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CrossBay Ferry to run again from November-April between downtown Tampa and St. Pete:

https://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/Mayor-Rick-Kriseman-didn-t-tell-commissioners-that-ferry-riders-will-have-parking-issues_171081155?template=amp

From the St. Pete Times

Now if they could just crank up the water taxi between Daytona and NSB again...

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Not such much "cool", but definitely interesting.

The Tower of David - the 45 story unfinished tower in Venezuela that became a famous "vertical slum" - was recently damaged in an earthquake.  

Its top 5 floors have bent to a 25 degree angle and may fall.  (The pic is old and doesn't show the damage).

 

IMG_0876.JPG

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In the ongoing war by developers on the trees, Tampa seems to have declared a truce:

https://www.tampabay.com/blogs/baybuzz/2018/08/30/a-truce-on-tampas-trees-it-looks-likely/?template=amp

From the St. Pete Times

After the Boston Market Massacre this week, it would be nice to see us do something along these lines.

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Kermit in the Charlotte room found this great piece on "the sameness of cities." It's something I've harped on a lot about downtown Orlando: I'm GLAD for our relatively compact downtown with seamless transitions to traditional neighborhoods. The small-town feel in a burgeoning center city, even at the cost of shorter buildings, gives us a unique quality that I came back to Orlando to be a part of.

https://www.urbanophile.com/2018/08/27/the-unbearable-sameness-of-cities/

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1 hour ago, orlandouprise said:

The rich get richer. Atlanta adds 1900 jobs in 2 weeks. First Starbucks, now Norfolk HQ relocating to Atlanta.  Geezus Orlando....do something. 

Not sure I get all the angst. Atlanta continues to do well and, as a former Atlantan (my family has roots in Georgia,) I wish them well. 

Meanwhile, in just two of our significant industries, Central Florida is doing just fine. The private space industry is exploding with growth, not to mention all kinds of buzz (especially since SpaceX founder Elon Musk was, ummmmm, buzzed this week smoking a blunt on a podcast that immediately went viral,) and most of that growth has been on our own Space Coast. Ever try to launch a rocket from Peachtree?

In our largest industry, we're seeing billions of dollars in new infrastructure. In conventions, Orlando is #1 while Atlanta is at #4, a good ways back.

https://www.cvent.com/en/press-release/cvent-reveals-2016-list-top-50-meeting-destinations-united-states

In tourism, do you really want to compare all our theme parks and nearby beaches with Six Flags Over Georgia, a second-tier park that's been going downhill for decades? Or perhaps Stone Mountain Park, with its gigantic sculptures of Lee, Jackson and Davis thumbing their noses at the diversity we embrace?

Atlanta's doing great (although as discussed earlier, we're growing faster,) but so are we. I don't think we have anything to be ashamed of.

(An additional note: Norfolk Southern moving its HQ to Atlanta - which is not yet a done deal - is not an immaculate conception based on a perception of Atlanta as The Emerald City or something. Rather, it's getting back to the roots of part of the company. The Southern Railway is the Southern part of Norfolk Southern and has long had roots in Georgia and a regional headquarters in Atlanta. Interestingly, it was the old Southern Railway that prevented direct Amtrak service from Orlando to Atlanta because they refused to let Amtrak use their tracks. Anyway, NS would be an excellent get for the city but they've long had a presence in the area.)

Edited by spenser1058

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My angst is seeing so many HQ's move to Atlanta in what seems like a weekly routine and we have such a hard time attracting significant companies to move  and set-up their HQ's here.

We may be growing faster than Atlanta percentage wise technically but they are growing rapidly as well. At this point it will be 100 years if and when we ever catch up. 30 years ago, Atlanta was at about the current size of Orlando and even then they had way more corporate muscle than we will ever have. Just makes me sad to realize this.  On a side -note...I think Atlanta's explosion onto the scene came from the Olympics exposure and the snow ball effect over the years. But again, they got the Olympics, because of their corporate muscle. Orlando is still struggling to sign a corporate sponsor for Orlando City Stadium partly I believe because for many high profile corporations Orlando is an after thought. 

Sorry for the rant, woke up a Debbie-downer today. LOL

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The funny part is that when I lived in Atlanta I always heard folks complain they would never be like NYC or Chicago. It seems to be a case of always wanting the skyscrapers to be taller or the parks to be bigger.

Back then, my biggest regrets in leaving Atlanta were shopping (I hated not having a Brooks Brothers or Jos. Bank, we of course have both now,) a better gay nightlife (that long ago ceased to matter, although today there's less friction between City Hall and the gay community in Orlando than in Atlanta, which would have been unimaginable 25 years ago) and the fact that Atlanta, while certainly the least Southern city in the Deep South, was still hanging on to its last vestige of Southern culture better than Orlando (a culture that has become so toxic to my progressive values that I'm happy to be away from it despite my family's roots in the region since the late 1700s.)

On the other hand, I missed the beach and the fact that the newly-recovering downtown Orlando was so walkable. Due to a job opportunity, I returned once to Atlanta for a year but realized the things I most valued were in my hometown. I've never looked back.

If there are things about Atlanta you like better than whatever you like about Orlando (I'm guessing there's something here that attracts you,) then maybe it's time to consider a move. Just as I realized Atlanta wasn't where I belonged, maybe that's true of you and Orlando. Life's way too short to be anyplace that doesn't make you smile.

Oddly, if I were doing it all over again and the fact I'd be so out of place with the politics (yep, politics are important to me but they may not be to you so it might not even be a consideration,) I think I'd like to live in Chattanooga. Thirty years ago, it wasn't even on my radar except for being Krystal's HQ and the halfway point between Atlanta and Nashville.

 

Edited by spenser1058
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Spencer, thanks for the thoughtful advice. I'm here because I was born here. I grew up here.  It will always be home. I will always love this place. My angst comes from wanting this city to be the best version of itself that I can imagine. I'm very familiar with Atlanta as that is where my wife grew up and has always wanted to go back to. Perhaps that is why I unfairly compare the two cities. maybe one day I will make the leap to Atlanta, but I just can't bear right now to leave this familiar place behind in hopes that it does become what I imagine. Corny, I know...but that's it.

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The coolest thing to me about Orlando is how proud I am about the values we now have. Orange County was one of the few places in the country that voted for Goldwater in 1964 and now look at us.

Best of all, while all the folks who came here from somewhere else helped us broaden our horizons, we've made those values our own. Look at Mayor Buddy from the ultimate good ol' boy family. Raised in Kissimmee no less although born at Orange Memorial.

He embraced the gay community early on and also has been active on women's rights and has gone a long way to make sure the Puerto Rican community and others are made to feel welcome.

That plus the fact we've had women, African-Americans, Hispanics and openly gay folks in leadership positions is amazing to me. Growing up in Pine Hills, I might have dreamed it but never could have imagined it happening but here we are.

Someone once mentioned to me that the amazing thing about Orlando is that anything we don't have, sooner or later we get. Whether it's a world-class arena or pro teams or a rapidly rising university (with a great football team!), it's either here or we're looking to get it. And while we wait, we have an airport that keeps adding cities to go see the things we don't have all the time.

When I was a kid, the Martin folks (from Baltimore) and then Disney (Cali, of course) made fun of what dumb hicks we were in Orlando and how we had no history (one Disney type was shocked -shocked! - that artichokes weren't carried at Pantry Pride). 

So, I left to find out what I was missing. I came back and found out anything we were missing was probably on the way and our supposed lack of history was only because they were too nearsighted to go looking for it. I vowed never to make that mistake.

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6 minutes ago, orlandouprise said:

Spencer for Mayor after Buddy retires. On a side note, I too grew up in Pine Hills.  Went to Evans...

Me too - would have graduated in '75 but we moved to Orange Park my senior year (along with John McCain's family - Country First!)

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Can a 1970's era shopping center that has been in a downward spiral for 15 years that's located near a major public university but in a depressed neighborhood, find new life as a "research village?"

University Mall in Tampa is about to find out.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/The-future-of-University-Mall-in-Tampa-is-that-it-won-t-be-a-mall-anymore_171723046?template=amp

From the St Pete Times

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On 9/13/2018 at 6:01 PM, AndyPok1 said:

Hey guys! I'm in San Diego!

MVIMG_20180913_142705.jpg

MVIMG_20180913_143508_exported_3628425914930468026.jpg

Dag'gum, them's pert'near the fanciest Seb'm-leb'ms I ever dag'gum seen!!! :huh:

How comes we cain't git us no fancy Seb'm-leb'ms like them thar 'round h'yere???? :(

T'ain't fa'r, I tells ye!!! T'ain't fa'r!!!! :angry:

(banjo a-plunkin')

 

.

Edited by JFW657
  • Haha 2

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