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    Orlando, FL
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    Tall building and fast trains!

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HankStrong's Achievements


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  1. Spense was saying that we should build up the Orlando historical core like Savannah. I added Charleston because in many ways the two are so similar it's scary. My points were that first Orlando is no Savannah or Charleston and second that it's simply not going to happen that Orlando pivots to Sav/Ch-like historic charm. Those cities have built themselves a niche and they do it well. They are no Orlando is volume/number of experiences, but they don't have to compete like a historic Orlando would. They are apples & oranges. Let's sandbox that. A billionaire comes in and revamps *HISTORIC ORLANDO* with all the charm in the world. We have 20 city blocks of charm. Let's be honest, at this point that charm and historic value is pretty much all fabricated. This historic Orlando is about as real as Holy Land was to Jerusalem. Let's ignore that. Let's say is has insane curb appeal and charm. IT DOESN'T MATTER. That's not going to be why the bulk of people come to Orlando. It's going to be "Hey millions of tourists who are here for the theme parks, nearness to beaches, space center, I-Drive, shopping, hot weather, and so much more! Please come also look at Historic Orlando! Please?"
  2. That sucks. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm not a huge fan of Cavellari. Petty's is difficult to get to for me. Orlando Meats was my go-to place pre-COVID when they were on Goldenrod. I had only been to the new location about 3x. I haven't done a lot of gourmet meat entertaining in the last 2.5 years for obvious reasons, but I'd like to start again. Gourmet butcher help?
  3. Again. I'm not sure anything you've said in either post relates to what I was saying about taking tourist dollars? I think you took my word military and didn't realize I was talking about military tourist items like Fort Pulaski and the Yorktown. Where you go to a museum as a tourist item, not that the military is based in those towns , although they have/had that, too it isn't related to tourism. Maybe I should rephrase? I'm saying that Orlando's downtown has to compete with multiple world class theme parks, multiple sub-world class theme parks & attractions, beaches, more dining places than you could ever need, and the like. It's beyond extremely competitive. I'm saying that Charleston & Savannah's downtowns have much less to compete with. They have plenty of places to eat and beaches and some military history tours.
  4. I'm not sure how this relates. Do the "thriving ports and manufacturing" compete for tourist dollars with the historic cores? What am I missing here? Carnival does some cruises out of Charleston, but it was never a thriving thing and they are ending in a year or so. I just looked it up and it's the 2nd oldest ship in the fleet (in less than 60 days it will be the oldest when the current oldest is retired) that only does short out & back Bahamas trips. That seems a bit like telling me that downtown Orlando is only competing with Old Town in Kissimmee.
  5. Just a small comment on this. I love both Charleston & Savannah and I'm a repeat visitor to both. Let's be real, though, they have very little to compete with. They have military items (forts, ships to tour, etc.) and beaches nearby. Restoring Orlando to whatever glory you might think it should be restored to would be awesome. It won't make it the destination for this area. It might add some great interest, but it won't tip the scale here. It's not that sort of town and Orlando doesn't have the history.
  6. As someone who cruised on them without kids I will say two things. Say what you will about the sheer volume of children on board, but they did an amazing job keeping the kids with the kids and the adults with the adults. I've cruised on other lines and spent more time around kids than this, except my time on NCL in The Haven. That's truly kid-free. Their private island is the best in the business, hands down. Including the revamped RC island.
  7. Thanks for that. I saw some pictures and elevations a while back and either just never noticed that streetwall or it wasn't on the ones I saw. I thought the parking went all the way to Curry Ford. That would appear to be about a 20'x75' outbuilding. I wonder what it will be used for? Pickup/Carry-out or maybe since it looks like 3 different units it may be concept eating or ghost kitchens?
  8. Yes, it is. They've gone from parking drought to parking abundance!
  9. I loved whale watching from Provincetown. It was amazing and you save the entire ride from Boston to get to the good spots.
  10. I should note it runs 7 days a week, for a minimum of 16 hours a day.
  11. Staying in the lovely state of Ohio, I'll move next to the Cincinnati Bell Connector AKA the Cincy Streetcar. A fascinating piece of trivia that maybe only @spenser1058would appreciate is that Cincinnati is the proud home to the largest unfinished subway in the US. It was a town built on beer/pork products and Prohibition beat the crap out of Cincinnati. This lack of beer income stalled the subway in 1927 and the Great Depression that followed permanently killed it. The plan was to reuse the then defunct (and now mostly forgotten) Miami & Erie canal path. This canal was an eyesore after trains killed canals as the first path. Almost 3 miles of underground was built and still exists to this day. It's either dead or used by the city to store salt/salt trucks for winter storms. I've been down there twice as a part of gray-market tours. It's gross and fascinating at the same time. Flash forward to the mid-90s when I happened to live in downtown Cincy and the talk of reviving the subway was all the rage. This never happened. The city did an evaluation and found out that it would cost billions of dollars they didn't have. Some of the routes didn't even go anywhere important any more and none of the tunnels were safe enough for hard use. That's what happens after 70 years of disuse. After I moved away they came up with many ideas and none of them panned out. An aboveground streetcar was proposed and the idea really took off. This probably tickles Spense, but I'll mention that politically-speaking this streetcar was a doozy. It was WILDLY popular among the residents and INSANELY unpopular among the city's politicians. The governor hated it. The mayor hated it. The council hated it. The people said "Screw you!" and voted out anyone local who hated it. The newly-elected pro-street car politicians voted to proceed. Imagine that? The streetcar was built. Local politics in action! I'm not political in nature, but how can you expect to survive in an environment (at least locally) where you just ignore that the voters overwhelmingly say NO to anti-rail initiatives and YES to pro-rail initiatives over and over and over again? They just said "Our constituents are stupid and we're ignoring them." They weren't their constituents for much longer. Cincinnati Bell has since taken over naming rights and the system is free to use. The system is small. It only runs about 4 miles right now, but it hits the big areas of downtown. It's very comparable to the LYMMO of Orlando, but is very easy to use. It starts down at the Ohio River where the Bengals stadium, Reds ballpark, and the biggest arena in town are located. You can also visit the new town hotspot called The Banks here. There are breweries, bars, stores, food, and a bunch of condos here now where (when I lived there) nothing but garbage and industrial wasteland used to be. The Underground Railroad Museum is also here. This is an amazing visit if you ever go. The streetcar takes you right up the heart of downtown hitting all the big things like the library, both of the big places to see shows (the modern Aronoff Center for plays, off-Broadway, etc. and the classic Music Hall from the 1800s), the casino, Findley Market, about 20 breweries, and Washington Park. I should note that when I lived there, you couldn't visit Washington Park as it was listed as one of the most dangerous places in the entire state. Seeing actual dead people wasn't unusual. I can't count the number of times I saw heroin users with needles hanging out of their arms passed out as I was driving by. If someone died in town, your first guess was Washington Park. They leveled the entire park, built a massive parking garage under it, put in a police station, and gentrified the entire block. It was directly across the street from Music Hall where some of the most prestigious events in town took place and it was scary. Imagine walking out of a show you paid $500 for your ticket to and seeing a dead body about 50 feet away or ducking from gunfire. I went there in 2018 and visited Washington Park for my first time ever. They are studying multiple extensions and Northern Kentucky has been looking into crossing the river to join up with them, but nothing in the works since COVID hit. The rolling stock are Spanish CAF trains with easy access low floors. The seats are comfortable and there is a lot of room on the trains. I like them a lot. I stayed in an AirBnB in my old building on my last visit and used the streetcar the entire visit. I hit an astounding number of breweries and never had to drive. It was awesome. I went to all of my favorite restaurants (at least those that were still open) and bars. They were all along the route and easy to get to. The route along the streetcar is 1000x nicer than when I lived there and it has made a massive improvement to the area.
  12. I think I know part of this answer. It's because the restaurant was broken into 3 pieces because of what they could and couldn't do with the building. It was awkward and it seemed like the staff turned into a game of Sims. (I have never played Sims myself, since Sim City in the 90s, but I have a coworker that was obsessed) You'd walk in and there would be no one in section 1. All the servers and staff had mysteriously meandered to section 2. This meant that no one was also in section 3. First we couldn't get seated. Then we couldn't get waited on. Then we couldn't pay. It was really bizarre, but they weren't goofing off either. It was like the staff kept getting sucked into a vortex. They were all in one of the sections and none of the others.
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