People of O-Town

Alvia Alexander: A face behind Lake Eola’s swan boats


Seven years ago, Alvia Alexander came to Orlando with her son from the small island of Antigua to be with family. She worked an office job but felt drawn to the outdoors and the flexibility the swan boat-attendant job offered at Lake Eola. Alexander said despite the hardships that may come with the gig — like dealing with difficult customers […]

People of O-Town: Israel Nieves


When Israel Nieves visited Orlando for a convention about 15 years ago, he knew it was where he wanted to retire. Nieves is originally from Puerto Rico. “The place, to me, looked like Puerto Rico,” Nieves said. “It’s tropical. Puerto Rico is tropical.” According to the City of Camden, he was a council member in Camden, New Jersey for 16 […]

Brian Minkel

People of O-Town

Living on tips doesn’t bother him. He sees it as a way to earn instant gratification for his work. “I like the immediate satisfaction,” Brian Minkel said. “Someone who’s project-driven, they have to wait for that. Serving someone to help them have a better day is rewarding.” Minkel, 45, is a bartender at Burton’s Thornton Park and has lived in […]


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