What have you always wondered about our city, its history, its geography, its culture or its people that you want Pulptown to investigate? Whether it’s big or small, serious or fun, quirky or wonky, we are reporting for duty to chase down answers to your burning questions about Orlando.
Here’s how The City Curious will work…
Step 1: Ask Pulptown a question. Ask us where the swans from Lake Eola go every year during the 4th of July celebrations. Or what city commissioners really do and how their districts are divided. Ask us why the homeless gather at the downtown church or why Corrine Drive is so wide. Or why Park Ave CDs is not on Park Ave. Why Disney has a wilderness preserve named after them in Kissimmee. Wherever your mind wanders, we want to know.
Step 2: The community votes. We’ll pick three questions each month and you, the community, can vote on your favorite. You’ll ultimately decide which question we investigate.
Step 3: We get to researchin’. Editorial fellow Olivia Blase will hit the investigative trail, snooping around for clues until we can deliver the best and most thorough answer to your question that we can find. We’ll even extend an invite to the winning question-asker to tag along with us — if they’re up for it.
Step 4: We share our results, and everyone’s better because of it. We will share updates throughout the month and cap things off with a story about what we learned with you.
The plan right now is to launch this thing publicly on social media later this month, but we want to first give our newsletter readers the chance to ask questions.
So share your burning questions with us here, or if you need some creative inspiration, check back this week as we tackle a few burning questions of our own. For a sneak peek at this week’s lineup, we’re talking the eyesore on I-4, the history of Jones High School, a tour of historic Eatonville and a recap of what we learned through our SunRail Challenge winners from taking the train this week.
Tomorrow we’re starting with tackling an 18-story building that has sparked many a meme for locals over the last 17 years.
Boom boom boom. In case you’ve missed it, Lake Nona has quite the year ahead, with several cool projects in the area reaching completion. The laundry list includes the long-awaited and highly-coveted Container Park, an Earthfare grocery store, the fast-casual and healthy eatery Bolay, and a new water-based attraction called Nona Adventure Park. As if there wasn’t already a slew of reasons to visit Lake Nona, now we have four more. (Lake Nona Social)
One small step for man. On May 11, SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, launched the Block 5 variant of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. As of this morning, the space program launched the Block 5 again, making it the fastest turnaround time the company has ever accomplished. SpaceX is determined to figure out ways to refurbish and re-use rockets, with hopes of cheaper launches in the future. For updates on scheduled rocket launches, follow along here. (Orlando Business Journal)
Florida gets new insurance. If you’re in the market for new insurance, you could be in luck. Farmers Insurance just announced their expansion to Florida and as of yesterday, began offering automobile, homeowners, umbrella, and specialty policies to The Sunshine State. (Orlando Sentinel)
Let’s taco bout BBQ. 4Rivers is taking their specialty, local-loved barbecue, to Disney Springs by way of a new food truck. One menu item that’s piqued our interest? The 4Rivers Taco Cone. (Orlando Weekly)
Zero-tolerance in Central Florida. A Polk County family was recently separated when the mother, Alejandra Juárez, volunteered to be deported back to Mexico after a lengthy fight with Florida officials to stay with her family. Juárez is the only family member who is not a U.S. citizen. She illegally entered the country in 1998 but maintains that a U.S. translator was not on the scene to help with immigration paperwork. Since she moved back to Mexico, a GoFundMe has been set up to assist in the transition. Alejandra’s husband is a former U.S. Marine who saw combat. Her youngest daughter will join her in Mexico and her eldest will stay in Florida with her dad to finish school. (Orlando Weekly)
Where’s Clippy? Just this past weekend, Orlando was the host city of the 17th Annual Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. 152 finalists from 52 countries flocked to Orlando to compete in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. A 15-year-old from Fort Myers won the day; former winners have been offered jobs at an airport, an internship by Microsoft’s VP of Worldwide Education, and acceptance into MIT. (Pearson)
🗣 Hear Mayor Buddy Dyer give the State of the City (Downtown)
🎉 Then celebrate with Mayor Buddy Dyer at his 60th birthday party (Downtown)
❓ Star Wars nerd? Prove it at trivia (Downtown)
👟 Runner? Learn self-defense (College Park)|❓ Test your Parks and Rec knowledge (I-Drive)
👟 Run your heart out (Sanford)
🇵🇪 Eat away at this pop up Peruvian dinner (Winter Park)
🎵 This music is Stranger than Fiction (Mills/50)
🤝 Network with other Orlandoans (College Park)
🍻 It’s Moms Night Out at Deviant Wolf (Sanford)
🎬 Catch Finding Nemo…under the stars (Winter Park)
🖼 Mingle at this art gallery opening (Mills/50)
❓ How well do you know your boy bands? (International Drive)
🐶 Get some snaps of your pup at this photo shoot fundraiser (SODO)
🤓 Celebrate Throwback Thursday at this month’s Nerd Nite (Audubon Park)
🛍 Meet some Orlando makers at this Minii Bazaar Botanica (Thornton Park)
🍷 Stomp on grapes to make some wine (Clermont)
🍻 Girls pint out (Sanford)
🏈 Knights take over Wall Street (Downtown)
🎉 Warning, this party is gonna be weird (International Drive)
🎟 Saved by the…ball, charity event (Lakeland)
🎮 It’s a Mario party (Winter Park)
☕️ Add some handmade mugs to your coffee routine (Winter Park)
🛶 The darkest night of the month calls for a bioluminescence tour (Colonialtown)
🍗 This pop-up is good for the soul, and the belly (Mills 50)
💜 Cheer on the Pride as they take on the Portland Thorns (Parramore)
⚡️ Want to recycle your old electronics? We know a place (Downtown)
🌈 Rock your colors at this pride ride (Winter Park)
⛲️ Rep your city with these shirts (College Park)
🍳 Experience various pop-ups and live music at brunch at Tuffys every Sunday. (Sanford)
🎟 Take the kids to Family Funday at the Mennello (Loch Haven)
🍳 Remember the 90s over this rockin’ brunch (I-Drive)
🎬 It’s time for the monthly film-slam (Maitland)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag #pulptown on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a Pulptown membership.
Speaking of BBQ and dream jobs, we’ve got one for you to check out… because YOLO.
See you bright and early,