SPRING 2014 | $3.99
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Congratulations to Fannie Hillman + Associates 2013 Top Producers!
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FEATURES 32 | A TENURE OF DEPRESSION AND ELATION Rollins didn’t hire William Freemont Blackman as a fundraiser. But as the 20th century dawned, that’s what he became. Between chasing money and dealing with an eccentric philanthropist, the distinguished educator exhausted himself — but kept the college afloat. By Dr. Jack Lane
46 | SUDDENLY, IT’S SUMMER Hot times are just around the corner. Here are some cool looks that will rock anybody’s boat. By Marianne Ilunga, photographs by Rafael Tongol, hair and makeup by Elsie Knab
CONTENTS SPRING 2014
SPRING 2014 | $3.99
ABOUT THE COVER 8 | PAINTING WITH PAPER Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson is a master of the medium. By Randy Noles
ARTS 12 | CELLULOID IS IN HER BLOOD
DINING 52 | MADE (SLOWLY) FROM SCRATCH
Liz Tiedtke practically grew up at Enzian. Now she’s stepped up to help run the Maitland moviehouse, where she’s spearheading a major expansion and keeping film buffs happy. By Jay Boyar, photographs by Rafael Tongol
The food at this funky little eatery is certainly ambitious. But don’t be in a hurry, and order everything you want the first time — despite what the server says. By Rona Gindin, photographs by Rafael Tongol
THE DESIGN TOURIST 22 | A HOME THAT GIVES HUGS
IN EVERY ISSUE
When Marc Thee was selected as interior designer for the New American Home, he opted for a subtle yet sexy look that’s modern, but with a dose of old-fashioned coziness. By Karen LeBlanc
6 | FIRST WORD 28 | AVENUE INSIDER 44 | COMMENTARY 60 | DINING LISTINGS 65 | EVENTS 72 | BACK PAGE
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Randy Noles EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Laura Bluhm ART DIRECTOR Lorna Osborn SENIOR ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kathy Byrd ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
ne of the most evocative railroad songs of the 20th century was written in the early 1970s by Guy Clark. Texas 1947 describes as vividly as any newspaper account the excitement and awe generated by the advent of diesel locomotives. In Clark’s song, “50 or 60 people, all sittin’ on their cars” are waiting for one of the newfangled trains to pass through so they can have a look at what progress has wrought. The train speeds past without even stopping, but leaves speechless spectators “wonderin’ what we’re comin’ to and how it got this far.” I thought about that song recently at the ribboncutting ceremony for the beautiful new Amtrak/ SunRail station, located behind Central Park in the heart of downtown Winter Park. A SunRail train was parked at the station for those who wanted an advance look, although many of us had seen it already during its frequent test runs. Still, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who got goosebumps while walking through this sleek, shiny symbol of the region’s transportation future. April 30 is when SunRail begins ferrying passengers along its 61-mile route, which runs south from Deltona in Volusia County through Seminole County and all the way down to Sand Lake Road in Orange County. Downtown Winter Park is one of 16 stops along Phase 1 of the project. “Isn’t this indeed a special day — not just a special day in Winter Park, but a special day in our entire region,” said Mayor Ken Bradley. “I would even go so far as to say a special day in our country.” Trains have a way of inspiring hyperbole, but Bradley wasn’t too far off the mark. I even thought Rep. John Mica (R-Winter Park), who for years fought valiantly for SunRail funding, got a little choked up toward the end of his remarks referencing the long, sometimes contentious history of light rail in Central Florida.
No one could have blamed him if he’d blubbered like a brand-new dad. Of the 16 stops, I expect Winter Park will be the most popular. Visitors to the attractions area — and others who may have heard that it’s sometimes tough to find parking along Park Avenue — can now be whisked right to the epicenter of the region’s most exciting and eclectic shopping and dining destination, no vehicle required. And the station itself is destined to become an iconic Winter Park building. ACi Inc., a local architecture firm, designed the 2,400-squarefoot, Craftsman-style structure. The detailing is superb, from the polished wood on the inside to the peacock weather vane atop the roof. It’s an architectural jewel in a city boasting an abundance of architectural jewels. The centerpiece, though, is an extraordinary stained-glass representation of the city seal by artist Ruth Attaway. The massive work is an homage to Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose creations are on display at the nearby Morse Museum of American Art. Tiffany himself could not have improved on this masterwork. “There isn’t a better example of where SunRail should run than in Winter Park,” said Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs. “It’s not just SunRail — it’s places like this, that are meeting places for the community.” Maybe there was a songwriter among the several hundred who assembled for the ceremony. If so, then maybe Texas 1947 will get a modern makeover. How about Winter Park 2014?
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Clyde Moore PARK AVENUE EDITOR Jay Boyar, Rona Gindin, Marianne Ilunga, Karen LeBlanc, Jack C. Lane, Mike Thomas CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rafael Tongol CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Leah Kircher EDITORIAL INTERN Rick Walsh, Jim DeSimone FOUNDING PARTNERS
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Copyright 2014 by Florida Home Media LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulfshore Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Florida Home Media LLC, 2700 Westhall Lane, Suite 128, Maitland, FL 32751
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W I N T E R PARK M AG AZI N E | SP RI N G 2014
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PAINTING WITH PAPER ELIZABETH ST. HILAIRE NELSON IS A MASTER OF THE MEDIUM. By randy noles
n 2004, the Winter Park City Commission selected the peacock to adorn the city seal. It was an appropriate choice. Hugh McKean, a former president of Rollins College, and his wife, Jeanette Genius McKean, granddaughter of Charles Hosmer Morse and founder of the Morse Museum of American Art, brought the first peacocks to Winter Park in 1950 and set them loose in the wooded acreage surrounding Windsong, the family estate. Soon hundreds of peacocks were preening
about, and a generation of Winter Parkers grew up visiting Genius Drive to see and photograph the ostentatiously plumed pheasants. Artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson’s cover image of a particularly proud peacock is created from meticulously torn bits of hand-painted paper, delicately assembled to form a collage. She creates vivid images of animals, landscapes and even people using this method. A Signature Member of the National Collage Society, Nelson has won numerous awards and
is an acknowledged master of the medium. Her work also appears in private collections and in museums around the U.S. Born and raised in New England, Nelson has lived in Central Florida for 19 years. She holds a BFA in advertising design from Syracuse University and travels the country giving workshops on collage art. In addition, she works as a graphic designer. To see her portfolio, visit paperpaintings.com. To see work in progress, visit elizabethsthilairenelson.blogspot.com.
Nelson calls her creations “paper paintings.” Indeed, unless you look closely, it’s difficult to tell that her bright canvases are actually collages.
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As a child, Liz Tiedke ran errands at the art-house cinema her aunt founded.
CELLULOID IS IN HER BLOOD Liz Tiedtke practically grew up at Enzian. Now she’s stepped up to help run the Maitland moviehouse, where she’s spearheading a major expansion while keeping film buffs happy. By Jay Boyar Photographs by Rafael Tongol
f you’re into movies that don’t feature zombies, superheroes or futuristic teen warriors, chances are you’ve visited Enzian. Maybe you’ve attended the Florida Film Festival, which the Maitland moviehouse hosts each spring. Or maybe you’ve dropped by the adjacent Eden Bar for a drink and then gotten curious about the films inside. Still, you may not realize that the single-screen “art house” — which has been showing American independent cinema, foreign films and movie classics for nearly three decades — wouldn’t even exist if not for the Tiedtkes, one of Winter Park’s most prominent families. And even if you do know that, you may not be aware that the family’s current representative at Enzian is 28-yearold Elizabeth Tiedtke (pronounced TEEDT-key), whose friends call her Liz or Lizzie. “It’s not just a place that’s important to the community,” she reflects. “It’s also my family legacy.” For Liz, Enzian has always been the family business, or one of them, anyway. Her Aunt Tina founded the nonprofit theater; her paternal grandfather, the late John Tiedtke (who never tired of pointing out that he didn’t care for movies), funded it; her parents, Sigi and Philip, ran it for many years and created the Florida Film Festival (which this year is April 4-13); and her older brother, Alex, was project manager for Eden Bar. “She understands Enzian as good as, or better than, anybody ever, and partly because she grew up there,” offers the theater’s president, Henry Maldonado. “She has this love for Enzian like you might have for the house by the lake that you would go to every summer. She is appreciative of it and protective of it.” On a recent weekday afternoon, Liz and I are having drinks at Eden Bar which is, naturally enough, her go-to hangout. The place is almost deserted at this hour, although it’s a beautiful, temperate day — perfect for an open-air bistro like this one. Subdued music wafts our way from the bar. A train whistle sounds in the distance while Liz sips her usual: soda water and grapefruit juice, straight up. “I used to drink soda water with apple juice when I was younger, which is a traditional Austrian drink,” she says with a nod to her heritage. The theater itself, in fact, is named for a flower found in that country. A beanpole in a navy-blue hoodie, Liz wears crisp bluejeans and has tied her blond hair in a ponytail. Her alert azure eyes and peaches-and-cream complexion, not to mention the crossed-oars emblem on that hoodie, combine to give her a collegiate look and a preppy vibe. Meanwhile, her long-
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Like mother, like daughter. Sigi Tiedke ran Enzian with her husband, Philip, while young Liz romped about the facility. Liz’s aunt, Tina, founded the theater and her paternal grandfather, John, funded the venture.
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ish features — similar to those depicted in Amedeo Modigliani portraits — suggest a soulful side. Looking at this lithe young woman, you might suppose she’s a dancer or maybe an actress. Actually, she’s a numbers person with a degree in finance from Rollins College. When I emailed her to request this interview, this is what she wrote back: Sure thing! But I fear I have the most boring job of all of us :) I mostly work budgets and look at construction drawings! And while that’s true enough, her response also indicates a reflexive modesty that may go along with being a Tiedtke. She seems to know that she
needn’t call attention to herself to become the center of attention nnn
In some ways, it’s a small, small world for Liz Tiedtke, who lives in Winter Park, about a half mile from Enzian. Her parents’ home, also in Winter Park, is three-quarters of a mile away, and she works from her mom’s old office at the theater. “Enzian’s one year older than I am,” she says in a voice that reminds me of her mother’s: professionally crisp yet musical and friendly. “So I very much grew up here.” In another sense, though, Liz is worldly. She
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Enzian, located in a retrofitted historic home, opened in 1985 with a screening of D.W. Griffith’s silent classic Broken Blossoms. The star, Lillian Gish, was on hand and said she hoped to serve as the fledgling venue’s “rabbit’s foot.”
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studied acting for a year at NYU and spent another year in New York at SoHo’s French Culinary Institute. A few days before our interview she’d been in Guam, and on the very morning of our interview she’d been in Atlanta to resolve a minor passport issue for a trip, a few days later, to India. The man in Liz’s life is attorney Gourav Mukherjee, whose father is originally from Kolkata (aka Calcutta). That trip to India — ostensibly to meet his father’s side of the family — turned into an even more meaningful journey when Gourav proposed. He popped the question in front of the Taj Mahal at midnight, beneath a full moon. When Gourav, who grew up in Kissimmee, met Liz about a year ago through a mutual friend, he had never heard of her eminent family. If he had, he says, “it might have made her unapproachable.” But he soon came to see that the Tiedtkes are, ANTHONY CONSALVO as he puts it, “very humble people who care a lot about the community.” Liz’s heart certainly seems to be in Winter Park and Maitland — and she is bursting with childhood tales of Enzian escapades. In second grade at Park Maitland School, she felt “very cool” because she was the only kid her age allowed to cross the street, a special dispensation granted because the theater where her mother worked was just steps away. She also felt cool swiping chocolate-chip cookies from the theater’s kitchen — that is, until the chef left her a note ordering her to cease and desist. As the Orlando Sentinel’s movie critic at the
time, I first met young Liz (or Pinky, as she was sometimes called) at the theater. She and her brother struck me as mischievous imps who scampered around the place and didn’t have much time for adults. Turns out they were busy doing things like building a fort under the stage. One of Liz’s more vivid childhood memories involves being playfully threatened by actor Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Boardwalk Empire), who was in town for the film festival. Buscemi and his wife took her to Universal Studios, where she was selected for the “Ren & Stimpy Ring Toss” during a faux game show. She picked Buscemi as her partner. “I had these big foam rings and he had to crouch in a fake litter box and wear a Stimpy head,” she recalls, cringing even as she laughs. “I had to throw rings around his neck, which was just horrifying for me.” At the end of the festival, he wrote in her program, “I’ll get you back some day. Much love, Steve.” nnn
Even as a child, Liz worked at Enzian, passing out pencils to mark film-festival ballots and running assorted errands. At age 15 she took a proper job in the box office. Over the years, she’s also been house manager, projectionist, cook and, briefly, events coordinator. “She’s basically served in every capacity here at the theater,” says programming director Matthew Curtis. So a few years back, when Enzian found itself without a manager, her father suggested that she step up. “Enzian isn’t large compared to a lot of organiza-
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We Design Ooohs & Aaahs...
tions, but it has so many different challenges it’s like a half a dozen different businesses under one umbrella,” explains Philip Tiedtke. “There was pressure there.” In 2010, Liz became the theater’s director of operations; two years later her official title became executive vice president of Enzian, Eden Bar and the Florida Film Festival. While struggling through her difficult first months on the job, she began to focus on putting the operation’s finances in order. This she accomplished by hiring some new staff members and showing them how to balance budgetary concerns with creativity. “When she was little, it was drawings and mazes,” says Sigi Tiedtke, who notes that her daughter has always enjoyed solving puzzles. “She loves challenges and she always has.” Liz’s other puzzle-solving accomplishments at Enzian have included overseeing its recent renovation and creating the Wednesday Night Pitcher Show, an ongoing series of free — sometimes outrageous — films that are projected on an outdoor screen near the theater. It’s an effort, she says, “to reach out to the film lovers out there who might be intimidated by what we’re showing inside.” In addition, Liz has recently been spearheading a major expansion at the theater that would add two additional screens, a second lobby and more parking. The project might be completed as early as 2015, the operation’s 30th anniversary year. Although Liz says she is “firmly committed” to remain at Enzian through the expansion and then some, she doesn’t plan to be there forever. While she is, however, she’s helping the theater to flourish as a social environment. Liz seems to have always been drawn to that sort of thing. Her mother chuckles at the memory of her daughter chatting on a toy telephone, pretending to invite people to dinner. And her fiancé has also noticed her tendency to foster conviviality. “When we first started spending time together,” Gourav muses, “I found that she would really spend a lot of time concerning herself with making sure that everyone was having a good time, everyone was participating, everyone was involved.” That’s the sort of spirit Liz would like to encourage at Enzian. “I’m really not a very comfortably social or outgoing person,” she admits. “But I love throwing dinner parties: cooking a bunch of food, serving it and seeing people eat and be happy and hang out and enjoy themselves.” Basically, what she wants is for theater patrons to feel at home, as if they were members of an extended family. While we’re there, at least, we can all feel like we’re Tiedtkes.
W I N T E R PARK M AG AZI N E | SP RI N G 2014
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