Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Defending my 'Hood: Orlandoans Protect their Local Gems

What do you do when your favorite local bar gets vandalized? How about a favorite neighborhood mural? Well, if you're an Orlandoan, you jump to the defense of your favorite local gems. Here are some of our favorite recent examples of Orlando residents striking back (in non-violent, non-pitchforkey ways):

Redlight Redlight 

Ever seen someone's name scratched into a table and gotten pissed off? Well, how about when the tables are of the hand-made, polished wood variety and they belong to Orlando's beloved Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour? A patron showed a severe lack of judgement and foresight when she etched her nickname, nay, her FULL NAME, into one of said tables on a recent evening. Now, of all of the places I'd want to piss off, the one with the highly-devoted, often inebriated fans would not have been my first choice...

Redlight posted a picture of the damage to their Facebook page and in less time than it takes a fixie-riding hipster to say "Teege's my boy, we go way back, man," their fans had found the ultimate smoking gun. Yes, that's right: the culprit's lack of good judgement was taken to epic levels when she posted a picture of her artistry for all to see on Instagram with the tag "I am forever here."

Redlight left what we deem to be the most gratifying response to such foolishness we've witnessed: "Hi _____, Redlight here. We will actually sand the table down and if you return you will be trespassed. So, technically not forever..."

And after deleting their original post of the damage Redlight left a little message to their FB fans and all was right with the world once again.

That is until some jerk vandalized Mills50's murals. Seriously, guys? SERIOUSLY?!

Zebra Mural

The City of Orlando originally funded the Mills50 zebra mural in front of The Forbidden City because the wall attracted so much graffiti. Yet that mural, as well as the Sam Flax mural (both by local muralist Andrew Spear), were vandalized in 2013 with what some would consider a graffiti tag (we consider it more of a dimwitted, poop smear). Commissioner Paty Sheehan and Mills50's Facebook posts of the vandalism blew up and in no time someone had scoured the depths of the internet and discovered the culprit's Instagram, which shared pictures of his bubbly-lettered garbage.

A week or two later and the community made sure their zebra mural was restored to its original beauty! We aren't sharing a picture of the lame vandalism because the vandal has already had enough attention as it is. (And plus it's ugly.)

Picture credit: Pamelaslove.com

Sportstown Billiards

According to an old Orlando Sentinel article by M. F. Emmons, Sportstown is Orlando's oldest pool hall, having been around since 1958. "It was a greasy spoon called Sportstown Grama Lena's. Real-live gangsters counterfeited money and melted down silver in a secret upstairs apartment, reached by a hidden staircase in a broom closet with a false back, while downstairs there was a kitchen where the bar is today."

Yeah. Does anyone else think you'd have to be bat-sh** crazy to steal from Lee and Vicki at Sportstown? Apparently, the Milk District's smokiest dive bar/game hall was the scene of a robbery last year. Having had their cornhole stolen from out front, the owners posted security cam images and legend has it (we're too scared to ask them for an interview to verify) their Facebook fans identified the perp--who ended up returning it. Help correct us if we've got the story wrong (again, no names, please!).

Booze Badger

How about this great 'Wanted' poster!

When a dull and unoriginal tagger started defacing walls and boats (?) in the Mills50 District, someone shot back with this great poster. Highlights: "Do not approach. Suspect may be intoxicated & infected with rabies and/or herpes." and "Distinguishing features include bad teeth and poor penmanship."

Some may say this is giving the tagger the attention they are seeking, which is probably true, but we think it also serves as a call-to-action for the community to come together to look out for vandals. Plus, it's pretty freaking funny.

Zebra Coalition

With all of our local neighborhoods starting and managing social media accounts, we end up with communities that can quickly call on each other to right a wrong or keep an eye out.

Take the Zebra Coalition, a nonprofit located in Mills50 which helps LGBT+ children and teens in need: The Coalition had been running a donation drive for jackets and clothes for the winter and found that their storage unit had been burglarized--and on Thanksgiving Day, no less! Local media and social media caught wind of this injustice and the coalition was flooded with donations which they were then able to provide to the people that so desperately needed them. The community rallied around this organization in an incredible way to right this wrong.

A Brief Public Service Announcement 
While we love Orlandoans showing pride in their neighborhoods by defending them against jerks, we can't stand when vandalism turns normal Orlandoans into pitchfork-wielding fools. Be smart when you defend your 'hood. Don't post anyone's personal information on the internet, make big leaps when pointing fingers, or take things to a violent place. In other words: be cool, people.

Have any other examples of Orlandoans defending their 'hoods or favorite local gems in non-violent ways? Share in the comments below. (Remember: no personal information about any alleged perps, please!)


  1. So glad the local community created the Mills 50 District in which I live. I am proud of our district and it's supporters!

  2. https://www.change.org/petitions/hyatt-hotels-corp-keep-the-ducks-at-peabody-orlando