Hi there, neighbors.
Have you ever read something you didn’t understand but didn’t ask for clarification because you felt dumb asking?
I asked my friend Chad Walsh, a freelance writer I’ve worked with for years, to tackle a 12-month assignment writing feature articles about the neighborhoods we cover in Central Florida Monthly’s distribution area.
And, right out of the gate—in the fifth paragraph of his very first article, Living in Lake Nona—he offered this stumper:
“Planned communities are nothing new, but Lake Nona isn’t some Levittown, after all.”
Fortunately for me, my friend and long-time editor Chris Young asked the question that escaped me: “I don’t get the reference, Chad. What does that mean?”
And I’m so glad he did because the reference is profound.
Levittown was the postwar housing project in New York credited as the catalyst for our country’s cookie-cutter approach to planned development. It’s a staple in urban history and I hope you’ll enjoy learning about it as much as I did. Everything from its home manufacturing process (homes assembled in 26 minutes!) to its lack of diversity (yup, 100 percent white) to the necessity to commute elsewhere for work (80 percent of its male residents commuted to Manhattan) has permeated our suburban housing culture.
Of course, times have changed, and today’s suburbs have also changed, but most haven’t lost the feel of Anytown, USA. And that makes them easy to dismiss.
“…but Lake Nona isn’t some Levittown, after all.”
Unlike Levittown, Lake Nona’s homes and neighborhood infrastructure are crafted with care and intention, it’s populated with residents from around the globe, and it has a health and sciences cluster called Medical City where many residents work.
In this month’s feature story, Living in Lake Nona, you’ll discover the secret sauce of this community and what makes living and working here anything but ordinary.
And over the next 12 months, we’ll explore 11 other neighboring communities and find out what makes them special.
I’ve always been of the opinion that every community offers something worth celebrating and, if you don’t see it, you’re not being curious enough and asking the right questions—like “What’s Levittown?”
When you’re curious, you always discover something new. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions, the answers may delight you.
Stay curious, my friends.
Read the Issue
Have feedback? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Send us an email or connect with us on social media.