Is it time to be jealous of ... Orlando?
I know, I know, I-4 is a drag, the metropolitan area is the worst spot in America to be on foot and also is home to a condo complex that doubles as a microcosm of "every social ill of the last 50 years," Disney World and all the other "amusement" parks are dispiriting money sucks at best, and homeless children living near "The Most Magical Place on Earth" make for a useful juxtaposition in highlighting the uneven recovery from the recession and some of the flip-side realities of a tourist-first economy ... but still: People do love coming to Florida, and especially Orlando, which of course does traffic in something many people absolutely can't get enough of — fantasy — and it should be said that it's also clear, from one of the biggest universities in the country to a downtown that's not awful anymore to Tako Cheena, the capital of Central Florida no longer can be dismissed as just so much pavement and plastic.
And I ask — I ask if it's time to be jealous — because of phrases like video game incubator.
I ask because of what Bob Trigaux said in Sunday's Times — that the City the Mouse Built is quietly gathering a critical mass as Florida's startup hub for digital technology.
I ask because I sort of asked already last month when all that car-centric sprawl got a commuter train.
Mostly, though, I ask because this morning, sitting in St. Pete, down the road from Clearwater and across the bay from Tampa, I read the first sentence of the CityLab All Aboard Florida story, in which Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and of course Orlando were mentioned — and couldn't help noticing which cities were not.