Tag Archives: winter park

Interview: Leah Meyerhoff (writer/director, I Believe In Unicorns)

So, while I was at the Florida Film Festival, I was able to catch the showing of I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS.

The film was introduced by Brian Quain (festival’s film selection committee) and Leah Meyerhoff (her IMDb), the writer and director of the film. Following the film, there was a Q&A with Leah, and one of the film’s associate producers, Hannah Beth King (her IMDb). After the Q&A, I got to take a few pictures of each of them, and the film’s UCF Marketing Team. It was at this time that I was able to speak with and interview Leah. Boy, did I have questions.

We got to speaking about the film, and how it came about. Leah had always had the desire to make a film that a sixteen-year-old her would’ve wanted to see. She wanted to make something pertinent, and something truly relatable – not a fairy-tale / hollywood-reality film.

Leah had previously, primarily, made shorts and non-features. She’d mentioned that, when she got to film school, she’d always thought that a director was more behind-the-camera only; rather than somebody who would stand to the side or out-of-frame, directing the actors. She was sort of ‘afraid’ to direct her actors. Through her experiences, Leah realized that you have to speak with your actors, you have to truly direct them, while letting them perform; this way, you get the most effective result.

Prior to all this endeavor, Leah was able to be on IFC’s Film School, which allowed her to make some connections, gain experience, and garner some financing for this next project she wanted to complete – I Believe In Unicorns.

While trying to get I Believe In Unicorns made, Leah starting calling around and asking her friends about things to do, where to go, and tip/tricks for the film. Through all these calls, she realized that there was a severe lack of help, for women-in-filmmaking. She found though, that she knew a lot of women-in-film. Through these experiences, she was able to garner some interest and support in starting her own organization – Film Fatales -to bring together (and support) women-in-film.

Film Fatales originated in NYC, Leah’s home. They meet once-a-month, discuss their projects, and go over future plans/ideas. Most recently, Film Fatales has expanded with an LA collective, as well. Through Leah’s research, and even Film Fatales, she was able to connect with Hannah Beth King (who happens to be from Central Florida!).

Casting seemed a bit tricky – certainly more detailed. One of the leads (Peter Vack) was chosen in a more conventional way – auditions. However, another one of the leads took a different approach. Leah was auditioning hundreds of girls for the lead, and just wasn’t connecting with any of them. She had a few requirements for the role – she needs a sixteen-year-old (as the role is for a sixteen-year-old) – she didn’t want an 18/20-year-old, she wanted somebody authentic and relatable. Another requirement was the maturity level – there are some pretty heavy, and then pretty wispy/young parts of the film, and there was a need for maturity – to be able to handle each aspect, with grace, and believability. Leah, actually, found the actress (Natalia Dyer) after asking the people behind True Grit what top-three actresses they encountered, when casting for the role of Mattie. When she saw/spoke with Natalia, she was sold. While casting for the lead, Leah also ran into Julia Garner, and liked her so much – she wrote the role of ‘the best friend’ just for her!

Another part of casting – Leah deciding to cast her own mother in the role of the lead’s mother. Leah’s mother, Toni, has MS. So does her character in the film. There was a desire for the mother/daughter relationship in the film to be somewhat tense, strained, and convincing. Leah admitted this relationship was a bit auto-biographical of that time-period in her life. However, Leah has since grown closer with her mother. Prior to casting her mother in I Believe In Unicorns, she had previously cast Toni in her short film, Twitch. After that experience, Toni was excited to work another another one of Leah’s projects.

Other notable experience for Leah include working on, and directing, music videos and commercials. Specifically, one of her most fond experiences on a music video was Joan As Policewoman‘s Eternal Flame. She remembers that being one for the books – just an all-around great time. Another favourite moment was working on Converse‘s ad, The Heist.

In the future, Leah just wants to keep making independent movies. She just wants to make movies that she wants to see, and movies that she wish she had seen. Leah is creating, working on, and producing other projects – including some projects by her Film Fatale cohorts! Hannah Beth King helped with the production I Believe In Unicorns, and in exchange, Leah is now helping produce Hannah’s first feature “Dirt Roads”, which they are hoping to shoot in Florida next year.

Leah is very excited about the future of I Believe In Unicorns, and what it may mean to her future in Indie Cinema.


I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS just recently played at Leah’s Alma Mater, Brown University. It is headed to the Nashville Film Festival. For more screenings, please check it out, here!

For more information on the film, check out their website and facebook.
For more information on Leah, check out her website and facebook.

The Coop: A Southern Affair! Coming to Winter Park! Media Preview!

Details on this soon to be Top Pick for Central Florida ! We have tasted the food and it is sooooooo good!
We are counting down for the opening!

My first time having Pimento Cheese and real Creamed Corn.  The Pot pie was crazy good but the other dishes were really want we were after!

John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse is ready to talk about his nest egg- he told us as he served us Chicken and Waffles he has been shopping on craigslist for antique chairs and furniture to furnish the restaurant!


So much dessert! We need to add more photos we know!

Desserts at TheCoop

The Coop: A Southern Affair: Istagram:

Check back- more soon!

The Sign is up!

We have to be honest and let you know we did not pay for this! (Just FYI – http://centralfloridatop5.com/full-disclosure/ )

The COOP will be open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and closed on Sundays.

Address: 610 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, FL 32789  phone 407-The-COOP  (so clever)

More details here and on their site: http://asouthernaffair.com/

Chili for Charity Event Heats Up February in Winter Park

The Rotary Club of Winter Park is pleased to host its annual celebration of chili at the 3rd annual Chili for Charity presented by Mayflower Retirement Community on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market.  The events features chili creations by more than a dozen local restaurants and caterers and enables the club’s foundation to continue its effort to support more than 30 local non-profit organizations each year.

“Chili for Charity is a unique event that brings the community together for a great cause,” explains Matthew Bartolomei, president-elect for the Rotary Club of Winter Park.  “All of the event proceeds benefit our foundation, which in turn provides grants to support the charities that play an essential role in our community.”

At the event, attendees are cautioned to eat with extraordinary care – a play on the city’s infamous traffic signs.   Each chili entrant will provide a unique chili dish with a Winter Park attitude and will be evaluated by a panel of judges made up of local elected officials and food experts; they will also compete for the coveted Peoples’ Choice Award.

Other event highlights include live entertainment by The Papa Jack Express and a live auction.  Tickets are available for $25 each or $225 for ten in advance or $30 at the door.  Purchase tickets online at www.chiliforcharity.org and stay up-to-date with event details at www.facebook.com/chiliforcharity.

chiliforcharityChili for Charity is made possible by its presenting sponsors Averett Warmus Durkee, Fannie Hillman + Association, Fifth Third Bank and The Mayflower Retirement Community.  Additional support is provided by All Business Printing, Baldwin & Company, P.A., Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Central Florida Lifestyle, Costco, Edible Orlando, Infantino and Berman, P.A., NewCastle Title Services, Inc., New Traditions National Bank, Peter Lemeiux DDS, Rollins College, The Park Press, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Winter Park Land Co. and Winter Park/Maitland Observer.

Chili for Charity participants include: B & B Junction, Bistro on Park Avenue, Citizens Bank of Florida, John & Shirley’s Catering, Marlow’s Tavern, Miller’s Ale House, George Paul (formerly of Tiffany on Park), Sodexo at Rollins College, Sonny’s BBQ, The Meat House, Title Boxing Club- Winter Park, Tolla’s Italian Deli & Café, Whole Foods Market Winter Park and Winter Park Day Nursery.

About the Rotary Club of Winter Park Charitable Foundation, Inc.

For more than 20 years, the charitable arm of the Rotary Club of Winter Park, the foundation has donated more than $685,000 to charities serving the Winter Park community.  Proceeds from Chili for Charity and other programs equip the foundation to carry on with its mission to support these essential non-profits.

Top 5- 79th Annual Winter Park Bach Festival

Central Florida might be better known for its pop-music heritage but that doesn’t mean our other genres suffer.  For over three-quarters of a century the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park has provided some of the very best live Baroque Music one can find.  The 79th Annual Winter Park Bach Festival kicks off Friday, February 14 and runs just over two weeks.  The Festival is chockful of features and not to be missed events.

Zac Alfson, the Bach Festival Patron Engagement Manager, helped us navigate the busy schedule and pulled out his personal Top 5 events and pieces of need to know info.  As with most of our list, it’s in no particular order.

1) Violinist Lara St. John, who is on the Feb 21 and 22 Concertos by Candlelight program has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by The New York Times.  She will be a highlight to this year’s festival.

2) New subscribers can hear all four concerts on the Festival from $78! That’s less that $20 per ticket!

3) Check out the February 27th Open Rehearsal of Haydn’s Creation for a behind-the-scenes look at the music making process in a more casual atmosphere. This free event is a working rehearsal as Dr. John V. Sinclair prepares the 160-voice choir and orchestra for performance that weekend.

4) Ken Cowan, a superstar of the Organ world, will perform a solo recital on Friday February 14.  While the program isn’t traditional Valentine’s fare, his impeccable technique and expressivity will bring the Great Organ at Knowles Memorial Chapel alive.

5) General Admission tickets are available for all performances.  These seats, along the side walls of the chapel, may have interrupted views, but the sound is amazing!  If you’re coming to hear instead of watch, this is a great, budget-conscious option.

For a full listing of events, seating charts, ticket sales, and information make sure to visit BachFestivalFlorida.com


There Goes Another! Winter Park’s K-Mart To Close, Plaza To Be Redeveloped

By Ken Storey

Winter Park seems to be in the midst of a major growth spurt, now it looks like one of the last holdouts from the 1990s is about to get its own major face-lift.

There have been rumors since last year when Sterling Organization bought the Center of Winter Park plaza that the K-Mart housed within it would close.  As early as late last week a decision had yet to be officially made on the plaza.  On the Monday, January 13 City Council Meeting the staff report states that a “decision by K-Mart to stay or go” will take place this year.  But it looks like the meeting notes need to be updated before Monday’s meeting as the decision has been made. Winter Park’s last K-Mart is officially closing.  A notice was sent out to employees at the 501 North Orlando Avenue store last week that March 16 would be final day for the store.

The all too familiar clearance signage of a store closure has already filled the aisles of the K-Mart.  Many shelves are already empty.  The layaway, pharmacy, garden, and seasonal departments have been closed.  Employees at the store that we spoke with stated that they were told new owners bought the plaza and were uninterested in keeping the K-Mart as part of the plaza which, with the assistance of summerlin nv plumber will begin a remodeling later this year.  Other sources who spoke with Central Florida Top 5 point to mixed use developments nearby as to what the renovation will include.  The possibility of a parking garage and office space are also being researched. If there’s a need for development in your commercial garage doors, Insta Garage Doors Company performs the best garage door installation services near riverside county. They work closely with customers and manufacturers to maintain the highest quality products and customer service.

The plaza was purchased in February, 2013 by Sterling Organization who at the time expressed some interest in redeveloping the plaza. In a statement issued at the time of purchase Brian Mosoy, President and CEO of Sterling Organization stated, “The Center of Winter Park represented a rare opportunity to acquire an asset with tremendous Estate planning in Georgia where we believe a significant redevelopment opportunity will present itself.”

In the Winter Park City Council Agenda for Monday the staff report gives a summary of other projects planned for the city in 2014.

“Coming in 2014: Redevelopment of the Corporate Square/WP Dodge property for a Whole Foods and another major retailer plus out-parcels; a new 18,000 square foot building next to the Ale House in Ravaudage to hold a Tony Roma’s and possible Bonefish restaurant. Construction starting on the new parking garage at the Winter Park Hospital. Construction starting on the 25,000 sq. ft. medical building at the Jewett Clinic at 1285 Orange Avenue. Redevelopment of the ABC store on Orlando Avenue. A new Lombardi’s retail store with café on Fairbanks Avenue. Additional development within Ravaudage.”

Also confirmed this week is the redevelopment of the historic Mount Vernon Inn by Unicorp, who is also overseeing the new Trader Joe’s anchored Lakeside Winter Park plaza just across the street. Unicorp is also planning a new mixed use plaza, The Gardens at Ravauage, within the Ravaudage development.

Legal disputes can be expected if you own real estate. You may need to hire an experienced land use attorney for your legal issue in Maryland or wherever area your property is.

Check out the slideshow below for images of the Winter Park’s last remain K-Mart.

Celebrate National Tequila Day in Winter Park at Cocina 214

Winter Park Celebrates National Tequila Day at Cocina 214!

They will be unveiling 4 new tequila drinks:

– The Roja
– El Refrescante
– Granada
– Blanco Bliss

The 4 new drinks will be 1/2 price from 5-8PM & we are extending Ladies Night until 8PM! Ladies, come enjoy $4 214 Rocks or Frozen Margaritas from 5-8PM!

There will be PATRON samples and giveways too!

Share on Facebook!

Celebrate National Tequila Day in Winter Park at Cocina 214


Their Address:

151 Welbourne Avenue East, Winter Park, Florida 32789


And they Tweet! https://twitter.com/Cocina214

Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week Seeks Emerging Designer Contestants

Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week Seeks Emerging Designer Contestants

Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week (HPAFW), Central Florida’s most comprehensive annual fashion event, is seeking designers, design students, fashion aficionados and anyone else who has what it takes to enter the HPAFW Emerging Designer Contest. The contest challenges up-and-coming designers with a variety of tasks to determine one winner, whose work will be showcased at the Park Avenue Fashion Week Runway Show on October 19, 2013.

“This is an opportunity for a rising designer in our community to showcase their talent and creativity in a truly unique way,” said Shelly “Maxine” Broadwell, emerging designer director for Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week and co-owner of Maxine’s on Shine. “The competition tests a designer’s ability to sketch, sew, and style unique creations, design personalized women’s apparel, plus teaches them skills in organization, time management and creativity.”

Contestants must submit their application by August 16, 2013.  A panel of judges, comprised of fashion designers, boutique owners, stylists and fashion photographers, will evaluate the applications and select 10 semi-finalists. Selected semi-finalists will compete in an Emerging Designer Fashion Show on Monday, September 9, 2013, at Maxine’s on Shine, where each contestant will show three looks and be interviewed by the judges.

Three finalists will be selected to participate in a Project Runway-inspired challenge.  Finalists will also attend HPAFW Runway Show on Saturday, October 19, 2013, where one of the contestants will be announced as the Emerging Designer Contest winner. The winner will receive their own show at the PAFW Runway Show and professional photographs of their collection on the runway, plus the opportunity to carry their line in a Park Avenue boutique for one month, accompanied by a trunk show.

“While the contest takes more than just completing an application and submitting photographs, the time and energy are well worth the prize package,” added Broadwell.

To apply, and to find additional details and requirements for the contest, please visit www.ParkAvenueFashionWeek.com/emerging-designer.

Photo from 2012 Project Runway-inspired challenge; photos courtesy of Winter Park Photography

Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week is a seven-day (October 13-19, 2013) celebration of the local fashion retail and design community produced by the Park Avenue Merchants Association and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.  Each fall, downtown Winter Park is transformed into a fashionista’s paradise, complete with trunk shows, designer meet-and-greets, exclusive sales and VIP parties hosted by the boutiques and salons of Park Avenue and Hannibal Square.  The grand finale is a spectacular runway show featuring the latest apparel and accessories.  For additional information visit  www.ParkAvenueFashionWeek.com.

The Park Avenue Merchant Association, a committee of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, represents 100 merchants and non-retail businesses in an effort to ensure positive growth and development of the Park Avenue business district.  Learn more at www.ExperienceParkAvenue.com.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce represents more than 800 businesses, community organizations and individuals in an effort to develop, promote and sustain a vital, thriving business climate throughout the community and to initiate, support and enhance the civic, educational and economic well-being of the area.  For more information, visit www.winterpark.org.

Winter Park Autumn Art Festival Award Winners 2012

 Winter Park Autumn Art Awards Florida Artists $16,000 !

The 39th Annual Autumn Art Festival presented by Florida Blue and Subaru awarded more than $16,000 to Florida artists participating in the two-day festival.  Among the talented artists honored, Phil Parker from Flagler Beach was selected as Best in Show for his sculpture work.

“The artists participating in this year’s festival have a tremendous amount of talent and we are pleased to recognize their works,” said Patrick Chapin, President/CEO of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, which organized and hosted the festival.

 The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is the only juried fine art festival with the tradition of featuring Florida artists exclusively.  From over 350 applications, 150 of outstanding artists were selected to display their work in eight different categories, including ceramics, drawings and graphics, fiber, fine crafts, jewelry, painting, photography and sculpture.


2012 Best of Show
Phil Parker

Award of Excellence
Su Griggs Allen

Morse Museum Award
Nicholas Ruhlman

Awards of Distinction
Charles Hazelaar
George Rhodes
Marilyn Vaillancourt

Awards of Merit
Gregory Strachov
Janet O’Rourke
Katherine Mathisen
Patrick Dragon
Barrie Harding
Michael Nelson
B. Corey Johnson
Ummarid “Tony” Eitharong

Awards of Honor
Bill & Jon Slade
Michael Weber
R. Alexander
Don Carter
Cheryl Mackey Smith
David Hunter
Larry Paulsen
Tim Peters

Judges Selections
Allan Teger
Henry & Amy Gernhardt
Randall Smith
Tim Ludwig
Vadim Malkin
David Wilson
Bonnie Eastwood
Ynon Mabat
Dominique Williams

More details here




Winter Park “Wine & Dine”

Invite via http://www.winterparkannual.com:

Join us for a night of great food, wine and dessert at the Winter Park Farmers Market. Orlando’s best restaurants are bringing their best entrées, appetizers, and desserts. Whether you are taking your significant other, a first date, with the family or networking, this environment is what you are looking for.

Winter Park Wine and Dine is an indoor and outdoor event and will not be postponed, and there are no “Rain Checks”.

Click below to buy your ticket. If you want to register your restaurant for the event, sign up using our registration form here.

More details @ www.winterparkannual.com

Winter Park Public Library Books and Cooks: Feast On A Lively Panel

We love Winter Park and all the great things in it! Wanted to be sure you knew about this great event!!!!

Feast on a lively panel discussion moderated by renowned novelist Bob Morris and accompanied by Cask & Larder craft brews, signature cocktails, and fine wine.

(Get tickets now as it is likely to Sell Out!)

Star Panel featuring
Chef Norman Van Aken – Co-Author with son Justin of his latest book My Key West Kitchen

James & Julie Petrakis- Owners of the Ravenous Pig and the brand new Cask & Larder

Heather McPherson, Pam Brandon, and Katie Farmand – Co-Authors of Field to Fiest

Eileen Daspin – Author of The Manhattan Diet: Lose Weight While Living a Fabulous Life

Emily Ellyn – Retro Rad TV Chef from Food Network Star

Copies of all books will be available for purchase at the event!

Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center
1050 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park

More details and upcoming events: www.wppl.org/LamsonLeague


Overlooked in Winter Park