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My Orlando

Yesterday morning, while borrowing some new books from the downtown library, it occurred to me that I rarely post pictures of Orlando. Probably because it is all so familiar to me, having lived here for 54 years, mostly within about a four mile radius. Here I was, posting photos of Austin, when I live in a city that is probably one of the most photographed places on earth. Seems crazy doesn't it, but with 57 million tourists visiting last year, it is probably no exaggeration. That said, most of those folks really don't see Orlando, they see our theme parks which are far from one and the same.
Ever since I learned to read, maybe when I was 5, I've been checking books out of the Orlando Public Library, long before we had the latest incarnation, built in 1966. For those interested, the history of our library, 80 years at the corner of Rosalind and Central, is here
The above view faces Magnolia, a side most folks rarely see because the entrance is on Central. The colored panels are the only color on the entire building which after an expansion in the 80's, takes up the entire city block. Below is the side facing Wall Street where for many years there was a manned drive up window to drop off your books. Sadly it is now closed, however, there is still a drop box for after hours. Our library is so great for many reasons, one of which is you can order a book online and they will deliver it to your doorstep! Amazing, right?
While I was looking for books, I saw this funny display:
As well as children gathering to hear "Bob play for kids."
I had about twenty minutes left on my parking meter, so I walked around a bit to take a few photographs. Imagine that! Both in the library, and in front of the History Center, there were big groups of children.
Now Orange County Regional History Center, this building once was the real courthouse. 
Our niece Amanda, Lisa and Danny's eldest daughter, married Matt in this building, maybe three years ago (time flies!) in the old courtroom with a lovely reception following. Time flies indeed-- on this weekend, Matt is graduating Northwestern with a PhD in some sort of fancy branch of Economics. What an accomplishment! Soon they will be moving to North Carolina where he will begin life on the other side of the room, as in, the front of a classroom at Duke University. 

Wall Street (see above), is broken up by the History Center, continuing on the other side to end at Orange Avenue, the main drag of town.
Mostly Wall Street is filled with bars. For the longest time, on the corner pictured on the right-hand side,  there was a place called The Globe with one of the coolest signs in town. I have no idea when it changed names/hands, but now it's called Hooch.
Another sign we've always loved, I see the eight ball needs a little work!

Heading back to my car, I passed what once was the old Southern Bell building, now I've clueless what it is used for. Remembering back to my high school days and beyond, many folks were delighted to get a job with Southern Bell. As a matter of fact, my market neighbor Kathy worked for the telephone company for thirty years! The facade of the building has many of these decorative panels which I love.
Only a few blocks from here, the new Dr. Phillips Performing Art Center is coming right along:
So, our city may not be as cool as Austin, but it is familiar, and it's mine, or so I like to think!

I finally went swimming on Wednesday, spending most of the afternoon, in, or around the pool, reading, reading, reading. Summer reading, is there anything better? Winter reading? Whiling away cold evenings perhaps? Finishing the Jennifer Haigh book, I searched around for something new to read. Who knows where I got it, probably a garage sale or something, but I finally read a terrific book by Edna O'Brien, The House of Splendid Isolation. Perhaps it was a radio interview I heard recently that caused me to finally pick it up; she's making the rounds, promoting her new memoir linked above. Somewhere in the recesses of my old mind, I recall reading another of her novels, but for the life of me I can't recall which one. I suspect they are all good. 

Of all things, we've got a handyman coming soon. You thought I was married to a handyman didn't you? Well, I am, but this kind of handy, he's not all that comfortable with--plumbing. Yup--both bathroom faucets have leaks, and we're finally getting them fixed. I solved the leak in the hall bathroom by turning the cold water off, however, the time has come to deal with it. 

As was the time to take Baxter for his annual shots yesterday. For about a month the vet office has been raining reminder postcards on our mailbox. Make them stop! And so I did. Baxter is no different than you or I in that he is not crazy about shots, however, he was pretty good this time. Don't get me wrong, I'm no believer in the silly notion going around, "pets are people too!", but I'm pretty confidant that every living creature does not like pain. Mostly Bruce is banned from taking Baxter to the vet because he's so sympathetic I'm pretty sure his anxiety rubs off on Baxter. While in the waiting room I was asked how old is my puppy? Although he still looks like one, Baxter is 10 years old! According to the sign in the waiting room touting all sorts of services for "senior dogs", that means he's 70. How in the world do they come up with this calculation and what does it really mean? 

Finally, my Orlando includes lakes and lots of them. Everywhere I ride on my bike there is a lake, including the one at the end of Appleton, Lake Jennie Jewel. Last evening, following a small rain shower, I suspected the sunset might be nice. Not terribly dramatic I grant you but a lovely shade nonetheless.
I was mighty surprised to see these folks out on a jet ski with nightfall only a few minutes away. Just a sliver of a moon to light the night sky. 
I'm reading that sky as no huge rain today, which will do nicely--let's just hope the drier weather holds up this weekend when yours truly will be selling her wares. Here's hoping all my dear readers have a wonderful weekend--I appreciate every one of you.

p.s. Did you watch the Tony Awards show the other night? Fantastic!!
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