Winter Park Magazine - Winter 2013

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WIN T E R P A R K M A G A Z I N E | WI N TER 2013




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32 | the world according to pansy


Isabella “Pansy” Alden, who lived in Winter Park in the late 1800s, is all but forgotten today. But her moralizing manuscripts made her famous, and reflected the sensibilities of a more innocent era. Alden’s niece, Grace Livingston Hill, taught gymnastics at Rollins College and later became a renowned author in her own right. But she created a minor scandal at the college with her proposal to outfit coeds in pantaloons. By Daena Creel and Kimberly Mould. Additional material by Randy Noles




Winter 2013

departments 8 | digital pioneer

Chip Weston is helping to define an emerging art form. By Randy Noles

10 | A museum’s rennaissance Director Ena Heller is bringing fresh ideas to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. By Jay Boyer and Harry Wessel


WIN T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | WI N TER 2013



18 | AVENUE INSIDER Interesting people and intriguing places along Winter Park’s signature street. By Clyde Moore

22 | MAYANS AND MONKEY GODS André Smith’s Maitland Art Center is an otherworldly outpost. By Jay Boyer

WINTER 2013 | $3.99

ON THE COVER: The impressive marble entry gates at Rollins College are shown in a digital painting by Chip Weston. For more on Weston and his art, see page 8.

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Randy Noles Editor and Publisher Jenna Carberg Art Director

Capen House, 1885

Capen House, 2013


The capen caper


he Capen House is referred to in news stories regarding its plight as “a 128-yearold home.” That’s technically true, although it was significantly remodeled and its architectural style changed in the 1920s. But whether this Folk-Victorian-turned-Tudor-Revival charmer belongs more to the Jazz Age or the Victorian Era is beside the point. When it was scheduled for demolition, public reaction was swift and harsh. Adding to the outrage was the unceremonious way in which the Capen House was dumped from the Winter Park Register of Historic Places following a foreclosure against the former owner. The city, it seemed, had buckled under pressure from the lender, who wanted the property sold as quickly as possible. Perhaps hoping to avoid a lawsuit, commissioners cleared the way for the wreckers by voting to revoke the same historic designation they had granted less than a year earlier. The unseemly move struck a raw nerve among those proud of Winter Park’s history and wary of losing it. Of course, lovely as it is, the Capen House isn’t in the same league as Gamble Rogers’ magical Casa Feliz, which was faced with extinction in 2000 before concerned citizens intervened and paid for the Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse to be relocated. But the current controversy brought to the forefront an issue larger than the fate of any single property. Winter Park’s older homes — significant and not-so-significant — are being bulldozed daily to make room for new construction. It’s the free market at work; property values in Winter Park are high, and the land is sometimes worth more than the structure sitting on it. Plus, today’s homebuyers want more open space and all the latest technological bells and whistles. Sometimes, retrofitting an old home to encom-


WIN T E R P A R K M A G A Z I N E | WI N TER 2013

pass the features of a new home is more expensive than just tearing it down and starting over. Enter Preservation Capen, headed by the high-powered team of Rollins College PresidentEmeritus Thaddeus Seymour and former Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar. The organization is attempting to raise $650,000 to float the Capen House across Lake Osceola in a barge and place it on the grounds of the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. In the meantime, the city will review ways in which it can preserve property rights while strengthening protections the remaining historic homes in Winter Park. For a compelling, thoughtful commentary on that dilemma, I invite you to visit and read the post entitled “Why Historic Preservation Needs Government.” Donations to move the Capen House may be made online through or by mailing a check to the Polasek at, 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789. But let’s hope this kind of frantic, last-minute effort doesn’t need to happen again. A city so image-conscious that it will ban fast-food eateries from its main commercial thoroughfare ought to be willing to expend the same effort to protect its remaining residential treasures. My advice, as one whose first home was 100 years old and whose current home is 88 years old, is this: If you don’t love old homes, with all their quirks and annoyances, then please don’t buy one in the first place.

Randy Noles Editor/Publisher

Laura Bluhm Advertising Designer Lorna Osborn Senior Associate Publisher Kathy Byrd Associate Publisher Clyde Moore PARK AVENUE EDITOR Jay Boyar, Daena Creel, Kimberley T. Mould, Harry Wessel Contributing Writers Rafael Tongol Contributing Photographer Rick Walsh, Jim DeSimone FOUNDING PARTNERS

GULFSHORE MEDIA Daniel Denton President Randy Noles Consulting Publisher Pam Flanagan General Manager Pam Daniel Editorial Director Norma Machado Production Manager FLORIDA HOME MEDIA’S FAMILY OF PUBLICATIONS NEW FEATURE: MOvE-IN-READY hOMEs


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Copyright 2013 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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cover artist



t’s no surprise that cover artist Chip Weston selected the impressive marble entry gates at Rollins College as the subject of one of his intriguing “digital paintings.” Weston, 65, graduated from Rollins in 1970 with a degree in behavioral science and has maintained close ties with his alma mater. In fact, he credits Hugh McKean, the college’s legendary former president, with encouraging his artistic aspirations. “I met Hugh when I first started at Rollins, and he asked me what I really liked to do,” recalls Weston, who today teaches New Media at Full Sail University and is a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. He told McKean, who was an art professor prior to assuming the presidency, that he enjoyed painting. So the often-unpredictable administrator sent Weston to the art department “and told them to keep me busy.” McKean later asked Weston to work at the Morse Museum of American Art, founded by he

and his wife, Jannette, when the facility was located in smaller quarters on Welbourne Avenue. In addition to being an accomplished traditional painter, Weston is a tech pioneer, and one of the nation’s leading digital artists. The cover image is a photograph that Weston shot and then manipulated on a Mac computer using Photoshop. In fact, he beta-tested Photo-

shop, Illustrator and other programs when they were in their infancy. “This is my version of plein air [outdoor] painting,” says Weston. “I get a clear impression of space and time and photograph it. Then I go back and try to recapture my impression in the computer by altering the image in the same way that I would have painted it in oils, on site.” Weston, who was previously Director of Economic and Cultural Development for the City of Winter Park, maintains a workspace at McRae Art Studios and serves on the boards of Enzian Theater, the Winter Park Public Library, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. His most recent work can be seen on the walls of the Crummer Graduate School of Business. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife, Ashley, and working out with his son, Sky. To see more of Weston’s work, visit

Weston, who’s an accomplished traditional painter as well as a technological trendsetter, created this striking piece of digital art from a photograph he took in St. Thomas prior to his son’s wedding.


WIN T E R P A R K M A G A Z I N E | WI N TER 2013



A MUSEUM’S RENAISSANCE Director Ena Heller is bringing fresh ideas to the Cornell, a facility with an eclectic collection, a rich history, a stunning facility and, up to now, an extremely low profile. But that’s likely to change. BY JAY BOYAR AND HARRY WESSEL


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

ou’ve probably never even visited one of the most interesting and inspiring museums in Central Florida. Ena Heller, director of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College, aims to change that. “I’ve heard it a number of times,” she says. “‘We know there’s a museum there, but we thought that was just for the students.’” One way that Heller has been trying to change the museum’s image — or lack thereof — is by offering free admission to everyone for all of 2013. And from Sept. 17 through Dec. 8, the Cornell will present three exhibits that will certainly raise the museum’s profile, both on campus and off (see Events for more details). The upcoming trio of exhibits might be regarded as an unofficial coming-out party for both the museum, surely one of the region’s most precious under-the-radar jewels, and for the innovative Heller, who has been at the helm for less than a year. “I’m hoping that this museum can become much more open to the community,” she says, “and much more of a resource.” Heller, 49, was born and raised in Romania, emigrating with her parents to the U.S. in her early 20s. She went on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in art history from New York’s Institute of Fine Arts, after which she founded and directed the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in Manhattan. She was appointed to the Cornell post in September 2012. She spoke with Winter Park Magazine about parking problems, carpet squares, Kindle, Mad Men, the connection between art and religion — and the challenges presented by her job. Q: The Cornell has three current exhibits, one featuring its permanent collection, another on birds of Florida, and a third related to the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s infamous Kristallnacht. What’s on tap for next year? A: An exhibition documenting the history of the Morse

Gallery [the forerunner of the Morse Museum of American Art, which was first located on the Rollins College campus] has been moved to the spring. We did that because we wanted to be able to participate in the commemoration of Kristallnacht, in particular to tell the story of what happened to the art that was looted. The Morse Gallery exhibit will coincide with an exhibition of prints by Henri Matisse. We’ll also begin showcasing the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art starting in 2014 — possibly as early as spring, but by the summer and fall for sure. Some of the Alfond Collection will be on view at the new Alfond Inn, with the artwork rotating to the Cornell. It’s a growing collection and an extraordinary addition for

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Conversation Conversation “I’m one of those people who very firmly believes we should have free education and free culture. The Europeans are a little better at it than we are.” — Ena Heller

The Cornell’s facilities were expanded in 2005, giving the museum roughly twice the space. Now there’s room to showcase more of the permanent collection, which encompasses art from around the world in virtually every genre.

us, because we don’t have anything of that stature as far as very recent art is concerned. If we continue to take loan exhibitions that originated elsewhere, I want to be able to relate them back to our collection. One of the things that’s been missing lately has been a sense of coherence and consistency, which in my view is necessary in the process of building a brand. I’ve asked people what’s special about the Cornell, and nobody really knows. I refer to it as the personality of a museum. I don’t think anybody really knows what our personality is. Q: What should that personality be? A: Having been here now for a year, I’ve learned a

lot more about what we have. So I’m hoping our personality will come through in the permanent installation of our collection, which will start in January 2014. We’re reserving the largest gallery in the museum for it, to really show the breadth of the collection. We want to connect art from different


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

parts of world, from different points in time, in a way that I’m hoping will get people to think about it in a slightly different way. Our personality really revolves around our teaching mission. We were reviewed in Orlando Weekly, which used the line, “Art That Makes You Think.” That defines not just the personality of the museum but also the way in which we want the art to inspire people. We’ve sort of adopted it as our tagline. Q: Isn’t the Cornell’s collection of European art central to its personality? A: That’s the No. 1 distinction we have that

doesn’t seem to be known in the community. When I came here in September 2012 there was not one thing on view from our collection. I pulled out some sculpture and put it in the orientation gallery. Before the museum was expanded in 2005 and this building was opened, we had about half the space we have now. It was teeny. They did this big,

successful capital campaign, saying that we needed more galleries because we needed to have part of our collection on view all the time. There have been some shows of the collection, obviously, but not as consistently as I would like. That, to me, is very important, because we have good stuff. Q: Has it been tough adjusting to a secular museum after heading one that’s religious in nature? A: Actually, MOBIA is secular. It’s a museum

that’s about religious art, but it’s not a religious museum. Walk through the Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art] and tell me what percentage of the art you see that has some connection with the Bible. I used to joke: Give me 10 minutes with any piece of artwork and I’ll find a connection with the Bible. But what I missed at MOBIA was that we didn’t have a permanent collection. Every exhibition you did was entirely different from what

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Diana Beltran Herrera’s intricate and delicate paper bird sculptures will roost throughout the Cornell until Dec. 8.

you did before. On the one hand it felt very liberating: It exposed me to so much art. It was my first full-time job after graduate school, and it got me out of the 14th-century chapels in Florence that I had written my dissertation on. Q: Will you be teaching any classes at Rollins? A: I will definitely consider it, but I need to focus

on getting this museum back on track. Q: Is it off track? A: I think it has been. This museum has been

without stable leadership for a very long time. There’s been a bit of a revolving door since Arthur Blumenthal (director from 1988 to 2007) left. There have been two permanent directors and three interims. The lack of stability at the top has made it impossible for the staff or the board or anybody involved to create a longterm vision. Certain programs went dormant or even moribund. So there’s a lot of that to take care of and bring back.


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

For me, the single greatest challenge, the one thing everything else is dependent on, is that we need to plan our exhibitions farther in advance. I’m used to working two to three years out. Right now I should have a full schedule through the end of 2015. It takes that long to create an exhibition that’s thoughtful, that has real new scholarship, that has a significant catalog that comes with it. Once we can schedule for the next three to four years, that puts me in a much better position to go out to the community and get people excited about what’s coming down the pike. There hasn’t been a lot of fundraising for the museum because there wasn’t anybody here doing it. There are a number of donors that need to be cultivated and engaged again. Q: Won’t it be tough to compete for donors with all the nearby museums? A: The Morse doesn’t need to fundraise; that’s

the one museum everybody knows here. I think

we should be the other museum that everybody knows. I’m a little biased, but there are certain things about the Cornell that are really unique. We’re the only museum in the greater Orlando area that has an encyclopedic collection that’s not just about American art. We also have the infrastructure of the college and all the professors who work in fields related to the museum. They’re a tremendous resource of scholarly knowledge, and they’re always willing to help. It seems to a lot of people that we’re just inward-focused on the campus. As a teaching museum, we are here for our students. But I’d like us to have the same educational impact on the entire community. I’d like us to have the kinds of thoughtful programs that help everybody learn how to look at art, and learn about collecting. I’d like for people to feel comfortable coming in here and asking questions and learning new things. I also want to make it into a place that people know is family friendly. At MOBIA we had special booklets with kids’ activities. We had little

carpet squares that the kids could drag along, so they could just plop down and do their thing. And we always had an audio tour for children narrated by a child. I stole that idea from the Phoenix Art Museum, because I remember going there with my daughter when she was little. Q: One problem for the Cornell is a lack of parking. What can you do about that? A: The reality is there’s a scarcity of parking

throughout the campus. I hear this complaint a lot, but I’m from New York. To me, the SunTrust garage [on Lyman Avenue] is not that far. Anybody who comes to the museum can park there and we validate their tickets, so it’s free. I understand the walk is not so pleasant in the summer, and it’s hard for the elderly. But for anybody who’s able-bodied, walking from the SunTrust garage is not that difficult. Q: You’ve been celebrating Cornell’s 35th anniversary with free admission for the entire year. Will that continue? A: We definitely will continue it past 2013, and

we want to announce it in a festive sort of way, maybe with an open-house party. We’ve seen such a huge difference since we started with free admission. Our numbers have basically doubled, and we’ve had extraordinary feedback from any number of people. It’s really accomplishing what I hoped it would, so we’ll continue it for as long as we can afford it. I’m one of those people who very firmly believes we should have free education and free culture. The Europeans are a little better at it than we are. Q: You have an interesting background, emigrating from Romania in your early 20s. What made you decide to leave your native country? A: Oh, God, when I first gained consciousness I

wanted to get out. It took a long time. My sister came first, in 1984, then my parents and I were finally allowed to leave in 1988. It was two years before the revolution; I think if we’d had any inkling I would have still come, but my parents would have probably stayed. My dad actu-

ally went back part-time, afterward, and he still spends half a year there.

riencing right now: The fear that I’m not going to make friends.

Q: How was your English? A: I was fluent, but without the ease of speaking

Q: Is your daughter making friends? A: I have to say, all the kids are so nice. That age

it every day, it took a little adjustment. My parents are obsessed with languages; my mom is a linguist. We spoke French at home until we went to school. And we started English very young.

can be difficult, especially for girls, not known to be the nicest among themselves. But my daughter is very much like my husband: They make friends very easily; they’re extremely social and extremely likable. She’s very excited about starting at Winter Park High School, where she’s in the IB program.

Q: How many languages do you speak? A: Four: English, French, Italian and Romanian.

Romanian is very close to Italian. I can read German, but it’s a struggle. I’ve only taken German for art-history purposes, because it’s the language art history was invented in. I couldn’t read a novel in German, but I could read an art-history book. Q: What was your biggest adjustment in coming to America? A: I was amazed at all the freedom I had. In

Romania, if you got a visa and a passport to go on a trip, when you returned you had to hand in the passport. So, for every trip abroad you had to apply to the government, this whole big process that could take months or years. I remember being amazed at how many people I met in New York who didn’t have a passport. I thought, you have the right to do it and you choose not to do it? Another thing that amazed me was the access to information. Our libraries in Romania didn’t have open stacks; you could never just roam around. In New York I spent every waking hour the first couple of years in the library. My friends thought I was the biggest geek they’d ever met, but I had a lot to catch up with. On the not-so-easy side, the biggest adjustment was the sense that whatever my life had been until that point had ended, and that I may never be able to go back and see my family and my friends in Romania. Had things not changed, it would have been very difficult to go back. I think that was the hardest part for me. And that fear you have more when you’re younger, what my 14-year-old daughter is expe-

Q: It sounds like she’s adjusting pretty well to the move. A: It’s not ideal; it wasn’t her choice. But she’s a

good kid and she went along with it. She’s doing better than I thought. It’s a hard age to be, even if you don’t move. And my husband, who was born and raised in the Bronx, is the type of person who, until very recently, thought that if you go outside New York City the air is different, that you can’t breathe. I give the guy enormous credit for doing this for my career. When I started looking at other opportunities and we decided it was time for us to consider moving away from New York, we realized we had a short window before our daughter would be in high school. We both said, once she starts high school we’re not moving. We got in right under the wire. Q: So, what do you do to relax? A: I’m not a huge watcher of television. Mad

Men and Modern Family are the only TV shows we watch religiously, although we’re also addicted to Frontline, the investigative show on PBS. I like to read novels. I don’t like to exercise, and the thing that saved my health was the Kindle. I read on the treadmill, on the bike, whatever I’m doing at the gym. I read and loved Cutting for Stone earlier this year, and I recently finished the Wally Lamb book, Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story. It was excellent. I loved She’s Come Undone, but this is sort of the slightly more positive, more optimistic Wally Lamb. W INTE R 2 0 1 3 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E





uggest heading to Park Avenue for an evening and you’re bound to have eager takers. Yet, while your companions will surely be enthusiastic about the destination, it’s likely each may have a different idea of what to do once you arrive. That’s part of the Avenue’s charm; it offers something for everyone. A few years ago I coined the phrase “parkpreneur,” meaning any person, business or entity that enhances the Avenue’s ambiance. In fact, Winter Park’s signature street consists of block after block of parkpreneurs, some of whom have been doing business here for quite a long time. For example, this year Simmons Jewelers celebrated 60 years on the Avenue. Robert Simmons Sr., who started the business, recently enjoyed a surprise 87th birthday party at the Tiffany Deli, which was opened earlier this year by his son, Bobby. Further strengthening Bobby’s Avenue ties, he’s now engaged to Robin Thomas, who works about a block down at Heritage Financial Services. Not too far south, Lilly Pulitzer Winter Park is celebrating its eighth anniversary this fall. Manager Meredith Gardner says employees Katelyn Tetreault and Jenny Osterhaus have both been there since Day One. Lilly has something of a cult following among locals, and employees can’t seem to tear themselves away. Sassafras Sweet Shoppe owner Rebecca McCamy is still a part-time employee at the boutique, but her candy store just around

the corner recently expanded into space next door. Her former upstairs office is now used as a party room. Rebecca, as many locals will remember, was featured last year on an Anderson Live episode about “mompreneurs.” Ashlee Workman, the store’s manager, has been with Rebecca since she opened the shop three years ago this December. Her crew, including Marisa Folz, Brittany Bonin, Caitlin Schaeffer, Chandler Calhoun, Caroline Newsome and Lauren Gassie, always offers the biggest smiles on the Avenue when you walk in. Life is definitely sweet when you’re surrounded by all that candy! Nearby, Downeast was purchased by Don and Lettie Sexton 23 years ago. It’s quite a family affair, with daughter Carina Graham working alongside her parents, buying merchandise and helping customers. The store, which some people assume sells only outdoorsy attire, does showcase some fishing gear. But its clothing line is quite diverse, with an eclectic selection for men and women. After starting in Brandywine Square, Downeast is now in its third Avenue home after spending many years where BurgerFi is now. Lettie has the gift of gab, so my visits there are often lengthy, but always fun and informative. That’s why so many customers have become friends as well. Hair and makeup stylist Douglas Marvaldi, who moved here from New York in the 1970s and opened Marvalidi Hair & Makeup Studio, has worked with such celebrities as Susan Sarandon

and Brooke Shields. Some famous folk still fly in to avail themselves of his expertise. An avid painter, Douglas will be one of a number of artists participating in Flock This!, a project to benefit Libby’s Legacy. That’s a local breast-health charity dedicated to providing education, mammograms and follow up diagnostics to underserved populations. Held in conjunction with 1350 West Art Gallery, Flock This! involves transforming those familiar yard flamingos into unique works of art. Yours truly will be doing one, as will Brittnie Gallo, the creative designer who’s responsible for all those great windows at Tuni. Watch for some of the leggy birds to show up around the Avenue before they’re auctioned off. Douglas’s wife, Liz, and sister, Judith, just celebrated the first anniversary of their Nature in Beauty shop off The Hidden Garden, just outside the Hair & Makeup Studio. Nature in Beauty sells the kinds of cosmetics and beauty products you can use, or eat. Yes, eat. They’re all natural — and edible. This conversation got me more curious about the organic, vegan side of the local food scene. So I finally tried Café 118 on Morse Boulevard. What a surprise! This original eatery, owned by Joe Diaz, serves only raw dishes. You’ll have to try it to appreciate it. My “taco salad,” recommended by employee Amanda Riggs, was quite reminiscent of the usual version — and delicious! Nearby at Bosphorous, which specializes in

Peterbrooke Smile Squad members collected suitcases for the Foundation for Foster Children. Shown are (above left, left to right): Scott Frazier; Mary Elizabeth Mott; John Carlson; Betsey Bell, the foundation’s executive director; Jami Wray; Kevin Wray; Andrew Pease; and Annie Melbourne. Taking well-earned kudos during last year’s Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week are (above right, left to right): Debra Hendrickson, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce; Paige Blackwelder, Tuni; and Sarah Grafton, previous president of the Park Avenue Merchants Association.


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

The Alfond Inn

gA Work of Heart e The Alfond Inn, a Preferred Boutique Hotel in the heart of Winter Park, offers elegant accommodations, stunning meeting and event space, and a warm and welcoming restaurant that pays homage to Old Florida.

gA Philanthropic Mission e Owned by Rollins College and built with a grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, the hotel’s net operating income will endow the Alfond Scholars program.

gUnsurpassed Facilities e The Alfond’s 112 guest rooms range from comfortable classic kings to majestic luxury suites, and all guests enjoy access to the hotel’s fitness center and elevated pool. The Alfond has also created a beautiful and welcoming backdrop for weddings and social affairs.

gDelightful Dining e Hamilton’s Kitchen, the Inn’s restaurant, overseen by Chef J. Christopher Windus, offers a Floridian-inspired menu at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

gYou’re Welcome Here e Please stop by and visit. We’re proud to be part of wonderful Winter Park, serving both locals and visitors.

300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. 407-998-8090


authentic Turkish cuisine, things are looking up — quite literally. Doved and Tammy Sexter, who bought the restaurant in 2009, are making plans to add something very different, but complementary, upstairs. I can’t reveal much yet because details are still being worked out — but I’ll keep you in the loop. The couple recently made their first trip to Turkey, and Doved says he’s proud of how well the dishes at Bosphorous stand up to those they sampled while visiting this fascinating nation at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. On a recent visit to Bosphorous I met the wonderful chef, Halil Ertane, whose wife, Nalan, recently joined the crew. Bekir Kaymas, who makes the restaurant’s irresistible lavas bread, came out to visit sporting a Turkish baseball cap, which was among the souvenirs Doved and Tammy brought back from their voyage. Since the Sexters bought the restaurant, one employee, Halil Cigdemci, has joined their family, marrying daughter Elizabeth. Doved and Tammy both formerly worked for Darden Restaurants, as did Peterbrooke of Winter Park owners Kevin and Jami Wray. So it’s no coincidence that Bosphorous now uses Peterbrooke dark chocolate in preparing its baklava. So if something about that delicious dessert tastes familiar — now you know why. The Peterbrooke duo, along with a rotating group of their employees, has been surprising locals of late with chocolate hearts stamped with smiley faces. The “Smile Squad” roams the Avenue, ever-watchful for acts of kindness, bestowing the unsuspecting Good Samaritan with a tasty token of appreciation. Frequent Smile Squad members include John Carlson, Scott Frazier, Annie Melbourne, Elizabeth Mott and Danny Holt. Kevin and Jami also do plenty of admirable work on their own. Recently they teamed with the Foundation for Foster Children and its Executive Director Betsy Bell to collect suitcases for the charity’s young beneficiaries. Continuing on the sweet beat, look this fall for a complete renovation inside Sweet Traditions French Bakery. Owners Christine and Stephan Crocher are going to be changing things up big


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

time. When I spoke to Christine about the coming revamp, she was very excited — and so was I. Booths are coming, and the menu will include a selection of beer and wine. Also watch for expanded hours and a whole new, but still French-inspired, ambiance. I’ll tell you more as soon as I can. Over the years, various Avenue retailers have form symbiotic business relationships. But here’s a case where a trio of seemingly disparate companies joined forces to create something truly special. It started a year ago, when Linda and Allan Semmler, who owned Earth Inspired Living, began offering some of their organic, recycled and sustainable products in the Ancient Olive, a Hidden Gardens treasure owned by Bryan Behling and Jeffrey Schrader. The Ancient Olive features the region’s first (and only) tasting bar for ultra-premium, extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the globe. Adjacent to the Ancient Olive was Grace, a charming fine-art and gift gallery owned by Lael DeWahl and featuring works from premier local artists as well as those from throughout the U.S. and Europe. They were three different businesses offering three different experiences. Now, however, they’re all together under the ever-expanding Ancient Olive umbrella. The Earth Inspired Living shop closed, but its ecological spirit lives on through products offered in the Ancient Olive’s beautifully revamped space. Under the same roof you’ll find Grace’s charming selection of original artwork, home decor items and gift collections. The Ancient Olive, which now has locations in St. Augustine and Delray Beach, stocks all sorts of locally crafted items, plus even more goodies made with Peterbrooke Chocolate. They’re everywhere! Fall in Winter Park becomes a bigger and bigger fashion deal during Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week. Lots of retailers now plan their seasons around the annual event, including John Craig owner Craig DeLongy, who just added Giorgio Armani to his product mix this season. I’ve been asked to help with promotion, and love working with Sarah Grafton, chairperson, as well as Deborah Hendickson, Paige

Blackwelder, Roquois C, Kam Ridley, Carrie Grafton Musalimadugu and Erika Spence. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into this amazing production, and they’re all to be commended. Deborah and Erika, by the way, work for the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, which has just begun to distribute eye-catching new window clings to its members. Appropriately, the clings feature the city’s iconic peacock. Wrapping things up this installment, I have to address the largest change to the Park Avenue area’s literal and figurative landscape in some time: The Alfond Inn. Back in late July, just weeks from opening, I got a quick tour from Deanne Gabel, general manager of the boutique hotel, which is owned by Rollins College. She greeted me outside wearing a hard hat, handling phone call after call while remaining calm, cool and collected. I gave her business cards for Tommy Lam, sales consultant, and Kendel Elliott, showroom manager, at Hadco’s new Viking appliances showroom on South Park Avenue. They book large blocks of rooms for training sessions and had told me they wanted to introduce themselves. I went in the next morning and Deanne had already managed to give them a call, despite everything else she had going on preparing for the grand opening. Lots of people — okay, maybe the whole community — are excited about the Alfond, from Ginny Enstad at Ginny’s Orchids, whose flowers will be featured prominently in the entry, to all the other business owners up and down the Avenue who will benefit in one way or another. Until next time — holy bricks and Spanish moss, I LUV Winter Park! Clyde Moore, whose alter ego is Parker the Owl, owns I LUV Winter Park Inc., a company that promotes the city and its businesses. He has a degree in journalism and advertising from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

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shopping The mix of shops, restaurants and other businesses along Park Avenue has evolved over the years. But today, as has been the case for more than 100 years, you’ll find a little bit of everything in the heart of Winter Park. There’s a scattering of national chains as well as eclectic locally owned boutiques. And you can choose from restaurants of every type, from casual to fine dining. This page lists members of the Park Avenue Merchants Association, an organization that promotes the business district and sponsors an array of events. For information about happenings on Park Avenue, visit


HomeBanc N.A. (321) 214-1200


Regions Bank (407) 740-6222

Through the Looking Glass (321) 972-3985 Bebe’s/ Liz’s (407) 628-1680


Bella (407) 644-6522

Gary Lambert Salon & Spa (407) 628-8659

Blue Door Denim Shoppe (407) 647-2583

iLashWorks (407) 622-0226

Charyli (407) 455-1983

Kendall & Kendall (407) 629-2299

Current (407) 628-1087


DownEast Orvis (407) 645-5100 Eileen Fisher (407) 628-9260 John Craig Clothier (407) 629-7944 LaBella Intimates & Boutique (407) 790-7820 Lilly Pulitzer (407) 539-2324 Siegel’s Winter Park (407) 645-3100 Synergy (407) 647-7241 Tugboat & the Bird (407) 647-5437 Tuni (407) 628-1609


Scenic Boat Tours (407) 644-4056


Bank of America (407) 646-3600 BankFIRST (407) 629-9089


The Collection (407) 740-6003


Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream (407) 622-6292 Peterbrooke Chocolatier (407) 644-3200 Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop (407) 645-3499 Sassafras Sweet Shoppe (407) 388-0101


California Closets (407) 633-0213 Hadco (407) 787-1234


The Keewin Real Property Company (407) 645-4400


The Winter Park Land Company (407) 644-2900

Alex & Ani (321) 422-0841 Bay Hill Jewelers on Park (321) 422-0948 Be On Park (407) 644-1106 Filthy Rich Celebrity Jewelry Replicas (407) 256-2565

W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine (407) 644-8609

Christian Science Reading Room (407) 647-1559

Claret Cosmetics (407) 678-4400 Ginny’s Orchids (407) 927-2128 HADCO (866) 787-1234 Partridge Tree Gift Shop (407) 645-4788 Rosey Wray’s Roost (407) 678-0077

Reynolds & Co. Jewelers (407) 645-2278

Luma on Park (407) 599-4111

The Doggie Door (407) 644-2969

Simmons Jewelers (407) 644-3829

Matilda’s (407) 951-5790

The Paper Shop (407) 644-8700


Morse Museum of American Art (407) 645-5311

The Spice & Tea Exchange (407) 64-SPICE

310 Park South (407) 647-7277

Specialty Shops

Ten Thousand Villages (407) 644-8464

Smart Coffee HD (321) 422-0805

The Ancient Olive (321) 972-1899


Shoooz On Park Avenue (407) 647-0110

Cocina 214 (407) 790-7997

Casa Feliz (407) 628-8200



Fannie Hillman & Associates (407) 644-1234

The Alfond Inn (407) 998-8090

Palmano’s Café 407 647-7520

Claret Cosmetics (407) 678-4400


Rose Properties (407) 629-7673

Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen (407) 629-0042


Tolla’s Italian Deli & Cafe (407) 628-0068

Best Western Mt. Vernon Inn (407) 647-1166

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens (407) 647-6294


Winter Park Photography (407) 539-1538


Eyes & Optics (407) 644-5156 See, Inc. (407) 599-5455


Greenleaf Photo Studio (407) 456-2225

Orchid Thai (407) 331-1400 Panera Bread (407) 645-3939 Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant (407) 629-7270 Park Plaza Gardens (407) 645-2475 Prato (407) 262-0050

Timothy’s Gallery (407) 629-0707 Tresor Gallery (407) 539-1199 You Need Art (407) 647 1122


The Winter Park Playhouse (407) 645-0145


Sweet Traditions Bakery/Cafe (407) 622-2232

Luxury Trips (407) 622-8747

The Bistro on Park Avenue (407) 539-6520

Wine Bar

The Tiffany Deli (407) 673-3354

The Wine Room on Park Avenue (407) 696-9463

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mayans and monkey gods The Maitland Art Center is seeking designation as a National Historic Landmark. But no one needs to tell Central Floridians that this other-worldly outpost is an irreplaceable cultural treasure. By JAY BOYAR


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hat’s your favorite local landmark? The Daily Planet-style sign atop the Plaza Live Theatre? That retro-spaceship hunk of pastel plastic in the middle of Lake Eola? Or maybe something from one of the theme parks — the Cinderella Castle, perhaps? Christine Madrid French has something very different in mind when she talks about landmarks in Central Florida. For the past year or so, French has been focused on obtaining National Historic Landmark status for the Maitland Art Center, where she is curator of history. The center, she says, is just on the verge of realizing that dream. “It’s a very high bar,” notes French, who’ll make the formal case for landmark status this November in Washington, D.C. “But if we’ve gone this far with the process, there’s a 99 percent chance that everything will be fine.” Situated near Lake Sybelia, the art center is one of five museums known collectively as the Art & History Museums–Maitland. Currently, the center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes about 80,000 sites throughout America. A nice designation, but hardly an exclusive one. Places with official landmark status are members of a more select circle — one with only about 2,000 members nationwide. If the center makes it into that elite group, its prestige, if not also its resources, will increase. “That prestige shows how important it is to continually invest in the preservation,” says Andrea Bailey Cox, executive director of the museums. “It also raises our awareness nationally, as well as locally. So many people don’t realize we’re here in their backyard.” The Maitland Art Center was founded in 1937 by artist/architect André Smith, who also designed the center and lived there (see page 27). Smith created the place as an artists’ colony and Cox hopes to continue that legacy. “About three years ago we really started working on the rebirth of the Maitland Art Center,” she explains. “Our ultimate goal is to be able to bring it back to its artists’ colony days during its classic period of 1937 to ‘59.” Securing landmark status is part of the overall plan. So are the preservation efforts that have already begun. The center has also been emphasizing programs that amplify the artists’ colony concept. Artists in Action, for example, has for years allowed the public to observe artists working in the center’s studios. Now a new program, Artists in Residence, allows onlookers similar access. “Every once in a while we make a joke about it being kind of like an art zoo: Look in and see what they’re doing behind the scenes,” says Cox, laughing. Turning serious, she adds, “It’s a really great opportunity for exposure to the visual arts in a way that the public rarely has. To be able to go in and understand motivation, skills, all of those pieces.”


André Smith’s sketch captured his vision of a sprawling Research Studio where artists could live and work. Although the center houses several significant art collections, the facility itself, with its conjoined courtyards, gardens and studios, may be the region’s most significant work of art. Executive Director Andrea Bailey Cox (above left) and Curator of History Christine Madrid French (above right) are leading the effort to have the center named a National Historic Landmark.

To fully understand why the center is worth caring about, you have to go there and look around. The grounds — which are much larger than they seem from where the compound sits on Packwood Avenue — cover two acres and, by the official reckoning, contain a dozen buildings. Structures are made of concrete, which Smith used as a medium of artistic expression. While the center is billed as one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival in the Southeast, its


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imagery is drawn from many sources. European, Chinese, Christian, African, Persian and, of course, Mayan signs and symbols mingle in an oddly harmonious way. As she shows me around the grounds, French points out that the chapel is Christian-themed, featuring images of saints and a Christ figure. She seems intrigued that just on the other side of a chapel wall is an image of the Monkey King from Chinese mythology. Elsewhere are Mayan figures

— but they’re playing European instruments. “André was into every kind of culture,” says French, “and he just found it all fascinating.” Almost everywhere we look we see images of flowers, especially sunflowers. French explains that they were symbols of rebirth for Smith, a northerner who found a new life in Maitland. As the Maitland Art Center seeks to blossom as a national landmark, it’s finding a new life, too. Visit for further information.


ANDRé SMITH’S SPIRIT HOVERS OVER THE CENTER HE CREATED “Is this going in print?” asks Andrea Bailey Cox, executive director of the Art & History Museums-Maitland, when I ask if she’s ever seen a ghost. “I’ll sound like a bit of a kook!” Specifically, I’m asking about the ghost of André Smith, who founded one of those museums, the Maitland Art Center, which is where Cox and I happen to be at the time. After a slightly awkward pause, she decides to answer my question. “I saw a gentleman with gray hair, with his back turned to me,” she recalls, thinking back to one morning, several years ago, at the center. “To this day, everyone swears that nobody was on campus that early and that I saw André working in the studio.” Over the years, many staffers and visitors have said they’ve encountered Smith’s ghost. Even if they’re right, that may not be the most intriguing thing about him. Not only did artist/architect Smith found the Maitland Art Center (originally calling it the Research Studio) in 1937, he designed it and incorporated his concrete sculptures into it. He lived there and brought in others to join him by

establishing it as an artists’ colony, which it remained until his death in 1959. A child of American parents, Smith was born in Hong Kong in 1880, raised in New York and Connecticut, attended Cornell University and served in World War I. In basic training, he severely injured his leg on barbed wire and later the leg was amputated. Always a dark personality, Smith, who never married, was even darker after that. But in middle age he experienced a rebirth of sorts when he found his way to Maitland. Smith championed modern art (especially abstraction and Surrealism), was socially progressive (as his close friendship with Zora Neale Hurston attested) and drew inspiration from many cultures, including European, Chinese, Christian, African, Persian and especially Mayan. “One of the reasons that Smith is significant is that he was constantly pushing the envelope with experimentation, and helping other artists to do so with the artists’ colony,” says Cox. And nowadays at the Maitland Art Center, his spirit — so to speak — lives on. — Jay Boyar




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André Smith traveled the world, and captured much of what he saw on canvas. But he also found plenty of inspiration in Eatonville, located just minutes from his Research Studio (now the Maitland Art Center). In Images of Eatonville: Then & Now, which just closed at the center, Smith’s lively impressions of what is thought to be the nation’s first incorporated AfricanAmerican community were on display alongside present-day photographs by Rollins College students. Smith befriended celebrated writer Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance folklorist who lived in Eatonville as a child and immortalized it in her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). On these pages are some of Smith’s Eatonville paintings, which were completed in the 1930s and 1940s.




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Alden received hundreds of fan letters each week, and personally answered many of them.



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Isabella “Pansy” Alden is all but forgotten today. But her moralizing manuscripts taught countless Victorian-era children how to mind their manners, say their prayers, and fix their flaws.


f the Victorian era had an answer to J.K. Rowling, it might have been Isabella Macdonald Alden. Known to her readers as “Pansy,” she was an international publishing phenomenon whose children’s books sold hundreds of thousands of copies, making her one of the genre’s most popular authors. She also established herself as a literary celebrity in early Winter Park, where her ornate threestory home at the corner of Interlachen and Lyman avenues, known as “the Pansy Cottage,” became a hub of local culture. Unlike Rowling, however, Alden didn’t agonize for years over a handful of monumental works. She ultimately wrote or edited some 200 books, most of them fewer than 75 pages in length, and even published a widely circulated magazine, The Pansy, which contained articles about world history, geography, science, literature and botany. While Rowling explored mystical themes that some religious fundamentalists have condemned, Alden — steeped in the sentimentality of her age — imparted didactic and often treacly moral les-

By daena creel and kimberly mould additional material by randy noles

sons that made her books particular favorites of church librarians. “I dedicate my pen to the direct and continuous effort to win others for Christ and help others to closer fellowship with him,” she wrote. Lack of magic and wizardry aside, Alden in her heyday was an industry unto herself. Children could join the “Pansy Society,” which encouraged members to work hard at overcoming a single fault “For Jesus’ Sake.” She received hundreds of fan letters each week from her young readers, and responded personally to most of them. Awkwardly in today’s vernacular but charming in the 1880s, she called her young fans “pansies.” Alden also produced Sunday school lessons for the Westminster Teacher, a weekly magazine published by the Presbyterian Church, and served on the editorial staff of religious periodicals such as Trained Motherhood and The Christian Endeavor. Pansy even had her own board game, Divided Wisdom: A Game Based on Hymns and Bible Proverbs. She also endorsed the work of other authors, such as Dr. Mary Wood-Allen, whose 1905 facts-

of-life tome What A Young Girl Ought to Know she praised as “just the book to teach what most people do not know how to teach, being scientific yet simple, and plain-spoken yet delicate.” “She wove her stories around common, everyday [lives], until all her characters became alive and real to those who read,” wrote Grace Livingston Hill, Alden’s niece and a Rollins College physical education instructor. Hill later became an accomplished author in her own right (see page 40). Yet, the so-called “Pansy books” and their creator are all but forgotten today, except by dedicated bibliophiles who collect early editions for their rarity rather than their literary quality. In fact, Alden’s works were out of print for decades until a Christian publishing house released a handful of edited and abridged titles in the 1990s. But if the Pansy books don’t hold up particularly well as entertainment, they do hearken back to a simpler time, both in the United States and in the quaint Central Florida town where the author and her family spent many of their happiest and most productive years.



The Pansy Cottage, located on the northeast corner of Interlachen and Lyman avenues, was a cultural hub in Winter Park. The home, shown here in the late 1880s alongside All Saints Episcopal Church, was demolished in 1955. Today it’s the site of The Alfond Inn.

   Isabella Macdonald Alden was born Nov. 3, 1841, in Rochester, N.Y. Her parents, Issac and Myra Spofford Macdonald, were politically progressive and instilled in their seven children a support of social reform. Precocious Isabella received schooling at home and showed an early propensity for writing. Little else is known of Alden’s parents, although late in life she wrote that her father “in all his lifetime struggled with the handicap of a suffering body, and sometimes found it burdensome to

thoughts on church sermons, give little evidence that she was difficult. But those journals also contain some of her earliest pieces of fiction. Her first published story, Our Old Clock, appeared in a Gloversville, N.Y. newspaper when she was only 10. The byline read simply, “Pansy.” The distinctive nom de plume, Alden recalled, was the result of a childhood attempt at creating a floral arrangement gone awry. In anticipation of a tea party, the youngster picked every pansy from the family’s flower bed, removed the stems,

and admitted African-American students. She graduated in 1861 and promptly joined the faculty, where she met Theodosia Maria Toll Foster. Charmingly nicknamed “Docia,” Foster would become her sometime collaborator and ultimately write more than 30 of her own books as “Faye Huntington.” It was Docia who, in 1865, helped start the Pansy phenomenon by surreptitiously rescuing and submitting a manuscript that her friend had written and then set aside, believing it to be unworthy. Helen Lester had been written at Docia’s urg-

But if the Pansy books don’t hold up particularly well as entertainment, they do hearken back to a simpler time, both in the United States and in the quaint Central Florida town where the author and her family spent many of their happiest and most productive years.

meet the daily expenses of a large family.” However, she added, “looking back, we all knew —and I, left here alone, the others having all reached home before me, know — that there could never have been a more faithful, conscientious, earnest, loving father and mother than God gave to us.” Alden would also recall that as a child she “must have possessed a temper that was easily set aflame, and a will of my own that took careful training to educate.” However, young Isabella’s daily journal entries, many of which offer her


W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | WI N TER 2013

and placed the large, brightly colored blooms in her grandmother’s flower bowl. The haphazard effect, apparently, was not what her mother had in mind, and she scolded her daughter until she began to cry. Her father, however, “kissed me, and told her he did not believe I meant to be naughty — and dressed me himself in my best white dress.” Alden, who would be known as Pansy forevermore, later attended Whitestown Seminary (formerly the Oneida Academy), a Presbyterianaffiliated institution that supported abolition

ing in response to a contest sponsored by the Cincinnati-based Western Tract Society, which published and distributed evangelical materials. The organization had sought contributions for what it touted as “the best book of stories setting forth the principles of Christianity for children.” In her autobiography, Memories of Yesterday, Alden recalls telling Docia, in no uncertain terms, that her decision to abandon the story was final. “If I can’t write a better story than that, it proves I ought never to write at all,” she said. “Tear the thing into bits and throw it into the

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grate with the other rubbish.” Docia , who told her friend that she was “acting like a born idiot,” then appeared to drop the subject. Two months later, however, Alden received a $50 check and notification that her story had won first prize. Chastened but delighted, Alden later recalled her reaction: “Shall I make an attempt at describing the hour of bewilderment, amazement, embarrassment, oddly mingled with delight, which followed the first reading of that letter?” She sent autographed copies of Helen Lester — and the prize money — to her parents. To today’s readers, Helen Lester would seem, at best, pious and overwrought. Helen, known as “Nellie,” is a darling but imperfect child whose once-wayward older brother, Cleveland, undergoes a religious conversion that he is eager to share with his siblings and his wealthy, worldly, wine-sipping parents. For example, while lecturing his sister, Cleveland intones: “Oh, Nellie, I want you to be a Christian. I don’t want you to grow up without loving this dear Savior who loves you so much.

I want you to learn to pray; to learn to ask Jesus every day to take care of you; to help you to love him more than anybody else.” Shortly after Helen Lester appeared, the young author met Gustavus Rossenberg Alden, a Presbyterian minister and a graduate of New York City-based Auburn Theological Seminary. The couple married in 1866 and moved to Almond, N.Y., where Rev. Alden pastored a church. Other assignments would take them to Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. As she assisted her husband in his work, Alden found constant inspiration. “Whenever things went wrong,” she recalled, “I went home and wrote a book to make them come out right.” Grace Livingston Hill, daughter of Alden’s sister, Marcia Macdonald Livingston, and her husband, Rev. Charles Montgomery Livingston, adored her “Auntie Belle.” Later, even after Hill’s own fame eclipsed that of her aunt, she remembered the woman the world knew as Pansy with unbridled affection. “As long ago as I can remember, there was al-

ways a radiant being who was next to my mother and father in my heart, and who seemed to be a sort of combination of fairy godmother and saint,” wrote Hill. She thought her aunt was “beautiful, wise and wonderful; I treasured her smiles, copied her ways and breathlessly listened to all she had to say, sitting at her feet worshipfully.” Alden seemed to truly find her niche after the publication in 1870 of Ester Ried Asleep and Awake. Ester, who toils grudgingly at her family’s New York boardinghouse, believes herself to be “a Christian in name only” until she visits a cousin, Abbie, who teaches her to base her life on God’s word. The book begat a series featuring the same character and her relatives, with the final installment published in 1906. Like Helen before her, Ester comes to realize that carefully reading the Bible and following its precepts is the only prescription for her attitude problem. “That is what has been the trouble with me,” she tells herself in Asleep and Awake. “I’ve neglected my duty…well, the first opportunity

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then that I have — or no — I’ll stop now, this minute, and read a chapter in the Bible and pray; there is nothing like the present moment for keeping a good resolution.” In 1874, on the heels of the success of Asleep and Awake, Alden founded The Pansy, a monthly magazine for which subscriptions cost $1 a year or 10 cents per copy. It was described by the publisher, Boston-based D. Lothrop & Company, as “a finely illustrated monthly, containing 35 to 40 pages of reading matter from the pens of the best writers especially prepared for the boys and girls of the world.” The editor was identified only as “Pansy,” but by then it was a well-known name in the world of children’s literature. At its peak, The Pansy had more than 5,000 subscribers and would continue for 23 years.    On March 30, 1873, in New Hartford, N.Y., the Aldens’ only son was born. Raymond Macdonald Alden was in frail health, however, and doctors advised a move to Florida for its warmer climate. Like many New Englanders, they were attracted to sophisticated Winter Park. By 1886 the family had relocated and Raymond was attending the Preparatory Department at Rollins College. He spent five years at Rollins, but eventually transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Ph.D in English in 1898. Raymond taught English at Penn, as well as Columbian University (now George Washington University), Harvard and Stanford. He would later chair the English department at the University of Illinois and become one of the world’s preeminent scholars of Shakespeare. He would be awarded an honorary degree in literature from Rollins in 1910. Alden, meanwhile, enjoyed her stature as a local celebrity and became involved in a variety of community betterment causes. And promoters were eager to tout the fact that one of the country’s most well-known authors, who could have lived anywhere, had selected “the bright New England town on the Florida frontier.” Indeed, an 1888 brochure listed Alden among the literary luminaries who called Winter Park home, and described Pansy Cottage as “a center of literary, religious and civic activity.” Despite their Presbyterian roots, the Aldens joined the city’s First Congregational Church, which had founded Rollins and attracted a socially prominent congregation. Hill, then 21 and not yet married, moved to

The Pansy was colorfully illustrated and packed with articles about world history, geography, science, literature and botany as well as fiction aimed at keeping its young readers on the straight and narrow.

Winter Park with her parents and was known as “Miss Livingston” to the Rollins students to whom she taught “club swinging, fencing, free work, wand, dumb-bell and hoop exercises” as well as basketball and “Greek posture” classes. She would remain in Winter Park only until 1891, but would later occasionally reference the community and the college in her own works of Christian-themed romantic fiction. Unquestionably, the family lived well, thanks to Alden’s prolific output and worldwide sale of her books, which had been translated into French, German, Russian and even Japanese. “Cottage,” for example, was a bit of a misnomer for the Alden home. A lavish, three-story Victorian masterpiece built from virgin pine, it was replete with verandas, turrets and every architectural flavor of gingerbread. Almost every room had a fireplace Adding to the family’s coffers, Alden became a popular Chautauqua speaker. Chautauqua was a grassroots adult-education movement named for the New York lake around which the first meetings were held. She was even inspired to write a series of books, Four Girls at Chautauqua, in 1876. Although Chautauqua initially was religious in nature and its meetings held only at its New York compound, it eventually expanded to include secular topics, with large-scale gatherings held throughout the country spotlighting speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and subject-matter experts. The Aldens, who also had homes in Philadelphia and Chautauqua, attended an 1887 Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle gathering in 1887 that was dubbed “The Pansy Class” in honor of Alden’s stature in both the literary and religious worlds. Locally, Rev. Alden was elected to the Rollins Board of Trustees while his wife continued to churn out books and tracts, and helped to found the Winter Park Public Library and the local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU was one of Alden’s favorite organizations. The abstinence drive it championed seems rigid and puritanical by modern standards, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, percapita alcohol consumption was far higher than it is today and was blamed for such problems as spousal abuse and child abandonment. In addition, the WCTU was involved in such social issues as suffrage and public health. In 1889, Alden and the Winter Park WCTU



“I am not capable of writing a story suited to the tastes of present day young people. They would smoke a cigarette over the first chapter and toss it aside as a back number. I haven’t faith in them, nor in my ability to help them.”

formed a “juvenile temperance organization” that two years later was combined with the local Pansy Society and renamed the Loyal Temperance Legion. Members received badges and kudos from the author, who was as popular with children as she was with their parents.    By 1906, the Aldens’ time in Winter Park had come to an end. They sold Pansy Cottage and moved to Philadelphia to be near their son. The books continued, albeit at a slower pace, including Four Mothers at Chautauqua and the final installment of the Ester Ried series. At the age of 83, Alden suffered the loss of her husband and her son, whose deaths were separated by only six months. Distraught and in declining health, she moved to Palo Alto, Calif., to live with her five grandchildren. A concerned Hill suggested that Alden might want to revisit Ester Ried, but Alden demurred. “I am not capable of writing a story suited to the tastes of present day young people,” she wrote. “They would smoke a cigarette over the first chapter and toss it aside as a back number. I haven’t faith in them, nor in my ability to help them.” Jean Kerr, whose biography of Hill describes Alden’s final days, wrote: “Lonely for those who had gone before her and saddened by the godless trends of the modern world, she found her escape in her memories of the golden days that were past: memories of Chautauqua assemblies, of satisfying work and pleasant associations.” Disillusioned but unwilling to cap her pen for a final time, Alden began work on her autobiography. Memories of Yesterday was incomplete when she died on Aug 5, 1930, at the age of 89. Although her passing received national coverage, critics had already dismissed her work as antiquated. Wrote one: “Isabella Alden has suffered the fate of all those who survive beyond their own day and attract attention only as anachronisms on the modern scene.” In 1981, Elizabeth Eschbach wrote in the Orange County Historical Quarterly: “Somewhat simplistically by today’s worldly sensibilities, Alden’s books emphasized the perils of popular


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amusements, the evils of worldly temptations, necessity of abstinence and self-sacrifice and the trials of leading a good Christian life.”    Isabella Macdonald Alden made the news again in December 1993 when Winter Park City Commissioner Rachel Murrah was shopping on Park Avenue for a red holiday coat and noticed a book in Talbots’ display window. The book, which was meant purely for decoration, was an early edition of Esther Ried Asleep and Awake. Recognizing the author’s name, Murrah persuaded the store to donate it to the Winter Park Public Library. “What do you call this? Serendipity?” said Renae Bennett, then the library’s historian, in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re thrilled.” The items on display in the Winter Park Talbots, like those in the 339 other Talbots across the country, had been bought in lots from antique dealers through the company’s Boston headquarters. The fact that a Pansy book ended up in its Winter Park store was an extraordinary coincidence. Or maybe not. Maybe it was a reminder from Pansy that, simplistic or not, she still had something to say.

Isabella and her husband, Rev. Gustavus Rossenberg Alden, became involved in local civic activities. Rev. Alden was elected to the Rollins Board of Trustees while his wife helped to found the Winter Park Public Library and the local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Kimberly Mould has researched and written about the lives of significant people in Winter Park’s past as part of a project sponsored by the Winter Park Historical Association. The project was funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council Scholar/ Humanist Fellowship. Daena Creel lives in Aspers, Pa., and maintains a website dedicated to the work of Isabella “Pansy” Alden and her niece, Grace Livingston Hill. Archival images in this story are courtesy of Rollins College Archives and Special Collections at the Cornell Library. Thanks to archival specialist Darla Moore and department head Wenxian Zhang for their assistance. Illustrations from Alden’s and Hill’s books are courtesy of Creel, whose informative website can be found at isabellamacdonaldalden. com. Stories written by Mould and Creel have been combined, along with new material, for this story and the following story on Hill.

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Pansy’s niece combined religion with romance in her writing. And her P.E. classes at Rollins drew students—and spectators. BY DAENA CREEL Some of the early 20th century’s top illustrators created frontispieces for Hill’s numerous books.


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A toga party? No, this was the 1890s, not the 1990s. It’s one of Hill’s “Greek posing” class for male Rollins students. Her assorted gymnastics sessions were considered so entertaining that they actually began attracting spectators from the community.


n 1886, Winter Park was in bloom. Lavish resorts were opening their doors, the well-to-do were building seasonal cottages, new businesses were flourishing along Park Avenue and fledgling Rollins College was welcoming its second class of students. It was into this optimistic environment that 21-year-old Grace Livingston—a blossoming beauty herself and the niece of famed children’s book author Isabella “Pansy” Alden—followed her parents, Rev. C.M. Livingston and Marcia Macdonald Livingston, who was Isabella’s sister. Afflicted with a respiratory condition, Grace’s father had been given a leave of absence from his pastorate in Wellsville, N.Y., to see if a “more congenial climate” could restore his health. Isabella and her husband, Rev. G.R. Alden, encouraged the Livingstons to join them in Winter Park, where their invalid son, Raymond, had grown stronger—and they had made a happy home. The two families spent a great deal of time together, working in what might be called the family business. Everyone—including Grace and young Raymond—wrote stories or regular columns for Isabella’s children’s magazine, The Pansy.

Loring Chase, one of the founders of Winter Park, noted that “literary merit seems to belong to almost every member of the family, and thousands have been delighted with the pen pictures of not only Dr. Alden and Pansy, but of Rev. and Mrs. Livingston, Miss Grace Livingston and Raymond Alden. They all work industriously to give to the youth of our land good moral reading, as the excellent reputation of their writings attest.” While the move to Florida did wonders for Rev. Livingston’s throat, it left him with a very disappointed daughter. Grace longed for summers on the shore of Chautauqua Lake, where she had attended popular camp meetings that combined religious instruction with cultural and literary offerings. The meager salary of a pastor on leave from his church made a trip home prohibitive, so Grace decided to earn the money herself. It only seemed natural that she, too, could publish a novel—and for its subject, she chose her beloved Chautauqua. A Chautauqua Idyll tells the story of “the birds and the trees and the running brooks” deciding to have their own Chautauqua-style meetings. The

unique imagery and simplicity of Grace’s writing caught the attention of her aunt’s publisher, and once the contract was signed, there was enough money available for the Livingstons to make the journey. Grace would publish several more volumes during her years in Winter Park. A daily devotional called Pansies for Thoughts combined passages from her aunt’s “Pansy” books with Scripture verses for each day of the year. She also wrote a delightful children’s book, A Little Servant, and contributed chapters to two family efforts: A Sevenfold Trouble and The Kaleidoscope, which included a chapter contributed by a Rollins professor and would-be but ultimately unsuccessful suitor, Frederick Starr. It wouldn’t be long before Grace found herself teaching at Rollins. Admired for her athleticism, she was asked in 1889 to join the faculty as an instructor in calisthenics and heavy gymnastics— at no salary. She readily accepted, later writing that “the days spent in Winter Park with the dear Rollins students will ever stand out as a sweet and delightful experience.”



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The new Lyman Gymnasium, where her classes were held, was an attraction unto itself. But Grace’s sessions also began to draw large crowds of spectators. According to the Florida TimesUnion, “the system of calisthenics and very pretty, and from 5 o’clock each afternoon the guests’ galleries are thronged with a delighted audience.” It’s no wonder the galleries were full. Rollins was one of the few places in the 1890s where a woman instructor led vigorous physical education classes, one of the most notable and entertaining of which was “Greek posing” for young men. But that wasn’t nearly as shocking as what Grace proposed for her women’s classes. In a letter to the college four decades later, she recalled an 1891 incident that she considered to be “exceedingly amusing in the light of present-day freedom and daring in the matter of dress, or rather undress.” She wanted her female students to wear uniforms. She suggested dark blue serge suits with long-sleeved, sailor-collared blouses. The controversy arose over the “divided skirt”—think culottes—which would be fastened just below the knee. Grace described them as “very neat and graceful, worn with long black stockings and gymnasium sneakers.” It was hardly a revolutionary concept. At the time, many girls who participated in athletics of one kind or another, primarily riding, wore split skirts, which allowed for greater freedom of movement while preserving modesty. “I was to appear formally before the faculty to talk over the matter of costume for the gymnasium work, and it never occurred to me that it was going to be a difficult task to get what I had requested,” Grace wrote. After all, she had “been brought up in a most conservative manner as to attire, and I was heartily in accord with my father and mother on the subject. So I was much amazed to find that all but two or three of the faculty were very doubtful, and failed to give way at my eager description of its modesty and appropriateness.” Grace “waxed eloquent” about the proposal, noting that the gym uniforms were, in fact, more conservative than much of what her students donned outside of class. Seeing that her arguments were making little headway, she shocked the prim professors by making an audacious offer: “Why, I have it on now and I can show it to you. I’ll step into the hall and take off this skirt and come back and let you see how it looks.” One of the female teachers “tried to protest, but I whisked into the hall before they could stop me and walked back in my gymnasium dress, and in reality it was a pretty graceful affair. Even now it might be thought so. But the affect on the

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and even to bewilderment; she seemed suddenly to realize the difference from New York. Now an enthusiastic and exemplary student, Mikky gives his benefactor and his pretty daughter a tour of the campus—and modern readers a glimpse at Rollins life over a century ago: “That’s the chapel, and beyond are the study and recitation rooms. The next is the dining hall and servant’s quarters, and over on that side of the campus is our dormitory. My window looks down on the lake. Every morning I go before breakfast for a swim.” Finally, he shares a Florida sunset with the girl he saved so long ago: The 1899 Rollins womens’ basketball team models the uniforms that some faculty members considered scandalous. Hill later said she was amused that her faculty peers were so prim, and enjoyed watching their awkward reaction as she modeled the athletic togs herself.

troubled faculty was astounding.” Grace watched as the attendees “sat in a circle with downcast eyes, hands in their laps, feeling perhaps that a great crisis in college affairs was upon them. Only the two brave ladies who had been privileged to see the skirt before, and were in hearty accord with me about it, looked up with serene countenances and smiled upon me.” The others, she recalled, began to cast “furtive sideways glances, first at my toes, and then cautiously letting their frightened eyes travel upward till they got the whole effect. They one by one drew sighs of relief, and permitted their eyes to resume a normal outlook on the world once more.” Dr. Edward Hooker, the college’s first president and minister of the First Congregational Church, finally broke the awkward silence. “I think,” he said, “that this dress is much more modest than the garb that is worn in social life. I can see nothing whatever objectionable in it. In fact, I heartily approve it.” Thus ended the “great crisis,” and soon thereafter girls could be seen hurrying across the campus wearing the sensible, graceful garb. “Nobody thought any more about it,” Grace wrote. Rev. and Mrs. Livingston left Florida in 1892 after receiving a call to pastor a Maryland church. Grace went with them and a few months later married Rev. T.G.F. Hill. It was as Grace Livingston Hill that she would become familiar to generations of readers. But there’s no doubt that Grace kept Winter Park close to her heart, and in her writing, she sometimes hearkened back to her Florida so-


W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | WI N TER 2013

journ. Among her books with Florida settings, two stand out. The Story of a Whim (1903), a gentle romance, appeared first as a serial in The Golden Rule magazine. Its setting among the orange groves in fictional Pine Ridge, Fla., was no doubt inspired by the fact that Rev. Alden owned 12 acres of citrus between Winter Park and Maitland. In Lo, Michael (1913), Rollins itself serves as the backdrop. As the book opens, an angry mob is gathering outside the Manhattan home of Delevan Endicott, president of a failed bank. A shot rings out and a newsboy, nicknamed Mikky, throws himself in the bullet’s path to save the life of Endicott’s young daughter, Starr. In gratitude, Endicott sends the unpolished but angelic lad to a small school in Florida, unnamed in the book but clearly based on Rollins. Years later, Endicott and Starr travel to the college town for a visit. Grace’s memory of Winter Park’s early days is sprinkled throughout the narrative, and readers can almost see the Dinky Line station in the twilight or Rogers House across the way: Starr, as she walked on the inside of the board sidewalk, and looked down at the small pink and white and crimson pea blossoms growing broadcast, and then up at the tallness of the great pines, felt a kind of awe stealing upon her. But here in this quiet spot, where the tiny station, the post office, the grocery and a few scattered dwellings with the lights of the great tourists’ hotel gleaming in the distance, seemed all there was of human habitation; and where the sky was wide

Starr followed his eager words, and saw the sun slipping, slipping like a great ruby disc behind the fringe of palm and pine and oak that bordered the little lake below the campus; saw the wild bird dart from the thicket into the clear amber of the sky above, utter its sweet weird call, and drop again into the fine brown shadows of the living picture; watched, fascinated as the sun slipped lower, lower, to the half now, and now less than half. Grace’s charmed life took a tragic turn in 1899, when her husband died suddenly after just seven years of marriage. With her mother and two daughters, ages 2 and 6, to support, she took a cue from her aunt and redoubled her effort at writing. In less than a decade, despite a failed second marriage to Flavious Josephus Lutz, a church organist 15 years her junior, she was a best-selling author with a lifetime contract from J.B. Lippincott Co. Her ability to appeal to secular audiences by combining romantic themes with an ever-present gospel message was key to her ongoing popularity. New Grace Livingston Hill books appeared three times a year for much of her career and have never been out of print. Prior to the advent of talkies, four were adapted as films. She ultimately wrote more than 100 novels and dozens more short stories, with book sales steadily approaching the 100 million mark today. Grace died in 1947 at 82. Her final book, Mary Arden, was completed by her daughter, Ruth Livingston Hill. Outside of the Christian realm, her books never received much critical praise. Many called them “formula” or “fluff” or even “out-and-out escapism.” But that never bothered Grace: “I have had no desire to find favor with critics. I knew my Lord could look after these things wherever He wanted my work to reach lost souls.”

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Dining Restaurants of Winter Park

Iconic Italian Pannullo’s on Park Avenue is celebrating 20 years in the same location, which is no mean feat for any eatery, especially one with so much competition within walking distance. Owners Richard Pannullo and Michael Schwartz offer a menu packed with casual, classic Italian fare such as lobster ravioli and chicken marsala, although many regulars swear by the veggie-heavy salad bar. There’s also a nice wine and beer selection. 216 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 629-7270/



Dining THE KEY $ Cheap eats, most entrees under $10 $$ Moderate, dinner entrees $15-20 $$$ Pricey, most entrees over $30 $$$$ Many entrees over $30

AMERICAN The Bistro on Park Avenue 348 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 644-2313 / Located in the Hidden Gardens, this low-key eatery’s glassenclosed garden room offers one of the prettiest settings on Park Avenue. Specialties include chef crab cakes, shrimp or crawfish étouffée and bistro-style pot roast. Breakfast is served on Saturdays with an excellent brunch featuring a variety of eggs Benedict made with salmon and soft-shell crab. It’s German Night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. $$-$$ Briarpatch Restaurant 252 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 628-8651. This Park Avenue institution is crowded during breakfast and lunch—and on Sunday for brunch—and incredibly noisy. Fare includes fancy burgers, such as the Grafton white cheddar and sugar-cured bacon burger, as well as sandwiches, salads and omelets. But most patrons are particularly fond of the oversized homemade desserts, including an array of ice creams and such super-rich treats as chocolate layer cake. A bit of trivia: The restaurant’s marble counter once topped the soda fountain at Irvine’s Pharmacy, an even more venerable Park Avenue institution that operated from 1925 to 1973. $$-$$$ Carmel Café & Wine Bar, 140 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407)-513-4912/ The menu updates the traditional flavors and foods of Mediterranean rim countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Morocco. Choose from small- or large-plate options and pair foods with an international selection of wines available in three-, six- or nine-ounce pours.Tableside iPads enable guests to control preparation and pacing of the meal, from drinks to dessert, by scrolling, tapping and sending selections. The Cask & Larder 656 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 628-2333/ From the folks who brought us Ravenous Pig comes this “Southern Public House” in the former Harper’s Tavern location. “Cask” is for the beer that’s brewed on site and “larder” is an arcane term for a pantry used primarily in the South, so the cuisine is Southern-inspired, locally sourced and encompasses the general categories of sausage and country ham; vegetables and grains; fish and oysters; and such delectable oddities as grilled lamb heart, pork belly and foie-gras stuffed quali. Snout-to-tail specials for parties of eight or more involve serving up an entire animal, usually a pig. Now open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday. The midday menu offers more salads and sandwiches along with more substantial entrees such as rabbit meatloaf and trout. Menus change often to reflect local harvests and fresh catches. $$$ Dexter’s 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, (407) 6291150 / Central Florida has three Dexter’s locations, each of which has become a neighborhood hangout, drawing diners of all ages for hearty portions of creative American fare (at fair prices), good wine and, in some cases, live music. Casual dress is the rule. The brunches, and the pressed duck sandwiches, are especially popular. For dinner, country-fried lamb—yes, lamb—is an unexpected but tasty choice. $$-$$$ Hamilton’s Kitchen. 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park/ Named for the innovative former


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

Rollins College president, Hamilton Holt, the warm and welcoming restaurant at the newly opened Alfond Inn boasts an early 1900s ambience, with a hearth-inspired kitchen window, exposed beams, farmer’s table and Dutch oak floors. The cuisine features traditional Southern offerings using locally sourced ingredients. Hamilton’s is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Chef Christopher Windus, former executive chef of Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, is in charge of the kitchen. $$$ Hillstone 215 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 740-4005 / Formerly known as Houston’s, this Winter Park mainstay is part of a high-end chain. Still, it grows its own herbs, bakes its own bread, grinds its own meat, cuts its own fish and whips its own cream. In nice weather, guests relax with a cocktail in Adirondack chairs overlooking Lake Killarney. Many have popped the proverbial question during romantic dinners for two on the boat dock. $$$ Keke’s Breakfast Café 345 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 629-1400 / Keke’s serves up a solid lunch, but this place is really all about breakfast, more specifically the waffles, French toast and oversized pancakes, offered with fruit, granola and chocolate chips. You may encounter a wait on weekend mornings, but be patient — it’s worth it. $$ Marlow’s Tavern, 1008 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 960-3670/ Classic American tavern fare, including an array of big and juicy burgers, served in an upscale pub environment, with exposed-brick walls, dark wood accents and leather-upholstered booths. The appetizers are wonderful, especially J.T.’s Kettle Chips which include gorgonzola cheese and bacon, are to die for. Outdoor seating is under a sizeable covered patio, where there’s sometimes live entertainment. $$ Matilda’s On Park 358 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 951-5790 That seemingly cursed corner of Park and Canton avenues most recently occupied by Galopin and perhaps a half-dozen eateries ging back a decade or so is now Matilda’s. The logo features a kangaroo and a “Roo Burger” is offered on the menu, but that’s about as far as the Australian theme is carried. Otherwise it’s an eclectic assortment of traditional pub food such as chicken wings along with tacos, sandwiches and varieties of mac and cheese. The upstairs space, as it was during Galopin’s run, is a lounge with a casual but contemporary vibe. $$$ Park Plaza Gardens 319 S. Park Ave., (407) 645-2475, Located adjacent to the historic Park Plaza Hotel, this Winter Park institution boasts a clubby, cozy bar and sidewalk café for leisurely drinks, casual meals and unparalleled people watching. Café specialties include appetizers, soups, sandwiches, burgers and a lovely array of salads. At the rear of the building is the elegant atrium dining room, a posh, patio-style space where you are surrounded by large trees and lush vegetation beneath a soaring ceiling of glass. The food is worthy of the setting, melding American, European and Asian flavors and cooking techniques. Specialties of the house include beef carpaccio, filet of beef tenderloin, chicken curry salad and crab-stuffed grouper. Bananas foster is a showy but delightful dessert. $$$-$$$$ 310 Park South 310 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 647-7277 / New American cuisine featuring fresh seafood, beef, pasta dishes, signature salads and sandwiches. Dine outside along the Avenue and enjoy daily lunch and dinner specials, a children’s menu or Sunday brunch. Steak, chicken and pasta entrées dominate the menu, but there’s also a very nice, slowly roasted half duck finished with a plum demi-glace. If you prefer to dine at home, call ahead and pick up your favorite dish. $$-$$$

Toasted 1945 Aloma Ave., Winter Park (407) 9603922/ Yes, there really is a restaurant that specializes in that most beloved childhood comfort food, the grilled-cheese sandwich. But this isn’t Velveeta on Wonder bread; the menu includes combinations of exotic cheeses, artisan breads and other unexpected additions. For example, we doubt Mom ever served a “Fig and Goat” sandwich with goat cheese, fig preserves, basil and honey. This cheesy joint also offers an assortment of burgers and salads as well as vegetarian and vegan selections. $ Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen 2203 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, (407) 672-5753 / If you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dining experience, this is not the place for you. Tibby’s is loud, raucous and fun, with Crescent City favorites like shrimp Creole, crawfish pie and, for dessert, powdered beignets. Tibby’s was named for the late Walter “Tibby” Tabony, a Big Easy native and great-uncle of restaurateur Brian Wheeler, who also founded Tijuana Flats. The old man, whose colorful biography is on the menu, would certainly have approved of the shrimp and andouille cheddar grits and the hand-battered fried pickle slices, which are expertly fried and served with a rich rémoulade sauce. $$ ASIAN Orchid Thai Cuisine 305 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 331-1400. Enjoy authentic Thai food — with orchids (what else?) garnishing many dishes — in a primo Park Avenue location. Traditional offerings include green curry highlighted by coconut gravy infused with kaffir lime and Thai basil, larb chicken, tom yum soup and curry puffs. For a light and refreshing dessert, try the Thai doughnuts, sweetened by a peanut-sprinkled dip of condensed milk. The cozy restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating. $$-$$$ P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 436 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 622-0188 / The popular restaurant chain, with more than 200 locations in North America, offers upscale Chinese classics artfully presented, with many sauces made tableside by servers. Signature entrées include diced chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves, orangepeel beef with chili peppers and wok-fried scallops with lemon sauce. The busy Winter Park Village venue features an outdoor patio. $$ BARBECUE Bubbaloo’s Bodacious Barbecue 1471 Lee Road, Winter Park, (407) 628-1212/ It now has five locations, but the original Bubbaloo’s is a Winter Park institution, serving up traditional pork and beef platters as well as brisket, livers and gizzards and sides of beans, greens and mac and cheese. It’s definitely an experience best suited to the barbecue purist. $ 4 Rivers Smokehouse 1600 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 474-8377 / A diverse menu of barbecue specialties—from Texas-style brisket to pulled pork, smoked turkey and bacon-wrapped jalapenos—has gained this homegrown concept a huge following. The expanded Winter Park location also features scrumptious desserts created in the Longwood store’s in-house bakery. The Mississippi mud cake, in particular, is scrumptious. $ BAKERY/CAFE Panera Bread 329 N. Park Ave., Ste. 107, Winter Park/ On the south end of Park Avenue sits a Starbucks; on the north end a Panera holds sway. But while Starbucks is pretty much strictly a place for coffee, Panera offers amazing bakery items and its signature fresh-and-healthy soups, salads and sandwiches. So we consider it to be as much a restaurant as a coffeehouse, as do most of its patrons.

This particular location is a large space, conveniently located next to a parking garage, and offers abundant outside seating to facilitate people-watching. $ BURGERS BurgerFi 538 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 622-2010/ This Delray Beach-based chain joins Five Guys and Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries in Central Florida’s suddenly sizzling burger category. You order at the counter and a server brings your food. The burger buns, interestingly, are branded with the name of the restaurant while the burgers themselves are fashioned from grass-fed, steroid-free beef. The fries are thick cut and house made and there are some 120 beverages from which to choose, including tea, wine, soft drinks and craft beer. Frozen custard is a nice treat on a hot day. $-$$ CREATIVE/PROGRESSIVE Luma on Park 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 5994111 / If there’s pancetta in your salad, the salumi was made in the kitchen, by hand, starting with a whole pig. Most herbs are from local farms, fish from sustainable sources, pickled vegetables jarred in-house and desserts built around seasonal ingredients. Luma’s progressive menu, which changes daily, is served in a sleek and stylish dining room in the heart of Winter Park, under the passionate direction of Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery, Chef de Cuisine Derek Perez and Pastry Chef Brian Cernell. $$$ Fresh 535 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, (321) 2957837/ You’d expect globally inspired cuisine in a restaurant owned by partners who are Filipino-Italian and Panamanian-Lebanese, respectively. And that’s what you get at aptly named Fresh, where the ingredients are uniformly fresh and largely locally sourced. The ever-changing menu features such entrees as seared scallops with lime-ginger beurre blanc, butternut squash ravioli and succulent beef tenderloin. The grilled peach with mozzarella, prosciutto, lemon honey vinaigrette and mint is an out-of-the-ordinary salad. $$$-$$$$ Ravenous Pig 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, (407) 6282333 / After leaving their hometown for serious culinary training, Winter Park natives James and Julie Petrakis returned to open the region’s first genuine gastropub. Dinner reservations have been tough to snag ever since. The ambitious menu changes daily based on the fish, meat and produce that’s available, and it’s executed by a dedicated team that abhors shortcuts. Besides daily specials, The Pig always serves up an excellent burger, soft pretzels, shrimp and grits and a donut-esque dessert called Pig Tails. $$$ DINER Linda’s Winter Park Diner, 177 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 644-2343. Look up “diner” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of Linda’s, which just celebrated its 25th year in Winter Park serving up hearty breakfasts and meat-plus-three lunch specials. It’s retro, but not in a precious, self-conscious way. It simply is what it is. Be sure to bring cash; Linda’s doesn’t take credit cards. $ FRENCH Café de France 526 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 6471869 / Dominique Gutierrez, who’s from Vendée, on the Atlantic coast of France, still greets Café de France diners as if they’re old friends. At this point, many are. Despite a kitchen staffed with chefs, she still prepares the house-made pâtés the way her mother taught her years ago. Look for classics such as garlicky escargot and au courant entrées such as

rack of lamb with mint, eggplant purée and crisp wild mushrooms. $$-$$$ Café 906 906 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 9750600 / Within this nondescript freestanding building is a friendly, low-key little restaurant where French expat Vincent Vallée will brew you a cappuccino, warm up a slice of quiche Lorraine or indulge you with a peanut-butter filled lava cake — dark chocolate or white. Be sure to try the “salted” pound cake, a savory snack made with goat cheese, walnuts and raisins stirred in, or the bacon quiche, a light, fluffy delight with a delicate and flaky crust. $ Chez Vincent 533 W. New England Ave, Winter Park, (407) 599-2929 / Orlandoans have headed to chef Vincent Gagliano’s Hannibal Square hideaway for 15 years, dressing up for formal evenings made even more special with trout in lemon-butter and pork tenderloin slathered with Dijon sauce. The intimate space has two sister enterprises: a belowground wine cellar that hosts private meals for up to 30, and a lounge known as Hannibal’s that dishes up American and French favorites. $$-$$$ Croissant Gourmet 120 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, (407) 622-7753 / Discreetly tucked onto a side street behind simple glass walls, Croissant Gourmet is so small you might not notice it. Seek it out. Under the expert guidance of pastry chef François Cahagne, this simple spot turns out tray after tray of the region’s finest croissants and pastries. Quiches are superb here, as are the grilled croque monsieur and madame sandwiches. $-$$ Dylan’s Deli 1198 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, (407) 622-7578 / In a disjointed little space featuring warm fresco colors and distinctive touches such as arched doorways, Dylan’s Deli offers not only the pastrami sandwiches you’d expect but also a wondrous assortment of French fare. Crêpes and paninis filled with an array of Gallic and international flavors make for satisfying lunches, while montaditos (platters of meats, cheeses, nuts and more) and charcuterie plates pair well with French wines and beers after dark. $$-$$$ Le Macaron French Pastries 216 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (321) 295-7958 / Le Macaron serves up 16 flavors of petite pastel cookies, each made primarily with frothy meringue and ground almonds. The noshes are delicate yet filling, and come in varieties such as black currant, pistachio and chestnutginger-chocolate. These are nothing like similarly named macaroons, made with coconut. $ Paris Bistro 216 N. Park Ave., (407) 671-4424, Winter Park / Paris Bistro is a restaurant divided: Some seats are tucked away behind Park Avenue’s Shops on Park building, past a koi pond. The others beckon along a bustling stretch of sidewalk. Wherever you choose to indulge, you’ll find French classics (coq au vin, beef burgundy) plus a slew of daily specials (roasted rack of lamb flambéed with brandy and topped with a porcini mushroom sauce) created by chef and co-owner Sebastian Colce. $$-$$$ Sweet Traditions 212 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 622-2232. After developing a robust business in downtown Winter Garden, proprietors Christine and Stephan Crocher snuggled a second café next to Paris Gourmet. Sweet Traditions offers breads, pastries, crêpes, sandwiches and quiches. The fruit tart is the ideal go-to dessert when you’re having company. Unlike the Winter Garden location, the Winter Park outlet offers crunchy and steamy pressed sandwiches, and breakfast is served all day. $

ITALIAN Antonio’s 611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, (407) 645-5523 / Fine Italian fare comes at reasonable prices at Antonio’s, proprietor Greg Gentile’s culinary homage to his ancestors. The upstairs restaurant, recently remodeled and expanded with a balcony overlooking Lake Lily, is somewhat formal, although the open kitchen provides peeks of the chefs in action. Its downstairs counterpart, Antonio’s Café, is a more casual spot that doubles as a market and wine shop. It’s easy to fill up on fresh, crusty bread and olive oil, but don’t— you’ll want to leave room for such staples as wood-grilled salmon, rigatoni with chicken, fettuccine Alfredo, pollo marsala, veal picatta and many more. $$$ Brio Tuscan Grille 480 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 622-5611 / Located in Winter Park Village, Brio is a Tuscan treasure. Try the roasted lamb chops, a full rack, or the filletto di manzo toscana, an 8-ounce, center-cut filet. Lunch features paninis and sandwiches as well as lunch-sized servings of popular dinner dishes. Pastas are made in-house and breads are baked fresh in an Italian oven. The ambience is upscale, but kids have their own menu. $$ Buca di Beppo 1351 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, (407) 6227663 / This national chain is owned by Orlando resident (and Planet Hollywood founder) Robert Earl, who has remade it onto a fun, kitschy place for family dining. The portions are humongous, and the food is served family style. A standout entrée is linguine fruitti di mari, a large portion of pasta served in a lasagna pan and filled with mussels, calamari, clams and shrimp drizzled with an olive oil sauce. The pizzas are excellent, too. $$$ Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant 216 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 629-7270 / See opening page. Prato 124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 262-0050 / This is one of Orlando’s very best Italian restaurants, but don’t expect a classic lasagna or chicken parmigiana. Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery and Chef di Cucina Matthew Cargo oversee an open kitchen in which pastas are made from scratch, pizzas are rolled to order, sausages are stuffed by hand and the olive oil is a luscious organic pour from Italy. Try the chicken liver Toscana, a satisfying salad Campagna with cubes of sizzling pancetta tesa, shrimp tortellini and citrusy rabbit cacciatore. Begin with a Negroni cocktail; it’s possibly the best around. $$-$$$ Rocco’s 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 6447770 / Calabria native Rocco Potami oversees this romantic Italian eatery, where fine authentic fare is presented in an intimate dining room and on a secluded brick patio. Classics include carpaccio (raw, thinly sliced beef with white truffle oil and arugula), ricotta gnocchi and a breaded veal chop topped with a lightly dressed salad. It’s easy to miss, tucked away in a Winter Park strip center, but once you find it, you’ll be back. $$$ Tolla’s Italian Deli & Café 240 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Winter Park, (407) 628-0068 / tollasitalianrestaurant. com. Chef-owner Gary Tolla cooks up authentic homestyle Italian fare in this small café in a quieter part of Winter Park. The offerings range from hot subs and pizzas to antipasto and veal saltimbocca. Be sure to try the bruschetta. $$ LATIN Mi Tomatina 433 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, (321) 972-4317 / This eatery bills itself as a paella bar, and indeed guests share a half-dozen varieties of the signature Spanish rice dish. Yet others W INTE R 2 0 1 3 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E





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. $$-$$$ MEDITERRANEAN Bosphorous 108 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, (407) 6448609 / This is the place for flavorful Turkish fare in either a white-tablecloth setting or alfresco along Park Avenue. 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. $$ MEXICAN/SOUTHWESTERN P.R.’s Taco Palace. 499 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 645-2225. This charmingly dumpy but iconic Winter Park eatery, located adjacent to the railroad tracks, serves up hearty portions of Tex-Mex fare including chimichangas, fajitas, tostadas and, of course, tacos. A specialty of the house is the outrageously proportioned fundido, a deep-fried flour tortilla filled with your choice of shredded or blackened chicken, shredded or ground beef and cream cheese. Many, many margaritas are consumed on the premises, and discounted tequila shots are offered whenever a train rumbles past. $-$$ POLISH Anna’s Polish Restaurant, 3586 Aloma Ave, No. 7, Winter Park/ 32792. Enjoy Polish classics such as cabbage noodles, Cracovia chicken cutlet, beef goulash, pork schnitzel, potato pancakes and hunter’s stew with cabbage, mushrooms, beef, pork and sausage served with mashed potatoes. There’s also a delightful array of desserts and a kids’ menu. $-$$ PUBS & GRILLS

Orlando Home & Leisure is now Orlando Life. The new title better reflects the publication’s stature as the region’s premier lifestyle publication, and the only lifestyle publication that boasts primarily paid/requested circulation. Every month, the region’s best journalists and photographers capture life in Central Florida, in all its aspects, from dining to entertainment, from health to homes. For advertising information, contact Lorna Osborn at or Kathy Byrd at




W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | WI N TER 2013

Fiddler’s Green 544 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (407) 645-2050 / This is as authentically Irish as you’ll find in Orlando, with a menu featuring bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, hen in a pot, Irish stew and, of course, fish and chips as well as a wide selection of Irish beers. The ambience is enhanced by dark wood, cozy clutter and rowdy groups of “footballers” cheering televised matches. $-$$ Orlando Ale House 101 University Park Drive, Winter Park, (407) 671-1011 / Part of the Miller’s Ale House regional chain of casual-dining restaurants, most of which are in Florida, the Winter Park location offers daily lunch and dinner specials. Along with a huge beer selection, the Ale House features signature boneless chicken wings and “Captain Jack’s Buried Treasure,” a layered ice cream cake. $-$$ Shipyard Brew Pub 200 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, (321) 274-4045 / 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 inhouse 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 freshly baked bread. $-$$ SEAFOOD Mitchell’s Fish Market 460 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 339-3474 / A high-end seafood chain that prides itself on being “absolutely, positively obsessed with freshness,” the family-friendly restaurant also offers a gluten-free menu and special

meals for kids. Signature dishes include charbroiled oysters, Maine lobster bisque and a “Fish Market Trio” of blackened salmon, broiled salmon and sea scallops. $$-$$$ Winter Park Fish Co. 761 Orange Ave. Winter Park, (407) 622-6112 / Fish and seafood dishes are fresh and well prepared at this humble Winter Park spot, where a counter-service format helps keep prices reasonable. Crab cakes, lobster rolls, mahi-mahi sandwiches and more ambitious dishes such as grouper cheeks in parchment and stuffed grouper are among a typical day’s offerings. $$ STEAK Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster 729 Lee Rd., Orlando, (407) 645-4443 / christnersprimesteakandlobster. com. Locals have been choosing this prototypically masculine, dark-wood-and-red-leather enclave for business dinners and family celebrations for more than a decade. Family-owned since 1993, Christner’s features USDA Prime, corn-fed Midwestern beef or Australian cold-water lobster tails with a slice of the restaurant’s legendary mandarin orange cake. And there’s a loooong wine list (6,500 bottles). On select nights, Kostya Kimlat hosts magic shows along with a prix-fixe menu in a private dining room. $$$$ Fleming’s 933 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 699-9463 / Fleming’s puts a younger spin on the stately steakhouse concept, featuring sleek décor and 100 wines by the glass along with its prime steaks and chops. The tempura lobster “small plate” with soy-ginger dipping sauce is a worthy pre-entrée splurge. For a taste of the old-fashioned, visit on Sunday, when prime rib is served. $$$$ Nelore Churrascaria 115 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park, (407) 645-1112 / This is one of two Nelore Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouses— the other one is in Houston—where the servers, or “gauchos,” come to your table as often as you’d like bearing skewers of premier beef, chicken or pork. There’s a world-class salad bar and Brazilian cheese bread to keep you happy between meat courses. $$$$ Ruth’s Chris 610 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, (407) 6222444 / With three old-school steakhouses and its corporate headquarters near Winter Park Village, Ruth’s Chris, a native of New Orleans, has become an Orlando special-occasion mainstay. Its service-oriented restaurants specialize in massive corn-fed Midwestern steaks served sizzling and topped with butter. Most side dishes are more than ample for two. $$$$ VEGETARIAN Café 118 153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, (407) 3892233 / Raw foods—none cooked past 118 degrees—are the focus of this health-conscious niche café, which attracts raw foodists, vegans and vegetarians. The spinach and beet ravioli stuffed with cashew ricotta is an impressive imitation of the Italian staple. Thirsty Park Avenue shoppers might stop by for a healthful smoothie. $$ Ethos Vegan Kitchen 601-B South New York Ave., Winter Park (407) 407-228-3898/ethosvegankitchen. com. After serving up vegan fare for five years at its original location on North Orange Avenue, this 100 percent vegan eatery moved to Winter Park last year. A luncheon favorite is the Ethos Club Sandwich, with Tofurkey deli slices, Canadian bacon, lettuce, tomato, mustard and veganaise layered between three pieces of levain toast. A meat-free shepherd’s pie and crab cakes made from chickpeas are among the other unique offerings. $$



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events art, history, entertainment and more

Rafael Tongol

Go Bach to the Future John Sinclair, artistic director of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, has plenty of momentous music slated for the remainder of 2013. The season is, as usual, divided into thirds: the Visiting Artist Series, Choral Masterworks and the annual Bach Festival itself. The Visiting Artist Series finishes the year with pianist Emanuel Ax on Oct. 23 and The Miró Quartet on Nov. 17. Both will perform at the Tiedtke Concert Hall on the campus of Rollins College, where the society is housed. The first Choral Masterworks presentation is A Child of Our Time: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, slated for Nov. 9 and 10. A Classic Christmas, during which the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra performs holiday classics, follows on Dec. 14 and 15. A Child of Our Time and A Classic Christmas will be staged at the campus’s Knowles Memorial Chapel. The Bach portion of the Bach Festival kicks off in February. (407) 646-2182.



Events VISUAL ARTS The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. Although the museum is dedicated to preserving the works of the famed Czech sculptor, it also stages frequent exhibitions from internationally renowned artists working in all mediums. The Awakening: The Art of Ursula Schwartz, which features the South African artist’s large-scale oil paintings accompanied by poetry written Schwartz and her young son, runs through Oct. 27. Opening Nov. 5 is The Holy Art of Imperial Russia: Icons from the 17th-Early 20th Century. Museum admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Ave. (407) 647-6294. Art & History Museums-Maitland. The Maitland Art Center at 231 W. Packwood Ave., was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect André Smith. The center, which offers exhibits and classes, is one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Heavy Metal: Mixed Media Metal Works by Rocky Bridges, which features the artist’s abstract arrangements of painted metal and found remains, runs through Nov. 24. Other monthly events include Family Days at the Museum, held the third Saturday of each month at 1 p.m.; Artists’ Critique and Conversation, held the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.; and Ladies Art Lounge, held the first Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Additional components of the Art & History Museums-Maitland complex include the Maitland Historical Museum and Telephone Museum, 221 W. Packwood Ave., which has a new permanent exhibit, Maitland Legacies: Creativity and Innovation; and the Waterhouse Residence and Carpentry Shop Museum, 820 Lake Lily Dr., Maitland. (407) 539-2181. Cornell Fine Arts Museum. The museum, located on the campus of Rollins College, houses one of the oldest and most eclectic art collections in Florida. Studio Malick, which features photographs by Malick Sidibe chronicling the ‘60s-era youth culture in the West African nation of Mali, runs through Dec. 1. Questions of Travel, which runs through Dec. 8, is an exhibition of works, all from the museum’s collection, that were inspired by artists on journeys. Two new exhibits also run through Dec. 8: Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, Düsseldorf, focuses on inventory from the Max Stern gallery in Düsseldorf, one of many from which art was stolen by the Nazis during World War II and sold at auction, while Diana Beltran Herrera: Birds of Florida showcases delicate paper sculptures depicting local, or mostly local, birds. The exhibit is presented by the museum in collaboration with the Latin American Student Association, the Department of Biology and the Department of Environmental Studies at Rollins. Admission to the museum is free throughout 2013. 1000 Holt Ave. (407) 646-2000. Crealde School of Art. Established in 1975, this not-forprofit arts organization offers year-round visual arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. The school stages exhibitions at two Winter Park locations: the Main Campus, 600 St. Andrews Blvd., and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, 642 W. New England Ave. Running through Jan. 18 at the Main Gallery is The Art of Fellowship in Painting and Drawing, which features works by artists who’ve been mentored through the school’s Fellowship Program. Running through Jan. 11 at the Heritage Center is Art from the Heart of Florida, which highlights the work of local artists working in array of media, including ceramics, sculpture, painting and photography. Admission is free at both locations. (407) 671-1886.


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Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum houses the world’s most extensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and the entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Currently on display is The Wreck, an 1880 oil painting by American artist and decorator Lockwood de Forest that depicts five Bedouins riding their camels across the desert with the skeletal remains of a camel in the foreground. The 36-by-48-inch Orientalist work is on view for the first time following extensive conservation. The exhibition includes other de Forest oil studies from the museum’s collection and will be supplemented by material, such as photos and essays, aimed at helping viewers develop a full appreciation of the painting’s creation, context and symbolism. Running through Jan. 26 is Vignette: The Art of Fountain Pens, which features more than 100 pens dating from 1875 to 1975. Admission to the museum is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than 12. 445 N. Park Ave. (407) 645-5311. 40th Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this juried fineart show, held in downtown Winter Park’s Central Park. There are more than 150 exhibits as well as live entertainment, children’s art activities, food vendors and more. Oct. 12 and 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. (407) 644-8281. Art Under the Stars: The 37th Annual Maitland Rotary Art Festival. A boutique art festival with only 150 artists vying for $26,000 in awards, the festival is the only nighttime fine-art show in Florida. Exhibit booths and food vendors are located along the shores of Lake Lily. Oct. 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PERFORMING ARTS Annie Russell Theater. The 2013-14 season at the beautiful and historic theater features the usual eclectic selection, from comedy to drama to music and dance. Ending Oct. 5 is The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, an ensemble play that revisits the making of the groundbreaking docudrama concerning the 1998 homophobic hate-crime murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard. Upcoming productions include: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony-award winning musical comedy, Nov. 15 through 23; A Clean House, a serio-comic romance about a Brazilian maid who teaches her physician employers that laughter is really the best medicine, Feb. 14 through 22; Song & Dance, a cabaret-style songfest with concert dance performances, March 14 through 15; and The Lost Comedies of William Shakespeare, an improvisational romp celebrating the Bard’s birthday, April 18 through 26. Meanwhile, the Fred Stone Theater presents its student-produced Second Stage Series with The Language Archive, Oct. 23 through 27; All New People, Feb. 19 through 23; and Gruesome Playground Injuries, April 9 through 13. Non-student admission to Annie Russell productions is usually $25 on opening night (which includes a reception) and $20 for subsequent nights. Admission to Fred Stone productions is free. Rollins College campus. (407) 646-2145. Winter Park Playhouse. A series of musical comedies continues at Winter Park’s only professional, not-forprofit theater with Crazy for Gershwin!, Nov. 15 through 24 and Dec. 5 through 14; Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Jan. 24 through Feb. 15; Sisters of Swing: The Story of the Andrews Sisters, March 7 through 29; and Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, April 25 through May 17. 711 Orange Ave. (407) 645-0145.

FILM Popcorn Flicks in Central Park. You can’t beat this bargain: a free movie—and free popcorn!—under the stars. Features, shown on the second Thursday of each month, include classic films appropriate for the whole family. Next up is House on Haunted Hill (1959), starring Vincent Price, on Oct. 10; Mighty Joe Young (1949), featuring the stop-animation special effects of Ray Harryhausen, on Nov. 7; and a double-feature pairing White Christmas (1954), with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), an animated Dr. Seuss classic featuring the voice of Boris Karloff, on Dec. 8. House on Haunted Hill starts at 8 p.m., while subsequent films in the series start at 7 p.m. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets if you’d like. Cosponsored by the City of Winter Park and Enzian Theater. Central Park, Park Avenue. (407) 629-0054. HISTORY Winter Park Historical Museum. If the Winter Park High School alma mater still evokes even a twinge of nostalgia, then you are still, and ever shall remain, a Wildcat. As WPHS celebrates its 90th birthday, the Winter Park Historical Association has marked the occasion with the debut of Growing up Wildcat: Winter Park High School Through the Years. The year-long exhibition, at the Winter Park Historical Museum, features old yearbooks, photographs and videos as well as other memorabilia that traces the history of the school decade by decade. Ongoing displays at the museum include artifacts dating from the city’s founding as an New England-style resort in the 1880s. Admission is free. 200 W. New England Ave. (at the Winter Park Farmers Market). (407) 644-2330. The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice with the goal of developing a moral and just community through community educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibit space, archives and a research library. Admission to exhibits, programs and films is free. 851 N Maitland Ave.(407) 628-0555. BUSINESS Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings attract chamber members, local residents and community leaders to hear speakers discuss an array of community issues. Events are typically held the second Friday of each month. Upcoming dates include Oct. 11 and Nov. 8. Networking begins at 7:45 a.m.; the program follows at 8:15 a.m. Admission is free, and a complimentary continental breakfast is served. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave. (407) 644-8281. Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings feature lunchtime networking opportunities for women business owners. Each month, a guest speaker addresses topics related to leadership development, business growth and local issues of particular interest to women. Upcoming dates include Oct. 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.; lunch and the program follow at noon. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members; reservations required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave. (407) 644-8281. Business After Hours. Sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings offer members and prospective members a chance to network with one another and learn more about local businesses that host the events. Appetizers and beverages are served.

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Events Upcoming dates include Oct. 17 with WUCF-FM at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5 for members, $15 for nonmembers. (407) 644-8281. Small Business Education Series. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Resource Network, this monthly program is aimed at helping entrepreneurs, managers and professionals run more successful businesses. Topics range from sales strategies to securing government contracts. Upcoming dates include Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20. Admission is free for chamber members, $10 for guests. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave. (407)-644-8281.

MARKETS Winter Park Farmers Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 200 W. New England Ave. (the old railroad depot). There you’ll find fine baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items for sale. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. Maitland Farmers Market. This year-round, open-air market features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses along with plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music provided by the Performing Arts of

The perfect place for that special holiday gift.

Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a serene boardwalk, jogging trails and a playground as well as picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Dr. Food Truck Fiesta. This family friendly event, which takes place the fourth Saturday of each month, features live music and delicious food. Pets are welcome. Noon to 5 p.m. Fleet Peeples Park, 2000 S. Lakemont Ave. (407) 296-5882. HAPPENINGS Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week. Winter Park’s local fashion and design community hosts a week of designer meet-and-greets, trunk shows, VIP parties and special events, culminating with a glamorous runway show in Central Park’s West Meadow. Join Central Florida’s favorite fashionista, philanthropist Harriett Lake, and the Park Avenue Merchants Association for this seven-day celebration. Oct. 13 through 19. Runway show ticket prices vary. (407) 644-8281. Winter Park Museum Hop. The Winter Park Public Library sponsors this multi-museum tour, which starts at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center and encompasses the Winter Park History Museum, the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Also on tap are tours of the library itself, where years of award-winning entries from the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival are on display, as well as the Alfond Inn, which houses pieces from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $20 per ticket, limited to the first 50 registrants. (407) 623-3279. HALLOWEEN Trick-or-Treat on Park Avenue. Little ghouls, goblins, vampires and zombies are welcome to don their costumes and safely stalk Park Avenue to gather tasty treats from participating merchants. There is no cost to participate. (407) 644-8281. CAUSES Happy Hour for Hunger. Support the Second Harvest Food Bank during a fall-themed happy hour with appetizers and drinks compliments of Winter Park Village restaurants. Each ticket purchased will provide up to $180 in food for hungry families. Tickets are $20. Nov. 14, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Winter Park Village, 400 N. Orlando Ave. (407) 644-8281.

Purchase those special gifts and have them signed by the artisan. Alessandro Taddei, who is behind many of Vietri’s most beloved collections: Old St. Nick, Blu Bianco, Blu Mare, Dei Medici, Cortona, Fish-Fish, and Toscana

HOLIDAYS Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Join the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and celebrate the season with the lighting of the city’s official holiday tree, performances by local children’s choirs and refreshments provided by local businesses. The event is broadcast live on WFTV Channel 9 from Central Park. Friday, Dec. 6, 5 p.m. Admission is free.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17 1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.


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61st Annual Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. Central Florida’s longest-running Christmas parade encompasses more than 100 marching units, including bands, dance troupes, local police and fire departments, scouting groups, civic organizations and, of course, Santa Claus. Come early for the Leadership Winter Park Pancake Breakfast (7 to 10:30 a.m.), proceeds from which benefit local elementary schools. Saturday, Dec. 7, starting at 9 a.m. Admission to the parade is free; tickets to the breakfast, held at Central Park stage, range from $4 to $6. (407) 644-8281. Holidays at the Waterhouse. The Waterhouse Residence and Carpentry Shop Museum, part of the Art & History Museums-Maitland complex, is decked out in holiday decor inspired by the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The Waterhouse Mouse is hiding in each room

Events for visitors to find. Thursdays through Sundays, noon4 p.m. Admission is free for members of the Art and History Museums-Maitland. For non-members, it’s $3 for adults, $2 for children age 4 to 18 and free for children age 3 and under. Admisison for seniors (age 55 and up) is $2. 820 Lake Lily Drive. (407) 539-2181. WELLNESS

Tiffany at the


Winter Park YMCA. Check out the Y’s new aquatics complex, which encompasses an easy-access pool with a ramp and rails that facilitate ease of use for people with physical challenges or special needs. It also boasts a dedicated area for water aerobics and a kids’ area with basketball hoops, a cargo net bridge, slides, a giant water-pouring bucket and other interactive features. For younger children, the pool’s shallow depth provides a safe, welcoming place for swimming lessons and developing a lifelong love of the water. 1201 N. Lakemont Ave. (407) 616-4697.

The Museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Please join us November through April Free Admission from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday nights 445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 AO_WinterParkMag_9062013.pdf



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Winter Park Institute. Celebrating its fifth year of bringing world-renowned intellectuals to Central Florida, Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute continuers its 2013 season with an array of world-renowned speakers. Programs for the remainder of the year include: Arun Gandhi: Lessons Learned from My Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World, Oct. 2, 7 p.m., Knowles Memorial Chapel; and Billy Collins: Aimless Love: A Reading, Nov. 12, 7 p.m., Tiedtke Concert Hall. Coming in spring 2014 are Ken Burns, award-winning documentarian; Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and potential presidential contender; Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson; and Terry Teachout, drama critic for the Wall Street Journal. All events are free and open to the public. (407) 691-1995.



tragic interest Hollywood could take a lesson from the Bard. By jim desimone


n a recent Hollywood blockbuster, Elysium writer-director Neill Blomkamp, 34, interprets paradise in the 22nd century as a Beverly Hills-like space station pirouetting around earth, while the planet resembles a Supermax prison in the middle of a breakout. Escape from Alcatraz anyone? I expected a lot from this film after Blomkamp notched four Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for his first feature film, District 9. Moreover, the cast for Elysium was pretty good. But even Oscar-winners Matt Damon as tragic Max DaCosta and Jodie Foster as Elysium’s Defense Secretary Delacourt couldn’t save this film from being the 98-pound weakling it is. If Blomkamp is destined to become a modernday Shakespeare, Elysium confirms he’s not there yet. The film opens in a fictional earth where the environment is wrecked; civilian governments are weak and workers have few protections. The best healthcare is reserved for the rich folks in Elysium and the poor can’t immigrate to this pontoon boat in the sky. The issues Elysium raises are important, but there is no room for grey in the writer-director’s black and white world — workers are good, managers bad; criminals good, security services and their mercenaries bad. It’s as if Blomkamp can’t trust us to process his underlying political messages. Boring. DaCosta wants Elysium’s good life for himself and his childhood friend Frey (Alice Braga) and is spurred into action when both he and Frey’s daughter become so ill that only the techno healthcare on Elysium can save them. The central movement is DaCosta’s journey from earth to the space station and a metaphorical journey from poverty, crime and deprivation to health and prosperity. DaCosta defeats his nemesis Secretary Delacourt and her minions to reboot Elysium’s computers so they recognize all earthlings as citizens of the space station with access to universal healthcare. Yes, healthcare. DaCosta also pursues a symbolic journey, growing from mediocre Max to a man sacrificing his life to help others. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough about DaCosta’s humanity to feel


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the profound loss of his sacrifice. I don’t want to give you the idea Elysium is a meaningless and shallow movie. It’s just shallow. Compare Elysium with Shakespeare’s more nuanced plot in his tragedy Othello, which he wrote at about Blomkamp’s age. Shakespeare opens Othello in Venice, a preeminent Renaissance city in Christian Europe where blacks were seen as animals and women as little more than property. And yet two of Shakespeare’s major characters are heroic Othello, a renowned black Venetian general, and his bride Desdemona, a white aristocrat who married the Moor without bothering to tell her father, Brabantio. So what kind of inconsistency is this, anyway? They are just two people, outliers really, so trivial, so nonessential, so counter-culture. History and civilization are much bigger — these rule. But then, Shakespeare introduces the audience to Venice, a city that softens civilization’s hard edges. Venice was for Shakespeare “The City” of government, of reason, of law, and of social harmony. When Brabantio learns of his daughter’s marriage and threatens a bloody street brawl, a court of law examines his grievances and civic authority enforces its rulings. In a scene where Othello and Desdemona declare their love and explain it to her father, they are shielded by the assembled leaders of Venice, who control passions and substitute justice for riot. So many shades of grey in Othello, vastly more interesting. Below the surface of Shakespeare’s characters lurk ancient terrors and primal drives — fear, pride, greed, lust — that drive their prejudice. Othello’s aide-de-camp “Honest Iago” conceals beneath his exterior a witchery and evil so intense that he seeks

the destruction of everything outside himself. Othello is the portrait of reason and self-control. But the hero who roams the world undaunted by its horrors is still capable of believing his wife a harlot on the thinnest of evidence, murdering her to protect his reputation. Only devoted Desdemona is what she seems to be. Love and openness make her suspect in a world where every other major character is in some degree corrupted. When Venice orders Othello to Cyprus to defend the island outpost, he brings Iago and Desdemona. Cyprus is an untamed place far out in the seething sea where the “people’s hearts [are] brimful of fear.” Here emotions are closer to the surface. Instead of the established administration of Venice, only Othello controls violence and defends civilization. In this remote place Iago poisons Othello’s mind with innuendo and false evidence suggesting Desdemona’s infidelity. He teases to life Othello’s deepest fears. Deeper than even jealousy, the general covets his reputation. It salves a black man’s insecurities in a society that assumes white superiority; a society where he is married to a woman who represents what Venetians most value. Desdemona is younger, spirited, magnificent. Iago plays on Othello’s growing panic that his hard won reputation is at risk if men scorn him as Desdemona’s cuckold. Othello’s passage from Venice to Cyprus, from unconditional love for Desdemona to her murder and (when he understands her innocence) to killing himself, these are Shakespeare’s words for tragic man. What Shakespeare calls tragic, I call interesting. Jim DeSimone is a principal at Orlando-based Knob Hill Companies. Books, films and plays discussed in Bookmarks include masterworks that have been influential over time. If you have a recommendation for Bookmarks please send it to the author at jdesimone@