11 Questions with Mark Baratelli from The Daily City in Orlando, FL

You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That's what 11 Questions is for. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. Let’s get started!

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For years  now I've followed Mark Baratelli and what he's been doing at The Daily City. I was at his first Food Truck Bazar and have been featured on his website (here). He's a great advocate for Orlando who's presence has made this city better and he's one funny dude. If you want to be informed about what's going on in Central Florida, Mark is your guy.

Who do you look up to?

Ryan Seacrest, Perez Hilton, and the guy who started yelp. They made opportunity for themselves.

Do you have a favorite book?

I want my Mom to write a book about her life. I think it would be a best seller and become a movie.

Favorite place to eat in Orlando?

Eating raisin bran while sitting on my couch watching Shark Tank. I am a wannabe Shark!

What gives you inspiration?

All of the artists involved in TheDailyCity.com Cardboard Art Festival, the couple that owns The Falcon and Mother Falcon, the owner of Rifle Paper, Shaina who just took over Urban ReThink. These are all people who do things very, very well. I love New York Magazine not just for the content, but for the layout. The experience of reading that magazine inspires me. The editors pack SO MUCH into one issue

If you had the chance to live in a different decade, what decade would you choose?

Any era that had hoop skirts in it. They were so huge.

What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career?

I really enjoy the act of telling people about stuff I am excited about: new stores, restaurants, products and people. TheDailyCity.com is like my own little “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” I’d like to be someone folks can come to to ask about this and that, recommendations. Like a concierge. But I’d need way more access to this town than I am being given now.

If I could just spend my days discovering, searching, learning about the new and noteworthy, then turning around and telling people about it online, in print, on tv, whatever, that would be my dream job. That is what I try to do with TheDailyCity.com.

Separately, the other facet of my company is events. I very much get a kick out of watching people gather in huge numbers. I now have an event, The Food Truck Bazaar, where people do that. I will never forget the first time I saw the two porta potties I had rented and paid for for an event. I saw them and thought, “You don’t see porta potties at events unless the events are big.” And here it was, my own event, and there were those porta potties! I shared the photo of them on Facebook. I think people either thought I was weird or they got it. But they probably thought I was weird. It was a very special moment for me.

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How do you balance your personal and professional life?

My job feels personal so it’s hard to separate. When I go to dinner with people, they know they have to not eat until I get a picture of their food. When I go somewhere with friends, they know at any moment I will pull out my camera and take photos of this or that. Stories are everywhere and when you find them, people have to be patient with me. Or they stop inviting me to hang out with them!

Is there anything that you haven’t done yet that you feel compelled to achieve in the future?

I’d like to have an event space of my own in which creative people could put on events, but was 100% for-profit.

If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?

Cat and a bunny. Best animal ever.

What are your other interests?

I’m a closet interior designer and I am obsessed with hotels. When I see a well-done lobby, I get so excited. Same with a good chair or chandelier. Ideas about space, surfaces, ceiling height, traffic flow, all interest me greatly. When you walk into a space done by someone who knows what they’re doing, it changes your whole being. Or at least mine.

What rejuvenates you?

This woman walked up to me after “The Food Truck Bazaar” one night, looked me square in the eye, and said “Thank you for bringing this to our community.” That gets me. I get so wrapped up in the business and the behind-the-scenes of this business, I forget that these events affect peoples’ lives. I am so grateful for those moments when someone tells me something like that lady tells me. It happens very, very rarely. But when it does, this flood of relaxation comes over me. Relief.

Have any additional questions for Mark? Make sure you leave them in the comments below and I'll make sure he answers them. Also, you should follow Mark on Twitter and Facebook, especially if you're in Orlando!