Celebrating the best of 2016

TV Shows:

   “The Get Down” is a Netflix original series set in New York in the ‘70s.  The series follows a group of African American teenagers and is a fun and not terribly long series if you’re looking for something new to watch.

   “Speechless” follows the DiMeo family comprised of husband and wife Maya (Minnie Driver) and Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) and their three children JJ (Micah Fowler), Ray (Mason Cook) and Dylan (Kyla Kennedy). JJ, the oldest child, has cerebral palsy but despite cerebral palsy maintains a witty sense of humor. The DiMeo family moves frequently so that they can find a school that accommodates JJ’s needs. At the school, the family meets Kenneth, (Cedric Yarbrough) a groundskeeper who eventually works with JJ by helping him communicate with the world around him.

“Stranger Things” was by far my favorite T.V. series of 2016. The show is about a 12-year-old boy who goes missing in a small town in Indiana. As the investigation unfolds, family and friends of the boy find out that his disappearance is connected to secret government experiments and supernatural forces. This is the perfect binge-worthy show because the first season has only eight episodes.


If you’re a fan of animated movies that may just happen to be targeted for a younger crowd, then “Zootopia” was most likely your favorite movie of 2016.  With its cute yet sassy characters and major plot twists, it was hard for us to not love “Zootopia.” Apparently, the majority of people felt the same way about the movie, which earned 98% on “Rotten Tomatoes.”

   “Central Intelligence” is the perfect film for both action and comedy lovers. Kevin Hart plays Calvin Joyner, an amazing high school athlete who eventually becomes an accountant, and Dwayne Johnson plays Robbie Wheirdicht, a shy awkward student who eventually becomes a CIA agent. This movie follows the duo as they work together to save the world from a terrorist group who wants to sell satellite codes.

Breaking Golden Globes and Academy Award records by winning seven globes and being nominated for 14 Oscars, “La La Land” was my favorite movie of 2016. The film is about a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) who falls for a barista who is struggling to make her dream come true of becoming an actress (Emma Stone). Taking place in a city that is known for breaking hearts and dreams, better known as Los Angeles, this musical about everyday life explores which is more important: a once-in-a-lifetime love or the spotlight.


In summer 2016, Potterheads got the chance to find out what their favorite characters were up to, as well as to meet new characters in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”  Although it was a little difficult to read since it was in the form of a script, it was still worth the read.

Bruce Springsteen, one of the most well-known artists of our world, released his memoir in September titled “Born to Run.” Springsteen’s book focuses on everything from his first recordings to concerts with the E Street Band. Although it is a bit lengthy, I’d still recommend this book if you are eager to learn about one of the world’s most famous musicians.

After the unexpected loss of Carrie Fisher, I decided to read her memoir entitled “The Princess Diarist,” which was released on Nov. 22 — just five weeks before her death. The book is based on the diaries she kept as a young woman when she filmed the series “Star Wars.” This was a very interesting read because you get to understand the drama and excitement of being a movie star.


In mid-November, the world was blessed with the release of Bruno Mars’s sixth album, “24K Magic.”  It had been four long years since the release of his last album and boy was it nice to hear more of his lively and funky songs.

Rihanna released her much anticipated eighth album, “Anti,” in late January. Rihanna’s past albums have been comprised of mostly dance music, but her work has shifted to mainly R&B mixed with pop. Hits include “Work” featuring Drake, “Needed Me” and “Love on the Brain.”

Being young in the music industry doesn’t limit you to create new and noteworthy music. Chance the Rapper redefined that when he released “Coloring Book” in May 2016. At only 23 years old, Chance released an album with several hit songs such as “No Problem,” “All We Got” and “Angels.” The album featured other famous artists like Kanye West, Lil Yachty, Young Thug, Future and Lil Wayne.


Square 1 Burgers opened its doors for their first location in Central Florida in early 2016.  Since then, the restaurant has made a name for itself with its all around good food and a sort of modern western vibe.  Perhaps even better than its burgers are its desserts, which include traditional-style milkshakes in not so traditional flavors.

Park Avenue Smoothie Cafe opened in December and is a great new addition to Winter Park. The menu is full of amazing smoothies, sandwiches and salads. Many people also enjoy their acai bowls which are smoothie bowls topped with fresh fruits and granola. Although the restaurant just opened, it will surely continue to attract customers.

   If you love Mexican food and can’t think of anywhere else to go to besides Chipotle, then Black Rooster is the new place for you. The restaurant opened in early 2016. I would recommend ordering one of their many delicious tacos. While eating their delicious guacamole, you can admire the vibrant artwork from local artists around Orlando.