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A beautiful capture of the in-bloom azaleas and the Washington Street Bridge over Dickson Azalea Park in the historic Lake Lawsona/Fern Creek neighborhood. 📸: @two_cats_kerr
You might know of Dickson Azalea Park but do you know about its rich history?
If you’ve driven around the Lake Lawsona/Fern Creek neighborhood area, you might have crossed over the Washington Street Bridge near the intersection of Rosearden Avenue. You might have stopped for a pic or climbed the big tree, or grew up with the park as your playground. Needless to say, Dickson Azalea Park has been giving back to the City of Orlando for years.
What started out as a watering hole for cattle became a park in 1924 when the state senator at the time, Walter Rose, deeded the land to the city to be used as a park, then known as Fern Creek Park. The park got its current name from Colonel H. H. Dickson in 1935 who was a beautification advocate and instrumental in planting azaleas across the city. What is now known as the Washington Street Bridge, the white concrete old-Florida style bridge that crosses over the banks of Fern Creek, was built in 1926 and has since been the backdrop of many photoshoots, local movie sets and intimate weddings.
Dickson Azalea Park became more of what it’s known for today – its azaleas and hanging moss and calming spirit – in 1935 when the local Civitan Club proposed a beautification plan to the city. Its upkeep was maintained through the Works Progress Administration, (renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) an act instituted in 1935 through FDR’s New Deal, in which people were employed to carry out public works projects. Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the WPA back then – including Orlando who got an updated, beautiful city park – a park that’s been home to the Orlando Garden Club, used by the Girl’s Scouts of Central Florida and was also a headquarters for the Red Cross Defense Unit during the Great Depression.
The beauty and history in our backyard abounds. Are you holding on to a favorite tale of Orlando that you’re wanting to share? Please do tell.
Always feel free to send us your Orlando stories. You never know, you might see it in your inbox one day. Email [email protected]
Last Thursday, we shared with you a brief history on Eatonville native and prolific writer of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston. Then we found this beautiful piece about a story Zora wrote in 1931 on Cudjo Lewis, the lone survivor of the last slave ship. It hasn’t been published until now. Check it out here.
WHAT'S GOING DOWN IN PULPTOWN?
Orlando’s singles not so ready to mingle… A recent study by Zumper found that Orlando’s dating scene is lacking. In fact, 90 other major metropolitan areas – including Toledo, Ohio and Schenectady, New York – ranked higher than us. How’s this possible?! We’ve got sun and libations galore, not to mention all of the potential first date destinations. Apparently, the study measured the percentage of residents who are single and have college degrees, restaurants and bars per capita, access to dating apps and the median rental price of a one-bedroom apartment. Apart from our pricey real estate options, we should rank pretty high in the other indicators. Here’s hoping Zumper gives O-town another look. (Orlando Sentinel)
Is the Sunshine State turning blue? Javier Fernandez won Florida’s 114th District state House seat on Tuesday in a special election. The term will only last for six months, until the November elections, due to the pending resignation of Rep. Daisy Baez after she pleaded guilty to perjury last year. Baez said his victory is even sweeter after he said his run for office was bullied with negative press. “It’s pretty sweet, man. I can’t lie,” he said. “Substance wins over slights, right?” (The Hill.com)
We can tell you how to get to Sesame Street.No, really we can. SeaWorld has announced a new Sesame Street land that will debut next spring. Fans of the famous street will get to check out familiar TV show landmarks such as Mr. Hooper’s store, Big Bird’s nest and the famous 123 stoop, as well as characters such as Big Bird, Elmo and Cookie Monster. The park, whose construction has already begun, will feature daily parades headlined by characters from the Street. (Orlando Weekly)
Do you wanna, wanna Fanta? While we’re on the subject of theme parks, Universal Orlando has a pretty sweet deal for Florida residents who are dying to head to Hogwarts. You’ve got roughly eight weeks to purchase a two-park, one-day ticket and receive a second day free, so long as you obey your thirst and bring in a 12-ounce Sprite or Orange Fanta. Don’t mind if I do… (WFTS)
This warning MITE be worth batting an eye. One Florida eye specialist has a warning out there about one of the latest top beauty crazes: eyelash extensions. A local eye surgeon warns that if not taken care of properly, your fake eyelashes could become home to mites and lead to a nasty infection. (WFTV)
Guilty. After five hours of debate, the jury found two sixteen-year-old teens guilty of manslaughter in the 2016 beating death of Winter Park High School student Roger Trinidade. Several peers testified against the two teens in court on Tuesday; meanwhile, the defense never called any witnesses, nor the guilty party – Simeon Hall or Jesse Sutherland – to the stand. (Fox 35)
Honk if you hate bullies. In nearby New Smyrna Beach, after learning that his son had been bullying his classmates, dad Michael Yager made his 13-year-old son hold a sign on the side of the road that read “I’m a bully. Honk if you hate bullies”. The son, Jacob, has since seen the wrongdoing in his ways and has even said that “you never know what someone is going through. If you want to be the bully, … then tell someone, go to your guidance counselor”. What would you do if you learned your kid was bullying others at school? (WESH)
THINGS TO DO!
IN & AROUND TOWN
🧘🏻♀️ Yoga and BEER for the win! (Ivanhoe)
🔦 4th Annual May the 4th Be With You event! (Audubon Park)
🚵♀ Take a 28-mile guided bike ride thru five cities and get to know your city!
⛳ Monday, 5/07: There’s still room – but not much – for the 1st Annual Magnolia Masters Golf Tournament benefiting Cystic Fibrosis.
Going to any of these events? If so, send us a pic or tag #pulptown. We love it when you #livelikeyoulivehere and would be happy to repost you.
That’s all for today!
See ya’ll tomorrow!