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Plus, good news for Florida's LGBTQ+ community.
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🌭 Is Portillo's the real Hot Dog Heaven?

Plus, good news for Florida's LGBTQ+ community.

It’s Thursday, y’all — let’s start with some good news, shall we? 

Yesterday was a big day for Florida’s LGBTQ+ community. The state agency that enforces civil rights protections announced its intent to fully implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. For context, that landmark case decided that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is unconstitutional.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) issued a formal notice yesterday that it would investigate claims of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, affirming that prejudice in employment, housing, and public accommodations because of one's sexual orientation and gender identity has no place in the Sunshine State.

As executive director of Equality Florida Nadine Smith put it, this means that “Any LGBTQ person anywhere in Florida who experiences discrimination now has a path to pursue justice.”

Greetings from the City Beautiful. 📸: @daniel.j.downer | 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 

COVID-19-sniffing dogs are currently greeting fans at Miami Heat games in South Florida. And a professor from Florida International University says it shouldn’t be long until we can expect to see the virus-detecting canines here

Dr. Kenneth Furton said FIU has been training dogs to detect the coronavirus for the last six months, and the pups have an impressive 90% accuracy rate for sniffing COVID out. The teaching process includes taking used masks from local hospitals and training the dogs to pick up any scents that alert them of the virus. 

Furton also said that while a rapid test can get you results in 45 minutes or so, these super-sleuthing pups can return results in seconds. 

Dogs are the best. Amirite... or am I right? 

In other news… 

📝 Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wants you to attend this year’s community summit. The annual event typically draws 300 people from around town who spend a day in workshops, networking and learning about different city programs. The city then takes your valuable insight and (hopefully) applies it to plans for the future. The event is, you guessed it, virtual this year. It costs $15 to participate, although it’s only $10 if you sign up before Feb. 19. (WFTV)

🗣 Gov. Ron DeSantis has joined several other lawmakers in calling for a limit to big tech’s censorship abilities. DeSantis is suggesting daily fines of up to $100,000 and has referenced Big Tech feeling more like Big Brother, specifically citing Amazon’s removal of Parler and Twitter’s removal of former President Trump, following the Jan. 6 insurrection.  The Florida House Majority Office announced that it was currently still developing its “Transparency in Technology Act”. (Orlando Weekly, WESH

🚫 The city of Winter Park has canceled its socially distanced Festivities Weekends through March due to rising COVID-19 numbers. City officials said they would re-evaluate whether it’s safe to host again in April. (ClickOrlando)

📅 It’s official — you can now take Lulu home with you. Well, sorta. Thornton Park’s most beloved pinup cat now has 12 months dedicated just to him in a custom calendar. Pick up your copy at The Falcon Bar and take comfort knowing that you’re also supporting Liberation Cat House with your purchase. (Bungalower)  

🎬 Oprah Winfrey Network’s hit television show “David Makes Man” is filming its second season in Orlando. If you live in Lake Eola Heights, you’re probably getting used to the yellow signs, camera crews, and street closures by now. Looks like the excitement will all be over late tomorrow night. (Bungalower)  

In COVID-19 news...

💉 Orange County Government and AdventHealth have launched an initiative to provide more than 3,000 COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers with direct patient contact, regardless of health system affiliation. Vaccines will be distributed by appointment only on Saturday at AdventHealth’s community vaccination site near the airport. Registration is required: ocfl.net/vaccine as is proof of health care employment. (Orange County on Facebook

📻 Real talk

This is like our version of a public radio pledge drive

But seriously, we don’t receive federal grants. We don’t have a billionaire owner. What we do have is all of you, being a part of this wild experiment to make our city feel more and more like home. 

We’re a small startup with big goals. And we’re asking you to support our work with a Pulptown+ membership.

If you can swing $8 a month or $80 a year to keep us around for the long haul, we promise to show up for you day in and day out, repaying you in honest reporting, exclusive members-only content, and rounds of Orlando trivia and random games of I Spy.

So whaddya say? Wanna make it Pulptown official?

Things to do

Submit your events to our calendar.

Today

🥦 Venture out on a plant-based tour of one of Orlando's favorite local neighborhoods ("Almond" Milk District)

🎶 Kaleigh Baker is back at Lil Indies but you'll need to get there early — seats are limited (Mills 50)

🖼 Head to Orlando Museum of Art for 1st Thursdays, exploring the African diaspora (Loch Haven Park)

🎶 Tap your feet to the Bloody Jug Band at the outdoor Front Porch Series and eat some Rockstar Lobster while you're there (Milk District)

Tomorrow

🗣 Tune into the Orange County History Center's virtual discussion on preserving the Black Lives Matter Movement (Online)

🍿 Pack a picnic and make it a movie night at Leu Gardens (Mills 50/Audubon Park)

Saturday

🎵 Groove to the beats of drummer, composer, and now band leader and singer, Gerald Law II, and his band The Clutch at Timucua Arts Foundation (SoDo/Online) (Downtown Orlando)

🎭 Go "Down the Rabbit Hole" at Mead Botanical Gardens now through March 14 (Winter Park)

🎟 Head to Virginia Drive for a night of music, food, boozing, and supporting local businesses (Ivanhoe)

🌻 Drive to Southern Hill Farms for sunflower and strawberry pickin' (Clermont)

☮️ Spend your morning in savasana in Mead Botanical Gardens (Winter Park)

♻️ Recycle your old electronics and textiles at Festival Park (Colonialtown)

Sunday

🍿 Watch the beloved play, "Kinky Boots" on the big screen at the Enzian (Maitland)

😍 Shop this Galentines Girl Power Pop-Up happening over at Se7en Bites (Milk District)

🎵 Listen to Zoe McCray perform “Blackbird”, a full recital named after the famous song penned by Sir Paul McCartney in-person and virtual options available (SoDo/Online) (Orlando)

🏈 Watch the Super Bowl on the big screen outdoors at Ivanhoe Park Brewing (Ivanhoe)

🏈 Root on your favorite team to a win with barbecue and beer at Orlando Brewing (SoDo)

🎭 Enjoy the opera over Sunday brunch on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center (Downtown)

☮️ Meet at Ivanhoe Park Brewing for a morning yoga sesh and cold beer (Ivanhoe)

One more thing

Today’s your last day to get Portillo’s until its new brick-and-mortar opens near Disney in March. That is, if Chicago dogs are your thing. And honestly, I’m curious: Is Portillo’s really the best hot dog out there? We have a Hot Dog Heaven for crying out loud. Let me know your take here. (For what it's worth, making this quiz brought me THE most joy last night so you might really want to peep it. 😉) 

That’s all for today, folks.

'Til tomorrow it is.

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown