My wife and I spent both days getting out a bit to head downtown and behave a bit like tourists. I wanted to check on the construction of the Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts that's currently going on downtown between S. Orange and S. Rosalind along W. Anderson.
So we headed east on I-4 and took the fairly new S. Street Exit to the heart of downtown. I saw this view and embarrassed my poor wife by stopping off in the emergency lane on the exit and getting out with the E-3. I wasn't out in traffic, but my wife had flipped on the emergency flashers, so I made a quick trip out and carefully shot a few exposures. Considering the paranoia about photographers and photography, I had no desire for a visit from a representative of the local constabulary.
We parked again in front of city hall. As I got out I was caught up in the light reflecting all around the plaza and between the buildings, not just the direct sunlight but the reflected light between multiple buildings multiple times. I stopped after a few shots, as I was going across Orange Avenue to look at the construction for the new art center.
Still and all, I couldn't help but look back and see this view, again with the direct and reflected light, the textures and colors of the building materials, and the detail in the shadows. The light today was something to behold.
I finally reached the "deep end" of the construction area, except it was surrounded by chain link fencing that stood a good eight feet tall. I flipped out the E-3's articulated screen, then stretch my arms up as high as I could over the fence, using the screen as a general reference. I shot three exposures, of which this one was the one I chose. I just liked the general layout of the colors.
On the way back, driving around the base of the I-4/408 interchange, I came across this historical landmark and closed up house now known as the Walker-Hendry House. It sits empty and locked up and posted on every window not to be trespassed. I guess the gentrified area doesn't want any riff-raff about, like the three homeless men who sat next to the lake right across from the porch.
I caught this gentleman along Lake Eola on Saturday, lost in his game of solitaire. He stood out amongst the young urban couples walking around the park with their pure-bread dogs and the small but formal wedding party that had come to watch the bridge and groom have their photograph taken with the lake in the background.
New Car Shopping
Beside driving around like tourists we were out looking at a replacement for my wife's 10-year-old Kia van. We've paid it off and taken good care of it, but the expenses are now beginning to add up to substantial amounts, and my wife want's something smaller that's inexpensive to buy and has much better gas mileage. We'd thought about another Prius, but the idea of spending $26K or more on another car has motivated us to look for a very efficient gasoline car.
On Saturday we drove down to Field's Fiat and just looked at the 500s. We sat in several just to see how small the interiors were. And the interiors are pretty small. I'm tall enough that the hear on my head (and yes, I still have some) was rubbing against the interior roof. Otherwise we thought the Fiat was really good looking (what my wife calls "cute"). They start at $16K and the basic vehicle gets 30 city/38 highway.
On Sunday we stopped by a local Ford dealership to look at the Fiesta. Nice looking cars, but mighty small interiors for me. I could barely fit in the passenger side, and I was really filling out the car on the driver's side.
So we went over and looked at the Ford Focus, which for 2012 looks really nice. We found three we liked color-wise, the yellow you see here, a bright McLaren red and a bright metal-flake blue. This yellow is also metal-flake. The prices hovered around $18K to $19K, but the salesman said we could negotiate that price down. I fit into the Focus just fine on both sides of the car. Mileage for those cars was a surprising 28 MPG city/38 MPG highway.
Starting Monday another week of intense work, then next weekend another weekend of car shopping. We're not quite ready yet to get a new car; we need to get our taxes down and see where we are financially after that. But we need to get a van replacement, so we might as well start looking now.