It's new date is Tuesday, December 3 at 10am. City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will help cut the ribbon. The hotel is located at the former Orlando Utilities Commission Building and includes 119 rooms, a pool and an outdoor patio on the ground floor.

That same day at 5pm, Mayor Dyer will officially open and dedicate the City’s newest public park in honor of City employee Kevin R. Tyjeski who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. The park is located at the corner of North Magnolia Avenue and Livingston Street at the new Sky House Apartments in Downtown and will provide a permanent reminder of Kevin’s innumerable contributions to the Orlando community.
Then at 6pm,  the SkyHouse Orlando (355 North Magnolia Avenue) development team will celebrate the grand opening of the new residential high-rise in the heart of Downtown Orlando. This 23-story, 3…

Orlando Food Truck Tamale Co to Host Grand Opening This Friday at Big Box of Orlando #BigBoxOf

We have the first public photos of the brand new Orlando food truck called Tamale Co (Facebook | Twitter | Website). The menu is below. Tamales will be $4.50 and the dessert tamales will be $5.50. 

They're having a massive grand opening 6pm til midnight on December 6, 2013 at the Big Box of Orlando store (Orange Studio, 1121 N Mills Ave). The food on the truck is for sale and anyone can come and buy some. Admission to get inside Big Box Of Orlando is $10 per person unless you get the TWO FOR ONE deal on Living Social. Go try some tamales and tell us what you think!










About 200 Arabian Nights Employees Will Lose Jobs Due to Closure

Around 200 employees of the dinner show Arabian Nights will lose their jobs after the final performance on New Years Eve. The show is closing after 25 years. The horses will go to a farm and the land may be put up for sale.

Orange Bike Guerrilla Marketing Campaign in Colonial Plaza

A guerrilla marketing campaign for a local business has been going on for months in the Colonial Plaza (Coy Drive / East Colonial Drive) with bikes spray painted a flat orange color locked to the plaza's (mostly empty) bike racks. These racks are located next to the more heavily-trafficked areas like Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Too Jays. An orange truck topped with an orange bike is also involved, switching parked positions every few days from in front of Starbucks to spaces lining Colonial. 

The bikes are a fun visual addition to the rather drab creme on creme plaza color scheme. And while guerrilla marketing can be a fun, creative and some times low-cost way to market, a few of our readers on instagram are not fans of this campaign. We shared a photo of one of the bikes and got these comments:
disc13207 ...they are taking up valuable bike space.mediocredan They should stop with the stupid orange bikes and donate all of them to children that need something fun for Christmas. …

Downtown: It's Not Just for Orlando

We love the Orlando Sentinel downtown competition because guess what, Central Florida: there are more downtowns than just the one in Orlando!

Big Box of Orlando Tickets on Sale Two for One!

There are a limited amount of 2-for-1 tickets to our "Big Box of Orlando" preview party (Dec 6th 6pm-12am) on sale through Living Social! http://ow.ly/rdBo2

Helvetica Perfume: The Perfect Gift for the Designer in Your Life

For those of you who appreciate, know about or even care about design, you'll be happy to know just in time for the holidays, there is Helvetica Perfume. And note: it's two ounces of water, really.  And if that's not enough, there's Star Trek perfume now. 



SkyHouse Orlando in Downtown to Open in December

SkyHouse Orlando (Facebook | TwitterWebsite) is having its grand opening December 3rd at 90 E. Livingston Street in downtown Orlando. It's got 320 apartments, a 468 space parking garage and ground-level shops and restaurants (open one!). Located just off I-4 at the intersection of Magnolia and Livingston, SkyHouse Orlando is within walking distance of Lake Eola, Church Street, and the Central Business District. Source



Red Velvet Latte from Dunkin Donuts

Did you know Dunkin Donuts has a Red Velvet Latte, Red Velvt Donuts and Red Velvet Donut Holes?

The Red Velvet Latte includes Skim Milk, Brewed Espresso Coffee, Red Velvet Flavored Swirl Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Skim Milk (Skim Milk, Sugar), Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Red 40, Blue 1, Salt.


Red Velvet Donut: Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Sugar, Whey (a milk derivative), Water, Soybean Oil, Contains less than 2% of the following: Egg Whites, Skim Milk, Cocoa alkali processed, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate), Defatted Soy Flour, Salt, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Gelatinized Wheat Starch, Artificial Colors (Red 40, Blue 1), Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mod…

Staycation Idea: $99/night at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® just renovated all 800 of its rooms and is giving a 40% discount (that means $99/night) for room reservations valid for travel through January 12, 2014 when reserved by November 27, 2013. Yeah you have like 48 hours to do this. Get the deal online or by calling 1-407-351-5555.

Collective Bike Lockers Bring to Orlando!

San Franciso might become the first US city to have collective bike lockers
"San Francisco could become the first major city in the U.S. to install collective residential bicycle lockers in parking spaces... These kinds of bike lockers are in use in European cities such as London and Rotterdam, Netherlands... Their use would be restricted to residents who live in the buildings nearest the structures. The study recommends testing these facilities where there is high bike usage and high rates of bike theft." Read more and please bring to Orlando!

WMFE What's Hot in Central Florida Friday Segment Host is Mark Baratelli

By Mark Baratelli 
WMFE Radio Personality

I am very excited to finally share publicly that I'm taking over the "What's Hot in Central Florida" Friday event segment on the NPR affiliate radio station WMFE 90.7. The segment runs Fridays at 4:30pm. My first appearance is this Friday!

Big thank yous to WMFE's Liz Langley and Nicole Creston for recommending me. I am grateful for the opportunity and hope I can be of service to the listeners and add value to WMFE.

The point of the segment is to share neat events going on in Orlando. I am going to add some irreverence and humor with my delivery and choice of events. The way the segment is structured, I share what I think is neat about each event, and all the details about the event will be found on WMFE's website. This leaves more airtime in the segment to include more events. And I feel like if I am driving and hear a key word or phrase that peeks my interest and don't want to visit their website, I'll just goog…

Blue Bird Bake Shop Holiday Decor is Hung With Care

Blue Bird Bake Shop has hung their holiday decor and it couldn't be cuter. Giant wooden snowflakes, deer heads, rabbits in scarves and thick red candy canes are all tucked throughout the little boutique cupcake shop in Audubon Park. It's the perfect spot to grab some baked goods before the big dinner so you don't have to bake yourself. 

Blue Bird Bake Shop
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email
3122 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
407-228-3822








They also have some new home/kitchen products, perfect for gifting. Here are three of our favorites:




Theme Park Connection Store is the Place for Theme Park Junkies

If you're into old theme park memorabilia, you'll enjoy a visit to Theme Park Connection (2160 Premier Row, Orlando). It's huge, has tons of random theme park stuff and very neat. Below is only one of many rooms in the building. 



City Council Says 60% of Your Front Yard May Be a Vegetable Garden

Photo Source
Thanks to a preliminary approval City Council on Monday, up to 60% of your home's front yard can be covered in a vegetable garden. But of course, there are rules:

Do not plant them along streets in public right of wayYou must plant shrubs or build fencing that screens itIt must be 3 feet from your property line. 
It took city leaders a year to make sure the needs of folks who want to grow pumpkins next to their mailboxes with those who just want their neighbors' yards to look lovely. 

Read the story here

Unbeknownst to Them, A Sanford Wendy's Is Hosting An Event Called "Everyone in the World Should Go to Wendy's"

On November 30 of last year, someone named Jered Dowden waited in a long line at the Wendy's at 470 Towne Center Circle, Sanford, Florida 32771. He describes it as "I swear the longest fast food line ever." To commemorate the event, he is hosting an event this year on the same date on the same location. It's called Everyone in the World Should Go to Wendy's. It's not been said what will happen during the event. 

More of our Hard-Hitting Wendy's coverage:
May 27, 2013 Wendy's Renovation Complete at Mall at MilleniaMay 1, 2013 Mall at Millenia Wendy's Getting an Italio MakeoverJune 9, 2012 When One Wendys Closes, Another Turns Into A ...December 12, 2011 Wendys Does "Gourmet"August 19, 2009 Wendys gets a hot makeover

Star Trek Fragrance by George Takei

For the Trekkie in your life, the new "Eau My" cologne by George Takei might make the perfect holiday gift. It comes in a 1.7-oz cologne spray and costs $39.99. It's expected to ship starting December 15th. Set phasers to stunning!

Fried Chicken Scented Candles

Perhaps Paula Dean will steal this idea and sell these in her new store not coming to Downtown Disney's Marketplace Co-Op. Or maybe the owner of 4Rivers will stock them in his forthcoming Winter Park chicken restaurant, The Coop. Or maybe you'll just be one of the 100 lucky people to buy one when they go on pre-order November 26th at 10:30am. 
Fried chicken-scented candles. 
To craft the perfect extra crispy aroma, they fry chicken in all-natural soy wax and add an "infusion of family secrets." These limited edition soy wax wonders were crafted by Kentucky's very own maven of modern marvels: Kathy Werking.

Yankees Moving From Tampa to Ocala?

Orlando is excited about its Orlando City Soccer team turning major league, but it's not the only Florida city with a sports story swirling around it. Ocala might be getting a $60 million minor league baseball team and stadium thanks to the Tampa Yankees and a half cent sales tax. The stadium would be seen from I-75 and the project would bring in $18 million a year.

Pom Pom's Will Teabag Your Friends and Family for the Holidays

You can get this t-shirt from Pom Pom's, one the best-known local restaurants in Orlando. This thing is perfect for the holidays! It's $13 plus tax. More info here.

Sassafrass Sweet Shop Selling Local Baked Goods

Sassafrass Sweet Shop (Facebook | Website) is selling local baked goods along with their regular selection of crazy candies and sweets. Here are three we noticed below. 

Jane's Short & Sweet (Facebook | Website


Swanky Sweets (Yelp)


Sweet Expectations Bakery (Facebook | Website)

P is for Pie Bake Shop in Audubon Park Will Bring Pies and Cookies

P is for Pie (2806 Corrine Drive, Orlando | Facebook | Website) is a new bakery under construction in Audubon Park. See blueprints for the shop and read a 2012 interview with the owner. Below are photos taken days ago of the shop's exterior signage and interior.