Summer is a treadmill
Published: September 29, 2011
We’re not looking for just any giant cross here. We have a specific one in mind: a hallowed installation at the far western reaches of the East-West Expressway that casts a towering shadow of holy fear over visiting vehicles in search of the supposed magic Orlando has to offer. We like to think of it as Jesus’ sundial, or a potential bad-weather insurance write-off for the good homes on nearby Good Homes Road. If you’re stumped on this one, just head out toward East Jesus and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
4. Sanitarium Avenue street sign (near Florida Hospital)
The name of this little gravelly lane evokes health … or maybe people coughing into bloody handkerchiefs. By day, it’s a nice spot to get your chin fat sucked out, next to a charming cattail-lined pond; but at night, between the train tracks and the low light, it’s the perfect place to meet the hockey-masked man of your dreams/nightmares, reenact any number of campfire-tale clichés (is that The Hook I hear?) or maybe just get a good solid dog bite. If you’ve hit the clean, well-lighted place that is Florida Hospital, you’ve gone too far. Or not far enough.
5. THE Booby trap
Be careful not to be squashed by the charms of this twin-domed architectural wonder that welcomes you to Winter Park with its blouse undone. More recently a haven for failed busts by the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, this dual slice of (seven minutes in) heaven is unmistakably one of the region’s most salacious small-airplane flyovers. Stick-and-rudder men should mind their sticks.
6. Ted Bundy’s John Hancock
If you think Orlando’s own famous alleged baby-killer Casey Anthony left a uniquely murderous mark on the city, think again. A few decades ago, Orange County hosted a comparably contested hot mess of a trial against a scandalously charismatic man who once described himself as “the most cold-blooded son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.” That man was Ted Bundy, and his death-row murder trial, which lasted only about a month, took place in an oak-laden courtroom in what’s known as the old Orange County Courthouse. Anxiously awaiting the verdict, the accused vigorously etched his first and last name into the side of the wooden defense table. The jury sentenced him to death that year, and today, the autographed table sits in the same exact spot, masked only by the curtain of history.
7. Walk of shame
Outside a certain newish Church Street-area building – one that your tax money helped pay for and may have been dreamt up in one of Cameron Kuhn’s sweaty flu dreams – rests a sad monument to the city’s occasional flare-ups of misplaced West Coast envy. It’s a tiny walk of fame, an attempt to mimic one of Tinseltown’s great(ly annoying) tourist activities. Orlando’s walk bears just a handful of names, two of which embody the phrase Hollywood Least – a politician and a marginal actress. Your challenge is to find either (or both) of those stars.
8. Bleak house
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