I’m not really a fan of Orlando. I don’t like theme parks. I don’t like strip malls. Orlando and the surrounding communities are, to me, little more than overpriced neighborhoods linked together by theme parks, strip malls, and toll roads. If I’m missing out on something superawesome about Orlando, please feel free to clue me in, but I’ve been here for a year and a half now and this is what the place seems like to me. I mean, you can drive from Orlando to Winter Park to Casselberry without any sign that you’ve gone from one community to another. It’s all strip malls and boring, identical, overpriced neighborhoods. You head west and you run up against the Disney nightmare. I am not a fan of Disney, theme parks, or crowds, so you can guess that I head west as seldom as possible. Luckily I live in East Orlando.
I’ve pretty much decided that unless I get offered something spectacular overseas, I’m going to stay in the US. Ideally, I’d like to stay in Florida – although I’ve been looking (and applying) at jobs in Georgia and Tennessee as well. Ideally, I’d like to get away from Orlando, as pretty much anywhere else in this state is more appealing. However, I want to keep my options open – especially since there are a lot of jobs in my field in this area.
Assuming that I get a full time job in the US, I am going to buy a house. I don’t like renting. I want to be able to paint my house funky colors and fill it full of cats. I also need a yard to put some of my mom’s dogs in so that she won’t have to deal with them anymore. There are properties in Orlando and the nearby communities that I could afford… although they’re not exactly in the best neighborhoods. (OBT, anyone? Hah.) I started thinking about communities within commuting distance, and ended up checking out Titusville online – and discovered that there’s a good bit of affordable real estate there. Now, I’ve only ever known one person who lived in Titusville, and he has since been arrested for child molestation. He also said the place sucked and was full of rednecks. All and all, it didn’t sound like the most likely of locations. But, I could afford to buy a place there, were I to get a job in the Orlando area.
So, today I decided to drive over there – both to see how long the drive really was (albeit I didn’t do it in rush hour traffic), to see how sucky it really was, and to see if the affordable houses were all in terrible neighborhoods. My thoughts on Titusville can be summed up by saying Titusville: Surprisingly Not Horrible. I expected it to suck, and it didn’t. Yeah, there was a bit of a redneck vibe… but I grew up in north Florida, and (despite my current location) am a legal resident of southeast Georgia. Redneck is relative. The waterfront areas were lovely, the town had some character, and the houses I looked at were in reasonably nice neighborhoods. I’m not sure how I feel about the commute – it was 40 minutes in Sunday afternoon traffic – but it’s doable. Anyway, this is all just silly conjecture at this point, as I have only applied to one job in Orlando so far, but it gave me something to do this afternoon when I should have been grading essays.
Anyhow, here are some shots of the waterfront area in Titusville: