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Ronald

Downtown Orlando

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Before moving into Gainesville for the start of college next week, I took a few days time to explore Orlando (no, not the theme parks!). It has a nice downtown, and Lake Eola Park really is an asset to cherish. However, it is pretty dead after business hours, except for clubbing nights on the weekends. On saturdays and sundays everyone appeared to be at the Mall of Florida instead. There aren't that many parking lots downtown, it's pretty built up & dense by American standards. The colonial architecture, combined with recently built glassy skyscrapers certainly make the town worth visiting.

Also I noticed that, compared to European city centers, everything looks tidy and clean. A whole different world from, say, Amsterdam's or Venice's city centre where bits of trash/ garbage is all over the place.

It becomes obvious there's an abundant supply of land in Florida when you travel through some of the neighbourhoods surrounding downtown. You'll find nothing but strip malls, 6-lane avenues, and incedibly ' spacious ' residential neighbourhoods. Downtown seems to be the only neighbourhood that does not consist of single family homes.

All around Downtown there are busses that take you to the main busstation for free. Transit all around Orlando is cheap, but don't expect a lot of service. At busstops there are no schedules, so you just have to wait and see if and when your bus will show up. And due to the city (outside of downtown) being incredibly spead out, and the bus stopping every 400 yards or so, it takes ages to get anywhere.

That said, it's still a town well worth visiting if you're ever in Florida.

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Nice use of the public space below the freeway.

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That's all, hope you enjoyed!

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Nice. I just visited the first time this spring break. Is this recent? Are you in the hurricane area?

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These were mostly taken last friday, and a couple more of them on saturday.

I am in Gainesville now, and it looks like we'll get hit by Fay tomorrow:

FAY IS FORECAST TO MOVE VERY SLOWLY ACROSS THE

NORTHERN FLORIDA PENINSULA ON THURSDAY...AND NEAR OR ALONG THE GULF

COAST IN THE FLORIDA BIG BEND AREA ON FRIDAY.

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Thanks for the pics! I didn't realize Orlando had such great old architecture and density. But wow, where is everybody? Was that during the day on Friday or in the early evening?

This is a nice little arcade:

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These were actually taken on mid-afternoon last friday, with the last 3 or being taken on saturday evening.

There sure is a good dose of old architecture in Downtown Orlando!

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^ Your right about that. I love the colors.

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Great photos and thanks for posting.

Of course, it's a lot easier to keep a city clean when there's nobody there. What a ghost town.

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Thanks for the pics! I didn't realize Orlando had such great old architecture and density. But wow, where is everybody? Was that during the day on Friday or in the early evening?

This is a nice little arcade:

IMG_0841.jpg

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Nice pictures, they really shows some of the old Orlando architecture. I live in Atlanta now but grew up in Orlando and still consider it home.. It has grown a lot. The past 3 years saw Orlando add a lot of density to downtown particularly with Condo towers. I would expect more foot traffic when the condo towers fill up with residents. If you go downtown on a weekend night it is very alive, and similar to the way buckhead used to be in Atlanta or Ybor city in Tampa. During the week you get a lot of business types and it is fairly vital. But go downtown On Saturday or Sunday during the day and it is very dead except for Lake Eola. I think Orlando's downtown is nice mix of business, residences, and restaurants; it is probably a little underated by people. Visitors to the theme parks would be well served to take a side trip to downtown Orlando IMO. Downtown also has a new basketball arena under construction and a new PAC should break ground soon (God Willing given our current economic crisis). One reason Orlando does not receive a lot of press is that the FAA caps our skyscrapers at around 440 feet. Orlando has decent density but does not have any signature 500 foot skyscrapers. Orlando is squat and spread out. This means Orlando does not stand out like a Miami, but on the ground level it is little bit more European; livable and friendly to foot traffic.

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nice pics of downtown Orlando. I would imagine the oppresive heat & humidity of August would drench most business attire hence the lack of pedestrians. I've seen downtown with lots of people before so they do exist!

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When I lived in Jacksonville in the early 90s, we used to go to Orlando for the weekends. And as others have mentioned, we never went to Disney or all that stuff in Kissimmee. We enjoyed the real city of Orlando.

And these awesome pics show exactly why we loved Orlando so much. Such a fun place to be. Orlando's lakes are so gorgeous. Late sunsets are fabulous. And Lake Eola/downtown are simply spectacular at sunset.

Also we enjoyed rather mundane things, such as a long ride down Colonial Drive.......the malls, and all the gay stuff. If you haven't gone to Orlando to see Orlando, you're doing yourself a disservice. Such an underrated city.

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