Letter from the Editor: One for the Road

The agony and ecstasy of Interstate 4.

It’s the season to give thanks for the many things that enrich our lives—family, friends, a home, good health, Interstate 4.

Wait, what?

Oh, just get off your high horsepower and show the much-maligned roadway a little love, will you? And give thanks that the I-4 Ultimate project is well past the halfway point.

That’s right—the good times have flown by. The I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project officially kicked off nearly four years ago—in February 2015—and completion is scheduled for late 2021. Before you know it, we’ll have “variably tolled’’ express lanes to make our commute easier (and pricier).

Until then, it’s amazing to note the elements of the engineering marvel disguised as a hot mess. The pillars that will eventually support the myriad ramps are particularly eye-catching, like monolithic monuments erected in honor of the gods. I thought more than once over the past year that it would be fascinating if someone could see I-4 and capture some of the elements at play as a work of art.

It turns out someone was doing just that. In this issue we present the vision of Steven Benson, an award-winning photography professor at Daytona State College, in a remarkable series of I-4 project images that combine the elements of earth, sky, water, metal and concrete. Benson, whose project is at three years and counting, shares his thoughts with writer Michael McLeod and, rest assured, you’ll see the venerable roadway in a completely new light.

Elsewhere in this issue, Tara Bradley Connell explores five dive bars—from Whiskey Lou’s to The Caboose—and how they achieved their level of cool. We look at nine apps that focus on wellness, from losing weight to getting a good night’s sleep. Joseph Hayes reviews Fig’s Prime, a restaurant whose chef demonstrates mastery of a variety of dishes, from steak to seafood. And Laura Anders Lee offers a moving memory about how her grandmother made Thanksgiving so special.

Finally, it’s time to submit our Women of the Year nominations, in which readers tell us about women making a positive impact on our community. And beginning in December, readers can help us select the best eateries in Central Florida as voting for our annual Dining Awards issue gets under way. Stay tuned. 


Categories: Column