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Pokémon Go captures Orlando’s heart and makes a brutal summer a little sweeter

On the go

by

I'm walking through Lake Eola Park this July afternoon, and, like most summer days after 3 p.m., it's raining.

It's a slight drizzle, but it's raining nonetheless. Last year, even a flurry like this would send pedestrians scrambling into the restaurants and bars dotting Central Boulevard. This July's different. Dozens of teens and young adults stride through the mist, phones out, swiping at their screens.

"Do you know where's good to eat around here?" a young woman hoisting an umbrella asks. She and her boyfriend, whose eyes are fixed on his Samsung Galaxy, drove here from Kissimmee. They've heard that rare Pokémon would be roaming the park tonight. So have I.

"Looks like Dragonair's this way," the 20-something says, pointing at the Google Maps-like display on his phone. I open the app, and sure enough, that elusive dragon Pokémon is lounging by Lake Eola's red pagoda. "We've gotta go," he says.

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