Drink to this 


When the moment arrives at midnight Dec. 31, too much celebration can twist the tongues of the best-intentioned toasters. Lest your words (and mind) start to slur, we consulted some members of the arts community to find out what toasts they were going to make to ring in the baby New Year. Even if your words fall like rocks, everyone's going to drink up.

We did ask that no one toast to peace and love to keep down the redundancy and to shoot for Orlando specificity, but we allowed Nina Streich of the Global Peace Festival to stay true to her mission for starters. And we made an exception in the brevity department for Michael Wanzie's theatrical finale, because we love drama (queens) as much as the rest of Orlando.

Nina Streich, Orlando Peace Festival

Here's to giving peace a chance! And to all those people who think peace is an unrealistic quest, why not give it a chance? You never know what's possible until you try.

Tod Caviness, spoken word artist, Fringe Festival poetry raconteur, host of Speakeasy at Will's Pub

Here's to Tiger Woods, Casey Anthony and anyone else who's helped lower the bar for Orlando this year. When you live in Nancy Grace's favorite feedbag, street cred is as easy as knowing who Banksy is.

Doug Rhodehamel, artist

I would like to give a toast to the mighty and flighty blimps that have filled the skies over Orlando since before I moved here in 1993. They are always a nice surprise and I have enjoyed the assortment of colors and logos throughout the years! Cheers, blimps!

Patrick Scott Barnes, poet

Here's a toast to our dangerous tourist town known as Orlando. May we yet again beat Compton's ass on the most-dangerous-city list.

Chris "Tobar" Rodriguez, artist, promoter, editor of Inprogress Magazine

Here's to all the people who live in downtown Orlando and nearby. Support your local artists with just a few simple steps: Attend more shows and buy more art for your bland-ass houses.

Seth Kubersky, arts columnist, Orlando Weekly

Here's to all the starving artists, under-employed entertainers and cash-crunched creatives eking out an existence on the edges of Orlando's tourist-trap economy: May you all find spiritually fulfilling income at the earnest nonprofit of your dreams in the coming year.  Or, barring that, may Stardust Video & Coffee continue to keep you off the streets by providing unlimited Wi-Fi and adult day-care services.

Logan Donahoo (Novice Sister Ambrosia), interim president, the Orlando Sisters

A toast to the vandals that defaced Orlando's LGBT community center with swastikas and slurs. Without you, the community couldn't have raised over $1,000 for the Center. Thank you for your hate (and bad grammar).

Kayonne Riley, station manager WUCF (89.9-FM)

To us! All of us, that is! And here's to lots more of those Orlando scandal-laced, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me stories! Let's go, people! Yay, 2010!

Julio Lima, owner, creative activist, Say It Loud!

With tequila shot in hand: Here's to hoping Orlando architects grow some cojones and start changing the skyline of the city with some modern architecture. Here's to using colors other than brown and beige — please, more raw cement and bold colors. Here's to getting a new iconic building besides the Cinderella castle. Get on it.

Brian Feldman, performance artist

Here's to the pedestrian who pressed the buttons, waited for the lights to change and looked both ways before crossing at the intersections ... and to the Orlando drivers who hated me for it. See you on SunRail!

Vicki Roussman, VIR Productions

Here's to all the thousands of commuters caught in the hell of I-4 construction, the brimstone of non-sequenced traffic lights on 436, and the fire of the never-ending parking lot of the 408. Some day Orlando will be finished! May you all live to see it (and drive it).

Frankie Messina, Apartment E

May the tattooed and pierced children know that they are the real future of Orlando, and may the elderly know that we would be nothing without all your hard work and determination that gave us such a great identity.

Julie Norris, Dandelion Communitea Café and Ourlando

To the bikers, birthers, growers, eaters, drummers, crafters, makers, shakers, bakers, thinkers, feelers, chanters and risk-takers all staking a claim on this here town of ours: Thanks for keeping it real, making it friendly and working together to create a diverse community we all are proud to call home.

Brook Pifer, photographer and art director

Cheers to my yoga teacher, Missy White of Be Free Yoga and Wellness Center, for helping PR's delicious food stay off my ass!

Dave Segal, producer and artist

Here's to Orlando artists/musicians who continue to give the people their all. Whether it's playing to a packed house with standing room only or displaying their work to an empty room with only a few stragglers, they continue to hold their torch up high here in Orlando.

Katie Ball, author of Any Cool Music?

To Orlando creatives: Please give your hearts freely but claim a price for the magic that you do. To patrons: Give what and when you can — as our culture must be co-owned by you.

Dustin Orlando, artist and promoter

Here's to all the creatives, friends and supporters in and around Orlando, and here's to the kooks and haters: Keep reaching for the stars and carbon-copying the real. Here's to progressing this town of a city and here's to Mickey Mouse: Keep ballin' in 2010.

Rex Thomas, visual arts writer, Orlando Weekly

Here's to our street artists, who battle neither with shotguns nor jackknives, but rather with aerosol and marker, who confront us with the physicality of our shared urban existence, if only to require us to pause from our virtual lives a few minutes to buff out their throw-ups.

Margot H. Knight, president and CEO, United Arts of Central Florida Inc.

Here's to our city of opportunists and old-timers, rogues and redeemers, lovers and losers, artists and anarchists, nincompoops and ne'er-do-wells, divas and dreamers and, above all, optimists, optimists and more optimists. May 2010 shine on us all.

Charity de Meer, photographer

Here's to little Orlando — may you grow away from the heinous looming shadow of the "World" and become the artsy little sister of New York that you have the potential of becoming!

John DiDonna, Empty Spaces Theatre Co.

A toast to all the audiences who laugh with us, cry with us, cheer with us and live the lives with us while taking sometimes harrowing journeys.

Mary Frances Emmons, Sport Diver magazine (formerly with the Sentinel)

Here's to all the smart, funny, quirky journalists slaving at Orlando's newspapers, the Weekly and the Orlando Sentinel, working their you-know-whats off every day for your edification and entertainment, even as the noose inevitably tightens around their own necks. You'll miss them when they're gone!

Josh Garrick, writer and fine art curator

Here's to the art collectors who "collect" the work of Central Florida's fine artists and those intrepid artists who continue creating work that is invited into major exhibits and museum collections. Yes, Virginia, there is fine art in Orlando!

Michael Wanzie, theater producer, actor, writer, director, comedian and entertainer

Here's to Orlando, her homeless we can't feed in the park/Here's to the town where the arts always come second/Where basketball arenas are built on a lark

Here's to Orlando, the city of Casey Anthony, Lou Pearlman, and me/Here's to a town full of characters/Tiger, Crazy Daisy and that press-hungry lawyer who used to be wed to Wendy Chioji

Here's to the town where columnists run for mayor/And councilmen run from taxes/ A town that grew up so fast/We can't tell our Mickey Mouse noses from our Florida-Cracker asses

But asses and taxes and Pearlmans aside/We look to the future/When SunRail will glide

So raise up your glasses and let's drink a toast/To the city we love to hate, and hate loving most.

loving most.

(Send your belated toasts to Orlando to lshepherd@orlandoweekly.com and I'll post the best responses on the Culture 2 Go blog.)


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