Thursday, March 19, 2015
January 5th of 2015 was the Eve of Marriage Equality in Orlando. Ashley Inguanta organized a Marriage Equality Celebration and Reading which were to take place in the green across the street from the Lake Eola Panera Bread. She advised everyone in the invite to bring a blanket or chair. The evening would be a literary celebration of the arrival of same-sex marriage with a series of readings by LGBT writers. Readers on the bill included Dianne Turgeon Richardson, Tisse Mallon and Ricardo Williams. Ashley Inguanta was the host.
I arrived early and started sketching the green across from Panera's. The plan was that I would populate the scene with the crowd as they arrived. The event was going to start at 7pm and as that time grew near, I was surprised that no one had yet set up on the lawn. Tisse Mallon arrived with a microphone and speaker and she advised me that she planned to set up in the small amphitheater right next to the field. I quickly added color washes to this sketch resigned to the fact that there would be no huge crowd. This happened once before in this same field. Jessica Early organized a human cinnamon roll hug. This hug works great with a large crowd with people spiraling outward in a nautilus or Cinnamon bun pattern. The people in the center of the hug are completely enveloped. Anyway on that occasion I sketched the same field and only three girls stood together and hugged.
Eventually close to a dozen people did show up for the Marriage Equality Celebration. I finished this sketch and then joined them for the readings. Perhaps I am naive to have hoped that thousands of people might show up to celebrate love. I wasn't disappointed with the readings however because it was a heart warming and uplifting on an otherwise chilly evening.
Monday, January 20, 2014
The lot on the corner of Conroy Windermere Road and Apopka Vineland Road is referred to as "The Grove". Of course it once was a grove of trees and natural landscaping, until all the trees were cut down and everything living was removed. Weeds have reclaimed much of the barren sandy dirt. A Pannera's has popped up so that residents can get a sandwich at this spot or at the Panerra's a quarter mile down the road. Dentists offices and a fitness center are the newest additions.
The strip mall continues to expand with this newest aluminum shell of construction. The parking lot also continues to expand. A single stop sign marks the entrance to the barren lot. Mall construction in Orlando always seems like it is intended for a theme park. I'm sure this shell will be polished off to look like a Mediterranean plaza. Of course real Mediterranean villages use ancient stone and granite and have stood for hundreds of years. Here, a little speckled spray paint will have to do to create the false appearance of stone.
Of course Terry and I get our groceries at the Publix Supermarket that has been in this strip mall for decades. It's red tile roof is faintly visible in the distance in my sketch. Yet I've never gone to any of the other shops that crop up around it. That is probably because I'm always going downtown to report on events there. Though we live in the ever expanding suburbs, my heart is in the city.