What are you doing to stay productive around the house throughout the day to stay positive during these times?
I seem to be more productive than ever. Ohhh, I’m not one of those making Beef Wellington or learning Mandarin Chinese, but I’m enjoying doing things I’ve never done and not having to rush! Like live stream ballet barre and stretch with local Jack Sherwood – I haven’t done that since the ’70s … a live stream dance party, Sweat Spot Ryan Heffington … getting a whole music education nightly with Questlove – even a meditation directed by Diva Zappa’s mentor, Tintori … following JR thanks to his introduction by Patrick and Holly Kahn of Snap Gallery – following Big Freedia from New Orleans after first seeing her Will’s Pub … and actually enjoying live streams from local politicians: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Anna Eskamani, our mayors (but my favorite is Anna Eskamani – educational and sooo much fun!!!) … and local DJ Nigel is always fresh and dark. OOOHHH and how could I forget: I’m working on my Carmen Berfield "I-Survived-as-an-ER-Nurse-COVID19" adult scouting badge … HUGE!!! And furthermore biking through all the districts of Orlando, be it Milk, Ivanhoe, Colonialtown, Audubon – the weather is fabulous! Anything outdoors is divine!
Do you have any takeout recommendations?
Sooo many great choices … Domu, Tori Tori, Pom Pom’s, Tako Cheena and Bites and Bubbles – all sooo touchless and amazingly different! And I can’t forget Conrad’s Shanty. I think Tim Jaeger is smiling at me behind that mask, and his ever-creative persistence selling White Claw is worth the bike ride!
Any local Orlando residents or businesses streaming on Facebook, Instragram, YouTube you recommend?
Anything with Kaleigh Baker is a win-win, be it Will’s Pub or Southern Fried Sundays! Also Corrine of Alchemy’s live feed hair dyeing tutorials – I'm waiting for the advanced cutting class as I think I’m already pretty good with bangs. And not live streaming but my postman is always good for a big smile and wave, and a huge shout out to the recycling bin folks! (wink wink nod nod)
“There’s no place like home. Although a massage table or a hug in a pub sounds pretty fabulous about now.”
Any new hobbies you're finally getting a chance to work on?
I'm thinkin' of tryin' to learn to spin dryer lint and cat hair, as I’m running out of knitting yarn. Also enjoying old hobbies leisurely: doodling, watching things grow, biking adventures to new neighborhoods.
Top three things you miss about Orlando and can't wait to experience again when this is over?
Things I miss most:
– my service industry folks – I miss being waited on
– someone else doing the dishes!!!
– I miss a live band/DJ and dancing on a sweaty packed dance floor!!!
– I miss the Venue and Blue Star and all my burlesque buddies … but the Venue came down before the plague.
Have you heard any stories about locals using their creativity to provide support and positivity to the neighbors in their community?
Let’s see, local stories of doing good … someone in my neighborhood, a guy named Raymundo, mailed little packages of sunflower seeds to plant, watch grow and brighten our hood! And my favorites are local folks like Clay Watson, who is cooking for local musicians out of work, and Kadence and Sette, who have closed their restaurants to prepare meals for service industry folks out of work.
If not takeout, are you sticking to the tried-and-true foods in the kitchen? If experimenting more, what are you cooking up?
Tried-and-true foods: my focaccia and banana nut bread. Comfort food: my roast rosemary chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and my grandmother’s tomato casserole! And Florida shrimp are divine right now, hot or cold in a million recipes.
If you could be anywhere else besides your house right now, where would you like to be?
If I could be anywhere … I realized there’s no place like home. Although a massage table or a hug in a pub sounds pretty fabulous about now.
Any good book recommendations for us?
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley … just kidding, as I said I have the attention span of a hummingbird. I leave the reading to my dummy live-in, Phil. [Ed. note: Sadly, there are no photos of Phil – he wasn't on the porch when we stopped by.]
Netflix/Prime/other streaming recommendations?
After taking the high school photo challenge and wondering why I had that haircut, I remembered Jane Fonda in Klute … what a flashback movie. It only took me five hours and a smorgasbord of movie snacks to watch it.
The photo series Social Distancing at 85mm was shot in Orlando by Matt Keller Lehman for Orlando Weekly during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
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