I think it would be sad to make such a talented family leave the country ("The measure of a man," Sept. 2). I know this family and they bring great music and joy everywhere they go and perform. They do a lot for the community, schools in the area and anyone who comes in contact with them. Don't let this treasure be tossed out.
I'm an Orlando native and wanted to respond personally to your recent article on Orlando ("Building the perfect beast," Aug. 26).
Personally, it's difficult for me to read an article by a locally respected writer and Orlando resident that speaks so poorly of the city. I find that the focus of your article is the same as most of the mass media's, and it stirs people up. The article offered no viable ideas or thoughts on sustainable betterment and growth of Orlando. Instead, it just offers us things we can clearly hate. To me, this appears one-sided and will only cause people to become upset. Perhaps provoking angst is what you're aiming for — or perhaps you're just playing a pundit. Regardless, I see this as a piece that is skewed and highly dramatized — which is not what Orlando needs as fodder for improvement.
I wonder how you personally affect the social, economic and cultural climates in Orlando. Doesn't each one of us hold re-sponsibility for the well-being of the city we inhabit?
This article is completely fantastic. Thank you for speaking the mind of countless Orlando Natives.
— Zach Blackwood
Downtown Orlando is ripe with new businesses. Five alone are coming to Church Street by October. This mayor has really done fabulous things for Orlando, and downtown is looking great. This article's doomsday attitude is sour grapes if you ask me. Those establishments that are referenced in the article were not "phased out" by City Hall — some were re-branded, like Sapphire, because the times have changed. Perhaps downtown Orlando was a picture postcard in the '90s, but that was never going to be sustained. If you all want edgy establishments in Orlando, you can find them. Some may very well surprise you. I suggest checking out some of the lounges in Little Saigon. They are overlooked and have a very underground feel to them. All and all, these are some of the best days for Orlando. This new arena is absolutely beautiful — and most of all it is urban, something that Orlando needs to strive for overall.
Really, Orlando died in 2005. I made the move that year to greener pastures (and coconut palms) in SoFLA. Down here, life is good, though there is of course no real cultural center as was developing in Orlando in 1998. Dallas has an area that has a lot of bars and restaurants called Deep Ellum that is what Orlando needs. Go Lounge would have been right at home in the Deep Ellum of the Big D … but unfortunately, Dyer and company apparently poured metaphorical Round-Up on the one actual flower that was growing in the weed patch of Orlando and now there are … soaped windows.
Perhaps Buddy can invite some local talent to scrape artwork into the window soap. Anyway, I made a small fortune when I sold my house in 2005 and moved south, and I suspect that the getting out is still good. Orlando is turning back into a "quiet" town, and unless you enjoy boredom (sorry, boredom kills me), I suspect that it is time to find a better venue.
— Dale B.
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