Orlando obsessions: About the Newcomers Guide cover

Orlando obsessions
Orlando obsessions Illustrations by Betsy Garcia of Bloomwolf Studio

Lake Eola Park
If Orlando were a wheel, Lake Eola Park would be the hub. It also wouldn't be a very good wheel, because it would be bumpy as hell, but we don't have to think that hard about the metaphor. The downtown park, centered on the iconic fountain in the lake, hosts dozens of events every year, including parades, fireworks, concerts and more. It's also where we keep all of our swans.

As much as some Orlandoans might deny it, you'd be reading this article right now in the middle of a spacious orange grove and not much else if it weren't for the city's mega theme parks and tourism industry. So make the best of it and take advantage of the white-knuckle terror of our local rollercoaster buffet.

Symbolizing the current rude health of both Orlando's local electronic music and rock scenes, we've got the chocolate-in-my-peanut butter synergy that is the keytar. Our scene has an unusual and healthy commingling of guitar-based and electronics-based music, sometimes even on the same concert lineup!

Well, that looks to be a luchador to be precise, as hardcore pro-graps fans would fall over themselves to inform you. But Orlando has a professional wrestling scene that is popping off right now. There's something for everyone, from WWE proving ground NXT to the punk-infused vibes of Mayhem on Mills and much, much more.

I-4 Eyesore
If any Orlando landmark is a Rorschach test for the city, it's the Majesty Building. Ground broke in 2001, but the seemingly abandoned, possibly haunted shell looms over I-4 like an unfinished term paper to this day.

Craft beer
Thanks in part to some tweaks to outdated laws in the state Legislature a few years ago, we've seen microbreweries pop up all over Central Florida in the past few years. We'll introduce you to a few spots to get you started on your brewery adventures on page 25.

Pub subs
If you learn just one thing about Orlando, it should be that Floridians are fiercely, almost weirdly devoted to Publix Deli subs, and of all the varieties, it's the chicken tender sub they love best. Can't beat them, might as well join them.

Third-wave coffee
What's the fuel that keeps Central Florida humming? Sure, it's tourist dollars and misappropriated infrastructure funds. But it's also coffee, because we don't see a dime of those other things! Orlando is a hotbed for locally roasted, brewed, dripped, chilled and even spiked java, joe and go-juice. (Read all about it on page 23.)

Maybe it's the theme parks, maybe it's just the culture, but man oh man is this a selfie town. There are street-level murals built for posing all over town. There's a 4,500-square foot warehouse with 20 walls just for selfie-ing opening any day now. Even our downtown information center, formerly a dim nook full of brochures, now boasts a poppy yellow backdrop.

This story is from the Aug. 8, 2019, print issue of Orlando Weekly's Newcomers Guide 2019. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.
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