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17 hate letters and poems to The City Beautiful

Some choice words for things that make us cringe



Dear people with pets,
Puppies and kittens are cute,
But please stop giving them the boot
When they get old or sick,
Or they don't learn that trick,
Or they just get too big for your liking.
Our shelters are packed
With your abandoned pets.
– Erin Sullivan, editor, Orlando Weekly (and longtime animal rescue volunteer)

I loathe Orlando haters. We've all heard someone say, "(Insert city here) is so much better than Orlando." To understand and appreciate Central Florida, you have to really explore it. And if you're willing to look – and get involved in the community – Orlando is wonderful.
– Jon Busdeker, WESH-2/Orlando My Way reporter

Dear downtown Orlando,
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Fix your parking situation
Or I'll fling poo.
– Monivette Cordeiro, staff writer, Orlando Weekly

Dear Winter Park, your cobblestone streets
Look charming, but I feel my seats
Being shaken off my auto's frame
And I'm afraid you bear the blame.
My front-end alignment is going downhill –
I'll be sending you my mechanic's bill.
Happy Valentine's Day!
– Jessica Bryce Young, arts and culture editor, Orlando Weekly

Dear I-4 Traffic,
I'm afraid our love has turned sour.
You lose my heart when you move only four miles an hour.
– Deanna Ferrante, intern, Orlando Weekly

A haiku to Sunrail rolling through downtown Orlando:
Barriers drop down
Your whistles pierce the eardrums
Noisy, harsh, painful.
– Erin Sullivan, editor, Orlando Weekly

To the person trying to make a left turn despite a clearly posted "No Left Turn" sign, causing traffic to back up down Mills Avenue: Die, die, die. Die in a fire. Die from the plague. Die from asphyxiation since your head is obviously stuck up your own ass. I don't care how you do it. Just die.
– Thad McCollum calendar editor, Orlando Weekly

I think that Orlando is a city of beautiful architecture, so I abhor the demise of buildings created by folks that gave us our beginning.
– Terri Binion, local musician whose new album, The Day After the Night Before, comes out on March 25

Big corporate lobbyists
Run "our" Orange County 
– Stephanie Porta, director, Organize Now and Florida Institute for Reform & Empowerment

Dear High Rise Developers,
You tear down old houses and historic neighborhoods where families might have made homes. You plant gleaming weeds that sit empty, unable to fetch the high prices you insist upon. Who are these gilded boxes in the sky for? Let's focus on developing the character and beauty of our neighborhoods instead of wiping them clean in favor of sterile corporate excuses for community. You have my unlimited disdain.
– Shelby Sloan, production manager, Orlando Weekly

Things I hate about Orlando:
The weather, I-Drive and I-4, rednecks and shitty pizza.
– Erin Nolan, local musician and graphic designer (

"Haiku for Bars Lost"
Strip mall foundations:
Concrete, bad decisions, smoke
Never extinguished.
– Ryan Rivas, local author and publisher of Burrow Press

"Haiku for Parking Lots Lost"
Fate is in your name.
Density is destiny.
Suburbanites weep.
– Ryan Rivas, local author and publisher of Burrow Press

Republicans are red.
Democrats are blue.
Looking at this City Council and County Commission,
I think I must be colorblind.
– Timothy Murray, local musician and member of the band Moon Jelly, occasional contributor to Orlando Weekly

Things I hate: Legislators that don't listen to their constituents and people that don't use their turn signal.
– Eric Rollings, Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor 4

A limerick
RooshV had listed Orlando
As a rallying point for his rape-bros,
But cancelled from fright 
Of women at night.
Irony sure is a bitch, tho.
– Anonymous

I hate that people are still stopping their cars on the train tracks and then people blame SunRail for hitting those d-bags. 

I hate that the recent schtick for Orlando's anti-homelessness campaign is on veterans. We have to start somewhere, but nobody is mentioning the other 75 percent of the homeless people in our town.  

I hate that Walgreens, instead of a giant indoor farmers market, is moving into a historic downtown building. 

I hate businesses that don't pick up litter from around their shops. It's such a simple daily routine that shows that they care about their neighborhood and their guests. Trash in your parking lot makes your restaurant and/or bar look trashy. Also, stop selling things in Styrofoam, it's 2016.

I hate that nobody is trying to solve the feral cat problem.

 I am kind of loathing our Urbanized Disturbed Land zoning. Basically all of Orlando is exempt from having to have Environmental Assessments done before new construction projects break ground. There is a nesting pair of eagles in Ivanhoe Village in the middle of a construction zone that the city doesn't have to force the developer to report. Instead the city relies on them to do the right thing and report the birds to the proper authorities. I hate that.

 I hate that Main Street programs are being used as a delivery service for gentrification. The program needs a major overhaul. They aren't fully funded, so the directors spend the majority of their time having fundraisers to pay their salaries or to hang banners rather than directing their energies to strengthening and building the core of our downtown neighborhoods. I'm afraid that we'll see more developments like Mills Park and the Yard at Ivanhoe moving into areas like Audubon Park because these Main Street groups are too busy just trying to stay open rather than build holistically healthy communities.
– Brendan O'Connnor, editor,

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Related: 13 love letters to the City Beautiful


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