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Spotlight

Spotlight: Mrs. Potato


I wonder what Mrs. Potato’s maiden name was. Does she call her kids tots? I’m also wondering if Mrs. Potato is Brazilian or Swiss? The Mrs. P in question has a small potatoria in south Orlando in the vicinity of Metro West. True to the name, Mrs. Potato serves mainly spuds, supplemented by a variety of meats, cheeses or combinations thereof. You can get them in the form of a boring, dull baked potato, or you can have the rosti type, which the website touts as “the original Brazilian style.” But technically speaking, rosti potatoes originated in Switzerland. If you saw them, however, you might think they were the product of Mel’s Diner, as they are essentially hash browns. Well, …
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Photo by Monivette Cordeiro, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

With the influx of Puerto Ricans fleeing Hurricane Maria’s wreckage, Central Florida’s affordable housing becomes a scarce resource


Ana Mieles wants to be buried in Puerto Rico. She tells her children this when she visits them every few months on the mainland. But Hurricane Maria destroyed her home. Now she’s staying with a daughter in Orlando, just one of thousands fleeing the wreckage. Like Mieles, many are staying with their families for now. Others, though, may need more permanent, affordable housing – a scarce resource in Central Florida. The Metro Orlando area ranks third in the nation for its lack of rental housing within reach for extremely low-income residents, with just 18 affordable units available for every 100 needy families. But state leaders estimate that about 100,000 Puerto Ricans will migrate to Florida in the coming months. Orange …
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Image: The Hound of the Baskervilles, orlandoshakes.org
The Daily City

Spotlight: Orlando Shakes, Orlando Film Fest, Evita and Steampunks


Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson journey to the English countryside to investigate the mysterious case of the Baskerville family in the stage play The Hound of the Baskervilles all weekend at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. For info go to orlandoshakes.org. A weekend long celebration of independent cinema, with screenings, Q&A’s, workshops, parties and more will take place during the Orlando Film Festival all weekend long at the Cobb Plaza Cinema Cafe downtown. For details and tickets go to orlandofilmfest.com. Eva Perón, who left her small, provincial town at age 15 and eventually became the First Lady of Argentina then Andrew Lloyd Webber forced Patti Lupone to sing the difficult score 8 times a week. She survived and went on to …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: The Halal Guys


If you’ve ever been to New York City and wandered around the around the area of 6th Avenue and West 53rd Street — and as a tourist, there’s a pretty good chance you have since it’s in the area of Rockefeller Center and the corner that the New York Hilton is on — you’ve undoubtedly seen an omnipresent food stand there where meats and onions are cooked on a griddle day and night and mounded in a corner of the hot surface awaiting customers. You may have even ordered a pita sandwich there. I did, many, many years ago, on one of my early visits to the city, while attending a convention, at the Hilton, in fact, in the days …
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Image: Disney, Wikimedia Commons
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Disney Employees Negotiate for a Wage Increase


Every paycheck Diana Geary gets from her $11.50-an-hour job as a ride operator at Animal Kingdom, the 41-year-old asks herself several important questions: How will she buy groceries? Can she split up this invoice she can’t afford into monthly payments? And who do does she have to call to get that bill pushed back? Like many hospitality workers who toil away for low wages in Central Florida’s tourism economy, Geary can’t afford much on her salary. She and her husband rent with her parents to make it work, though some of her co-workers have it worse – they live in cheap motels behind Disney on U.S. Highway 192 or borrow money from family for basic needs. Geary’s union Unite Here! …
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Spotlight

Spotlight: Orlando Meats


I pretty much knew what I wanted as soon as I scanned the small menu board over the ordering counter at Orlando Meats, a small butchery on Virginia Drive. As someone who always orders his burgers medium rare, I couldn’t pass up one whose entry on the menu actually reads “Medium-rare Burger.”
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Image: Willem Dafoe and Brooklynn Prince in the film “The Florida Project”.
The Daily City

Spotlight: The Florida Project, Cake Fair, Skunk Show and Mac & Cheese Cook-Off


The Florida Project is the movie every local needs to see. I know I’m typically tee-hee goofy guy launch your face off hysterical why-didn’t-he-go-to-Broadway Mark. But for this, I am dead serious.  It’s a known fact that the theme parks pay poorly and our City and County have a terrible record of getting developers to provide affordable housing. This film shows the people this system affects, the ones living in hotels on 192. It’s called The Florida Project and its showing all weekend at Enzian Theatre. For tickets go to enzian.org. The largest trade and consumer show in North and South America dedicated to cake is taking place all weekend at the convention center. Go to cakefair.com to get tickets …
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Photo by Monivette Cordeiro,  Darcel Stevens, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

By night, Orlando’s drag queens entertain the masses. By day, they lead the fight for LGBTQ rights


By now, the majority of America knows the difference between being told, “Shanté, you stay,” and the heartbreak of “Sashay away.” Drag has been around for centuries, but no one can deny the Emmy award-winning show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, has managed to overwrite the mischaracterization of drag queens as deviants, replacing it with the real-life dreams of queer performers trying to artistically combine the perfect lashes, wig and glittery gown into an iconic look for the gods. But drag has always been about more than just lip-sync performances, expensive makeup palettes and dazzling costumes. For decades, drag activists have been at the forefront of the LGBTQ liberation movement – their eye-catching outfits make the protest march behind them hard to …
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