Plus, the City Beautiful is getting a digital twin in the Metaverse and Florida Legislature is back in session.

🖼 Orlando's newest art exhibit is turning heads on I-4

Plus, the City Beautiful is getting a digital twin in the Metaverse and Florida Legislature is back in session.

By Katie Johnston

Happy Tuesday, folks.  

Have any of you been on I-4 recently and noticed the new art along the interstate? The “Corridor Project Billboard Exhibition” went live this month and showcases the impressive work of 30 local artists on massive billboards gracing both sides of the roadway. The exhibit is modeled after the successful “Billboard Creative” in Los Angeles and “Sonora 128” in Mexico City, and it was produced by the Downtown Arts District with the help of community sponsors. It was curated by Pat Greene, founder of “The Corridor Project”; he handpicked 11 artists prior to DAD doing an open call where they received more than 270 applications, and ultimately whittled them down to 19 picks. 

"When Pat approached us with the idea, we saw it as an excellent way for the Downtown Arts District to provide more opportunities for Orlando-based artists and bring the art directly to the community," says Barbara Hartley, Executive Director of DAD.

You can experience the digital billboards at their various locations for the next four weeks — click right here to learn where to find them. And good news — the artwork will rotate, increasing your chances of spotting them all.

Curator Pat Greene says, “I’m imagining a scenario of a car full of people driving from I-4 to I-95 to some cosmopolitan city up north, and collectively saying, 'that was one of the best art shows I’ve seen."”

Head to the website to read the names of all 30 featured artists and mark your calendars for Jan. 20 for an opening night reception at CityArts. Register here

From here, you've got five minutes of reading ahead to get you all caught up on today's headlines.


Speaking of art, did any of you check out opening night of the “Physique” exhibit at College Park Gallery over the weekend? Lots of big-name Orlando artists have their work on display now through Feb. 19 at College Park Gallery. 📸: @nakedsushimike | Wanna see your photo here? Tag either #pulptown or @pulptown on Instagram to be featured as our IG of the Day!

What Orlando is talking about

💻 Orlando is getting a digital twin in the Metaverse. Orlando Economic Partnership has hired a firm to develop said digital version of Orlando, making it the first of its kind in the country. The Metaverse is already seeing big names like NASA, Disney, Anheuser-Busch, and more big companies creating digital versions of themselves and people are buying up digital real estate — their homes, shops, concert venues, the likes. Get the full scoop at the link. 👉(Bungalower

🎢 The Orlando SlingShot and Orlando FreeFall are now open at ICON Park, officially making the entertainment complex the “Land of the Giants” with three of the world’s tallest attractions. The Slingshot is 300 feet tall and launches riders 450 feet straight up into the sky, reaching speeds of up to 100 mph, while the FreeFall stands at 430 feet tall, and rotates riders around the gigantic tower and high into the skyline before dropping nearly 400 feet at up to 75 mph. Um, let us know if you go. 🙀(Orlando Slingshot / ICON Park)

🎟 Not to be outdone, Disney World just unveiled its latest Florida resident ticket deal — the Disney Weekday Magic Ticket. It’s valid weekdays starting today through April 7, and the two-day ticket will set you back $149, while the three- and four-day ones will cost you an additional $30 - $50. (News 13

  • Related: Speaking of Disney, an Olympic hopeful and Denver native broke records this past weekend at the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend races when she took home the gold in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon races, making her the first person to do so in the races’ 29-year history. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to run 48.6 miles in a year. 🙃

😷 Florida broke another record for new COVID-19 cases this weekend. According to News 6, the state reported more than 125,000 new cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past weekend. Per an article from the Miami Herald, this number signifies “the largest multi-day increase of newly reported cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.” WESH reported on Monday that almost 70% of people near an Altamonte Springs Sewer Service Area have COVID-19 based on recent samples collected, which is on par with what UF scientists recently predicted. Meanwhile, the Biden administration announced yesterday that private health insurers will soon be required to cover at-home COVID-19 testing kits. These stories and more can be found right here. ➡️ (WKMG / WESH / Orlando Weekly / Orlando Sentinel)

  • Related: It’s been an especially tough two years, hasn’t it? According to this article by The New York Times, “Globally, symptoms of anxiety and depression have doubled during the pandemic.” Here’s a helpful Reddit thread I stumbled across of psychologists and therapists in the Orlando area who are taking new patients. I hope it helps. 

📰 State Rep. Geraldine Thompson has introduced a new bill that would offer Groveland Four descendants scholarships and business loans. Ernest Thomas, Samuel Shepard, Walter Irvin, and Charles Greenlee were wrongly accused of raping a white woman in Lake County in 1949 and exonerated this past year after previously being posthumously pardoned. Thompson said, “Instead of a pot of money, reparations can come in the form of scholarships.”  The bill is set to allow an annual amount of $6,100 for up to 50 students per year, with descendants of the Groveland Four being first on the list. The state legislature convenes today, but Thompson says the bill still needs to be assigned to a committee before it can be voted on in the House and Senate. (WKMG)

  • Related: What issues will be on the agenda for the planned 60-day session? Writing the state’s massive budget, the redistricting and redrawing of Florida’s political maps, and several other hot button topics the Associated Press laid out here on 90.7 WMFE.

🎯 Wanna play a game?


Help us help you #livelikeyoulivehere by joining our Pulptown+ member community. (📸: @pulptown)

How’s your City Beautiful knowledge?

Today our Pulptown+ members are playing an exclusive round of trivia in their newsletters. 

Here's how it works: Today we shared an Orlando-themed trivia question with our members and asked them to share their best guesses for answers. On Friday, we’ll reveal the truth and shout out the folks who know this city best.

Put your not-so-useless local knowledge to the test, and join us as a Pulptown+ member today.

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☮️ Learn the ins and outs of meditation and smudging 101 in this pop-up workshop (Ivanhoe)

🌳 Wanna protect our trees? Tune in to this online session to help determine what's next for Orange County's tree ordinance Online)

🎟 See Orlando Ballet’s dancers perform up-close-and-personal at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre (Loch Haven Park)


🍿See "The Tragedy of Macbeth" in its final week at the Enzian thru Thursday, Jan. 20 (Maitland)

🎶 Go back in time to the early 2000s with this concert by Marc Broussard happening at Tuffy's Music Box (Sanford)

🌱 Vegan this, vegan that — shop local vegan vendors at this weekly pop-up market outside The Veranda (Thornton Park)

🗣Learn more about and hear from Orlando's Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome (Online)


🍷 Sip wine and stroll through the neighborhood while shopping local vendors and supporting local biz (Thornton Park)

🖼 Snag your tickets now to see the Frida-Kahlo inspired art show pop-up happening at Leu Gardens Thursday and Friday (Audubon Park)

🍿Take it back to your childhood if you're a geriatric millennial and watch "Flight of the Navigator" on the big screen once again (Winter Park)

🍿Calling all 80s-babies: Watch "The Flight of the Navigator" on the big screen in Central Park (Winter Park)


🎶 Head to the Dr. Phillips Center for the grand opening weekend of Steinmetz Hall thru Saturday (Downtown)

🍷 Enjoy a grilled cheese, good wine, and local music at Swirlery Wine Bar (SoDo)

🍿Pack a chair and head to Ivanhoe Park Brewing for this week's Brew and View featuring "Jumanji" (Ivanhoe)

Promotion from Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

🎤 Music of Journey & Queen

An outdoor musical celebration at The Springs Community in Longwood.

Grab tickets

One more thing…

One of the bigger headlines over the weekend was the passing of Bob Saget. “America’s dad” was in town promoting his comedy tour where he apparently put on an incredible performance Friday night at the Hard Rock then did another show in Jacksonville Saturday night before returning to his Orlando hotel room. He expressed his thanks to his Florida fans for the two nights in his last Instagram post and went to sleep, then never woke up. The “Full House” cast has brought me to tears with their heartfelt posts and the one thing they’ve implored everyone to do is to hug the people you love. On the off chance that my dad, mom, Big Momma, sisters, and brother are reading this, just wanted to say I’d turn back 1,000 clocks to watch an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” from the living room floor with all of you again, and you can bet I’d be hugging each of you if Alabama were any closer to Florida.

Also, hug ‘em if you got ‘em, folks. 

‘Til tomorrow. 

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown

P.S. Raise your hand if you’ve already listened to the latest episode of 15 Minutes in Pulptown? Okay, now put it down before anyone notices. Thank you to those that have, but if you haven’t, give it a go here wouldya?  

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