About Michael W Freeman

Michael W. Freeman is a veteran journalist, playwright and author. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, he has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael has worked for some of Florida's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel. His original plays have draw strong audiences at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He is the author of the novels "Bloody Rabbit" and "Koby's New Home."

Downtown Orlando parking: Expect more alerts in the future

Downtown Orlando parking

Popular entertainment venues like the Amway Center bring thousands of people to downtown Orlando.

ORLANDO – So what’s happening with parking in downtown Orlando?

Never an easy place to find street parking near the most popular venues (Lake Eola Park, the Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Camping World Stadium), the loss of some parking areas to the ongoing I-4 Ultimate Improvement project on that highway has made a rough situation even worse.

And combine that with the fact that more and more events are going on in downtown these days – yes, it truly is becoming a very happening place – that suddenly a place to park is becoming the hottest commodity of all. Is it time for Orlando to invest in major downtown parking venues before the crowds get fed up and go elsewhere?

It’s worth noting that the office of Mayor Buddy Dyer now issues cautionary notices to residents and visitors alike on weekends when the activities are booming. Such is the case with Saturday. Continue reading

Roman Polanski’s Holocaust cinema

Roman Polanski's Holocaust cinema

In this scene from Roman Polanski’s film “The Tenant,” Trelkovsky wears concentration camp-like pajamas on the stairs of his apartment building.

On the stairs, the shadows from the railing look eerily like the bars in a prison cell.

Trelkovsky is carrying a waste basket of trash, while wearing a set of pajamas that look similar to what Jews wore in the concentration camps.

Trelkovsky, a Polish Jew living in France, has taken a tiny two-room apartment in Paris, which became vacant after the previous tenant, a young woman named Simone Choule, threw herself out the window. Trelkovsky desperately needs the apartment, and now he’s increasingly paranoid about losing it.

His mostly elderly neighbors complain constantly about noise. After a housewarming party that draws harsh complaints from neighbors and the landlord alike, Trelkovsky is sneaking down the stairs to get rid of the trash that had piled up during the party. On the way down, he spills some of it on the stairs. But when he comes back to retrieve it, the trash is gone … mysteriously.

Director Roman Polanski’s film “The Tenant,” in which the director himself played the role of Trelkovsky, was made in 1976 and is set in Paris during the 1970s. Continue reading

Holocaust Center will host production of opera performed in a concentration camp

In recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center is hosting a special presentation of an opera once performed in a concentration camp.

MAITLAND – It started on Nov. 9 1938. In a night of unspeakable horror, violence, and destruction, Germany carried out a pogrom against its Jewish residents, where Jews were beaten, buildings were destroyed by sledgehammers, and Synagogues were set on fire.

It came to be known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, after the haunting images of the shards of broken glass that littered the streets from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues that got smashed.

This horrifying night is also seen by many historians as the start of the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler’s campaign to murder Europe’s Jewish population.

Every year in November, the Holocaust Memorial and Resource Education Center in Maitland holds a community commemoration of Kristallnacht at the Rosen Jewish Community Center, during which the community remembers the violent pogroms against the Jewish communities in Germany and Austria on Nov. 9-10 1938, in the hope that by always remembering, the world will never forget, or repeat, this tragedy.

This year, noted Pam Kancher, the Center’s executive director, there is a unique program being planned. Continue reading

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