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Spotlight

Spotlight: Orchid Thai in Lake Mary


I’ve always enjoyed Orchid Thai on Park Avenue in Winter Park, so I was glad to learn of a new location in Lake Mary. Unfortunately, it’s just not the same. Of course it was bound to be different. The Winter Park restaurant has the ambience of Park Avenue and the lovely outdoor dining. In fact, I couldn’t imagine going to the original Orchid Thai and choosing to dine in the small, a bit-too-cramped dining room. There is no outside dining at the Lake Mary version. Even if there were it probably wouldn’t be very pleasant looking at the parking lot of the strip mall it’s located in. The Lake Mary restaurant’s dining room is nice enough. This is the space …
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Image: Photo by Frank Weber, Orange County Government
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orange County votes unanimously to allow medical marijuana dispensaries


In a surprisingly strong move, Orange County commissioners unanimously voted this week to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. Rules from the Florida Legislature dictate municipal governments only have two options regarding dispensaries – they can either ban them outright or regulate them like any other pharmacy. Mayor Teresa Jacobs called that choice a “poison pill” at a Tuesday public hearing on two ordinances to ban or allow cannabis treatment centers. Jacobs and other commissioners say they were trying to uphold the will of 71 percent of Floridians who voted to expand medical marijuana via a constitutional amendment in 2016. Orange County’s decision breaks the pattern of local cities, including Apopka, Winter Garden and Winter Park, …
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Image: Previous Great Day in the Country
The Daily City

Spotlight: Art in Odd Places, Historic Homes, Great Day in the Country and Global Market


A public and performance art festival that incorporates the downtown landscape called Art in Odd Places is taking place Saturday and Sunday in Downtown Orlando. For details go to artinoddplaces.org. Tour seven historic homes in the Mills 50 neighborhood then enjoy drinks and snack sized bites at the Guesthouse during the Mills50 Historic Homes Tour Saturday anytime between and 1 to 7. For tickets go to orlandoweeklytickets.com. I’d like to invite you and yours to Great Day in the Country, an Arts and crafts fair produced by the Oviedo Woman’s Club. Men are invited of course but no horseshoes. Great Day in the Country is Saturday 9 to 4 At Center Lake Park. For details go to greatdayoviedo.com. Global Market, …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Jax


Jax Fifth Avenue has returned to downtown Orlando. Except that it’s no longer called Jax Fifth Avenue, which is fine because it isn’t on Fifth Avenue. But then, it never was on Fifth Avenue, it was on South Court Avenue. But who would name a restaurant Jax South Court Avenue? The original name was meant to be a tongue in cheek play on Saks Fifth Avenue’s name. Those who are old enough to remember the first Jax and who are still able to consume solid food will find that a lot is the same at the new place, which is in the former Baoery/City Fish space on Central Boulevard. In fact, Thompson said he was going for nostalgia. You’ll see …
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Image: Performance Artists Brian Black and Ryan Bulis, Art in Odd Places FB page.
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Art in Odd Places


Signal to noise ratio: It’s the proportion of useful, valuable information to worthless background static in any system. This year’s Art in Odd Places festival, happening Friday through Sunday, takes ‘Noise’ as its theme, but judging by past years, the festival promises to offer a high ratio of signal to noise: plenty of good work, very little rubbish. More than 34 artists from around the country will take over downtown this weekend, inhabiting and enlivening the sidewalks, streets and building surfaces. In its third year in Orlando, Art in Odd Places has found its sweet spot, striking the balance between artistic freedom and administrative oversight that’s required of all city-sponsored festivals. Barbara Hartley, executive director of the Downtown Arts District, …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Bates New England Seafood & Steakhouse


I drove out to Ocoee recently and found myself back in 1988. Well, not really, but as I had dinner at Bates New England Seafood & Steakhouse, I couldn’t help thinking of when Boston’s Fish House opened in Winter Park. That was when good seafood restaurants were hard to come by in Central Florida, which is odd to think of today considering we’re essentially surrounded by seawater. It’s even odder that one of the best new seafood restaurants in town back then was flying its fish in from New England. So does Bates. And just like Boston’s before it, it features New England specialities like Ipswich or whole belly clams and seafood platters of breaded and deep-fried fish, shrimp, scallops …
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Image: Owl from the Avian Reconditioning Center, arc4raptors.org
The Daily City

Spotlight: Owl Fest, Korean Fest, Film Fest and Renaissance Faire


Owls, hawks and eagles will be on display and doing flight demonstrations for guests throughout the day at Fall Owl Fest Saturday 10 to 3 at the Avian Reconditioning Center. For details go to arc4raptors.org. Enjoy traditional Korean food and music, a K-Pop contest, karaoke, games and more at Orlando Korea Festival Saturday 10 to 4 at Korean Grace Church in Belle Isle. A Family-friendly block party with hayrides, live music, food, drink, kids activities and more is taking place during the Hometown Harvest Saturday starting at 5 at the Winter Springs Town Center. For details go to winterspringsfl.org. Edgewater Drive shuts down and is slathered with bands, food and vendors during the College Park Jazz Fest Saturday starting at …
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Image: Stuart, Azam District 5, Orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Three Orlando city commissioners fight to keep their seats and fend off a slew of candidates in a contentious race


If you haven’t been paying attention, next Tuesday is your last chance to vote in the general election for Orlando City Council races. And if you have been paying attention, then you know this melodramatic political tale that one candidate described as “the Jerry Springer” show is finally coming to an end. Orlando Commissioners Jim Gray, Robert Stuart and Regina Hill are all up for re-election, and all have a cluster of competitors after their spots and $58,000 salaries, on the city’s top municipal board. In her first re-election bid, Hill, more than incumbents Stuart or Gray, faces the biggest challenge, going up against six other candidates for the district that goes from Parramore to MetroWest. All three incumbents have …
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Image: Swan Lake, orlandoballet.org
The Daily City

Spotlight: Swan Lake, Craft Fair, Veg Fest and Disney History


For those who aren’t celebrating Halloween do I have some cultural event gems for you! Set to Tchaikovsky’s powerful score, and based on the folk tale of a young princess transformed into a swan by a vengeful sorcerer, Orlando Ballet’s production of Swan Lake promises an enchanting look at the classic romance. Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2 at Dr. Phillps in downtown Orlando. For info go to orlandoballet.org. More than 400 crafters and artists from across the country offer their finest work for sale during the Mount Dora Craft Fair Saturday and Sunday 9 to 5 in downtown Mount Dora. For details go to mountdoracraftfair.com The annual celebration of vegan and vegetarian living with a little bit of …
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