We started at the Sea World end of I-Drive, near the old Harcourt Brace Jovanovich building (or whatever it's called these days). It caught my daughter's eye because of the huge "For Lease" sign plastered across the top two floors of the building, visible from I-Drive. We drove around and into the empty parking lot; I assume it was empty because it was Sunday, but you never know. The lovely color shot is from the front and shows the neatly trimmed lawn. The back shows the sign we first saw from the main drag.
We next drove down I-Drive towards the intersection with Sand Lake, slowly passing the Orange County Civic Center which now sprawls across both sides of I-Drive. We passed the OCCC and continued until we we came to a huge, empty vacant lot. Up to this point every square foot of I-Drive has, or was, completely developed. I was a bit shocked to see that much empty prime real estate, and then I was shocked further when I realized that the Mercado Marketplace used to sit on that land.
I don't know the nature of its demise. All I know is I was here when it first opened, and for a number of years the family and I would come here to eat and to visit the Titanic show that was part of its attraction.
Finally, I close this post with a shot of yet another empty Steak and Ale. This one is within spitting distance of the old HBJ building, right on I-Drive, and sits next door to an equally empty Bennigan's.
Some inventive person stashed a mattress into the awning that extends over the front entrance. It's high enough that you can't see anyone up there, it gives shelter from the rain, and the metal is strong enough to support the weight of the person who crawls up there to lie on the mattress.
We saw a lot of other promising material, and we've made a mutual promise to come back and shoot all up and down I-Drive, especially the north end above Sand Lake.
Yes. I had a wonderful birthday.
All images shot with Olympus E-3 and Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 UWA zoom.