Winter Park Magazine Spring 2015

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Superior C R A F T S M A N S H I P






©Everett & Soulé 2015


FEATURES 22 | LET THEM PLAY GOLF! The century-old Winter Park Country Club sounds exclusive, but it’s actually homey and welcoming. In fact, it isn’t even really a club. By Randy Noles, photographs by Rafael Tongol and Winter Park Pictures

28 | IT’S SPRING, OF COURSE At the century-old Winter Park Golf and Country Club, comfy and colorful styles mark a season of new beginnings. Styling by Marianne Ilunga, makeup and hair by Elsie Knab, photography by Rafael Tongol, photography assistance by Chris Rank





Live from a Rollins College basement, all things really are considered at WPRK. By Dana S. Eagles, photography by Rafael Tongol

This two-woman photography team is dedicated to documenting Winter Park’s special beauty. By Randy Noles

Palmano’s had been known as a coffeehouse with an attitude. Now, under new ownership, it’s morphing into a French-infused eatery where the bill of fare is a work in progress. By Rona Gindin, photographs by Rafael Tongol




Royal Wilbur France infuriated Winter Parkers, but his commitment to free speech still resonates. By Dr. Jack C. Lane, photo illustration by Joan Zak


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At Crealdé, everybody can learn to draw, paint, sculpt, shape, bind, etch and photograph. By Jay Boyar, photographs by Sherri Bunye and Nancy Jo Brown


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Gamble Rogers




amble Rogers was known as the Oracle of Oklawaha. Maybe a better nickname would have been the Poet of Park Avenue, although that moniker would not have embodied the rustic Old Florida flair that Rogers embraced. The life and music of Rogers, the state’s most enduring troubadour, will be celebrated May 1, 2 and 3 during the Gamble Rogers Music Festival, held annually in St. Augustine. Too bad Winter Park, where Rogers was born and raised, hasn’t yet found a way to honor its folk singing native son. Maybe that’s because most Winter Parkers these days know the name Gamble Rogers as that of an iconic architect, whose buildings helped define Winter Park’s quasi-European ambience. James Gamble Rogers II was the singer’s father. During the course of a 60-year career, he designed many of the area’s most elegant homes and helped define the look of the Rollins College campus. The elder Rogers’ son, however, chose a different path. After graduating from Winter Park High School in 1955, he enrolled at the University of Virginia. He didn’t manage to graduate from there, though. Nor did he graduate from Rollins or Stetson University, both of which he attended for a time. He worked in his father’s architecture practice for a few years — but the lure of music was too strong. So the younger Rogers began moonlighting as a folk singer, and played his first gig around 1960 at a folk club called El Caribe, which was located on Park Avenue North. He later performed with a folk group in Tallahassee and, for a time, was a member of the Serendipity Singers, appearing with the group on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show and Hootenanny. But homogenized folk music wasn’t Rogers’


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cup of tea. He embarked on a solo career, honing his stage persona and his storytelling skills, and earning a cult following with his original songs and his tall tales about Oklawaha County, which wasn’t really a place but a state of mind. “Each and every one of the characters in my stories started out representing a specific person,” said Rogers, who was described as a combination of Mark Twain, Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie (if any of the three had been Floridians). “The characters may tend to be outlandish, but their statements resonate with a certain amount of horse sense.” Never a superstar, Rogers nonetheless found a niche, appearing frequently on NPR and in concert at Carnegie Hall with Doc Watson. He was revered by intellectuals, who admired his facility with the language, as well as by rural Floridians, who provided fodder for his stories and songs. Rogers died in 1991 while trying to rescue a child from drowning at Flagler Beach. He was only 54. It was an act of bravery that friends say was entirely in keeping with his character. He rests in Winter Park’s Palm Cemetery, in a wooden casket built by friends. There is a certain, well, serendipity to that. For more information about the Gamble Rogers Music Festival, check gamblerogersfest. org. Maybe one of these days we won’t have to drive to St. Augustine to attend a tribute to “Florida’s Troubadour.”




STUART SCOTT 1965-2015

Copyright 2015 by Florida Home Media LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulfshore Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Florida Home Media LLC, 2700 Westhall Lane, Suite 220, Maitland, FL 32751

Randy Noles Editor/Publisher


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here are few more picturesque places in Florida than Winter Park. Just drive around and have a look. Or, log onto, a website of stunning images by photographers Nancy Vasquez and Jessica DeArcos, whose picture of the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum appears on this month’s cover. The duo, who met while taking photography classes at Winter Park’s Crealdé School of Art, began shooting together for class assignments. Later, they dedicated themselves exclusively to capturing Winter Park’s unique beauty. A lot of people began to notice. Their work can be found in such public places as Winter Park Memorial Hospital, which has 40 of their images gracing its walls. At Dexter’s in Winter Park, an exhibition of photos by Vasquez and DeArcos is set to run through April. In addition, small prints are available through an array of local businesses and museum gift shops. Vasquez took up photography as a hobby after she moved from Maryland to Florida following her husband’s death. “I’ve said that had I known how much there was to learn about photography, I might not have started this journey,” she says. “But I’m glad I did. And there’s still so much to learn.” DeArcos, an active Winter Parker originally from New Jersey, became interested in photography through her father, a collector of vintage cameras who took and developed his own photos. A successful South Florida real estate agent, she commuted between Miami and Winter Park for several years before she and her husband retired

DeArcos and Vasquez at Dexter’s, where their photography is on display.

here permanently in 2011. “Winter Park drew me in, and I walked away from Miami and have not looked back,” she says. She and Vasquez were “amazed that there was not a single source for beautiful, iconic images of Winter Park.” So, for almost two years, the two would meet before sunrise and spend the day exploring the city’s every nook and cranny, seeking to build the largest collection of Winter Park images available. And they’re still at it. The site is constantly changing as new photos are added. Check out the exhibition at Dexter’s or visit and chances are, even if you’re a longtime resident, you’ll start to see Winter Park in an entirely new way. — Randy Noles

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Photographer Peter Schreyer has been Crealdé’s executive director since 1995, and has overseen an era of unprecedented growth.

DON’T WAIT TO CREATE At Crealdé, everybody can learn to draw, paint, sculpt, shape, bind, etch and photograph. It has provided an artistic outlet for four decades and counting. BY JAY BOYAR


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young woman is poised atop a fabric-draped platform, surrounded by four men and five other women. The nine, each at an easel, are fully clothed, while the woman on the platform wears nothing but a few tattoos. Do the others even notice she’s nude? They do, it seems, but only in a particular way. For them, the lithe lady with the soft smile and the wiry chestnut hair is a study in light and shadow, composition and balance, anatomy and expression. She’s a model and they’re all students in a life-drawing class at the Crealdé School of Art, a Winter Park-based nonprofit organization currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. As the model shifts from pose to pose, a lulling instrumental version of “The Girl From Ipanema” plays gently in the background. Meanwhile, the teacher, Marie Orban, circles the room, inspecting her students’ work and calling out advice in her Hungarian-inflected voice: “Think of composition first, before you put down any lines at all.” “Always look at the shoulders; see which one is higher, which one is lower.” “Hands and feet are much bigger than you think.” The students turn from model to easel and back again, as though they’re watching a tennis match. They sketch furiously with charcoal on the large sheets of paper that rest on their easels. Everyone is in a heightened state of alertness: teacher, model and students seem intensely aware that something special — something creative — is happening here and now. At Orban’s signal, the students turn their sketches toward the center of the room, and everyone inspects them. “It just goes to show you,” says the model, Stephanie D’Ercole. “You can see yourself one way, but you can be seen many different ways by many different people.” nnn Something special and creative happens for many different kinds of people almost every day at Crealdé — and not just in life-drawing classes. Instruction is also offered in photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, paper-making, jewelry design, fabric arts and book-making (the legal kind) as well as in other forms of drawing. There are workshops, exhibitions and, from time to time, a public event such as January’s A Night of Fire, a free, multifaceted celebration that featured storytelling around a fire pit, a “bronze pour” at the school’s foundry, and artist demonstrations and workshops. For “light-painting photography” — the highlight of the evening — a man took a small boat out on nearby Lake Sterling. In his hands were kitchen whisks, stuffed with steel wool and set ablaze. As he swung the fiery objects, the scene was captured via long-exposure photography.



Belinda Glennon, coordinator for the school’s Young Artists Program, instructs a student in the art of wheelthrowing.

The resulting images, which showed the small fires as long, twisting streaks, were projected on a large outdoor screen for all to see. They did, indeed, appear to have been painted with light. “It was pretty awesome,” says Sherri Bunye, a Creadlé faculty member who supervised the photographers. Many of Crealdé’s awesome events (including A Night of Fire), as well as its classes, are offered at its main campus at 600 St. Andrews Blvd., just off busy Aloma Avenue. The complex is an unassuming assemblage of studios, galleries and offices tucked behind a sprawling strip center anchored by a Publix supermarket. Peter Schreyer, a photographer and, since 1995, the school’s executive director, says that being based in Winter Park is a plus for the school. “There’s that beautiful history, that mystique of Winter Park as kind of an ‘art place’ in Central Florida,” muses Schreyer, a native of Switzerland whose accent is still detectable after 35 years in the U.S. “We have some wonderful people that we can sort of rub elbows with.”


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nnn In downtown Winter Park, at 642 W. New England Ave., Crealdé also has the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, which hosts exhibits and preserves the history of Winter Park’s traditionally African-American west side. And in Winter Garden, it offers classes at the Jessie Brock Community Center at 310 N. Dillard St. Schreyer would like to use these two locations even more extensively and, eventually, to add additional outposts in nearby communities. “There’s definitely potential for growth there,” he says. Crealdé is all about outreach, collaborating with Orange County schools, the City of Winter Park, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, the Farmworkers Association of Florida and the Tajiri School of Performing Arts. “We need to go to them,” Schreyer stresses. While the bulk of Crealdé’s classes are tuitionbased, much of its million-dollar annual budget is funded by United Arts of Central Florida, the State of Florida, Orange County and the City of Winter Park. Private foundations and individual

and corporate memberships are also crucial to the organization’s fiscal health. “Every year, it’s a challenge,” says Creadlé board treasurer Frank Schornagle, who works in wealth management for GenSpring Family Offices, a SunTrust affiliate. “We don’t have a lot of excess.” What keeps him involved, he says, is “knowing that we’re doing everything we can to take the arts to the people.” Crealdé’s slogan, “Art Is for Everyone,” speaks to that mission as well as to the school’s strong tradition of welcoming students with varying degrees of artistic skill and sophistication. “That goes back to Bill Jenkins,” says Schreyer, referring to the school’s founder. “No one has to ever feel they’re not smart enough, talented enough, gifted enough to come here. Part of Bill’s vision was that there was this fundamental something — creative — that was part of being human.” nnn William S. “Bill” Jenkins, who was a successful local homebuilder, founded Crealdé Arts Inc. in 1975 and built the Spanish-style campus, which

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included an office building that was originally intended to house artists’ studios. (Today the office building to which the school is attached is under separate ownership, and leases space to a variety of businesses). It’s said that Jenkins devised the name “Crealdé” by combining the Spanish word crear (“to create”) and the Old English word alde (“village”). Born in rural Preston, Ga., in 1909, Jenkins told the Orlando Sentinel in 1988 that he was inspired by childhood memories of quilting bees. “When the other kids were sick or busy, I didn’t have much to do,” Jenkins recalled. “So I would go to the quilting bees and listen to the ladies talk as they worked. They had the best time, and so did I.’’ Crealdé, Jenkins said, was in part an effort to re-create that sense of community and creativity. He also wanted to foster an environment where artists — and, more importantly, would-be artists — could learn from their instructors and from one another in a welcoming environment. “My father wanted to make certain that ev-


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Crealdé’s other-worldly campus is hidden from view behind a nondescript office building fronting Aloma Avenue. This view is of a pond nestled between classrooms that overlook the Contemporary Sculpture Garden.

eryone had access to making art” says daughter Ann Jenkins Clements. “He loved children’s art, especially. We had it all over the house when I was growing up. Most of all, his goal was to make sure that people who were interested in art were encouraged to give it a try.” Jenkins earned a BFA from the University of Florida in Gainesville and traveled to Italy, where he graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Florence. He married Alice Moberg in 1942 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Before Jenkins started his homebuilding business, he worked with the Veterans Administration in St. Petersburg and Tallahassee to develop a pioneering art therapy program for returning GIs. Later, as his homebuilding company grew to become one of the largest in the region, he continued to paint for pleasure. Thirty of Jenkins’ seldom-seen works were recently displayed at Crealdé in connection with its 40th anniversary. The vividly colorful oil and watercolor canvases mostly depict landscapes in

Italy, and buildings and people in Mexico. Jenkins even ventured into social commentary with a poignant painting called The Changing South. The 1940 vignette shows two young African Americans, one holding an open book and apparently being taught by the other. A rustic cabin fronting a dirt road looms in the background. Jenkins, who died in 1996, wasn’t an artist of exceptional complexity. He was, however, certainly devoted to art — and committed to sharing and teaching it. In 1981, he reorganized Crealdé Arts Inc. as a nonprofit, which opened up new sources of funding. Ten years later, he donated the entire facility to the community. In its earliest years, Crealdé had a sort of ad-hoc vibe. A class, notes Schreyer “didn’t really have to fit in, exactly. They did painting and photography and ceramics and so forth, but they also did tai chi — and they did all kinds of other things, too.” After about a decade, something resembling an organized curriculum took shape. Today, the school’s offerings are each grouped under one of


The school’s entrance is highlighted by a colorful mosaic. The campus underwent a $220,000 renovation that was completed in 2010.

three core components: Educational Curriculum, Galleries and Lecture Series, and Outreach Programs. More than 100 classes and workshops are held during five eight-week sessions for adults and five six-week sessions for children. There are also more than two dozen weekend workshops encompassing every medium imaginable. Faculty members include many of the region’s bestknown artists as well as visiting artists, who teach in conjunction with exhibitions of their work. Linda Saracino, a freelance editor from the Wekiva area whose work as an artist is currently focused on mixed-media collage, says her classes have taught her much more than simply technique: “It wasn’t just how to mix paint, how to put the paint onto whatever, or how to use charcoal. All of that, absolutely. But it was [mainly] how to see — and make that happen on the paper or the canvas.” nnn People come to Crealdé for many different reasons, some more surprising than others. Orit

Reuben, an Orlando pastel artist and interior designer, found her way to the school six years ago thanks to a speeding ticket. “I went to the court and asked if I could do community service instead of paying the $300 ticket,” Reuben recalls. “They said sure.” So she volunteered at Crealdé, answering phones. That led to her taking classes and connecting with other artists. “I’m part of an art community [at Crealdé] that’s very supportive,” she says. “We paint together. We critique each other. They’re not just a school. They’re not just a gallery.” Crealdé’s classes are undeniably inspiring. You can see it in the faces of the students in Michael van Gelder’s digital photography class, held the same night as the life-drawing session. “You’re painting with light,” van Gelder tells them, as their eyes, appropriately enough, light up. His words bring to mind the Night of Fire demonstration. The following afternoon, a group of nine stu-

dents, ages 10 to 13, are seated on stools, with towels on their laps, learning to make plates on pottery wheels. “Remember: Press down with the side of your right hand,” Belinda Glennon, the teacher, instructs her young charges. “You can only move the clay as fast as the wheel’s going.” What do these children — artists of the future, perhaps — get out of making those plates, anyway? “I like the feel of the clay when it’s wet,” says one kid. “You can customize it and make it your own,” announces another. “It’s something that I’ve made and that my brother doesn’t know how to make,” adds a girl, eliciting nods and conspiratorial smiles from other students. One boy looks up from his work and succinctly encapsulates the Creadlé experience: “To have fun and to make new friends and to make beautiful things.” S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E



THE VISIONARY William S. “Bill” Jenkins made his fortune building solid, inexpensive homes throughout Central Florida. But clearly, the Georgia native had the soul of an artist — and no small amount of talent as a painter. Art, Jenkins believed, was for everyone, regardless of social stature or skill level. And he made certain that, in Winter Park at least, anybody seeking a creative outlet had one. As part of Crealdé’s 40th anniversary celebration, some of Jenkins’ own rarely seen works were recently displayed. A selection is shown on the following pages. The Changing South Oil on canvas Alabama, 1940


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Community Water Supply Oil on canvas Mexico, 1941

Two Red Pumps Oil on canvas Alabama, 1938



THE DESIGN TOURIST Portrait of a Friend Oil on canvas Florence, Italy, 1937


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BILL JENKINS: DREAMER AND BUILDER 1909. William Sterling Jenkins is born in Preston, Ga. 1934. Jenkins earns a BFA from the University of Florida. 1935. Jenkins earns a scholarship to study art in Florence, Italy, and travels through Italy and Germany by bicycle and rail. 1937. Jenkins is awarded a prestigious Laurea Degree from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Florence, Italy. 1938. Jenkins opens an art school in Columbus, Ga., and holds solo art exhibitions in Atlanta and Gainesville, Fla. 1941. Jenkins holds a solo exhibition in New York City, then travels to Taxco, Mexico to study silversmithing. There he meets Alice Moberg, his future wife. 1942. Jenkins and Alice Moberg are married in Anoka, Minn. Jenkins is drafted into the U.S. Army and contracts pneumonia at boot camp in Colorado. He is transferred to Orlando, where he recuperates in the Veterans Administration Hospital. 1944-1946. Jenkins works with the V.A. in St. Petersburg, where he pioneers a new rehabilitation method incorporating art therapy. He later works for the V.A. in Tallahassee. 1950. Jenkins earns a master’s degree in psychology from Florida State University, then leaves the V.A. to start Jenkins Construction Co. in Winter Park. 1953. Jenkins is elected to the Winter Park City Commission and starts a movement to build the Olympic-sized pool at Cady Way. 1966. Jenkins co-founds the Orange County Council on Aging, which sponsors art classes. 1975. Jenkins founds Crealdé Arts Inc., which operates as the Crealdé Arts Center. Daughter Ann Jenkins Clement serves as the first director. 1981. Crealdé Arts Inc. is granted nonprofit status and a volunteer board of directors is established. Jenkins serves as the board’s first president. 1982. Three formal departments are established at the renamed Crealdé School of Art: Painting & Drawing, Ceramics & Sculpture and Photography. The still-popular Summer ArtCamp for children and teens is launched. 1985-1989. David A. Edgar serves as the school’s first full-time general manager. Financial support is secured from the State of Florida, among other funding sources. 1986. Jenkins donates $600,000 to the University of Central Florida to establish the Jenkins Endowed Chair in Community Arts. The donation makes UCF eligible for an additional $400,000 grant from the state under Florida’s Eminent Scholar Act. 1988. Jenkins receives an award from the American Art Therapy Association for his contributions to the field of art therapy. Crealdé establishes the Alice M. Jenkins Scholarship Fund in memory of the founder’s wife, following her death late in the year. 1990. Jenkins gives the school’s property to Crealdé Arts Inc., allowing it to establish complete autonomy and secure new funding sources. 1990-2000. Crealdé expands its mission, growing the Emerging Artist Program and establishing teaching sites in underserved communities. 1995. Director of Photography Peter Schreyer is named executive director. The Crealdé Fine Arts Gallery is renamed the Alice & William Jenkins Gallery. 1996. Jenkins dies, but his legacy continues. “We are dedicated to keeping his dream alive,” says Schreyer. 1997. The Contemporary Sculpture Garden opens on the main campus. 2000. Crealdé constructs its first new building in two decades and completes a campus-wide facelift. The expansion includes a second painting studio and the Showalter Hughes Community Gallery overlooking Lake Sterling. 2007. Crealdé opens the Hannibal Square Heritage Center as a tribute to the past, present and future contributions of Winter Park’s African-American community. 2009-2010. A $220,000 campus renovation, funded by an Orange County Cultural Facilities Grant and matched by member contributions, is completed. 2010. Crealdé enters a new government partnership with the City of Winter Garden, enabling the school to offer classes at the new Jessie Brock Community Center. 2015. Crealdé celebrates its 40th anniversary and enjoys record enrollment in its 100-plus classes and workshops, taught by a faculty of more than 40 artists.

William S. “Bill” Jenkins Barbara Tiffany Oil on canvas 2014 S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


The clubhouse at the Winter Park Country Club doesn’t look much different today than when it was built. The building and the course were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Left is a commemorative clock tower donated by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation in honor of the club’s 100th anniversary.


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GOLF! The century-old Winter Park Country Club sounds exclusive, but it’s actually homey and welcoming. In fact, it isn’t even really a club. BY RANDY NOLES PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL AND WINTER PARK PICTURES



Despite how it may appear to passers-by, Winter Park Country Club golfers don’t actually play through the Palm Cemetery. But the No. 4 green does border the final resting place of countless prominent Winter Parkers. Demonstrating how it’s done is Justin Ingram, the club’s general manager and PGA pro.


hall we meet for a round of golf at the Winter Park Country Club?” The question certainly has a snooty tone. After all, any country club located in a place like Winter Park simply has to be a plutocrat’s paradise, excluding riffraff and commanding dues that are more than most people earn in year. Right? Actually, wrong. It’s much more difficult to get into The Coop at lunchtime than it is to get into the Winter Park Country Club. In fact, to play a round at “Winter Park National,” as pro golfer and Winter Park resident Nick Faldo once dubbed the nine-hole layout, all you have to do is show up.

And to join the Winter Park Country Club? Well, if you’re a Winter Park taxpayer, riffraff or not, you’re already a member and a part owner of the quirky course and the modest, Florida Cracker-style buildings that serve as its clubhouse and pro shop. The entire complex has been owned and operated by the city — and subsidized by your tax dollars — since 1996. But the history of the city’s signature course goes back much further than that. Last September, the Winter Park Country Club celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of a new centennial clock adjacent to the putting green. The clock was donated by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, which was appropriate since city benefactor Charles Hosmer Morse, Elizabeth’s father, was one of the original organizers — the driving force, if you will — behind founding the club and constructing the course. At ceremonies unveiling the clock, Florida Secretary of State Ken Dantzler and Florida State Historic Preservation Officer Robert F. Bendus joined local dignitaries in announcing formation of the Florida Historic Golf Trail, a collection of the state’s 51 oldest courses. The venerable courses, all of which are still publicly accessible, will be promoted in nation-


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ally broadcast television commercials featuring golf legend Arnold Palmer, who touts the trail initiative and salutes Florida’s golfing heritage. Despite having reached the century mark, the Winter Park Country Club’s course, which is bisected by Park Avenue North, is actually only the second-oldest course in the Orlando area. The Country Club of Orlando’s layout opened for play one year earlier. Nonetheless, kickoff festivities for the trail program were held in Winter Park and broadcast on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program. It was an unaccustomed turn in the spotlight for the club, which is typically a low-key — but quietly indispensable — community asset. Generations of Winter Parkers grew up learning the game on the par-35 course, where duffers who hit errant shots must sometimes play around tombstones in Palm Cemetery, the border of which lies about 20 yards off the No. 4 green. Appropriately, many of the club’s founders are interred there. “This course is a gem for the city,” says Barbara Breen, a four-time women’s champion in club competition. “We have a group of women who play regularly. I think the youngest is in her 50s and the oldest is 91.”

Giants have also strode these hoary greens. In addition to Faldo, golfing greats such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen have played the course, sometimes in exhibition matches. Modern-day pros such as Billy Horschel, Chris DiMarco and Michelle McGann, a seventime winner on the LPGA tour, have also complimented the course’s lovely setting and distinctive personality.

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As far back as 1899, Winter Parkers had a place to play golf. The so-called “Rollins 9” was a ninehole course commissioned by Morse that encompassed the west side of the Rollins College campus and part of what’s now downtown Winter Park. But in 1914, Morse and others decided that a proper country club was needed. The Winter Park Country Club, a nonprofit corporation, was established and a nine-hole course was designed by Harley A. Ward and Dow George, who became the club pro. The course, and the $3,500 clubhouse, was built on property owned by Morse, who was also elected first president of the nascent organization. Another 18 holes were added the following year. Although the 27 holes were considered two separate courses, they shared the first fairway and

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Barbara and Larry Breen are course regulars. Barbara, a fourtime women’s champion in club competition, says the layout, with its narrow fairways and small greens, is more difficult to master than most people realize.

green, and extended all the way to U.S. 17-92, where Winter Park Village now sprawls. Play was sometime interrupted by stray cows, prompting club officials to erect a fence. Some livestock, including sheep and goats, were welcomed, though. The unwitting animals kept the grass in check and were later slaughtered to help alleviate a meat shortage during World War I. A decade later, the club’s heyday had seemingly come to a close. The much more posh Aloma Country Club, which encompassed the present-day location of Ward Park and Winter Park Memorial Hospital, opened in 1926 and lured players away. Aloma’s 6,180-yard course and $45,000 clubhouse made the relatively modest Winter Park Country Club obsolete, forcing it to close shortly thereafter. The block bounded by Interlachen, Webster and Park avenues was bought by the city and repurposed as Charles H. Morse Memorial Park (the philanthropist had died in 1921). The clubhouse remained, and was occupied for a time by the newly formed University Club of Winter Park. The rest of the land was, thankfully, never developed. But Winter Park Golf Estates, the real-estate development surrounding the Aloma course, ultimately failed, and the course itself was abandoned in 1936, a casualty of the Great Depression.

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membership fee was $44 and greens fees were $1. Jones, who had been snapped up by the ill-fated Aloma Country Club, was rehired as club pro, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1964. The new incarnation of the club leased the property, partially from the city but primarily from the Winter Park Land Company, which had been formed by Morse in 1915 when he acquired the vast land holdings of its defunct predecessor, the Winter Park Company. Later, the Winter Park Land Company’s portion of the property, totaling about 25 acres, was transferred to the Charles Hosmer Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius foundations, which continued to lease it to the city in 10-year increments. As long as the land was owned by the foundation and leased to the club, there was no guarantee that this prime piece of real estate would forever remain green space. In fact, as an extension of the lease was being discussed in 1996, foundation officials expressed an interest in selling the land to developers. City leaders and residents weren’t about to let that happen. In a lively referendum, voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to raise taxes and buy the course. The $8 million purchase price was backed by a 20-year, $5.1 million bond issue. In 2016, the bonds will have been repaid in full.

Led by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, local movers and shakers decided to reactivate the dormant Winter Park Country Club and raise funds to rehabilitate the older course. Donations amounted to $6,250, which was more than enough to do the job. When the complex reopened in 1937, the annual

The course and the structures, which fall under the umbrella of the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, cost about $600,000 per year to operate. Although the annual deficit usually tops $85,000, it’s hard to find anyone these days who’ll say the taxpayers made a bad investment.


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The 2,470-yard layout hosts about 30,000 rounds of golf per year, about 3,200 of which are played by kids 16 and under. Players pony up between $12 and $14 per round, depending on the time of day and time of year. An annual individual membership costs a whopping $600. Rates are slightly higher for non-residents. But the word “membership” is a misnomer. In fact, the course is a public facility, and so-called memberships are simply prepaid rounds of golf. “I guess we could charge more, but right now this course is one of the best values in golf,” says Justin Ingram, general manager and club pro. Ingram grew up in Winter Park and played the course as a child. “It’s accessible to everybody, from every walk of life.” The lovingly maintained but entirely unpretentious clubhouse, with its working fireplace and oak floors, is often busy hosting functions. The clubhouse and the course were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The adjacent pro shop was renovated in 2011. Visitors can see exposed wood on the interior walls salvaged from a 1914 starter shack and from a previous remodeling effort in 1967. Merchandise is modestly priced, considering the upscale connotations of the Winter Park brand. Casa Feliz, a restored Spanish-style farmhouse that was saved from the wrecking ball following an uprising of irate citizens, was moved to a patch of unused city property adjacent to the 9th hole in 2001 and repurposed as a community building. The historic home’s stately presence only adds to the course’s irresistible charm.

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Most players — many of whom are regulars — are quick to point out that while the course may be historic, it’s no museum piece. Breen, whose husband Larry is also an avid golfer, says the layout “is more challenging than people who drive by it probably realize.” Indeed, the fairways are narrow and the greens are small, meaning your short game had better be sharp. But even if it isn’t, who could possibly get frustrated in a setting like this? Not Danny Stanley, who operates a trucking and logistics business from his home. He plays virtually every day, and enjoys the course’s walkability and the eclectic cross-section of patrons that he encounters along the way. “About 10:30, I start to get anxious to get out,” says Stanley, who first played the course in the late 1950s. “So I go up and play a round, which takes about two hours, then maybe walk up to Park Avenue and have lunch with a group of guys. It’s just the perfect setting.” Groucho Marx once famously said that he would never join a club that would have him for a member. But after spending a morning with Stanley, even Groucho might change his mind.

Adrianna from Modern Muse wears black and white sunflower print pants ($298) and a brush stroke print crop top ($188), both by Alice and Olivia. She also wears a pair of black satin mules ($328) by Kate Spade and a geometric black and white print coat ($1,590) by Akris Punto. Her black crystaldrop earrings ($425) are by Oscar de la Renta, while her black studded bucket bag ($3,350) is by Yves Saint Laurent. All are from Neiman Marcus Mall at Millenia.


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SPRING, of Course

At the century-old Winter Park Golf and Country Club, comfy and colorful styles mark a season of new beginnings. STYLING BY MARIANNE ILUNGA MAKEUP AND HAIR BY ELSIE KNAB PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAFAEL TONGOL PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANCE BY CHRIS RANK W INTE R 2 0 1 5 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Adrianna wears a pair of skinny jeans ($198) by 7 for all Mankind and a printed denim shirt ($153) by Bella Dahl. She also wears an antique ivory long necklace ($39), a teal long jersey necklace ($59) and beaded bangle bracelets ($19 to $22), all from Violet Clover on Park Avenue. Her brown leather belt ($94) is by Wood & Faulk from Cloak & Dapper on Lake Ivanhoe. Her camel-color, fringe-detailed gladiator sandals ($200) are by Sam Edelman from Tuni on Park Avenue. Chase wears a chambray denim shirt ($195) by RGT, a pair of dark denim jeans ($220) by Tellason and retro sunglasses ($425) by Drift. His brown and navy men’s duffle bag ($99) is by Owen & Fred, while his walking boots ($260) are by Chippewa. All are from Cloak & Dapper on Lake Ivanhoe.


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Chase wears a black and white striped, long-sleeve knit top ($495), white cotton pants ($525) and black slip-on leather sneakers ($425). All are from Emporio Armani Mall at Millenia.



Adrianna wears a bright tribal-print maxi dress ($362) by Parides, a mustard-yellow tweed jacket ($368) by Trina Turk, a gold-tone statement necklace ($118) by BCBG, a gold-tone body chain ($32), a pair of hoop earrings ($30) and a ring bracelet ($78) by Jacquie Aiche. She also wears a gunmetal and gold druzy ring ($142) by Dara Ettinger, a hammered-gold statement ring ($318) by House of Harlow, a jeweled oversized cuff ($250) by Annie Hammer, a gold bangle ($70), a gold cuff ($68) and a pair of wood-framed mirrored lens sunglasses ($145) by Bad Spade. Her jeweled gladiator heels ($242) are by Schutz, while her cream-color fringe crossover bag ($240) is by Posse. All are from Tuni on Park Avenue.


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Adrianna wears a camel-color suede biker jacket ($865), a cream linen top with a jeweled neckline ($185) and a pair of camel-color linen trousers ($375). All are by Maje from Bloomingdale’s Mall at Millenia. Chase wears a flowerprint, short-sleeve shirt ($89) by 7 Diamonds, a pair of beige linen pants ($225) by Ted Baker and a brown leather belt ($105) by Leather Island, all from Current on Park Avenue, Winter Park.




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Stewart Spears, otherwise known as “DJ Stew,” plays whatever he likes on his WPRK show, Orangelando. In fact, most of the station’s personalities tailor their shows to please themselves. If others also like what they do, all the better.


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Live from a Rollins College basement, all things really are considered at WPRK.





t’s noontime on a Wednesday, and Stewart Spears, a Rollins College English major, is behind the microphone in the scruffy basement studio of WPRK-FM, ready to launch his weekly two-hour Orangelando show. For Spears, that pretty much means ignoring the hits and playing the music he likes. It’s the middle of a crazy week, says the bearded “DJ Stew,” and he’s “just chillin’.” It’s a day for “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service, “Bats in the Belfry” by Dispatch and “The Science of Selling Yourself Short” by Less Than Jake. “Just chillin’ ” might be as a good a slogan as any for the 62-year-old Rollins station, which calls itself “The Best in Basement Radio” and “The Voice of Rollins College.” Stumbling onto 91.5 while scanning the dial is like crash-landing in an alternative radio universe — a dimension of broadcasting in which every genre of music is honored, the DJs are unpolished and, in the spirit of non-commercial FM, all things really are considered. While commercial stations thrive on rigid formats and frequent repetition of popular songs, WPRK proudly defies programming niches. It’s an indie rock station. S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Stumbling onto 91.5 while scanning the dial is like crash-landing in an alternative radio universe, where the rules of modern broadcasting simply don’t apply.

It’s a blues station. It’s also, at various hours of the week, a jazz station, a reggae station, a country station and a late-night punk station. (What? You haven’t been tuning in for Punk Rock in Your PJs?) The dozens of students and community volunteers who host the station’s music and talk shows around the clock are not paid for their onair work, and their “announcing” is often more like coffee-shop chatter — informal, unscripted and sometimes meandering. They give WPRK an eclectic, unpolished vibe heard nowhere else in Central Florida, with long, uninterrupted stretches of alternative music; earnest discussions of politics, economics and books; live performances by local bands; and endearingly goofy station-identification jingles. While most Orlando-area stations scream for attention, 91.5 barely rises above a whisper. With 1,300 watts, it has a reach of only about eight miles. Its audience isn’t measured, so nobody is quite sure who’s listening. Funded by the college, donations and program underwriting, it has the freedom to be … whatever. On Sundays, for example, WPRK morphs from reggae to blues to jazz to hip-hop, with two hours of film music in the afternoon. Greg Golden, general manager of student media at Rollins, notes that some of the station’s longest-running shows are also its most esoteric, including Music from the Movies, Jazz in the Bible Belt and the pajama-themed punk program. The movie show,


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for example, has run for 26 years. “Even if someone decides to tune out after the folk program ends and the metal program begins, it’s still our goal to reach as many people as possible and let them hear music they can’t hear elsewhere,” says the 27-year-old Golden, who was an overnight DJ at 91.5 as a student. While Golden makes certain the station is meeting its legal obligations, students determine the programming, and some are paid for behindthe-scenes work. WPRK was founded in December 1952, when President-elect Dwight Eisenhower recorded a lofty dedication that was among the first words aired by the fledgling station: “This new FM station of Rollins College can help to spread and advance the great ideas which keep men and women free,” Eisenhower said. Today, WPRK’s greatest idea may be its commitment to the new and different. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Golden says, DJs are required each hour to play at least five new songs and one song by a local artist. The station didn’t always have such wideranging tastes. Phil Muse, co-owner of the petsitting business Cuddles of College Park, ran it as a student in the late 1970s and remembers when it was on the air only part of the day, broadcasting mostly classical programming provided by the Rollins music department. He now gets new clients through underwrit-

ing announcements on WPRK, whose broadcast area matches his pet-sitting market. But Muse, a former music retailer, gets something else, too: the satisfaction of preserving a station that offers the unconventional. “Corporate radio has gone to hell in a hand basket,” says Muse, who listens to the station while making his pet-sitting rounds. The station’s unregimented nature gives students an unusual opportunity, even if they’re not seeking a career in broadcasting. Spears, a 26-year-old Air Force veteran, says he started working as a DJ about a year ago just for fun. Since then, Spears says he’s come to value the chance to “talk to the community in a judgmentfree, stress-free zone.” He plans to head to Los Angeles after graduation in May, perhaps to attend film school. Although free-form radio stations are found on campuses across the country, not all college stations operate this way. Across town at the University of Central Florida, the more powerful WUCF-FM 89.9 is a National Public Radio affiliate with a “straight-ahead jazz” format, professional managers and on-air talent. Students work there in production and support roles, says Kayonne Riley, the station’s general manager, who believes both types of stations are valuable. At a student-run station, she says, you can learn the basics of how to do a radio show. But she encourages those interested in the busi-

Thousands of CDs line WPRK’s walls, encompassing folk, jazz, hip-hop, punk, reggae and country. Some of the non-musical programming includes earnest discussions about topics ranging from books and politics to economics and sports.

ness to take on bigger roles and learn skills that are more transferable. At WUCF, Riley adds, students gain real-world experience they can put to work. At WPRK? Maybe not so much. But vocational training is hardly the station’s goal. It’s to give students an outlet for expression and to involve the community, Golden says. In fact, non-student volunteers, including alumni, account for two-thirds of WPRK’s programming. Station Manager Drew DeVito, a 21-year-old junior majoring in communication, calls the station’s hosts “a brotherhood of people who really care about this.” Adds DeVito, “What makes a fantastic show is someone who’s not only passionate about it, but someone who makes the process more interesting — an experience. Someone like Julie Norris, host of Front Porch Radio (4 p.m. Wednesdays). As co-owner of the organic Dandelion Communitea Café in Orlando, Norris says she’s found herself “at the intersection of people who are doing amazing things” and has brought their ideas to her show. For seven years, Norris, 36, has hosted “everyday conversations” with guests on such topics as farmworker rights and holistic birth. “I talk about things that are not commonly talked about in mass media,” she says, describing her viewpoint as progressive yet pragmatic. Norris says she’s not afraid to seem vulnerable on the air and that her lack of broadcasting


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expertise has helped make her show what it is. “The rawness keeps it real,” she notes. But like other hosts, Norris has trouble measuring the effect of what she does. Because of the expense required, WPRK’s audience hasn’t been measured by Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron), the company that tracks listenership and compiles demographics for radio and television outlets. Golden says the station will be measured in the future. But for now, reaction to shows is mostly anecdotal. And in an age of seemingly unlimited listening options, from satellite to Spotify, it’s hard to know who’s tuning in to the tiny 91.5. Among a handful of students interviewed at Rollins’ Cornell Campus Center one recent day,

HOW TO LISTEN You can hear WPRK at 91.5 FM within about eight miles of Rollins College. You also can stream it live at, which has a show schedule. Click on a show’s name to see song titles and artists played on recent shows.

only one said he listened to the station, and some said they didn’t know it existed. WPRK is also streamed on the Internet, and the VosCast streaming service reports that the station had almost 4,000 total listener-hours worldwide in January. Limited though its impact may be, Gregory Weston, president of Hummelstown, Pa.-based College Broadcasters Inc., says the free-form style of college stations such as 91.5 still has a role. “My personal belief is that format is as important as ever,” says Weston, whose association supports electronic media in colleges and high schools. “There are fewer and fewer outlets for independent artists to get exposure. No matter how many places you have to download music, you still need a place to discover new music.” That need was part of what drove Spears to host Orangelando, he says in the WPRK studio, with its vintage sofas and thousands of CDs lining the walls. After growing up in Sebastian on Florida’s east coast and joining the Air Force, “there was a lull in my life when I wasn’t really discovering new music.” Then the studio phone rings, and a listener wants to know the name of a song he just played. It was “Thrash Unreal” by Against Me!, Spears tells the caller. “He told me I run a good show,” Spears says after hanging up. DJ Stew smiles just a little, knowing that someone out there still loves basement radio in all its quirkiness.

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Here’s a WPRK-FM weekly programming schedule, as of press time. Of course, it’s subject to change. Descriptions, particularly the more colorful ones, were provided by show hosts.


1-4 a.m.: WIRED Radio (live mixing, electronic) 4-6 a.m.: Varies 6-8 a.m.: Sam in the A.M. (indie, pop) 8-10 a.m.: Hawk I Entertainment (reggae) 10 a.m.-Noon: Biscuits, Bacon and Blues (“Southern-fried blues”) Noon-2 p.m.: Roots Uprising (reggae, world) 2-4 p.m.: Music from the Movies (great film music) 4-6 p.m.: K, H & M (indie, pop) 6-8 p.m.: Jazz in the Bible Belt 8-10 p.m.: The Motorsports Hour & Sprinkel Set (talk, new/local music) 10 p.m.-Midnight: Villains League Radio (hip-hop)


WPRK’s 1,300-watt signal only reaches roughly an eight-mile radius from the campus. But the station also streams online and can, theoretically, be heard worldwide.

Midnight-3 a.m.: Bargain Bin Bonanza (polka, disco, show tunes) 3-5 a.m.: This is Where It’s At! (electronic, hip-hop) 5-7 a.m.: Celtic Sunrise (“ragin’ Celtic Pagan”) 7-9 a.m.: Thank God It’s Monday (“farcical punk cabal”) 9-10 a.m.: Sandspur Hour (Rollins talk) 10 a.m.-noon: Cocobuda Melting Pot (eclectic) Noon-2 p.m.: PB & Jams (indie, pop, acoustic) 2-4 p.m.: Zero Crossings (local contemporary classical) 4-5 p.m.: Rethinking the City (discussion, interviews) 5-7 p.m.: Scorpion & the Frog (indie, new music) 7-9 p.m.: Varubishka (“fuzzed-out guitars”) 9-11 p.m.: Morning Motif (“caffeine, salsa et croissants”) 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Black Monday (“brutal moshing required”)

3-5 a.m.: The Pop Omnivore (eclectic) 5-7 a.m.: Varies 7-9 a.m.: From A to Zeppelin (classic rock, indie, hip-hop) 9-10 a.m.: A Dialogue with VOICE (community talk) 10 a.m.-noon: Varies Noon-2 p.m.: Orangelando (local music, interviews) 2-4 p.m.: Punkonomics (political and economic discussion) 4-5p.m.: Front Porch Radio (discussion, commentary) 5-7 p.m.: Local Heroes (music, talk and live performers) 7-9 p.m.: Poor, Illiterate Ramblings (indie, new music) 9-11 p.m.: Crash the Console (“ ’80s retrofuture”) 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: The Backstage Pass (hip-hop, R&B)



1-3 a.m.: Nick Tunes (hip-hop, etc.) 3-5 a.m.: Varies 5-7 a.m.: Open Source (live mixing) 7-9 a.m.: Magic Transistor Radio (“eclectic yet accessible”) 9-10 a.m.: Varies 10 a.m.-noon: Green Eggs and Jams (local talent, rock) Noon-2 p.m.: Spence & Hally (Rollins show) 2-4 p.m.: Daft Chillin’ with Paz (“daft, sultry, saudade”) 4-5 p.m.: Outloud Orlando: The Homo Happy Hour (discussion, commentary, LGBTQ+) 5-7 p.m.: Limelight Live (new indie, electro/ alternative) 7-9 p.m.: Hex Education Programme (“uncontrollably eclectic”) 9-11 p.m.: Without Rhyme or Reason (world, experimental and reissue) 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Punk Rock in Your PJs (chat, punk, ska)


1-3 a.m.: Sophie’s Choice (electronica, trance, new electronic)


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1-3 a.m.: Metal Rob Show (“lipstick leather express”) 3-5 a.m.: The Church of the Insomniac (“psychic space exploration”) 5-7 a.m.: The Live with Bennie Show (variety, sketch comedy, music) 7-9 a.m.: Retro Roast (new and old alternative) 9-10 a.m.: Functionally Literate Radio (literature, writers, discussion) 10 a.m.-noon: DJ Mo Radio (“hypest jams of the ’80s, ’90s and beyond”) Noon-2 p.m.: The Whitney Costner Radio Show (indie, pop, progressive and local) 2-4 p.m.: Kris’ Show with Kris (indie, alternative, electronic) 4-5 p.m.: Community Sports Report (local sports talk) 5-7 p.m.: The Curtis Earth Show (quiz games, interviews, indie music) 7-9 p.m.: Blue Light Special (“eclectic, indie and chill wave”) 9-11 p.m.: Rock en Espanol USA (“music without borders”) 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: The Truth Radio (entertainment, news and life topics)


1-3 a.m.: Electronic Francais (funky, eclectic, international) 3-5 a.m.: Varies 5-7 a.m.: Cultured Friends: (“Shower thoughts galore and indie music”) 7-9 a.m.: Varies 9-10 a.m.: The Low Frequencies (bass, rhythm) 10 a.m.-noon: Rare Forms (contemporary classical) Noon-2 p.m.: Gray Matter (music, satire) 2-4 p.m.: The Faith(e)ful Following (indie, folk) 4-5 p.m.: State of the Scene (interviews, new/ local music) 5-7 p.m.: Lunch Ladies (post-nu metal, future R&B, backyard jazz) 7-9 p.m.: Anything and Everything Above and Underground (“intergalactic funk dopeness”) 9-11 p.m.: Low Rise Radio (electronic, dance, live mixing) 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Electronic Infinity (deep house, live mixing)


1-3 a.m.: Organic Katnip (avant-garde electronic) 3-5 a.m.: Basement Groove Collective (underground electronica) 5-7 a.m.: Varies 7-9 a.m.: Irie Vibe (reggae, world) 9-11 a.m.: World of Reggae 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Pickin’, Grinnin’ & Sinnin’ (classic country-western) 1-3 p.m.: Acoustic Highway 3-5 p.m.: Leah Liminal (“good-time reverb art noise”) 5-7 p.m.: Our Show (hip-hop) 7-9 p.m.: Gradient Echo (sonic landscapes, big beats and harmonic textures) 9-11 p.m.: Johnny Garlic & Don Don Show (commentary, music, discussion) 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Back to Reality (discussion)

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Royal Wilbur France was a high-profile crusader for free speech. But his leftwing politics sometimes antagonized and infuriated Winter Parkers.


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n mid-April 1920, Royal Wilbur France, a lawyer by profession, arrived in Philadelphia to address a mass meeting protesting the expulsion from the New York State Legislature of five duly elected Socialist Party representatives. That night at the Philadelphia Armory, the first speaker began by reading aloud from the Declaration of Independence, including the familiar passage regarding “certain unalienable rights,” that include “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Then the trouble began. “When any government becomes destructive of these ends,” he continued, still quoting the document verbatim, “it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” A policeman sprang to the stage, shouting that all were under arrest for advocating the overthrow of the government. France, along with others on the dais, was taken to the city jail. The next morning they appeared before a judge. France, who would serve as a professor of economics at Rollins College and become a national leader for free-speech advocacy, made a brief but powerful statement.

Royal Wilbur France infuriated Winter Parkers, but his commitment to free speech still resonates. S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


He demanded the record show that he and his colleagues had been arrested “within the sound of the Liberty Bell for quoting the Declaration of Independence.” Red-faced, the judge banged his gavel and declared “Case dismissed!” All the speakers were released. The episode showed not only the depth of hysteria produced by the first Red Scare. It also marked the beginning of France’s lifelong career as a champion of First Amendment rights. France once wrote a friend: “When I feel that injustice is being done, I cannot be silent without becoming a party to the wrong.” Failure to speak out was a charge that would never be lodged against France. Later, however, France’s high-profile crusades would confound and infuriate many Winter Park residents.

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At first glance France’s left-wing politics seem somewhat at odds with his childhood background. He was born and raised in the historic town of Lowville, N.Y., an upstate rural area populated by dairy-farming Republicans. After high school he attended Hamilton College, an academically prestigious liberal-arts school in central New York. According to his 1957 autobiography, My Native Grounds, France experienced nothing during his four years at Hamilton College to awaken his “latent idealism.” It was from his family that he received an education in social responsibility. France’s father, Joseph H. France, was a Presbyterian minister who abandoned the fundamentalist wing of the church and began to preach and practice a theology advocating tolerance, brotherhood, compassion and peace. Those principles, ingrained from childhood, would guide France for the rest of his life. Some people who wish to advance social justice do so by becoming lawyers. That was the path France chose, attending Albany Law School and graduating in 1906. He first formed a practice with a former judge in whose office he had studied. Two years later, he joined the New York City firm of Duell, Warfield and Duell, becoming a partner in 1914. But France was ill at ease practicing corporate law, which was the conservative firm’s specialty. He found a way to express his idealism by helping to form the Progressive Party and working for its candidate, Theodore Roosevelt, in the tumultuous presidential election of 1912. Although France’s autobiography provides little detail about his involvement in this ill-fated third-party movement, he became well acquainted with the volatile Rough Rider. That association led to France’s involvement in one of the most sensational trials of the early 20th century: a 1915 libel suit filed against Roosevelt by Republican powerbroker and Albany newspaper publisher William Barnes, whom Roosevelt had publicly accused of corruption.


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Among France’s friends and associates were Theodore Roosevelt, whose presidential candidacy he supported despite privately believing the Rough Rider to be a “phony” progressive, and Zora Neale Hurston, the African-American author who was often an overnight guest at the home of France and his wife. Locals were scandalized, France said, and some merchants refused his business as a result of his friendship with Hurston.

When France told Roosevelt that Barnes had tried to bribe him with a judgeship in return for his political support, the former president invited France to testify at the trial. France agreed, and remained on hand for several weeks working with Roosevelt’s lawyers. The jury ultimately found in favor of Roosevelt. In retrospect France admitted his relationship with Roosevelt was a bit self-serving. “Roosevelt and I,” he observed, “were in many ways at opposite poles. I hated war, and when World War I broke out I was a pacifist. [On the other hand] Teddy gloried in war as bringing about the manhood in men.” France was committed to the Progressive Party, but he thought Roosevelt’s progressivism was “phony,” a pose that he projected for political gain. France conceded that he chose to ignore those differences because he “was flattered by [Roosevelt’s] friendship and hopeful that he would advance my own ambitions.”

Although nominally still a Republican, France had long since moved to the left of the party, particularly in the realm of civil liberties. The passage of the Espionage Act of 1917 only confirmed his contention that wars inevitably endangered such freedoms. France argued that the act was a clear and dangerous violation of the First Amendment, and publicly deplored the sedition conviction of Socialist Party of America leader Eugene Debs for advocating opposition to the war. Nonetheless, France served in the military. When the U.S. joined the war, he was working from a New York office as vice president and general manager of the Triangle Film Corporation, a major motionpicture studio based in Culver City, Calif. Despite his pacifism, France left his job with Triangle and entered the army as a captain. He later was promoted to major and was assigned to the Clothing and Equipage Division of the Quartermaster’s Corps. In that capacity, he supervised millions of dollars’ worth of government contracts. France’s army stint was spent entirely in New York. And he continued to attend meetings of pacifist organizations despite his position as a military officer. He recognized the incongruity, but gives the episode short shrift — less than a page — in My Native Grounds. After the war, France returned to Manhattan and resumed practicing law before accepting a lucrative position as legal counsel to a wealthy textile manufacturer. Despite his success, however, France felt unfulfilled. “I was not doing the things I liked to do,” France wrote. “I was working on matters that had no permanent value. I liked to work with people, not with things, and what I wanted to do was to teach young people.”

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After a search through a national college directory, France found a school in Florida that seemed to fit his purposes and philosophy. He had never heard of Rollins, but he knew President Hamilton Holt, a fellow liberal, and was aware that Holt had instituted widely acclaimed educational reforms at the college. He contacted Holt, and within a few months was hired by the innovative president as a professor of economics. In January 1929, when France arrived in Winter Park, he found a charming village that resembled his home town in upstate New York. And at Rollins, he found an experimental, progressive institution that had become a liberal oasis in a conservative community. France continued championing unpopular causes, a proclivity that brought him immediately in conflict with locals. “A college professor with liberal views in a community like Winter Park was not all honey and roses,” he wrote. For example, he ruffled feathers with his views



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Despite causing Rollins President Hamilton Holt numerous public-relations headaches, France, along with several colleagues, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1949. Shown, left to right, are Wendell Stone, Holt, France, William Melcher, Nathan Starr, Arthur Enyart, Edwin Osgood Grover and Arthur Hutchinson.


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Florida Socialist Party. Membership in the Socialist Party anywhere in the country was certain to bring immediate opprobrium. But in 1930s Florida, it was downright dangerous. In November 1935, Tampa authorities raided a meeting of local Socialist Party members and arrested its leaders. One man died of his injuries after being beaten by police. France rushed to Tampa and, along with Thomas, organized a protest that filled Tampa’s largest auditorium. Despite these efforts, the outcome was predictable. Authorities charged and tried several of the assailants, but after years of legal maneuvers they were acquitted. The incident taught France two lessons about American society. First, whenever a group attempted radical change it would be crushed “not through reasoned argument, but by force and violence.” Second, the First Amendment was no protection for those holding views contrary to conventional beliefs and traditions. He would encounter and confront this reality over and over again during the next two decades. But he remained hopeful, a characteristic reflected in his first (and only) novel, Compromise, published in 1936. Compromise, which France called “a novel with a purpose,” tells the story of a once-idealistic young lawyer who’s corrupted by his mentor, a politically savvy judge. The lawyer becomes district attorney, governor, senator and eventually a leading candidate for the presidential nomination. When he rediscovers his old ideals, he loses his chance at the

nation’s highest office. A reviewer in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle opined that France “remains a better economist than a sociologist or novelist.” But he added that the story was “earnestly told,” and aptly described the pressure on reform-minded elected officials to abandon their integrity. Concluded the reviewer, “If his novel reaches readers who would have been impervious to tracts, it was very worth having written.”

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One of France’s most serious confrontations occurred at the close of World War II. In June 1945, shortly after the surrender of Germany, France delivered the baccalaureate address to the Rollins graduating class. He chose as his topic the nature of Allied peace terms. Despite Nazi atrocities, France contended, the majority of Germans were good, civilized people who had been duped by Hitler and intimidated by the Nazi regime. Therefore, he argued, while Nazi leaders should be held accountable, the German people as a whole should not be punished. Harsh, vengeful peace terms following World War I, he reminded the seniors, had contributed to Hitler’s rise. A punitive peace, he added, also would be questionable on moral grounds. He encouraged the audience to consider the Christian doctrine of forgiveness. A firestorm of criticism broke the next day when the Orlando Sentinel Star printed the complete speech. Publisher Martin Anderson wrote a stinging editorial that questioned France’s loyalty for underestimating the complicity of the German people. If France liked the Germans so well, Anderson


of racial equality. France made many acquaintances on Winter Park’s west side, which had been designated in the 1880s by the community’s founders as the “colored” area. He even attended services at west side churches from time to time. France also established a close relationship with novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, who was raised in Eatonville. Hurston often visited the area and frequently spent the night in the home of France and his wife Ethel. This unconventional behavior caused considerable gossip. After one visit, an irate resident called expressing a “disgust so great it was almost tangible,” France wrote. Some owners of retail stores were reluctant to serve him, he added. When France learned that a mob in the panhandle town of Marianna had lynched an African American named Claude Neal, France sent a “blistering letter” excoriating Florida Gov. David Scholtz for inaction. Then he published the letter in a local newspaper. Scholtz wrote Holt demanding that France be fired for his “insulting” remarks. Holt replied that he could hardly do that, since he agreed with France. After the stock market crash in October 1929, France began writing articles and giving talks critical of what he called President Herbert Hoover’s “stodgy and unimaginative” economic policies. In the presidential campaign of 1932, he looked for a positive program from Democratic candidate Franklin Roosevelt, but found none. “Seeing no lights emanating from either of the old parties,” he wrote, “I came out for Norman Thomas,” the Socialist candidate. A few weeks later, France accepted the chairmanship of the

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“Not a few people have told me that you were too radical. ... You are one who is as radical as is truth and justice, because that is the kind of radical you are.” — Hamilton Holt on Royal Wilbur France suggested, he should “retire from his rather questionable glories at Rollins” and move to Germany. The Sentinel Star also published a strident commentary by Dr. John Martin, a local dignitary recognized as an authority on international relations, who excoriated France for his “namby-pamby softy stuff in dealing with any enemy who showed its enemies not heart, not soul, not mercy.” For several days, angry letters to the editor criticizing France appeared in local newspapers. Many blamed Rollins for allowing France to fill young peoples’ minds with such misguided ideas. Holt, who was in San Francisco at the time, received a letter from another administrator warning him that France’s speech had precipitated a crisis. Several trustees wanted the college to issue a public denial of any support for France and his views. The uproar caught France by complete surprise. He had given the same speech several times around Florida without experiencing such a hostile reaction. He wrote a long letter to Holt, apologizing not for his ideas, but for unwittingly causing trouble for the college. Holt replied that, while he was sympathetic with France’s views, he thought the baccalaureate ceremony had not been an appropriate occasion at which to express them. France was undoubtedly embarrassed by the episode because he makes no mention of it in his autobiography. In truth, the reaction to the speech was simply one of a long list of incidents involving France that brought criticism down on the college. Even so, in 1949 France was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Holt, who acknowledged the seemingly constant controversy surrounding France while extolling his moral character and his commitment to justice. “Not a few people have told me that you were too radical,” said Holt. “This charge, when analyzed, has meant little but that you are guilty of the crime of being ahead of your times. … You are one who is as radical as is truth and justice, because that is the kind of radical you are.”

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By 1952, France had taught at Rollins and lived in Winter Park for more than two decades. They were years of personal satisfaction and contentment, but now he was growing restive. In My Native Grounds, he observed that every-


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one was very pleasant when he announced his retirement in 1952. But, he mused, “I cannot escape the feeling that the Board of Trustees were glad to see me go.” He was probably right. But he was also far from finished. “I felt increasingly that I was too much at ease in Zion, while one of history’s great struggles for the preservation of free speech was taking place right here in our own country,” he wrote. The “great struggle” was the effort to protect those threatened by the anti-communist crusade conducted by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin Republican, and the House Un-American Activities Committee. France’s epiphany came January 1952, when he read an article in the New York Times Magazine written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. The article was entitled “The Black Silence of Fear.” Wrote Douglas: “There is an ominous trend in this nation. We are developing tolerance only for the orthodox point of view, intolerance for new and different approaches … Fear has mounted: fear of losing one’s job, fear of being investigated, fear of being pilloried.” What most galvanized France was Douglas’ additional observation: “Fear even strikes at lawyers and those at the bar. Those accused … have difficulty getting reputable lawyers to defend them” During this incarnation of the Red Scare, the 1940 Alien Registration Act, commonly known as the Smith Act, was used as a pretext to arrest and prosecute socialists, communists and other radicals. It had originally been adopted as a response to the threat of Nazi subversion prior to World War II. France saw alarming consequences as a result of the Smith Act. “If mere advocacy could be made a crime,” France warned, “it would be easy to accuse — and to silence and destroy — any political movement critical of the status quo.” If affiliation could be interpreted as guilt by association, he believed, then no citizen was safe. Even more alarming was passage in 1950 of the Internal Security Act, usually called the McCarran Act, which required communists or suspected communists to register with the U.S. Attorney General. Congress passed the act over a veto from President Harry Truman, who called it “the greatest

danger to freedom of speech, press and assembly since the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798.” These were France’s concerns as he prepared to leave the secure confines of Rollins for the treacherous terrain of Cold War anti-communism. He was 68, an age when he could have retired, played golf (which he loved) and led a contented social life virtually free of care. Many thought he was making a serious mistake. An ACLU lawyer visiting Winter Park wondered how France could leave such a paradisiacal place. Others told him that defending communists in the toxic climate of the Cold War would destroy his career and his reputation. Later, France would reflect on his motivations: “I could not be at peace with myself until I had genuinely and without reserve offered myself, at this crucial moment in history, to defend the principles which lay at the basis of my philosophy of life. To do so required defending communists.” In fact, France had never met a communist, nor did he agree with communism’s every tenant. But ideological particulars hardly mattered. “I am an old-fashioned liberal who believes that the First Amendment means what it says, and what it says is important,” he would later tell a client. France’s first case after leaving Rollins was handling the appeal of six Baltimore communists who had been convicted of violating the Smith Act. At the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, France found three federal judges whose demeanor presaged an unfavorable outcome for his clients. They were led by Chief Judge John J. Parker, a North Carolinian whose nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court had been rejected because of his vocal prejudice against labor unions and African Americans. When France looked into the “hard faces” of the judges he knew they “were doomed to lose.” The hard-faced trio indeed voted to reject the appeal, sending the defendants to prison. The outcome reminded France, if he needed reminding, that it wouldn’t be easy to convince judges and jurors that free speech and association, not national security, was under threat. During the next four years, working with the ACLU and other civil-rights groups, France was involved in cases ranging from an unsuccessful appeal of the death sentence of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the defense of a group of clergymen accused of

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was created in the 1930s as a home for liberal lawyers who were disenchanted with the conservative-leaning American Bar Association. From the beginning, the NLG was a lightning rod for conservative criticism, particularly when it accepted AfricanAmerican lawyers as members. During the Great Depression it supported Roosevelt’s New Deal measures, helped organize labor unions and fought against racial segregation. In the post-war period, the NLG, along with the ACLU, was the most active organization defending individuals against charges of subversion. The NLG’s refusal to require loyalty oaths from members, many of whom were leftist radicals, left it open to charges of harboring subversives. France became director of the organization when it was trying to prevent the Justice Department from placing its name on the List of Subversive Organizations. The NLG brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. And after years of litigation, it won a favorable ruling. The government dropped its action. But the NLG’s effort to defend itself had cost the organization dearly. During the ’60s it lost membership and its funds were depleted, leaving only a shell of its original self. France’s NLG work took a toll on his health. He was 73 when he agreed to head France’s autobiography, long out of print, discusses his years as a Rollins the organization, and the struggle was professor and details his lifelong advocacy for First Amendment rights. “strenuous and in many aspects difficult.” His sacrifice, however, didn’t go unbut refused on principle to name other partici   recognized. At a gathering held to honor France’s pants. He was found in contempt by the SuperiFrance’s last case was one of his most sensational service, one of his NLG colleagues reminded the or Court in Concord, N.H. After the conviction and nationally significant, but it was also the audience of 400 people what Royal France had was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1959, most disheartening. always stood for, regardless of the cost: Uphaus spent nearly a year in a jail. In 1953, France received a call from a friend, “We came to pay tribute to a great teacher, Throughout the ordeal, France had been at Wil­lard Uphaus, seeking legal representation in trained economist, courageous defender of religious his friend’s side. From France’s point of view, the a case brought against him by New Hamp­shire and civil liberty, a fearless peacemaker, and above all Uphaus case revealed the depth and the breadth Attorney General Louis C. Wyman. a warm-hearted humanitarian. Among his friends of the cancerous spread of McCarthyism into the Uphaus held a doctorate in religion from Yale are those who have been sustained by his legal and American body politic. Divinity School, and had spent most of his career moral strength. The dignity and depth of this man The unreasoning fear of communism had infectattempting to relate Christian principles to the to spend his life in defense of our freedoms took ed even small communities that had never seen, nor needs of the workers and their labor unions. He courage beyond the call of duty.” would ever see, a communist, leading to condemnawas also involved with several religious and peace tion of even benign, pious religious communities. Dr. Jack C. Lane is a professor emeritus of history at organizations that appeared on the U.S. Attorney As France watched this peaceful “man of conRollins College. This story is an adaptation of the foreGeneral’s List of Subversive Organizations. science,” leave for jail, he might have been parword he wrote for an upcoming reissue of My Native Wyman, empowered by the State Legislature doned for thinking that all his efforts were hopeGround, the autobiography of Royal Wilbur France. to investigate subversives, demanded that Upless. But instead of retiring from the battle he Lane is also annotating the book. A release date has not haus turn over the names of guests at a conference accepted another challenge. yet been announced. The lead illustration was created hosted by the World Fellowship of Faiths, a peace    by Joan Zak, a Rollins communications studies major, and social justice organization with summer headFrom 1958 until his death in 1962, France using an image from the college’s Department of Arquarters in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. headed the National Lawyers Guild. The NLG chives and Special Collections, Olin Library. Uphaus gladly admitted his own involvement,


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communist subversion. In 1952, France was asked to help a New York University professor named Lyman J. Bradley, who had been dismissed from this teaching position for having earlier served as an officer in an organization created to help refugees from the Spanish Civil War. Five years earlier, HUAC had declared that the organization, called the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, was a communist front, and had demanded that Bradley that turn over all the organization’s records. Bradley had refused, was charged with contempt of Congress and sent to prison, where he was released after serving three months. During the trial, Bradley had been suspended without pay by the university. When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to set aside the conviction, he was dismissed. In an attempt to gain reinstatement, he had demanded a hearing before an advisory council appointed by the university. For France, a former professor, the Bradley case hit close to home. Often critics had urged Holt to dismiss France for his outspoken advocacy, but the president had refused. France undoubtedly realized that, in the era of McCarthyism, Holt would have had a much more difficult time resisting those demands Such was the case with Bradley. Following the hearing, he was not reinstated, nor was he granted severance pay. His academic career lay in ruins.



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Pierre and Catherine Del­rieu are the new husband-and-wife team at Palmano’s, changing the Italian coffeehouse/café into a French one.


A TRATTORIA, NOW A CAFÉ’ Palmano’s had been known as a coffee house with an attitude. Now, under new ownership, it’s morphing into a French-infused eatery where the bill of fare is a work in progress. BY RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL


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esperate for quick sustenance before a noon appointment, I dashed into Palmano’s for one of those grab-and-go Italian sandwiches that the Italian coffeehouse/trattoria has long kept pre-wrapped in the fridge. But the Park Avenue stalwart had no pre-wrapped Italian sandwiches. Puzzled, I noticed a handwritten sign on the counter touting a “greens and beans” soup. Who was I to argue? I ordered a bowl and sat to wait. While observing the dining room from a corner seat, I watched as a middle-aged man with a warm smile and a heavy French accent directed an employee who was tacking up a long paper roster of available coffees, obscuring the familiar chalkboard-like list. Soup? French? Coffee changes? Something isn’t right. Or maybe it is. The man with the accent, it turns out, was Pierre Delrieu. He and his wife Catherine had just taken over this cozy insiders’ hangout, which has been known equally for its home-roasted coffee, its charming courtyard seating and its sometimes haughty attitude. Palmano’s, which had a rarely mentioned “Trattoria” at the end of its name, offered a limited food menu, but was considered more coffee shop than restaurant. It embraced regulars and shooed away laptop-toting hangers-on who thought that the purchase of a single cup of java entitled them to office space. Reviews were decidedly mixed. “It’s the only decent coffee in town,” some insisted. “The staff is snooty,” others complained. Palmano’s has now been dubbed Chez Palmano’s Café, although the moniker may change again once the Delrieus (yes, I know the plural sounds a bit like “delirious” when spoken aloud) settle in. The snug spot still sells various incarnations of coffee, although the couple farms out the roasting chores to a local specialist rather than doing it in a nearby storage unit, as the former husband-and-wife team did. “We kept the Palmano’s name to show customers we’ll keep the same type of place — the coffee, the breakfast, the lunch, the sandwiches,” Catherine explains. So, why the “Chez?” “To show that something different has happened,” she adds. Indeed it has. The soup — a glorious, healing “greens and beans,” served in a white ceramic bowl — is indicative of where Chez Palmano’s is headed. “I use fresh vegetables,” says Catherine, whose name is pronounced kaTREEN. “I play with the food, using what’s in the fridge.”

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Coufloutis is a disarminglky sweet berry and custard tart. The quiche, right, has rapidly become a signature luncheon item.

Catherine dismisses canned ingredients as offensive and plans to focus on fresh food. However, she’ll have to keep the menu small until she can retrofit the kitchen, which needs an equipment overhaul. The Delrieus moved here from Normandy, where they owned a series of restaurants. The last one was damaged by fire, and the insurance claim has yet to be settled. So they bought Palmano’s, packed their bags and moved to sunny Central Florida, where they’d enjoyed visiting over the years. For now, Chez Palmano’s is a nice retreat for a light breakfast or lunch. I’d opt for soup whenever possible. After falling passionately for that beans-and-greens, I tried a French onion soup on a return visit. It had a rich broth, slivers of


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tender onion, a chunk of bread and a lid of gooey cheese—the perfect combo. Catherine is trying to create sandwiches that she likes, but that Americans will like, too. She’s doing OK. The tuna sandwich has a Frenchified name—pain-bagna (usually spelled pain bagnat). It’s mushed-up tuna with mayonnaise, green bell pepper and celery on a pressed whole wheat bun. I’d prefer a more European version, maybe chunks of tuna in olive oil, but I did enjoy the slices of hard-boiled egg and the calamata olives sharing space between the bread slices. Hopefully next time Catherine will remember to pit all the olives; luckily I didn’t crack a molar. The Winter Park Sandwich is a panini on a pressed white roll filled with turkey, prosciutto, mozzarella and pesto mayonnaise, plus the req-

uisite lettuce and tomato with red onion. It’s a nice lunch option. Hot specials are often available. During my second visit, during a chilly winter day, beef Burgundy was available. The tender, flavorful stew, with generous chunks of potatoes and carrots, was delivered to the table in a mini Staub Dutch oven. The dish won my heart. I reheated portions for lunch the three following days. Eyeing quiche on a neighboring table — that’ll be my next order, for sure — we concluded our meal with a slice of cloufitis. The slightly sweet fruit-and-custard dessert had a disarmingly bright flavor, stunning almost. Yet, the consistency was pasty. I sipped a latte with my cloufitis. I’m one of the rare ones who never swooned over the original

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Palmano’s coffee. This one didn’t seem particularly special either. I assume many readers will disagree. Like Palmano’s original owners did from time to time, the Delrieus are tinkering with dinner service. For now, they offer evening meals on Friday nights. “We serve French food with French ingredients,” Catherine says. For example, she might offer a cassoulet with fish and seafood. Another week she’ll prepare veal topped with prosciutto and sage, beef Bourguignon or Parisian shrimp. In all, four entrées are available each week. Since the menu is still in the formative stage, the specials tend to change frequently.


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Meanwhile, the couple has a lengthy to-do list, whatever their restaurant will ultimately be called. No. 2, after revamping that kitchen, is buying new patio furniture. “It needs to be remodeled with nice tables and comfortable chairs,” Catherine says, lamenting the worn versions outdoors today. Another pressing task is learning how to manage American employees. “I was not familiar with the American way,” Catherine says. “The way we serve, the way we cook, everything is different.” In Pierre’s case, learning English is a priority. I’ll add one to the list. The Delrieus need to figure out how to keep out the cigar smell that wafts

over from the shop next door. In nice weather, the best time to linger at a café with sidewalk and courtyard seating, all the doors are open. Unfortunately, so are the doors of the adjacent cigar lounge. There’s no avoiding the scent. I don’t mind that terribly, but my dining companion found it unbearable. Still, these enthusiastic newcomers seem to be avoir l’esprit rapide, on the ball, and they’ll surely figure out a solution. They’re determined to live their dream on Park Avenue, whatever the obstacles. “We came here because we love America,” Catherine says. “Here, you can be what you want to be.”

DINING LISTINGS THE KEY $ Cheap eats, most entrées under $10 $$ Moderate, dinner entrées $15-20 $$$ Pricey, most entrées over $30 $$$$ Many entrées over $30 AMERICAN Another Broken Egg Cafe 430 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-790-7868/ There’s nothing particularly unique about this country-style breakfast eatery, which originated in Louisiana and now has locations throughout the Southeast, including this one in Winter Park Village. There are, of course, omelets, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and Benedicts, accompanied by those ubiquitous little cubed potatoes. But the food is good, the space is pleasing and the service is friendly and efficient. $ The Bistro on Park Avenue 348 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-539-6520/ Located in the Hidden Gardens, this low-key eatery’s glass-enclosed garden room, and its outdoor patio, offer two of the prettiest settings on Park Avenue. Specialties include chef crab cakes, jambalaya, red beans and rice with andoiulle sausage, and pot roast with a blue cheese cream sauce. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays featuring a variety of eggs Benedict, including versions with lobster and soft-shell crab. It’s German Night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. $$-$$$ Briarpatch Restaurant 252 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-8651/ This Park Avenue institution is crowded during breakfast and lunch — and on Sunday for brunch — and incredibly noisy. Fare includes fancy burgers, such as the Grafton white cheddar and sugar-cured bacon burger, as well as sandwiches, salads and omelets. But most patrons are particularly fond of the oversized homemade desserts, including an array of ice creams and such super-rich treats as chocolate layer cake. A bit of trivia: The restaurant’s marble counter once topped the soda fountain at Irvine’s Pharmacy, an even more venerable Park Avenue institution that operated from 1925 to 1973. $-$$ Carmel Café & Wine Bar 140 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-513-4912/ The menu updates the traditional flavors and foods of Mediterranean rim countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Morocco. Choose from small- or large-plate options and pair foods with an international selection of wines available in three-, six- or nine-ounce pours. Tableside iPads enable guests to control preparation and pacing of the meal, from drinks to dessert, by scrolling, tapping and sending selections. $$ Cask & Larder 656 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-280-4200/ From the folks who brought us The Ravenous Pig comes this “Southern Public House” in the former Le Cordon Bleu location. “Cask” is for the beer that’s brewed on site and “larder” is an arcane term for a pantry used primarily in the South. So the cuisine is Southern-inspired and locally sourced, and encompasses the general categories of sausage and country ham; vegetables and grains; fish and oysters; and such delectable oddities as grilled lamb heart, pork belly and foie-gras stuffed quail. Snout-to-tail specials for parties of eight or more involve serving up an entire animal, usually a pig. Now open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday, the midday menu offers more salads and sandwiches along with more substantial entrées such as rabbit meatloaf and trout. Menus change often

to reflect local harvests and fresh catches. So, how’s it going? Cask & Larder was last year named one of the top 11 new restaurants in America by Esquire magazine. Plus the eatery plans to expand into the retail space next door, which will be dubbed Swine & Sons Provisions and will sell charcuterie, sandwiches and growlers, which are 32-ounce cans of its home-brewed beer. $$ The Cheesecake Factory 520 North Orlando Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-4220/ It’s generally always busy at The Cheescake Factory, but fans say the waits are worthwhile. Certainly, with a 20-page menu featuring more than 200 items, there’s something for everyone, including creative entrées as well as pizza, pasta, seafood and steak. There’s also a “SkinnyLicious” menu with lower-calorie options such as shrimp summer rolls. The original, relatively unadorned cheesecake is wonderful, of course, but there are more than three dozen decadent options, including chocolate-coconut cream, peanut butter cup fudge ripple and peppermint bark. $$ The Coop: A Southern Affair 610 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park. 407-843-2667/ The eagerly awaited new comfort-food eatery from John Rivers (4 Rivers Smokehouse) is drawing big crowds with such Deep South favorites as chicken and waffles, fried chicken, ham-and-pimento-cheese sandwiches, Low Country shrimp and grits, smothered pork chops, fried catfish, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, and meatloaf. You can even get fried chicken by the bucket. And don’t forget dessert, such as Coop Moon Pies and old-school banana pudding. Now, lovers of breakfast can get a delicious day’s start with an array of creative omelets, tamale pancakes, chocolate-topped waffles, catfish and grits, pulled pork skillets, biscuits and sausage gravy or, for the traditionalists, the Winter Park Special, with eggs, potatoes or grits and bacon or sausage. $-$$ Dexter’s 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407629-1150/ Central Florida has four Dexter’s locations, each of which has become a neighborhood hangout, drawing diners of all ages for hearty portions of creative American fare (at fair prices), good wine and, in some cases, live music. A luncheon favorite is the pressed duck sandwich, and Sunday brunches offer a make-your-own omelet option. Casual dress is the rule. $-$$$ First Watch 2215 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-331-3447; 1221 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-740-7437/firstwatch. com. First Watch, founded more than 30 years ago, was a pioneer in the “breakfast, brunch and lunch only” category. The omelettes — including the Killer Cajun, the Via Veneto, the Acapulco Express and The Works, among many others — are the restaurant’s breakfast specialty, while lunch features an array of sandwiches and salads that emphasize fresh ingredients. $ Hamilton’s Kitchen 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-998-8089/ Named for the innovative former Rollins College president, Hamilton Holt, the warm and welcoming restaurant at the newly opened Alfond Inn boasts an early 1900s ambience, with a hearth-inspired kitchen window, exposed beams, farmer’s table and Dutch oak floors. Chef Marc Kusche puts modern spins on traditional Southern offerings using locally sourced ingredients. The fish and grits has become a local favorite. Hamilton’s is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. $$$ Hillstone 215 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-7404005/ Formerly known as Houston’s, this Winter Park mainstay is part of a highend chain. Still, it grows its own herbs, bakes its own bread, grinds its own meat, cuts its own fish and whips its own cream. In nice weather, guests relax with a

cocktail in Adirondack chairs overlooking Lake Killarney. Many have popped the proverbial question during romantic dinners for two on the boat dock. $$-$$$ Jimmy Hula’s 2522 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-7907838/ This beach-themed chain plays up its burgers, but most diners seem to go for its crazy good fish tacos. Our favorite is the Malibu, which comes with guacamole, jack cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream in addition to a stuffing of fried or blackened whitefish. There are also “turf tacos” and a decent craft-beer selection. $ Keke’s Breakfast Café 345 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1400/ Keke’s serves up a solid lunch, but this place is really all about breakfast, more specifically the waffles, French toast and oversized pancakes, offered with fruit, granola and chocolate chips. You may encounter a wait on weekend mornings, but be patient — it’s worth it. $ Marlow’s Tavern 1008 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-960-3670/ Classic American tavern fare, including an array of big and juicy burgers, served in an upscale pub environment, with exposedbrick walls, dark wood accents and leather-upholstered booths. The appetizers are wonderful, especially J.T.’s Kettle Chips with gorgonzola cheese and bacon. Outdoor seating is under a sizeable covered patio, where there’s sometimes live entertainment. $$ Park Plaza Gardens 319 S. Park Ave., 407-645-2475/ Located adjacent to the historic Park Plaza Hotel, this Winter Park institution boasts a clubby, cozy bar and sidewalk café for leisurely drinks, casual meals and unparalleled people watching. Café specialties include appetizers, soups, sandwiches, burgers and a lovely array of salads. At the rear of the building is the elegant atrium dining room, a posh, patio-style space where you are surrounded by large trees and lush vegetation beneath a soaring ceiling of glass. The food is worthy of the setting, featuring modern American entrées. Specialties of the house include beef carpaccio, filet mignon, chicken curry salad and crab-stuffed grouper. Bananas foster is a showy but delightful dessert. $$-$$$$ Scratch 223 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-3255165/ This shabby-chic hot spot features a tapas menu that emphasizes fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. The cheese plate is an excellent starter. Then you should follow up with the pork belly, which here is soy-glazed and enhanced by calamansi juice, micro cilantro, carrot purée, black rice and scallions. The lavender-cured smoked duck breast is tasty, too, but in a tapas restaurant, with its small servings, you need not limit yourself. The beverage menu includes craft beer, microbrews and fine wines. $$ 310 Park South 310 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-6477277/ New American cuisine featuring fresh seafood, beef, pasta dishes, signature salads and sandwiches. Dine outside along the Avenue and enjoy daily lunch and dinner specials, a children’s menu or Sunday brunch. Steak, chicken and pasta entrées dominate the menu, but there’s also a very nice, slowly roasted half duck finished with a plum demiglace. If you prefer to dine at home, call ahead and pick up your favorite dish. $$-$$$ Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen 2203 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-672-5753/ If you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dining experience, this is not the place for you. Tibby’s is loud, raucous and fun, with Crescent City favorites like shrimp Creole, seafood gumbo and, for dessert, powdered beignets. Tibby’s was named for the late Walter “Tibby” Tabony, a Big Easy native and great-uncle of restaurateur Brian Wheeler, who S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


DINING LISTINGS also founded Tijuana Flats. The old man, whose colorful biography is on the menu, would certainly have approved of the shrimp and andouille cheddar grits and the hand-battered fried pickle slices, which are expertly fried and served with a rich rémoulade sauce. $-$$ Toasted 1945 Aloma Ave., Winter Park 407-960-3922/ Yes, there really is a restaurant that specializes in that most beloved childhood comfort food, the grilled-cheese sandwich. But this isn’t Velveeta on Wonder bread; the menu includes combinations of exotic cheeses, artisan breads and other unexpected additions. For example, we doubt Mom ever served a “Fig and Goat” sandwich with goat cheese, fig preserves, basil and honey. This cheesy joint also offers an assortment of burgers and salads as well as vegetarian and vegan selections. $

ASIAN Orchid Thai Cuisine 305 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407331-1400/ Enjoy authentic Thai food — with orchids (what else?) garnishing many dishes — in a primo Park Avenue location. Traditional offerings include green curry highlighted by coconut gravy infused with kaffir lime and Thai basil, ginger chicken, tom yum soup and curry puffs. For a light and refreshing dessert, try the Thai doughnuts, sweetened by a peanut-sprinkled dip of condensed milk. The cozy restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating. $$-$$$ P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 436 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-0188/ The popular restaurant chain, with more than 200 locations in North America, offers upscale Chinese classics artfully presented, with many sauces made tableside by servers. Signature entrées include diced chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves, orange-peel beef with chili peppers and oolong sea bass. The busy Winter Park Village venue features an outdoor patio. $$ Seoul Garden 511 E. Horatio Ave., Maitland, 407-5995199/ Seoul Garden is so Asian-focused that the “About Us” section of its website is written in Korean. That authenticity extends to the food. Barbecue meats are grilled to order in the dining room. Be sure to try the marinated beef short ribs and the soft tofu stew. $$

BARBECUE Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-b-que 1471 Lee Road, Winter Park, 407-628-1212/ It now has five locations, but the original Bubbalou’s is a Winter Park institution, serving up traditional pork and beef platters as well as brisket, livers and gizzards, and sides of beans, greens and mac and cheese. It’s definitely an experience best suited to the barbecue purist. $ 4 Rivers Smokehouse 1600 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-474-8377/ A diverse menu of barbecue specialties — from Texas-style brisket to pulled pork, smoked turkey and bacon-wrapped jalapenos — has gained this homegrown concept a huge following. The expanded Winter Park location also features scrumptious desserts under the banner The Sweet Shop. The Mississippi mud cake, in particular, is scrumptious. $

BAKERY/CAFE Panera Bread 329 N. Park Ave., Ste. 107, and 2516 Aloma Ave., Winter Park/ On the south end of Park Avenue sits a Starbucks; on the north end a Panera holds sway. But while Starbucks is pretty much strictly a place for coffee, Panera offers bakery items and its signature fresh-and-healthy soups, salads and sandwiches. So we consider it to be as much a restaurant as a coffeehouse, as do most of its patrons. This particular location is a large space, conveniently locat-


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ed next to a parking garage, and offers abundant outside seating to facilitate people-watching. The Aloma location has a drive-thru window. $

BURGERS B&B Junction 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-513-4134/ This counter-service establishment melds farm-to-table quality with a burgerand-fries menu. The beef is locally raised and grass-fed, most produce is from area farms and the desserts are homemade. Burgers come with creative toppings, in interesting iterations including bison and veggie, with a variety of hand-cut fries like sweet potato and portobello, and with sustainable wines and interesting beers. $ BurgerFi 538 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-2010/ This Delray Beach-based chain joins Five Guys and Burger 21 in Central Florida’s suddenly sizzling burger category. You order at the counter and a server brings your food. The burger buns, interestingly, are branded with the name of the restaurant while the burgers themselves are fashioned from grass-fed, steroid-free beef. The fries are thick cut and house made, and there are some 120 beverages from which to choose, including tea, wine, soft drinks and craft beer. Frozen custard is a nice treat on a hot day. $ Shake Shack 119 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321-2035130/ New York superchef Danny Meyer has brought his chain of ultra-indulgent hamburgers to Winter Park. Here the all-Angus burgers, crinkle-cut Yukon fries, frozen custard, shakes with mix-ins and more are served indoors and out. The patio has lounge chairs, a fire pit and a ping-pong table. After dining, stroll across the plaza to Winter Park’s newest attraction, Trader Joe’s. $

CREATIVE/PROGRESSIVE Boca 358 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-7022/ That so-called “cursed corner” where so many restaurants have tried and failed may finally have an occupant with some staying power. Actually, two occupants. The flagship is Boca, a farm-to-table restaurant serving dishes such as free-range chicken breast, gluten-free pasta shrimp and prime smoked meatloaf. A ‘70s-style bar called Park Social occupies the upstairs portion and a pub concept called ABO, standing for Atlantic Bar and Oyster, can be found in the Hidden Gardens. All are owned and operated by Tampa-based BE-1. $$ Luma on Park 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-5994111/ If there’s pancetta in your salad, the salumi was made in the kitchen, by hand, starting with a whole pig. Most herbs are from local farms, fish from sustainable sources, pickled vegetables jarred in-house and desserts built around seasonal ingredients. Luma’s progressive menu, which changes daily, is served in a sleek and stylish dining room in the heart of Winter Park, under the passionate direction of Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery, Chef de Cuisine Derek Perez and Pastry Chef Brian Cernell. $$$ The Ravenous Pig 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333/ After leaving their hometown for serious culinary training, Winter Park natives James and Julie Petrakis returned to open the region’s first genuine gastropub. Dinner reservations have been tough to snag ever since. The ambitious menu changes daily based on the fish, meat and produce that’s available, and it’s executed by a dedicated team that abhors shortcuts. Besides daily specials, The Pig always serves up an excellent burger, soft pretzels, shrimp and grits and a donut-esque dessert called Pig Tails. $$-$$$$

FRENCH Café de France 526 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-1869/ Dominique Gutierrez, who’s from Vendée, on the Atlantic coast of France, greets Café de France diners as if they’re old friends. At this point, many are. Despite a kitchen staffed with chefs, she still prepares the house-made pâtés the way her mother taught her years ago. Look for classics such as garlicky escargot and au courant entrées such as pan-roasted salmon with a pickled onion/grapefruit/Meyer lemon preserve. $$-$$$ Café 906 906 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-9750600/ Within this nondescript freestanding building is a friendly, low-key little restaurant where French expat Vincent Vallée will brew you a cappuccino, warm up a slice of quiche Lorraine or indulge you with a peanut-butter filled lava cake — dark chocolate or white. Be sure to try the “salted” pound cake, a savory snack made with goat cheese, walnuts and raisins stirred in, or the bacon quiche, a light, fluffy delight with a delicate and flaky crust. $ Chez Vincent 533 W. New England Ave, Winter Park, 407-599-2929/ Orlandoans have headed to chef Vincent Gagliano’s Hannibal Square hideaway since 1997, dressing up for formal evenings made even more special with trout in lemon butter and pork tenderloin slathered with Dijon sauce. The intimate space has two sister enterprises: a below-ground wine cellar that hosts private meals for up to 30, and a lounge known as Hannibal’s that dishes up American and French favorites. $$-$$$ Croissant Gourmet 120 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-622-7753/ Tucked onto a side street behind simple glass walls, Croissant Gourmet is so small you might not notice it. Seek it out. Under the expert guidance of pastry chef François Cahagne, this simple spot turns out tray after tray of the region’s finest croissants and pastries. Quiches are superb here, as are the grilled croque monsieur and madame sandwiches. $ Le Macaron French Pastries 216 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 321-295-7958/ Le Macaron serves up a variety of flavors of petite pastel cookies, each made primarily with frothy meringue and ground almonds. The noshes are delicate yet filling, and come in varieties such as black currant, pistachio and chestnut-gingerchocolate. These are nothing like similarly named macaroons, made with coconut. $ Chez Palmano Café 33 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407647-7520. Catherine and Pierre Delrieu serve French and American breakfasts and lunches, plus a weekly dinner, at the former Palmano’s, including coffee from custom beans. The daily soups are exceptional. The sidewalk and patio seating are a big draw. (See Rona’s review on page 56). $$ Paris Bistro 216 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-671-4424/ Paris Bistro is a restaurant divided: Some seats are tucked away behind Park Avenue’s Shops on Park building, past a koi pond. The others beckon along a bustling stretch of sidewalk. Wherever you choose to indulge, you’ll find French classics (coq au vin, beef burgundy) plus a slew of daily specials (roasted rack of lamb flambéed with brandy and topped with a porcini mushroom sauce) created by chef and co-owner Sebastian Colce. $$-$$$

INDIAN Moghul Indian Cuisine 401 N. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 407-599-9001/ The restaurant’s website describes its fare as “the best cuisine ever served.” Hyperbole, anyone? Still, Moghul serves excellent traditional Indian dishes, including no fewer

than eight lamb entrées. We like the lamb curry, featuring tender, boneless meat cooked in curry sauce with Indian spices. There are also numerous veggie options, and dishes are prepared to your preference, heatwise, from mild to mighty. $$ Tamarind Indian Cuisine 501 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321-207-0760/ Whatever sort of Indian you like, you’ll find it on Tamarind’s vast menu, with entrées featuring chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes. You’ll be tempted to overdo it at the lunch buffet. $$

ITALIAN Al Bacio 505 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-673-3354/ Light Italian, American and LatinAmerican foods are served at the counter of this casual eatery. Coffees, breakfasts, paninis, salads and pastas are the menu’s mainstays. $ Antonio’s 611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-645-5523/ Fine Italian fare comes in two formats at Antonio’s, proprietor Greg Gentile’s culinary homage to his ancestors. The upstairs restaurant, an elegant space with a balcony overlooking Lake Lily, is somewhat formal, although the open kitchen provides peeks of the chefs in action. Its downstairs counterpart, Cafe D’Antonio, is a casual spot that doubles as a to-go, market and wine shop. It’s easy to fill up on fresh, crusty bread and olive oil, but don’t — you’ll want to leave room for such staples as salmon with lemon-herb butter, rigatoni and rosemary chicken. $-$$$ Armando’s Cucina Italiana & Pizzeria 463 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-951-8930. Located where Hot Olives used to be in Hannibal Square, popular Armando’s offers a fairly comprehensive menu of Italian favorites. But pizza, fired in a custom-built brick oven, is the major draw. Try the San Giovanni pie, with sautéed mushrooms, shaved mozzarella, truffle oil and, unexpectedly, fried eggs. Sometimes there’s a wait, so reservations are recommended. $ Brio Tuscan Grille 480 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-5611/ Located in Winter Park Village, Brio is a glitzy spot with Tuscan influences. Try the grilled lamb chops or the filletto di manzo toscana, an 8-ounce, center-cut filet. Lunch features paninis and sandwiches as well as lunch-sized servings of popular dinner dishes. Breads are baked fresh in an Italian oven. The ambience is upscale, but kids have their own menu. $$ Buca di Beppo 1351 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-6227663/ This national chain is owned by Orlando resident (and Planet Hollywood founder) Robert Earl, who has remade it onto a fun, kitschy place for family dining. The portions are humongous, and the food is served family-style. A standout entrée is linguine frutti di mare, a large portion of pasta served in a lasagna pan and filled with mussels, calamari, clams and shrimp drizzled with a spiced-up red clam sauce. The pizzas are sized for two or four. $$ Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria 400 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-960-5533/ Chefowner Francesco Aiello oversees this glitzy-yet-casual Italian restaurant, which churns out hand-tossed pies and full entrées in an open kitchen. Private dining room and patio seating supplement the traditional booths and tables. $-$$ Italio 276 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-960-1860/ You pretty much create your own Italian meal at this counter-service restaurant. Step up to the register and choose a base (pasta, wrap or salad) a protein and a sauce plus toppings and the staff will compile it for you. Our favorite: spaghetti with sausage and

spicy prima rosa sauce. You can add in toppings and pick up a beer or wine before sitting at a communal table. $ Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant 216 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-7270/ Housed in one of Park Avenue’s oldest buildings, Pannullo’s has become something of a fixture itself since its 1993 debut. The menu features everything from pizza to classic pasta dishes, but you can’t go wrong with the lobster ravioli or the chicken gorgonzola. And check out the veggie-heavy salad bar. $$ Prato 124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-262-0050/ This is one of the region’s very best Italian restaurants, but don’t expect a classic lasagna or chicken parmigiana. Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery and Chef di Cucina Matthew Cargo oversee an open kitchen in which pastas are made from scratch, pizzas are rolled to order, sausages are stuffed by hand and the olive oil is a luscious organic pour from Italy. Try the chicken liver Toscana, a satisfying salad Campagna with cubes of sizzling pancetta tesa, shrimp tortellini and citrusy rabbit cacciatore. Begin with a Negroni cocktail; it’s possibly the best around. $$-$$$ Rocco’s 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-6447770/ Calabria native Rocco Potami oversees this romantic Italian eatery, where fine authentic fare is presented in an intimate dining room and on a secluded brick patio. Classics include carpaccio (raw, thinly sliced beef with white truffle oil and arugula), papardelle in wild boar sauce and a breaded veal chop topped with a lightly dressed salad. It’s easy to miss, tucked away in a Winter Park strip center, but once you find it, you’ll be back. Luckily for fans of kitschy lounge acts, Rocco’s has invited vocalist Lorna Lambey and pianist Michael Moore to perform Wednesdays through Saturdays. The duo had been entertaining at the now-defunct Red Fox Lounge. $$$

LATIN El Bodegon Tapas & Wine 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-1078. This timeless family-owned restaurant draws a loyal clientele for its authentic Spanish fare, including Valencian paellas, Galician fish dishes and, of course, a wide variety of tapas. $$-$$$ Mi Tomatina 433 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 321972-4881/ This eatery bills itself as a paella bar, and indeed guests share a half-dozen varieties of the signature Spanish rice dish. Yet others come for a mellow meal over tapas (garlic shrimp, potato omelet, croquettes) and sangria, enjoyed while seated within a small contemporary dining room or outdoors overlooking Hannibal Square. There’s an alfresco bar in the back. $$-$$$

MEDITERRANEAN Bosphorous 108 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-8609/ This is the place for flavorful Turkish fare in either a white-tablecloth setting or alfresco along Park Avenue. Many diners fill up on the appetizer sampler with oversized lavash bread. For a heartier meal, try the ground lamb “Turkish pastry,” a shish kebab or a tender lamb shank. Outdoor diners can end their meals by smoking from a hookah. Or not. $$-$$$

cheros sauce. Also notable: the truffle and mushroom quesadilla and braised pork tacos with mango as well as pescado rico, a large serving of mahi-mahi, wilted spinach and grilled veggies in a roasted poblano cream sauce. The main dining room encompasses freestanding tables and banquettes, and there’s a spacious patio where pooches are welcome. $$ PR’s Taco Palace 499 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-2225/ This charmingly dumpy but iconic Winter Park eatery, located adjacent to the railroad tracks, serves up hearty portions of Tex-Mex fare including chimichangas, fajitas, tostadas and, of course, tacos. A specialty of the house is the outrageously proportioned fundido, a deep-fried flour tortilla filled with your choice of shredded or blackened chicken or beef and cream cheese. Many, many margaritas are consumed on the premises, and discounted tequila shots are offered whenever a train rumbles past. $-$$

POLISH Anna’s Polish Restaurant 3586 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-657-0020/ Enjoy Polish classics such as cabbage noodles, Cracovia chicken cutlet, beef goulash, pork schnitzel, potato pancakes and hunter’s stew with cabbage, mushrooms, beef, pork and sausage served with mashed potatoes. There’s also a delightful array of desserts and a kids’ menu. $-$$

PUBS & GRILLS Ale House 101 University Park Drive, 407-671-1011, and 1251 Lee Rd., Winter Park, 321-214-1505/millersalehouse. com. Part of the Miller’s Ale House regional chain of casual-dining restaurants, most of which are in Florida, both Winter Park locations offer daily lunch and dinner specials. Along with a huge beer selection, you’ll also find signature boneless chicken wings and “Captain Jack’s Buried Treasure,” a layered ice cream cake. $-$$ Fiddler’s Green 544 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-2050/ This is as authentically Irish as you’ll find in Orlando, with a menu featuring bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, hen in a pot, Irish stew and, of course, fish and chips as well as a wide selection of Irish beers. The ambience is enhanced by dark wood, cozy clutter and rowdy groups of “footballers” cheering televised matches. $$ The Porch 643 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-5719101/ Let’s face it, the Porch is a bar that serves food. And you should also know that there isn’t actually a porch; The Garage would have been a better name and indicator of décor. But there are a couple of things worth eating to help soak up the alcohol. Try the slicers (with the onion rings). $



Mitchell’s Fish Market 460 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-339-3474/ A high-end seafood chain that prides itself on being “absolutely, positively obsessed with freshness,” this family-friendly restaurant also offers a gluten-free menu and special meals for kids. The outdoor lounge seating is a big draw. Signature dishes include charbroiled oysters, Maine lobster bisque and a “Mitchell’s Market Trio” of jerk tilapia, broiled salmon and Shang Hai scallops. $$-$$$

Cocina 214 151 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, 407790-7997/ The area code of Dallas is 214, so this stylish eatery’s name makes sense when you consider that its menu offers creative interpretations of traditional Tex-Mex dishes. The huevos rancheros, flanked by Mexican rice and black beans, makes an ideal brunch, with fried eggs served atop corn tortillas and topped with melted queso blanco and red ran-

Winter Park Fish Co. 761 Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-6112 / Fish and seafood dishes are fresh and well prepared at this humble Winter Park spot, where a counter-service format helps keep prices reasonable. Crab cakes, lobster rolls, mahi-mahi sandwiches and more ambitious dishes such as grouper cheeks in parchment and stuffed grouper are among a typical day’s offerings. $$ S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E



The Alfond Inn Presents

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STEAK Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster 729 Lee Rd., Orlando, 407-645-4443/ Locals have been choosing this prototypically masculine, dark-wood-and-red-leather enclave for business dinners and family celebrations for more than two decades. Family-owned since 1993, Christner’s features USDA Prime, corn-fed Midwestern beef and Australian coldwater lobster tails. End your meal with a slice of the restaurant’s legendary mandarin orange cake. And there’s a loooong wine list (6,500 bottles). On select nights, Kostya Kimlat hosts magic shows along with a prix-fixe menu in a private dining room. $$$$ Fleming’s 933 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-6999463/ Fleming’s puts a younger spin on the stately steakhouse concept, featuring sleek décor and 100 wines by the glass along with its prime steaks and chops. The tempura lobster “small plate” with soy-ginger dipping sauce is a worthy preentrée splurge. For a taste of the old-fashioned, visit on Sunday, when prime rib is served. $$$$ Nelore Churrascaria 115 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-1112/ This is one of two Nelore Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouses — the other one is in Houston — where the servers, or “gauchos,” come to your table as often as you’d like bearing skewers of premier beef, chicken or pork. There’s a salad and food bar and Brazilian cheese bread to keep you happy between meat courses. $$$ Outback Steakhouse 1927 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407679-0500/ While parking can be a challenge at the busy strip mall where the local Outback is located, you’ll find that it was worth the hassle once you

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chow down. Best known for grilled steaks, chicken, seafood and those massive “blooming onions,” Outback also offers a variety of crispy salads and freshly made soups and sides. No, it isn’t a top-tier steakhouse, but valueconscious carnivores won’t be disappointed. Whatever the price, however, you can’t beat the Parmesan herbcrusted chicken breast, served with a generous side of of mixed vegetables. There’s also a large selection of craft brews available and a Happy Hour menu. $$ Ruth’s Chris 610 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407622-2444/ With three old-school steakhouses and its corporate headquarters near Winter Park Village, Ruth’s Chris, a native of New Orleans, has become an Orlando special-occasion mainstay. Its service-oriented restaurants specialize in massive corn-fed Midwestern steaks served sizzling and topped with butter. Most side dishes are more than ample for two. $$$$

VEGETARIAN Café 118 153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-389-2233/ Raw foods — none cooked past 118 degrees — are the focus of this health-conscious niche café, which attracts raw foodists, vegans and vegetarians. The spinach and beet ravioli stuffed with cashew ricotta is an impressive imitation of the Italian staple. Thirsty Park Avenue shoppers might stop by for a healthful smoothie. $$ Ethos Vegan Kitchen 601-B South New York Ave., Winter Park 407-407-228-3898/ After serving up vegan fare for five years at its original location on North Orange Avenue, this 100 percent vegan eatery moved to Winter Park. A luncheon favorite is the chickun — yes, chickun, not chicken — bruschetta. A meatfree shepherd’s pie and crab cakes made from chickpeas are among the other meat-free offerings. $$


From Frothy to Futuristic Funny-lady Kristen Wiig plays a troubled woman who wins the lottery and starts her own Oprah-like program in the satirical Welcome to Me, the opening-night selection at the 24th Florida Film Festival. The annual 10-day event, which begins April 10, will present a record 177 films (55 features and 122 shorts) representing 28 countries including such unusual (by festival standards) ones as Turkey, Ukraine and Chile. Films will be shown at Enzian, Regal Winter Park Village and Winter Park’s Central Park. Also on the schedule is Welcome to Leith, a documentary about white supremacists that was directed by UCF-grad Christopher Walker and UF-grad Michael Beach Nichols. And the buzz just keeps buzzing about The Overnight, starring Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling and Adam Scott, a festival selection that focuses on a comedic and sexually charged dinner party. As for this year’s retro presentations, they range widely: from a golden-anniversary showing of Elvis Presley’s Girl Happy, which is set in Fort Lauderdale during spring break, to Jean-Luc Godard’s futuristic French New Wave landmark, Alphaville, which is also hitting the half-century mark. As usual, the festival will include parties, panel discussions, celebrity-guest events and Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers. Single tickets for most films cost $9-$11, with many kinds of discount packages available. Visit for further information. — Jay Boyar S PRING 2 0 1 5 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


EVENTS The 2015 Winter Park Paint Out celebrates plein air art. Slated April 19-25, the event is sponsored by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens.

a few Civil War illustrations by Winslow Homer from the Cornell’s permanent collection will also be on view. Peter Schreyer: Returning Home focuses on the artist’s recent photography in Switzerland, in particular images of people and places in the village where he was born. The exhibit provides an opportunity to discuss the significance of place, and fosters cultural exchange. Schreyer is executive director of the Crealdé School of Art. Also check out First Fridays, held the first Friday of each month from 4-8 p.m., and the Fourth Friday Lecture Series, held the fourth Friday of each month at 11 a.m. An ongoing program is Conversations: Selections from the Permanent Collection, which aims to inspire dialogue about art created during disparate eras and among various cultures. Works are grouped under four broad thematic categories: Religion Redefined, Gesture and Pose, A Sense of Place, and History and Myth. Courtesy of Bessemer Trust, admission remains free throughout 2015. 407-6462526. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this not-for-profit arts organization offers year-round visual arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. There are ongoing exhibits in the William and Alice Jenkins Gallery and the Showalter Hughes Community Gallery. Admission to the galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. 600 St. Andrews Blvd. 407-671-1886.

VISUAL ARTS The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. Although the museum is dedicated to preserving the works of the famed Czech sculptor, it also stages frequent exhibits from internationally renowned artists working in all mediums. Running through April 12 is Large Birds of Florida: The Art of John Costin, with paintings and copperplate etchings showcasing the state’s diverse bird life. Also included are original Audubon prints from Costin’s personal collection. The 2015 Winter Park Paint Out (, an annual celebration of plein air art, takes place April 19-25. The museum’s wet-room gallery and gardens will be open free to the public for all but the final day of the weeklong event. Opening May 5 and continuing through Aug. 9 is Shapely Vessels: Gourds From Around the World. The extensive collection dedicated to one of the world’s oldest domesticated plants is on loan from Orlando “gourd guru” Raymond Konann. Regular admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Ave. 407-647-6294. Art & History Museums-Maitland. The Maitland Art Center at 231 W. Packwood Ave., one of five museums that anchor the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect André Smith. The center, which offers exhibits and classes, is one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast and has recently been named a National Historic Landmark, one of only 2,500 in the U.S. Continuing through May 16 is Clyde Butcher: Nature’s Place of Spiritual Sanctuary. The exhibition features works by one of America’s top landscape photographers, who is sometimes referred to as “the Ansel Adams of the Everglades.” Monthly events include Family Days at the Museum, held the third Saturday of each month at 1 p.m.; Artists’ Critique and Conversation, held the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.; and Ladies’ Art Lounge, held the first Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Additional components of the complex include the Maitland Historical Museum and the Telephone Museum, both located at 221 W. Packwood Ave. The Historical Museum’s permanent exhibit, Maitland Legacies: Creativity and Innovation, uses archival photographs, artifacts and documents to commemorate the city’s founding families and earliest institutions. Continuing through May 10 is America’s Exceptional Heritage: National


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Historic Landmarks. Celebrating the Maitland Art Center’s designation, the exhibition spotlights a selection of other places that have been granted landmark status. Running May 14-Aug. 30, Cabinet of Curiosities: Selections From the Permanent Collection, showcases some of the museum’s most unusual artifacts, including a piece of granite etched with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The fourth and fifth components of the complex are the Waterhouse Residence Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum, both located at 820 Lake Lily Drive. Continuing through April 26, Springtime at the Waterhouse offers special tours of the historic home focused on Victorian-era spring cleaning and other period-specific seasonal rituals. The house and the adjacent workshop were built in the 1880s by a pioneering Maitland family. 407-539-2181. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. The stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home was designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II and is now a community center and museum. Casa Feliz hosts free public open houses led by trained docents every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. 656 N. Park Ave. (adjacent to the Winter Park Country Club golf course). 407-628-8200. Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the museum houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Two new exhibits open April 18: The 2015 Senior Studio Art Exhibition, highlighting the work of graduating Rollins College art majors, runs through May 10, while Women and Abstraction, featuring such masters as Georgia O’Keeffe, Rosemarie Castoro and Doris Leaper, continues through Aug. 2. Another new exhibit, Marianela de la Hoz: Speculum-Speculari, opens May 16 and runs through Aug. 2. It showcases the work of Mexican contemporary artist de la Hoz as well as Arthur Brown Davies. Continuing through April 5 are three concurrent exhibits. Tobi Kahn: Reverie, showcases the artist’s work in paint, stone and bronze. His more recent pieces reflect his fascination with micro-images of cell formations and satellite photography. Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) includes 15 large-scale prints that incorporate illustrations from an 1866 publication produced by Harper’s Weekly. Walker overlays silhouette figures on the illustrations to create distinctive works that encourage historical reexamination. To complement the presentation,

Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically African-American west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents. The center also hosts visiting exhibitions. Continuing through May 23, From the Bronx to Florida: The Life Sculptures of Rigoberto Torres, is an exhibit of plaster and fiberglass sculptures by the Puerto-Rican born Torres, who grew up in the South Bronx. In addition, Crealdé’s latest documentary project, St. Augustine at 450, opens June 19 and runs through Aug. 29. Admission is free. 642 W. New England Ave. 407-5392680. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum houses the world’s most extensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and the entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Currently on display is The Wreck, an 1880 oil painting by American artist and decorator Lockwood de Forest, which depicts five Bedouins riding their camels across the desert with the skeletal remains of a camel in the foreground. The 36-by-48-inch Orientalist work is on view for the first time following extensive conservation. The exhibit includes other de Forest oil studies from the museum’s collection and is supplemented by photos and essays aimed at helping viewers develop a full appreciation of the painting’s creation, context and symbolism. There are several ongoing exhibits. Revival and Reform: Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment encompasses two galleries. Its centerpiece is The Arts, a neoclassical window created by J. & R. Lamb Studios, a prominent American glasshouse of the late 19th century. It’s displayed with almost 20 additional leaded-glass windows and selections of art glass, pottery and furniture of the period. Another ongoing exhibit, The Bride Elect: Gifts from the 1905 Wedding of Elizabeth Owens Morse, features the original gift registry and some of the 250 gifts presented to the daughter of Charles Hosmer Morse and Martha Owens Morse by her wealthy friends. Among the surviving items are Tiffany art glass, Rookwood Pottery and Gorham silver. Also continuing is Selections from the Harry C. Sigman Collection of European and American Decorative Art, which showcases the collector’s recent gift to the museum of 86 European and American objects of decorative art, includes art glass, pottery, metalwork and furniture. Admission is $5

EVENTS for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than 12. Through the month of April, including Easter weekend, admission is free every Friday from 4-8 p.m. In addition, every Friday evening in April will feature live classical music. 445 N. Park Ave. 407-645-5311.

PERFORMING ARTS Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater continues its season with Putting It Together (April 17-May 9), a Broadway musical revue that celebrates the career of Stephen Sondheim and features selections from Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Company and other Sondheim classics. 711 Orange Ave. 407-645-0145. Annie Russell Theater. “The Annie” continues its season with the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls (April 17-25), the eternally entertaining gangster classic that includes such evergreen songs as “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat.” Showtimes vary. Students, faculty and staff are admitted free. Tickets for the general public are $20. The Second Stage Series at the Fred Stone Theater, which features student-produced and student-directed plays, continues with T.I.C.: Trenchcoat in Common (April 8-12). Second Stage shows are free to the public, and seating is first-come, first served. 407-646-2145.

FESTIVALS 2015 Florida Film Festival. Celebrating its 24th year, the Oscar-qualifying film festival runs from April 10-19. This year’s lineup of top independent films from both inside and outside the U.S. will include the best short films of Florida filmmakers as judged by the 2014 Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase. Passes, packages and individual tick-


ets are available at the Enzian Box Office. 407-629-1088. (See page 65 for more details).

FILM Enzian Film Series. This cozy alternative cinema offers several film series in the spring. Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films are shown on the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Upcoming films include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) on April 26 and a double feature pairing The Red Balloon (1956) and The Gold Rush (1925) on May 24. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) is scheduled on June 28. Admission is $5, and a kids menu is offered. Saturday Matinee Classics, shown at noon on the second Saturday of each month, takes a break in April because of the Florida Film Festival. The Maltese Falcon (1941) is scheduled on May 9, while Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) follows on June 13. Admission is $8, and $5 for Enzian Film Society members. Wednesday Night Picture Shows are shown on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Upcoming films include (500) Days of Summer (2009) on April 13, Donnie Darko (2001) on April 15 and Amelie (2001) on April 16. National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) is scheduled on May 20, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1971) on June 3 and Rocky IV (1985) on June 17. Admission is free to the outdoor series, with valet parking available for $3 per car. Cult Classics are shown on the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m. Upcoming films include El Topo (1970) on April 28, Eddie Murphy: Raw (1987) on May 12, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) on May 26, Star Trek IV (1986) on June 9 and the original John Waters’ version of Hairspray (1988) on June 30. Admission is $5. 1300 S. Orlando Ave. 407629-0054. Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer free classic films for the whole family in Central Park. Popcorn Flicks are usually held on the second Thursday of each month, and start

around 8 p.m. Bring a blanket and a snack. The April flick, which will be shown on Tuesday the 14th to avoid a scheduling conflict with the Florida Film Festival, is Girl Happy (1965), a frothy Elvis Presley romantic comedy filmed in Fort Lauderdale. The series continues on May 14 with A Little Princess (1995), an underrated drama set during World War I and based loosely on a 1905 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. On June 11 is Batman (1989), the version that features current Birdman star Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader. 407-629-1088.

HISTORY Winter Park History Museum. With last year’s opening of a new SunRail station in Central Park, the museum takes a timely look at railroading history with A Whistle in the Distance: The Trains of Winter Park. This fascinating multimedia exhibit traces the role of railroads in Winter Park’s growth and development. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s founding as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Admission is free. 200 W. New England Ave. 407-644-2330. The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating antiSemitism, racism and prejudice with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibit space, archives and a research library. Running from April 1-June 27, David Friedmann: Painting to Survive, features the work of a master portraitist whose talent helped him survive the Holocaust. On April 19, the center’s annual Yom HaShoah commemorative program honors the lives of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust as well as its survivors and liberators. And on April 28, the center’s Annual Dinner of Tribute honors former Orange County School Board Chairman Susan Arkin and

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her husband Gordon, founding chairman of the Orlando chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Admission to exhibits, programs and films is free. 851 N. Maitland Ave. 407-628-0555. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville, arguably the first municipality in the U.S. formed by African-Americans, is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information on the historic city and sponsors quarterly exhibitions featuring the works of African-American artists. Eatonville’s Zora Neale Hurston Trail encompasses 16 historic sites and 10 markers; a walking/driving tour brochure is available at the museum. There is no admission charge, although donations are accepted. For group tours, there is a fee and reservations are required. 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. 407-647-3307.

LECTURES Winter Park Institute. The institute, affiliated with Rollins College, presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. WPI’s 2014-15 season has included a diverse lineup of speakers, ranging from Andrew Young and Maya Lin to rock-and-roll Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn. The season winds up April 9 with Jane Pauley, author and former NBC Today Show co-host. All programs are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Parking is available in the SunTrust parking garage, 166 E. Lyman Ave. 407-691-1995. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Park Avenue’s signature museum wraps up its season-long lecture series with two presentations in two different places. Lee Glazer, associate curator of American art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, will give a talk entitled Heirloom of the Artist: Rethinking Whistler’s Peacock Room. Glazer’s presentation is April 15 at the Morse. A week later, Anne-Marie O’Connor, a culture writer and veteran war correspondent, will deliver the 2015 Hugh F. McKean Public Lecture. The topic is her recent book, The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. It’s a riveting account of Maria Bloch Altmann’s successful recovery of this important painting, once owned by her family but looted by the Nazis during World War II. O’Conner’s presentation is April 21 at the Tiedtke Concert Hall on the campus of Rollins College. 407645-5311.

MARKETS Food Truck Fiesta. This family-friendly event, which takes place the fourth Saturday of each month, fea-

tures live music and delicious food. Pets are welcome. Noon-5 p.m. Lake Baldwin Park, 2000 S. Lakemont Ave. 407-296-5882. Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses along with plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music provided by the Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a serene boardwalk, jogging trails and a playground as well as picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive. Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at the old railroad depot that houses the Winter Park History Museum. There you’ll find fine baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items for sale. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 W. New England Ave.

MUSIC Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum regularly presents Sunday afternoon acoustic performances, from noon to 3 p.m., in the home’s intimate main parlor. While the museum will be closed Easter Sunday, the schedule for the rest of April features violinist Lisa Ferrigno on April 12, harpist Catherine Way on April 19, and contemporary flamenco guitarist Don Soledad and his band on April 26. Admission is free. 656 N. Park Ave. (adjacent to the Winter Park Country Club golf course). 407-628-8200. Bach Festival Society of Winter Park Choral Masterworks. Now in its 80th year, the country’s thirdoldest continuously operating Bach Festival Society boasts a world-class choir with more than 160 voices under the direction of maestro John Sinclair. On April 25-26 in the Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins campus, the choir will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bach Festival Orchestra. Guest soloists are Mary Wilson, soprano; Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; Robert Bracey, tenor; and Richard Zeller, baritone. 407-646-2182. Get Your Jazz On. The Alfond Inn presents jazz under the stars, featuring not just live jazz but smoked pig, wine tastings and valet parking. The outdoor event takes place from 6-9 p.m. on May 29. Tickets are $30. The Alfond Inn. 300 E. New England Ave. 407-998-8090.

EVENTS 61st Annual Easter Egg Hunt. More than 10,000 eggs will be placed throughout Central Park for this annual family-friendly event, slated for Saturday, April 4. While the

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event starts at 10 a.m., children 10 and under can line up beginning at 9:30 a.m. 407-599-3463 30th Annual Taste of Winter Park. Winter Park’s ultimate foodie festival, showcasing more than 40 of Central Florida’s top chefs, bakers, caterers and confectioners, is slated for April 15, 5-8 p.m. In addition to unlimited samples of signature dishes, refreshing beverages and decadent desserts, the event includes raffle prizes and live entertainment at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. Advance tickets are $40 for chamber members, $45 for non-members, and $45 for everyone at the door. 407-599-3341. 9th Annual James Gamble Rogers Colloquium on Historic Preservation. Presented by The Friends of Casa Feliz, this daylong event takes place on May 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The colloquium this year presents author and architect Sarah Susanka as its keynote speaker. Tickets for her lecture are $25, while tickets for the entire day, including lunch and a tour of Winter Park’s College Quarter neighborhood, are $65. 407-628-8200. Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll. Such a deal! From 5-8 p.m. on June 11, a $25 ticket will get you a passport and a commemorative wine glass with which to tour Park Avenue’s incredible array of fine shops and restaurants. They’ll be offering free samples of wine and hors d’oeuvres during this annual event, which is sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Park Avenue Merchants Association. 407-644-8281.



Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment

Now Open Leaded-glass windows and other objects illustrating the rich diversity of styles that made up the aesthetic environment of the late 19th century in Europe and America.

BUSINESS Leadership Winter Park’s 25th Anniversary Gala. Sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this program identifies and nurtures potential business leaders with monthly daylong sessions from September to May. The annual gala, which this year celebrates the program’s first 25 years, takes place May 15 at the Alfond Inn and will feature a gourmet dinner and silent auction. Magician Giovanni Livera will be the keynote speaker. 407-644-8281.

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Business After Hours. Sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings offer members and prospective members a chance to network with one another and learn more about the local businesses that serve as hosts. Events are typically held the third Thursday of most months. Appetizers and beverages are served. Upcoming dates include May 21 and June 18. Hours are 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5 for chamber members, $15 for non-members. 407-644-8281.

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Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract attendees who enjoy coffee and conversation regarding an array of community issues. Events are typically held the second Friday of each month. Upcoming dates include April 10, May 8 and June 12. Networking begins at 7:45 a.m. and the program begins at 8:15 a.m. Admission is free, and a complimentary continental breakfast is served. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave. 407-644-8281. Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly lunchtime gatherings feature networking opportunities for women business owners and guest speakers who address topics related to leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Events are typically held the first Monday of most months. Upcoming dates include April 6, May 4 and June 1, with speakers to be announced. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and program at noon. Admission is $20 for members, $25 for non-members; reservations required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave. 407-644-8281.

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hanks a lot, Paul McCartney, for interrupting my class. No, seriously: thanks. I appreciate it. I’d be a fool not to. One Thursday afternoon last semester, I walked into room 118 of Orlando Hall to teach a writing class at Rollins College, where I’m an adjunct instructor. I was immediately surrounded by several students who said they needed to leave early because they had an appointment to keep with Sir Paul. I’ve been teaching college students long enough not only to be skeptical of excuses, but to assume that by now I’ve heard them all. I was mistaken. This was a new one. Come to find out, it was also legit. McCartney, who has a stepson at Rollins and occasionally darts in and out of town, had agreed to quietly slip into campus for a low-key appearance: a talk about his songwriting artistry with Billy Collins, U.S. poet laureate from 2001 to 2003 and now a senior distinguished fellow at the Winter Park Institute, which is affiliated with the college. I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Winter Park is one of those places where that sort of thing can sneak up on you. One of my first experiences after moving here in the mid-’80s was being led by a friend down a narrow street off Park Avenue to a former gas station that didn’t look like much from the outside but glowed like a treasure chest once I stepped inside. It was, oh, just a cozy little mom-and-pop museum, filled with the world’s grandest collection of priceless Tiffany stained-glass windows, lamps and artifacts — the predecessor, thanks to the efforts of Hugh McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean, of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Art and artists tend to find their way to this place. So do the people who appreciate them. It’s all part of the civic DNA. That’s why I wanted to write this column, which will provide an ongoing, insider’s glimpse into the growing bounty of visual and performing arts that exists not just in Winter Park but throughout Central Florida. I may have been surprised by McCartney’s ap-


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What do Maya Lin and Paul McCartney have in common? For one thing, both have recently made Rollins-related local appearances.

pearance. (Here, by the way, is a link to a video of his talk: But I wasn’t all that shocked by a recent study, conducted by Movoto, a national real estate company, that ranked Orlando as the second most creative city in the United States, tied with Portland (San Francisco came in first). The study used a range of criteria to make the call, including the number of colleges, universities, galleries and art schools, and the population of people employed in art, entertainment and recreation. Yes, the theme parks skew those numbers, but that’s no excuse to dismiss the area as a middle-

brow enclave. There’s a sea change underway. We still have quite a long way to go before we can rival a first-tier city for cultural resources, but the arts that are available to us are becoming far more broad-ranging and sophisticated. The new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has something to do with that, but it’s not the whole story. I’ll give you just one example for now. Collaborative efforts between cultural organizations are a healthy sign. It’s a wise usage of resources and evidence of artsy egos in check, not to mention the payoff for the community. All of that was in evidence when the Winter Park Institute collaborated with the Orlando Museum of Art to stage a lecture by landscape architect and sculptor Maya Lin earlier this year. The institute brings artists, philosophers, scientists and world-class civic leaders to town for free lectures, usually at Rollins. This time around, it was arranged for Lin to speak at OMA as part of the opening of an extraordinary exhibit devoted to an endangered natural resource: Water. The exhibit, which will remain at the museum until May 10, includes sculptures that depict waterways on the verge of disappearing: hence the subtle, sobering title — A History of Water. It’s a groundbreaking, original display — confrontational, transformational, even mystical in scope. Lin is a globally recognized artist. This is not just another a collection of pretty little paintings. If you see it, you’ll never look at a seashore, lake or river the same way again. Its presence at the museum represents a much more progressive direction for OMA, under the tutelage of its new director, Glen Gentele. That gives you just a glimmer of the sea change I speak of. Stick around. I simply ran out of room. There’s plenty more where that came from. Michael McLeod is an educator, freelance writer and Winter Park Magazine editor at large who specializes in covering the arts. You can write to him at