Best of Winter Park 2014: Local Flare

STAFF PICKS: LOCAL FLARE

local flare

BEST DATE PLACE TO CONNECT WITH YOUR INNER CHILD 

All Fired Up, 229 W Fairbanks Ave.

Almost every time I drive to and from Rollins I pass by All Fired Up. Maybe I am secretly afraid of my inner child because even though I long to go in and paint myself a dish, cup, or whatever else they have that would certainly tickle my fancy, I still have yet to go. This place never looks empty, though, so clearly it must be a good place. I will be sure to check it out sometime this semester when the real world starts to overwhelm me, as it inevitably does by midterms, and reconnect with my inner juvenile by painting something ceramic. I am getting all fired up just thinking about it!

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BEST PLACE TO SHOP THE LATEST FASHIONS

Forema Boutique, 300 N. Park Ave.

Fairly new to Park Avenue, but already a favorite of many, Forema Boutique is a fashion hot spot that is quite an asset to Winter Park. Forema not only brings in new items almost daily, but even carries some products that have some proceeds that go to some pretty great causes. Almost every time I have between a half hour or more break between classes, I power walk down to the other end of Park Avenue where Forema is located and check out what they have to offer. As they are constantly getting in new items, there is always something new (and cute!) to see. The girls who work in the store are always friendly and helpful. If you are looking through your closet right now and feel that you simply have NOTHING to wear, take a quick trip down to Forema. Not only do they have some of the cutest clothes on the Avenue, they are also among the most affordable!

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BEST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR DOG

Fleet Peeple’s Dog Park, 2000 S. Lakemont Ave. 


If you want your dog to enjoy Winter Park as much as you do, then consider taking them on a little trip to Fleet People’s Dog Park. Though the ground is mostly dirt, probably due to the large amount of dogs running around and having a doggone good time, it is the place to be if you are a pup or if someone you love is one. Here the dogs not only run on the ground, but many enjoy a swim in Lake Baldwin. Though signs at the lake’s edge give a rather ominous warning about alligators being drawn to canine activity, dogs and their owners alike feign illiteracy and relish in the fun of the pups playing in the water. Even with the potential for danger, this place is a must see. There is even a dog washing station to clean the mud off of your dog before you leave the park. Bring a towel or two for the back seat of your car for when you leave, and be prepared for the smell of wet dog to linger for a day or two. Odor be damned, this is a fun spot.

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BEST PLACE TO GET A PARKING TICKET

Anywhere

There is a cruel irony echoing down Park Avenue when we are unable to do just that. Neither parallel nor perpendicular, not in front of ‘310’ and not anywhere in this faction of the 407 will you be able to leave your car with genuine peace of mind. A city and a jigsaw puzzle of vehicular offense: welcome to Winter Parking. The absence of parking spaces makes our streets ideal for walking along—mostly because you have no other options. In the declarative words of One Direction, Winter Park, “that’s what makes you beautiful.” Nothing complements our Sperry’s and Ray-Bans like a legal citation valiantly hugging our windshield wiper on a Saturday, post-Farmer’s Market.

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BEST PLACE TO SPOT CARS YOU’LL NEVER OWN

Luma, 290 S. Park Ave.

Yeah, occasionally I like my French fries to be doused in truffle oil. I also like name dropping every now and then. It really does not hurt to spend more money for local produce, either, because sustainability deserves a round of applause in today’s world. But the only thing that may pain you more than reading nutrition labels may be the mixed pang of joy and pain you will have when strolling past Luma’s array of classic, bank-breaking babes. No, not a Rollins girl, but a flock of them crowded around the newest editions from Bugatti, Rolls Royce, and the “backup Maserati.” Head to Luma for delicious cuisine and a complimentary course of curbside fangirling.

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BEST PLACE TO FIND QUESTIONABLE MUSIC

Park Avenue CDs, 2916 Corrine Drive

It took me a while to understand why Park Ave CDs would receive this award, since their music collection of LPs, EPs, CDs, and releases new and old always excite me. But, then I remembered that I love all music, including the questionable kind. But, if you do not question something, then you never get the answer you need. So, hats off and headphones in to Park Ave CDs for sharing the latest and smallest, as well as biggest and oldest bands in the biz. Of course it is one of the most popular music stores in Central Florida. Who can turn down a store that caters to lovers of Lily Allen, The 1975, and The Doors? Only a total nark.

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BEST PUBLIC PLACE TO SNUGGLE UP AND WATCH A FLICK

Enzian, 1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland

Of all the opportunities college will give you, the abandonment of self control is a paramount.  Once on campus, you are free to eat pizza hot, cold, and frequently. You can indulge in Netflix binging habits that would leave most Americans comatose. These are some of the best aspects of a college existence: the ability to finish an entire series while noshing on Pizza.

Now, what if I told you there is a place where you can do this outside of the dark refuge offered by your dorm. Welcome to the Enzian, possibly the coolest movie theater on earth. The Enzian is an old dine in theater that shows both old and modern films. If you check their calendar online, you can select features that will be shown at different times of the month. You can order everything from pizza to wine.

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