Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Walkabout

I fulfilled my civic duty today when I reported for jury duty at the Orange County courthouse. I didn't serve on a jury; this makes the third consecutive time I've been called to jury duty without having really done anything except sit around and wait. This last time was the worst; I was called up to a courtroom with 29 others; during the initial questioning period the questioning was abruptly stopped, a side-bar was convened between the judge and all the lawyers, after which the judge dismissed us because a key witness could not make it. We all marched back downstairs to the jury assembly area; 45 minutes later we were dismissed for lunch.

I went back up to the parking deck and got my camera out, then started to walk down Orange Avenue looking for a bite to eat and something interesting to shoot. Here are six shots from that walk-about. Everything was taken with the E-3 and the 12-60mm. Post-processing was done in Lightroom 3 beta.
Downtown BikeDowntown Oak
JuxtaposeDowntown Mini Has Moved
AbstractsMotions
The entire day was overcast, which made for interesting lighting. After lunch I went back to the jury assembly area, then sat there reading a book until 2:30pm, when we were dismissed for the day.

My tax dollars at work.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Watching Orlando Unravel 7

What started this entry was the second failure, this year, of the former KFC store on University Blvd. The store was re-opened as a Chicken Lickin's franchise store in January (top left photo). Then last week, as I was driving down University towards UCF, I happened to look to my right and see that the store was closed down completely again (top left photo). This posting's collection of photos is from stores and businesses on University and around UCF, such as the Research Park. Why is this important? Because there are major defense contractors in the area (SAIC, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon...) as well as the Army and Navy contract houses. Gathered around a state university with well over 50,000 students. In short, a dynamo for economic activity.

Dead Again
1
Former KFC UCF
2
Krispy Kreme UCF 3
3
Bennigan's Grill & Tavern UCF
4
Fazoli's UCF
5
Chevron UCF
6
Research Park Empty Building
7
Research Park Empty Building
8
New empty building in Research Park
9
New empty building interior in Research Park
10

Identification of photos, from left to right, top to bottom:
  1. Current empty store that housed the former Chicken Lickin's on University (empty again);
  2. Former Chicken Lickin's in January 2009, getting ready to open;
  3. Former Krispy Kreme franchise location on University (still empty);
  4. Former Bennigan's franchise store on University (still empty);
  5. Former Fazoli's franchise on University (still empty);
  6. Former Chevron torn down, at the corner of University and Alafaya (still empty);
  7. Former Sun Microsystem's building in Research Park;
  8. A long, empty office block in Research Park (former occupants unknown);
  9. A brand new empty building in Research Park;
  10. Interior shot of that brand, new empty building in Research Park.
As for empty buildings in the various parks surrounding UCF, what I've shown barely scratches the surface in that area. Many of the buildings are only partially full, and there are smaller emptier buildings that aren't worth showing. Needless to say, the economy in Central Florida continues to drag on, with no reasonable end in sight. 2010 will mark the start of the third year in which the economy really started to implode here in Central Florida.

In my next entry, I'll show that a number of former out-of-business buildings are being filled, many of them with 'junk' businesses. Stay tuned.