What is it like to live in Orlando, FL?
A few things to know:
—Orlando is like a little Los Angeles: sunny, multi-cultural, some very expensive neighborhoods and oh yes: horrible traffic, several toll roads, and constant, irksome, road construction.
—Orange County, the county Orlando is in, has its own mayor—one of few counties to have this office—because Orange County got sick of Orlando using county money to pay for Orlando-specific stuff and created a strong mayor position to keep the city-county relationship in check.
—Orlando has a large Caribbean Hispanic population but also a large Jamaican population, Korean population, Vietnamese population, Haitian, and decent-sized Chinese population. There is a Lotte Plaza Korean supermarket and it rocks, it’s awesome, at least two Chinese supermarkets, several large Caribbean supermarkets, a whole Chinese shopping plaza on Colonial, a Viet Town (also on Colonial) and we’re getting another Korean market, an H-Mart, soon.
—Speaking of international influence, in the southern part of the city (OBT south of Florida Mall area) I use Spanish more than English. I’ve also heard a lot of Viet, Haitian Creole, and some Mandarin. It’s seriously a wonderfully international community.
—Millenia is the pretty mall with upscale stores. Florida Mall is more touristy and everyday, but still nice—and huge.
—Soccer is big here!
—The Disney parks are not downtown. They are not even in Orlando. And most residents do not go to them frequently unless they work there or just love Disney. I’ve not been in years.
—Downtown Orlando is nice, but much of the architecture is new and it shows. There is a somewhat generic but very nice, pleasing, relaxed feel to it.