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MIKE THOMAS: THE END OF A CYCLE ■ JAY BOYAR: THE BRAINS BEHIND ‘BROADWAY’

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october

VOLUME 14

ISSUE 10

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DEPARTMENTS 8 JAY BOYAR’S LIMELIGHT

Jay talks to the brains behind Broadway Across America’s stellar lineup at Bob Carr; luminous Sarah Brightman alights at the Amway; bacon beckons at Orlando’s Festival Park; and we scare up a list of Halloween activities.

18 CONVERSATION

You may know Mark Pinsky as a religion writer. But his newest published work is a true-crime mystery about a rural cold case. by Harry Wessel • photograph by Sarah M. Brown

26 DESIGN / STYLE

Humble jeans in delightful denim can rise to the occasion and make a major fashion statement. by Marianne Ilunga • photographs by Rafael Tongol

40 FLAVOR

It takes patience to find the Pharmacy, a retro pub/bar that harkens back to Prohibitionera speakeasies. by Rona Gindin • photographs by Rafael Tongol

88 TRAVELS

FEATURE 32 HOME OF THE YEAR Our 10th annual Home of the Year competition was the toughest yet. But our panel of distinguished judges managed to come to a somewhat contentious consensus, and the winner is, as usual, spectacular. But then, so are the runners-up. Tour the overall winner as well as other homes that excelled in an array of specialty categories. by Randy Noles

95 SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week returns for its seventh year. ABOUT THE COVER: The wood and curved-glass staircase of the Villa dei Gemelli, built by Charles Clayton Construction. The home was selected by a panel of distinguished judges as the 2013 Home of the Year. Photograph by Eric Cuccianioni. 2

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With new direct flights from Orlando, exotic Curaçao is now less than three hours away — and well worth the trip. by Denise Bates Enos

91 PEOPLE & PLACES

Paula is out and about at Norman’s, the Red Chair VIP event and Harriett Lake’s tribute to the suffragettes. by Paula Wyatt

94 RESTLESS NATIVE

Mike muses on a painful break-up with a longtime love. by Mike Thomas

49 SPECIAL SECTION

Horizon West is transforming burned-out groves in the western portion of Orange County into a vibrant series of villages where tens of thousands of people will live, work and play.

PHOTOS: (TOP LEFT AND BOTTOM RIGHT ) RAFAEL TONGOL; (TOP RIGHT) COURTESY CURAÇAO TOURIST BUREAU; (BOTTOM LEFT) EVERETT & SOULÉ

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9/13/13 10:14:55 AM


FIRST

from the editor

Secret Sharers

IN A QUIET CORNER GALLERY AT OMA, CHILDREN FIND A VOICE.

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t’s no surprise to encounter the pierced gilt soup tureen. That’s exactly the sort of beautiful object you’d expect to encounter on a visit to the Orlando Museum of Art. But keep walking. Past the delicate tureen (“late 19th century, Japan, enameled porcelain with glided fittings”), part of the museum’s current exhibit of dozens of exotic collectibles from wealthy homesteads of other times and places. Past glazed porcelain milk pots and silver plate biscuit warmers and a 19th-century room divider inlaid with soapstone, ivory, bone and pearl. Beyond the luxurious appointments is a smaller corner gallery, where 51 brightly colored and exquisitely framed paintings hang on the walls. Next to each is a neatly printed, first-person account of the artwork and its inspiration. Here is a self-portrait from Timon, age 11 (“I am pulling on my ear because it hurts from all the bad things the world has to say”). And here is another by Martin, age 16 (“The yellow lightning bolt represents the power my past has on me, and how it continues to hold me back”). Across from it is a family portrait by Madison, age 9 (“I drew my mother like a lioness because, like a lioness, she does all the work”). And over there is a cyanotype-on-fabric painting by Liana, age 13. Five balloonlike letters that spell “D R E A M” hover over a flight of doves. (“My word is dream. The reason I chose this word is because when people go through sexual abuse they think their life is over and that there isn’t anything to live for. My wish is that they will keep dreaming and never stop, no matter what”). Their paintings are part of “Heartworks,” an exhibit that will be on view through Nov. 3. Sponsored by Dr. Phillips Charities, it represents a rare collaboration between Orlando’s high-end art establishment and some of the area’s neediest souls. All of the paintings were created during the course of an art program for children who are in families that are psychologically or financially distressed. The program was created by Renée Schneider, a retired Disney World art director. Her wish was that once exposed to some basic drawing principles, some of the children might have an aptitude for careers in art or design. “I was just thinking, if they had talent, I could nurture it,” she says. The children had something else in mind. Over time, on canvas, Schneider saw poignant revelations. So did Jim Hinson, president and CEO of Dr. Phillips Charities. After viewing a small display of the paintings, he decided a larger exhibit would bring much-needed attention to both the children and the agencies that assist them. Such is his wish. I have one, too. I wish that all those artists on the walls of that corner gallery keep on dreaming and never stop, no matter what.

Michael McLeod Editor in Chief mmcleod@orlando-life.com 4

ORLANDO LIFE

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Take Note What’s SOCIAL

Follow us on twitter: @OrlandoLifeMag and Facebook at: facebook.com/orlandolifemagazine. We’re on Google+ and Pinterest too: pinterest.com/orlandolife/.

What’s ONLINE Check out our expanded listing of arts organizations and their schedules of events for the upcoming season.

What you CAN DO Enjoy the cooler temperatures and Central Florida’s only juried art show to feature Florida artists exclusively: the 40th annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Central Park along Park Avenue. It’s free. While you’re at it, check out the special sidewalk sales the Avenue’s boutiques will be having.

What’s ON DECK In our November issue, we’ll take a look at a unique, grassroots outdoor art museum in an upand-coming downtown neighborhood. We’ll also be dishing out our annual Silver Spoon awards to recognize excellence in Orlando-area restaurants. OCTOBER 2013

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Michael MCLEOD Editor in Chief

HARRY WESSEL

Managing Editor

LAURA BLUHM

Art and Social Media Director Style and Home Editorial Director

JAY BOYAR Arts Editor

RONA GINDIN Dining Editor

DENISE BATES ENOS, MarianNe Ilunga, mike thomas, Paula Wyatt Contributors

rafael tongol

Senior Photographer

Ken lopez

Contributing Photographer

Jessica Gilbreath Editorial Intern

Editorial: press@orlando-life.com

Lorna Osborn

Senior Associate Publisher Director of Marketing & Public Relations

KATHY BYRD

Associate Publisher Advertising: LOSBORN@orlando-life.com

ORLANDO LIFE

2700 Westhall Lane, Suite 128 Maitland, FL 32751 Phone: 407-647-0225 Fax: 407-647-0145 Subscription questions: 941-487-1136 or (800) 881-2394 ext. 1136 or visit our Web site: orlando-life.com

FLORIDA HOME MEDIA, LLC

Daniel Denton President

Randy Noles

Group Publisher

PAMela FLANAGAN

Vice President and General Manager

Copyright 2013 by Florida Home Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. ORLANDO LIFE (USPS 000-140) (Vol. 14/Issue No. 10) is published monthly by Florida Home Media LLC, 2700 Westhall Lane, Ste 128, Maitland, FL 32751. Periodicals Postage Paid at Maitland, FL and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Orlando Life Magazine, 330 S. Pineapple Ave., Suite 205, Sarasota, FL 34236. 6

ORLANDO LIFE

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OCTOBER 2013

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LIMELIGHT

jay boyar

Mormons and War Horses BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS.

The effort to bring The Book of Mormon to Orlando has been underway for several years.

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OCTOBER 2013

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PHOTOS: COURTESY BRoadway accross america

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Ben Brantley called the show “heaven on Broadway.” But given the musical’s touchy subject and the irreverence of its creative begins marching through the Bob Carr Perteam, there’s certainly potential for offense. forming Arts Centre. And each year there’s “At first, everyone’s jaw drops,” Legler admits. “Then once usually only one show — or maybe two — that you get over that initial factor, it has the heart of any wonderI’m especially eager to salute. ful Broadway show.” This year, there are three productions in the six-show Once (Jan. 28-Feb. 2) and War Horse (Feb. 25-March 2) are Broadway Across America series I can hardly wait to see, the other shows in the series that I’m pumped about. The foras well as at least a couple of others I’m more than curious mer is based on the 2006 indie film that tells a simple love story about. Leading this season’s parade is The Book of Mormon, set in Dublin. The play sounds pretty simple, too, but there is the most eagerly anticipated show in years — and still the at least one gimmick — and it involves adult beverages. hottest ticket on Broadway. “At the very beginning they let you get up on stage,” Legler “It’s the biggest thing we’ve seen,” says Ron Legler, presipoints out. “There’s a bar that’s part of the set, and they actudent of the Florida Theatrical Association, the Orlandoally sell alcohol. The whole entire cast is based statewide organization that’s helpthere before the show starts, so you feel ing to bring the show to town from Oct. you have a connection with them. And 29 through Nov. 10. “It’s mammoth!” the connection just grows stronger.” Given this year’s remarkable slate, I War Horse, meanwhile, tells the story started wondering about something I of a boy and his horse, set against the ordinarily take for granted: How are The unholy ravages of World War I. That Book of Mormon and the other Broadhorse is a giant, complex puppet. way-series shows selected? It turns out “When I first sat down to watch War that Legler is the point man in a comHorse in New York, I thought, ‘Well, plicated process that involves planning, I’m going to have to get used to this,’” networking and research. Legler recalls. “But five minutes in, I “We have to think two or three years never realized it was a puppet again. It’s in advance,” he explains. “We have what just something magical that happens.” we call our pipeline of shows that are in Rounding out the series are Flashdevelopment.” Although Ron Legler’s crystal ball may dance: The Musical (Dec. 3-8), Evita Legler is a Tony voter, which means provide some insight, it’s actually hard(March 25-30) and Ghost: The Musical he’s required to see all the new Broadcore research that helps him decide which (May 13-18). Two stand-alone producway shows in each category for which tions that aren’t part of the regular seahe intends to cast a vote. Other mem- shows locals really want to see. son are also on the way: Mamma Mia! bers of his team watch those produc(Oct. 3-9), returning to Orlando for the fourth time, and Jertions, too, and they caucus to discuss which ones might work sey Boys (April 15-27), back here for its second go-round. best in Orlando. In addition they survey their nearly 8,500 Even as this season gets underway, Legler and his team are season-ticket holders, many of whom are, Legler notes, “very already hard at work on the next one, which will be the first savvy” about theater. in the series’ new home, the long-awaited Dr. Phillips Center This year, Legler and company ratcheted up the “pipeline” for the Performing Arts. I am definitely not taking that seaprocess. son for granted — and neither is anyone involved. “Knowing it’s our 25th anniversary, and knowing it’s the “I can tell you,” says Legler, “that Orlando isn’t going to last year at the Bob Carr, we put it out there very early — miss anything that goes through the pipeline.” probably a few years ago — that we wanted to make this a Visit orlando.broadway.com for more information. n very special year,” he says. “We leveraged everything we had and we made it all happen.” Jay Boyar, arts editor of Orlando Life, has written about film and Again, that includes The Book of Mormon, a collaboration intravel for the Orlando Sentinel and numerous other newspapers. volving Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the creators of South Park) He’s the author of Films to Go: 100 Memorable Movies for and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q’s composer). It’s about a pair of Travelers & Others and a contributor to Reel Romance: The naive missionaries who are out of their depth seeking converts Lovers’ Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies. in Uganda. Reviewing it in the New York Times, theater-critic bout this time every year, a parade of musicals

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ORLANDO LIFE

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plan on it Jake’s Inaugural Beer Festival

The Barber of Seville

John Fogerty

High-class beer connoisseurs and craft-brew gurus are in for a treat this month. Jake’s American Bar at the Royal Pacific Resort celebrates Oktoberfest in style with what is expected to become an annual beer festival. O’zapft is!

Even after 200 years, Rossini’s boisterous comedy is still an opera buffa favorite. Filled with high-wire feats of vocal agility, nonstop action, tenderness and joy, it’s the opera for people who don’t like opera.

He’s been a megastar with Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo act. Now the singer, songwriter, guitarist and father of the flannel shirt is touring the country behind his newest album, Wrote a Song For Everyone.

Mamma Mia!

Central Florida Veg Fest

Oct. 4 Loews Royal Pacific Resort

loewshotels.com

Oct. 3-9 Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre

On the eve of her wedding, a young bride’s quest to have her father walk her down the aisle turns up three men from her mother’s past. This comedic musical, which features ABBA’s greatest hits, will have you dancing in the aisles.

Trent Reznor

orlando.broadway.com

Oct. 25 and 27 Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre

Oct. 30 Hard Rock Cafe

orlandophil.org

Oct. 26 Orlando Festival Park

Nine Inch Nails

Oct. 31 Amway Center

For veg heads and meat lovers alike, this celebration of all things leafy and green offers educational exhibits, vegetarian food vendors, food demonstrations, a kid’s zone and live music.

cfvegfest.org

hardrock.com

Before “Hurt” was a Johnny Cash song, it was a Nine Inch Nails song. Lead singer Trent Reznor and company hammered home the industrial rock music craze of the early ’90s, and now the reconstituted group — with Reznor still at the helm — is touring for the first time in five years.

amwaycenter.com

PHOTO: ©Todos los derechos reservados. Mariel Argüello M.

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LIMELIGHT

music

If all goes according to plan, two years

from now the world’s most popular female classical singer will hitch a ride on a Russian Soyuz to low-earth orbit and turn the International Space Station into the solar system’s most expensive recording studio. But before singing up there, Sarah Brightman is going to sing down here, showcasing her otherworldly voice Oct. 8 at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. It’s one of more than 100 stops on the 53-year-old diva’s worldwide Dreamchaser tour, touting her recently released album of the same name. The video of its signature track, “Angel,” makes259-215 it clearPMwhat dream the for- OrlHome&LeisureV4.pdf

mer Mrs. Andrew Webber is chasing: It intersperses home movies of Brightman’s childhood in the English town of Berkhamsted with dozens of vintage clips of space launches, astronauts and cosmonauts. Her dream isn’t cheap. While no price tag has been given for the scheduled October 2015 excursion, the cost for the last space-tourist flight — taken by Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberté in 2009 — was $40 million. Brightman, who originated the starring role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera and pioneered the “classical crossover” genre, can afford it. Her worldwide album sales top 30 million, a British publication re1 9/4/13and1:57 PM

cently ranked her as the world’s richest female classical performer. Visit amwaycenter.com for more information. — Harry Wessel

PHOTO: COURTESY AMWAY CENTER

At Amway, a Heavenly Voice Prepares for a Lilting Liftoff

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photo: Courtesy Amway Center

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LIMELIGHT

events

Bacon is hot these days. “The candy of meats,” as it has been

dubbed by the online publication Bacon Today, has spawned numerous worshipful gatherings: A recent bacon festival in Des Moines, Iowa, sold all of its 8,000 tickets in less than four minutes. Orlando baconnoiseurs are expected to match the Iowans’ enthusiasm, if not their numbers, when The Festival of Bacon is held at Festival Park on Oct. 5. “We’re expecting 2,000 people, and there’s a solid chance the event will be sold out,” says Kyle Morris, 26, one of the event’s five founders, all of whom are local entrepreneurs involved in computer- or Internet-related companies. They’ve signed up dozens of Central Florida restaurants and pubs to compete for various bacon-preparation prizes, with the overall Best of Bacon winner earning a spot in November’s Bacon World Championship in Las Vegas.

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The festival will feature live music from top-notch acts including Kaleigh Baker, Ben Prestage, Good Luck Penny and, from Louisiana, Vagabond Swing. There’ll be a bouncehouse for kids and pets are welcome — although who knows how they’ll behave, with the seductive porcine aroma permeating the air. Two big worries for Morris: the possibility of rain during the 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. festival or, even worse, the possibility of running out of bacon. Although they can’t control the weather, they can control the bacon. They’ve ordered enough meat to guarantee at least a half-pound per patron. That doesn’t include the 1,000 samples that each participating restaurant is required to bring. See festivalofbacon.com for more information. — Harry Wessel

POSTer: the festival of bacon

Bringing Home the Bacon, Literally

OCTOBER 2013

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POSTer: the festival of bacon

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LIMELIGHT

events

Scare Tactics Range From Meek to Bleak world on Halloween: the scary and the scared. Fortunately, those who fall into the latter category have options, ranging from hair-raising to a walk in a well-lit park. A few possibilities: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Selected Nights, Sept. 10-Nov. 1

Little ones can trick-or-treat alongside their favorite Disney characters in this separate-ticket event ($59 to $73, depending on the night). Its traditional, friendly ghost-type parade will feature Jack Skellington, protagonist of the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas, for the first time. disneyworld.disney.go.com.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Selected Nights, Sept. 20-Oct. 27

Eight haunted houses for die-hard scareseekers are themed after several horror movies: Evil Dead, An American Werewolf in London and, new this year, Cabin in the Woods. Also new: a haunted house based on the video game series Resident Evil. halloweenhorrornights.com. Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker Orlando Shakespeare Theater Oct. 9-Nov. 10

Before True Blood there was the blueblood of bloodsuckers, the alpha vampire of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. The celebrated gothic tale has been adapted

for the stage by Orlando Shakespeare Theater artistic director Jim Helsinger. orlandoshakes.org. WJRR Halloweenie Roast CFE Federal Credit Union Arena at UCF Oct. 25

This annual concert always features a creepy rocker. This year it’s one of the patriarchs of the genre: Alice Cooper, accompanied on his campus visit by assorted guillotines, electric chairs and boa constrictors. Also on the bill: Bullet for My Valentine, Black Veil Brides, Papa Roach, Pop Evil and Heaven’s Basement. livenation.com. — Jessica Gilbreath

© 2013 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

There are two types of people in the

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OCTOBER 2013

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9/13/13 10:27:18 AM


mark pinsky

CONVERSATION

Murder Mystery

HEATING UP A COLD CASE, WITH RIVETING RESULTS. ark Pinsky, former longtime religion reporter

for the Orlando Sentinel, has a new book coming out this month, Met Her on the Mountain. It centers on the unsolved 1970 murder of a young federal VISTA worker in western North Carolina. Pinsky, 66, is the author of four previous books, including the 2001 bestseller, The Gospel According to the Simpsons, which

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was revised and re-released in 2007. He lives in Maitland with his wife and fellow Duke University graduate, Sarah M. (Sallie) Brown, a social worker and freelance photographer. Both their children — Asher, 25, and Liza, 22 — are also Duke graduates. Now a freelance writer, journalist and public speaker, Pinsky recently covered the Trayvon Martin trial for the

PHOTO: Sarah M. Brown

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By Harry Wessel

OCTOBER 2013

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mark pinsky

Q: You spent more than two decades as a religion writer, first with the Los Angeles Times and then with the Orlando Sentinel, and your four previous books have religious themes. How is it that your latest book involves a coldcase murder in a rural North Carolina county where you’ve never lived? A: The day after this woman’s body was discovered in Madison County, an article appeared in the Durham [N.C.] Sun. I was on the Duke University campus, where I had recently graduated. I had been very political in the ’60s at Duke. At one point I wrote a column for the Duke Chronicle called “The Readable Radical,” and I felt an instant kinship to this woman even though I never met her. She was a year or two older than I was, had a commitment to social justice and reminded me of a lot of people I knew. I clearly remember tearing out the article, putting it in a file and writing “Nancy Dean Morgan” on it. That was the 19th of June 1970, just six weeks after the Kent State and Jackson State killings. Did I know I would write a book about it? No, I didn’t. But something made me put that article into a file and save it. Q: But you didn’t do anything more at the time? A: No. I went away to graduate school in journalism, and I came back to North Carolina to begin a career as a freelance writer. My early stories involved racial justice and capital punishment. But I wasn’t making enough money to support myself, so I had other jobs. One of them was as a researcher for the Southern Oral History Project in Chapel Hill. I opened one file that said, “Zeno Ponder” — a funny name — and “Madison County.” Something clicked. Here was a county of 17,000 people, and Zeno was one of two brothers who had ironclad control there for 35 years. Immediately my conspiratorial brain said, “If they weren’t involved in the killing, at the very 20

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least — in a county that small and the control that great — they must know who did it.” So I took the whole file, photocopied it and put it into the Morgan file I had started several years’ earlier. Q: Would the book have happened if you hadn’t opened that file? A: I don’t know. But having stoked my interest by coincidence, I heard a friend of mine from Duke had bought an old inn up in Madison County. That was around 1975, and I went up to visit. I told him I wanted to write a book about the Nancy Morgan murder and asked him to keep his ears open. I had started writing about murder cases, and I was building that as a professional skill set. Q: What kind of murder cases were you covering? A: The first one people of a certain age might remember was a rape and murder case involving Joan Little, a young black woman who killed her jailer with an ice pick following what she said was a sexual assault in her jail cell. It was my first big national break, in March 1975. I covered the trial on an almost daily basis as a stringer for the New York Times. I later covered the Ted Bundy arrest and trial in Miami for newspapers, magazines and broadcast; in his jail cell in Tallahassee I got the first face-to-face interview with him. I covered the Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald murder case and trial in Raleigh. I covered the Tommy Zeigler murder case — the murder was in Winter Garden but the trial was moved to Tallahassee. In the ’70s most of my work involved murder and racial justice. I started out with trials where the defendants were poor, black and innocent, and by the end of the decade they were focused on the affluent, white and guilty. Q: What kept you from working on the Nancy Morgan case during the ’70s? A: I was in no hurry. It was an open case. It was just one of the things I knew I wanted to write about but no sense of when I wanted to write about it. In the early ’80s I was in China, working for the New China News Agency, and I came back looking for what to OCTOBER 2013

9/13/13 10:38:34 AM

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The Huffington Post and other news outlets. He spoke with Orlando Life about his writing career and his fourdecade obsession with a violent backwoods crime.

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9/6/13 10:01 AM 9/13/13 10:38:41 AM


mark pinsky

do next. I pitched the Morgan murder to the New York Times and the Village Voice. An editor at the Voice wanted to know if there were any racial elements: The trifecta, today as it was then, is sex, race and violence. When I told the editor there was no racial element, she lost interest. Q: You joined the L.A. Times in 1984 and left it in 1995 for the Orlando Sentinel. Did the Morgan story have anything to do with the switch? A: It was one of the factors. I had bumped heads with editors at the L.A. Times, which I tend to do. Every place I work I end up on probation at some point. It’s never for personal problems; it’s involving how I relate to authority or to journalistic decisions. At the Times I got in trouble, rehabilitated myself, and once I was rehabilitated I began looking for other work. I wanted to go to the Southeast, to be in or near North Carolina. So I combined the first four or five job-interview trips to the Southeast with side trips to Madison County, and I began doing my first research on the book. Here it was 1994, 24 years later, and no one had done the book, no one had done the magazine piece. I was always in fear that someone else was going to waltz in — maybe a better writer than me, certainly a more famous writer than me. It was a good story whether you found the murderer or not. Q: Did you try to find a publisher for the “good story”? A: I made a conscious decision at the front end that I wasn’t going to find a contract first. When you go for a contract, you take their money and they’re in charge. You have to promise what you don’t know you can deliver. My strategy was to write it on my own time, on my own nickel, and auction it off for a lot of money. No book company is going to write you a contract and say come back in 16 years with your book. I had a job, so I could keep researching until I thought I was ready. The story had four major elements, and in the beginning I couldn’t get them in the right order. There’s a story of the murder and Nancy Morgan; there’s a story of Madison County and its rich history; there’s a story of the Ponder political dynasty; and there’s a story of, “Mark tries to solve a murder.” The question for me was, what’s the main narrative trunk? 22

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I was frustrated for a good while, and in 2000 I put it aside to work on other books. This was supposed to be my first book, but it’s my fifth book. Q: Your first book, The Gospel According to the Simpsons, was a bestseller. Where did the idea come from? A: Right here at home. I think the best parenting decision Sallie and I ever made was, no television in the house during the week. But it was summer, school was out and the kids wanted to watch it. I said, “Here’s the deal: I’ll watch it with you, and if it’s OK we’ll keep watching and if it’s not, we’ll stop.” And I had the remote. They were 8 and 11 at the time. In those days you could watch a dozen episodes a week, with syndicated old shows six nights and a new show on Sundays. What struck me the first weekend was how much religion was in the show, so I got a legal pad and started making notes. I had two concerns about the kids watching it: One was language, the other was sex. I found the language was not a big deal, and the sex went over their heads. The primary sexual message of The Simpsons is that the husband and wife are still hot for each other after 10 years of marriage, and I’m OK with that message. I wrote a long Sunday piece for the Sentinel and it got picked up around the country. I did a book proposal and a chapter outline, photocopied the article and began sending packets out to agents and publishers. In the end there were two nibbles — a religious publisher in Michigan and Westminster John Knox, which understood the premise because they had done The Gospel According to Peanuts back in the ’60s, which sold like 10 million copies. Q: So you had a contract and were off and running? A: I got an unpaid leave of absence from the Sentinel to write it. It’s scary to go three months without salary with two kids. Yes, I had a contract; I also had an empty computer screen. But the raw material was there, and the book started to flow. The publication date was Sept. 1, 2001. We had 10 days of unobstructed media exposure, then the twin towers fell and we shut down for three months. A lot of very good books that came out that fall never came back. But the media constituency for The Simpsons was so deep and so strong that we had print, radio and television exposure that didn’t end for 18

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mark pinsky

months. We just rode that wave. It was a good book, not a great book, but we ended up selling 160,000 copies. The publishers asked, “What’s next?” Q: And you answered, The Gospel According to Disney? A: I was already neck-deep covering the Disney boycott [by Southern Baptists protesting Disney’s domestic-partner benefits]. Plus, as with The Simpsons, I had done a Sentinel article on the subject, “The Disney Gospel,” and I got the original idea the same way: When the kids were young I would watch the full-length animated Disney films with them, and I began to see a consistent moral and kind of religious message. With The Gospel According to Disney, I had a contract immediately. I always knew I wanted to do a book on the films, but I also did chapters on the boycott — I had written 40 or 50 articles in the Sentinel about it. I also did chapters on Michael Eisner’s Jewish background, on Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Jewish background, and on Walt and his sort of Christian/ non-Christian background: Walt Disney was very ambivalent about organized religion. That book didn’t do as well, but it sold 40,000 copies. Q: Then you switched gears in 2006 with A Jew Among the Evangelicals. How did that come about? A: I thought there was a real misunderstanding in the Northeast about who these people were, that I could be the person who explains Sunbelt suburban evangelicals as middle-class, college-educated and more moderate than the caricature of knuckle-scraping, pitchfork-bearing rural folk. I was right, but when it came out there were about 40 other books on evangelicals. They were all timed for the November 2006 midterm elections, which I believe was the high point of evangelical political influence in America. So, I’m proud of the book, but we had a hard time giving it away. After that I turned back to thoughts of the murder book. I did a first draft right after I was laid off by the Sentinel [in 2008], but then came an offer to do a book about religion and disability. It was a cash deal, and it would have been irresponsible for me to turn it down. I had done maybe half a dozen disability-related stories for the Sentinel, and they ultimately were transformed into chapters for the book, Amazing Gifts. It opened my eyes about a lot of things I didn’t know about. 24

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Q: What else were you doing to earn money after leaving the Sentinel? A: Some lecturing, some teaching — I taught two adjunct courses at UCF — some freelancing, but not making much money at all. Q: Do you expect this book to have much of an impact outside of North Carolina? A: I don’t know, but it got a rave review in Publishers Weekly, which called it a “compulsive page-turning true-crime narrative.” Absent that, it might have been popular in North Carolina and the Southeast among some truecrime people. Q: What’s next for you? A: If this book does well, there are two other cases with which I have a personal connection that have book possibilities. One is set in Montgomery, Alabama; the other in Newport Beach, California. The Newport Beach case I covered for the LA Times, and I’ve appeared on two true-crime cable shows based on the same case. Q: Are these cold-case murders? A: No, they’re old but not cold. They both had resolution but were very intriguing cases nonetheless. No one has written books about them. But I don’t have any cases where I have such a deep and longstanding personal connection as I did with Nancy Morgan. One is plenty. Q: So, who killed Nancy Morgan? A: There are two narratives. My narrative says Richard Johnson and four local thugs killed her, perhaps not intentionally. Raped her intentionally, but didn’t kill her intentionally. Q: And the narrative of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is that the person you pseudonymously call “Ed Walker” did it. He was a colleague of Morgan’s and the last person known to have seen her alive. But your book pretty much says he’s not the man. A: No. It’s possible Walker really did kill her. That the process may have been corrupt does not exclude the possibility that was true. In the end I wish there had been a DNA match — I could have put a bow on it — but there wasn’t. Johnson is still alive, in his late 60s, in prison for another murder. He’s a very scary guy. ■

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DESIGN STYLE

fashion

It’s All in Your Jeans A FAMILIAR STANDBY ALWAYS PROVIDES A LEG UP, WHATEVER THE LOOK. styling by Marianne Ilunga photographs by Rafael Tongol hair & makeup by Elsie Knab

Alexandria Morris is casually cool at Snap! Space, a soon-to-open gallery showcasing the works of local and national photographers. She’s wearing a Clover Canyon chiffon graphic-print sweatshirt, $198, and carrying a Rebecca Minkoff colorblock zipper bag, $495, both from Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall. Her Citizen of Humanity green jeans, $212; Sam Edelman two-toned spiked Oxfords, $138; beaded jade necklace with tassel, $84; and black, white and gold bracelet, $158; are all from Tuni on Park Avenue. 26

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CREDITS: PHOTOGRAPHERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ASSISTANT, CHRIS RANK; EDITORIAL INTERN, JESSICA GILBREATH

The 7 For All Mankind jacquard pattern jeans, $198; Vince black sheer sleeveless top, $195; and Prada suede wedge boots, $730; are all from Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall. The Dolce Vita fur jacket, $348; necklace with cross, $28; and gold ring with faux diamond, $135; are all from Tuni on Park Avenue.

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DESIGN STYLE

fashion

The Bella Dahl split-back jean shirt, $165; Rag & Bone faded distressed jeans, $200; Les Copains black and gold metallic coat, $1,095; and DVF gold-lip clutch, $395; are all from Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall. The Boutique 9 Brianna strap heels, $178; suede and gold tassel necklace, $144; gold tassel drop earrings, $88; star shield ring, $135; Mimi ring, $188; and black and gold bracelet, $28; are all from Tuni on Park Avenue.

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OCTOBER 2013

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The Yoana Baraschi equestrian jacket with leather details, $478; BLK mesh blouse, $195; Citizens of Humanity black jeans, $235; chain bracelets, $84 each; hoop bracelets, $18 each; ring, $34; and necklaces, $34-$174; are all from Tuni on Park Avenue. The Burberry black and white leather and calf-hair tote, $2,195, and Prada black and white pointed ballerina shoes, $650, are both from Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall.

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DESIGN STYLE

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fashion

The Current/Elliott plum-color coated jeans with zipper details, $248; Rebecca Taylor denim zipper vest, $295; and geometric drop earrings, $22; are all from Tuni on Park Avenue. Loeffler Randall maroon calf-hair and leather purse, $695, and Alice and Olivia sheer floral blouse $297, are both from Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall. The Chanel plum-color frame sunglasses, $348, are from Eyes & Optics on Park Avenue.

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The June leather motorcycle jacket, $588, and Schutz blue calf-hair and suede ankle boots, $340, are both from Tuni on Park Avenue. The J Brand leather jeans, $229, and Marc Jacobs calfskin cross-body bag, $358, are both from Saks Fifth Avenue at The Florida Mall; and the Splendid Navy camo top, $78, is from Splendid, The Mall at Millenia. The fingerless knit gloves are the stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own.

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2013 HOME OF THE YEAR THE COMPETITION WAS CLOSE, BUT THIS YEAR’S WINNERS REFLECT EXCELLENCE IN AN ARRAY OF GENRES. by Randy Noles

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OCTOBER 2013

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F

PhotoS: Eric Cuccianioni

lorida is known for close votes,

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but Bush vs. Gore in 2000 has nothing on Orlando Life’s Home of the Year in 2013. When the results from the judging for this annual honor were tallied, the top three candidates were separated by just a handful of points. In fact, there was tie for runner-up, and no debatable butterfly ballots or hanging chads to break the stalemate. But that’s not too surprising, considering the quality of the entries. Our distinguished out-of-market judges were uniformly impressed, although they held contradictory opinions about which home ought to get the ultimate nod. Judges assigned point values between 1 and 25 in the categories of creativity, efficiency, aesthetics and livability. So the highest possible score from an individual judge was 100. The scores from each judge were then totaled, making the highest possible combined score 300. The winning home got stratospheric marks from two judges and a so-so score from a third. An overall runnerup was actually the highest-rated home on one judge’s score sheet. That alone says volumes about how high the bar has been raised in this competition. The same was true for an array of sub-categories, including individual rooms and outdoor living areas. A specific category for green building was dropped. However, that doesn’t mean eco-friendliness is no longer important. It simply means that sustainability and energy efficiency have become so pervasive in new construction and remodeling that they no longer warrant special mention for uniqueness.  With that background in mind, on the following pages we’ll take a grand tour of the winning homes in each category. ORLANDO LIFE

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Villa dei Gemelli (pages 32, 33, 34)

HOME OF THE YEAR

Villa dei Gemelli Entered by Charles Clayton Construction Team members: Builder, Charles Clayton Construction; architect, Phil Kean Design Group; interior designer, Rob Turner, Phil Kean Design Group; pool designer, Redmon Design Company; pool contractor, Orlando Pool Designs; landscape designer, Redmon Design Company; kitchen cabinets, Cabinetry Creations. The aptly named “House of Twins” is a contemporary Italian showplace built for a young family raising twins, a boy and a girl. The home is open and inviting, and packed with energy-efficient technology. It also emphasizes indoor-outdoor living, with a 40-foot wall of glass opening onto several large lanais overlooking the pool and beautifully landscaped gathering spots. An inner courtyard features a hand-carved fountain depicting the resident twins. A two-story, curved-glass staircase is a particularly eye-popping interior feature. Dropped ribbed panels anchor the impressive backlit barrel-vault ceiling in the family room, while the entertainment area boasts a wall of stacked stone encompassing a large TV, a linear fireplace and two large saltwater aquariums. Beautiful glass rotundas accentuate the master suite, master shower and breakfast nook. A casita, PhotoS: Eric Cuccianioni

wine room and study complete the home.

FROM THE JUDGES Wonderful floorplan that blends indoor and outdoor spaces ... appropriate combination of traditional imagery and more up-to-date interior spaces ... spaces flow from one to the other effectively and efficiently, especially the living room and adjacent kitchen and outdoor living areas ... the restrained color palette is light and refreshing ... great style, form and detailing ... expansive, bright and airy. 34

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OCTOBER 2013

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RUNNER-UP (TIE)

Palazzo Lago Entered by Silliman Homes Team: Builder; Silliman Homes; architect, Tony Weremeichik, Canin Associates; interior designer, Masterpiece Interiors; landscape designer, Randy Scruggs; pool designer, Canin Associates; pool contractor, Orlando Pool Designs One judge was adamant that Palazzo Lago should have been the undisputed Home of the Year. And why not? From the stunning entry to the poolside cabana, the home features clean lines reminiscent of South

The New Southern Home

Florida architecture from the ‘20s and ‘30s. Downstairs, every room boasts large windows overlooking the lake or other lush outdoor spaces. The large, chef-inspired kitch-

RUNNER-UP (TIE)

The New Southern Home Entered by NWC Construction and Keesee Associates

en features a separate sink and prep station as well as a notably long granite countertop. The grand first-floor master suite is highlighted by a dramatic vestibule entry, a private retreat separate from the bedroom and an oversized closet. The first-floor “Old Florida” room is flanked by

Team: Builder, NWC Construction; building designer, David Pillsbury, Keesee & Associates; interior designer; Design Studio 15; landscape designer, Bonnett Design Group; pool designer, David Pillsbury, Keesee & Associates; pool contractor, Sea Maiden Pools; kitchen cabinets, UltraCraft

double French doors and anchored by a beautiful stone fireplace. The

The New Southern Home, built in conjunction with the 2013 Southeast

FROM THE JUDGES The blend of historic Florida design with cutting-edge interiors make this a winner … attention to detail inside and out makes it ideal for elegant yet comfortable entertaining … rich woods and warm colors preserve the historic style … looks native to the area rather than a snowbird’s summer house.

Building Conference, was inspired by the much-photographed Interfaith Chapel in Seaside, a neotraditonal community in Florida’s Panhandle. This year’s NSH is a whitewashed board-and-batten Florida vernacular beauty with distinct, well-defined living spaces and a pitched tin roof. Yet, although the picture-postcard design is reminiscent of another era,

second-floor centerpiece is a recreation room that opens onto a viewing deck. The surrounding three bedrooms and bonus room each have private bathrooms. Outdoors is a cabana with a fully equipped summer kitchen and a nearby fire pit.

the physical structure is very much a product of the 21st century. The technology is cutting-edge green. A gour-

PhotoS: (top) Uneek Image; (bottom) Bill Bachman

met kitchen opens seamlessly onto an outdoor kitchen

Palazzo Lago

and pool area with a fire pit. The downstairs master suite, with its cathedral-beamed ceiling, solar-powered skylight and sliding barn doors, is a particular highlight. In the first-floor master bath, wall-to-wall louver panel cabinets replace drawers and closets, while the secondfloor master suite boasts a coffee area, Greek bath and lake-view balcony. Also upstairs, a multipurpose room features a wet bar and sitting area.

FROM THE JUDGES Attention to detail was apparent in every aspect ... although simple in concept, the design has a great flow and yet creates wonderfully detailed entertainment and private zones ... efficient and livable floorplan ... great aesthetics. ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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Villa dei Gemelli

LIVING ROOM OF THE YEAR

Villa dei Gemelli Entered by Charles Clayton Construction Team: See Home of the Year The Home of the Year just happens to encompass the Living Room of the Year. It’s an oversized space with an abundance of natural light and a large, barrel-vault ceiling highlighted by oversized dropped-rib panels. The center “feature wall” contains a large TV, a linear fireplace and two saltwater aquariums, while the glass wall opens onto a large covered lanai overlooking a waterfall pool.

FROM THE JUDGES Beautiful articulation of space through use of shape, texture and color ... the open-ness to the outdoors is a fantastic amenity ... I like the textured wall ... unique ceiling treatments and expansive openings.

RUNNER-UP

PhotoS: (top) Eric Cuccianioni; (Bottom) harvey smith

Villa DiLusso Entered by Cornerstone Construction Team: Builder, architect and interior designer, Jorge Ulibarri, Cornerstone Custom Construction The living room in this spectacular “Modern Mediterranean” home isn’t really a living room at all. It’s a “grand room” with a jaw-dropping, 22foot-high fireplace and dark wood columns illuminated by LED lighting. The designer ceiling boasts beams in a crisscross pattern and a trio of modern, sculptural hanging light fixtures. A stunningly executed niche of glass mosaics and stainless-steel plates is the centerpiece of the space, which is accessed through a tower entry anchored by a glittering chandelier.

FROM THE JUDGES Great interpretation of Spanish Mediterranean style with modern touches ... a spectacular space ... the finishes are so beautiful that you don’t need to do much in the way of decoration. 36

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Villa DiLusso OCTOBER 2013

9/17/13 9:07:15 AM


BATHROOM OF THE YEAR Bay Point Entered by Phil Kean Design Group

Team: Builder and architect, Phil Kean, Phil Kean Design Group; interior designer, Rob Turner, Phil Kean Design Group This spa-like master bathroom, which offers expansive lake views, highlights a second-story addition. Neutral colors and natural materials, including limestone, walnut and stacked quartz, combine to create a relaxing, organic ambiance. Floating cabinetry provides clean, minimalist lines, while sleek fixtures and back-lighted floating ceilings softly illuminate the space. The soaker tub features a lustrous chrome wall, while the shower is enhanced by an assortment of niches and a floor fashioned from six-inch-square limestone tiles laid in a quarter-turn pattern. A wall of charcoal-colored, stacked quartz creates ad-

Bay Point

ditional architectural interest. An expansive balcony provides a relaxing indoor/outdoor space. Built-in blackout shades provide privacy.

FROM THE JUDGES Well-conceived contemporary design ... great relationship of indoor and outdoor spaces ... I love the layout ... storage abounds without taking anything away from the sleek design ... the shower and toilet tucked behind the graceful waterfall tub doesn’t allow any distractions from the views reflected in the mirror, adding depth and dimension to the space.

PhotoS: (top) Michael Lowry Photography; (Bottom) Everett & Soulé

RUNNER-UP

Historic Estate Entered by Farina & Sons Team: Builder, Farina & Sons; architect, David E. Runnels Architects; interior designer, Grant Gribble, Gribble Interior Group One judge picked this modestly sized but stylishly eclectic bathroom as the first-place winner. The goal was to create a space that evoked vintage Hollywood glamour, which is appropriate for a home originally built in the 1920s. Both a freestanding, cast-iron tub and a glass-encased individual shower were incorporated. The two-tone tub, however, is the focal point of the room. It’s placed on a diagonal to create a corner display shelf for a treasured antique lamp. The custom cabinetry incorporates an antique mirror within the door panels, while granite countertops are used throughout. A detailed marble floor pattern, Asian-style wall coverings and a sunburst light fixture complete the transformation from modest to marvelous.

Historic Estate ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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FROM THE JUDGES The ability to create luxury within a modest space is a testament to the designer’s vision ... attention to detail transforms a modest, efficient bath into an oasis. ORLANDO LIFE

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Coastal Volusia

KITCHEN OF THE YEAR Coastal Volusia Entered by Charles Clayton Construction

Team: Builder, Charles Clayton Construction; architect, Johnson Estate Designs; kitchen cabinets, Busby Cabinets

RUNNER-UP

The Rosalind House Entered by MJS Custom Home Designs Team: Builder: GAM Construction; building designer, Interiors by Craig Deneer; kitchen cabinets, S&W Kitchens The gourmet kitchen is the heart of this charming home, located in the heart of a downtown Orlando historic district. An open and inviting space, it’s perfect for entertaining, especially around the showpiece center island, which boasts both seating and a convenient food-preparation area.

The kitchen of this gorgeous custom home

The room is illuminated by abundant natural light, and soft neutral colors predominate. The

takes full advantage of its beachfront loca-

traditional theme suits the home, which pays homage to the homes from the ‘30s and ‘40s that

tion by emphasizing expansive ocean views.

surround it.

The home’s open floorplan has the kitchen

FROM THE JUDGES The style and color of the cabinets makes it seem like part of the furniture selected for the house ... it’s a modest space that feels expansive ... a dream kitchen for any cook.

placed conveniently next to the family room and dining room, while the contiguous wine area offers counter space from which to decant your favorite vino. The expansive island comfortably seats four, and provides an ideal

PhotoS: (top) Eric Cuccianioni; (Bottom) Macbeth Photography

gathering place for friends and family. The white marble of the countertop, combined with use of cool blues and light woods, gives the hub of the home a clean but elegant ambiance. The pantry and butler’s pantry provide plenty of storage without requiring an overabundance of cabinetry.

FROM THE JUDGES Great relationship to adjacent dining and outdoor spaces ... bright, welcoming and sophisticated ... combines high style with functionality ... I love the “waterfall” stone details ... everything about this contemporary kitchen speaks to me ... it has the spaciousness of the oversized island while keeping the work triangle to a minimum of steps. 38

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The Rosalind House OCTOBER 2013

9/16/13 4:51:25 PM


MEET THE JUDGES

Historic Estate

OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE OF THE YEAR Historic Estate Entered by Farina & Sons

Team: Builder, Farina & Sons; architect, Davie E. Runnels Architects; landscape designer, Frank Joseph Brooks Landscape; pool designer, Frank Joseph Brooks and Grant Gribble Interior Group; pool contractor, Artistic Pool Design When this historic 1920s home underwent a restoration and transformation, the outdoors received as much attention as the indoors. The goal was to create a private outdoor environment that preserved the home’s original privacy wall and fountain while maximizing space for entertaining. The fan-shaped pool incorporates glass pebbles in the interior finish and colorful Mexican-style tiles along the water line. It features a salt-water system and solar heating so it can be used year round. Decorative lighting within the pool adds visual excitement. Of particular interest are period light fixtures, and fencing and railing that showcases custom ironwork. The Travertine patio provides space for gardening, cooking and dining. The scope of the project also included a revamp of the home’s front, which

Patrick W. McClane, Smith and McClane Architects, Richmond, Va. A native Floridian, McClane received his Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida and later studied at the Vicenza Institute of Architecture. He also received a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia. His work, including new homes and home additions, has received numerous awards, and he is an expert on the work of renowned Winter Park architect James Gamble Rogers II. Gregory F. Shue, Shue Design Associates, Holden Beach, N.C. Shue, who began his architectural career after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1997, has experience with an array of building types. His residential work, including primary residences, seasonal and vacation residences, apartments and townhouses, has been featured in magazines and books. In addition to designing homes for private clients, he’s a design consultant to local, regional and national builders and developers.

now boasts a stately entrance with a front porch and a garden seating area.

FROM THE JUDGES The transformation of this “backyard” into a secret oasis is a testament to the contractor’s team ... beautiful transformation ... imaginative solution and wellintegrated architecture and landscape design with wonderful color palette ... I love the arched elements that echo the architecture of the house ... great idea to install grass around the pool. n

Photo: Everett & Soulé

REMODELING WINNERS IN NOVEMBER Because of the quantity and the quality of entries, Orlando Life will present the Remodel of the Year winners and several related categories in its November issue, as part of its quarterly Remodel Orlando special section. The section is published in conjunction with the Remodel/Design Council of the Home Builders Association of Metro Orlando.

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Jannis Vann, House Plan Resource, Woodstock, Ga. Vann, who has been designing homes since 1982, has won local, regional and national awards from the National Association of Home Builders and the American Institute of Building Design. She has also judged competitions for those organizations. Vann, who completed courses from the Institute of Classical Architecture in 2002, markets through national web sites and designs custom homes and remodeling projects in metro Atlanta.

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A New-Age Speakeasy

L

YOU CAN FIND PHARMACY. IT JUST TAKES PATIENCE.

oren Falson, Tyler Brassil and Dominick Tardugno are

gifted at identifying national trends and bringing them to Orlando before anyone else. First, the trio opened The Table, a tiny restaurant where the evening’s 22 or so guests gather around one large table and share a pre-set, five-course dinner with wine pairings. We still have nothing else quite like it. This past February, they followed with Pharmacy. It’s billed as a speakeasy, mirroring an urban trend found elsewhere in the country in establishments such as Varnish (Los Angeles) and Manifesto (Kansas City). The concept is threefold: Make it a challenge to find the spot; serve beverages that pay tribute to the Prohibition era; and, in some cases, plate up good-quality food. A little polish on all three fronts wouldn’t hurt the Pharmacy, although based on the buzz it has maintained and the long waits customers are willing to endure in order to be seated, it 40

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appears to be wildly successful regardless. Of course, first you have to find the place. Like many of its culinary kin, Pharmacy has a secret door. “A true speakeasy has no sign, no advertising; it’s word of mouth,” explains coowner Brassil. “You only tell people you can trust, or would want to see there.” Once you arrive at the correct section of Dellagio, the upscale strip center on Restaurant Row, you’ll see two elevator doors. One is legit. The other is the speakeasy’s entrance. Press the button and the silver panels glide open, revealing a hostess desk and bar. Clever, if that’s your thing. That takes care of where to go, but good luck finding out when. The website doesn’t list the operating hours, and the generic message on its answering machine doesn’t reveal so much as the restaurant’s name. I left a voicemail asking to be called with the opening time for that night, but never heard back. OCTOBER 2013

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FLAVOR

rona gindin photographs by rafael tongol

Get over yourself, Pharmacy. Yes, it’s a catchy ploy, but are you sure you want to so utterly confound potential customers? For the record, the Facebook page has the answer: 5 p.m. That’s important to know, because Pharmacy doesn’t accept reservations. We showed up at 6 and were seated immediately. But friends who arrived half an hour later were told there’d be an hour wait. Yet another set of friends reported that they shifted from foot to foot for three solid hours one night near the backside of those fake elevator doors. The beverage menu is thoughtful, as you’d expect from a cocktail-focused enterprise. “It’s not about slinging one back; it’s about enjoying your drink,” says Brassil, noting that many of the selections are “pre-Prohibition cocktails.” As our waiter explained, the drinks are “stronger and dryer,” as they were in the ’30s, and all the ingredients, except the spirits themselves, are made from scratch. I tried two beverages, each clearly high quality and packing the promised punch, but simple in flavor: Maybe that’s what the server meant by “dryer.” Since so many local bars now blend highly flavored ingredients, the lack of zing came as a disappointment. Still, we drained both glasses. Feed the Pigeons was a blend of Slow Hand white whiskey, Germain-Robin Pear de Pear, ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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(Left to right): The Classic Cheese Fondue was a bit of a mystery; a Portuguese pork and clam alentejana was superb; the Pharmacy bar offers Prohibition-era libations; co-owners Tyler Brassil, Loren Falson and Dominick Tardugno have a knack for spotting dining trends; the banana split is a timeless and formidable delicacy.

Fever Tree Tonic and key lime. Our other selection was a “hard soda” using homemade cola. It’s called East Setauket Job, and was a mix of 44 North vodka, Diplomatico Rum, Old Forester bourbon, Ford’s gin, Tapatio Reposado, Luxardo Triumplum, lemon and lime tincture, cola and gas (carbonation). No wonder just one of those concoctions knocked my 6-foot-2 inch guest off his sturdy, size-12 feet. It’s like a classy Long Island Iced Tea. The next time I might try Pharmacy’s take on classics such as the Manhattan (the menu lists two versions, one a “hard soda,” the other a “libation”) and a Tom Collins. Like The Table, Pharmacy features foods made from locally sourced, organic and/or sustainable foods, and the freshness of those ingredients was apparent in all five dishes we sampled. ORLANDO LIFE

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PHOTO: RAFAEL TONGOl

The Facebook page says the foods are tapas style, which generally means small portions (the opaque website merely refers to the food as Prescriptions), so I was surprised to see a traditional menu listing appetizers, entrées and desserts, with entrée prices ranging from $16 to $27. Prime ingredients and pride in presentation are a given, but we found mixed results in flavor. The two entrées we sampled were rave-worthy. A Portuguese pork and clam “alentejana” was superb. What Brassil refers to as a “hard-core” authentic take on alentejana is a sort of light stew. Tender marinated pork and a handful of tempting clams are bathed in a broth of white wine, tomatoes and onions surrounding a mound of ultra-fluffy mashed potatoes. Specks of parsley and slivers of green onion add pizzazz. We were just as enchanted with the double-cut pork chop, a flavorful hunk of meat served over a vivid salad of baby rocket, garlic croutons and local heirloom tomatoes. To make the meat that good, the chefs brined it “for several days” in salt, sugar, herbs and spices. Bravo. But the appetizer? I wanted to cry, and not in a good way. The Classic Cheese Fondue arrived bubbling in a crockpot, surrounded by thick slabs of crusty, homemade “100 yr Old Sourdough” bread crostini rubbed with garlic and oil, served with a dish of pickled green beans. The server had mentioned gruyère cheese, which has just the right sharpness for fondue. Brassil says the other ingredients include Emmentaler, white wine, garlic and kirschwasser, a Swiss cherry brandy. Yet the melted cheese was bland. Downright tame. I kept swiping up more with the luscious bread, sure I was missing a beautiful flavor. Nope. To be fair, my friend who waited for a table said her party enjoyed the dish, picking up hints of strong flavors. Did the cooks forget to add something to ours? I suspected the same of the pizza. We’d been set to choose the beef bone marrow with oxtail and fig marmalade, or the “whole buttery, garlicky Cape Canaveral rock shrimp,” as our second starter. At least we were until we saw a pizza set down at the next table. The thin crust, the blistered edges — we absolutely had to get that pie. We chose the Bianco, made with three cheeses, fried eggplant and baby rocket. Those three cheeses had no flavor. We spied creamy ricotta covered with gentle mozzarella and ta-

(Top to bottom): Flowers on the bar and nondescript china on the shelves comprise the sparse décor at the speakeasythemed establishment. However, a Mason-jar chandelier is a clever homage to the heyday of moonshining. 42

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leggio, my favorite cheese in the world, and a few strips of eggplant the size of those Band-Aids made for pinkies. Yet we tasted no more than the peppery greens. I can only hope that the spinach version with Harvest Moon Ghost Chile Spicy Oil has more oomph. Dessert will compensate, I assumed. I’d eyed a roasted peach and coffee custard napoleon on the menu. That just had to be, as the Pharmacy website might word it, “the bee’s knees.” But I wouldn’t know, since the restaurant had run out of it, just as it had run out of the tagliatelle Bolognese. That seemed odd for so early on the busiest night of the week. We wound up splitting the caramelized banana split, a boatload of sweetness with coconut ice cream, “bourbon caramel,” “Le Noir” hot fudge and fresh unsweetened whipped cream. Again, the flavors were mild, but that whipped cream compensated. It couldn’t have tasted fresher if a milk cow had been positioned, ready on demand, on the other side of that fake elevator door. Speaking of décor, the much-touted speakeasy theme wasn’t apparent. The L-shaped space has a slate floor, slatecolored paint on the walls, simple wooden tables and a glitzyish bar in the center. It’s nice-looking, contemporary, but not noteworthy for its design. Should you try Pharmacy? Of course. It’s of-the-moment, ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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(Left to right): Pharmacy uses a gravity-powered, cold-drip device for making specialty cocktails; homemade cola is the key ingredient in a concoction called the East Setauket Job; the Papa Oaxaca cocktail, one of the restaurant’s many offthe-wall libations, is topped by a chili lollipop. it’s overall good, and the origin of the name is fun. “We named it that because during Prohibition pharmacies were the only places you could legally get alcohol,” says Brassil. “And they quickly turned into local watering holes.” But show up very early, and be careful how you order. That’s my prescription, anyway. ■ WHERE: 8060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando HOW MUCH: $$ WHERE TO CALL: 407-985-2972, thepharmacyorlando.com

Rona Gindin, dining editor of Orlando Life, has written about Orlando’s restaurants for Fodor’s and Zagat, among many other publications. She’s the author of The Little Black Book of Walt Disney World. ORLANDO LIFE

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FLAVOR LISTINGS

rona gindin

AFRICAN Sanaa

3701 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, 407938-7400 / disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/sanaa. Sanaa, one of Disney’s most interesting restaurants, offers dishes based on cuisine from the Spice Islands, a coastal African area rich with Indian influences. Flavors are intense, but spicy only upon request. (Curry, the chefs insist, is a melding of flavors, not one particular spice.) The marketplace-style dining room boasts picture windows overlooking the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s savannah, so you might spot zebra or wildebeest while lunching on tandoori chicken or a vegetarian platter with stewed lentils and a vegetable sambar (stew). $$

AMERICAN Cask & Larder

565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-280-4200 / caskandlarder.com. Billing itself as a “Southern Public House,” this casual Winter Park eatery serves up modern twists on traditional favorites. Look for a three-ham platter with pepper jelly; pimento cheese; and seasonal favorites such as grilled pork belly and chicken-and-biscuits. Many beers are made on the premises. $$

Chatham’s Place 7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando, 407- 345-2992 / chathamsplace.com. For an old-fashioned dining experience — a subdued dining room and doting personalized service by a longtime staff — dine at this hidden Restaurant Row establishment. Locals return regularly for Chef Tony Lopez’s classic dishes such as black grouper with pecan butter, rack of lamb and filet mignon. $$$ Dexter’s 808 E. Washington St., Orlando, 407-648-2777; 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1150; 950 Market Promenade Ave., Lake Mary, 407-805-3090 / dexwine. com. Central Florida has three Dexter’s locations, and each has become a neighborhood magnet, drawing diners of all ages for hearty portions of creative American fare (at fair prices), good wine and, in some cases, live music. Casual dress is the rule. The brunches, and the pressed duck sandwiches, are especially popular. $$-$$$ Emeril’s Orlando 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando,

407-224-2424 / emerils.com. Get a taste of New Orleans at Emeril’s, a fine-dining restaurant at always-bustling Universal CityWalk. You’ll find classics from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, including the signature barbecue shrimp, andouille-stuffed redfish, double-cut pork chops and banana cream pie. The service, of course, is superb. Consider sharing appetizers at the bar area. $$$$

Hillstone 215 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-7404005 / hillstone.com/hillstone. Formerly known as Houston’s, this Winter Park mainstay is part of a high-end 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 proposals have been popped during dinners for two on the boat dock. $$$ Jernigan’s 400 W. Church St., Orlando, 407-440-7000 /

amwaycenter.com. Watch a Magic game in style at Jernigan’s, a well-appointed buffet restaurant located on the Amway Center’s exclusive club level. The reservations-only eatery, open to ticket holders, serves wholesome meals for about $40. The menu of the day might offer slow-smoked barbecue ribs, grilled rib-eye steak, pasta pomodoro and Chinese chicken salad. Jernigan’s is run by Chicago’s Levy Restaurants, the team behind Downtown Disney’s Portobello Yacht Club, Fulton’s Crab House and Wolfgang Puck Grand Café. $$$

Rusty Spoon 55 W. Church St., Orlando, 407-401-

8811 / therustyspoon.com. Foodies flock to this Church Street gastropub, a warm and welcoming space in which meals are described as “American food. European roots. Locally sourced.” Your salad will consist of über-fresh greens, your sandwich will be filled with slow-braised lamb, your pasta will be hand-rolled and your meat will be robustly seasoned. $$-$$$

Seasons 52 7700 Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 407354-5212; 463 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, 407-767-1252 / seasons52.com. Business dinners, ladies’ luncheons and date nights abound at these ever-popular restaurants, big bustling spaces with satisfying food and comprehensive wine lists. It seems incidental that the food happens to be healthful and low in fat, with no menu item topping 475 calories. So if you want that clam chowder, go for it. It will be cleverly produced without cream, butter or roux. $$-$$$ 44

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Shipyard Brew Pub 200 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-274-4045 / shipyardwinterpark.com. This ultra-casual brewpub has been packed night and day since it opened in 2011, and not just because it pours a great lager. To complement suds brewed both in-house and elsewhere, a from-scratch menu offers Buffalo chicken dip, amazing white-bean hummus, sandwiches, flatbreads and entrées, including étouffée and pot roast. Stop in any time to pick up a loaf of some of Orlando’s best bread. $-$$

Tap Room at Dubsdread 549 W. Par St., Orlando, 407-

650-0100 / taproomatdubsdread.com. One needn’t play golf to dine at this historic course-side tavern, a College Park icon offering a varied menu — and a reputation for fine burgers. Options other than the famous half-pound patties include steaks, salmon, tequila-citrus chicken and a dandy Reuben sandwich. $$

The Table Orlando 8060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407-900-3463 / thetableorlando.com. For special occasions, book a place at The Table, a tiny restaurant that serves a five-course gourmet meal with wine pairings. Up to 22 guests at a time share the repast around an oversized table. The New American menu changes regularly and is comprised in large part of locally sourced foods. The price is a set $100 including tax and tip. Groups can host private events here. $$$$ TooJay’s Various locations / toojays.com. When it’s time

for a taste of Jewish Brooklyn — pastrami on rye, latkes, blintzes, knishes — the six local outlets of this South Florida-based chain have it all. You’ll also find diner foods such as omelets, sandwiches and pot-roast dinners. Take home some black-and-white cookies. $

ASIAN Anh Hong

1124 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, 407-999-2656. You’ll receive a bundle of fresh herbs to tear into your soup at this Mills 50 Vietnamese eatery, and another bunch for a roll-your-own entrée that’s like a DIY summer roll. Asian classics, such as grilled meats and scallion pancakes, are done exceptionally well here, which makes Anh Hong a top choice for local Vietnamese-Americans longing for a taste of home. $

Hawkers Street Fare 1103 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, 407-237-0606 / facebook.com/hawkersstreetfare. This Mills 50 mainstay, named for street vendors of Asian fare, serves up generous tapas-size portions of curry laksa (an aromatic Singaporean soup), roti canai (Malaysian flatbread with a hearty curry sauce), five-spice tofu, chilled sesame noodles, smoky mussels and sensational beef skewers with peanuty satay dip. $$

Sea Thai 3812 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, 407-895-0985 /

seaorlando.com. Start with a green papaya salad and beef yum, then feast on steamed whole fish with garlic chili sauce, pad Thai and green curry chicken. But you can’t go wrong with any of the Thai classics offered at this welcoming East Orlando eatery. $$

Seoul Garden 511 E. Horatio Ave., Maitland, 407599-5199 / orlandokorearestaurant.com. Seoul Garden is so Asian-focused that the “about us” section of its website is written in Korean. That authenticity extends to the food. Barbecued meats are grilled to order in the dining room. Be sure to try the marinated beef short ribs and the soft tofu stew. $

Sushi Pop 310 W. Mitchell Hammock Road, Oviedo, 407-542-5975 / sushipoprestaurant.com. Oviedo is an unlikely location for this cutting-edge restaurant, a popular spot for sushi. The food is serious and often experimental, as chef-owner Chau uses molecular gastronomy to create some of the fusion fare. The aura is fun: Asian anime on the walls, playful colors, and servers who dress in outrageous themed outfits. $$

THE KEY

$ Inexpensive, most entrées under $10 $$ Moderate, most entrées $10-20 $$$ Pricey, most entrées over $20 $$$$ Very expensive, most entrées over $30 indicates the restaurant is a Silver Spoon winner (Judges’ Choice).

BURGERS Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille

110 W. Church St., Orlando, 321-319-0600 / hamburgermarys-orlando.com. A colorful crowd is part of the fun at this Church Street hotspot, where bingo games, trivia contests and cabaret shows are among the events that vie for guests’ attention beside the enormous and creatively topped burgers. $

Pine Twenty2 22 E. Pine St., Orlando, 407-574-2160 /

pine22.com. Burgers go chic at this fast-casual downtowner, where every ingredient is special. The burgers are from happy cows, the eggs from free-roaming chickens, the pork from lovingly raised pigs. Mix and match your toppings over a patty of beef, turkey or black beans (or pulled pork), with options ranging from mango salsa to sautéed mushrooms. $$

CONTINENTAL Venetian Room

8101 World Center Drive, Orlando, 407-238-8060 / thevenetianroom.com. Walk though a run-of-the-mill convention hotel to reach the AAA FourDiamond Venetian Room, an elegant, domed-service, continental restaurant that hearkens to the heyday of unapologetic, butter-and-cream-enhanced fine dining. The lobster bisque is an absolute must. After that, try the filet mignon, duck a l’orange or Dover sole. $$$$

CREATIVE/ PROGRESSIVE Chef’s Table at the Edgewater Hotel

99 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-230-4837 / chefstableattheedgewater.com. Husband-and-wife team Kevin and Laurie Tarter are your personal servers at this intimate Winter Garden hideaway, where Kevin prepares the evening’s three-course, prix-fixe meal and Laurie helps choose the wine. Both stop by every table to chat with guests. Adjacent, the Tasting Room offers tapas-size portions of international dishes and a full bar. $$$

Funky Monkey 912 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, 407427-1447; 9101 International Dr., Orlando, 407-418-9463 / funkymonkeywine.com. These twin eclectic eateries are known as much for sushi and intriguing wine lists as for creative American cuisine and an ever-changing menu. FMI Restaurant Group also owns Bananas and the Funky Monkey Vault, a wine shop that also sells gifts, apparel and furniture. $$

K Restaurant 1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, 407872-2332 / krestaurant.net. Kevin Fonzo, the go-to chef in College Park since 2001, owns this homey eatery, which is, in fact, located in an erstwhile residence. The menu is mostly creative-American, along with Italian favorites celebrating Fonzo’s heritage. Casual wine tastings and themed special dinners, along with a constantly changing menu, bring back regulars for singular experiences. $$-$$$

Luma on Park 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-599-4111 / lumaonpark.com. 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. $$$

Norman’s 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, 407-393-4333 / normans.com. Celebrity Chef Norman Van Aken’s restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, turns out artistic New World cuisine combining the flavors of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Far East and the United States. The dining room is dramatic, the food astounding and the service polished. Be sure to begin with a Norman’s classic: foie gras “French toast.” And you’ll be delighted with the Mongolian veal chop. $$$$ Park Plaza Gardens 319 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-

645-2475 / parkplazagardens.com. After 30-plus years, Park Plaza Gardens is practically an institution on Winter Park’s tony Park Avenue. People-watchers gather at the small bar and sidewalk tables to linger over casual meals and cold beers, while those looking for an indulgent experience dine in the garden-like back dining room, which boasts atrium windows and plush décor. The menu features a melding of American, European and Asian flavors and cooking techniques. $$$-$$$$

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FLAVOR LISTINGS

rona gindin

Ravenous Pig 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park,

407-628-2333 / theravenouspig.com. 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 dessert called Pig Tails. $$$

Victoria & Albert’s 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-3862 / victoria-alberts.com. Indulgent, multicourse prix-fixe feasts are served in the serenely elegant main dining room, accompanied by live harp music, while yet more courses are offered in the more intimate Queen Victoria’s Room and the private Chef’s Table. Chef Scott Hunnel, Maitre d’ Israel Pérez and Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek travel the world to seek out impressive food and service trends, then adapt the golden ones locally. That’s why V&A, at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is Orlando’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant. $$$$

HAWAIIAN/ POLYNESIAN Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, 407-503-2467 / emerils.com. Emeril Lagasse’s Polynesian-fusion fare is executed within a dramatically decorated space. Diners enjoy tropical cocktails, steamed dumplings and creative entrées such as pan-roasted duck breast with gingered pear chutney and umeboshi (pickled) plum glaze. $$$$

Roy’s 7760 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 407-352-4844 / roysrestaurant.com. Hawaiian-fusion flavors enhance familiar and exotic fish dishes at this Restaurant Row pioneer, a link in a Honolulu-based chain owned by namesake chef, Roy Yamaguchi. $$

INDIAN Aashirwad

5748 International Dr., Orlando, 407-370-9830 / aashirwadrestaurant.com. Begin with kashmiri naan, a slightly sweet bread stuffed with nuts, coconut and raisins, and continue with chicken biryani, cauliflower in exotic Manchurian gravy and a mixed tandoori grill. Whole spices are roasted and ground daily on site, further enhancing the cuisine’s authenticity. $$

Memories of India 7625 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando,

407-370-3277; 3895 Lake Emma Road, Lake Mary, 407-8040920 / memoriesofindiacuisine.com. Exceptionally good Indian fare draws diners in Dr. Phillips and Lake Mary to these twin restaurants, where dishes such as palek paneer (creamed spinach) and lamb masala in rich ginger-garlic gravy always satisfy. $$

Raga 7559 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 407-985-2900 /

ragarestaurant.com. From its stylish décor to its inspired, somewhat global menu, Raga is a step above most local Indian restaurants. $$-$$$

ITALIAN Antonio’s

611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-645-5523; 691 Front St., Celebration, 407-566-2233 / antoniosonline. com. Fine Italian fare comes in three price ranges at Antonio’s, proprietor Greg Gentile’s trio of culinary homages to his ancestors. In Maitland, the upstairs Ristorante is somewhat formal, although the open kitchen provides peeks of the chefs in action. Its downstairs counterpart, Antonio’s Market & Café, is a more casual spot that doubles as a market and wine shop. And in Celebration, the casual, lake-view Cafe d’Antonio hits that center sweet spot. $$-$$$

Enzo’s on the Lake 1130 U.S. 17-92, Longwood, 407834-9872 / enzos.com. Long before Orlando became a serious foodie town, Enzo’s was serving up lovingly prepared Italian specialties inside a converted Longwood home. Little has changed. Split a bunch of antipasto to begin your meal.

After that, you pretty much can’t go wrong, but standout dishes include homemade ravioli stuffed with chicken and spinach, veal with artichoke-caper-white wine sauce and possibly the best spaghetti carbonara in town. $$$

O’Stromboli 1803 E. Winter Park Road, Orlando, 407-

647-3872 / ostrombolis.com. This innocuous neighborhood eatery isn’t fancy, but the food is filling and fresh. That’s why it has become a favorite of residents of Merritt Park, Rose Isle and Baldwin Park. The carbonara is particularly hearty and the fettuccini Alfredo is rich, buttery and more than you should eat in one sitting. The homemade soups are always a dependable starter. $$

Peperoncino 7988 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407-440-2856 / peperoncinocucina.com. The menu changes every night at this cozy Dr. Phillips Italian, where chef-owner Barbara Alfano puts out plates of fried pecorino drizzled with honey, pear and four-cheese pasta, and fish steamed in parchment paper. $$$

Prato 124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-262-0050 / prato-wp.com. This is one of Orlando’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 Grille & Bar 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park,

407-644-7770 / roccositaliangrille.com. 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), ricotta gnocchi 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. $$$

LATIN Mi Tomatina

433 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 321-972-4881 / mitomatina.com. 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. $$-$$$

Pio-Pio 5752 International Drive, Orlando, 407-248-6424

/ mypiopio.com; 2500 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, 407-207-2262 / piopios.com; 11236 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, 407438-5677. Latin American-style marinated roast chicken is a mainstay at this trio of Peruvian-Columbian restaurants, where families fuel up on heaping platters of pollo along with garlicky salad, fried plantains (sweet and green), and rice and beans. $$

MEDITERRANEAN Bosphorous

108 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-6448609; 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., 407-352-6766 / bosphorousrestaurant.com. This is the place for flavorful Turkish fare in either a white-tablecloth setting or alfresco along Park Avenue or Dr. Phillips Boulevard. Many couples 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. $$

Taverna Opa 9101 International Drive, Orlando, 407-

351-8660 / opaorlando.com. The food is excellent, but that’s only half the reason to visit Taverna Opa. On busy nights, the place is festive indeed: Some guests join a Zorba dance around the dining room while others toss white napkins into the air, joyously shouting “Opa!” Then there’s the belly dancer. $$

MEXICAN/ SOUTHWESTERN Cantina Laredo

8000 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, 407345-0186 / cantinalaredo.com. Modern Mexican cuisine in a spiffy setting draws lovers of cilantro, jalapeño and pico de gallo to this Restaurant Row eatery, where the

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margaritas flow, the guacamole is made tableside and the portions are generous. The spinach enchilada is a vegetarian-friendly treat. $$

Cocina 214 151 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, 407790-7997 / cocina214.com. Tex-Mex food is top quality here (214 is the Dallas area code), with salsa, savories and even margarita flavorings made from scratch. The spinach-mushroom quesadilla and tacos are especially noteworthy. $$

SEAFOOD Cityfish

617 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, 407-849-9779 / cityfishorlando.com. Feast on slabs of grilled, blackened or fried fresh fish at this hip Ts-and-flip-flops Thornton Park hangout. The atmosphere is ultra-casual and the sidewalk seating is great for people-watching. $$

Flying Fish Café 2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-2359 / disneyworld.com. Creative seafood — and some great steak — are on the menu at this upbeat restaurant in the Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. It is themed after Eastern Seaboard summer spots of yore. For a special experience, enjoy a five-course Chef’s Tasting Wine Dinner while seated at the food bar. $$$$ Ocean Prime 7339 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando, 407-7814880 / ocean-prime.com. Designed to evoke the ambience of an old-time supper club, Ocean Prime’s white-jacketed servers offer sensational steaks and fish dishes along with creative options such as sautéed shrimp in a spectacular Tabasco-cream sauce, crab cakes with sweet corn cream and ginger salmon. End with the chocolate peanut butter pie. $$$$

Todd English’s bluezoo 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 407-934-1111 / thebluezoo.com. Creatively prepared seafood is served in an over-the-top undersea setting at this fine-dining restaurant, located in Disney’s Swan and Dolphin hotel. The fashion-forward choices might be a miso-glazed Hawaiian sea bass or fried lobster in a soy glaze. The desserts are among the best in town. $$$$

STEAK

Bull & Bear 14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, 407-597-5500 / bullandbearorlando.com. Orlando’s Bull & Bear looks similar to New York’s legendary steakhouse (except for the pool and golf course views), but ours has its own ambitious menu. Guests of the Waldorf Astoria’s finedining spot can feast on traditional items such as veal Oscar and prime steak that’s dry aged for 21 days, and intriguing ones like appetizers of gnocchi and escargot with crescents of black garlic, and shrimp and grits presented under a dome that, when removed, introduces a waft of aromatic smoke. The chocolate and lemon desserts are superb. $$$$ Capital Grille 4200 Conroy Road, 407-351-2210; 9101 International Drive, 407-370-4392 / thecapitalgrille.com. Capital Grille tries to one-up its upscale steakhouse competitors by dry-aging its beef, an expensive process that results in especially flavorful meat. Try a beautifully unadorned chop or a more creative dish, such as citrus-glazed salmon or Kona-crusted sirloin. The setting is clubby; the wine selection is generous. $$$$ Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster 729 Lee Road, Orlando, 407-645-4443 / christnersprimesteakandlobster.com. Locals have been choosing this prototypically masculine, dark-wood-and-red-leather enclave for business dinners and family celebrations for more than a decade. Family-owned since 1993 yet under the Del Frisco’s banner until mid-2013, Christner’s features USDA Prime, corn-fed Midwestern beef or Australian cold-water lobster tails with a slice of the restaurant’s legendary mandarin orange cake. And there’s a loooong wine list (6,500 bottles). On select nights, Kostya Kimlat hosts magic shows along with a prixfixe menu in a private dining room. $$$$ Linda’s La Cantina 4721 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, 407-894-4491 / lindaslacantina.com. An Orlando icon, this style-free, windowless restaurant is always packed, and that’s because it serves top-quality steak dinners at wallet-friendly prices. Namesake Linda’s daughters Karen Hart, Debra Tassoni and Lori Coley run the establishment today. $$-$$$

Nelore Churrascaria 115 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park,

407-645-1112 / neloresteakhouse.com. 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 world-class salad bar and Brazilian cheese bread to keep you happy between meat courses. $$$$

Shula’s 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Orlando, 407-934-1362;

2974 International Parkway, Lake Mary, 407-531-3567 / donshula.com. Coach Don Shula, who led the Miami Dolphins through a perfect season in 1972, is now in the restaurant business. One of his Orlando outposts, located in Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin resort, is a dark, tastefully sports-themed steakhouse where the menu is painted on a football. Offerings include Premium Black Angus beef as well as barbecue shrimp, wedge salad and crab cakes. Up in Lake Mary, Shula’s 347 Grill is more of a sports bar with ambitious food. $$-$$$$

VEGETARIAN Café 118

153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-389-2233 / cafe118.com. Raw foods — none cooked past 118 degrees — are the focus of this crisp Winter Park café, attracting 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 S. New York Ave., Winter

Park, 407-228-3898 / ethosvegankitchen.com. Ethos is a vegan restaurant with a menu that also satisfies open-minded carnivores. Fuel up on pecan-crusted eggplant with red wine sauce and mashed potatoes or a meat-free shepherd’s pie, if salads, sandwiches and coconut-curry tofu wraps won’t do the trick. $-$$

Celebrating Seven Great Years!

Join the Celebration and Enjoy a Complimentary Glass of Wine*

LIKE us on Facebook for a chance to win dinner for two. *One complimentary glass of wine with a dinner entree during the month of October 2013. Mention our 7th anniversary to redeem this offer. Offer is limited to one glass of wine per guest.

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W inter Park 400 South Orlando Avenue s 407-644-7770 Reservations online at www.roccositaliangrille.com ORLANDO LIFE

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MAGAZINE

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LiveHorizonWest.com


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fROm THE PUblisHER

THE WAY GROWTH OUGHT TO HAPPEN Central Florida sets the standard For Collaborative land planning. “East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet,” wrote Rudyard Kipling. Of course, Kipling was speaking of Europe and Asia, but I always enjoy literary allusions, even if they’re a bit forced. Central Florida’s development is increasingly a story of east and west. In east Orange County, the Lake Nona area is booming thanks in large part to Medical City, a complex of hospitals and research facilities. In west Orange County, growth on an even greater scale is taking place as a result of Horizon West, the largest master-planned community in the region’s history. These two extraordinary developments, which bookend the county, will contribute to the region’s economic well-being for decades to come. They will also establish Central Florida as a pioneer in innovative growth management and mutually beneficial public-private development partnerships. It’s New Urbanism on an unprecedented scale. Or, more precisely, it’s New Suburbanism on a grand scale. Unlike Baldwin Park, which is often cited locally as an outstanding example of New Urbanism, Horizon West is not an infill project surrounded by established communities. It’s taking shape on tens of thousands of acres of burned out citrus groves once considered too far removed for large-scale development. And yet, this vast expanse is today being reshaped into a single, cohesive entity consisting of walkable residential villages, a mixed-use town center and plenty of recreational facilities and preservation areas. In a region that became infamous throughout the 1980s for its susceptibility to sprawl, it’s heartening to see that with Horizon West, both developers and governmental officials were willing to approach the challenges of growth in an entirely different way. In this special publication, we’ll look at how Horizon West came to be the No. 1 selling submarket in Central Florida and examine what it means to all of us, not just those who will eventually live, work and play there. I think you’ll be impressed by the great things that can happen when governmental entities and the private sector resolve to work together toward a grand goal. Yes, that still happens. At least in Central Florida.

Randy noLes Group Publisher Florida Home Media LLC H 4 L i ve Ho r i z o n We s t .c om

THERESA SWANSON PubLisHeR

JENNA CARBERG aRt diReCtoR

MIKE MCLEOD

editoR in CHieF

HARRY WESSEL

ManaGinG editoR

LAURA BLUHM aRt diReCtoR

LORNA OSBORN, KATHY BYRD saLes and MaRKetinG

FLORIDA HOME MEDIA LLC DANIEL DENTON PResident/Ceo

PAM FLANAGAN

GeneRaL ManaGeR

RANDY NOLES

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best new-home magazine winner sinCe 2004

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in Print and online

sChooL stats

Expanded data on educational options in Central Florida.

it’s on traCK

SunRail will move commuters and spur development.

meDiCaL CitY

Here’s the latest on Lake Nona’s high-tech mecca.

MAGAZINE

The horizon WesT CoaliTion Horizon West Magazine is a free publication underwritten by the Horizon West Coalition, a group of businesspeople promoting the continued planned growth in the Horizon West area. To learn more about the Horizon West Coalition, go to LiveHorizonWest.com. Anyone interested in joining the organization may call Chip Webb with Tramell Webb Partners at (407) 420-4792. on tHe CoVeR: Lakes, golf courses and beautiful waterfront homes highlight the Horizon West area, where some 60,000 people will eventually live, work and play.


INDEPENDENCE

OVERLOOK AT HAMLIN

HAMLIN GROVES TRAIL

NEW INDEPENDENCE PARKWAY S.R. 429

ROAD OPENiNGs CREATE GATEWAY TO HORiZON WEsT

It was a sunny day for the array of dignitaries who gathered at Hamlin in the Horizon West Town Center recently for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that opened two major roadways within the 640-acre, mixed-use development. The new roads will provide access to Hamlin’s more than 2 million square feet of retail, restaurant and office space as well as 2,000 multifamily and singlefamily residential units. It was also a sunny day for the people who live — and will live — in Horizon West. The oversized scissors wielded by the VIPs cut more than just a ribbon — they also cut the drive time for thousands of west Orange County residents. New Independence Parkway has now been connected from S.R. 429 east to Tiny Road and the community of Independence. In addition, Hamlin Groves Trail is now completed from New Independence Parkway south to the community of Summerlake and Orange County National Golf Course Horizon West residents now have another access point to S.R. 429 via New Independence Parkway. That means commuters will save time when navigating the crowded S.R. 535/S.R. 429 interchange. “My drive time to downtown Orlando has just been cut by 20 minutes or more,” enthused one Independence resident. Another, who works in the Disney area, said she’s now just 15 minutes from her office. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was organized by Boyd Development, which funded most of the $19 million in road, utility and landscape improvements made in conjunction with its unique Hamlin development (see page 14). Hamlin is being designed as the gathering, dining and shopping place for all of Horizon West’s

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held recently to mark the opening of new roads at Horizon West. Among the attendees were (left to right): David Billsborough, chairman of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce; Penny Nunes, Boyd Development; Heather Easterling, Boyd Development; Scott Boyd, Orange County commissioner; Ken Kupp, Boyd Development; Michael Boyd, Boyd Development; Jon Weiss, director of Orange County Community, Environmental and Development Services; Scott Boyd, Boyd Development; Andres Salcedo, manager of the Orange County Utilities Development Engineering Division; Kevin Merideth, Boyd Development; Ted DeWitt, DeWitt Excavating; and Tom DeWitt, DeWitt Excavating.

residents, according to Ken Kupp, partner at Boyd Development. “We expect traffic patterns to change considerably as residents quickly discover this new interchange,” Kupp said. Scott Boyd, president of Boyd Development, noted that commercial growth would accelerate at the New Independence Parkway interchange now that the road network is in place. “We’ve had inquiries from a number of retailers and restaurateurs looking for sites,” said Boyd, who noted that over the past four years the Horizon West area has been the top Central Florida submarket for newhome sales. “The customer base is already in place, and now businesses have a great location from which they can serve those customers,” he added. “This is the western gateway into Horizon West, an area with 40,000 residents,” Boyd said. “Plus, there are 50,000 employees at Walt Disney World Resort just to the south. It’s a special opportunity for businesses of every description.”  LiveHorizonWest.co m H5


SHorizon P EWest C consists I A Lof pedestrian-friendly R E P O Rneighborhoods T buffeted by parks, lakes and

conservation areas with schools nearby. Shown is the Village of Bridgewater, which hugs Lake Speer. On the facing page is one of two clubhouses at Independence, a Horizon West neighborhood that features traditionally themed homes. Until freezes in the late 1980s, the tens of thousands of acres in the Horizon West area encompassed lush citrus groves that produced a large percentage of the orange crop in the United States.

H 6 L i ve Ho r i z o n We s t .c om


hoW rUral eXpanses oF groves and laKes beCaMe one oF the biggest Master-planned developMents in the U.s.

true west by randy noles

Big ideas arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always conceived by big-city corporate honchos brainstorming in a posh boardroom. Sometimes they come from down-home citrus growers commiserating at a Ranch House restaurant in Winter Garden. At least thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the concept was born for Horizon West, the largest master-planned development in Central Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history and a project that will drive growth in west Orange County for decades to come. LiveHorizonWest.co m H7


The Butler Chain of Lakes, with Lake Butler in the foreground, is a freshwater fishing paradise and the site of numerous spectacular waterfront homes.

Actually, it’s not so much one master-planned development citrus industry. Yet the county had adopted a land-use plan as it is a cluster of separate but interconnected villages served that called for the vast tracts upon which groves had once by a Town Center. flourished to remain rural. Although Horizon West’s individual components will be Under the plan, which placed a large swath of west Orange intimate and walkable, the overall scope is massive. The propCounty outside the urban service area, housing would be limited to erty encompasses tens of thousands of acres and will ultione unit every 5 or 10 acres. That meant the property, now unsuitmately be home to more than 60,000 people. able for agriculture, would also be unsuitable for development. In acreage, that’s 10 times the size of Baldwin Park. In pop“This was valuable land with a lot of great assets,” says Don ulation, that’s three times the size of Phillips, who joined the group a bit Winter Park. As of today, Horizon later. “We all decided we needed to West accounts for just under 5 perwork together to see what could be The property encompasses cent of all the land in unincorpodone to create something good for tens of thousands of acres rated Orange County. the entire county. It was a really coland will ultimately be home Central Florida has never seen legial group.” anything like it, at least not on such The odds were against the propto more than 60,000 people. a grand scale. In fact, few if any maserty owners, dozens upon dozens In acreage, that’s 10 times ter-planned developments in the of them, who together held roughly entire U.S. have been so meticu38,000 acres. In 1990, county offithe size of Baldwin Park. In lously planned, hotly debated and cials had drawn a line around areas population, that’s three times carefully scrutinized. they expected would eventually Thank the capriciousness of develop and pledged not to extend the size of Winter Park. Mother Nature, the determination utilities any further. of a cadre of disenfranchised landWithout water and sewer lines, the owners, the vision of an innovative land-planning firm and theory went, builders would be forced to find land within the the willingness of sometimes hidebound governmental agenurban service area’s boundaries and sprawl would be minimized. cies to accept an intriguing but untested approach to growth In fact, restrictions in west Orange County were making management. sprawl worse. Developers were simply leapfrogging the rural expanses and building thousands of new homes in Lake County to the west and Osceola County to the south. Many Horizon West’s origins can be traced back to late 1992, buyers of those homes worked in Orange County. when property owners including Jim Karr, Billy Burch and Further vexing to the property owners was the fact that west Lester Austin III began meeting for breakfast to discuss a Orange County’s designated rural area abutted Disney World mutual concern. to the south. With more than 52,000 jobs, Disney was, and Several years of freezes, including a brutal Christmas Day remains, the largest single-site employer in the U.S. freeze in 1989, had killed many trees and decimated the local The region’s other major attractions as well as the burgeon-

IDEAS OVER EASY

H 8 L i ve Ho r i z o nWe s t .c om


ing International Drive tourism corridor were also nearby. Discouraging development on property adjacent to the world’s No. 1 attraction and the region’s major shopping, dining and entertainment venues seemed to defy logic. Still, the plan was the plan, and the landowners knew they faced an uphill battle trying to change it. They also knew that to have any chance at all, they had to propose something more comprehensive, more carefully thought out and more cutting edge than anything state and county officials had previously been presented. Not-for-profit Horizon West Inc., with Phillips as president, was formed in 1993 with the mission of putting a development plan forward. No one remembers who came up with the name Horizon West, but at least the fledgling effort now had a catchy moniker. The organization raised $100,000 from among its members and hired the land-planning firm of Miller, Sellen, Connor and Walsh (now VBH MillerSellen) to craft a concept that state and county officials would buy into.

THE BIG PICTURE “They had asked me to come out to a breakfast meeting,” recalls Jim Sellen, company president. “These guys had been hammered by freezes as bad as anything since the turn of the century. And now they were being told their land had no revenue potential.” Sellen, who was Orange County’s planning director in the late 1970s, knew that county officials would never agree to

 GO, CAT, GO! Read all about the day the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll learned to waterski on Lake Butler.

LiveHorizonWest.com extend the urban service area for piecemeal projects. He also knew that the county had been pushing growth east, not west, because of the University of Central Florida and the Central Florida Research Park as well as Orlando International Airport. “I told them that there was another way to approach the problem,” says Sellen. “But I also told them that they had to think beyond their individual properties. They had to work collaboratively and offer a bigger solution that both they and the county sorely needed.” Sellen agreed that the rural designation made no sense because of the land’s adjacency to major employers. Plus the land was high and dry and well-suited geotechnically for growth. On top of all that, a proposed Western Beltway (State Road 429) was on the drawing board. The limited-access toll road would undoubtedly spur development at its interchanges, but what kind of development would it be? Strip malls? T-shirt shops? Tom Lewis, then a Disney vice president and former head of the state’s Department of Community Affairs, had begun to take an interest in what the landowners were up to. Lewis, an architect who was involved in the Celebration mas-

Photo courtesy of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation

High utility bills? Not while you’re living under our roof, mister! As the 2013 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence, we build new homes the way they can, and should, be built. For you, that means living in a beautifully appointed open-floor-plan home that comes standard with energy-saving features that save you up to 50%, or $1,500, every year on utility costs. The only question is what you’ll do with all the money you save?

Want to know more? Call or visit us online. 877-446-5968 | meritagehomes.com/orlando 17 Orlando communities to choose from. All promotional,marketing,and advertising estimates and claims related to energy savings or performance are created exclusively by third-party suppliers,rating services,utility companies,and/or certified auditors,based on U.S.Department of Energy methodology and average energy use and scores. Actual energy savings and performance of any home or any of its features may vary widely, and may be more or less than indicated savings and performance, depending on the personal energy consumption choices of the occupants and changes in energy provider rates and programs. Not an offer or solicitation to sell real property. Offers to sell real property may only be made and accepted at the sales center for individual Meritage Homes communities. Home and community information is subject to change, and homes to prior sale, at any time without notice or obligation. ©2013 Meritage Homes Corporation. All rights reserved. CGC#1516367

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A key recreational component of Horizon West is the Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge and its two championship courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat. The complex also boasts the largest driving range and practice facility in the U.S.

ter-planned community, got his high-powered employer to kick Bicycle and pedestrian paths would line every street in an additional $100,000. But Disney generally kept a low proand connect villages and neighborhoods to one another. file so the project wouldn’t be too closely tied to the attraction. Thousands of acres of greenspace would be preserved. Sellen and his colleagues got to work. They drew in part “We looked at everything that made great communities,” upon the pioneering work of Sir Ebenezer Howard (1850says Sellen. “We created, basically, a city of short distances. 1928), whose 1898 publication Garden Cities of To-Morrow It’s not one master-planned community, but several masterdescribed a meticulously planned utopia in which people lived planned communities working off each other.” harmoniously with nature. Horizon West’s core concept of interconnected villages Howard’s hypothetical garden city was self-sufficient and would certainly have pleased Howard. But to make certain accommodated about 32,000 people. He envisioned a cluster that it also pleased county officials, Sellen laid out an alternate of several such cities, linked by road vision of slapdash, parcel-by-parcel and rail, surrounding a central city development consisting of tourist “We looked at everything that with a population of about 50,000. hotels, fast-food outlets and scattered But they also looked at current clusters of tract homes. made great communities. We trends in New Urbanism, Celebration Chris Testerman, now Orange created, basically, a city of short being a prime local example, and County’s director of government reladistances. It’s not one masterstudied well-established communities tions, was then the county’s planning such as Winter Park, which remained director. He recognized that Horizon planned community, but several a model for smart planning a century West would be a vast improvement master-planned communities after its founding. over the kind of haphazard develop“What we came up with was so ment that would otherwise take place. working off each other.” simple that it was powerful,” says Sellen. “This was a pretty monumental — Jim Sellen Horizon West would contain six undertaking,” says Testerman, who to eight Howard-style villages conlater wrote about Horizon West for sisting of two to four neighborhoods. Schools and community Terrain.org, an online magazine dealing with the impact of parks would be within walking distance — a half-mile or less development on the environment. “It avoided fragmented, — of the homes, and the size of each neighborhood would be sprawl-type growth and incorporated the most important pegged to the capacity of its school. ingredients of New Urbanism.” Each village would have its own commercial center with County Commissioner Bob Freeman, whose district encomsuch essentials as a grocery store and a drug store. A major passed Horizon West, also pushed hard for the project, in part mixed-use Town Center with homes, shops, offices and public because he knew that the prospect of large-scale development areas would serve all the villages. would expedite construction of the Western Beltway. (Today the H 10 L i ve Ho r i z o n We s t.c om


limited-access toll road runs from U.S. Highway 441 in Apopka south through Horizon West to Interstate 4 near Disney.) “These people [the property owners] have been shut out for too long,’’ Freeman said at a commission meeting in February 1995. “All of the growth in Orange County has gone to the wettest land in the east. The best land is in the west. With this, we’re trying to turn it around.’’ Commission Chairperson Linda Chapin was also supportive, and even pressed the county to pitch in money and staff time to help finalize the presentation. Dozens of community meetings were also held to get feedback. The next task was to convince the state Department of Community Affairs, which had the authority to approve or reject changes to local land-use plans. (The agency is now called the Division of Community Development and is part of the Department of Economic Opportunity.) Charles Gauthier, then the DCA’s director of community planning, was initially skeptical but changed his mind after seeing what Sellen and company had cooked up. “Our thought was, ‘Boy, now’s the time to get out ahead of this,’” Gauthier said in a 1998 interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “In 20 years of experience, this was the most sophisticated planning I’d seen.”

Impact review process. The Optional Sector Planning Program, a pilot to accommodate Horizon West and four other demonstration projects throughout the state, called for the creation of a conceptual buildout plan for the entire area. Once the sector plan was vetted and approved, it would be augmented by more targeted specific area plans for the individual villages and the Town Center. Orange County approved the conceptual plan, entitled A Village Land Use Classification and Horizon West Study Report, in July 1995. In the years that followed, specific area plans have been submitted and approved as new phases have gotten underway. In 2011, the state adopted the Community Planning Act, which promoted sector planning from pilot-program status to standard practice for large developments. But Horizon West provided the template. Today, Horizon West is somewhat smaller than it was originally envisioned, in part because the northwest portion withdrew to form the Lake Avalon Rural Settlement. But at 23,000 acres and 38 square miles, it’s still huge. Although activity in Horizon West, as elsewhere in Central Florida, slowed during the economic downturn, it’s roaring back to life now. More than 20 years after a cadre of property owners first began swapping ideas over eggs and grits, 2013 has been the year those ideas have truly begun roaring to life. “I may not live to see it all come together,” says Phillips. “But my children will.” 

CREATIVE APPROACHES To facilitate the project, the state and the county adopted an innovative, two-tiered approach that allowed Horizon West to bypass the cumbersome Development of Regional

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Overlook at Hamlin

Overlook at Hamlin is old Florida charm and waterfront living at its finest. Nestled among lakes and citrus groves in a relaxed setting with abundant natural amenities, it’s an escape from everyday life. This master planned community will offer beautifully appointed homes, access to lakes, hiking trails and a bustling town center, all against the backdrop of Florida’s stunning natural landscape. VIP list now forming!

Waterfront living! Coming soon to Winter Garden. – New homes from the $200s - $800s – Community clubhouse with open-air pavilion, resort-style pool and splash pad, lakefront park and amphitheatre – Award-winning school district – Unbeatable access to SR 429 via the New Independence Parkway extension

O V E R L O O K A T H A M L I N . C O M | 8 7 7. 2 4 9 . 6 1 6 8 All incentives, pricing, availability and plans subject to change or delay without notice. Please see a Taylor Morrison Sales Associate for details and visit www.taylormorrison.com for additional disclaimers. © April, 2013, Taylor Morrison of Florida, Inc. All rights reserved.

LiveHorizonWest.co m H1 1


A MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER S. SCOTT BOYD

I

n the 1980s, back-to-back freezes decimated the citrus industry in West Orange County. At the same time, record population increases were being felt throughout the Central Florida region.

The leaders of the day took a hard look at how to grow into the next millennia. As the dialogue between county officials, community leaders and landowners progressed, it became evident that this was a unique opportunity to re-envision how people in the region will live, work and play. Horizon West is the result of that re-envisioning effort. Fast forward a few decades. The history and sense of community found throughout west Orange County has strongly influenced the planning of Horizon West, which is an outstanding example of New Urbanism on a grand scale. Using our schools, trails, recreational spaces, roadway connectivity and mixed-use structures, Horizon West will unite the best of our grandparents’ way of living with how we live today. Sustainability is also key. Horizon West will offer residents the ability to walk to work, bike to dinner and meet friends for coffee down the street. Creating these desirable places to live benefits the entire region’s economy, because attractive communities are a significant draw for companies as they consider where to expand or relocate. Horizon West couples the natural beauty and resources of west Orange County with a well-planned, aesthetically pleasing community that says “welcome home.” This vision, now unfolding, creates an economic engine that serves as a template for implementing an innovative planning alternative that will pave the way to a prosperous future for this sector of the county.

Sincerely, S. Scott Boyd Commissioner, District 1

H 12 L i ve Ho r i z o nWe s t.c om


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W Lake Butler Rd. W Lake Butler Rd. Winter Garden Ficquette Vineland Winter Rd. Garden Rd. Ficquette CRVineland 535 Rd. Rd. CR 535

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W WVin inte Vin inteela r Ga ela r nGd rde nd aRrdd. n Rd en . Sawyer Rd.

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Overstreet Rd. Overstreet Rd.

Chase Rd. Chase Rd.

13245 Longacre Longacre Drive Drive • 13245 • Windermere, Windermere, FL FL34786 34786 407-656-1009 • Pulte.com/Orlando 407-656-1009 • Pulte.com/Orlando From Downtown Orlando: I-4 West to From Downtown Orlando: I-4 West to Exit 68 (CR535/Winter Garden-Vineland Exit 68 (CR535/Winter Garden-Vineland Rd) and turn right. Turn left at 2nd light Rd) and turn right. Turn left at 2nd light to remain on CR535. Drive approx. 7.5 to remain on CR535. Drive approx. 7.5 miles to light at Overstreet Rd. Turn left. miles to light at Overstreet Rd. Turn left. Community is approx. 1.5 miles on right. Community is approx. 1.5 miles on right.

Prices listed are base prices, do not include lot premiums or options, and are subject to change without notice. Pulte Planning Center is a registered trademark of PN II, Inc. This listed material constitute valid offer any stateor where priorand registration is required or ifwithout void by notice. law. Photographs are for illustrative purposestrademark only and are Prices areshall basenot prices, do nota include lotinpremiums options, are subject to change Pulte Planning Center is a registered of not PN II, Inc. intended to shall be annot actual representation of a specific community, neighborhood, orisany completed being offered. see a sales associate This material constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration required or if improvements void by law. Photographs arePlease for illustrative purposes onlyfor anddetails. are not ©2013 Pulte Home Corporation. All rights reserved. CGC1515415 intended to be an actual representation of a specific community, neighborhood, or any completed improvements being offered. Please see a sales associate for details. ©2013 Pulte Home Corporation. All rights reserved. CGC1515415


HERE COMES Boyd Development of Orlando, in partnership with Stratford Land of Dallas, is under way within Hamlin, a 640-acre master-planned development on the east side of the Western Beltway (State Road 429) at the New Independence Parkway interchange. The property lies within the Town Center of Horizon West.

roaD neTWorK ProViDes easY aCCess To eVerYWhere From the interchange, Hamlin stretches east to Lake Hancock, one of the region’s Top 10 lakes in terms of water quality. It also straddles New Independence Parkway, which has been extended east from the Beltway to Tiny Road and the residential community of Independence. In addition, Hamlin Groves Trail has been extended south from New Independence Parkway to Porter Road and Overlook at Hamlin, a 381-unit residential lakefront community being developed by Taylor Morrison Homes. Since the expanded road network provides direct and instant access to the Beltway, commercial tenants, business owners, residents and visitors alike will benefit from all-freeway travel to and from the employment hubs of Maitland Center, Downtown Orlando, Millenia and the attractions area. In fact, from Hamlin any of these locations can each be reached in 20 to 25 minutes.

MasTer Plan CoMBines rUral eleGanCe anD laKeFronT liVinG The development team’s mission is to create a unified, master-planned commercial and residential community with a strong brand identity by incorporating the best of Florida’s architectural styles. Planners will use indigenous landscaping elements framed by classic four-board fencing accented by stone walls and columns. Together these elements will foster a sense of “rural elegance” and a feeling of permanence. The project will also incorporate pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle connectivity between the residential and commercial components, as well as the lakefront parks and other amenities. Engaging the waterfront through publicly accessible lakefront parks is also a high priority. The goal is to provide everyone living, working, shopping or playing at Hamlin the benefits of lakefront living. H 14 L i ve Ho r i z o nWe s t.c om


HAMLIN

DeVeloPMenT MelDs olD-FloriDa CharM WiTh sTaTe-oF-The-arT MasTer PlanninG.

shoPPinG anD DininG is sPeCial aT WaTerFronT liFesTYle CenTer At the core of Hamlin, just east of the interchange along New Independence Parkway, will be a multiphase retail development designed to meet all the shopping, service and dining needs of Hamlin residents and others in west Orange County Plans call for a grocery-anchored neighborhood center, a lakefront lifestyle center and an outdoor mall with desirable junior anchors and larger-format anchor tenants. The complexes will also encompass a mix of sit-down and quick-serve restaurants, financial institutions, drugstores and other retail and business services. All phases will be designed and built in a way that harmonizes with Hamlin’s overall look and feel. Planners have a unique opportunity to take full advantage of the waterfront with Hamlin’s lifestyle component. Visitors can look forward to retail and dining experiences that embrace the natural beauty of the northern shore of Lake Hancock. The lifestyle center will include a boardwalk and docks so that it can be reached by boat. The boardwalk will also link to the multiuse trail system and a lakefront park for access by foot, bike or golf cart. The park, nestled between the retail center and the water’s edge, will include a number of beautiful public spaces that can be easily reached from Hamlin’s residential neighborhoods. It will also provide a casual outdoor environment in which to take a break from shopping or to wait for a table at one of the waterfront restaurants.

haMlin is PoiseD To BeCoMe The hearT oF horizon WesT The unique regional retail complexes, the naturally elegant landscape and hardscape elements and the parks and other amenities are being designed to work synergistically and to maintain value for Hamlin’s homeowners. In addition, the development team’s mission is to create a place with regional significance that drives traffic to businesses that locate in the mixed-use community. For those reasons and more, Hamlin is destined to become a truly special place; the heart of Horizon West and surrounding west Orange County. For more information, visit HamlinFL.com.  LiveHorizonWest.com H1 5


map guide MAGAZINE

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Bay Hill Club

Keene’s Pointe Golf Club

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Grand Cypress Golf Club

Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course

Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course

Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course

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West Orange Orange High School School 33 West 6 Lake Whitney ElementaryHigh School Florida Hospital (opening 2014) 4 4 Florida West Orange High Hospital School (opening 2014) 7 5 Whispering Whispering Oak Oak Elementary Elementary School School 8 Florida5Hospital (opening 2014) Windermere Elementary Elementary School 66 Windermere Whispering Oak Elementary School School 9 Foundation Academy Academy 77 Foundation Windermere Elementary School Keene’s Crossing Crossing Elementary Elementary School School 88 Keene’s Foundation Academy 9 Bridgewater Bridgewater Middle Middle School School Keene’s9 Crossing Elementary School 10 Windermere Windermere Prep Prep School 10 Bridgewater Middle School School 11 Sunset Sunset Park Park Elementary Elementary School School 11 Windermere Prep School

Lake Whitney Whitney Elementary Elementary School School Lake 22 Elementary 5 SunRidge School

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Cornerstone at at Summerport (Publix) 88 Cornerstone The Cascades of Isleworth Summerport (Publix) Overstreet Market Market 99 Overstreet Cornerstone at Summerport (Publix) 10 Market Market at Lakeside Village (Publix) 10 Overstreet Market at Lakeside Village (Publix) 11 Downtown Downtown Disney Disney 11 Market at Lakeside Village (Publix) 12 Crossroads Shopping Shopping Center Center 12 Crossroads Downtown Disney 13 Orange Orange Lake Lake Town Town Center (Publix) 13 Crossroads Shopping Center Center (Publix) 14 Avamar Avamar Shopping Shopping Center Center 1 14 Orange Lake Town Center (Publix) 2 Avamar Shopping Center

Winter Garden Garden Village Winter 22 Grove Plantation Shopping Village Center (Publix) Stoneybrook West Village (Publix) 3 Stoneybrook Winter3Garden Village West Village (Publix) Walgreens 44 Walgreens Stoneybrook West Village (Publix) 5 Windermere 5 Windermere Walgreens 66 Windermere The Cascades Cascades of of Isleworth Isleworth 77 The

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Windermere Trails (Meritage Homes)

15Studios Avalon Reserve (Royal Oak Homes) Disney’s Hollywood

15 Animal Animal Kingdom Kingdom Carrington (Ashton Woods Homes) Magic15 Kingdom 12 16 EPCOT 16Kingdom EPCOT 13 Sweet Water at Summerport (Ryan Homes) Animal 17 Disney’s Disney’s14Hollywood Hollywood Studios 17 HickoryStudios Hammock (M/I Homes) EPCOT

Windermere Country Country Club Club 22 Windermere Stoneybrook West Golf Club on Johns Lake 2 Waterside West Orange Orange Country Country Club 33 West (StandardClub Pacific Homes) Windermere Country Club Isleworth Country Country Club Club 44 Isleworth West Orange Country 3 Club The Reserve at Carriage Pointe Bay Hill Hill Club Club(Taylor Morrison Homes) 55 Country Bay Isleworth Club Ridge (Lennar Homes) 4 Alexander Keene’s Pointe Pointe Golf Club Club 66 Club Keene’s Golf Bay Hill 5County National Golf Center 7 Orange Orange County Keene’s7 Pointe Golf Club National Golf Center 6 Independence 8 Grand Grand Cypress Cypress Golf Club Club (Ashton Woods Homes, Golf Orange8 County NationalLennar Golf Center Homes, Taylor Morrison Homes) 9 Disney’s Disney’s Magnolia Magnolia Golf Golf Course Course 9 Grand Cypress Golf7ClubOverlook at Hamlin (Taylor Morrison Homes) 10 Disney’s Disney’s Oak Oak Trail Trail Golf Golf Course Course 10 Disney’s Magnolia Golf 8 Course Summerlake (D.R. Horton, KB Home) 11 Disney’s Disney’s Osprey Osprey Ridge Ridge Golf Golf Course Course 11 Disney’s Oak Trail Golf 9 Course Windermere Terrace (Pulte Homes) 12 Disney’s Disney’s Lake Lake Buena Buena Vista Vista Golf Course 12 Disney’s Osprey Ridge Course Golf Course 10 Golf Mabel Bridge (KB Home) 13 Waldorf Waldorf Astoria Astoria Golf Golf Club Club 13 Disney’s Lake Buena Golf Course 11Vista Berkshire Park (Ashton Woods Homes, 14 Magic Magic Kingdom Kingdom 14 Pulte Homes) Waldorf Astoria Golf Club

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WestOverlook Golf Club 1 Plantation Grove Shopping Center (Publix) at Johns Lake Pointe 1 Stoneybrook 1 The Shopping Golf/Attractions (Meritage Homes, Standard Pacific Homes)

George Bailey Bailey Park Park 2 George 2 Roper 2YMCA Windermere Little Little League League 3 Windermere 3 George3 Bailey Park Lake Down Down Boat Boat Ramp Ramp 4 44 Lake Windermere Little League Braddock Park Park Ballfields 5 55 Braddock Lake Down Boat Ramp Ballfields Orange County County Sports Complex 6 66 Park Orange Braddock Ballfields Sports Complex 7 R.D. R.D. Keene Keene Park Park and and Boat Boat Ramp Ramp 7 Orange7 County Sports Complex Tibet-Butler Preserve Preserve and Nature Center 88 Tibet-Butler R.D. Keene Park and Boat Rampand Nature Center8 West Beach Beach Park Park 9 99 West Tibet-Butler Preserve and Nature Center

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NEW-HOME COMMUNITIES IN THE HORIZON WEST AREA. ALEXANDER RIDGE

THE RESERVE AT CARRIAGE POINT

 Lennar Homes, from the mid-$200s

 Taylor Morrison Homes, from the $270s to high $300s

Amenities include a pool, cabana and lawn maintenance.

Amenities include a gated entrance, tot lot and ballfield.

AVALON RESERVE  Royal Oak Homes, from the $280s Amenities include a playground, park and tot lot.

BERKSHIRE PARK  Pulte Homes, from the $260s to mid-$300s Amenities include a pool, cabana, playground and walking and bicycling trails.

CARRINGTON  Ashton Woods Homes, from the low $200s

SUMMERLAKE  D.R. Horton Homes, from the mid-$200s  KB Home, from the mid-$200s  Cam Bradford Homes, lakefront homes from the $500s Amenities include a lakefront clubhouse, fitness center, activities room, resort-style swimming pool and sundeck and playground.

Sweet Water at Summerport  Ryan Homes, from the low $200s to low $300s

Amenities include a pool and cabana.

Amenities include a clubhouse, pool, neighborhood parks, walking and bicycling trails.

HICKORY HAMMOCK

THE VINEYARDS

 M/I Homes, now preselling

 KB Home, from the $260s to mid-$300s

Located along the shores of beautiful Johns Lake.

Amenities include a planned pool/cabana and tot lot.

INDEPENDENCE

WATERSIDE ON JOHNS LAKE

 Ashton Woods Homes, lakefront semi-custom homes from the high $400s

 Standard Pacific Homes, from the $300s to more than $1 million

 City Homes, from the mid-$200s

 Lakefront homesites on Johns Lake.

 Lennar Homes, from the low $200s

Amenities include a planned lakefront park and boat dock.

 Taylor Morrison Homes, from the high $300s Amenities include two clubhouses and swimming pools, fitness center, children’s game arcade, tennis courts, basketball courts, bicycling and walking trails.

THE OVERLOOK AT JOHNS LAKE POINTE  Meritage Homes, from the $260s to high $300s  Standard Pacific Homes, from the $400s Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, pool, tennis courts and playground.

MABEL BRIDGE  KB Home, from the $260s to mid-$300s Amenities include a family recreation center with clubhouse, pool and putting green.

THE OVERLOOK AT HAMLIN  Taylor Morrison Homes, from the mid-$200s Amenities include access to Lake Hancock for water sports, walking and bicycling trails, parks and proximity to the planned Town Center.

WINDERMERE TERRACE  Pulte Homes, from the $260s to mid-$300s Amenities include a pool and cabana.

WINDERMERE TRAILS  Meritage Homes, from the $230s Amenities include miles of walking trails, fitness area, tot lot and dog park.

 UP-TO-THEMINUTE NEWS

New announcements about our neighborhoods and retail areas just keep coming. Check our website regularly for the most up-to-date information.

LiveHorizonWest.com


AT YOUR DOORSTEP The Horizon West area is blessed with an abundance of lifestyle advantages — incredible natural beauty, the world’s favorite vacation destination, championship golf courses, well-kept neighborhoods with homes in all price ranges and a strategic location that makes all of Central Florida easily accessible. It’s the most exciting place to live now, and for decades to come. Living in the Horizon West area puts so much at your doorstep:  Pristine lakes for water sports of every description. The Windermere Chain of Lakes is protected by the State of Florida and includes 11 lakes. Lake Hancock, covering 260 acres, offers miles of shoreline in the heart of Horizon West. One of the first phases of the Town Center will be located on Lake Hancock in Hamlin (see the story elsewhere in this magazine).  Walt Disney World Resort hosts more visitors annually than any other attraction in the world. Everything from theme parks to gourmet restaurants to championship golf courses to five-star hotels are available at “The Happiest Place On Earth.”  The Horizon West area is paradise for golfers. Within

minutes of your home are some of the finest courses in the country, including Bay Hill and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista, which host prestigious tournaments on the PGA Tour.  Shopping, shopping, shopping is all around you when you live in Horizon West. Neighborhood centers provide for everyday needs; Winter Garden Village has a huge variety of specialty shops, big-box retailers and restaurants of every description; The Mall at Millenia offers some of the finest boutiques and department stores anywhere; and if you’re looking for a bargain, head for the outlets — no area anywhere has more choices.  Recreation for every age and interest is here as well — water sports on the many lakes, league sports for kids and adults, road races, training facilities, back roads for bicycling and, of course, golf. C’mon, let’s go!  Accessibility is easy, and getting easier every day. State Road 429 runs along the north and west boundaries of the Horizon West area, providing an expressway to Disney and Interstate 4 to the south, Florida’s Turnpike to the north, and downtown Orlando via State Road 408 to the east. It’s all here now, and more is coming every day. 


FAMILIES LOVE INDEPENDENCE!

Lakes, Parks, Recreation and Homes from the $200s to $500s. Grand Entry with reflection pond and clock tower ■ Swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts ■ A Fitness Center, plus walking and bicycling trails ■ Nature preserves and beautiful lakes ■

Lakefront Homes From the high $400s

407-925-1569

Single Family Homes From the mid $200s

407-566-7170

Two Clubhouses (one with a new game arcade for the kids!) Bridgewater Middle School is located in the community ■ Neighborhood parks throughout ■ Boat launch on Lake Hancock ■ ■

Single Family Homes From the mid $200s

407-614-3795

Single Family Homes From the $400s

407-671-7736

www.IndependenceFlorida.com Prices, terms, features and availability are subject to change without notice. Consult the individual homebuilder representative for complete details.


The Horizon West Town Center will encompass stores, restaurants, offices and homes as well as educational facilities, cultural venues and a waterfront park.

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ď&#x192;&#x2020; RETAIL THERAPY From apples to Zegna, find out about shopping, shopping and shopping in the Horizon West area.

LiveHorizonWest.com

H 24 L i ve Ho r i z o n We st.c om


Welcome to tHe social, cultural, retail and business Hub oF burgeoning HoriZon West.

go to town The Horizon West Town Center will be the vibrant heart of this teeming master-planned community, encompassing homes, offices, retailers and educational and recreational facilities. The Town Center property totals 3,700 acres, 1,200 acres of which is developable, just west of the Village of Bridgewater. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s planned for 6,400 homes, 5.7 million square feet of office space, 2.1 million square feet of retail space, 384,000 square feet of warehouse and light industrial space, and 1,200 LiveHorizonWest.com H25


Tiny Road FUTURE REGIONAL SPORTSPARK

MULTI-FAMILY

EXISTING MIDDLE SCHOOL

HEALTH + WELLNESS CAMPUS

Hamlin includes the first phase of the Horizon West Town Center, with plans for lakefront parks, shops, restaurants, offices and a health and wellness campus. Hamlin has three miles of waterfront on Lake Hancock, and is adjacent to the Orange County Sportsplex, which is planned for ballfields and youth sports facilities.

RETAIL HAMLIN GATEWAY

PARK OFFICE RETAIL

New Independence Parkway

MULTI-FAMILY

RETAIL

RETAIL

HAMLIN BEACH

INDEPENDENCE

MULTI-FAMILY PARK

LAKE HANCOCK

rail ves T Gro

TOWN CENTER WEST

PARK

lin Ham

PARK

OVERLOOK AT HAMLIN

SOUTHERN GATEWAY PARK MULTI-FAMILY RETAIL

Summerlake Blvd.

Porter Road

hotel rooms with a conference center. Health Central and Valencia College also own Town Center tracts. A key component of the Town Center is the Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge and its two championship courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat. The complex, which opened in the late 1990s, also features a 9-hole short course, several on-site instruction schools and the largest driving range and practice facility in the U.S. The Town Center will be divided into four distinct districts, each with a specific use:  Retail and Wholesale District. Will include big-box retailers, restaurants and businesses of all varieties.  Corporate Campus and Mixed-Use District. Will include a mix of offices and homes in campus-like and neighborhood settings.  Corporate Neighborhood Center District. Will include neighborhood retailers, service businesses and civic facilities.  Traditional Town Center District. Will include retailH 26 L i ve Ho r i z o n We st.c om

OVERLOOK AT HAMLIN

SUMMERLAKE

ers, cultural venues, educational facilities anchored by Valencia College and a waterfront park as well as some 1,140 homes. Orlando-based Boyd Development and Dallas-based Stratford Land kick-started the Town Center last year with the groundbreaking of Hamlin, a $1 billion, 640-acre mixeduse project at the intersection of State Road 429 and the New Independence Parkway interchange. Boyd plans to build a 130,000-square-foot retail center featuring a grocery-anchored neighborhood shopping center with an adjacent apartment complex. The project is also approved for 2 million square feet of retail and commercial space as well as schools and a hospital. Hamlin, named for a popular type of juice orange first cultivated in Florida in the 1870s, will eventually encompass 1,700 homes, both single- and multifamily, with 180 homesites along Lake Hancock. Walking and biking trails as well as publicly accessible waterfront parks are also planned. 


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West Orange County has it all, from the upscale Mall at Millenia to major attractions such as Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney World and SeaWorld. On the facing page is scenic County Road 438, stretches of which are highlighted by canopies of majestic oak trees.

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From urban panacHe to rural beauty, WonderFul West orange Has everytHing you could Want.

love life West Orange County is an eclectic region that in many ways exemplifies the best of Central Florida, in all its difficult-to-categorize glory. It’s rural and urban. It’s wealthy and middle-class. It’s defined by internationally known attractions and picture-postcard small towns. It’s forward looking and steeped in history. And, of course, it’s dotted by shimmering lakes — more than 200 of them — along with pristine natural areas where LiveHorizonWest.com H29


 SCHOOL DAYS a great community needs great schools. learn about all the schools in the Horizon West area.

Winter Garden Village at Fowler Groves is an openair shopping center that features restaurants and retailers of every variety. Although west Orange is a bustling place, it still encompasses some of the region’s most unspoiled wilderness areas, such as the Tibet Butler Preserve, shown to the left.

LiveHorizonWest.com

Planning Transportation Land Development Environmental

Investing in Community Every successful community begins with a successful plan. That’s why in 1993, Orange County Government and Horizon West, Inc. looked to the master planners at VHB MillerSellen to forego the piece-meal planning approach and develop a comprehensive sector plan for 28,000 acres – stretching from Winter Garden to Walt Disney. The outcome was new land use and detailed design standards built on community consensus, design excellence and smart growth principals.

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Twenty years later, Horizon West is viewed as a place of progress where people thrive, communities evolve, and the environment continues to flourish. At VHB MillerSellen, we call this a long term community investment.


Winter Garden, in fact, boasts a beautifully restored downtown wildlife still thrives. historic district packed with boutiques and restaurants. Today, west Orange is also a regional shopping and dining The 19-mile West Orange Trail, wildly popular among mecca. For example, Central Florida’s famed “Restaurant Row” hikers, bikers and rollerbladers, meanders through the center stretches along Sand Lake Road near the upscale Mall at Millenia of the city, where parking and concessions are provided at a with its world-class department stores — Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s rest station. Eventually, a trail system in Horizon West will and Neiman Marcus — and premium boutiques. be connected to the existing West West Orange is also home to much Orange Trail. of Walt Disney World, including the West Orange also encompasses two Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney West Orange is also home to other incorporated areas, Windermere and Epcot as well as Disney’s resort and Oakland. Windermere proper is properties and its four championship much of Walt Disney World, nestled on an isthmus between sevgolf courses. including the Magic Kingdom, eral lakes on the Butler Chain, which Universal Orlando Resort and includes lakes Butler, Tibet, Down, SeaWorld Orlando are also in west Downtown Disney and Epcot Sheen, Louise and Chase as well as Orange as are major shopping destias well as Disney’s resort Pocket Lake, Lake Blanche, Wauseon nations such as the West Oaks Mall properties and its four Bay, Lake Isleworth and Little Fish Lake. and Winter Garden Village at Fowler The Butler Chain is known for its Groves. championship golf courses. beauty, water quality and abundance For generations, west Orange of freshwater fish. Its lakes are also was a citrus-growing mecca. Tens of fronted by some of the region’s most thousands of acres were covered with desirable real estate. Adjacent to Windermere are prestigious lush but orderly groves and, during the season, when soft gated communities where many of Central Florida’s most breezes blew, the irresistible scent of orange blossoms wafted high-profile sports celebrities and business executives live through the air. West Orange has two premier hospitals, Health Central The first communities in west Orange were spawned by the Hospital and Dr. Phillips Hospital, both operated by Orlando citrus industry. Winter Garden and Ocoee, the area’s two largest Health, as well as urgent-care centers operated by Health cities, have worked hard to retain their Mayberryesque appeal.

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Centennial Plaza anchors historic downtown Winter Garden, which features an array of shops, restaurants and a restored movie theater that hosts live performances.

Central and Florida Hospital. Orlando Health also owns a parcel within the Horizon West Town Center, although plans for it have not been announced. In Winter Garden Village, Adventist Health, which operates eight Florida Hospital campuses across Central Florida, is building a three-story facility containing a diagnostic-imaging department, medical offices and a 15-bed emergency department. Eventually, pending state approval, the health-care giant hopes to build another free-standing hospital on the site. Educational opportunities are abundant in west Orange. In addition to highly rated public and private elementary and secondary schools, the sector is home to Valencia College’s bustling 180-acre West Campus. Valencia, like Orlando Health, owns a parcel in the Horizon West Town Center. Few areas of Central Florida are more beautiful and unspoiled than the parks and preservation areas found in west Orange. The Tibet Butler Preserve, for example, contains more than four miles of interpretive hiking trails and elevated boardwalks radiating from the Vera Carter Environmental Center, which features wildlife exhibits and hosts a special environmental studies series for fifth graders. The trails wind their way through bay and cypress swamps, freshwater marshes, H 3 2 L i ve Ho r i z o nWe s t.c om

scrub and pine flatwoods. The Oakland Nature Preserve encompasses 128 acres of natural shoreline on Lake Apopka, Florida’s third largest lake. The boardwalk to Lake Apopka is the centerpiece, offering dramatic views along the lakeshore. The preserve’s Green Trail is a loop off the boardwalk through a shady oak hammock, where you may see antelope or emus on an adjacent wildlife preserve. And its Uplands Trail is a network of short pathways through the sandhills that connect to the West Orange Trail. Also key to the area’s appeal is its convenient transportation network. In anticipation of growth to come, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority worked with Orange County and a consortium of property owners to bring State Road 429, also known as the Daniel Webster Beltway, south through Horizon West all the way to Interstate 4 near Disney World. The limited-access toll road also offers easy access to Florida’s Turnpike. In short, Horizon West, in addition to being a self-contained community rich with its own amenities, has the added advantage of a location squarely in the center of Central Florida’s most dynamic and exciting region. 


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FACILITATING OPPORTUNITY IN HORIZON WEST Whether you are already a resident of Horizon West or will soon become one, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the premier business association in West Orange County, applauds you for choosing it as your place to call home. For decades, the Chamber, through its committed members, has been involved in the creation of Horizon West, from the vision to its realization and continued advancement. Once-prosperous citrus groves adversely impacted by winter freezes were converted into a deluxe assortment of residential options, award-winning community schools, lush green spaces and parks, and neighborhood retail centers with interconnected bike paths. The property is also dotted with pristine lakes. Soon, too, offices will be strategically placed within the Horizon West landscape. All of these amenities and attributes truly make Horizon West the perfect place to live, work and play. The West Orange Chamber, the 2009 and 2012 Florida Chamber of the Year, is proud to include Horizon West among its communities. Many of our businesses have already expanded into Horizon West and look forward to providing more services and products for residents. As Horizon West continues its smart-growth plan, the West Orange Chamber will be front and center to help cultivate a business climate that is beneficial to everyone. The organization is committed to being the leading business advocate in Central Florida, as we exist to serve by Facilitating Opportunity. That means building partnerships and strong businesses through an unshakeable commitment to West Orange County. For more information on how the West Orange Chamber can Facilitate Opportunity for you, please visit.wochamber.com.

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milestones  1989. A ruinous Christmas freeze caps a decade of freezes that have combined to decimate the region’s citrus industry.  1992. A group of west Orange County citrus growers and landowners meet at a Winter Garden Ranch House restaurant to discuss how to use their non-productive grove acreage.  1993. Horizon West Inc. is formed and, with financial assistance from Disney World, the group hires the land-planning firm of Miller, Sellen, Connor and Walsh Inc. (now VBH MillerSellen) to craft a master plan for the 38,000-acre expanse.  1995. Orange County and the Florida Department of Community Affairs adopt a pilot development approval mechanism called the Optional Sector Planning Program for Horizon West and four other test projects. The county approves Horizon West’s sector plan through a document entitled A Village Land Use Classification and Horizon West Study Report. Through sector planning, additional specific area plans are required for individual components of a large development.  1997. Lakeside Village specific area plan is adopted.  1999. Village of Bridgewater specific area plan is adopted.  2004. Town Center specific area plan is adopted.  2005-2005. State Road 429, otherwise known as the Daniel Webster Western Beltway, stretching from Florida’s Turnpike south through Horizon West to Interstate 4 near Disney World, is completed.  2006. Village H and Village F specific area plans are adopted.  2008. Village I specific area plan is adopted.  2012. Ground is broken for Hamlin, a mixed-use development that is the first sector of the Horizon West Town Center.  2013. New roads open off S.R. 429, providing easy access into the Horizon West area from the west and creating opportunities for retail and commercial development at high-traffic locations.

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Live the Resort Lifestyle from the mid $200s.

LAKEFRONT HOMES NOW AVAILABLE!

Florida Turnpike

Winter Garden Village

535

429

Porter Rd.

d. sR am Re

Orange County National Golf Center

Fiquette Rd.

Windermere Prep

WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

535

NEW LAKEFRONT CLUBHOUSE! NEW MODEL CENTER! Summerlake combines the relaxing, resort lifestyle with a huge variety of homes priced from the

mid $200s. The fabulous lakefront Clubhouse and recreation center is now open, with an incredible pool that’s great for recreation, relaxation and meeting new friends. The Clubhouse includes a Fitness Center overlooking the pool, a multi-purpose room and an office for the Activities Director. Summerlake is now offering gorgeous homes on Lake Hancock by Cam Bradford Homes, plus a variety of designs by D.R. Horton and KB Home. Find the perfect home for your family at Summerlake — on the lake, across from a park, or close to the Clubhouse. Be sure to tour our wonderful selection of homes available for immediate occupancy. Visit the new model center at Summerlake and discover why It’s Great To Live At Summerlake!

Lakefront Homes from the $500s

407-963-2042

Single Family Homes From the mid $200s

407-614-5997

Single Family Homes From the mid $200s

407-614-8994

Home and community information, including pricing, features, terms, availability and amenities are subject to change and prior sale at any time without notice or obligation.

H 3Pictures, 6 L i vephotographs, Ho r i z o n We s t.c om features, colors and sizes are approximate for illustration purposes only and will vary from the home built.


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2013 Equality Florida Greater Orlando Gala Friday, November 1st 8:00-11:00pm

Join us for a wonderful event with drinks, fabulous hors d’oeuvres, and an exciting program – including a State of the State Address by our Executive Director, Nadine Smith and a celebration of our 2013 Voice for Equality Award Honorees. Suggested minimum contribution $100 Sponsorship Opportunities Begin at $500 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Equality Florida’s important work.

To RSVP or learn more about sponsorship visit www.eqfl.org/orlandogala or call 407-462-9692

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“Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.We are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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TRAVELS

Curaçao

The diving is easy and accessible from Curaçao’s resorts. Plus, you can explore the island’s undeveloped southwestern coast via a bumpy ATV excursion (opposite page).

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It’s a Dutch Treat

CULTURES COMBINE IN COLORFUL CURAçAO.

I

by Denise Bates Enos

photos: courtesy Curaçao tourist bureau

’ll never star in an action blockbuster, practice Scientol-

ogy, use Oprah’s couch for a trampoline or wear lifts in my shoes. But now I finally have something in common with Tom Cruise: We’ve both driven ATVs along the rugged desert shoreline of Curaçao. And neither of us was recognized. Me, because I’m not famous. Him, because he wore a full-face racing helmet. Cruise reportedly took his ATV tour back when he was still married to Katie Holmes, but I just grabbed a flight to Curaçao on Dutch Antilles Express this summer. DAE now offers direct flights from Orlando International Airport on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, so you can be on this tiny Caribbean island in less than three hours. Located about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao is one of the “ABC” islands — Aruba and Bonaire are the other two — and all three are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. From the architecture to the official language, the Dutch influence remains strong here. But it’s spiced with a lively mix of Latin American, African and Caribbean influences. This is an island with a split personality. On the southeastern coast you have quaint, Europeanflavored Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital city. The southwestern coast is largely unspoiled and laced with wave-pummeled inlets called “bokas” in Papiamentu, the Creole language spoken by many of the island’s inhabitants. Fortunately, the island is small enough — a mere 38 miles from tip to tip —that it’s easy to fit in visits to both sides, even during a weekend trip. So, where to start? Willemstad is the logical choice, since Curaçao International Airport is located just outside the capital. This historic city is bisected by Sint Anna Bay, with each side having a name that underscores its dual Europeanislander populace: Punda (“point” in Dutch) and Otrobanda (“the other side” in Papiamentu). ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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A floating pedestrian bridge, known to locals as the “Swinging Old Lady,” links the two sides. When a ship needs to enter the port, the bridge is swung parallel to shore and a flag goes up to alert residents that they’ll have to take the ferry to cross the bay. The Punda side is where you’ll find old-world buildings that would look right at home in Amsterdam, if not for their colorfully painted facades. Legend has it that most of the buildings were once white, until a nineteenth-century governor claimed that the glare triggered his migraines and ordered them painted in an array of more pleasing hues. After the governor’s death, the story goes, it was revealed that he had a financial interest in the only paint factory on the island. But the tradition of painting homes on the island with sherbet-bright colors has endured. And the historic city, with some structures dating back to the seventeenth century, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of just a handful in the Caribbean. Willemstad is colorful in every way. The floating market boasts a rainbow coalition of fish and produce brought in by boat. The boats dock at the market stalls, where the vendors display their wares. Some of that produce ends up in batidas, frothy smoothies made from a variety of fruits, which are offered pretty much everywhere. There’s also the sandy-floored synagogue, Mikvé IsraelEmanuel, the oldest continually used synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. It’s also a museum that chronicles the fourcentury history of the island’s Jewish population. A tragic part of Curaçao’s past is explored at Otrobanda’s Museum Kura Hulanda, which takes an unflinching approach to chronicling Curaçao’s role as a center for the slave trade. Such a place isn’t a traditional must-see for those on a carefree island vacation, but the museum, which also houses a large collection of ancient artifacts from the Middle East, ORLANDO LIFE

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Curaçao

Historic Willemstad, packed with colorful buildings, is bisected by Sint Anna Bay. The island’s delicious food reflects its eclectic Dutch, Latin American, African and Caribbean heritage.

Where to Stay

Rome, Egypt and Africa, shouldn’t be missed. After taking in the cosmopolitan charm of Willemstad, the island’s natural wonders beckon. The southwestern side boasts Curaçao’s best beaches, diving and snorkeling sites. Make arrangements with Go West Diving for a boating excursion to reef sites that are close to the shore and teeming with colorful corals and tropical fish. Snorkeling trips start at $40 per person, including masks and fins. Or, if you’d prefer to explore the island’s undeveloped coast on dry land, Eric’s ATV Adventures offers guided tours starting at $90 per ATV. Curaçao is no palm-fringed tropical oasis; the vehicles rumble along an arid track peppered with cacti and volcanic rock, the waves pounding the jagged shoreline. Snorkeling, diving and ATV-ing are all great options, but the southwestern side is also the place to enjoy some serious beach time. Most of the island’s nearly three-dozen public and private beaches are found here, and the aquatic life is so abundant that the snorkeling’s great just a few yards offshore. Be sure to bring water shoes; the calcified coral and seashells make going barefoot a challenge. Europeans often come to Curaçao and stay for several weeks or longer, but for Americans and their abbreviated vacation schedules, a week or even a long weekend is plenty of time to enjoy this colorful island’s bounty of man-made and natural pursuits. n

Where to Dine

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Whether you choose to stay on the urban eastern coast or the unspoiled western coast — or both — the Sandton Kura Hulanda is a great choice. The Hotel & Spa in Willemstad’s Otrobanda is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort features a mix of beautifully restored buildings and new construction designed to blend seamlessly into the historic setting. Rates start at $159 a night. The Lodge & Beach Club on the southwest coast has its own stretch of beach, an oceanfront open-air restaurant and snorkeling both on-site and by boat. Rates start at $229 a night.

Curaçao may be small, but it has a surprising number of excellent eateries. On the eastern side, try Equus. It’s only open on Friday nights, when it’s packed with locals and savvy travelers who’ve heard that the skewers of flame-grilled meat are seasoned and cooked to perfection. No silverware is offered, so be prepared to eat with your hands. And on the western side, go to Landhuis Misjé. The fresh, innovative dishes include the restaurant’s version of keshi yena, a savory native dish that features beef, raisins and cheese.

photos: courtesy Curaçao tourist bureau

TRAVELS

OCTOBER 2013

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PEOPLE & PLACES

with paula

Delicious Decade

COOKING UP A CELEBRATION FOR NORMAN VAN AKEN.

K

nives, knives, knives! For a moment I thought I had

walked into the middle of a ninja movie. That’s how many finely honed blades were glinting in the picture-perfect lighting as we all stood there, agog, at Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. Fortunately, the knives were not weapons. They were more like holy relics. As part of a $1,000-a-plate dinner marking the restaurant’s 10th anniversary, renowned New World Cuisine chef Norman Van Aken presented fellow celebrity chefs Jeremiah Tower, Emeril Lagasse and Dean Fearing with cooking knives that had been salvaged from the kitchen of the late, great gourmet guru James Beard.

There were oohs and aahs and everything but genuflections among the crowd of admirers, all of whom had happily plunked down that four-figure tab in exchange for a night at the Ritz, an eight-course dinner and a chance to cluster in a warm-up meet-and-greet around Van Aken and his culinary colleagues. Top-tier local chefs were also on hand, including Brandon McGlamery (Luma on Park, Prato); Scott Hunnel (Victoria & Albert’s); James and Julie Petrakis (Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder); and Sean Woods and Stephane Cheramy (Ritz-Carlton). “Nothing could have kept me away from this,” bubbled Windermere realtor Debbie Andrews, who attended the soirée despite having a shiner and sporting a sling, courtesy of a spill on a wet dock that left her with three broken bones in her shoulder. Over four decades of marriage, she and her late husband had spent every one of their anniversary dinners at Norman’s. The next night, she and a crowd filled with like-mind-

1. Emeril Legasse, Dean Fearing, Caroline Stuart, Norman Van Aken, Jeremiah Tower, Justin Van Aken 2. The team from Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes

PHOTOS: brion price

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3. Tim Keating, Dean Fearing, Jeremiah Tower, Brandon McGlamery, Scott Hunnel

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PEOPLE AND PLACES

with paula

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1. Gene Muhart and daughter Michelle 2. Maria Hope Goodwin and Ken Goodwin 3. Carl and Teresa Simpson 4. Michael Cullen, Rebecca Rhodes, Deanna Kotch 5. Terry Mooney, Teresa Jacobs, Terry Olson ed loyalists enjoyed a repast that included the likes of rabbit and foie gras terrine, Paloma’s Kastakan pork belly, Maine lobster salad, Florida shrimp- and mirliton-stuffed quail, veal casoncelli, roasted wreckfish with butifarra sausage and maple-soaked buffalo tenderloin. At one point, standing in the elegant lobby of his namesake restaurant, a beaming Chef Norman had turned to me and said: “I feel so embraced here.” Well — no wonder!

RED CHAIR AFFAIR

This event was, well, quite an affair. It was just such a great teaser — a smoothly paced preview/sampler of what’s to come this arts season — featuring a series of vignettes by groups ranging from the Orlando Ballet to the Saks Comedy Lab. The so-called Red Chair Affair — I’ll explain the name in 92

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a paragraph or two — was held at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. But there was a whole ’nother scene at the pre-show, VIP gathering backstage. The guest list included a who’s who of local arts supporters, including Ron Legler, who orchestrates the wonderful Broadway Across America series at the Carr; United Arts president Flora Maria Garcia; and John DiDonna, director of Valencia Community College’s theater department. Bravo to John for engineering the performing-arts vignettes on stage. There was a bit of showmanship and drama at the backstage VIP event, which gave guests the chance to mingle, munch and bid on the collection of cleverly constructed mini-chairs that are the event’s trademark. Funds raised through the auction of the chairs — which are, in fact, red — will be used to benefit various arts organizations. To be clear, you aren’t just bidding on undersized pieces of furniture. Each chair comes with an experience, such as a trip to a tourist destination or tickets to one or more cultural events. Not that the chairs themselves aren’t pretty cool. They’re actually objects d‘art — well, some more than others. There was a wonderful glass creation crafted by plastic surgeon Saulius Jankauskas (working with glass is a hobby of his). There was a droll little offering that came with a pack-

PHOTOS: Tony Firriolo

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1.

2.

3. age of shows at the Amway Arena: It boasted a formidable array of nails poking out of the seat, a reference to an appearance at the venue by the vintage heavy metal group, Nine Inch Nails. We overheard someone take a look at it and quip: “Looks like the perfect chair for my in-laws.”

PHOTOS: SHelley Lake

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

I could feel the spirit of the tumultuous 1920s in the air as I pulled up to the Rosen Centre. My head hurt a little because my flapper headband was tight. I adjusted it, placed my 4-foot string of pearls over my head and bounded to the ballroom to meet friends for Harriett Lake’s A Night To Remember — an event celebrating the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. The room had a way-back feel, thanks to the dress code, décor, and an airing of the HBO movie Iron Jawed Angels, about the suffrage movement. Meredith McWaters and Lois Silverberg offered me a spot at Harriett’s table after I made a beeline to the themed photo-op area, which was being skillfully manned by the talented Shelley Lake, of Sky Lake Studios in Winter Park (she’s Harriett’s daughter). Hotelier extraordinaire Harris Rosen was in the house, as was Deborah Hessler of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation and Jackie Brockington of Central Florida News 13. When Harriett spoke, she gave thanks to the League of Women Voters in Orange and Seminole counties; the ORLANDO-LIFE.COM

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1. 1. Night to Remember attendees watch HBO’s ode to suffragettes, Iron Jawed Angels. 2. Deirdre Macnab 3. Harriett Lake 4. Meredith McWaters, Harriett Lake, Lois Silverberg, Harris Rosen, Blanquita Trabold 5. Val Demings Women’s Resource Center, the Women’s Division of the UJA, the Greater Orlando Junior League, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, the Orange County Regional History Center and the Friends of Harriett Inc. who volunteered to support this memorable event. n

THERE’S MORE ONLINE

Using your mobile device, scan the QR code or go to orlando-life.com and see more pictures and stories from these and other events held throughout Central Florida. Native Floridian Paula Wyatt is an Orlando event planner, socialmedia expert and entrepreneur whose companies include Posh Able Events, Posh Able Image Builders and the nonprofit Posh Abilities. You can reach her at paula@poshableevents.com. ORLANDO LIFE

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RESTLESS NATIVE

mike thomas

Life Cycle Lessons

I WAS TOO OLD TO CRASH. TOO OLD TO BREAK BONES. I feel very hot and very heavy, with a very long way yet to go. I move crutches out first and plant them on the sidewalk. I then try pushing off with my left leg, the useless one. The pain zips up the femur and rings a bell in my hip. The house is 100 yards ahead. The crutches go out again and plant on the sidewalk. It’s like I’m coming home from the Civil War.

T

hat’s a dramatic rendition of me being a big baby. But,

honestly, I don’t deserve this. I gave up the wheelto-wheel, high-speed bike racing a few years ago. There would be no more careening through red lights to keep up with the lead pack. No more mixing it up with angry men in pickups and distracted teens on smart phones. No more avoiding riders who wobble, who don’t know the rules of the peloton, who get in over their heads and make stupid decisions. I was too old to crash. Too old to break bones. And so I opted to become a recreational rider. I would take a break at every Panera, put on a little paunch under the spandex, and stop to help strangers with flat tires. In my first stab at this new lifestyle, I was riding with a new group and missed the turn onto a bike trail. I tried to quickcorrect course and turned straight into the curb. The front tire exploded on impact. I went over the handlebars, did a half summersault, and nailed a perfect, half-tuck landing on my right shoulder blade. The shock waves set off an internal earthquake, crumbling my ribs and clavicle and deflating my lung. I lay on the sidewalk, trying to suck in oxygen, like a mullet on the bottom of a johnboat. The one thing I had going for me: Recreational cyclists will stop under such circumstances and call an ambulance. Racers will assume you are conscious and have a cell phone. For the next three months, every movement set off a sword fight inside my chest. It took two years before I’d get back on my bike. But this time it was on bike trails, with friends, taking it slow and easy. No surprises; no missed turns. Probability of broken bones: too small to quantify. That is what I was doing three weeks ago on the Cross Seminole Trail. We got to an overpass and I stood up on the pedals and

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propelled myself to the top with a few hard cranks. And then it was downhill, leading into a curve, slick from an early morning rain. The wheels started sliding out from under me. Racing bikes are minimalist constructions of carbon fiber and feather-light wheels. They have no substance, no forward momentum, no traction control. They are as skittish as rodeo horses. Once a racing bike loses its grip on the road, there is scant chance of re-engaging. I was like Wile E. Coyote running over the side of the cliff, oblivious at first, then looking down, gulping, falling. There are two ways to land under such circumstances. One, you come in at an angle and slide, losing skin layers. That hurts. Two, you come down in a splat. That usually requires an ambulance. This was my second splat landing in three years. I came down so fast that I didn’t even have time to put out my arm and break my clavicle again. I hit violently on my left hip and bounced onto my right side. The left leg sat limply on top of the right. I ordered it to move. The ankle complied. The knee was good for a few degrees. But that was it. I quickly diagnosed a hip/femur fracture, with surgery required. ■■■ There is now one piece of rebar in my femur and another going into my hip. It is an internal cast, put in place through very tiny incisions, like building a ship in a bottle. I never broke any bones in the first half of my life, and have broken a dozen in the second half. If they ever found my skeleton back in a swamp and tried to determine what my occupation had been, the first guess would be “rodeo clown.” I will get over this because that is what I do. I train for things. I used to train for marathons. Now I train to walk. When I do walk, I can guarantee you this: I will not ride. Not ever again. ■ Native Floridian and longtime Orlando columnist Mike Thomas is a freelance writer. You can reach him at miket@orlando-life.com. OCTOBER 2013

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Oct. 13-19, 2013

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WELCOME We’re excited to share Park Avenue with you.

PHOTO: WINTER PARK PHOTOGRAPHY

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ou’ll notice a few new wrinkles — elegant ones, of course — along the Avenue and under the tent this year, as the city’s seventh annual Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week breezes through Winter Park with an array of trunk shows, designer displays, store specials and fashion extravaganzas. As always, the event, which runs from Oct. 13-19 this year, will conclude with a tented, 7 p.m. Runway Show in Central Park’s West Meadow on its final day. Again, there is a charity partner: This year it’s Women of Hope, an auxiliary group for the Community Food & Outreach Center. The new wrinkles you’ll be most eager to see will be on display on the runway and in Park Avenue boutiques. For starters, you’ll be seeing lots of skinny jeans and thin-legged pants. There’ll be intense jewelry tones in mixedmedia garments, with lots of leather trimming and blends of Ponte knits, quilting and silks. “I think it’s a wonderful season this year for Florida,” says Susan Johnson, owner-operator of Bella, one of the Avenue’s upscale boutiques. “The colors suit us better; the fabrics as well. All that gray last year wasn’t good for us. I think the designers are beginning to realize that more and more they’ve got to keep warm-weather climates in mind.” But of course it’s always good to keep some traditions intact, and on that score, irrepressible, 91-year-old donor-diva Harriett Lake returns as the event’s namesake sponsor. She has curtailed her appearances around and about town a bit this past year, and spends much of her time watching taped episodes of her favorite television show, Breaking Bad. You might think it odd for a philanthropic fashionista better known for her devotion to various worthy charities and Judith Leiber purses to have a fixation on a show about meth labs and murderous Albuquerque drug distributors. But that’s only if you didn’t know Harriett. (Her favorite Breaking Bad character: Jesse Pinkman, the high-school dropout who gets drawn into drug dealing. “I’d like to just reach in, grab him, give him a scholarship and send him away to college. Maybe he could become a chemistry professor.”) But Harriett promises to be in her appointed place at the edge of the runway for the week’s finale, decked out in her usual high-fashion ensembles, topped off with her trademark flamboyant designer headgear. “I’ll be there,” she says. “That’s one I still get out of bed for. See ya! ”

Michael McLeod, Editor in Chief Orlando Life FALL 2013

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SPONSORS

Title Sponsor:

Harriett Lake Presenting Sponsor:

VIP Lounge Sponsor:

Media Partners:

Cloak & Dapper

iLuvWinterPark.com

Harriett’s Happy Hour Sponsor: Orlando Health

VIP Swag Party Sponsors: 180medspa The Alfond Inn

VIP Kickoff Party Sponsor: The Alfond Inn

Platinum Sponsor:

Orange Appeal Orlando Life The Park Press Winter Park-Maitland Observer WMMO 98.9 FM

Event Partners: Cox Events Group Etch Gear Makeup On Hand

Participating Sponsors:

Scan Design

California Closets It Works Venture Photography

Stella Luca Uproar PR Winter Park Photography

Friends of Fashion:

Silver Sponsor:

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Grafton Family Judi King, The Seamstress Tony Perrone and Estate & Business Planning Group Marni Spence

PHOTO: WINTER PARK PHOTOGRAPHY

Gold Sponsor:

Fashion Finds: Raechele McMahan Joe Terranova & Agnés Horyza

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TICKET INFORMATION

VIP $200

■ Priority seating in rows 1-3 ■ Private VIP Lounge access at the Runway Show ■ VIP Runway Show After Party ■ Swag envelope ■ Invitation to all official Park Avenue Fashion Week VIP Parties ■ Complimentary hors d’oeuvres from Winter Park’s finest restaurants ■ Complimentary champagne, wine, beer and signature drink ■ Invitation to all Park Avenue Fashion Week trunk shows, boutique events and parties

PHOTO: WINTER PARK PHOTOGRAPHY

GENERAL ADMISSION $50 ■ Seating in rows 4-10 ■ Invitation to all Park Avenue Fashion Week trunk shows, boutique events and parties ALL SEATING IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY Tickets available at parkavenuefashionweek.com

Food and Beverage Sponsors Luma on Park 290 S. Park Ave. / 407-599-4111 lumaonpark.com Matilda’s on Park 358 N. Park Ave. / 407-951-5790 facebook.com/matildasonpark Mi Tomatina, Paella Bar 433 W. New England Ave. / 321-972-4881 mitomatina.com The Naked Grape thenakedgrapewine.com 6

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Peroni peroniitaly.com Red Bull redbull.com Vitamin Water vitaminwater.com Winter Park Fish Co. 761 Orange Ave. / 407-622-6112 thewinterparkfishco.com

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COM

AS

Runway Show Participants ■ Bella 329 N. Park Ave. / 407-644-6522 ■ Blue Door Denim Shoppe 316 N. Park Ave. / 407-647-2583 facebook.com/bluedoordenimshoppe ■ Charyli 400 S. Park Ave., Suite 120 / 407-455-1983 charylistores.com ■ The Collection Bridal 301 N. Park Ave. / 407-740-6003 thecollectionbridal.com ■ Current 128 S. Park Ave. / 407-628-1087 currentmen.com ■ Eyes & Optics 312 N. Park Ave. / 407-644-5156 eyesoptics.com ■ Forema Boutique 300 N. Park Ave. ■ iLashWorks 111 S. Knowles Ave., Suite 201 / 407-622-0226 ilashworks.com

Alex and Ani 356 S. Park Ave. / 321-422-0841 alexandani.com SEE Eyewear 342 S. Park Ave. / 407-599-5455 seeeyewear.com Timothy’s Gallery 236 N. Park Ave. / 407-629-0707 timothysgallery.com tugboat & the bird 318 N. Park Ave. / 407-647-5437 tugboatandthebird.com

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■ LaBella Intimates & Boutique 510 S. Park Ave. / 407-790-7820 labellaintimates.com ■ Lilly Pulitzer 114 N. Park Ave. / 407-539-2324 lillypulitzer.com ■ Liz’s Fashion Experience 311 S. Park Ave. / 407-628-1680 ■ Tuni 301 S. Park Ave. / 407-628-1609 facebook.com/tunifashionwinterpark

PHOTO: WINTER PARK PHOTOGRAPHY

Event Participants

■ John Craig Clothiers 132 S. Park Ave. / 407-629-7944 johncraigclothier.com

■ The Unique Diamond Boutique 157 E. New England Ave. / 407-218-5955 uniquediamondboutique.com

SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

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Welcome to an extraordinary place for women’s health and healing, an elegant haven designed just for you. The new Florida Hospital for Women at Winter Park Memorial Hospital offers a one-stop boutique approach for your mind-body-spirit called Full Embrace Health Care. Here you’ll find physician specialists in women’s health as well as your very own Life Designer, a specially trained registered nurse to guide you on your personal health journey. Inspired by you, she’ll collaborate to design your HealthStyle Guide for how you want to live according to your ultimate vision of health and happiness.

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To schedule a consultation with your Life Designer, please call 407-646-7999, or visit WinterParkWomensHealth.com Official Partner of Park Avenue Fashion Week

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS sale, buy two bras, get one free. 10 a.m.-5p.m. SEE: Be the first to experience a brand-new and exclusive eyewear collection by Project Runway designer Mondo Guerra. Have a tryon party as you enjoy light bites, mimosas and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. tugboat & the bird: A special designer appearance. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tuni: The Fashion Week Paparazzi Party offers a sneak peak at the kit that the 2013 Emerging Designer Contest finalists will use to complete their Project Runway challenge. Dress to impress: Winter Park media will be in attendance.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 6-9 p.m. 180medspa: At the Swag Party, a pre-Fashion Week event for VIP ticket holders, you can pick up your swag and relax in an ultramodern spa. Enjoy music by DJ Knightlife, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a special gift.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Eyes & Optics: This eyewear trunk show and fitting event features the ultra-stylish Dita brand, which often graces the editorial pages of GQ and Vogue. The high-fashion, hard-to-find line is based in L.A. and handmade in Japan by veteran craftspeople. Don’t miss this opportunity for a private showing. Light bites and refreshments will be served.

WEEKLONG PROMOTIONS Sunday, Oct. 13 – Saturday, Oct. 19 Blue Door Denim Shoppe: Personal denim consultants will help you find the perfect fit. Receive com10

plimentary alterations on all your denim purchases. The Collection Bridal: Sip a glass of champagne and celebrate the latest bridal fashions and unique accessories. Lilly Pulitzer: Attend the Resort Collection trunk show, where preorders will be taken from Thursday through Saturday. Timothy’s Gallery: Enjoy a weeklong trunk show of award-winning jewelry artist Thomas Man, whose jewelry designs were among the first to focus not on the intrinsic value of precious metals and gemstones, but rather on idea and content. He calls this handcrafted style “Techno.Romantic.”

Sunday, Oct.13 tugboat & the bird: Surprise! Stop by for a special event from noon-4 p.m. The Unique Diamond Boutique: The first annual Two-Day Diamond and Ring Blow Out will debut at Winter Park’s new diamond broker. All cuts and shapes will be available, and light refreshments will be served. 1-5 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 14 Charyli: Enjoy a gift from Free People with a purchase from the Free People clothing line. 10 a.m.5:30 p.m. LaBella Intimates & Boutique: At this bra fitting event and BOGO

The Unique Diamond Boutique: The Two-Day Diamond and Ring Blow Out event continues. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 15 Blue Door Denim Shoppe: Meet the amazing and talented Diane Meltz at her Sophisticated Peacock trunk show. This local designer handpicks her fabrics and creates unique tops to wear day or night. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. California Closets: This Wine and Cheese Reception showcases new products at the company’s new Park Avenue showroom. Also, enjoy a free set of California Closets wood hangers. 6-8 p.m. Charyli: Get a free gift with any purchase of a Mink Pink product. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Bella: Enjoy happy hour featuring Feel the Piece and Red Engine trunk shows. 4-7 p.m. iLashWorks: Schedule a lesson with in-demand makeup artist Shannon Miller, who works with agencies, talent and on major magazine photo shoots. Bring your makeup from home and learn to create spectacular effects that you can later replicate. These limited appointments are only $50.

PHOTO: winter park photography

PRE-PARK AVENUE FASHION WEEK EVENTS Wednesday, Oct. 2, 6-9 p.m.

Tuni: Yoana Baraschi creates trendy yet timeless classics for women who are ageless and powerful, sensual and gorgeous. Her collections can be found in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, London and, most importantly, at Tuni. Yoana’s fans include Hollywood’s young and stylish: Halle Berry, Sienna Miller, Rachel Bilson, Heidi Klum and Lauren Conrad. Light bites and champagne will be served for “shop strength.” 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

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LaBella Intimates & Boutique: At this BOGO men’s underwear sale, buy one, get one at 50 percent off. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. SEE: Meet and greet acclaimed artist Marla E and experience fashion in the form of art while enjoying the latest in eyewear designs and trends. 3-6 p.m. tugboat & the bird: Special designer appearance. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuni: Circle Tuesday with a big red Sharpie for the CC SKYE jewelry trunk show. CC SKYE embraces effortless cool-girl style with gleaming gold hardware and a fashion-forward sensibility. Her must-have creations, which marry unpredictability and wearability, have become wardrobe staples for super stylists and today’s brightest stars. Light bites and champagne will be served for “shop strength.” 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The Unique Diamond Boutique: This massive watch event showcases Rolex, Breitling, Cartier, Movado,

Baume Mercier, Patek Phillipe, Omega, Kreiger, Vacheron Constantin, Michelle, Longines, Ebel, Philip Stein, Tiffany & Co., Chanel and Tag Heuer. Take 25 percent off all jewelry lines, including Angelique de Paris, Gabriel, Sanchi and all Druzy. Light refreshments will be served. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 16 Alex and Ani: Enjoy Prosecco and appetizers while you shop, and receive a gift with your purchase of $75 or more. 6-8 p.m. Blue Door Denim Shoppe: Visit during extended store hours and listen for a surprise discount to be announced in-store only. Open until 7 pm. Charyli: Receive a gift with any purchase of BCBGeneration. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. iLashWorks: Cosmetics, strip lashes and gift certificates — it’s a sale! Get ready for the holidays and get your gift shopping done early.

And while fashion is on your mind, think about a special gift for the fashion-conscious person on your list. Whether it’s strip lashes for a holiday party, a color palette for Mom, or a gift certificate for a massage, there’s something here for everybody — even you. LaBella Intimates & Boutique: At this BOGO panty sale, buy two, get one free (excludes Knock Out panties). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Matilda’s On Park: Enjoy a fashion show, drinks and appetizer specials. 7-9 p.m. SEE: Celebrity eyewear meets emerging designers as their new creations are unveiled. Fashion Week models will be on site debuting the latest eyewear designs from the store’s newest celebrity collection. Complimentary drinks provided by Maxine’s on Shine. 5-8 p.m. tugboat & the bird: Stop by for a special in-store event. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Tuni: Don’t miss this Kelly Cimber Jewelry and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent event. Based in Miami, the collections of Kelly Cimber are ever changing but remain fresh, sophisticated, glamorous and contemporary. Cynthia Vincent has universal appeal and is widely regarded as one of the fashion world’s top contemporary designers. She channels her energy into classic, feminine, fresh silhouettes that encourage women to express their individuality through wellconceived, impeccably crafted, timeless garments. Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Ritchie and Liv Tyler are just a few of Twelfth Street’s devout shoe shoppers. Light bites and champagne will be served for “shop strength.” 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The Unique Diamond Boutique: At this huge vintage and estate jewelry sale, step back in time with prices on Tiffany, Bulgari, Cartier, Boucheron, DeBeers and many more. Also, introducing finger-fit for those

hard-to-size rings. Not wearing your rings anymore because they won’t fit over your knuckles? Now you can. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 17

John Craig Clothier and Current: It’s time for the Kickoff Party! Price is $10 at the door, with proceeds benefiting Making the Difference. 6-9 p.m. LaBella Intimates & Boutique: Get ready for the Fashion Week Lingerie Preview Party. 5-8 p.m.

Blue Door Denim Shoppe: At this BOGO sale for candles, buy one item, get a second one at 50 percent off; excludes sale items, and limit two per customer. Charyli: You’ll love the graphic tees from Wildfox and Chasor. And with your purchase from either line, receive a free gift. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Current: Don’t miss the 7 Diamonds trunk show. Noon-7 p.m. ILashWorks: This social mixer, in partnership with 180medspa, combines instant gratification with longterm results: Meet with members of both teams to discover what your face can look like for your next event and for years to come. Together, experts will make sure you’re always ready for close-up moments.

Lilly Pulitzer: The American Cancer Society Cocktail Party is a shopand-share event that will feature the debut of the ACS scarf and bracelet. A percentage of all sales will be donated to the organization. Cocktails and appetizers will be provided, and donations are welcome. The Lilly Pulitzer Resort trunk show also begins today and continues through Oct. 20. SEE: Meet celebrity makeup artist Karen Cleary, who’ll share the secrets to applying eye makeup to complement your eyewear. Enjoy complimentary lemonade spritzers and get the latest makeup tips and tricks to prepare you for the big Runway Show. Complimentary bites provided

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by Black Bean Deli. 3-7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 18

tugboat & the bird: Special designer appearance. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Alfond Inn: Don’t miss the official Fashion Week VIP Kick-Off Party. All VIP ticket holders are invited to start the runway show weekend at Winter Park’s newest hotel. Dress to impress for paparazzi photos and enjoy music, models, light bites and drinks. 6-9 p.m.

Tuni: Madison Marcus is a young, contemporary line that blends femininity and playfulness to create silhouettes that are wearable and flattering. It’s a fresh, edgy collection with a feminine point of view made for an urban princess. Light bites and champagne will be served for “shop strength.” 10 a.m.-8 p.m. The Unique Diamond Boutique: Design your own engagement ring with jewelry customization for the new millennia. Introducing the never-before-seen, cutting-edge, invisible prong settings. Also check out Vintage, Halo, Modern and many other styles of jewelry. Get a custom-designed ring or remount session in just half an hour. Pastries, confections and light refreshments will be served. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Blue Door Denim Shoppe: This trunk show features local stationery designer Meredith Sand, whose custom, hand-stamped cards are uniquely bright, bold and bohemian. More than 30 designs will be featured, many created from original drawings. Join us for cocktails, browse the collection and receive a free hand-stamped linen wine bag with your purchase. Charyli: Bring your pooch for a treat, and a portion of your purchase will be donated to the Central Florida Humane Society. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The Collection Bridal: The Inbal Dror wedding gown trunk show is an all-day event featuring designs by Inbal Dror, the leading designer of bridal gowns and evening dresses in Israel. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Current: Enjoy a Stone Rose trunk show. Noon-7 p.m. John Craig Clothier: Attend a Robert Graham trunk show. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. LaBella Intimates & Boutique: Receive a $20 gift certificate for every $100 you spend in the store. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Lilly Pulitzer: The Resort trunk show continues. tugboat & the bird: Special designer appearance. 10 a.m.-5p.m. SEE: Find your ’50s fashionista while you “Raise Up Your Glasses to Cupcakes, Cateyes and Cocktails.” Food Network star Emily Ellyn is back and sporting her retro-rad

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Saturday, Oct. 19

Cateyes while serving Gigi’s Cupcakes. Toast your new runway eyewear look as Michael Ring shakes up a delicious Brown-Forman “cateye” cocktail. The fun continues with a classic photo op, courtesy of Cole’s Classic Cars. 3-6 p.m.

The Collection Bridal: The Inbal Dror wedding gown trunk show continues. Current: Attend a J Brand trunk show. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Tuni: Alexis is based in Miami and designed by a talented motherand-daughter duo, Ana and Alexis. The collection debuted at Miami’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2008, and the pair has been designing and expanding since. Light bites and champagne will be served for “shop strength.” 10-8 p.m.

LaBella Intimates & Boutique: Receive a $20 gift certificate for every $100 spent in the store. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Lilly Pulitzer: The Resort trunk show continues. Matilda’s On Park: The late-night fashion fun continues after the

The Unique Diamond Boutique: It’s the can’t-miss VIP After Party at the Penthouse Suite. There’ll be diamonds, diamonds, diamonds as Christopher Roberts unveils his most alluring and opulent jewelry collection. There’ll also be champagne, hors d’oeuvres, desserts — need we say more? 7:30-11 p.m.

runway show at the “After After Party.” Drinks, music, models and more. 11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. tugboat & the bird: Special designer appearance. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Unique Diamond Boutique: At Mimosas and Embellishments, make this holiday season unique with a beautiful, customized piece of jewelry or heirloom piece. The boutique’s professionals can remount, reset or re-create any piece. Mimosas and light brunch will be served. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

PAFW Runway Show: It’s here: The grand Fashion Week finale will feature an opening performance by Orlando Ballet, followed by the not-to-be-missed Runway Show by 13 boutiques beneath a tent in Central Park’s West Meadow. Reserve your seats early at parkavenuefashhionweek.com. Doors open at 6 p.m.; showtime is 7-10 p.m.

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HARRIETT’S PARK AVENUE FASHION WEEK

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I am very proud to be affiliated with Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week, a seven-day celebration of the local fashion retail and design communities. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Park Avenue Area Association have done a tremendous job, as have all the participating shops and boutiques. And I’m especially proud that this incredible event has a charity partner: Women of Hope, an auxiliary group for the Community Food & Outreach Center. So, please join me at Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week. I look forward to seeing you!

— Harriett Lake

parkavenuefashionweek.com

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PHOTO: Sky lake studios, shelleylake.com

Thank You, Winter Park!

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