Skip to main content

Watching Orlando Slip-Slide

I've been looking at some of the pageview statistics on the blog, looking for what seems to be catching reader's attention. One page that keeps coming up repeatedly is the "Watching Orlando Unravel" series I posted from January to November 2009. One of the building complexes I photographed in the series was the Windermere Business Center, which is nowhere near Windermere, but that didn't stop them from naming what they did.

I first photographed this complex on my side of Orlando in January 2009, and wrote a bit about it as well, noting that it had very, very few tenants.

.

Over two years later, little has changed. Yes, there are a few more tenants, most notably Tiger Martial Arts, but not enough to allow the original owner of the complex to keep the building. Now Caldwell Banker Commercial owns the paper, and the complex.

Looking closer at the complex, cracks have appeared on the outer surface (and patched over) a mere two years after completion of construction. I can only assume Caldwell Banker is paying to fix the place up.

.

Finally, this two-store strip mall located next to a post office at the intersection of Kirkman and Old Winter Garden Road. It was built in early 2009. It stands silent and empty like so many others from that period.

Kirkman Plaza

On the side of town where I work is a large elaborate strip mall at the corner of N. Alafaya and Corporate. This stretch still stands as empty as the day in January 2009 when I first photographed it.

N. Alafaya and Corporate

And this group of buildings is at the back of Research Park on Discovery Drive. It's been nearly two years since the businesses that once filled it packed up and moved on. While some of the other empty buildings in Research Park have picked up new tenants, this section remains as empty as ever, a permanent casualty of the decline in defense spending in Orlando, and a silent warning of what is to come as more of the defense budget is cut.

Discovery Drive

I observe all this as a counterpoint to governor Rick Scott and the republican-dominated Florida state house's ill-informed attempt to loosen or eliminate the many checks and balances passed since the 1980s, checks and balances meant to keep over-development in check and protect Florida for future generations. Checks and balances that barely work in their current form.

Eliminations that are also supposed to magically help create more jobs in Florida. We've got empty buildings and condos all through Orlando because of the real estate bubble that help trigger the Great Recession. If we're not careful, and if we let Scott and his cronies in Tallahassee follow through, we'll wind up with even more empty buildings as monuments to their stupidity. And even more of paradise will be paved over.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…