Well, if nothing else, I’m adaptable. Sometimes I feel a bit like a chameleon, needing to change my coloring, markings, not so infrequently. When things go awry with one thing, however, it’s of no benefit to spend time whining. Best to move on, get on with it.
I didn’t exactly do that, admittedly. After my relationship with a certain quasi-local publication went badly a little over a month ago, I knew it was time to rely on the one person I can scream at with very little blow back: myself.
I’m committing myself now to blog. My mind works in mysterious ways, so stay tuned. This could get interesting. If nothing else, read because at some point I’m bound to embarrass myself or put my Sanuk in my mouth. Eek.
Covering Locals and things that are Local like Spanish moss on a Winter Park tree is my not so small goal. Here we go.
I went traipsing up and down Park Avenue yesterday. I fueled up first at The Tiffany Deli. I’d posted photos of their Havana sandwich – their version of a Cuban – yesterday and the response to it was so enthusiastic I was soon craving one myself. It was yummy. While I was there, Lola, a photographer from The Orlando Sentinel, came in to photograph items for Heather McPherson’s regular piece on Friday. From my own experience yesterday morning I can tell you photogenic food often gets an immediate reactions! At least it did for me and a number of others.
Then I was off doing my usual meandering thing, taking photos of leaves and flowers and light poles and feeling I’d accomplished something when I managed not to plow into a brick planter or moving vehicle while doing it. I was walking along the sidewalk when I noticed a stack of shutters leaning against a wall. I looked up to see a new sign in what was previously Markdown Mary’s. The new sign is for You Need Art by Michael Macone.
Have to say, I LUV having a new business around selling art. Something about entering such a business, being confronted with lots of color, things which draw my eye this way and that, has always put me in a good mood. Who wouldn’t it? Outside at You Need Art you’ll find whimsical garden sculptures, some with brightly colored marbles, like the ones I use in my own mosaics. Inside there’s a tremendous variety of items, many made by Michael and his son. They’re open to visit now, but will have a grand opening May 10 – 12.
On down the Avenue I was doing my picture taking thing, as I heard my name come from the front of Winter Park Land Company. Pam Stewart, a friend of mine and Realtor there, was soon coaxed out of their offices and was joining me as I headed south to visit some new businesses on Park Avenue’s first block. If no one else has said it, I will . . . . BurgerFi has been quite a nice catalyst on that stretch. It offered something new and needed for Park Avenue, I believe, much as has the recent arrival of Matilda’s on Park. I LUV Winter Park and I LUV Park Avenue. I think these two wonderful new businesses open it up to a broader demographic, fill a void.
Pam commented to several people during our outing that she doesn’t know anything that’s going on Locally if she doesn’t read it on my facebook page. While I LUVed hearing that, I have to admit I often don’t know things until I hear it from my facebook friends. That is actually the case with the business we stopped at first, Rocket Fizz. The name gives you very little idea of what you’ll find inside. Located in the former space of Bajalia – which I believe has moved just around the corner, though I’ve yet to identify exactly where – Rocket Fizz is a LARGE candy and soda shop. Based in California, they carry 83 flavors of their own privately labeled soda – including such flavors as cotton candy and Shirley Temple – and more than 400 others from all around the world. They have over 1,000 types of candy, tin and vintage signs, gag gifts and more. It’s the sort of place you have to visit a few times to really fathom all they carry.
Doors away is a new business to Park Avenue, which was previously located in Hannibal Square. I’d never met Santa LaBellman, though we’d communicated some on facebook. Her new location for LaBella Intimates and Boutique is similar to the other, but more than twice as large. Formerly a part of Storehouse, which went out in spring of 2007, the space is still segmented with half terrazzo and half wood flooring. I think it only adds to the intrigue, the cool factor of the space. It’s got a Tribeca feel, cool without trying. I like the eclectic touches, from the chandeliers to the metal dress forms to a gorgeous mosaic mirrored piece of art, to the vintage look wallpaper behind the cash wrap. Nice move, Santa!
Now in the remainder of that former Storehouse space is a Hadco distributor showroom for Viking and other appliances, outdoor grills and more. This space ROCKS! Seriously . . . go in and check out that HUGE rock island with beer tap. It’s marble, but looked to me like some quartz composite. The lightness of color, the way light can permeate and glow beneath it, through it, enables the light show employees Tommy Lam (Sales Consultant) and Kendel Elliott (Showroom Manager) so enjoyed showing off. And, speaking of showing off . . . Kendel has some design skills! You must go in to check out their oh so patriotic red, white & blue Viking display AND to see the front backsplash and cabinetry with those stainless appliances, in addition to that ISLAND of lights and beer! Stay tuned, as I personally intend to be a frequent visitor here as they plan wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and more. You’ll have to visit to understand, but this is a VERY cool space. In addition to the Storehouse space, they also have the space which was behind, previously a salon. You’ll find the outdoor grills and related items back there. In the future they’ll also be offering high end cookware, and are already stocked with a variety of exotic olive oils.
Before I returned Pam to her office, one more stop at Alex and Ani, in the old Thread spot. This is a way cool showroom, well lit, sort of minimalistic, yet also a bit eclectic. We were so taken by some of their props – plastic flowers part of their Mother’s Day displays – we wondered if they were for sale. They are not. But the jewelry is quite cool, at times colorful and shiny and at others more primitive, with charms ranging from sorority letters to Hamsa hands to lady bugs. Pam said the showroom made her feel like she was in London. It’s such a cool space, with wonderful lighting, it really allows for easy viewing of the intricacies of the jewelry. Something else to LUV about their jewelry? It’s all made in America!
After I returned Pam safe and sound to her office, I made one stop at Downeast where Don Sexton was excited to show me their new Southern Tide t-shirts, featuring the Downeast name and Winter Park on the front, along with the slipjack fish logo of Southern Tide. They come in red, white, yellow and blue. Does your business offer a product with ‘Winter Park’ or ‘College Park’ or something referring to our community at large on it? Or maybe a peacock or owls? Let me know. I’ll include them in this blog! I believe in promoting Local . . . and when it’s Local x 2, I’m on board to help get the word out!
I guess I need to wrap it up, as I will need to get a few things done before heading to Taste of Winter Park this evening. I’m not sure I exactly covered Winter Park like Spanish moss, but it’s a start! Sometimes just getting started is the real challenge.