What Orlando is talking about
🏡 Orlando’s Park Lake Highland neighborhood broke Niche’s list of the top 100 U.S. neighborhoods to live in. Niche is a review aggregator site that measures things like nightlife, neighborhood-friendliness, diversity, schools, and housing. Park Lake ranked highest for nightlife thanks to neighboring Mills 50; it landed at No. 97 on the list. (Orlando Weekly)
🍹 There’s a new tiki bar coming downtown in the old Joysticks location. And it’s not just any tiki bar: It’s a karaoke tropical bar with private rooms! Aloha Tropical is hosting a soft opening for family and friends tonight as well as a VIP-only experience through the weekend, but walk-ins are welcome if you’re fine with waiting. (Bungalower)
🏀 The UCF Women’s Basketball team secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament earlier this week, coming in hot as the 10-seed in the Alamo region. It’s the highest seed the team’s ever had and they’ll face off against Northwestern Monday at 4 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas. Hey! Go Knights! (UCF)
🎓 Remember that controversial bill proposing limits on would-be college students’ access to the Florida Bright Futures scholarship program? It’s advancing through the state legislature. The proposal by Republican state Sen. Dennis Baxley of Ocala would only allow students majoring in subjects deemed "employable" by the state to receive scholarship funds. (Orlando Sentinel)
- Related: While I didn’t personally benefit from Bright Futures (I’m from Alabama), many of my dear friends did. I’m inviting all readers who care about affordable access to education to visit SaveBrightFutures.org, a website, and campaign set up by local high school students opposing the bill.
👙Rock Springs Run is open again. The popular tubing and swimming watering hole at Kelly Park has been closed since last summer because of the pandemic, but Orange County Parks and Rec says they’ve since learned how to ensure proper COVID-19 protocols and feel comfortable about reopening to the public. With that said, the park reached capacity early yesterday morning. (Orlando Weekly)
🏖 Some spring breakers in nearby St. Pete are being rewarded with $25 gift cards for following COVID-19 safety protocols. So far, Pinellas County has handed out 23,000 gift cards to people who are wearing masks, social distancing and agree to sign a pledge to keep it up. (Fox 35)