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o c t o b e r 2 011 i s s u e n o. 8 8

Urbanite Project


Six visions for making Baltimore’s new east-west train line more than just a cheap ride

Special Feature




33 Valet your trash

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Greet friends under the iconic water tower

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Learn more by calling us at 443-322-7000 or online at 4  october 2011

this month

#88  October 2011

feature 34

departments 34

Follow the Red Line

By Rebecca Messner Unveiling the finalists of Urbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge about the cover:


Editor’s Note 9 What You’re Saying 13 What You’re Writing 19 Don’t Miss 21 The Goods —— baltimore observed

Illustration by Peter Yuill

25 Money Pit By Charles Cohen Baltimore’s floating museum requires endless upkeep.

27 Update 29 Extracurricular Activity 31 Voices

—— fiction 53 Saint Joan By Jen Michalski

—— 63

web extras

more online at VOICES



Getting an e-Ducation

food + drink 63 In the Hunt By Michelle Gienow

by Christianna McCausland The ups and downs of earning a degree online

Lessons from a tree stand, before sunup

An extended interview with Ed Glaeser

67 Dining Reviews 69 Wine & Spirits


on the air

Urbanite on The Marc Steiner Show, WEAA 88.9 FM October 10: Lester Spence on hip-hop and politics October 13: Baltimore’s floating museum, USS Constellation October 25: Urbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge Urbanite on The Signal, WYPR 88.1 FM, October 7 and 8: Lafayette Gilchrist on music and boxing

57 God’s House By Brennen Jensen Once a church and a synagogue, a Bolton Hill structure now feels like home.

higher ed



arts + culture 73 Explosive By Baynard Woods The volcanic sounds of Lafayette Gilchrist

75 Book 77 Visual Art 77 Theater

—— 79 The Scene —— 86 Eye to Eye

Urbanite #88  october 2011  5

publisher Tracy Ward general manager Jean Meconi

Core Sales Group specializes in the marketing, listing and selling of new and resale homes. With over 60 years of combined experience, we offer the total sales and marketing solution.

editor-in-chief Greg Hanscom assistant editor Rebecca Messner digital media editor Andrew Zaleski editor-at-large David Dudley online editors food/drink: Tracey Middlekauff arts/culture: Cara Ober proofreader Marianne Amoss



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contributing writers Michael Anft, Scott Carlson, Charles Cohen, Michael Corbin, Heather Dewar, Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, Mat Edelson, Lionel Foster, Brennen Jensen, Michelle Gienow, Clinton Macsherry, Richard O’Mara, Robin T. Reid, Andrew Reiner, Martha Thomas, Baynard Woods, Michael Yockel, Mary K. Zajac editorial interns Anissa Elmerraji, Krishana Davis, Jonah Furman, Ashley May art director Peter Yuill production manager Belle Gossett staff photographer J.M. Giordano production interns Allison Samuels, Sarah Thrower, Dave Volpe

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— Advertising/Editorial/Business Offices 2002 Clipper Park Road, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, md 21211 Phone: 410-243-2050; Fax: 410-243-2115

Our listings in 2011 sell in less than 77 days!

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Editorial inquiries: Send queries to (no phone calls, please). The magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Urbanite does not necessarily share the opinions of its authors. To subscribe or obtain assistance with a current subscription, call 410-243-2050. Subscription price: $18 per year. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission by Urbanite is prohibited. Copyright 2011, Urbanite llc. All rights reserved.

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At the Center of Real Estate Sales & Marketing R E A LTOR


6  october 2011

founder Laurel Harris Durenberger



Urbanite (issn 1556-8105) is a free publication distributed widely in the Baltimore metropolitan area. To suggest a drop location for the magazine, please contact us at 410-243-2050. Postmaster: Send address changes to Urbanite Subscriptions, 2002 Clipper Park Road, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, md 21211. Urbanite is a certified Minority Business Enterprise.

bottom and middle photos by Sarah Thrower; top photo By Justin Case Konder; photo of Greg hanscom by Allison Samuels

issue 88: october 2011

editor’s note


bottom and middle photos by Sarah Thrower; top photo By Justin Case Konder; photo of Greg hanscom by Allison Samuels

Christianna McCausland has been a freelance writer for more than a decade. Her specialties include feature writing, human-interest profiles, and trends and culture. In this issue she writes about online degrees. (See “Getting an e-Ducation,” p. 45.) Her own academic credentials (undergraduate at Emory University in Atlanta, certificate in literature from Oxford, and the current pursuit of a masters in creative writing at Johns Hopkins) have all been earned the old-fashioned way—in the classroom.

Jen Michalski’s first collection of fiction, Close Encounters, is available from So New (2007); her second is forthcoming from Dzanc Books (2013); and her novella, May– September (2010), was published by Press 53 as part of the Press 53 Open Awards. She also is the editor of the anthology City Sages: Baltimore (City Lit Press, 2010), the founding editor of the literary quarterly , and co-host of the monthly reading series the 510 Readings in Baltimore. Her story “Saint Joan” appears on page 53.

Born on the outskirts of Philly in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Urbanite’s digital media editor, Andrew Zaleski, moved to Baltimore in 2007 to study English literature at Loyola University Maryland. An editorial intern from 2008 through 2009, Andrew joined the Urbanite staff this May and now oversees and updates the website. In this issue, he wrote “Extracurricular Activity” (p. 29), about the public purpose of private schools.

baltimore, it is oft said, is a city of neighborhoods. That can

greg hanscom

be good and bad. While our hyper-local pride gives the city color, it also fragments the landscape and community. Ours is a city that lies like shattered glass around the fabled Inner Harbor. This is because the city is shaped not just by loyalty to community, but also by decades of public policy, lending practices, and neighborhood and class protectionism aimed at keeping others out. As longtime Baltimore Sun reporter Antero Pietila writes in his book, Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City, Baltimore was a pioneer in racial segregation. When the Supreme Court knocked down a 1910 law that prohibited African Americans from moving into white blocks in the city (and vice versa), Baltimoreans created a system of covenants and private agreements that had the same effect. Rebuffed again by the high court in 1948, the city found more devious ways to keep people apart. Real estate agents and speculators turned to blockbusting, scaring white homeowners into selling their homes at below market value, arguing that newly arrived blacks and Jews were driving values down—then reselling the homes at a profit to the very people they claimed were destroying the neighborhood. In recent years, much time and talk has been dedicated to piecing this fragmented city back together again. Perhaps it is appropriate, then, that one of the tools used to divide the city—redlining, by which residents of certain neighborhoods were prevented from getting normal mortgage loans—now shares its name with a development that could, if done right, unite it. The Red Line, a proposed 14-mile light rail line, will connect the East and West sides—and this fact, among others, has made it one of the most divisive development issues in the city’s recent past. Urbanite is nothing if not committed to breaking down barriers, however. And that is why we chose to team up with the Maryland Institute College of Art, D center Baltimore, the Maryland Transit Administration, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation to create Urbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge. We issued a call to dream up ways to turn the construction of the Red Line into a net positive for the city. On p. 34 of this issue, you’ll find more about the contest, along with the six finalists. The winners, who will share $10,000 in prize money from the MTA, will be announced later this month. Also in this issue, Urbanite digital media editor Andrew Zaleski writes about efforts to break down the walls that have insulated private schools from their public counterparts. (See “Extracurricular Activity,” p. 29.) Contributing writer Baynard Woods takes a ride with jazz musician Lafayette Gilchrist, whose band, the New Volcanoes, has created a sound that ranges freely between hip-hop, go-go, funk, and pop music. (See “Explosive,” p. 73.) And Brennen Jensen writes about a shape-shifting structure in Bolton Hill that started out as a church, then turned into a rec center and is now a private home. (See “God’s House,” p. 57.) Who says Baltimore can’t think outside the box?

Coming next month

Is Jim Crow alive and well? Thousands of people walk out of prison each year and return to Baltimore, only to find that freedom is still out of reach. Urbanite #88  october 2011  7

what you’re saying


CHI: IT’S ALIVE! LL ARTS GUIDE · KIM EnSo! . · 8FA R O C S H T R O N N 7 O I S TAT m b e r 2 0 1 1 i s s u e




Unearned Privilege Re: “Liftoff,” August ’11, about dirt biking on the streets of Baltimore: I must take offense to calling these urban hoodlums “bikers.” Using that term to describe them is akin to being so PC as to call illegal immigrants “undocumented workers.” I have been riding motorcycles for thirty-seven years. My era (yes, Easy Rider) is one from which if someone was called a “biker,” it was a title of respect that you earned. It was not one given to you by the media. These people who ride dirt bikes on the streets of Baltimore are illegally doing so and should have their bikes confiscated, and they should be locked up, just as if I chose to ride without a helmet and no M/C license. These idiots give a bad name and lessened credibility to motorcyclists who take seriously the opportunity to ride and observe the laws. Also, my helmet is off to the staff of Urbanite for producing what I thought to be the best volume since the magazine’s inception. —“Tiger-Rider,” Reisterstown, MD

I moved to Baltimore two years ago and was shocked to hear about (and hear) these regular rides but even more disgusted to find out that the city police lurk behind them and do effectively nothing as laws are broken—no matter how big or small—with no fear of consequences. Who runs this town? And what message is being sent? Get a big enough posse together and the police will back off? It’s pathetic, and the police commissioner and city leadership should be humiliated by it. And I felt sad reading about Mr. Bahar. He feels that dirt bikes can help engage the city’s youth, but is this positively engaging them? Sure, it’s not selling drugs, but is it really the only other choice? It is fantastic that he wants to do something for his community, but using illegal dirt bike rides as his “carrot” is not the best use of his talents and passion. … It seems like Baltimore has a lot of youth without positive activities to choose from and a lot of underutilized space. If this piece was supposed to be uplifting, it missed the mark. —Alex, Fells Point

attention, surely a lot of others are too? —@bmoreslumwatch


On the Mark Re: “The Outlier,” Sept. ’11, interview with John Marsh: Stellar intvw with Prof John MarshPenn State in @UrbaniteMD. He’s right on point with #education in my opinion. Loved the #WestWing mention —@Jacob__Austin

Artwork’s Limitations Re: “Eye to Eye,” Sept. ’11, about the Dew Love Dharma Tent :

The British are Coming! Re: “Mad Dogs & Britons,” Aug. ’11, the gonzo tale behind Defenders Day: My husband (a Dundalk native and Vietnam vet) and I so enjoyed Jim Meyer’s article “Mad Dogs and Britons.” It gave us great entertainment as I read it aloud to my husband as a bedtime surprise and story. We know well all the local landmarks Jim and his companion visited. We cherish the heritage and the stories of these local heroes/citizen militias whom I lovingly refer to as “rednecks with rifles.” Folks who know local history in this part of eastern Baltimore County are proud of this heritage. Even with the lingering questions regarding where exactly General Ross went down or who shot him, it gives us pride to remember the events, and we are looking forward to next year’s anniversary. Thank you, Urbanite, for giving the attention long overdue in such a charming, funny article to Fort Howard, Edgemere, Northpoint, Dundalk, and points east in the War of 1812. —Anna Mullen

We’re Still Watching Re: “The Graduates,” Sept. ’11, about the Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle: @UrbaniteMD It’s upsetting to read “My experience got deleted.” NO it did not. If I’m paying

OK, Urbanite : You lost a reader with me when you put in that obviously cruel, obscene, and, thus, pornographic picture of animal abuse of a horse on the last page in your “Art” section— ”Eye to Eye.” To show something like that is to think it, and to think it is to approve of it. The animal abuse thinly disguised as art delivers the wanted shock value and defies description and turned my stomach. Goodbye. —Ardith Madow

Long Overdue Re: “Hot Pot,” Sept. ’11, about Korean kimchi in Baltimore: Comeback? More like finally spotlighted. RT @UrbaniteMD: Korean kimchi, making a comeback. —@JenWardRealtor

Join the conversation. Follow us on Facebook (and use the “Suggest Urbanite” button to recommend us to friends) and Twitter (@UrbaniteMD). E-mail us at or send your letter to Mail, Urbanite, 2002 Clipper Park Road, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, MD 21211. Please include your name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Urbanite #88  october 2011  9

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what you’re writing

Ghost Stories

photo by j.m. Giordano

in the summers when I was young, I was sent down to stay with my maternal grandparents in Chester, South Carolina. My ethnic group did the great migration from the South to the North during the 1940s and ’50s. The families living up north would send their children back down to their hometowns in the South for the summer. I remember one older cousin exceptionally well because of her believable ghost stories. Her name was Marge. I was around 7, and she was 14. She was responsible for walking us back from visiting our cousins, who lived down the road from my grandparents’ house. She would start with “I remember when,” and her story became more intense and spookier the further we walked. The road was lined with tall thick trees, which blocked out the stars and the moon in the sky. The sounds coming from the thickened forms on either Advertiser: BGE side of us sounded like the shrieks and shrills of non-human voices. We never went to the Publication: movies, but we hadUrbanite a pretty good idea of what a monster would look and sound like. Since we Insertion Date: October couldn’t see our hands or feet,2011 everything we stepped on or brushed against gave us another Adreason Size:to scream. The Bleed: x 11.375” more9.25” we screamed the louder Marge’s voice became. louder her Trim: 9” xThe 10.875” voice the more we screamed, at a certain Live: 8” xand 10” point, you couldn’t tell whether we were laughing or screaming. ACalculator/Savings couple of the younger cousTitle: ins were actually crying. At that point Marge gave her ghost story an ending. If you have received this publication material Every time we arrived back at my

in error, or have any questions about it please contact the traffic dept. at Weber Shandwick at (410) 558 2100.

grandparents’ house, Marge would get in trouble for making our little cousins cry. —Barbara A. Pinkney, a retired federal employee, lives in Baltimore. When she is not happily involved in her grandchildren’s activities, she is hard at work on her first novel.

my mother said, “You’ll have to go next door to sleep tonight.” We had guests over, and I had to give up my room for the night. Milagros, our neighbor, had prepared a room for me located in the middle of a long, dark hallway. “Why so dark?” I thought to myself. Uneasy, I settled into my bed for the night and tried to get used to the sounds of this house that were unknown and creepy to me but surely comforting to its usual inhabitants. I woke up around midnight from a light sleep and saw a sliver of yellow light shine under my door. Something moved on the other side, breaking the light with its shadow. I opened the door and walked toward the light, which was coming from the room across the hall. Candles filled the room, lit on shelves, low tables, and the terrazzo floor, their wax spilling over like rolls of white fat. The yellow light shone on small cauldrons, statues, flowers, sand, shells, beaded necklaces, and images of saints. Milagros, short, fat, with a round face and childlike eyes, turned to me. “Did we wake you?” she asked. I could not see anyone else in the bedless room.  “Santeria,” I thought, trying hard not to see the ghosts that suddenly appeared around her altar.

“No,” I said, “I just had to go to the bathroom.” I hurried back to my room to the safety of my bed, shut my eyes tight, and slept dreamless until morning. —Astrid Thillet is a Puerto Rican attorney raising two boys in Mount Washington. She has been writing short stories and poetry in English and Spanish since she was a little girl.

i walked into my house from the street, and my dog shied away from me, as though she sensed the death on me. I went upstairs to change my shirt. I threw down my sweaty sports bra and towel-dried my chest, which was sopping from running in 98-degree weather. Throwing my hair back into a fresh ponytail, I headed down the block to 7-11. I picked out several water bottles and walked back up the street to where I’d left Joan. She was no longer at the corner, so I walked up to some neighbors and asked where she had gone. They pointed to the house, and I timidly climbed the porch stairs. Joan was inside, and when she saw me she said, “You don’t want to come in here; it smells.” For a second, I inhaled the scent of her dead sister. Her corpse had been in the house for at least five days during the heat wave. My instinct kicked in, and I held my breath. Joan walked me out to the front porch and we sat down. “They found an empty pill bottle, so they’ll have to run a toxicology report.” “I’m sure that wasn’t it,” I replied. “She just wanted to go. This was what she Urbanite #88  october 2011  13


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what you’re writing wanted, and she wouldn’t let anyone help her. She was stubborn,” Joan said. She looked at me. “This is where I grew up, and what I couldn’t wait to move away from.” I nodded, knowing that she lived less than a mile from where we sat, on the other side of Hampden. After several minutes, I told Joan I was going to leave. She stood, and we hugged, and she said she was so happy that I had been running by, because at that moment, she just needed to see a friend. I went around the corner, back to my house. Once inside, I closed the door and thought about whether I would die here alone and who would be there when they found me. —Kat Hyland is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law. She lives in Hampden and enjoys running, visiting family in New York, and improving access to justice for underserved Marylanders.

in my defense, I didn’t see the house in person until the day I signed the purchase papers. My husband flew three thousand miles to house hunt while I stayed in California to pack for the big move. If I had gone, we might not be in this situation. That first night, we decided to forego the master bedroom in favor of setting up in the larger room in the back of the home, overlooking the lawns, pool, and adjacent graveyard. We opened the windows to hear the peepers and feel the cool breezes while we drifted off. After six restless hours, I shuffled out into

the village in search of coffee. Muffled banging and cursing greeted my return. My husband was dismantling the bed and moving it to the smaller front bedroom. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He replied with his “don’t bullshit me” look. I helped him lug the mattress down the long hall. It hadn’t surprised me that I had felt a presence in the room or that it needled me like the fabled pea all night long—I have always had a knack for sensing the dead. But even my husband—sane, rational—couldn’t deny the feeling. We were truly screwed. Six months later, fate pulled us away from the house. We had tested every guest in that back room with a modest strike rate of 18 percent. But when the cleaner was given a tour of the newly vacated home, we hit paydirt. “DUDE!” he yelled from upstairs. “Did you know this place is HAUNTED?” He was standing in the center of the room, eyes closed. “She’s here,” he insisted. “This house was part of the Underground Railroad, right?” My husband shot him the look. “Look, that’s what she said. I can’t make this shit up.” Although I’m a marketer by profession, I’m not sure whether our ghostly visitor is a feature or a liability in this economy. On one hand, it’s a clear point of difference in a market with eighteen months of inventory. On the other hand, the Underground Railroad is some heavy shit. We eventually excluded her from the listing.

The house sat for five months without an offer. We finally rented to a family with four kids and a golden retriever—if they’ve met her, they’re not saying (strike rate, 0 percent). Next time we list it, she’s in. —Virginia Jordan is a writer and marketer who lives on a small farm in Jarretsville.

“What You’re Writing” is the place for creative

nonfiction from our readers. Each month we pick a topic. Use the topic as a springboard into your own life and send us a true story inspired by that month’s theme. Only previously unpublished, nonfiction submissions that include contact information can be considered. We reserve the right to edit heavily for space and clarity, but we will give you the opportunity to review the edits. You may submit under “name withheld” to keep your essay anonymous, but you do need to let us know how to contact you. If you’ve already changed the names of the people involved, please let us know. Only one submission per topic, please. Send your essay to Urbanite, 2002 Clipper Park Road, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, MD 21211, or e-mail it to Submissions should be shorter than four hundred words. Because of the number of essays we receive, we cannot respond individually to each writer. Please do not send originals; submissions cannot be returned.

Topic Deadline Publication Silence Oct. 10, 2011 December 2011 Ancestors Nov. 14, 2011 January 2012 Selling Out Dec. 12, 2011 February 2012

Urbanite #88  october 2011  15

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1 October 1–2, 11 A.M.­–7 P.M. COMMUNITY

Baltimore’s original deep-water seaport makes its cobblestones car free for rollicking pedestrians during the forty-fifth Fells Point Fun Festival. Expect an international bazaar of more than 250 retailers from around the world; five performance stages featuring bluegrass, jazz, Cajun, and country music; and the Carnival of Wonders for the kids (which is as great as it sounds). Also, beer. Free Fells Point Historic District 410-675-6756

2 October 2–9 FOOD/DRINK

Enjoy some of the region’s best seafood— like striped bass, crabmeat, lobster, and scallops, which are all in season—from more than thirty local restaurants, like Woodberry Kitchen and Salt, during From the Bay, For The Bay. For every seafood dish sold during the event, $1 will be donated to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, an Annapolis-based nonprofit organization working to replenish the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster population. 410-990-4970 For more events, see the Scene on page 79.

3 October 4, 7:30 PM MUSIC

Classical pianist/culture-bender Christopher O’Riley continues to blur the boundary between classical and broadly “alternative” music with an uncharacteristically intimate performance of Shuffle.Play.Listen at An die Musik. O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz present a half-ordered, half-recombinant program of both classical (Stravinsky, Bach) and, well, un-classical (Arcade Fire, Radiohead) arrangements. $25, students $10 An die Musik 409 N. Charles St. 410-385-2638

4 October 9, 7 A.M. COMMUNITY

Take your bike for one last spin before confining it to the basement for winter. Tour du Port offers cyclists routes around the city from 13 to 65 miles, and entry fees support Bike Maryland, a nonprofit working to improve cycling conditions in our state. Don’t miss out on the post-ride celebration with live music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Fix a Flat contest, which will test participants’ speed repairing a flat tire. $60 walk-in registration Baltimore’s Canton Waterfront Park at the Korean War Memorial 410-960-6493

5 October 13, 7:30 P.M. LITERATURE/theater

The Maryland Humanities Council’s ultra book club, One Maryland One Book, takes on Sherman Alexie’s National Book Awardwinning illustrated novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Readings and discussions will take place all over the state this month; catch a discussion with the book’s illustrator, Ellen Forney, at Towson University on October 13. Free 8000 York Rd. 410-704-2445

6 October 23, Noon–4 P.M. FOOD/DRINK/ARTS/CULTURE

The Jewish Museum of Maryland opens Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture, and American Jewish Identity, an exhibition on the role of food in the lives of Jewish Americans. Through recorded conversations, historical and contemporary documents, and yes, food, the exhibition will look at the tradition of kosher and non-kosher kitchens, the evolution of recipes, and the Jewish significance of eating out. $8, students $4 15 Lloyd St. 410-732-6451 Urbanite #88  october 2011  19

Photos (clockwise from left): photo by Nikki Lewis; Photo by j. m. Giordano; courtesy of [ZeO] Productions





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Photos (clockwise from left): photo by Nikki Lewis; Photo by j. m. Giordano; courtesy of [ZeO] Productions

andrew zaleski Inspirational quotes, a set of painted pink boxing gloves (for the ladies), and a beach mural complete with palm trees and a dolphin adorn the walls of Boxing Charlie’s gym (1924 Fleet St.; 443-939-0074). Of course, the requisite gloves, speed bags, and heavy bags are there, as well as a ring covered with recycled billboard canvas. Owner Charlie Wiseman, a boxer for life, caters to a clientele ranging from Fells Point doctors to WJZ reporters. He trains each person one-on-one, and there’s no sparring. “It’s private, personal, and less intimidating,” says Wiseman. Sessions run from $65 for one hour.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

ashley may Rice Krispie treats: They’re the new cupcake. Nikki Lewis, owner of the forthcoming Mallow Munchies Café (410-491-6090;, aims to trendify the nostalgic dessert, opening “the first Rice Krispie café in the country.” At the café, expected to open at the end of the month, Lewis will offer Original; Dipped Munchies, with Belgian dark chocolate; Crunch Munch, with popcorn and candy-coated chocolates; and Trail Munch, with dried cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds. All treats ($3.50) use homemade, kosher marshmallows. Lewis plans to round out a trifecta of local goodness with Zeke’s coffee and Taharka Brothers ice cream.

Heir Apparent

ashley may When Baltimore native Carolyn O’Keefe realized she had just one piece of heirloom jewelry, a silver cuff from her mother, and two daughters, she knew she needed another fine family accessory—and so she made one herself. She paired with master silversmith Michael Galmer, previously of Tiffany & Co., to start American Estate Jewelry (410-218-9500; Galmer takes his artistry seriously, crafting delicate accents and details that darken with age. Since its launch last year, the jewelry line ($325–$1,750) now includes necklaces and rings. Find it at Radcliffe Jewelers in Towson and Pikesville. “It’s a forever thing in a family,” O’Keefe says.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  21

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Photos (clockwise from left): Illustration by Inslee Hanes; photo by Ann McDaniels; Photo by j.m. Giordano

ashley may Before that big, festive party you’ve been planning turns into a colossal chaos, call Stephanie Bradshaw at Bradshaw Styling (221 Old Padonia Rd., Cockeysville; 443-421-1452; www. With years of design experience, Bradshaw can do the expected, like arrange the flowers and table linens for your wedding—and the unexpected, like design a functional living room for a family of four. She styles “people, parties, and places.” Some services include image consulting, personal shopping, interior design, and home shopping. “The design challenge is really want we love doing,” Bradshaw says, “creating a livable workable space that suits the lifestyle of our clients.”

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ashley may Urban Threads (9051 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City; 410313-8485;, a drapery and bed linens boutique in Ellicot City, offers the design expertise of Jane O’Donoghue of JOD Interior Design and Ann McDaniels of Christen-Daniels Interiors. The pair opened the shop because they couldn’t find good, reasonably priced fibers and textiles in the Baltimore area. Their most popular items are cream cotton duvet covers and vibrant textured pillows. The store is full of “merchandise that you can’t find anywhere else in Baltimore,” O’Donoghue says.

Raise a Pint

andrew zaleski Liam Flynn is concerned with what you’re drinking. “I take pride in serving a good range of ale and cider and whiskey,” says the owner of Station North’s newest bar, Liam Flynn’s Ale House (22 W. North Ave.; 410244-8447; Opened July 8, Liam’s, as it’s known informally, doesn’t take kindly to the watery stuff, preferring beers with heft—Guinness, Carlsberg, Dogfish Head. A two-and-a-half-year renovation has left the place with uniquely Baltimorean charm, too; the bar top came from an old duckpin bowling alley, and the pub’s cherry wood came from the panels of the old Chesapeake Restaurant.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  23



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baltimore observed features  /  update / voices

Photo by j.m. Giordano

Down with the ship: So much depends upon the creaky old USS Constellation.


Photos by J.M. Giordano

Baltimore’s floating museum requires endless upkeep.


By Charles Cohen

he USS Constellation, the this creaky old ship. 19th century tall ship perSo imagine the surprise when manently docked in the the ship’s caretakers discovered Inner Harbor, is an ever-present that the ship, overhauled not long icon in gleaming black lacquer, the ago at great expense, was rotten at centerpiece of Baltimore’s tourism its core. Historic Ships in Baltimore, industry. Baltimore without the an affiliate of the nonprofit Living Constellation would be like Cape Classrooms Foundation, had the Hatteras without the lighthouse or ship dry-docked at Sparrows Point New York City without the Statue for routine maintenance last winof Liberty. Without the Constella- ter when “we found this one spot tion, which attracts about 85,000 and started digging, and it turned visitors annually, the tourist indus- out to be a huge problem,” says the try would be bereft of that stake in group’s executive director, Chris the ground to which visitors tether Rowsom. “We opened up a 60-foot themselves and say, “Yup, I’m in hole in the hull.” Baltimore.” So much depends on

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Feature 1 / update  baltimore observed The group didn’t have the time or funds to fix the problem, so workers did a temporary repair and put the ship back in the water. The discovery was a vivid reminder of the cost and the mercy tactics involved in caring for a historic wooden ship. While the Constellation, built in 1853, isn’t the nation’s oldest historic ship—that distinction belongs to the USS Constitution, dating to 1797, which resides in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston— the Baltimore ship was the last sailing ship of war commissioned by the United States Navy. The Constellation was built as “a rebuild,” replacing a 1797 frigate of the same name, in a Portsmouth, Virginia, shipyard at a time when sailing war ships were phased out in favor of steam-powered vessels. The fact that it bore the name of a previous ship (the Navy and Congress did this with a wink and a nod to avoid the need for a formal request for funds) led some to believe that it was actually the older ship, updated. But Dana Wegner, the Navy’s curator of ship models and one of the country’s leading authorities on historic ships, says the sloop that sits in the Inner Harbor should be admired as the culmination of the age of sail’s craftsmanship. “It’s fascinating to look at the difference between the 1797 frigate and the 1853 sloop,” Wegner says. “It’s kind of like the difference between a pick-up [truck] and a Ferrari. She’s a beautiful ship, especially under the water: very sleek, very efficient, very lightweight but strong.” The Constellation’s first commission had the ship intercepting illegal slave traders at the mouth of the Congo River. At the break of the Civil War, the sloop hightailed it back stateside and captured a ship that was rigged for slave transport. The Constellation was later used as a training vessel for midshipmen and carried supplies to famine-struck Ireland in the 1880s. In 1914, when the Constellation was refurbished to mark the centennial of the Star Spangled Banner, the assistant secretary of the Navy, Franklin Roosevelt, ordered her outfitted as a frigate (thus adding fuel to the controversy over the ship’s origins). But the Constellation’s life as a working ship wasn’t yet over: From 1941 to 1942, it was plucked from exhibition row to serve briefly as a relief flagship in World War II. The Constellation finally made its way to Baltimore, decommissioned and reconfigured as a frigate, in the 1950s, but by the 1990s, it had fallen into disrepair. A severe “hog,” or concave, downward bend, developed in the hull. The deck was so weak that inspectors warned that the masts could collapse at any moment. “The Constellation was going to sink at any instance,” says Andy Davis of Tri-Coastal Marine, who drew up the plans for the Constellation’s restoration. “It was so rotten, it was dangerous to walk on it.” Three years and $9 million later, the Constellation was restored—and while it wasn’t seaworthy,

it was expected to last for a good long while. Then came the discovery last winter. The latest damage is the result of decisions made during the 1997 to ’99 restoration, when crews used “cold molding” (basically high-end plywood) in lieu of traditional wooden beams and planking. “There is this whole idea, if you had to restore the Mona Lisa you wouldn’t use Magic Marker to do it, you would use the same kind of paint,” Davis says. But using historically accurate woods would have cost an unfathomable $30 million. The trouble came because the edges of the coldmolding plywood weren’t sealed. And while crews were able to create a temporary patch and stop the rot from spreading, more repairs are in the Con-

update by Andrew Zaleski

healthy loans

Midshipman: Chris Rowsom, executive director of Historic Ships in Baltimore

stellation’s future—and more expense. In these cash-strapped times, any kind of restoration takes a good deal of fundraising heroics. Many a historic wooden ship throughout the country has fallen due to costs. In 2009, after much study and fretting, the Wawona, an impressive 1897 schooner, was dismantled in Seattle. The USS Olympia in Philadelphia, an 1892 steel warship considered a maritime national treasure, currently faces a $10 million restoration bill. And even if Historic Ships in Baltimore succeeds in raising the close to $2 million it will require to repair the Constellation, its circumstances make it particularly vulnerable to the elements. Peter Boudreau, who oversaw the ship’s 1997 restoration, notes that floating museums like the Constellation are defenseless compared to working ships like the Pride of Baltimore II, an ambassadorial vessel that sails worldwide. Saltwater pickles wooden boats. The Constellation, however, sits in the brackish harbor year-round, baking in the summer and freezing in the winter. The upshot: endless maintenance. “You go from the top of the mast to the keel,” Boudreau says, “and when you’re done, you go back and do it again.” —Baltimore native, writer, and filmmaker Charles Cohen’s earliest memory of the Inner Harbor, back when it was just a vacant lot, is watching his little brother step on a loose grate and almost fall through the deck of the USS Constellation.

Section 1322 of the health care reform law passed in 2010 encourages the formation of nonprofit health care cooperatives to help drive down insurance costs for lowand middle-class families. Peter Beilenson and his team are looking to do just that in Maryland with the Evergreen Project (see “Change is Brewing,” July ’11 Urbanite), although the projected start-up bill comes in at around $120 million. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could help offset some of the costs. Under a set of new rules, HHS will make available $3.8 billion in low-interest loans to co-ops like the Evergreen Project—provided, of course, that the nonprofit entities applying for the loans can show a high chance of becoming financially viable.

zone offense More trouble for the Chesapeake Bay: In July, the Washington Post reported that a larger-than-average “dead zone”—one that spans 83 miles from the Inner Harbor to beyond the Potomac River—was growing at a rapid rate due to high levels of nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake this summer. At the time, state officials said this latest dead zone was on pace to become the largest the Chesapeake has ever seen. Dead zones spell doom for the bay’s oysters, shellfish, and other marine life (see “The Bay Comes Calling,” March ’11 Urbanite), which are put directly into harm’s way when nutrients—like nitrogen and phosphorous—are washed into the bay only to fertilize algae blooms that block out sunlight and suck up oxygen.

the life of kings Hard times come calling again at H.L. Mencken’s former home. The last round of extensive layoffs at the Baltimore Sun occurred in April 2009, when sixty employees were shown the door. In response, the Sun became a leaner, more sprightly newsroom, using social media tools to get out the news while beefing up its print offering by bringing back, among other sections, the Sunday Sun magazine. (See “The Sun Also Rises,” Feb. ’11 Urbanite.) But a fresh round of cuts was announced in August, with the paper looking to buy out twenty to twenty-five employees. According to the report in the Daily Record, any buyouts would be strictly voluntary.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  27


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Feature 2  baltimore observed

Helping Hands: Public and private school teachers instruct public school students during Middle Grades Partnership’s summer enrichment programs.

Extracurricular Activity Do private schools have a public purpose?

Courtesy of Middle Grades Partnership

by Andrew Zaleski


n 1988, Al Adams, then head of San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding elite private high school, proposed a radical idea: Private schools should serve the public good, not just the kids fortunate enough to attend them. Adams convinced the board of directors to embed the notion into his school’s mission statement, making Lick-Wilmerding the first independent school to incorporate public purpose as a central tenet of its mission. The idea grew out of a conversation Adams had in the late 1970s with renowned educator Theodore Sizer, during which Sizer mused that private schools ought to have more of a sense of civic responsibility. “It really wasn’t until … I became the head at Lick-Wilmerding that it popped into my mind: public purpose of private schools,” says Adams, who has been an independent school educator for forty-one years. At the time, it was such a radical idea that two members of the board of trustees at LickWilmerding quit. “They said, ‘This is not what private schools are about; private schools are about spending all of our money on our kids,’” Adams says. Since then, Adams’s idea has spread nationwide to places like the Punahou School in Hawaii, Atlanta’s Westminster School, and into Baltimore. Today, girls from Garrison Forest, a private middle school, teach kids from the public Collington Square and City Springs schools how to play polo; students from Roland Park Country Day School work with their public school contemporaries to tend a community garden behind Garrison Middle, a public school near Druid Hill Park; McDonogh School hosts summer academic sessions on its campus for students from Mt. Royal Elementary-Middle, a public school in the city.

But the conundrum these endeavors create is one Adams encountered at Lick-Wilmerding: Are such programs meaningful attempts at improving the educational landscape? Or are they just stop-gap measures or ways for private schools to assuage their guilt while maintaining a dual school system—one for the wealthy, mostly white upper class, the other for poor African Americans? In Baltimore, much of the activity tying local public and private schools centers on the Middle Grades Partnership, a nonprofit program designed specifically for high-achieving public school students. Since its inception in 2005, MGP has had more than twelve hundred students participate in summer enrichment and afterschool programs. Nine private schools currently “partner” with eleven public schools, sharing teaching methods, campus facilities, classroom materials, and middle school teachers themselves, to prepare the city’s public school students to thrive in rigorous high school environments. Each summer, public and private school teachers work with some four hundred rising seventh, eighth, and ninth graders—most from Baltimore City’s public school system—on math skills, reading comprehension, and writing techniques. “It is rocket science,” quips Beth Casey, a former administrator at the private Park School who is director of MGP. “Great kids, great teachers, lots of time to dig in and engage with learning through hands-on activities, projects, field trips, lots of individualized attention, and solid and lasting relationships with teachers.” The latest formal data, from 2008, shows above-average performance for Baltimore City public school students who have participated in MGP programs: Eighty-two percent of eighth graders scored proficient or higher in reading

comprehension on state standardized tests, compared with 49 percent of their public-school, non-MGP peers; as many as 54 percent of MGP students qualify for competitive high schools, compared to fewer than 12 percent of students citywide. Whether this is any reflection on MGP is impossible to say with any certainty, as MGP works with students already predisposed to academic success. According to Casey, public schools select students who are already scoring proficient or higher on state standardized tests and have at least a B average, a good attendance record, and an “involved or engaged adult in their life.” The cost incurred—about $2,000 per student—might make some wonder whether the money and energy would be better spent in the public school system itself, where the potential benefits might reach all the city’s middle school students. But supporters say the money has more impact when concentrated on students who are poised to benefit the most. “The thinking was, twenty years ago, if you couldn’t do something for everybody, you shouldn’t do it for anybody,” says Tom Wilcox, president of the Baltimore Community Foundation, a funder of MGP. “Middle Grades is a new way of thinking about partnership and collaboration. What do we have [in the way of programs and courses] to respond to every child when their needs become apparent?” To its credit, MGP is realistic about its limitations. “We’re in this to effect change within each individual more than anything else,” says Whitney Ransome, the director of Garrison Forest School’s James Center, established in 2010 to manage the school’s public-purpose programs (including its polo program, which is unaffiliated with MGP). “If, out of that, students ask for more and expect more and request different types of things within their public school settings, there is an unplanned consequence.” Public-private partnerships do provide valuable opportunities for teachers. Taking the best teachers from private and public schools and having them teach in a low-stakes arena—summer program sessions—allows for a “lab mentality,” as Adams calls it. Teachers can test out innovative approaches and curricula free of the strictures of meeting certain standardized academic benchmarks. And the students? They begin to lower their suspicions of one another while mastering new skills. “You had to give reports and stand in front of the class. You build leadership and speaking skills,” says Briahna Lawson, a 15-year-old sophomore at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute who participated in MGP for three years while a student at Mt. Royal. Of the interaction between private and public school students, Lawson says, “You feed off of each other—they learn things about your experience, and you learn things about their experience.” —Andrew Zaleski is Urbanite’s digital media editor. Urbanite #88  october 2011  29

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voices  baltimore observed

Defending the City

Harvard economist Edward Glaeser on why suburbanites should care about the city, the importance of living cheek by jowl, and why poverty is a sign of success Interview by Baynard Woods

photo by Christopher Weddle


dward Glaeser is a renowned economist at Harvard University, but his passion is for cities. Raised in New York, Glaeser’s recent book, The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, brings together a lifetime of reflection and research on the benefits of urban living. Paradoxically, Glaeser recently moved with his family to a suburb outside of Boston, and many of his arguments are geared toward reversing the suburban subsidies that make such moves hard to resist. He argues, for instance, that drivers should pay the full environmental and congestion costs for the roads they now use for free. A frequent visitor to Baltimore, Glaeser will deliver the keynote address at the Downtown Partnership’s annual meeting October 26 (Urbanite is a sponsor of this event). We caught up with him to get a preview of his often surprising findings on the way cities work and his ideas about how to make “our greatest invention” even better. urb:

I was wondering if you could give this suburban nation one good reason why it should be putting more money into cities.

eg: Well, cities are the economic heart of America. The three largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. produce 18 percent of our country’s GDP while having only 13 percent of the population. These are Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago … So much of what is most innovative, creative, productive, happens in our urban areas. There are other reasons why we should care about our cities. They do tend to disproportionately house poor Americans, and I think we should care about children growing up in every community, not just our own. But I think the argument that feels most relevant to many of us is the enormous role our cities play in our economy. urb :

Some people might think that with communications technology, the benefit of physical proximity—of working in these dense, urban environments—would decline. But you make exactly the opposite case. Why? eg:

Thirty years ago a lot of prognosticators were taking the stance that we would all just

telecommute in from our electronic cottages far flung across the world enjoying nature. But that’s not in any sense what has happened. What those seers missed is that globalization and new technologies have increased the returns on new ideas … Our greatest talent as a species is our ability to learn from people around us. We come out of the womb with this remarkable ability to soak up information from our parents, from our peers, from our siblings, from our teachers. Cities cater to that. For thousands of years, they have specialized in bringing people together so they can get smart by being around other people. And by making knowledge, information, innovation more important, globalization and technological change has actually played into cities’ hands.

imagine that charging the appropriate costs for driving would end up hurting cities in any way. urb: You make the case that poverty in cities isn’t an indictment, but a sign of their success. What do you mean? eg:


And yet we have subsidized suburban development at the expense of cities. The city has been rebuilt on the notion that people can zoom into downtown to work and then get out quick. One of your most radical prescriptions involves making people pay for the roads that they use. But wouldn’t businesses relocate to the suburbs if we charged for the use of the roads? eg: Well, if you’re charging for the full use of the roads, the full environmental and congestion costs, it’s almost impossible to imagine that would hurt cities in the long run. Yes, it’s true you might make driving in on that highway less attractive, but you [would] make living in that city more attractive. Getting around a full-scale exurban lifestyle involves a huge amount of driving. It’s not as if in suburban living people are actually living right next to their jobs. They’re typically living in one residential suburb and are commuting a rather long distance to some other more industrial or commercial suburb. By and large it’s hard to

Poverty on the national and international level is something we should worry about. But the fact that poor people tend to live in cities is not a sign that cities are failing, but a sign they are succeeding. They are not making people poor, but attracting poor people with the ability to get around without having to have a car for every adult, good ethnic neighborhoods … better social services. All of these are things to be applauded, not denigrated, about cities, just as the artificial equality of the suburbs is not something they should be proud of—the fact that they’ve made it very difficult to build housing for people who are less fortunate. We don’t want to sugarcoat this. We know that having large numbers of poor Americans in one space creates challenges for government … But cities shouldn’t be blamed because they happen to be good places for poor people to live.   Web extra: For a longer version of this interview, including comments about the Grand Prix, why city living is green, and the improbability of a suburban apocalypse, go to

Urbanite #88  october 2011  31

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U rbanite P ro j ect 2 0 1 1 : O pen cit y challenge

Follow the


introduction By Rebecca Messner


rbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge

was a call to action for innovative thinkers to transform Baltimore via one of the most controversial public works projects in the city’s history. Developed through a collaboration among Urbanite, Maryland Institute College of Art, D center Baltimore, the Maryland Transit Administration, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, this year’s Urbanite Project, which we launched in March, hinges on the concept of an open city: a city where citizens feel connected to one another, have access to services and amenities, and can easily move around.

34  october 2011

Line The challenge surrounded the construction of the Red Line—the proposed 14-mile, light-rail line that will connect Security Square to the West, the Inner Harbor, and the Johns Hopkins University Bayview campus on the city’s east side— which has the potential to make Baltimore a more open city. Costing an estimated $1.8 billion, with construction lasting up to five years, it’s being called the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the state of Maryland. With Urbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge, we asked: How can we turn this arduous construction process into something positive for the city of Baltimore? Contestants were asked to address a list of concerns, from increased noise during construction to ways to safely re-route traffic and how the MTA can share real-time information updates with Baltimore residents. Above all, contestants had to transform these problems into opportunities for change. We received proposals from all over the world: Italy, South Korea, Israel, England, and both coasts of the U.S. The entries, in the form of 24-by-30-inch, foam-core boards, were displayed anonymously in the inaugural exhibition at

the Challenge : How can we turn this arduous construction process into something positive for the city of Baltimore?

the new D center @ MAP gallery this summer. The ideas were as varied as the contestants: a mix of professional architects, designers, art students, and interested, creative city-dwellers. An accomplished panel of urban design and transportation experts studied a pool of entries, narrowed down by public voting. They chose six finalists, and, among them, a winner. Entries were judged blindly, with no regard to professional background or location. Jurors were looking for ideas that focused on engaging the community, fostering an environment of openness and accessibility for Baltimore citizens and visitors. They gave preference to the big ideas— ideas that were innovative, provocative, unconventional— and to those entries that were interdisciplinary, combining approaches from a range of fields. In the following pages, we present the finalists of Urbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge. The winner, who will recieve a portion of $10,000 in total prize money and the possibility of collaborating with city officials to implement their ideas, will be announced at a special event in October. For details, call 410-243-2050.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  35

U rbanite P ro j ect 2 0 1 1 : O pen cit y challenge

20 Stations 20 Questions submitted By Michael Jack


hat does it mean to be connected to another neighborhood by the Red Line? Does it alter the way you think about another part of the city? Are you any more likely to travel there than before the Red Line was built? Or is it just a form of transport, a way or reducing traffic congestion ... This is a proposal for a series of conversations across the city between the neighborhoods that will Michael Jack be linked up by the Red is an architect Line. It is about more who runs his than simply decorating own practice the hoardings around concentrating on architecture, construction sites with research, and artwork generated by design projects. the loca l communit y he lives in (not that this is wrong, london. just old hat) but creating anticipation in the minds of the people directly affected by the Red Line of something more meaningful than a faster commute to work. In short, the 20 stations will be paired up. Residents from one station are asked to submit photographs online to meet a changing brief, in the form of a question about the identity, character, history, or any aspect of that area. The best photographs are chosen democratically and displayed on billboards around the construction site at a second station. That second station in return displays its work at the first, using the same system. Every 3 months new photographs are chosen and pasted up. It is a 5 year process of getting to know another part of the city.

Rules: 1. Participants must be within ½ mile of their nearest station. 2. Participation by pre-existing local community groups and other institutions is to be encouraged.

3. Only those participants in the catchment area for a station can submit, view, and vote on photographs before they are chosen and installed. 4. The project is intended to be openended. There is no ideal outcome. The only guarantee of quality is through a democratic process. 5. The brief may be in the form of a question (what are the trees in your neighborhood?) or an abstract term (delight/the color green). 6. The number of photographs chosen depends on the size of the construction site and number of site hoardings. This may vary thoughout the process.

The Twinning Process* The 20 stations are listed alphabetically and numbered from 1 to 10 and 10 to 1: 1. Allendale 2. Bayview Campus 3. Bayview MARC 4. Canton 5. Canton Crossing 6. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 7. Charles Center 8. Edmondson Village 9. Fells Point 10. Government Center/Inner Harbor 10. Harlem Park 9. Highlandtown/Greektown 8. Howard Street/University Center 7. I-70 Park and Ride 6. Inner Harbor East 5. Poppleton 4. Rosemont 3. Social Security Administration 2. Security SquareWest 1. Baltimore MARC * A suggestion only —there are many possibilities.

36  october 2011

My space: Michael Jack uses user-submitted photographs to hide construction and introduce neighborhoods along the Red Line to each other.

Seeding the New City submitted By lateral office


marked by a book-share kiosk that inhe Red Line light rail system Lateral provides an opportune connectegrates into the final station entrance. Office tor across the under-serviced is an architec- The future station of Rosemont is iniEast-West axis of Baltimore. This pro- ture firm based tially marked by a garden platform in toronto; posal seeks to reconcile common and that expands after construction of the the lateral local aspects amongst the 20 proposed rail line is complete. At the more subteam is made up of mason stations along the 14.5 mile length of urban location of Security Square, the white, paul the network. The project focuses on the future station is demarcated by a temchristian, zoe locations of future stations along the renaud-drouin, porary performance stage, which also Red Line. The proposal tests a series of fionn byrne, and integrates into the eventual station. daichi yamashita. These programs serve both as social strategies on three test sites. amenities and to encourage residents The proposal seeks, on the one hand, to develop a continuous material and graphic to identify, early on, with their local station as language to identify within each community a community resource in the fullest sense. the location of future stations forming the Red Line network. On the other hand, the programmatic intervention at each station seeks Our proposal establishes continuity between to respond to specific community needs and the hoarding in place during construction of the Red Line and the permanent stations. opportunities at each location. The project seeks to opportunistically re- Hoarding is designed to be repurposed as use the custom designed hoarding or wall sys- an iconic canopy and platform. Comprised tem as base materials for the subsequent con- of simple timber elements, the hoarding is struction of the station shelters. For instance, brought to life with a dazzle graphic of red, in the dense downtown area, the future sta- marking the future station name, in combition of Howard Street/University Center is nation with a caution striping.


After construction of the tracks is complete, the timber elements are repurposed and reassembled to form part of the stations— canopies, urban stages, and gardens. The hoarding seeks to mitigate aural noise but also plays off the idea of visual “noise” through a “branding” of each station with the dazzle graphics. And in aggregating programming into the hoarding system at key locations, the construction of the tracks shifts from being a liability to offering a series of new public amenities.

Engaging the City The project is completed in coordination with local schools. Each school within a half-mile radius maintains responsibility of the site while under construction as well as after it has been repurposed into stations. More broadly, the project proposes that the legacy of the building process of this significant urban infrastructure, rather than being forgotten, remains, in camouflage form, in the final rail stations.

Watch it grow: Hoarding is repurposed once construction is complete, becoming a permanent community landmark.

U rbanite P ro j ect 2 0 1 1 : O pen cit y challenge

Connecting the Dots submitted By tAd franklin and tristan thom


he Red Line is about connecting diverse and disparate neighborhoods of Baltimore in order to create an open and accessible city for all. This proposal aims to encourage this sort of connectivity from the very outset of construction and to continue this process throughout the city after the completion of the Red Line. During construction, standard 8 ft hoarding is used along the work corridor. Affixed to this hoarding is a single strip of red LED lights. These lights are programmed to flash one after the other at the same speed

and frequency of the future LRT, creating phanLED screens, the added height of the hoarding Tad Franklin and Tristan tom trains running the length of the Red Line. protects from the noise and disturbance creThom These phantom trains enable Baltimoreans to ated in these areas of heavy construction. are candidates for easily envision the final outcome of construcAn LED screen, capable of displaying only master’s of architecture degrees in simple, monochromatic graphics, is a basic tion and the connections that will be made. At the sites of future stations, 12 ft hoard- landscape and design and economical technology that produces poat the university of tent visual messages and is familiar in transit ing is used. These units support 6 by 9 ft panels toronto. infrastructure. This technology is easy to deof red light LED screens. The screens are supploy throughout the construction phase and provides ported by simple trusses attached to the back of the hoarding and powered by an array of solar panels brack- manifold opportunities for continued use as a public amenity after construction has ended. Potential uses eted to the top plate. In addition to the many uses of the

This Way Up submitted By bloc (baltimore lawyers and organizers committee)


BJECTIVE: To work with local youth to design and construct a multi-phase gateway installation around the West Baltimore MARC Red Line station that enables neighboring residents to showcase their community assets and shape the development of a future use for the station’s construction site. The project’s ultimate goal is to empower area youth to “build up” the community surrounding the Red Line station in both senses of the term. During Phase One, youth will learn how to design, build, and then install signs at the edges of the station’s construction site. These signs will be

replaceable (handmade signs that can be planted and replanted) or updatable (signs with plastic display cases behind which drawings, posters, and announcements can be exhibited). Depending on what the youth want to highlight, they will: (a) Inform passersby about community features like parks, schools, and historic sites; and (b) Educate community members about different aspects of the ongoing construction process; and (c) Display proposals for future community uses of the station’s construction staging area. As part of this phase, local partners have agreed

Youth group: “This Way Up” endeavors to empower area youth to “build up” the community surrounding their Red Line station, in both senses of the term.


include information and advertising screens in Red Line stations, as well as at events such as concerts and rallies, or as art installations. By adding a simple technology to an otherwise standard fixture of construction zones, an opportunity is created for public engagement. Both throughout the construction process and well into the future, through creative repurposing of this technology, the citizens of Baltimore will be able to more meaningfully connect to the project and ultimately to their own city.

The Mirror

The Phantom Train

Real-time information pertaining to construction, traffic conditions, and pedestrian safety can be displayed in a ticker-tape manner, affording the passerby a snapshot of the Red Line as construction progresses. News, weather, tweets, and even crowd-sourced content will accompany these updates, transforming what would otherwise be basic safety signage into a comprehensive urban amenity.

A simplified graphic of an LRT train will pass across the display at regular intervals, approximating the frequency of future Red Line trains. In visualizing the presence and schedule of the Red Line throughout the construction process, the public will be afforded a view of the end result that is real-time and context specific. Travel times between future stations may also be featured.

Video feeds of adjacent areas will be graphically interpreted and displayed in an effort to re-represent to the citizens of Baltimore their city and themselves. Whether as a 1:1 representation or as an abstraction, a pedestrian passerby, a car, an adjacent building, or even the construction itself could become the subject of this large-scale urban folly.

The Feed

to help the youth engage the community, through meetings and is a study/reading group other forms of outreach, with the confluence of community organizing and to learn what community strengths should lawyering as its theme. bloc is made up of brett be v isua lly featured felter, ingrid löfgren, nora and what types of postmahlberg, stephen ruckman, constr uction uses and christina schoppert. should be considered. Through this collaborative process, they will learn community leadership skills. We expect Phase One to last for the duration of the construction. During Phase Two, youth will be trained to convert the constructions staging area, now an empty lot, into the community use that has garnered the most positive feedback based on the proposals they displayed. This could

Baltimore Lawyers and Organizers Committee (BLOC)


Ghost train: Red LED lights simulate the future light-rail train, affording the public a view of the end result during construction.

be anything from an art installation to a memorial garden or vegetable garden to a recreational venue to a plaza with more permanent informational kiosks. Some of the signs created for Phase One will remain—namely, those showcasing community features. Some of them will be replaced to make way for signs related to the new community use (e.g., signs posting open hours or events taking place at the site). We expect Phase Two to take 3 to 5 months.

Projected costs: Labor: Design Training: Construction Training: Leadership Training: Installation Equipment: Materials:

Donated Donated Donated Donated Donated $5–6,000

Urbanite #88  october 2011  39

Explore Downtown Baltimore —


The Charm City Circulator is fast, it’s friendly and it’s free, making travel in downtown Baltimore a cinch. Here’s what our riders have to say. During a week-long summer project at my new school, my mom taught me how to ride the CCC. She took me to the stop and rode it with me. It seemed really easy and I was very comfortable. The driver was friendly, smiled at me and asked, ‘How are you doing?’ Everybody on the bus was friendly. For the rest of the week, I rode the Orange Route by myself to my mom’s office. It made me happy to meet her after my project was done each day. This fall, I am excited to ride the new Green Route. We looked at the maps and it looks really easy—and will take me right to my school!

- Amir Asli, sixth-grade Baltimore Student The Charm City Circulator (CCC) has opened up new opportunities for me and my family. It helped my son Amir grow as a young man by taking the initiative to ride the bus to his school. I wouldn’t let him ride any bus system—the CCC is different. It is safe. The service also allows us to park at a much lower cost (sometimes for free!) close to a stop. We have visited Harbor East, the Inner Harbor, and have experienced happenings in the City we might have otherwise missed. We can’t wait for the Green route to begin. It’s the perfect transportation for my family. The CCC is a costeffective (free), clean, easy-to-use transportation alternative!

- Kenya Asli, Baltimore Resident

The Charm City Circulator’s Green Route Launches this FALL! The CCC is a free public transportation service that travels through Baltimore City. The eco-friendly, easy-to-learn service operates seven days a week and is a fast, friendly, and FREE way to get around town. The NEW Green Route will connect City Hall, Harbor East, Fell’s Point, and Johns Hopkins Hospital. To learn more visit!

To keep updated on the Circulator, register for mobile alerts or follow on Facebook and Twitter.


U rbanite P ro j ect 2 0 1 1 : O pen cit y challenge

Red (Hot) Line submitted By rtkl associates, inc.


ore so than any physical barrier, aware- hinged front panel make for ease of storage owners free advertisement space in comRTKL ness is the key to mitigate the negative and mobility as the booths are relocated Associates, Inc. pensation for blocked signage and disturbed is a global design perceptions of construction occurring along the Red Line, and the panel locks in the street frontage during construction. Providalong the Red Line route. A simple iconic form com- “up” position to create a canopy for the us- firm with offices in ing their logo or advertisement to the booth baltimore. the rtkl bined with social-media technology can provide the ers.  While the mobile kiosk is made of steel, display also shows their patrons they supbaltimore team is comprised of information and communication in a fun and easily an inherently recycled and recyclable mateport the city’s progress. The touch screen davin hong, david tangible manner that will keep the community posi- rial, its basis of sustainable design lies in its dymond, brian frels, interface offers a “fun factor” that engages tive during the temporary inconveniences that are durability, flexibility, adaptability, and reus- thomas wallof, and the community while also deterring vandalgonzalo rodriguez. ism. Competitive user statistics can be stored necessary to build a better city. ability. The back panel folds down, forming a  Awareness of the coming Red Line will begin be- transaction table and transforming the booth and displayed such as “who has the highest score in reducing their carbon footprint? ” or “who fore construction through the full-scale mapping of into a market stand to be used for events during Red the line as a form of public art. A physical red line Line construction and afterward for local festivals will save the most money on gas by using public tranof highly reflective traffic paint will be installed on such as Artscape and urban farmers markets. sit? ” Many functions of the display will also be availstreets and sidewalks, mapping out the path and The hotline and touch-screen displays (located able via the Red Line website, which can be accessed presence of the future Red Line as a way-finding tool. in select booths based on construction and commu- from mobile devices using free WI-FI along the Red The informational booth is to be located either nity activity) are the heart of the Red (Hot) Line. The Line route. The direct hotline will provide open comadjacent to construction zones amongst conven- interactive terminals will provide easily accessible munication for citizens either directly or indirectly tional construction fences, trailers, and jersey walls information on construction status timelines, Red affected by or invested in the Red Line. The simple or as a standalone destination on the Red Line route. Line facts, ecological and transit statistics, alter- gesture of letting the public know “we’re available The iconic form is reminiscent of a train car with nate routes during construction, local attractions and we’re listening” is the key to a positive transition Baltimore kitsch flare to be easily identifiable and and businesses, and a trip planning function.  In period during the Red Line’s enhancement to the city understood within the community. The wheels and addition, the graphic displays will afford business of Baltimore.

Mobile communication: The Red (Hot) Line can provide transparent, real-time updates of the Red Line’s construction process, increasing community awareness about the project.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  41

Inspiring the best in every boy. IT STARTS AT THE BOYS’ LATIN SCHOOL OF MARYLAND

OPEN HOUSE - October 23 11am in the Iglehart Center Grades K–12, Parents & Students For more information, please call 410.377.5192 x1137 or email 822 West Lake Avenue Baltimore, MD 21210

42  october 2011

U rbanite P ro j ect 2 0 1 1 : O pen cit y challenge

The Red Line Construction

Song and Cookbook submitted By c. ryan patterson and jann rosen-queralt

Ta bl e of Con t e n ts

An urban field guide and activity kit courtesy of MTA provided to the public. Purchase your pack or download the book from 1 C. Ryan Patterson 6 and Jann Rosen-Queralt

are artists living and working in baltimore, who specialize in large-scale community art initiatives.



Everyone is an Archeologist? Personal Artifacts

Objects, Artifacts, & Relics

Inventory Themes Display Techniques


DIY Projects


Recycling Materials in Your Home & Community 12


Chapter 1 ON YOUR OWN


11 8



1. Dust Mask 2. Seeds 13 3. Lead Test Kit 4. Spork 5. Band-Aids 6. Magnifying Glass 7. Collapsible Drinking Cup 8. Hand Sanitizer 9. Portable Water Filter 10. The Redline Construction Song & Cookbook 11. Map Pocket 12. Compass 13. Multi-Tool

Backyard Potatoes Chicken Coops Vertical Gardens

as a GROUP

as a GROUP

(Collections of memories, natural history artifacts, geology, religious & historic relics, art and antiquities)

Community Conversations & Stories Broadcast on Redline Radio

Curiosity Cabinet Workshop

Community Totems/ Time Capsules MTA Surplus Materials

Giveaways, Swap Meets, and Exchanges

Chapter 2 Making the Invisible Visible?


Write and Record YOUR story Journaling Basics Poetry Step by Step Underground Networks

Diagrams of the Redline

Boring Better Tunnels Laying Pipelines and Cables Forgotten Arteries

Sample field guide pages and flyers for free activities and events highlighting living, learning, commuting, and enduring transit development and construction of the Red Line. Each activity will be organized in collaboration with the MTA Community Outreach Coordinator and

a stakeholders advisory group, composed of individuals who created the Red Line Community Compact Agreement. Honorariums will be offered to activity and workshop leaders. This process will be ongoing for the duration of the constrution.

Leakin Park “A Name Before a Place” Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum “God Opened My Mouth and No Man Can Shut It.” Patterson Park Pagoda on Hampstead Hill “Key Defensive Position War of 1812” Sarah Levering Brown “Grief of a Mother” 1781 Friends Meeting House “Guarded Education for Children”

Maps & History of Baltimore’s Stream Valleys

Map of Hidden Streams

Water and Power Infrastructure

Landmarks Camp Carroll “Plantation to Federal Camp”

Generation to Generation

Join a Construction Tour

How Things are Made, Why They Work, and Who Made Them

Urban Water Dousing Workshops

Follow the B’more Historic Bite-sized Marer Bits

Reciprocity of Urban Ecology?


Labor & Train Songsheet

Johnny Cash “Casey Jones”

Set Up Your Day - Redline Radio Sing-A-Long

Chapter 4 Public Health?


Overture to Mindfulness Benefits of Soil Testing Building Strong Bodies

Recipes for Working Folk Locally Sourced Recipes

Water Ecology

Filtration Digrams/info

as a GROUP

Meditative Walks

Take a Construction Worker to Lunch Commuter Happy Hour

Urban Bio-Diversity: City Critters

Marty Stuart “Blue Train”

Naturalist Walks & Tours

Drive Your Own “Rig” Day

Free Soil Testing Demonstrations

Chapter 3

Styx “Blue Collar Man”

as a GROUP

Food on the Run

Explore Early Transportation Routes Along the Gwynn Falls Mill Race

Labor & Train Themed Songs

Sam Cooke “Chain Gang” Paul Robeson “Joe Hill” Harry Belafonte “John Henry” Pete Seeger “Solidarity Forever” Huey Lewis & News “Workin’ For A Livin’”

Local restaurants prepare bento box appetizers for the ride home, sold by area businesses and community youth, who earn minimum wage for their effort

Community Cook Off Water Workshop

Build a Rain Barrel & Water Filtering Planter Box

Urbanite #88  october 2011  43

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44  october 2011

Getting an e-Ducation The ups and downs of earning a degree online By Christianna McCausland Illustrations by kali ciesemier

higher learning


ox a n n e B y c z kowsk i k nows a thing or two about the hardfou g ht bat t le to get an educ at ion a s a n adult. Since she started working at age 18, she got her associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees by going to night school. “Having to travel to class after working a full day and worrying about traffic and getting there on time was very stressful,” she says. “My undergraduate degree took me to five colleges—UMBC, Essex Community College, Catonsville Community College, Carroll Community College, and College of Notre Dame of Maryland—to complete over a fourteen-year span of night school.” Today, the 41-year-old Columbia resident works full-time in disaster recovery for the federal government and part-time as a consultant for the cooking tool company Pampered Chef. She has a stack of commitments to professional organizations and is raising her 14-year-old stepson with her domestic partner, Rich Lamberti. And on top of it all, she’s back in school—only this time, it looks a little different. Byczkowski began work on a master’s degree in homeland security management at Towson University in 2007 and hopes to complete it by 2012. The degree is one of four that Towson offers completely online. An early riser, Byczkowski can go to school before going to work, although weekends are also prolific study times, as are evenings, after chores are finished at home. “[Online] is very f lexible,” she says. “If you’re up at 1 a.m. you can do work online instead of physically needing to be in a class at a certain time.” The economic crisis has inspired plenty of people to hit the books in hopes that a degree or professional certification will help them land or keep a job or improve their lot in the job they’re in. (See “Not Too Cool for School,” April ’09 Urbanite.) The flexible hours and openended timelines have made online learning increasingly popular. In 2009, 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course.

By 2010, that number had jumped by almost a million, according to Sloan-C, an online education consortium. The vast majority of those enrolled in online degree programs are what higher education experts call adult learners—anyone over age 24—who don’t have the time to commute to a campus or the ability to drop out of the workforce to go back to school full-time. Byczkowski hopes her degree will allow her to move more freely into new job opportunities within the federal government. But recent controversy surrounding for-profit institutions that have fueled runaway growth by offering online degrees has cast a shadow over virtual learning. The question is how Byczkowski—or the millions of other online learners—can be sure they’re getting their money’s worth.


any of the schools that embraced online technology in its early days were night schools or correspondence programs, like Strayer University, a for-profit school that began in 1892 as a small business college for working adults in Baltimore. Ditto University of Phoenix, which opened in 1976 catering to working people

46  october 2011

with its convenient locations in unlikely college towns like Timonium and “campuses” in high-rise office space. “Online courses are in some ways an electronic version of correspondence courses that have been around a long time,” says Terry Cooney, interim provost at Towson University, who still has the lesson plans from the nursing correspondence course his grandmother took almost 100 years ago. “It’s not that the idea of distance education is brand new ... We’re all looking at what the best uses are of [online education] as it evolves.” Towson now offers four master’s degrees online, along with one undergraduate degree and three advanced certificates. But it is hardly the first state school to do so. University of Maryland University College, based in Adelphi, near Silver Spring, got its start in 1947 offering evening classes to military personnel returning from the war, then broadened its reach with courses on bases in Europe and Asia. Under that model, most of UMUC’s enrollment was overseas—until the 1990s, when the university became an early adopter of online learning. “We grew dramatically,” says Marie Cini, vice president and dean for the School of Undergraduate Studies. “We now have far more

online students than face-to-face students, and our stateside enrollments are far greater than Europe and Asia.” Today, UMUC offers 107 degree and certificate programs entirely online. Eighty-five percent of undergrads are taking online courses or fully online degrees. The majority of the graduate classes are mostly or entirely online. The demographics of UMUC’s students have changed, too. Although the school’s roots are military, today, more than 40 percent of its students are civilians, and the typical age of an undergraduate student is early 30s. “We became very good at adult learning and being flexible and accessible,” Cini says, “and if you do that for a military student you know how to do that for any adult who has a complicated life.” Online courses are appealing because they’re convenient. When you factor in commute time—to say nothing of the expense of child care, gas, and parking—a one-hour class in a traditional college setting quickly becomes a four-hour commitment. Online, some classes are taught in real time—in edu-jargon, they’re called “synchronous.” But most are “asynchronous”—students access materials at their convenience, complete coursework and participate in online dialog within a flexible timeframe, and generally progress on their own schedule. Nor are online students bound by geography. You can study most anything you like, where you like, as long as you have a computer. Degrees that appeal to career-minded students and that don’t require a lot of hands-on practical work have really blossomed online in such areas as business, education, IT, criminal justice, and, to some extent, health care. Diane Moore, 57, has been a registered nurse for thirty years but always wanted to get her bachelor’s in nursing. Several years ago the Marriottsville resident signed up for a traditional program but needed to drop out when her husband required surgery. Now she’s in school online at University of Phoenix, where she can balance school with her job, an aging parent, and trips to visit her grandchild. With

higher learning

the Phoenix program she doesn’t need to drop out every time her personal life encroaches on school time. She prefers going to school in the evening in her pajamas. “I get home from work, eat dinner, chat with my husband, and then go straight to the computer,” she says.

[regulation] … Online will emerge healthier as a result, though it was going in that direction anyway.”



ll that convenience is not without its price, however. The biggest misconception about online learning is that it’s cheaper than going to school the old-fashioned way. And it’s true that e-learners save on commute time, gas, and parking; for those who would have ditched a job and moved to a new town to attend a program in-person, the cost-ofliving savings are substantial. But pricing is generally done by course or credit and is usually the same for both online and in-class. To cover these costs, many students take out student loans—and this recently put for-profit schools that offer online degrees in the spotlight, and not in a flattering way. Last winter, an extensive investigation by the Department of Education revealed that more than a quarter of for-profit educational institutions receive 80 percent of their revenues from student loans provided by the federal government and underwritten by taxpayers. But 26 percent of the student loans made to students of for-profit institutions—comprising 46 percent of all the loan dollars—were in default. The Department of Education cited “wide-spread evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse.” The apparent message : Forprofit institutions, which have used online degrees to stoke growth in recent years, and where online learners make up a disproportionate share of the population, had not been delivering on their promises to pave a path to prosperity for their graduates—and we are all paying the price for their failure. “When you have the combination of non-traditional schools that are growth-oriented that have used online to enable access to groups that otherwise would have struggled to get access … It’s not surprising you end up with relatively

poor performance,” says Richard Garrett, a managing director at Eduventures, Inc., a Boston-based research and consulting firm specializing in higher education. Nonetheless, for-profit institutions took a beating over what critics alleged was misuse of federal financial aid and overly aggressive recruiting practices. The Department of Education responded with new regulations that go into effect next year requiring for-profit schools to disclose program costs to give students a sense for how their tuition money is being spent. For-profit schools will also have to publish the debtto-earnings ratio for graduates, which could indicate a graduate’s ability to make enough to repay his or her loans. How transformative this glut of information will be remains to be seen, but Garrett says it has put more accountability on for-profit schools. “It’s definitely forced for-profit schools to rethink their strategy, to emphasize retention and debt management more so than in the past,” he says. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that for-profit institutions had seen enrollment plummet—some by more than 45 percent. The paper credited the drop to schools reigning in aggressive recruiting practices following

the criticism over student loans, as well as students seeking less expensive options at community colleges. Richard Castellano, a spokesperson for University of Phoenix, responded to the new regulations in an e-mail: “University of Phoenix has already implemented a number of robust student protections that … help students make responsible educational and financial decisions, and substantially all of our academic programs successfully prepare students for gainful employment.” At press time, the rules were still stirring up as much controversy as they’re meant to squelch. In July, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, or APSCU, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the regulations. In a Bloomberg article, Brian Moran, APSCU’s interim chief executive officer and president, said in an emailed statement: “By issuing the Gainful Employment regulations, the Department of Education has clearly exceeded its statutory authority … Adding complexity not clarity, the department’s unlawful regulations will hurt students and jobs.” Garrett is quick to point out that “the [online] delivery mode in and of itself isn’t implicated in this

ven with the new regulations and ever-improving technology, the quality of online education varies widely, and prospective students are wise to do their homework before signing up. Data released by the Society of Human Resource Management indicates that online degrees are viewed more favorably now than they were five years ago. However, the same poll indicated that more than half the respondents felt a traditional degree was still preferable when work experience was similar. Getting a solid education online is not dissimilar to picking any other school. Prospective students should check references and make sure schools are accredited by one of the six regional bodies in the United States. Sue Blanshan, director of academic affairs at the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the coordinating body that vets post-secondary programs in the state, says her agency is working to outline a platform of best practices, but that its review process for online programs is not dissimilar from its review of traditional ones. “As long as you pay attention to industry best practices for infrastructure and curriculum development, I think you’re fine,” she says. “It’s not a major issue for us to shift gears.” That said, the technolog y is still evolving, and the pressure is on schools to make their online programs more dynamic than just some dressed-up chat room. “Online is ever more mainstream,” says Eduventures’s Garrett. “But for online to keep being more highly regarded, it has to evolve beyond simply being convenient.” Seizing on this opportunity is 2tor, a startup opened in 2008 with an office in Landover. The company provides technology, instructional design, infrastructure, and resources to elite schools such as the University of Southern California, Georgetown, and UNC Chapel Hill. CEO John Katzman founded the Princeton Review test prep Urbanite #88  october 2011  47

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higher learning company, and COO and President Chip Paucek was formerly CEO of Hooked On Phonics. “We thought there was a huge void in online education around the issue of quality,” says Jeremy Johnson, 2tor’s chief marketing officer. “We felt the world needed someone who could help great universities build programs that were as high quality as their on-campus programs.”


ot everyone is getting on the online bandwagon, however. Loyola University Maryland has eschewed fully online degrees, allowing only limited hybrid course work—like a travel writing course, a natural fit for the online platform. “We have a highly personalized educational experience, and we recognize and honor frequent interaction with students, in both the undergraduate and graduate programs,” says Dr. Timothy Snyder, vice president of academic affairs. “When we teach, we are working in many contexts; we think of it as much

more than content delivery. I know online can do that too, but what we do is so built around the whole person concept we tend to do things in more traditional settings.” T he perception that online courses save schools gobs of cash is inaccurate. When you crunch the numbers, the expense of curriculum development, high-caliber IT staff and infrastructure to keep everything running like clockwork, and the time and talent of the professor or adjunct instructor/teacher make the financial gain to the school a wash. Still, even schools that aren’t fully online are generally embracing a hybrid model; Goucher College, for example, offers five graduate degrees online, although each has a required, limited residency component. “If you are a college or university now and want to grow enrollment significantly, you can’t do it without online,” says Greg Williams, associate professor at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He’s also director of the school’s fully online instructional

systems development degree, which teaches how to build online curriculum. “University of Phoenix, UMUC, Strayer, Capella—they all have online programs,” he continues. “If you sit there as an institution of higher education and do nothing, you potentially lose ground to your competition, whether they’re physically in your state or not.” Being online allows a school to spread its brand outside its physical market, which is especially appealing to small liberal arts colleges, many of which have been hammered by myriad economic factors in recent years. McDaniel College in Westminster got into the online fray late and cautiously. The school now has one fully online graduate degree in gerontology and at press time is awaiting MHEC approval to accredit its program in writing for children and young adults. Henry Reiff, dean of graduate and professional studies, explains that while the writing program, for example, wouldn’t attract two hundred students to campus, it could online. It has already garnered

interest from students in California, Hawaii, and Ireland, he says. “The reality is we need to produce revenue, and there’s more opportunities for expansion in graduate and professional studies than there are in the traditional, private, liberal arts program,” Reiff says. And even as online higher education plateaus as it matures, its projected annual expenditures are expected to reach $6.1 billion by 2015. Hot on its heels is growth in online K–12, expected to become the most active e-learning segment in the U.S. “As the digital generation gets older, they’re going to expect certain things,” says UMBC’s Williams. “And the smart universities are going to select where they can create online opportunities without losing their traditional identity.” “There’s an expansion piece to this, but there’s a survival piece as well,” agrees Reiff. “My sense is that graduate programs that don’t get online will have a hard time surviving. Like it or not, if you don’t get on board, you’re going to get left behind.”

Cutting Class: Who offers online degrees? The following is a list of area schools offering fully online degrees and/or certificate programs: Morgan State University academics/morgan _ online Morgan State provides a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in an online format as well as the doctorallevel Community College Leadership program.

Coppin State University Coppin State University does not offer online degrees. However, more than 65 percent of its programs offer online courses.

Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins’s graduate master’s degree programs in bioinformatics, computer science, environmental planning and management, environmental engineering and science, and systems engineering can be completed fully online. Three master’s tracks are available for students in the School of Nursing, and some liberal arts master’s degrees, such as communications, can be completed online. Hopkins also offers a range of online graduate courses.

College of Notre Dame of Maryland NDM launches its first online degree this autumn: the master’s in Contemporary Communication.

McDaniel College McDaniel has one master’s degree program in gerontology and is accrediting its online certificate program in writing for children and young adults.

Towson University Offering mostly certificates and some bachelor’s and master’s degrees online, Towson’s specialty areas include information technology, security,

Capitol College Focused on engineering, computer science, information technology, and business, all of Capitol’s graduate degree programs are entirely online, as is most of the doctorate program. Some undergraduate classes are offered online.

Stevenson University Stevenson offers graduatelevel course work in forensic studies and business and technology management online, in addition to a bachelor’s in criminal justice.

human resources development, and an MBA program run in conjunction with the University of Baltimore. University of Maryland, Baltimore County UMBC has online degrees available in education instructional development, as well as several in the fields of emergency health services and information systems. University of Maryland University College UMUC has twenty-nine bachelor’s degree programs, twenty-four undergraduate certificates, sixteen master’s degrees, and forty graduate certificate programs fully online.

University of Maryland School of Nursing UMSON was the first nursing school in Maryland to offer a bachelor of science in nursing completely online. Students can now get an undergraduate or one of five graduate degrees fully online. University of Maryland School of Dentistry While the clinical work makes it hard to get a dental degree online, there are online programs available for hygienists. –C.M.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  49

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Fiction saint joan by Jen michalski


he is near because the scent of Jungle Gardenia, with top notes of orange and sage, idles in the air. Then I see her, a robe of navy and yellow silk, in the passenger seat of our minivan, smoking a Chesterfield. “Why must everything be a contest?” Joan Crawford looks back at my children as they fight over a video game, kicking, pushing. They ignore her at the height of her drama. I let her talk, talk until her eyebrows arch almost perpendicular to her eyes and she sighs so heavily it tickles my ear. Guiltily, I pull into the drive-thru. Even Joan leans over to see the menu, cautiously optimistic of an orange drink, onion rings. *** My mother and aunt smoked cigarettes, their toes separated by cotton that kept bloodred nails from commiserating. They turned magazine pages in the yard. She’s a goddamn slut is what she is, my mother said about an actress. Goddamn slut, I repeated, skipping, bare feet, soft grass. My mother lurched toward me, her hand moving faster, harder, on my face. Jesus, Sandy, stop it. My aunt said, frowning. That’s enough. My mother’s sunglasses slid down her nose, her red-purple swollen eye squinting at the world like something undercooked, not long for this world. *** Joan brings them to where I lie in bed, boy’s underpants and socks, crushed drink boxes, action men. When are they going to learn to put things away? She complains. We hear the crash. I follow her, blood pounding in my neck, fists clenched. We stand over the broken vase, the one Gary gave me for our anniversary. I didn’t mean to, my youngest wails, and Joan squats, grabs him by his arms. She wears her cowgirl outfit from Johnny Guitar, her red scarf fluttering. Don’t fuck with me fella. She shakes him. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo. Later, I sit on the bed, watching him sleep. My mother used cayenne pepper and petroleum jelly on bruises. I move my hand lightly over his skin, the jelly shiny, imagining it is ultrasound that sees into him. I look for monsters in his dreams, in waking. *** Joan sits on the edge of the bathtub, filing her nails, as I finger the pills in the medicine cabinet. She laughs, so large, so belittling, leaning over and beckoning. Love is fire. She whispers. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell. I push her into the water. Her eyes widen white and bubbles stream from her nose as we struggle. A strand of her hair floats to the surface, defeated. There have been appointments, sandstone medical buildings in shopping centers. There have been halffilled journals and half-read books. There have been therapist bills and fights with Gary. I unplug the drain, watching her swirl once more into the pipes, into the things that quietly build in the ground, under the house, until they burst. Urbanite #88  october 2011  53

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54  october 2011

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God’s House

Once a church and a synagogue, a Bolton Hill structure now feels like home By Brennen Jensen Photos by J.M. Giordano


altimore is such a renovate-andrepurpose kind of town that we have folks living in an erstwhile bowling alley, a former grain elevator, and a onetime bottle cap factory. It should come as little surprise, then, to learn that a Bolton Hill couple carved a five-bedroom home out of a church. And just to double down on the holy ground thing, this same structure was once a synagogue as well. But godly usage for the circa-1870 marble edifice, designed by the prolific local architect Charles Cassell

Doubly blessed: This Bolton Hill home was once a church and, before that, a synagogue.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  57

On high: Owners Roberta Faux and Travis Hardaway say coming up with a floor plan that retained the building’s open space while providing the necessary comforts of home was a challenge. Three flights up, a lofted, narrow sitting room, dubbed “the bridge” (pictured, top left), feels cozy, while offering elevated views out a large triangular front window.

58  october 2011


“For some eighty years it was a rec center. The windows were all Plexiglas, and the floor was a basketball court.” Roberta Faux, homeowner

(responsible for Stewart’s Department Store, the Brexton, and Stafford Apartments, among others), is only part of the story. “It was an Episcopal church for only a fairly short period,” says homeowner and tour guide Roberta Faux (pronounced “fox”). “For some eighty years it was a rec center. The windows were all Plexiglas, and the floor was a basketball court.” When she and her husband, Travis Hardaway, bought the Bolton Street building in 2005, it had been home to the Bolton Street Synagogue for about a decade before the congregation moved to a new location in Roland Park. Stars of David had been worked into a pair of gothic front windows, the backboards had boogied, and carpet was laid over the maple court floor. It really was just a cavernous space beneath a vast pitched roof. “Coming up with a floor plan was the biggest challenge,” Faux says. “We wanted to preserve some open space, but at the same time it’s not reasonable to live in a giant church.” Working with Hardaway’s architect father, the couple considered all manner of configurations before deciding to leave an open, loft-like living room in the front section of the building—one offering plenty of room for a grand piano from Baltimore’s own Charles Stieff Co. Vintage roof beams and related support structures were retained overhead, with a narrow sitting room, dubbed “the bridge,” wedged three flights up before a large triangular window. It’s a cozy booklined spot that looks out over the handsome brick facades across the street. The basketball court’s maple boards, denuded of three-point lines and other markings, were scrubbed up to make a handsome first-floor treatment. At the rear, a capacious kitchen is overlooked by a TV and family room raised a few steps up from the “court.” This was the original altar area, although there’s nothing left to indicate that. (Faux says some ornate plaster columns here were damaged beyond repair.) Above, a whole new second floor structure was erected to house bedrooms, baths, and such. To provide light to the rooms tucked up under the vaulted ceiling, workers added a large skylight above an atrium set over the first-floor kitchen eating area. Operable roof windows were cut into bedroom spaces as well. Faux and Hardaway created a new rear exit by cutting through the back wall. The door now leads to a circular deck and near-suburban-sized patch of grass. “The stones we removed for the new opening were placed out in the yard,” Faux says, noting the marble accent pieces in the garden. If there’s any room in the 4,600-plus-square-foot house with true ecclesiastical feel, it’s the master bedroom in the rear of the second floor. Here the bed is set amid a trio of sweeping gothic arches of repaired, ribbed plaster. They form a pair of shallow alcoves for furnishings, including a shaving sink fashioned out of a British safe from colonial-era India. A trio of arched windows completes the churchy feel. So, what’s it like to bed down in such a space, where pastors and rabbis once warned their flocks about the wages of sin? “Well,” Faux confesses, “it did feel a little bit strange at first.” Urbanite #88  october 2011  59

The Residences at Oella Mill—Unique Apartment Homes on the Patapsco River.

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Urbanite #88  october 2011  61

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS IN STYLE Red Maple, perfect for large holiday celebrations. Call our office at 410.385.0520

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62  october 2011

food + drink

feature  /  dining reviews  /  wine + spirits

In the Hunt

Lessons from a tree stand, before sunup


photo by j.m. giordano

By Michelle Gienow

have been sitting motionless for two hours when the doe appears. The forest is nearly black, bare trees dimly silhouetted against a heavily clouded November sky, and the deer is a shadow slipping among shadows in the very first light. My numb, cold-locked limbs are stiff and slow as I rise to my feet, hidden 30 feet above the ground in my tree stand. Suddenly every nerve is firing, neural pathways ablaze with ancient instinct abruptly awakened, and I feel alive, completely aware, in a way

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It is generally ill-advised to take up a new and timeconsuming enthusiasm when one is in the midst of serious life crisis, but when my marriage (ten years, two kids) fell apart for good last year that is exactly what I did.

I never have before. I’m surprised by this. Only later do I realize what I am feeling is awe, biblical awe. Although trembling with adrenalin, I will myself to remain completely still until the doe passes briefly out of sight behind a tree, and in that moment I raise my bow, draw. I am aiming just below the shoulder, just above the heart, to take out both lungs. When struck there, a deer will run for up to 30 seconds, then drop. The deer drifts down the ridge toward me and at last presents itself broadside. My body aims while my mind watches from some other place, disassociating itself from all this primitive neurochemistry. I finally let fly my razortipped arrow. The deer crashes away through the underbrush, and I don’t know where my arrow has gone, if I hit it, if I missed. But any doubt about whether I have the capacity to kill is gone. In that moment I want nothing, not one thing in this world, more than to kill that deer.

for deer to appear. That minus constant physical activity and motion my mind would turn on itself like a trapped rat. But instead it was the first time in my life I was able to shut down the inner monologue. Hunting, it turns out, is anything but passive wait. You use every sense at every moment, sustaining a state of global, open awareness. Everything has significance: the air, how it’s moving and which way (rising is good, carrying scent away, while falling wind can betray human presence). The smallest sounds must be carefully

t is generally ill-advised to take up a new and time-consuming enthusiasm when one is in the midst of serious life crisis, but when my marriage (ten years, two kids) fell apart for good last year that is exactly what I did. From the outside it all looked possibly crazy—a 43-year-old photographer and stay-at-home mother taking up bow and arrows, target-shooting in the back yard, studying up for the Maryland Hunter Safety test, getting up before dawn to climb a tree in the freezing darkness and then sit. Sit utterly still for hours waiting for daylight to come, hoping that over time the memory of sounds I made crashing through the underbrush would fade from the skittish minds of any deer who might consent to wander close enough for me to actually shoot them. But learning to hunt made a certain kind of sense during such a painful and confusing time. It was a way to escape the dangerous neighborhood that my mind had become, a Charybdis constantly swirling from guilt to anxiety to despair, then back again to guilt. At first I feared the waiting that makes up most of hunting, the long periods of sitting still and silent watching

10 oz venison, tr immed of a ll fat and connective tissue 1½ tbs minced sha llots ½ tsp sa lt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 tbs toasted pine nuts 1 large egg yolk 4 juniper ber r ies, ground 1⅛tsp chipotle chile powder 1¼ tsp fresh lemon juice 1¼ tsp fl at-leaf parsley, minced


Recipe VENISON TARTARE (Recipe from Mark Miller’s Red Sage cookbook)

Cut the meat into matchstick julienne and keep it very cold. Add all the other ingredients except the lemon juice and parsley and mix well. Just before serving, mix in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve with crusty bread, sliced and brushed with olive oil and lightly grilled.

listened to and interpreted for origin, pattern, direction. You watch the forest obliquely, from the outermost perimeters of vision, attempting to decipher a thousand variations on the color brown. In the tree stand, there is only now—a destination I had never before been able to reach despite years of yoga, meditation, and therapy. Not that all the waiting paid off, at least not for my dinner table. We live in an area of Baltimore County that is completely overrun—and, increasingly, environmentally devastated—by an uncontrolled deer population. They are absolutely everywhere: cruising in herds through our neighborhood, treating landscaping and vegetable gardens as their personal salad bars, littering area roadsides with their car-killed carcasses. But climb up a tree with the intent to turn one of them into tasty venison, and they are nowhere to be found. Deer aren’t dumb. Well, actually, they are— possessing low intelligence, but the highest possible instinct. It’s as if my intent somehow broadcast itself, no matter how still or silent I remained, and, sensing something was amiss, the deer vanished. I went hunting pretty much any time my children stayed with their dad, but I never got a deer. Most of the times I hunted I never saw any at all. The closest I came was to shoot at one and miss. I did, however, butcher two in my own kitchen—amazing what you can learn from watching YouTube videos. The first, a small doe, was a pity present from a more experienced hunter, and the other a fresh roadkill. Lacking my own meat grinder, I cut them down into roasts, steaks, and stew chunks. Determined not to waste a single scrap of these animals, I roasted the bones for stock and gave the hides to friends who tan deerskin. All winter long I enjoyed working with different preparations and ingredients to enhance this wild meat’s properties. No matter how I approached the venison, it was delicious. And it will taste even better next year, I am sure, when it’s from a deer I have taken myself. Urbanite #88  october 2011  65

1000 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, Md 21202

where food meets fashion

(410) 685-6111 Open 7 days a week 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Darker Than Blue Café Where Blues and Jazz Meets Great Food

Join us every Sunday from 11a.m. – 3p.m. at our Buffet Brunch. Let Darker Than Blue Café cater your holiday party.

3034 Greenmount Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 443-872-4468 66  october 2011

photo by Allison Samuels; photo by j.m. Giordano

Offers a tantalizing menu filled with the traditional tastes of Italy infused with the bold flavors of the Mediterranean.

dining reviews  food + Drink

The Olive Room

and later, the price was dropped to $16 (last we checked it was $10). Likewise, the Imam Baildi, a baked eggplant stuffed with tomatoes and garlic, was delicious but seemed overpriced on an By Martha Thomas early visit, until the tab was dropped by a third, to $16. (There are no happy hour otel restaurants can be somewhat respecials yet, and with cocktails $12 to moved from the rhythms of the outside $14, the restaurant probably won’t have world. When its kitchen is busy cranking to worry about youthful bingeing.) out room service orders and serving banPrices notwithstanding, the Olive quet meals in the ballroom, the restaurant Room is in many ways a perfect addition may exist as an afterthought, populated by to the neighborhood. The ingredients transient travelers or those doing business are fresh and seasonal: a Greek salad over breakfast. As always, it’s the exception with hunks of slightly salty feta and ripe that proves the rule—think Alain Ducasse heirloom tomatoes on wild greens, a cold in Paris (and D.C.), Jean Georges in New summer soup with cucumber and fresh York, and here in Baltimore, B&O Brassedill, olive oil-marinated rockfish served rie—and now the Olive Room. on skewers with slices of crisp, slightly In the ultra-green, ultra-chic new Inn at charred onion and pepper. The meat opthe Black Olive, the upstairs restaurant may tions range from marinated lamb served still be a work in progress, although the raw with pita, chopped tomatoes, and tzamaterials are certainly promising. For one tziki to a Porter House steak. And there thing, it’s one of the loveliest spaces around. are a number of classic Greek dishes, The smallish restaurant—with an airy bank like pastry stuffed with lamb or spinach, of windows and terrace creating a space All Greek to me: The Olive Room offers fresh Mediterranean cuisine. dandelion greens dressed in lemon and that feels much larger than it is—has an unin olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. olive oil, and sweet kataifi—honey-soaked walencumbered view of the water looking across But the Olive Room hasn’t yet found its nuts wrapped in bird’s-nest-like pastry—for to the slips and condos along Key Highway. niche (although by the time you read this, dessert. The setting will change with the seaIt’s a sophisticated place, where you assume things may be more resolved). Is it an urban sons but promises to be consistently sublime. an expert hand is muddling cocktails from room-with-a-view for smart happy hours or a Here’s hoping the place will work through its locally grown herbs and pouring biodynamic more casual version of its upscale parent, growing pains to become as familiar as an old wines, an ambitious young chef proffering the the Black Olive? After its prolonged openfriend. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 803 small plates of Greek olives or charcoal-grilled ing phase, the restaurant’s prices were still S. Caroline St.; 443-681-6316. www.theblack shrimp to be shared at the bar or a dinner conerratic—on one night a lamb burger was $24, sisting of a perfectly seared fish dressed only

photo by Allison Samuels; photo by j.m. Giordano


The Brewer’s Art by Rebecca Messner


n its fifteen years of existence, the Brewer’s Art has managed to ride out the rise, fall, and rise of the local brewpub. Several of its beers are now available in stores (one, the sweetish, high-alcohol Resurrection Ale, comes in cans), and its two bars—a cavern-like red basement and more elegant upstairs room— are celebrated both locally and nationally. (Esquire recently tapped Brewer’s for its list of America’s best bars.) Vying for a goblet of Belgian-style brew here can be hellishly difficult on weekend nights, especially in the hot and crowded cellar, where the bar’s devotees have scrawled graffiti onto tables and bathroom walls, as if trying to claim the place as their own. But tucked upstairs in the back (and protected from wandering drinkers by vigilant hosts) there’s a candlelit dark-wood dining room that offers beer-friendly dining of surprising sophistication. Chef Dave Newman calls his menu “market-driven New American,” with seasonal ingredients and inspiration

from around the globe—as in dishes such as grilled misoglazed octopus, red curry mussels, and chicken schnitzel. The beers see action in the kitchen, too: Roasted chicken gets a brine in Ozzy ale, the little blond sister to Resurrection Ale. Ozzy also makes a crisp accompaniment to a ceviche appetizer, made from a family recipe of Peruvianborn line cook David Hideaway: The Brewer’s Art proves beer can elevate a meal. DeCol. It’s an exercise fries—toothpick thin, equal parts crunch and in late-onset spice and light citrus, placing grease, and seasoned generously with rosefluke, scallops, shrimp, and calamari amid mary and garlic. Sometimes the richness gets sweet potato, onion, and crunchy kernels of burdensome, as with a messy crock of baked Peruvian popcorn. red-pepper polenta and ratatouille doused Ceviche aside, most Brewer’s fare tends with Parmesan cream and a basil Marconato be rich, hearty, and unsubtle. Tender pork almond pesto. Amid the abundant cheesiness, belly draped in a velvety bourbon sauce is the individual elements get lost. (Dinner daily. placed atop cornbread as dense and sweet as 1106 N. Charles St.; 410-547-6925; www.themarzipan. Steak frites offers a well-charred sirloin upstaged by its accompanying Urbanite #88  october 2011  67

FARM FEST A fundraiser for

1000 FRIENDS of MARYLAND and their efforts to Keep Farmers Farming!


October 8th 1pm - 6pm

Farmer Tom’s

427 Cockeys Mill Road Reisterstown, MD 21136

Order tickets at

68  october 2011

wine + spirits  food + Drink

Terrain in Spain

What I Drank on My Summer Vacation, Part 2 By Clinton Macsherry


hitewashed windmills from the pages of Don Quixote share the La Mancha countryside with sleek propeller turbines. City walls erected by the Romans in ancient Barcelona stand within a catapult-shot of glass castles sculpted by Frank Gehry and other avant-garde architects. Throughout Spain, you can lunch on air-cured ham and stewed tripe in centuries-old markets, then turn for dinner to the foams, gelées, and reconstituted foodstuffs of “molecular gastronomy,” as manufactured by disciples of Ferran Adrià and his seminal El Bulli restaurant. Wine producer-exporter Ignasi López calls this “the Spanish dichotomy”—a constant juxtaposition of old and new that in many ways defines contemporary Spain. It can seem jarring to visitors, and it deeply divides many people passionate about the country’s wines. Lines have been drawn between traditional and modern wine styles, and partisan camps fiercely dispute their respective virtues and betrayals. Classicists lay claim to elegance and authenticity while deriding the neophytes’ affinity for fruit-bombs pandering to the international palate. Progressives counter that such hidebound, arguably elitist resistance to innovation ignores the fact that vintners now make greater quantities of highquality wine than even a generation ago. Revealingly, much of this debate occurs among wine geeks outside of Spain. No one I met there seemed the slightest bit conflicted. Several major producers craft wines in both styles. Moreover, rigid distinctions between “traditional” and “modern” tend to break down under scrutiny. For example, heavy oak treatment— considered a hallmark of new-regime winemaking worldwide—has long characterized Spain’s photo by robert hunter

traditional reds from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. And while elsewhere modernists transplant internationally favored varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, López and many of his compatriots have renewed focus on Spain’s indigenous grapes in their native regions. “We make wine in the modern style,” says López, and as such, his lineup features fruit-forward flavors and rounded structures. He uses techniques like microoxygenation (injecting oxygen into fermentation tanks to soften tannins) and lees-stirring with nitrogen (to circulate precipitated solids, adding aromatic complexity and richness). “But I am obsessed with balance,” López adds. “I want expression of the grape, but never overripe, flat, or flabby”—pejoratives often hurled at modernist wines. “We make wine with the same types of grapes from the same places, but smoother than the old style,” says López. “We want to show another vision of Spain.” López partners with wine estates in the Cariñena, Jumilla, and Uclés regions to produce reds from Garnacha, Monastrell, and Tempranillo grapes, respectively. A rosé and a white blend also hail from Cariñena. From Penedès come two sparkling cavas. Their brand names reflect characteristics of their origins—the Tempranillo, for example, is called Campos de Viento, or “Fields of Wind.” Most sell stateside for under $10, with two reserve bottlings fetching a few bucks more. I’ve tasted most of them and haven’t found a clunker. Highlights include the Ca mpos de Estrellas Br ut Nature (non-vintage, 11.5 percent alcohol), a classic cava blend of Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada. It pours luminous green-gold with a light mousse. Orange zest and lemon aromas lead to a medium-bodied palate, with grapefruit notes and refreshing acidity rounded by finely beaded bubbles. A second cava, labeled Brut, adds smoke and candied citrus accents. The medium gold Campos de Luz 2010 white (13.35 percent alcohol) blends Viura with Chardonnay and a dollop of Muscat. Scents of white flowers, tropical fruit, and straw introduce a supple range of melon and citrus flavors that finish fresh and tart. The all-Garnacha Campos de Luz Rosé 2010 (13.9 percent alcohol) shines reddish-orange, with watermelon-patch aromatics joined by vivid red berries. Locally, I found the Campos de R isca 20 08 Monastrell (14.5 percent alcohol) at Trinacria on Paca Street for $7. The color of old velvet, it wafts mulled plum and bark tea. Smoky black cherry, grilled herb, and coffee notes fill out a medium frame. All these wines— modern, traditional, or somewhere in-between— represent unbeatable value for any era. Urbanite #88  october 2011  69




Visit An Initiative of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore


Food & Wine Events ■ Menus & Recipes ■ Videos & Photos ■ Giveaways & Promotions

Monday, october 17, 2011 6-9 PM at M&T Bank Stadium FREE parking in Lot B and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership

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Showcase your football skills on the FIELD! Join us on the Club Level for a Meet and Greet with Ravens Cheerleaders and Poe, take a locker room tour, mingle with celebrity chefs, participate in a chili cook-off and enjoy live music from Baltimore’s School of Rock! General Admission: $50 Children 12 and younger: $25 Family Pack: $125 (2 adults, 2 children)

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70  october 2011

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Urbanite #88  october 2011  71

photo by j.m. giordano


4 EASY WAYS TO Purchase TICKETS! ONLINE CALL (410) 547-SEAT (7328) IN PERSON Hippodrome Theatre Box Office Monday – Friday • 11:00 am – 3:00 pm (15 or more)

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Tickets subject to applicable service charges. Performance prices, dates, times and cast are subject to change without notice. Single-ticket purchases limited to 8 tickets per person. Other restrictions may apply.

DECEMBER 7, 2011– JANUARY 8, 2012



arts + Culture

feature  /  book  /  visual art  /  theater /  scene

photo by j.m. giordano


Feels like home: Lafayette Gilchrist at the Windup Space


The volcanic sounds of Lafayette Gilchrist


By Baynard Woods

ee, check that out,” says Lafayette Gilchrist, his voice cool and slow. The 44-year-old African American pianist and composer leans forward on the couch, wearing his customary attire—a loose-fitting shirt unbuttoned over a T and his ever-present hat (today it’s red). The big grin on his face

can’t hide his intense focus. “It’s technical, graceful, full of finesse,” he says. “But there’s such power and force behind it.” Gilchrist might well be describing the music of his ever-evolving, avant-garde big band, the New Volcanoes, but he is actually talking about an old VHS tape of a Sugar Ray Leonard fight.


L STREET MEYERHOFF SYMPHONY HALL, 1212 CATHEDRAL STREET MEYERHOF Edward Glaeser Program: 6:30 pm General Admission $25, Student Tickets $15 To Purchase Tickets, Visit Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Annual Meeting Registration & Networking: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Program: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Members $130, Non-members $175 Group Discounts Available












Inaugural 2011-2012 season

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october 8 & 9 oN SALe NoW!

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Tony Bennett OCT 15 | Jackson Browne OCT 21 | In God We Rust: Lewis Black OCT 22 | The Rakes Progress NOV 18 & 20 | Rock of Ages DEC 2 & 3 12 Days of Christmas: Amy Grant & Vince Gill DEC 7 | Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker DEC 17 & 18 | John Waters Christmas DEC 21 The Irish Tenors – Wright • Kearns • Tynan DEC 22 | Cesar Millan JAN 14 | Fiddler on the Roof FEB 2-4 | Baltimore Premiere – Come Fly Away FEB 24-26 Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein MAY 2 & 3 | Alvin Ailey – American Dance Theater MAY 22-23 | Marriage of Figaro MAR 9 & 11 | Faust APR 20 & 22

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Full Season Flex Plans | Groups Save! 410.900.1156 110 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201 | Box Office (M-F) 10a -4p | Audience Services: 410.900.1150 74  october 2011


Feature / book  arts + culture Gilchrist hasn’t been to the gym in years, but he attacks the piano with the grace of Sugar Ray, dancing lightly around the keyboard until he slams it. “The way he lays down his bass really is like sparring with him,” says Gilchrist’s longtime bass player, Anthony “Blue” Jenkins. An accomplished sideman, Gilchrist regularly plays with the likes of Grammy-winning saxophonist David Murray and free jazz legend William Parker. But Gilchrist is first and foremost a composer. He writes for his jazz trio Inside Out and for the solo piano, but the New Volcanoes best display the fierce originality of his songs. The inspiration for these songs comes from the sonic landscape of Gilchrist’s youth, which included hip-hop, go-go, funk, and popular music (especially Prince). He wanted to bring those sounds together with his “deep commitment to the jazz tradition,” he says. “When I started this group, I knew that what I was dealing with rhythmically inside of me was inextricably linked to the contemporary world I grew up in.” The result is a musical bout that pits a heavyhitting, five-piece rhythm section against four agile horns and John Dierker’s hypnotic clarinet. “At first you think this is a funk band with a brass section, but then you hear the whole jazz tradition from New Orleans to the avant garde— except it all comes together,” says “Doc” Manning, host of WEAA’s Monday night jazz show. Saxophonist Gregory Thompkins calls it “complex music you can move your ass to.”


ilchrist may have grown up in D.C., but he found his musical voice here in Baltimore. He didn’t start playing piano until he started college at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. On the first day of class, he walked into the wrong room. “It was dark except for this light shining down on a piano,” Gilchrist recalls. He sat down, pressed the sustain pedal, and let his fingers glide across the keys. “I didn’t know what I was doing. But it sounded like music to me. It filled this void, and it was all I wanted to do.” Gilchrist was an Africana Studies major, but he describes himself as a “ghost” in the music department. “My Grand-mommy said, ‘You’re going away to a fancy college; make sure you meet the people who scrub the toilets.’ I did. And they had keys to everything,” Gilchrist recalls. He began to spend nights in the practice rooms, waving goodbye to the janitors as he left early each morning. For Gilchrist, music is not abstract; it is about the people involved. “I look for individuals. I don’t even care what they play if they can bring something to the conversation,” he says. Like his heroes Duke Ellington and Sun Ra, Gilchrist has carried on conversations with his musicians for decades. He has played with Nate Reynolds (drums), John Dierker (clarinet), and Mike Cerri (trumpet) for nearly twenty years. Anthony “Blue” Jenkins and Gregory Thompkins joined the band on bass and tenor saxophone, respectively, a few years later. “I don’t like to write

more than two bars, because I want to give them a chance to talk,” Gilchrist says. In the last couple of years, he has added a second tenor, Tiffany DeFoe, who also plays for the Belvederes and the AfroBeat Society; Kevin Pender on percussion; and Carl Filipiak on guitar. This summer, Gilchrist brought in a second trumpeter, Felgin Allen. The New Volcanoes’ fierce commitment to individuality allows this integrated band to transcend the stylistic—and sometimes racial— segregation that can sometimes divide the jazz community. But this also means that purists of various stripes tend to dismiss the band, even as they praise Gilchrist’s playing. A critic in Downbeat Magazine called Gilchrist a “naïf.” (The composer responded with a song of that title.) “I demand stark honesty,” Gilchrist says, “and that means not thinking about no fucking jazz, or no fucking genres of jazz, but to live in a world of rhythm and allow yourself to be stimulated by everyday life.” Gilchrist, whose music has been featured on The Wire and Treme, finds that stimulation in Baltimore. The city’s eclectic music scene provides a perfect context for Gilchrist’s genrebending sound. The Out of Your Head collective and the High Zero foundation have created fertile ground—and an audience—for experimental improvisation. Alhough scattered throughout the city, this scene’s epicenter is Station North, and particularly the Windup Space, where the New Volcanoes have made something of a home. Early next year, the band will release an album recorded at the club and will record there again—with the extended line-up—on October 1. Gilchrist would like to expose the Volcanoes to a wider audience. But music without easy labels is increasingly hard to sell. Hyena Records, the eclectic label that released Gilchrist’s last few albums, recently went out of business. And a ten-piece band is nearly impossible to take on the road—especially to Europe, where Gilchrist is more popular than he is in the States. “People have tried to get him to do the jam band circuit,” says Gilchrist’s manager, Bernard Lyons, whose company Creative Differences has done as much as anyone to promote the experimental music scene in Baltimore. “But drum circles and thirty minute guitar solos aren’t what the Volcanoes are about.” “He’s good enough to be a national act,” says Barry Glassman, founder of the Baltimore Jazz Alliance. “He could play with anyone, anywhere, anytime.” So what is it that keeps Gilchrist in Baltimore, even if he does have to eke out a living giving piano lessons? “You can find profound individuals here,” Gilchrist explains, pausing to watch Sugar Ray land a hard right hook. “There’s nothing like the Volcanoes nowhere else.”

 On the Air: Lafayette Gilchrist on music and boxing, October 7–8, on The Signal, WYPR 88.1 FM.

Dropping Knowledge Stare in the Darkness by Lester Spence (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) By Baynard Woods


ip-hop is an important cultural force, but its political significance is the source of contentious debate. Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-Hop and Black Politics, by Lester Spence, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins, brings an abundance of sociological data to a debate generally dominated by passion. Both those who believe that rap lyrics pervert the youth and cause great social harm and those who see it as a powerful political force will be disappointed with Spence’s findings: that rap music reproduces neoliberalism for what he calls a black parallel public (seen as different from but parallel to the country as a whole). If reading that sentence left you scratching your head, this book may not be for you. Although the cover image would look great on an album, make no mistake: Stare in the Darkness is an academic book. And yet, what it says is important, and it is a shame that it will probably only be read largely by other academics. Spence uses the methods of sociology and political science— a random sampling of lyrics, for instance—in order to show two distinct schools of “realist” rap. “Argumentative realism” takes the conditions of urban America and critiques them, while “descriptive realism” simply describes the conditions, often from a first-person point of view. That’s where neoliberalism comes in. Spence defines it as “the idea that individual liberty and freedom are best attained by reducing the role of government in ameliorating social suffering and instead relying on the market.” He shows that the descriptive realist MC—the notorious “Gangsta rapper”—becomes a typical neoliberal subject, “hustling” to maximize his human capital. “Argumentative” MCs like Chuck D of Public Enemy may try to criticize this neoliberal turn, but they are vastly outnumbered by—and far less influential than—“realists” like Fifty Cent. This is where Spence’s own passion creeps in. Like the argumentative MCs, he sees the “neoliberal turn” as a negative development because it removes the possibility of real political, or structural, change. It is clear that Spence loves the music and wishes that he could find a more distinctly hip-hop politics. But here, his academic rigor forces him to face these limits, stare in the darkness, and keep it real.  On the Air: Catch Lester Spence on The Marc Steiner Show, WEAA 88.9 FM, on October 10.

Urbanite #88  october 2011  75

Bottom photo by Teresa Castracane; Top photo courtesy of Guest Spot Gallery

visual Art / Theater  arts + culture

Be Our Guest

Narrative Liminal at Guest Spot Gallery, through October 15 By Cara Ober

Bottom photo by Teresa Castracane; Top photo courtesy of Guest Spot Gallery


tepping into Guest Spot Gallery, one gets the sense of being instantly transported to New York’s Lower East Side, where myriad gallery upstarts fill small, wonky living and retail spaces. Nestled into a charming Fells Point rowhouse, Baltimore’s newest destination for contemporary art boasts gleaming wood floors and white walls; if you venture back far enough, you’ll find artwork installed in a modern dining room and kitchen space. Besides being an independently run gallery, Guest Spot is a home and studio space for Rod Malin, an artist and recent transplant from New York. Rather than a distraction, Guest Spot’s concurrent function as a home enhances the boundaries of this exhibit: for the exceptionally curious, a secret diorama is waiting to be found in a kitchen cabinet. Malin, the gallery director, has only been in Baltimore a few months, but he has wasted no time implementing a Big Apple sophistication and professionalism. So far, the exhibits have

included a combination island. Although their of local and New York aesthetics are quite artists and tend to favor different, both artists an intellectual approach successfully create alto ideas and issues. The ternative realities that most recent exhibit, Narquestion the systems rative Liminal, features and hierarchies that Baltimore’s John Bohl inform history and and New York’s Michael folklore. Peter Smith and explores Guest Spot hosts the idea of gaps in collecmonthly opening retive consciousness due to ceptions on Friday modern journalistic pracnights, as well as a tices. Bohl’s prints, colclosing reception that lages, and sculptures emdoubles as a Sunday brunch (the next one ploy an absurdist method of combining disparate is October 15 from 1 to elements. Still Life with 5 p.m.), and their reguPretzel features neat, geolar Saturday afternoon metric abstractions with gallery hours make for a trompe l’oeil pretzel a nice stopping point floating above, and Iced on a Fells Point stroll. Block, a sculpture, apAfter Narrative Limipears to be a cinder block House-made: Guest Spot functions as a home and an nal, the next exhibit, art gallery in Fells Point. covered in white, goopy Boundary Proof, will plaster. Smith’s sculptural works are anthropofeature works by Gina Dawson, Carl Gunhouse, logical fantasies in which realistic skulls transand Cyle Metzger. form into landscapes and, in Raft, a miniature palm tree grows out of a floating, man-made For more information, go to

In the Ruins

production—the first was Macbeth, in 2008. For that play, Gallanar used the ruins to great advantage—staging a battle scene on a grassy hill, The Chesapeake Shakespeare the banquet in a space flanked Company presents Our Town at the by benches that incorporated Patapsco Female Institute, October audience members as guests. 7–30 Lady Macbeth’s chamber was By Martha Thomas a dark basement room, eerily lit so her shadow danced upon the stark walls. It was hornton Wilder’s Our Town was an appropriately macabre written to have the look and feel of something spontaneous and ad hoc. setting for the grisly play, and The Stage Manager—the omniscient the audience trooped around, narrator—summons and dismisses following the actors from actors with the wave of a hand and scene to scene. sets up ladders and positions chairs to Gallanar says he believes become a garden gate, a soda fountain, Star cross’d: The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company takes on tragic love in Our Town. Our Town will likewise match windows above a moonlit backyard for the space. “It’s a play about earth as dark, he says, even as he describes the young lovers to whisper across—even a cemetery. how life is fleeting, a memory” of what once was. The story wraps achingly specific details around play as “beautiful and poetic.” Even the characters, he says, brought to life by a universal plot in three acts: People grow up, Our Town is most often performed on a the Stage Manager, “are there and not there,” like they marry, they die. The parable quality of the sparse stage, relying on the audience’s imagithe crumbling walls of what was once a school play, along with its austere production values, nation to paint in the details of the Stage Manfor girls. And while, at press time, Gallanar had ager’s sketches. But in its fall production, the not yet determined where each scene will be likely avant-garde when the play debuted in 1938, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will push can seem quaint to today’s audiences. staged, he knows that when windows are needed, our imaginations even further, performing the “In my mind, Our Town was a nice, sweet play actual window openings can be used, while a play—set in the early part of the 20th century— scene calling for front steps can be staged on about young people,” says Chesapeake Shakeactual stairs—or more accurately, the decaying speare Company Artistic Director Ian Gallanar, in and around the ruins of the Patapsco Female who is also directing the production. But on reInstitute in Ellicott City, a building that was last remnants of those windows and stairs. visiting the Wilder classic, he says, “Sweetness used at the time the young heroine Emily Webb is not a quality I would attribute to it.” Gallanar would have been born. For more information, call 410-313-8661 or visit www. sees Wilder’s view of our ephemeral time on It’s the CSC’s fourth annual “movable”


Urbanite #88  october 2011  77

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the scene

this month’s happenings compiled by Rebecca Messner

ARTS/CULTURE DANCE Be swept away by renowned baroque dancer Catherine Turocy and the talented musicians that accompany her on October 9 at Pro Musica Rara at the Center for the Arts Recital Hall. Turocy, along with Cynthia Roberts on baroque violin and Allen Whear on baroque cello, will give a 2:30 p.m. talk and 3:30 p.m. concert performance. (8000 York Rd.; 410-704-2787;

FILM On October 1, head to the Enoch Pratt Free Library for a free screening of Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s award-winning documentary, Miss Representation, a film that looks at the limited portrayal of women in the media. Post-screening, enjoy a discussion with the filmmaker led by moderator April Yvonne Garrett from Civic Frame. (400 Cathedral St.; 410-3965430; Gunky’s Basement is back for its second season at the Charles Theater, presenting a series of films co-curator Jimmy Joe Roche calls “genuinely bizarre and/or [having] an aberrational or unique relation to the trajectory of ‘cinema.’” But it’s not exactly standard arthouse fair—October 25 has Roche and co-presenter Dan Deacon screening David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. Future films include David Lynch’s Dune and Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. (1711 N. Charles St.; 410-727-3456;

LITERATURE Andrew Wingfield visits Towson University’s Cook Library October 19 to read from his 2010 story collection, Right of Way. Wingfield’s linked stories depict a neighborhood undergoing gentrification and the tribulations the changes bring with them. (Towson Room, Cook Library, 8000 York Rd.; 410-704-2000; Robert Murch, “the world’s foremost collector, historian, and expert on Ouija and talking boards,” visits the Baltimore Museum of Industry October 25, for Ouijastitions, a discussion of the weird phenomena of Ouija boards and their place in Baltimore, America, and the universe. (1415 Key Hwy.; 410-727-4808;

MUSIC The Bach Concert Series continues this fall with the great classical composer’s Cantata 140 at Christ Lutheran Church October 2. Music director T. Herbert Dimmock will conduct a choir, orchestra, soloists, and guests from the Maryland State Boychoir. (701 S. Charles

St.; 410-752-7179; www.bachin Cinematic instrumental ensemble Three Red Crowns plays the Metro Gallery on October 2 with electronic musician Erik Spangler, known for his inventive use of turntables and recorded sound, and minimalist DJ The Expanding Man. (1700 N. Charles St.; www.themetro Aaron Diehl was “discovered” by Wynton Marsalis while still in high school; he toured and performed with many of today’s jazz heavyweights before graduating from Juilliard in 2007. The move from piano prodigy to acclaimed pianist continues at the Baltimore Museum of Art on October 2, with Baltimore’s own percussion maestro, Warren Wolf. (10 Art Museum Dr.; 443-573-1700; www. Arbouretum and Eternal Tapestry of Thrill Jockey Records fill the Metro Gallery with folky psychedelic tunes on October 4. The tour celebrates The Gathering, Arbouretum’s fourth album

inspired by Carl Jung’s The Red Book, and Beyond the 4th Door, the latest Pink Floyd-esque offering from Eternal Tapestry. (1700 N. Charles St.; 410-244-0899; After making their New York debut last year at Carnegie Hall, the Beijing Guitar Duo of Meng Su and Yameng Wang take their talent to the Baltimore Museum of Art October 15. The musicians, who studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, will show off their signature cross-cultural style of classical guitar. (10 Art Museum Dr.; 443-296-2247; For the first installment in the Evergreen Museum’s 2011–2012 Concert Series, Time for Three, a string trio specializing in crossover “newgrass,” performs on October 15. The trio draws on everything from jazz, bluegrass, and the Beatles to hip-hop and Brahms. (4545 N. Charles St.; 410-516-0341; www. Ani DiFranco takes her unique style of outspoken jazz-folk-rock to Rams Head Live October 22. DiFranco, who has toured with a five-piece band, goes solo for this show. (20 Market Pl.; 410-5477328; Bob Friedman assembles a frightful group of bluesy alt-country musicians, including old time pickers Walker & Jay, to sing Murder Ballads on October 28 at the Creative Alliance. (3134 Eastern Ave.; 410-276-1651; www.creative


Nathaniel Philbrick, whose account of the disappearance of the whaleship Essex in the novel In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award, casts off again with the forthcoming Why Read Moby-Dick?, a look at the modern-day relevance of Melville’s 160-year-old opus. Philbrick reads in the Enoch Pratt Central Library’s Poe Room, October 18. (400 Cathedral St.; 410-396-5430; www.

Beatles fans, rejoice. The national tour of RAIN—A Tribute to the Beatles is stopping at the Hippodrome Theatre October 21 and 22. The musical, fresh off Broadway, features most of the band’s classic hits. (12 N. Eutaw St.; 410-8377400; On October 14, the Creative Alliance presents an evening exploring Amiri Baraka’s play Slave Ship with Slave Ship: The Middle Passage Today. Bashi Rose and Rosiland Cauthen will perform select scenes from the play, and

Urbanite #88  october 2011  79

the scene Dr. Raymond Winbush lead a discussion about the play, as well as Rose’s film Me, Myself and Us, with psychologist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing and artist Joseph Norman. (3134 Eastern Ave.; 410-2761651; As part of Free Fall Baltimore, two seemingly disparate groups join forces to provide a free night of improvised art-comedy: the Baltimore Improv Group and Baltimore’s prominent dance troupe The Collective. The BMA opens its doors to host The Movement on October 28. (10 Art Museum Dr.; 443-257-3844

VISUAL ART Hear two remarkable stories at the Walters Art Museum in October. On October 2, Margaret Kennard Johnson, the mother of artist Lonni Sue Johnson, hosts Return from Amnesia, a lecture on her daughter’s struggle with amnesia and the relationship between memory and creativity. On October 16, Will Noel, curator of the exhibit Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes, on view at the museum through January 1, will discuss the journey of the Archimedes Pamplimsest from Jerusalem in 1229 to Baltimore 700 years later. (600 N. Charles St.; 410-547-9000; www.the On October 5 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, New York Times graphic editor and visual artist Kevin Quealy talks about the ways that visual elements (charts, graphs, etc.) help us read the news. (1000 Hilltop Circle, Catonsville; 410-455-1000; www.

community Take a walk through Druid Hill Park October 1 and help raise money for

the John K. Gutierrez Memorial Fund, which supports community arts in Baltimore. The event starts at noon, and live music, food from Woodberry Kitchen, and beverages by Grand Cru will help draw a crowd. (2010 Clipper Park Rd.; 410-889-5341; www.gutierrezmemorial October 7 to 9, stroll through the tents of a simulated field hospital erected in Patterson Park as part of Starved for Attention: 195 Million Stories of Childhood Malnutrition. Then, after a documentary screening or two, learn how to help Doctors Without Borders feed the tens of thousands of starving children living in impoverished Africa. (27 S. Patterson Park Ave.; 1-800-601-1466; Lace up your running shoes for the Run Wild for Autism 5K and Family Fun Run October 9 through the Maryland Zoo and Druid Hill Park. Discounted zoo tickets will be sold to race participants the morning of the race, and the first 250 participants will receive an Under Amour performance shirt. (www.charmcityrun. com) It’s not just large, it’s the Great BIG Halloween Parade of Lights and Luminaria, and it’s lighting up Patterson Park October 29. Artist/director Laure Drogoul is using recycled plastic bottles and enlisting willing participants to build luminaria and floats for the spectacle. (Patterson Park; 410-276-1651; www.

Food/drink Challenge your palate with a strong sip of single malt Scotch October 6 at the Glenfiddich Scotch Tasting at Morton’s Steakhouse. Four varieties of Glenfiddich will be served with Morton’s

hors d’oeuvres. (300 S. Charles St.; 410547-8255; The Dogwood Restaurant wants you to usher in autumn in good health. On October 8, the Healthy Chef–Autumn Bounty & Harvest Grains class will teach you how to craft a nutritious dish with hearty, nutritious grains like kamut, wheat berries, kasha, amaranth, and quinoa. (911 W. 36 St.; 410-889-0952; Fine-tune your German drinking songs for Oktober Fest Beer Festival, serving more than eighty beers from fifteen Maryland breweries October 8 at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Don’t worry about going hungry, because brats, sausages, potato cakes, sour beef, and schnitzel are just some of the extra items available to order. (2200 York Rd.; 410-2520200; In the event’s thirty-eighth year, the Russian Festival by the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church will offer hot dishes, breads, desserts, souvenirs imported from Russia, and entertainment October 14–16. A demonstration of Russian lace making will also be offered as part of the cultural fun. (1723 E. Fairmount Ave.; )

HOME/DESIGN As part of its collaboration with AIABaltimore for Baltimore Architecture Month, Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Museum presents a series of three lectures on History in the Landscape. The first, Privies: Necessary & Efficient, takes place October 10. The lecture Paradigms of Democracy: Gardening and Agricultural Pursuits of Maryland’s Founding Families will be held October 17; and on October 24, the series concludes with Architecture

Coming Soon March 2012 The Charles Theatre

1711 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201

of Delight: The American Garden Folly. All lectures are preceded by a free reception at the museum. (3400 N. Charles St.; 410-516-6689; www. Architect James Timberlake, a founding partner of KieranTimberlake, the award-winning architecture firm set to redesign the aging U.S. embassy in London into a modernized crystalline cube surrounded by a pond and public greenspaces, stops by Maryland Institute College of Art on October 12. Timberlake will discuss his firm’s focus on combining client needs with environmental consciousness (1300 W. Mt. Royal Ave.; 410-225-2433; www. David Dixon, director of planning and urban design at Goody Clancy, and Tom Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh and current senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, will discuss suburban sprawl and urban population decline at Shrinking City/Growing City— Baltimore’s Future, an AIABaltimore lecture at RTKL Associates Conference Center on October 12. (901 S. Bond St.; 410-625-2585;

STYLE/SHOPPING The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival returns to Timonium for the thirty-fifth year of all things handmade. Meet the artisans October 1 and 2 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds and watch demonstrations of iron forging, paper making, copper spinning, and stone carving as you peruse new accoutrements for fall. (2200 York Rd., Timonium; 800-210-9900;

A signature red carpet fundraising event to benefit TuTTie’s Place, featuring a documentary film that was produced and directed by the youth of TuTTie’s Place and followed by an intellectual panel discussion on how to reclaim the African American community/ village. Also, enjoy premium cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres.

For more information contact, Karen Miller or call at 443-838-1518

Urbanite #88  october 2011  81

The Jewish Museum of Maryland

Opening October 23, 2011

at the Herbert Bearman Campus presents

Interior of Attman's delicatessen, c. 1984. Photo by Elinor B. Cahn. 1985.031.002; Introducing the grandson to deli at Attman’s, 2010. Courtesy of Dr. Howard Woolf; Max Abramowitz family before Shabbat dinner, 1945. Courtesy of Audrey Polt. CP 14.2010.034; Rose Cohen, Fannie Katz, and Marlene Katz Sollod salt fish for Passover, c. 1949. 1992.095.001; Cracking crabs on Polt back porch, 1999. CP 14.2010.014; All food photography by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr.



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410-602-1440 Urbanite #88  october 2011  85

eye to eye

After converting his studio in the H & H building on Franklin Street into the Nudashank Gallery and installing a new show each month, painter Seth Adelsberger found a fortuitous, new inspiration for his own work—his daily activities at the gallery. His newest body of work draws energy and materials from the process of spackling and building walls, painting floors, and framing and hanging artwork. The work includes castoff studio materials, wall sculptures made of stretcher bars, large frame-shaped paintings, and enlarged digital prints of the crusty backsides of plaques removed cara ober from historical museums. “I have become more interested cara ober is urbanite’s online in the larger picture of an exhibition—how individual obarts/culture editor. to receive jects add up to a greater totality,” he says. “My newest body her weekly e-zine, go to of work focuses on the ‘frame’ and how abstraction is essentially a framing or reframing of portions of reality.” While Untitled (Orange Crush) may not exhibit the range of vivid colors and psychedelic imagery of Adelsberger’s earlier paintings, it possesses a spirited energy and a nuanced understanding of color. Without much fanfare, Orange Crush succinctly reinforces the physical qualities of each disparate element, demonstrating that a canvas drop cloth, a piece of linoleum tile, a discarded piece of plywood, and a piece of orange Plexiglass can stand together in a coherent pastiche of texture and color.

86  october 2011

Seth Adelsberger Untitled (Orange Crush), 2011 acrylic, found plywood, found panel, Plexiglas, and linoleum tile on unstretched canvas Approx. 46 by 20 inches

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October 2011 Issue  
October 2011 Issue  

Urbanite Project 2011; Music from the Streets; Killing Bambi; What Good are Private Schools?