A Friday Night Stroll In Downtown Orlando
Last night, I decided to take a stroll through Downtown Orlando. When it comes to photography, I normally carry my Canon Rebel SLR, something I carry in a gym bag. Many Downtown Orlando bars prohibit bags. Also, because of it’s size, an SLR camera attracts too much attention at the door. For all I know, those could be prohibited in some bars too. So, I settled with a pocket camera, something I can sneak in without attracting attention.
Actually, it’s more of a video camera than a photo camera. Yet, it somewhat accomplished what I wanted.
The first thing that pissed me off about Downtown Orlando was the parking. Years ago, I could pay four dollars for all night parking in a parking garage. Not anymore I can’t.
Other parking spaces cost too much also.
This price looked more appealing. Also, I have history with this parking lot. Over the years, in a car, I’ve had some sensual seduction in this spot. Another reason why I chose to park here.
First place I went to was Eye Spy. There I ran into my buddy, Keith Webber. For six years, he’s worked as security for several bars in Downtown Orlando.
I think this guy’s name is Jason. From what Keith told me, he manages Eye Spy.
The place in the next photo has went through several names: The Beacham, Deachos, Zuma Beach, Tabu and back to The Beacham. This spot is the main birthplace of Orlando’s electronica/house scene. Starting in the late eighties, DJs began spinning house music late into the night.
Personally, I enjoyed this spot when it was Zuma Beach, the sleaziest club located downtown. With Long Island Iced Tea, I used to get my freak on here.
Swamburger, lead rapper of the group Solillaquists of Sound, a group signed to Anti Records. Orlando Weekly’s readers’ choice named the band best Orlando Rap Act.
Skip was voted second best act. In the picture is Buddy Dyer, Orlando’s current mayor.
For years, folks used to confuse me with Swamburger. And vice-versa. (I wear my dreads in a ponytail.) People still confuse us. Usually, it’s the white folks.
As I continued my stroll, I ran into Won. Every Thursday thru Saturday, he’s on the streets banging away on drums.
Next, I went to NV. (I didn’t get a good photo.) Usually, I have a decent time here. It’s a small joint containing an upstairs where the DJ usually jams. One time, a photo exhibit contained the works of street artist Bansky.
This night was different. After giving the bartender five dollars for a FOUR dollar drink, I didn’t get my change back. To give her some slack, someone did interrupt her during our transaction. After she finished giving other folks THEIR change back, I reminded the bartender she owed me some money. To be decent, I left the change as a tip.
On my travels, I ran into my friend, Serina. I invited her to have a drink with me. We decided to go to Cleo’s.
Before I go any further, let me point out Serina has a boyfriend. So, this was a friendship thing.
Kittybat, Orlando Weekly’s readers’ choice named him Orlando’s Best DJ.
Funny thing about this. As other DJs spin trendy crap, Kittybat mixes classic soul and house with newer stuff. The lesson? Quit trying to be trendy and be yourself.
After one drink, Serina and I went our separate ways.
Next I walked to Blank Space, a local art gallery. Outside a DJ spun house music tunes.
After going in and chatting with friends, a woman colored in paint caught my eye.
After Blank Space, I headed for something to eat. I wound up at Planet Pizza.
I hadn’t been here in years. In the nineties, my friends and I used to come here after clubbing all night. I guess I never noticed this in the past, but I now definitely have an opinion of the place. The pizza is over-priced and shitty. I’m used to pizza being hot and cheese dripping from it. This didn’t happen.
Next, I walked to my car and headed home.
From the parking to the drinks, I find a Friday night in Downtown Orlando as too expensive. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the eye candy.
Yet, that’s the only thing positive I can think of. Who knows? On another night, I may change my mind.