Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Urban ReThink (with photo) in Orlando Business Journal

Sat, 02/05/2011 - 08:25 -- rprice

A few weeks ago, I was visiting Cocoa Village, working out of the Ossorio coffee shop with Mike, when I got a phone call from Orlando Business Journal reporter Anjali Fluker. She asked me several questions about Coworking and what I do working out of home, coffee shops and other spaces. I told her some of the benefits of coworking, and a bit about the Urban ReThink project.

Later, I got a call from an OBJ photographer, who met me down at the space last week and snapped a few photos, including one of myself and Anna McCambridge working on laptops.
Ryan Price
I haven't had a photo published in the paper since I was 5 years old. I'm pretty stoked.

Yesterday, this week's OBJ was released, and I read the story - Cool collaboration eats up empty spaces - it starts out by mentioning that three local buildings are using their empty space for Coworking and things that smell like coworking. The story is even placed in the Commercial Real Estate category on the OBJ website. Thankfully, it does mention the Urban Think! Foundation. I think the story also lost something in the translation from the printed page to the website, as far as the layouts and visuals are concerned. I am waiting to see it in print. EDIT: It really does help. It was worth finding a copy, at least for me.

Here's my paragraph:

“Big industries for creative people are growing,” said Ryan Price, 28, an Orlando independent consultant/trainer for website design, social media and marketing. Although he works from home, Price said there are times he needs more company than just his cat, or an environment more conducive to brainstorming than a coffee shop. “We need a great place to work — and these types of spaces provide that.”

For some reason it only mentions Urban ReThink's $300 membership, which is a really tiny part of what we do. It does mention that we will be holding events there, and there is a quote from Craig about "younger creative types don’t like a typical 9-to-5 job".

I'm glad John Hussey's quote includes the fact that his decision to try Coworking came from the tech companies in his building - I always think that is a great part of their story. I'm also really interested to see what Florida Theatrical Association has done over at the Sanctuary. There are currently no performance spaces in Thornton Park - this is really something the neighborhood needs to be considered a first-class neighborhood of Orlando.

When you step back and look at the article, you can tell Anjali is trying to capture something about the larger trend - how John Hussey was able to sell units, how local companies are seeking collaboration, how these spaces are improving the quality of life in downtown.

I wonder how people are reacting to the story - the comments on the OBJ site have exactly one respondent - who is pretty much a spammer. I guess we'll find out as a new wave of phone calls, emails and walk-ins accost us in the weeks to follow. I know the Sentinel Article really helped get some people in the door - the great sandwiches at Virgin Olive don't hurt either.

For the whole story, you may want to check out the OBJ. They do a great service here in Orlando, and this story certainly helps.


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Why I don't own an iPad

Sat, 02/05/2011 - 07:18 -- rprice

Here are a few reasons:

  • You still have no way of installing non-app-store apps, even 4 years later.
  • Only now have we been able to get the mobile data on more than one cell phone provider, which is a default feature in other countries.
  • Apple has been booting GPL apps (or the developers have been removing themselves) from the app store.
  • The Maker Bill of Rights: If you can't open it, you don't own it
  • I can't put my iTunes / iBooks content on other devices, unless they came from Apple, running Apple software.
  • The iPad is designed to be used by exactly one person. Do they expect every member of a family or each employee to have his or her own?
  • ...and many many more. Including one new wrinkle:

Apple responds: we want a cut of Amazon, Sony e-book sales by Jacqui Cheng:

Apple doesn't allow apps to sell content to users unless that content passes through the official Apple ecosystem, where Apple gets a 30 percent cut.

If an app lets users access content that they purchased via Amazon's website, for example, then that same app must also let users buy the same book via Apple's own in-app purchase system. If the app developer doesn't want to use Apple's in-app purchases to sell content, then the app can't access content purchased elsewhere either.

On the one hand, making things easier for users, I can see how you would arrive at this decision. On the other hand, taking a binary approach to it - you're either in or out - is what really boils my beans.

Is there anything better out there? I really haven't tried non-Apple tablets, but this is one very good reason.

When recommending a touch screen solution to a local arts organization, I urged them to get a touch screen PC and develop a website that is optimized for touch instead of getting an iPad,. It ended up being cheaper and easier to develop, including easier for them to lock down, so patrons couldn't use the other apps in their lobby. Also, if they decide they would rather use different software, say Ubuntu instead of Windows, they have that choice, and they should still be able to get support from the hardware vendor.

Are they missing a lot of other iPad stuff? Yes. However, this machine was intended for a single purpose. The iPad is not a one-trick pony, and it comes with a lot of baggage. See above.


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My Urban ReThink Story

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 11:27 -- rprice

One year ago, I was approached by Julia Young, the President of a local nonprofit organization called the Urban Think! Foundation. She was charged with transforming a soon-to-be out of business local bookstore into a Coworking space, event space, and a program to support local creatives. There were hazy thoughts about having a cafe, putting in a loft, and creating a versatile space. She found me because of my numerous blogs posts about Coworking, and my involvement in the local community.

Urban ReThink

I brought in a good friend of mine, Darren McDaniel, who had experience working at a similar space here in Orlando that was eventually strangled by bureaucracy. He had a business plan, several years of experience, and a PhD thesis paper about creating structure for freelancers and other creatives. Darren would be tapped as the Founding Director of the project, code named Urban ReThink.

We put out a survey to the old mailing list from the bookstore, and as many other communities as we could get in touch with. This concept is a bit bigger than Coworking space alone, but it shares values and lots of the superficial things many spaces have. To say this is ambitious would be an understatement. We do have some great things going for us.

The landlord is one of the original founders of the old bookstore, and he had other offers for the space - this is a passion project for him. A few months into this adventure, we found out he will be developing an area of downtown Orlando called the Creative Village - Craig and the rest of the nonprofit board are really committed to making our city better, and they have been invaluable throughout this process. From the big things like the space itself and the renovation, to smaller things like the PR and marketing strategy, and making connections with other organizations and businesses.

Starting in November, we started hosting events - film screenings, a book signing, an interactive art installation, and several holiday parties. These were a great learning experience, as our space is at street level, and on a major walking path to the rest of Downtown Orlando - the weekends are very colorful here.

On January 17th, our cafe partner opened their doors to a torrential downpour - but lunch time still brought in about a dozen people, eager to see their new neighbors. Last week, some furniture was delivered - donated from a local interior design shop - and we invited a few potential community members to start working here. Today was the final straw as the cable company connected the internet and we fired up our wi-fi - no more stealing from the neighbors!

We were lucky enough to be featured in the local daily newspaper a few weeks ago, and now I am told a business journal article related to independent workers will be landing this week - they even took my picture for it.

We still have so far to go - I'm pretty sure we're doing it backwards - the "if you build it, they will come" plan. I am feverishly trying to finish the website (just got the design on Friday) so I can stop answering all my questions via Facebook, Twitter and Email. At the same time, we know we have lots of interest - people wanting to (and already are) holding meetings here, people ready to sign up for memberships, mentors ready to give sage wisdom, and many and more things ready to happen.

In 2 weeks we'll have the start of our grand opening festivities, and who knows what will happen from there?

Website (coming soon):


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Time, Talent, and Vision - the Iron Triangle of Open Source

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 20:56 -- rprice

I've been thinking a lot lately about projects that were created with the idea of collaboration introduced early in the lifecycle (that is in comparison to when it was released to the public), or that were intended to be collaborative from the beginning. Namely, I've been trying to find a good way to start one, or become involved with one, for the better part of 5 years.

My original idea was to create a web video series with a choose-your-own-adventure storyline, and only make one or two of the possible branches from each decision point, letting others fill in to the beginning, middle or end at any of the endpoints. Then others would be able to fill in between the contributors endpoints, and so on. For the longest time, the question was "What if someone decides to sell the product?" If I made it completely wide open, someone else could come along, put a price tag on the world, and make a boatload of money.

On the other hand, this assumes a whole lot of things:

  1. That the world I and my community created was any good.
  2. That the story this fictional capitalizer created is any good.
  3. That the capitalizer has more time than everyone else involved.
  4. That the capitalizer has more spare talent than everyone else.

The talent by itself is not that useful - I have a decent amount of computer programming talent that gets wasted while I'm on the phone, that doesn't mean I make money on merit alone. Most markets require someone to put the time into a project to be successful. The interesting thing in this scenario is that there are potentially dozens / hundreds of creative teams all putting time into the same universe.

The biggest and most important is this - is the idea any good? Would I pay for the end product, or sit through advertising to watch it? This has a little to do with the talent (production value, acting ability) of the capitalizer and his team, but also a lot to do with the vision.

This is the new "Iron Triangle" Eric Marden and I theorized about in our latest episode of Our Yellow House.

Listen to OYH #2


Sidebar: Drupal App Store

In the past few weeks, a theoretical philosophical battle has been raging in the Drupal community, with everyone in the community on the same side of the "thought experiment" posed by Robert Douglass: should Drupal have an app store?

Here is one of the quotes most relevant to this blog post, left by "patcon" on Earl Miles' blog:

"perhaps if I'd been allowed to throw a bit of money at the community, I wouldn't have felt as compelled to contribute back time and know-how... Maybe offering a route for payment would strain a much greater resource.

So what I'm suggesting is that maybe freeloader guilt is the real Drupal currency"

In this case, because traditional media companies have collected a few dollars from us, they expect us to want to treat media as a broadcast versus a conversation. I think that by choosing when and where to make the cash flow, the conversation can happen, but a few people can still make money.

With the right Creative Commons license, I don't believe the capitalizers would be able to reproduce someone else's script wholesale and call it his or her own. This means that just because a good script existed, and the capitalizers had the time and talent to pull it off, that the script writer would get left out in the cold. I think the license would need to have a non-commercial clause to it, so the capitalizer would need to gain permission from any script author he or she wanted to crib from. This way, fan fiction (this whole idea is a glorified fan fiction) would thrive, while commercial interest would require original work or the permission of a fan author. However, a fan author would still be able to borrow from and build upon a commercial work. I don't think the wholesale cribbing would apply in the other direction though.

Think Jack Black and Mos Def in Be Kind Rewind - in the re-interpretation of classic films, some things were gained and lost. Only when you decide to remake a film shot for shot, line for line are you truly stealing. In the days of the Jazz greats and crooners (what we now would call Easy Listening), covering someone else's song was paying homage to it. The same could be said of theatre in the pre-copyright era. Why should a play that is put on for free have to ask permission from the author? When does it stop being art, and start being a slimy Intellectual Property business?

Parody is covered, but not cover songs. That means when you take a hard core rap song and do a lounge cover, no matter how funny it is, it's not a parody. Who decided that? Of course it's a parody, it's just that the lyrics are done straight.

If you've ever seen someone play Movieoke, you'll know that you don't have to change much about the delivery of some classic scenes to change the entertainment from serious to funny. Isn't that enough?

There are lots of questions here, and few hard-and-fast answers. My thoughts about creating a universe (think Marvel Universe, Star Trek Universe, Roger Rabbit Universe, Cirque du Soleil Universe) and giving it to the world to play in has been on my mind for years, and I'll keep thinking about it until I think the time is right.

I've got a specific project in mind to test this out, but I am not the owner of said universe; which (if you ask me) is the right place to start.

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I'll be Teaching at DrupalCon Chicago 2011

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 12:10 -- rprice

Where can you find some of the most passionate, open, outgoing, and collaborative people on the planet? What is my favorite International happening? Where will I be getting my hands dirty with source code, teaching workshops, taking tons of photos and shaking o-so-many hands?

I have mad so many great friends through this community and these events - I know Chicago will be no different. Another neat thing is the massive number of people who will all be staying in the "Drupal Towers", complete with custom pajamas!

At DrupalConSF I co-presented a Pre-Conference Training session about Drupal Theming - Mike and I had a great time, and we had a good number of students in the class.

This year, I'm doing something very similar, with 2 small changes:

  1. I'm teaching the class by myself
  2. Drupal 7 has landed!

This means I'm going to have more territory to cover, without my second brain. I've certainly done this before, so it should go off without a hitch. Preparation and years of experience are certainly going to help.

Beginning Drupal 7 Theming

This class is intended for people who know some HTML and CSS, and covers the fundamental principles of Drupal theming geared toward people who wish to take a static mockup of a site design and turn it into a Drupal theme. You will also learn about using base themes, grid-based layout and helper modules to streamline and customize your Drupal theme.

Drupal is the industry-leading open source content management platform used to power millions of websites. It’s also a robust community of Web developers, designers, businesspeople, and everyday citizens around the world.

DrupalCon is an international event that brings together the people who use, develop, design, and support the Drupal platform. DrupalCon Chicago will be held March 7-10, 2011, and will feature dozens of curated sessions and panels from some of the most influential people and brightest minds within the Drupal community and beyond, as well as countless opportunities for networking, sprints, informal conversations, and more. Go to to find out more and purchase your ticket today, along with registration for Beginning Drupal Theming!

Hope to see you all in Chicago. We're going to have a blast. Early Bird registration prices have been extended through Friday 1/21 - i.e. Tomorrow, so now is a great time to make your plans.


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Correction: I'm so happy to be here

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 18:03 -- rprice

Referring to my last post about the Orlando Sentinel's first article about Urban ReThink since last March when the bookstore closed: I am really happy about it.

In wanting to post about it, I gave the piece favorable mention in several places. On this blog, however, I tended to focus on certain parts of the article, and it must have seemed pretty ungrateful and irresponsible.

After taking some time to let it sink in, and realizing how many comments and discussions this has spawned, I have to say I'm so happy this happened, and that it happened this week.

Nothing in the article was untrue, or misleading, and I personally believe that we wouldn't be anywhere without Craig and the old bookstore - this article establishes that for the readers of the Sentinel. Kudos. I've been meaning to post this since Sunday, and time has been slipping into the future.

I've got a lot of good things to say about our local traditional media. Collectively and individually, they're doing some great stuff. I mean it.

I have taken this week to introduce myself to Erin Sullivan, the new(ish) Editor of the Orlando Weekly. I heard a little bit about her from a friend, and she has been writing about events at Urban ReThink too. I have to say she is really doing her job in the right spirit.

I'm also happy that a publication like the Orlando Business Journal is spending some energy blogging, and trying to engage readers online.

I stand behind what I write here on my personal space - if you walk in my front door, be prepared to hear what I have to say. At the same time, I forgot to say two of the most important words in the English language on Friday: "Thank You".

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Urban ReThink in the Orlando Sentinel Today

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 06:01 -- rprice

Update: There is more to this post when you're done reading it. I want to make sure and thank Sandra for her article.

Today the Orlando Sentinel wrote a short, one-dimensional piece about our as-of-yet-unopened space at Urban ReThink in downtown Orlando. I really wish we could have a website today - one exists, but with no styling. Ugh.

Here is my quote from "A new chapter opens for Urban Think! as a workplace" by Sandra Pedicini:

"It's trying to create a space that has all of that coffee shop appeal — with structure for people who want to get some work done," said Ryan Price, an Orlando Web site designer who hopes to become a tenant at Urban ReThink.

Sandra and I talked on the phone for about 10 minutes. I talked about our great resource library (AKA LinkedIn on steroids for our Community) and all the other awesome benefits we will offer to members, but the reporter seemed to want to focus on Cow-orking. I also talked about the (at least) 4 year history the coworking movement in Orlando has had, and I get exactly one sentence.

"Tenant" is also really the wrong word. We are saying "Resident".

Update: Over at the Sentinel, there was a 9-comment thread in reply. Sadly, 8 of the comments seemed to be about independent bookstores.

I agree that running independent bookstores has gotten really hard in this day and age. However, this story is not about bookstores. It's about what happens post-bookstore.

Urban ReThink only shares an address with what used to be the bookstore. The space will provide resources to creative people in town. There are already some cool events taking place there, like the Bad Film Appreciation Society, which had it's fifth local screening last night.


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Two new Aggregators

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 20:58 -- rprice

It has been a long time "maybe someday" project for me to build a blog aggregation website for Orlando content, as well as a Podcast site akin to the old ODEO, but again, featuring locally produced podcasts. In the last few months, I finally scratched those two off my list.

Pulpp was an excuse to just install Drupal 7, once and for all, to see what it was like. I figured an aggregator wasn't a bad use of a site like this, so here it is.
Using the Corolla theme, no less! Drupal's Core Aggregator module is also the engine here. I have things broken into a few categories, like Blogs, Podcasts, Video and Mass Media for anything that is a Newspaper, Magazine or TV Station.

Check out

The PodCamp Orlando Site was created 3 or 4 years ago when I thought it could be a good idea to hold a Podcasting Unconference in Orlando. Turns out there are finally bunches of people making podcasts now, so we may be able to pull this off!
orlando podcasters
This is a Drupal 6 site, because I couldn't get the Feeds module to work in Drupal 7. Featuring Jake Strawn's Omega theme.

Check out

Eventually, I would like to have a mobile version, or perhaps a full-fledged podcatching app, with all these pre-loaded in the directory, so a host of one of these shows could tell you to download the app, and poof! You now magically now also know about all the other Orlando shows.

If you want your blog, YouTube Channel or podcast featured on any of these outlets, or if you want to claim your podcast page on OrlandoPodcasters, then drop me a comment here on this post. I will be more than happy to include your feed!


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LA Computer Company, FTW! Gazelle, just fine.

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 11:43 -- rprice

The saga of Ryan's G5 Mac:

Back in 2006 I was getting hard-core about making videos and podcasts. There have been times when I was more active in this arena than others, but I have decided that I truly miss getting to share these stories with others, so I am going through some superficial updating of my hardware.

The fine folks at Apple have decided that anyone who bought a Mac before 2006 and has not upgraded yet is "below them" and deserves no fresh pellets in their hamster bowl, so I needed to get at least a 2007 Mac Pro in order to keep running the latest and greatest Mac OS, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, etc and to use any of the commercially available add-on cards, like the Blackmagic Intensity capture card.

Now I had two goals: unload my G5 PowerMac, and gain a Mac Pro, hopefully for less than $1000 out of my bank account.

I had heard about Gazelle, where you can sell your old stuff for cash. If you opt for an Amazon gift card, you get a bonus, but that doesn't buy me beers at Redlight Redlight. Gazelle has been an advertiser on the TWiT podcasts for a while, so they had a bonus code which was almost as good as getting an Amazon card. Off to the FedEx store to box up the monstrous computer.

I figured this was all way easier than eBay, which I'm not a fan of anyway. I also sent an old cell phone, which could have gotten me $80. I was told the cell phone "does not consistently power on, which affects the offer we are able to make." Affects in that it makes the offer $0. At least "we will gladly recycle this item responsibly free of charge." Like I said, I'm too lazy to try and hock this phone off on Craigslist, so I let that one go. Maybe good Karma will still find me.

Sadly no.

Apparently the inspectors "found some conditions that affected the value of the Desktop." Namely, "Condition was determined based on: Slightly bent out base on back right." If there were a court of appeals here (which there is not), I would have asked to see photos. I could literally find no way to contest my offer, simply accept or deny. I understand this could get seriously tedious for the Gazelle folks, as I'm sure there are lots of legitimate claims.

Original offer + bonus: $732.35
New offer + TWiT bonus: $547

Ouch. I wonder what they would have said had I not asked for the bonus. (It's just the skeptic in me talking, I know it's mean)

I received the check in a timely manner, no feelings hurt beyond repair.

Now it's time to find a Mac Pro, 2007 or later. Magically, I am on a mailing list I can't remember signing up for called the LA Computer Company. Later, I found out I bought a product from a sister site which must use their back-end. Once you reach the end of the story, you'll realize that I'm glad I was on the list.

$1399 MacPro.
Email us today

(at the time I thought I was getting $700+ from Gazelle) I was excited.

I checked out the specs. The machine I laid my eyes on was:
MP/3.0GHz/8Core/500GB/4GB/SD/AP/BT/256VRAM $1599

In English, that means 2 quad-core processors, a 500GB HD, 4GB of memory, SuperDrive, AirPort and Bluetoth, with an ATI 7300 something-or-other video card with 256MB of ram. The weakest part of this deal was the video card. Other deals had better cards, but were only "4Core". It was a trade-off.

I did some research: could I get a used system with similar specs elsewhere? After much deliberation, I decided this was the best deal I could find (at the end of November).

Shipping would have cost almost $50, but I was told if I mailed them a cashier's check or money order, shipping would be free. I guess processing credit cards has gotten to be an expensive and fraud-prone business, and we're talking about almost $1600, so I understand their concern. Free shipping sounded like a good deal, but I was cautious about sending a cashier's check...

At this point I went and did some low-level web snooping: Better Business Bureau, Google the name of the company with "sucks" or "do not buy" after the name, stuff like that. They seemed legit, and had a very good track record, nearly spotless. I think this is the kind of place that only sells to professionals, so they don't get too many people with unrealistic expectations, and as long as they deliver on their promises and fix any mistakes, I think a customer would have no reason to complain.

Once the check arrived, it was almost no time before I was given a tracking number. When the FedEx guy came, I still wasn't wearing pants. I don't mind encountering the religious solicitors in my sleepwear, but this was different. I was surprised to see an original Apple box inside my front door just seconds later. Turns out the box is from a G5, but I pray that the product I ordered is inside.

Success! A Mac Pro with a 3rd party keyboard, mouse and power cord was now mine. No software disc, but it was only loaded with Leopard, so I have to upgrade anyway.

Turn it on: no internet connection. Not even an option to set up an AirPort connection during the "first time" set up. There were lots of other choices on the networking screen, but not Wi-Fi.

Huh? I click through that screen on setup and finish with an Ethernet cable. I open the System Profiler app, click AirPort: "No information found." How about Bluetooth? "No information found."

I shoot an email to Melissa from LA Computer Company, with whom I had discussed shipping and paying by check. She forwarded it along to Nate, who directs me to send him a screen shot of System Profiler. I decided to open the case and send an additional picture of my computer's innards, proving that the "BT" and "AP" on the original product description were indeed missing. Nate promises to speak to his manager.

Within an hour of sending my pictures, I get this email:


I want to say I'm sorry for the typo and all this confusion. I talked with my manager about the situation, and he said that we could send you a USB bluetooth adapter as well as a USB wireless adapter, standard overnight, so it would get to you on Monday.




Thank you Nate, Melissa and the LA Computer Company. That's great customer service.

Now, a USB Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapter are not the same as internal Apple parts, but there is functionally no difference. I consider this a fair deal.

At the end of this whole business, I am at:
$1599 - $547 - $17 (to box up the old G5) = $1035

Not... Bad.

Before I knew the resolution of the AirPort and Bluetooth incident, I already told a friend of mine about my purchase from this company, with the caveat that I would let him know how this all turned out. I guess I'll find out for sure on Monday.


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Cultural Wasteland or a Football Shangri-La?

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 09:32 -- rprice

I'm a regular reader of the Orlando Business Journal's blogs. As far as I know, they don't post all of their articles online. I get a lot of great info from the blogs though, and they help me keep in touch with my city in ways that I don't get from other publications.

Yesterday Richard Bilbao posted a blog called "Which should come first: Citrus Bowl or performing arts center?" where he asks if the new performing arts center in downtown should get put on the back burner in favor of the stinky old football stadium, because it's old, stinky, rusty, and seen by almost 100,000 people over the course of 2 days in December.

If you ask me, for the rest of the year, it would be lucky to be seen by 100,000 people who aren't driving West on the 408. Since UCF pulled out, very few regular events are left that happen there. This is something that was debated ad nauseum 2 years ago when all this Venues hype was going around, and before tourism taxes took a nosedive.

The second point he makes is that the Citrus Bowl will bring in almost 6 times the amount of tourism taxes. I'd like to see the math on that one. So would commenter David P.:

This is more than a bit misleading. Some (most?) of the noted $200M revenue projection for the renovated Citrus Bowl is ALREADY being generated and thus isn't additive. The projected revenues from the Performing Arts Center are ENTIRELY additive. Come on folks!

The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center will have other, non-monetary, benefits as well. Just last night I was talking to some people about the seemingly worldwide perception that Orlando is a "cultural wasteland". I think the DPAC can help us to change that, but not simply by existing. Let me explain:

People in our society fail to take the long view, I think. They say "If I just had another $1000 I could get X and be happy", "If Urban ReThink was just open today, I could get more work done", "If the EDC just gave money to little guys like me, I could make some waves in this town". While any of these might be true, the preconditions are all superficial.

Saying that "If we just had a better performing arts space, we could stop being a cultural wasteland", is similarly flawed, but we know how people think. I could say the same of Creative Village. As someone who has toiled in the Grassroots for the last 4 years, I see the Creative Village as a way to help put Central Florida on the map. I know I'm being narrow-minded, but I still think that. What is really going to put Orlando on the map from a cultural, entrepreneurial, and otherwise awesome perspective is not about the amenities.

At the same time, things like Creative Village and DPAC have some built-in benefits that the Citrus Bowl project does not. DPAC is going to house administrative offices for Orlando's "Big Three" arts organizations. (sadly, the Opera folded, but I'm sure someone is in the #3 spot now) This encourages these organizations to do cross-promotions, collaborate, or just go to lunch and share knowledge. The same will be true of Urban ReThink, and any of the companies that choose to move in to the Creative Village. Proximity is necessary for massive reactions in Chemistry as it is in the Creative world.

What new opportunities will the renovated Citrus Bowl create? What groups, organizations and movements will an updated stadium create or enable? Sure, it will bring some revenue, but in the "big picture" view, a few hundred thousand people get a cushier trip to Florida. I think our amenities are pretty damn world class as it is - let's try to serve our citizens instead of Bowl Game attendees. If Orlando were getting a pro sports team, I'd have a somewhat different view, but not wholly. I'd still think that an updated stadium isn't creating anything on top of income for the local government.

If you think otherwise, or you can prove me wrong, please do so. I'm not trying to say I have all the answers, and up to this point the argument is fairly one sided. Volley served, your move.


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