I haven't made any friends in Florida yet!
1. My expectations for Florida were obliterated rather quickly upon arrival. I don't know why, but I just didn't expect it to be the typical southern state. That sounds really stupid, doesn't it?
2. I live in a county outside of Orlando... I guess that with these outlying areas - there are still families here who have been here for generation upon generation (depressingly similar to Virginia). They're suspicious of newcomers - younger newcomers, that is. I guess they're used to the retirees.
3. The friendliest people where I live are the retirees.
4. Metro Orlando is expanding - like all metro areas. I live in Eustis - an area that is reasonably accessible to Orlando metro (by DC standards, anyway), yet still pretty isolated. I guess you live as close as you can afford to - to the metro area - to your job. The poorer you are, the longer your commute. When you live so far from your job, your home life in the county is so different from the hustle and bustle and diversity and tone and attitude and utility of your work district. (My new boss is Muslim... and I'm somewhat ignorant but trying... but the day before we left for the holidays, I got to watch everybody who worked in and near our department stumble through their seasons greetings to my boss: Happy Holidays...er...um...if you celebrate. If not, enjoy your time off.)
5. I get here to Florida - to the Orlando area - and they've shattered their all time record for murders this year. There're more murders here than in Miami. Only Jacksonville has more - but Jax is way bigger.
6. The lakes are so poluted. There are signs next to the lake that warn you about killer amoebas and shit. Do not swim near the bottom. Wear earplugs. Wear eye protection. Even the cold water burns. It's all farm run off and industrial waste.
7. The one great poetry reading down here that I found, Speakeasy at Wills Pub on Mills Ave., hosted by Todd Caviness... it ended a few months after I got here.