Ashley Edwards has lived in Orlando for the past 20 years. Like many of us transplants, he often thought of leaving town but something about The City Beautiful keeps him here. Ten years ago, he launched a blog about his love-love relationship with Orlando called Pulse of Central Florida. After a quick hiatus, he’s back with a vengeance.
What inspired you to start blogging about Central Florida? We’ve actually been around for over 10 years. Someone recently made a reference to our blog as “one of the OGs of Central Florida” and I really like the sound of that and will take it — with very much honor! That being said, we went dormant for a couple of years but are back and excited about our city more than ever. The quest is BIG but simple: To showcase The City Beautiful for the fantastical place is it, through my own perspective and unique voice, but in a meaningful way that provides valuable insight and information.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the last five years? So much — but the growth of our culinary scene stands out. So many good restaurants, quick-service joints, food trucks, and private chefs have appeared on the scene in the past five years or so.
What are you most excited about for Orlando’s future? The physical development and growth of the city. The growth in the past couple of years alone has been exciting, shocking, intriguing, and promising. I honestly feel like Orlando is becoming the city I’ve always wanted it to be.
What are you most proud of in our city? I’m most proud of our pride. I know that sounds like a little murky of an answer, but everyone I know — including those who have been here for years and years and relatively new transplants — is so proud they live here. Even more so after the Pulse events of 2016, there’s just a tremendous sense of “I live in Orlando, I’m part of Orlando, and I’m contributing to what’s making Orlando a fantastic place to call home.”
Take us on your go-to tour of Orlando on any given Thursday. First, there’s coffee. We love supporting local peeps, so it’d likely be a visit to Credo in College Park or North Quarter. After that, we’d head to Winter Park for the scenic boat tour. After that, we’ll head over to Maitland and grab lunch at Eden Bar at Enzian. Perhaps we’d even stick around for a movie. Next, we could head to someplace downtown and grab a cold beer (preferably outdoors). Then we’d finish the night at Prato in Winter Park for dinner.
If you could bring something back in Orlando, what would it be? I really, really miss @ILoveDrip (the live performance art show off I-Drive that closed in early 2018). It was one of my favorite things to do here in Orlando, but to also introduce to new people. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.
Favorite local IG accounts to follow? @TastyChomps, @YelpOrlando, @official_pizza_bruno, @disneypets, @orlando.kittens, @OrlandoBungalower
We’ll be changing up our Monday Makers series soon, but have no fear, we’ll still be spotlighting folks in the community doing awesome work. Is there someone that you want to give a shout out to in our newsletter? Drop us a line at [email protected] and tell us why. Maybe they’ll see their name in print.