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I am Reality

Cool Stuff in Other Cities

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3 hours ago, nite owℓ said:

Surely you took pictures...

lol, unfortunately I have a cheapo phone. Im sure theres plenty on the Austin forum, etc. That "jenga" building U/C is looking great. I live in San Antonio now and SA feels like grandma's house compared to teenage Austin.  One thing Orlando has that neither TX cities cant touch is water, lakes, and afternoon showers.  Its sunny 100+ degrees with no options for water activities.

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Great example of converting dying retail space into something new & different:

The old Strawbridge's department store outside Philadelphia - dating back to the 1930s - has been renovated and re-opened as "Life Time".  

The 4-story building features:

a 80,000 s.f. high-end fitness center;

a full-floor co-working space;

a child-care facility with separate studios for kiddie yoga & Spanish classes;

a full-service beauty salon and;

an organic cafe.

This is a quality project that preserves the  character of the area & avoids the mistake of building sterile big-box stores.  It is also meant to be "internet-proof" (or not susceptible to e-commerce). 

I'd love to see more development like this in Orlando. If something like this were built here, I am sure people would go.  

Quality > Quantity 

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If I may take the liberty of briefly making this "Cool Stuff In Other States", this is a great piece on the resurgence of California. 

It's an interesting article (sorry, it's long), but I wanted to highlight it not to revel in their blue politics but to instead note that Cali is leading the way regarding innovative solutions to the country's problems while Washington is fiddling Nero-style and not getting much done.

For me, it also makes me wish for the days when Florida was a leader on important issues. I think I'm not alone: a common refrain on our posts is bemoaning the lack of forward movement hereabouts. One can also make the case that Texas is the counterpoint to California: whether the politics of the right appeal or not, at least there's a sense of trying different approaches to get things done. Meanwhile, those of us in the Sunshine State seem to be locked in an endless status quo reminiscent of our space program in the latter days of the shuttle program.

One reason I'm optimistic about what we can do is, ironically, because I'm old. There was an amazing time in Florida (roughly 1970-1987) where Florida was on the cutting edge of change. Even before that, Florida's tourism industry made sure we had some of the best roads in the country (when the idea of limited-access highways were new and innovative) and when launches from Cape Kennedy meant doing things never before done.

During that time, Florida was well-known for one of the country's most innovative state legislatures. We pioneered some of the most sweeping environmental legislation. Our approach to growth management was lauded as perhaps the best antidote for sprawl. Miami Beach undertook what became one of the largest programs of urban restoration ever seen.

All that came to an end as Tallahassee switched gears. Although many of the most successful leaders like Reubin Askew and Bob Graham (and, on the front of race relations, LeRoy Collins back in the '50's and '60's) were Democrats, there were also great Republicans like Lou Frey and Jack Eckerd. 

I'm not sure how we find the ability to achieve the next Golden Era to rival those times but I'm sure we have to try. May I suggest that any votes you cast for statewide officials this year be for those who recognize the need for progress and don't just rely on TV ad sound bites decrying the other side? If we do, we can be the change we want to see.

The Californization of America  
https://nyti.ms/2xB83gZ?smid=nytcore-ios-share

From the New York Times

Edited by spenser1058
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New 40-story in Nashville set to break ground.   The design is pretty blah.   I'm more jealous of Nashville getting the AllianceBernstein HQ and 1,100 great jobs. 

Nashville.jpg

Edited by I am Reality

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From our "The Grass Is Always Greener" department: Nashville is often mentioned here for its rapid growth and development (although the Orlando MSA is growing even more quickly).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_statistical_areas

Beacause once upon a time I lived there for four years, I often peruse the Nashville UP boards (it's a great group to follow if you haven't.) Tennessee's largest city and state capital has much to be proud of.

Ironically enough, given the distaste on our Orlando boards for our #1 industry, I had to chuckle when I found this thread:

One of the posts noted three things Nashville doesn't have that posters would like to see:

(1) An amusement or theme park (I think it's safe to say we have that covered;)

(2) A NASCAR facility (yep, the granddaddy of them all is just up I4 on the way to the beach;)

(3) A PGA Tournament (The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill is one of golf's most respected events.) We also have an LPGA Tournament in 2019 at our Four Seasons Resort (one of only 30 Four Seasons hotels in the US) and LPGA International is in Daytona.

What's also interesting is just how fond the memories of Opryland are in the thread. For those who don't take theme parks seriously, it's an eye-opener (all the more so given Opryland was at best a second-tier park - I worked there in the summer of 1980.) Compare that to our top of class parks (including the world's most attended) and it's easy to notice we might not fully appreciate everything we have. Or, as Martin Andersen's Orlando Sentinel used to note on the masthead every day: " 'Tis a Privilege To Live In Central Florida."

 

Edited by spenser1058
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Wow!!!! :shok:

So, LAX is planning on implementing a driverless train called a "people mover" to shuttle passengers between terminals??? :shok:

Really????? :shok:

I guess them folks in LA is just too advanced for lil ol us'ns to keep up with... :(

Just imagine if we could get something like that here at OIA!!!

It would feel like 1983 all over again!!!! :whistling:

:yawn:

(my apologies for the overly abundant use of emoticons)

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*warbles, "If You Had Wings, If You Had Wings* and remembers lonely evenings working the Transfer position at Skyway watching teenagers neck as they passed me by*

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NYC has completed its latest public park.  The Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park is 11 acres built on a former industrial site.  It has a 30 foot-high promenade and an elevated café plaza.  It is directly across the East River from mid-town Manhattan. 

If new parks can be developed in NYC (with the ridiculous land costs), they can surely be developed here in Orlando. 

We need more parkland here in Orlando.

 

NYC Park .jpg

NYC Park 2.jpg

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St. Pete's State Theatre has been purchased and $1+ million is planned in restoring the facility to its early 20th century condition. I'm a bit jealous - if only they had chosen to do that to our Beacham instead of overusing and barely maintaining it. Nevertheless, great news for folks in Pinellas.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/St-Petersburg-s-State-Theatre-saved-in-2-1-million-deal-_169492067

From the St. Pete Times

Edited by spenser1058
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I recall for awhile in 1982, there was an attraction in the Beacham called Laser World.

A couple of former special effects guys from Hollywood came here and set up a multimedia show that featured on screen computer animated, moving visual imagery set to music, with a laser light show incorporated into it and even a portion near the end, that featured live, costumed actors. Two forty five minute intervals with a halftime intermission which I suppose was meant in part, for the patrons to go out back and refresh their buzz.

Pretty cool, but ahead of it's time for downtown because nothing else besides Rosie's was going on back then. I remember we parked in what was then a surface parking lot (now a small garage) directly behind the Dickson Ives building, and having to walk under a covered wood construction walkway for the 20 N. Orange/Wells Fargo/Morgan & Morgan/whatever it's called now building which was still going up then.

But downtown was a total ghost town at that time. No surprise the place was only in business a couple of months or so.

Edited by JFW657
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On 6/28/2018 at 9:25 AM, I am Reality said:

NYC has completed its latest public park.  The Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park is 11 acres built on a former industrial site.  It has a 30 foot-high promenade and an elevated café plaza.  It is directly across the East River from mid-town Manhattan. 

If new parks can be developed in NYC (with the ridiculous land costs), they can surely be developed here in Orlando. 

We need more parkland here in Orlando.

 

NYC Park .jpg

NYC Park 2.jpg

Agreed. It also takes a bit of creativity (and $$$) to think outside of the box and reimagine undesirable lots as a public space. The Under-I project is just a start and if it's a success, it might even help people see  the value in creating pocket parks sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.

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2 hours ago, nite owℓ said:

Agreed. It also takes a bit of creativity (and $$$) to think outside of the box and reimagine undesirable lots as a public space. The Under-I project is just a start and if it's a success, it might even help people see  the value in creating pocket parks sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.

I don't think the need for more parks in Orlando is all that dire or in the case of downtown, even feasible.

In downtown there is virtually no parkland available unless private developers decide to include it in their projects.

Outside of downtown, we've got plenty of parks.

Barnett Park, Downey Park, Turkey Lake (Bill Frederick) Park, Ward Park, Blue Jacket Park, Wadeview Park, Lake Druid Park, Delaney Park, Al Coith Park, Cherokee Park, Barber Park, Shadow Bay Park, etc, etc, etc, etc....

Keep in mind also, that the proposed Packing District has a large park included in it's plans too.

That should help satisfy any percieved need for more parks for awhile anyway.

Edited by JFW657

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2 hours ago, JFW657 said:

I don't think the need for more parks in Orlando is all that dire or in the case of downtown, even feasible.

In downtown there is virtually no parkland available unless private developers decide to include it in their projects.

Outside of downtown, we've got plenty of parks.

Barnett Park, Downey Park, Turkey Lake (Bill Frederick) Park, Ward Park, Blue Jacket Park, Wadeview Park, Lake Druid Park, Delaney Park, Al Coith Park, Cherokee Park, Barber Park, Shadow Bay Park, etc, etc, etc, etc....

Keep in mind also, that the proposed Packing District has a large park included in it's plans too.

That should help satisfy any perceived 

Thank you for the list of city parks.  Those are certainly parks. 

I was talking about downtown though.   Lake Eola is tiny by urban-park standards.  Other cities (with much more expensive land) have MUCH larger parks.  I have also talked about how  many cities are spending money to buy developed land to expand existing parks.  For example,  Atlanta recently bought actual businesses to expand Piedmont Park.  Orlando benefits from cheaper land than most other urban areas, yet has failed to properly set-aside parkland downtown.  

A sampling of other urban parks (Orlando is at the bottom): 

 

Fairmount Park (Philadelphia):  9,200 acres

Forest/MacLeay Park (Portland):  5,100 acres 

Mission Bay Park (San Diego):  4,235 acres

Burns Park (Little Rock):  1,700 acres

Memorial Park (Houston):  1,400 acres

City Park (New Orleans):  1,300 acres 

Emma Long Metro Park (Austin):  1,142 acres

Golden Gate Park (SF):  1,017 acres

Central Park (NYC):  840 acres 

Discovery Park (Seattle):  534 acres

Franklin Park (Boston):  527 acres

W. Potomac Park (not incl. National Mall or E. Potomac Park)(D.C.):  395 acres 

City Park (Denver):  330 acres

Grant Park (Chicago):  319 acres

Lake Eola (Orlando):  43 acres 

 

 

 

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I love parks- I think we all do. If you live near downtown you are less than a 5 minute walk to a city park. I can walk to 5 from my front door in less than 5 minutes. I think when people say they want more parks they mean they want larger parks. All of Orlando is about 100 square miles. Downtown Orlando substantially less. 9200 acres is over 14 square miles. We do not have land in the CBD to carve out for that purpose. I'd rather have that space filled with people contributing to the local economy than parkland. OTOH, but that's just me. There is a lot of space in the Lake Lorna Doone area that can be used.

http://www2.cityoforlando.net/PDF_Docs/ParksRecreationMaps/ParksMap17x22General.pdf

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On 6/29/2018 at 8:47 PM, AmIReal said:

I love parks- I think we all do. If you live near downtown you are less than a 5 minute walk to a city park. I can walk to 5 from my front door in less than 5 minutes. I think when people say they want more parks they mean they want larger parks. All of Orlando is about 100 square miles. Downtown Orlando substantially less. 9200 acres is over 14 square miles. We do not have land in the CBD to carve out for that purpose. I'd rather have that space filled with people contributing to the local economy than parkland. OTOH, but that's just me. There is a lot of space in the Lake Lorna Doone area that can be used.

http://www2.cityoforlando.net/PDF_Docs/ParksRecreationMaps/ParksMap17x22General.pdf

That is an interesting response.  I've never really heard anyone opposed to more parkland. But you make a valid point.

I still don't understand why people resign themselves to mediocrity. If other cities can do it (whether it's urban parkland, or transit, or better schools or diversified economic development), so can Orlando.  People's expectations are sooooo low here. 

If, for just one example, Austin can have an urban park that is literally 20 times larger than Lake Eola, something went wrong here. 

And the parkland v. economic development dispute is not an all-or-nothing thing.  None of the cities I listed have poor economies (except possibly Little Rock).  The other cities have strong economies, even though they set-aside large portions of land for parkland.

At what point do locals have to stop settling?  Wouldn't it be nice to have a large urban "oasis" with recreational fields, untouched woodlands to wander, impressive monuments, and other amenities?  Many large urban public parks have museums, boat tours, zoos (or at least animal displays), skating rinks, landscaped gardens, carousels, historic homes to tour, community centers, kayaking, hiking, rafting, coffee shops, etc.  

We have a lake with an sidewalk less than a mile long around it. 

Is Orlando less deserving of something more impressive?  

Wouldn't it be a win-win?  Locals deserve it. And tourists would surely spend more money downtown.  Isn't that what we all want?  A investment would be paid back 10 or 20 -fold in money pumped BACK into the  economy.  

Where was the planning when downtown was laid out?  And why would anyone resist someone more?  

Again, land in Orlando is cheap.  I don't understand why more can't be done.

 

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