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Federal Hillsider

Federal Hill Neighborhood Association

August 2009


Whose Federal Hill is it anyway?


et’s face it: “Federal Hill” isn’t so much a place as it is brand name taken from a public park. As a neighborhood, modern Federal Hill was not actually founded until the 1970s when urban pioneers bought and began renovating homes in what had become merely another rundown area in South Baltimore. In fact, prior to its renaissance Federal Hill was threatened by an interstate highway project, part of a complex of connecting freeways that also would have demolished the Inner Harbor and Fells Point. In an effort to protect the value of their real estate investments and to stop the demise of Federal Hill Park and Fort McHenry, residents from Federal Hill, Locust Point and Fells Point joined hands across the harbor in open rebellion against City Hall, and eventually defeated the plan. A decade later the emergence of the Inner Harbor as a tourist attraction greatly increased interest in Federal Hill which was described as “an enclave of intimate residential streets within minutes of the center of the city’s central business and entertainment district.” In 1982 this same group of rebellious pioneers founded the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, establishing the Key Highway/Inner Harbor waterfront as boundaries to the north and east, with Cross Street serving as the southern boundary and Hanover Street the western. Continued on page 3

NICE DAY FOR A WALK: A man and his dog — on a leash, thank you! — enjoy a warm summer day in Federal Hill Park. The City Council recently raised and then lowered the fine for unleashed dogs in city parks. The fine now is $200.

These City Council bills might cost you plenty


pecial interests recognize a good power vacuum when they see one, and Mayor Sheila Dixon’s very public legal troubles have created a field day at City Hall. Some ambitious local politicians view Mayor Dixon’s situation as an opportunity for career advancement. Most Council members will confirm that proposed legislation is usually introduced in response to requests from constituents. Well, developers and bar owners are constituents, too, after all. However, their interests are

rarely aligned with those of a community’s residential component. The current City Council has been unusually active as it relates to the introduction of legislation proposing changes to the city’s zoning code. Zoning laws have a huge impact on residential property values. The FHNA Board has compiled a list of bills that are awaiting City Council approval. The list includes our notes indicating why the fate of these bills should matter to you. Continued on page 8

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August 2009

Federal Hill Neighborhood Association 2009 Board of Directors


President Paul Robinson 410-332-1928 Vice President Tom Gregory 410-727-2555 Treasurer Meredith Tyler 443-400-8420 Secretary John Rehmert 410-752-5399

Board Members at Large

Scott Pevenstein 443-570-3665 Jason Tyler 443-400-8420 Ryan Hada 443-708-1787 Chris Jones 410-234-0560 Richard Polan 410-727-3549 Daniel Sternklar 443-270-0582 Wali Mutazammil 443-602-7718

FHNA Committees

Beautification: Chris Jones Block Captains: Meredith Tyler Business Affairs: open Education Liaison: Scott Pevenstein Finance: Meredith Tyler, John Rehmert and Chris Jones Interactive Media: Daniel Sternklar and Meredith Tyler Legislative Affairs: Paul Robinson and Ryan Hada Membership: Paul Robinson Nominations: Tom Gregory Parking: Jason Tyler Preservation: open Safety: John Rehmert Social: open •

The Hillsider is the official publication of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit orgnization. Mailing address: The Hillsider, P.O. Box 27112, Baltimore 21230 E-mail: © 2009 Federal Hillsider All Rights Reserved Newsletter design: Steve Purchase (

WHAT VIEW? The “view” to the east from Federal Hill Park used to include at least a glimpse of water in the Inner Harbor. Now it’s made up of what AVAM director Rebecca Hoffberger has called a “concrete curtain” around the harbor.

No meeting in August — but see you in September! The FHNA membership does not meet during the summer (although the FHNA Board continues to hold regular meetings). See you at the September meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, September 15, beginning at 7 p.m., at Christ Lutheran Church.

Next Citizens on Patrol walk is Monday, Aug. 10 Please join your friends and neighbors for a COP walk in the Federal Hill and Federal Hill South neighborhoods on Monday, August 10. All Citizens on Patrol walks start at 7 p.m. Join old friends or make new ones. Meet at Porter’s Pub at Riverside Avenue and East Cross Street. We always walk with a police officer. If the temperature at 6 p.m. is 90 degrees or above, or if it is raining, the walk is canceled. Also: the walk must involve at least five residents or it will be canceled.

Energy assistance

The city Office of Home Energy Programs provides subsidies to assist low- and fixed-income residents with heating and cooling bills. If you need help, call the hotline at 410-396-5555 or visit the office at 2700 North Charles Street.

New trash program begins; some are not participating


he city started the new One Plus One program on July l3. The program means that trash is picked up only once a week — on Wednesday — instead of twice. Recycling is also picked up once a week — on Friday — instead of twice a month. The first two weeks revealed that not all residents are on board with the new program. Some residents are still throwing plastic bags bulging with garbage right on the sidewalk. Others use trash cans without lids. Still others are putting their trash out on the wrong day or in the wrong place. If a holiday disrupts collections, the following Saturday will be the makeup day. Residents can put out no more than three 32-gallon cans of trash or garbage a week; there is no limit on recycling. Trash should be put out no later than 6 a.m. on collection day or it can be set out the night before — but only if the trash cans have tight-fitting lids. For more information or to find out collection days for other parts of the city, you can go to or to www. You also can call 311 for more information. Tickets for violators begin at $50.

August 2009

President’s Letter Continued from page 1 Since then FHNA members have over many years continued to invest a lot of money and effort building considerable brand value into the Federal Hill franchise. Value based on establishing a highly desirable quality of life in an urban neighborhood even while Baltimore developed a reputation for being a city comprised of largely underprivileged and struggling communities. In the mid-1990s a race began to cash in on the cachet associated with the term Federal Hill. Developers snatched up bargain priced land along Key Highway and in the process severed a centuries-old bond between Federal Hill Park and the waterfront with a view obstructing wall of condominium construction that now sits mostly unoccupied. Home values in Federal Hill proper and in adjacent neighborhoods soared at least through mid-2005. Nowadays, you see real estate listings for “Federal Hill” townhouses as far south as Fort Avenue. Three business associations have incorporated the Federal Hill brand into their

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“The July 4th revelry ended early Sunday morning with police employing pepper spray and batons to control an unruly crowd at closing time.” names. The South Baltimore Business Association recently became the Federal Hill Business Association. Of course, there is also Historic Federal Hill Main Street and the new Federal Hill Hospitality Association exclusively representing and promoting the neighborhood’s commercial interests. Since about 2004, Federal Hill has clearly developed a reputation as Baltimore’s hottest no-holds barred club hopping scene for young and underage drinkers in search of a good time. Mid-week prior to the July 4th weekend, the Federal Hill Hospitality Association

sponsored a “Federal Hill” pub crawl. The FHNA has urged the Federal Hill Hospitality Association to refrain from using the words “Federal Hill” to market pub crawls and other events that feature “drink specials” to promote alcohol consumption, which serve to further “cheapen” the value of the neighborhood’s name. Unfortunately, the July 4th revelry on East Cross Street ended early Sunday morning with police employing pepper spray and batons to control an unruly crowd at closing time. A July 15 post from a local blogger (at reads: “…those of you who know me know that I avoid Federal Hill like the plague … Most of the weekend joints are packed, great. But they’re packed with meathead guys wearing the ubiquitous shirt with blue vertical stripes, and the women who get incredibly trashed and annoying while chugging Miller Lite or Coors, drunk texting.” So the concept of Federal Hill as “an enclave of intimate residential streets” seems quite quaint by today’s standards. What impact does this all have on the value Continued on page 4

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President’s Letter Continued from page 3 of the franchise that so many residents have worked so long to establish? More to the point, is your home worth more today than it was five years ago? And what can be done to stabilize home values in this declining market? To begin with, parking (or the lack thereof) has a huge impact. So we all pulled together to endure the painful process of getting enough signatures on petitions to expand the hours limited to parking for (Area 9) residents only between 6 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sundays) and 7 a.m. Ours is the only neighborhood in the city that has been able to achieve this. The FHNA has aggressively defended your rights against overzealous developers whose ambitious plans threaten to exacerbate the already difficult traffic and parking conditions neighborhood residents are forced to confront. The FHNA also has approached the neighborhood’s restaurateurs and club owners to enter into formal agreements committing to a set of reasonable operating standards in an effort to pre-

August 2009

serve some of the neighborhood’s historic appeal and residential charm. Meanwhile, at a liquor board hearing on July 23, sworn testimony was given indicating that the purchase price for a license for use in connection with a “hospitality business” called Federales was a record-setting $390,000. The purchaser is the brotherin-law of the president of the Federal Hill Hospitality Association. While appearing to exploit the value of the Federal Hill brand, the Federal Hill Hospitality Association’s president and counsel have discouraged their members from entering into “side” agreements with the FHNA. Federales’s owner followed this advice, and at the FHNA’s urging, the liquor board denied the licensee an outdoor table service provision indicating that the Board did not think the neighborhood “needed another Purple Patio.” FHNA and the seven other neighborhood associations that represent residents in Canton, Fells Point, Harbor East and Little Italy continue to mount strong opposition to City Council Bill No. 08-0163, which would permit live entertainment and dancing at

virtually every single one of the 25 bars and restaurants that are within three blocks of the Cross Street Market. Given the target of the Federal Hill Hospitality Association’s advertising, it seems counterintuitive to imagine that Federal Hill bars will seek to attract customers seeking acoustic folk, jazz or chamber music or in dancing the minuet. FHNA is firmly committed to the principle that as residents we all continue to disproportionately contribute our hard-earned money in the form of higher property taxes to further build the value of living within the Federal Hill area. It seems only fair that we have some say in how that brand value is exploited for commercial purposes. Please do your part. Join the FHNA today. (See form on page 20.) Support businesses that commit to being good neighbors who reinvest in our community and target a strong local residential customer base. Refrain from patronizing businesses that do not have your best interests at heart. Finally, contact Mayor Sheila Dixon pledging your support should she seek reelection in exchange for her not signing Bill No. 08-0163 into law.

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August 2009

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Things to do in August: Concerts, movies, farmers’ market, fund-raisers Saturday, August 1

Summer Live! concerts

Every Saturday of the season at the Harborplace Amphitheater, 8-11 p.m. Free.

Sunday, August 2

Farmers’ market

Every Sunday of the season at Holliday and Saratoga streets, 8 a.m.-sellout. Free.

Wednesday, August 5 Trash pickup

It’s picked up each Wednesday of the month in Federal Hill. Details, page 2.

Saturday, August 8

Recycling pickup Naija Fest

Every Friday is recycling pickup day; place recyclables in usual spot; no limit. Celebrate Nigerian culture Saturday and Sunday, noon-8 p.m., Patterson Park. Free.

Sunday, August 9

Special block party

Montgomery Street event honors a pioneering neighbor. See article, page 16.

Monday, August 10

COP Walk

Federal Hill and Federal Hill South, 7 p.m. at Cross Street and Riverside Ave.

Thursday, August 13 Flicks on Federal Hill Rock memories Back on My Feet Friday, August 14

Free outdoor movies at AVAM. (“Ghostbusters” at 9 p.m.). Museum open and free, 5-9 p.m. New Riders of the Purple Sage performs at 8X10 club. See item on page 23. You can help this group by attending an Oriole game. Details on page 15.

Saturday, August 29 Alzheimer’s benefit

Fundraiser at Illusions Magic Lounge on South Charles Street. See article on page 15.

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August 2009

‘Ghostbusters’ is perfect ‘Flick on the Hill’ at AVAM • American Visionary Art Museum. 800 Key Highway. 410-244-1900. Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “The Marriage of Art, Science and Philosophy.” Through Sept. 6. See “Ghostbusters” on the Hill on Thursday, August 13, at 9 p.m. • Artists & Framers. 1014 South Charles Street. 410-837-4477. Ongoing exhibit of plein-air paintings of Baltimore rowhouses and street scenes by Crystal Moll. • Baltimore Museum of Industry. 1415 Key Highway. 410-727-4808. Baltimore’s industrial past is featured in many and various exhibits. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special exhibit featuring “The Wire” has been extended through the summer. Also on exhibit: “70 Years of General Motors in Baltimore, 1935-2005.” • C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 North Charles Street. 410-539-1080. A summer exhibit featuring work by Andy Warhol, John Waters and Don Cook. Through August 22. • Gallery 211. 211 East Fort Ave. 410-244-1340. Open Thursday and Friday, 4-8 p.m., Saturday, 2 to 7 p.m. • Intercultural Museum Art Gallery, 1118 Light Street, Suite 202. 410-448-2276. • Light Street Gallery. 1448 Light Street. 410-234-0047. Open Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. and by appointment. • Gallery Imperato. 921 East Fort Avenue, Suite 120. 443-257-4166. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The works of nine international filmmakers are featured in the Imperato Film Fest through August 8. • Lucinda Gallery & Boutique. 929 South Charles Street. 410-727-2782. “Miracle on the Deck: Mourning Doves Hatch Twins,” a whimsical spring series of original art by Kenlynn K. Schroeder. Through October 31. • School 33 Art Center. 1427 Light Street. 410-396-4641. Open Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 10-7, and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. • Maryland State Arts Council. 175 West Ostend Street. 410-767-6555. Open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Maryland Science Center. 601 Light St. 410-685-2370. IMAX schedule at “Chinasaurs: Dinosaur Dynasty” continues through Sept. 27. See authentic, full-scale Chinese dinosaurs. • Sports Legends at Camden Yards, 301 West Camden Street. 410-727-1539. Exhibits spotlight local heroes, like the Babe, Johnny U., Brooks, Eddie and Cal. • Walters Museum. 600 North Charles St. 410-547-9000. “Herman Maril: An American Modernist” continues through August 30. The exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Baltimore painter’s birth. “Rembrandt Peale’s Portrait of John Meer: A New Addition to the American Art Collection,” continues through August 23.

“East Side Images: Photographs by Ken Royster” showcases the people and places of East Baltimore at the Maryland State Arts Council’s James Backas Gallery at 175 West Ostend Street, through September 25. The show was curated by Dr. Michelle Joan Wilkinson of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland.

August 2009

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Budget ax cuts Friday operation for Light Street branch’s many patrons


he city’s budget ax has finally arrived in Federal Hill and has cut being open on Fridays from the Light Street branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The new policy took effect in July. In fact, Light Street joins 13 other Pratt branches that are now closed on Fridays. Some branches are closed three days a week and the Reisterstown Road branch is closed for renovation. Only the central library at 400 Cathedral Street and five branches are open on Friday. Meanwhile, the Light Street branch is more popular than ever, mostly because of the dozens of new computers and free Internet access. Often, every terminal is in use by an interesting cross-section of South Baltimore youths and adults. August events at the library include: • Mother Goose on the Loose on Wednesdays, 10 a.m., for children up to the age of 3 with their caregivers. This is an extremely popular program featuring nursery rhymes, music and movement. • Preschool Storytime on Wednesdays, 11 a.m.

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An exhibit of Poe-inspired artwork was set up at the Light Street branch for a recent special event with police speakers.

Stories, songs and fun for preschoolers ages 3 to 5. • A French horn quartet call Quadracor is coming to Light Street on Thursday, August 20, at 7 p.m. Come to the branch for an evening of classical and pop favorites

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performed by Quadracor. Quartet members are Becky Ballenger, Heidi Littman, Amy Stephens and Jen Weglein. Lemonade and cookies will be served. Details: 410-396-1096 or

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These bills may cost you Continued from page 1 It will be presented in two parts with the second installment in next month’s Federal Hillsider. Here is part one of the list: 1. Bill No. 08-0044 Zoning Variances Description: Developers, when applying for a change in zoning to accommodate their projects, must include sealed architect’s plans and aerial photos. Status: In committee. FHNA’s take: Developers hate this Bill. It requires them to submit specific plans for analysis and comment from “immediate stakeholders” at public hearing before the Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals. At the moment no such requirement exists. This inevitably leads to conflict. 2. Bill No. 08-0058 Tax Credits for Buildings with Energy-Saving Devices Description: This law would provide a capped five-year city tax credit for buildings with solar panels or other energy-efficient appliances. Status: In committee. FHNA’s take: Tax incentives for sustainable building practices seem like a good policy but “green” building practices in

August 2009

One bill would let owners easily create multiple-family homes in Federal Hill. an urban, infill environment might present some unique challenges as it relates to historic preservation issues. 3. Bill No. 08-0042 Disclosures on the Sale of Residential Property Description: This bill would require home sellers to disclose of zoning-related information when selling their houses. Status: In committee, with amendments pending. FHNA’s take: Realtors hate this bill. It creates more work and potential liability for them and for their clients. No more caveat emptor. Potential buyers will be entitled to know more about the home they are considering, how it’s zoned, and whether or not it is located in a city preservation district or an urban renewal area. 4. Bill No. 08-0043 R-8 Conditional Use Conversions Description: Many Baltimore rowhomes are zoned R-8, and most home rehabbers

who want to convert a single home into multiple condominium units must apply for a “conditional use” permit to do so. This bill would eliminate condominium conversions for R-8, but allow them for less dense residential zoning areas like R-7. Status: In committee. FHNA’s take: Many blocks in Federal Hill are zoned R-7. This bill would allow all of the homes on these blocks to be converted “by right” to multiple-family dwellings. Scary to those who prefer to live in a neighborhood comprised of predominantly single-family homes. A godsend to anyone who frets over the declining value of their R-7 zoned single-family house. 5. Bill No. 08-0097 Tax Disclosures on Sale of Residential Property Description: This bill would require home sellers to disclose the estimated yearly property taxes and assessments on their residential property. Status: Enacted. FHNA’s take: This law will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on an already down market. Too bad this bill wasn’t passed into law 20 years ago. 6. Bill No. 08-0163 Live Entertainment Continued on page 10


Exterior and Interior Painting / Drywall / Carpentry Decks / Gutters / Power Wash / Floors / Bathrooms Tiles / Kitchens / Clubrooms Residential or Commercial Work

For all your home or business repairs, call Del Lair at 410-467-2000 Maryland Home Improvement Commission License No. 66090

HPG Hillsider August.OL.indd 1

7/13/09 10:29:49 AM

August 2009

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FEDERAL HILL Great 2BR, 2.5BA rehab with parking, exposed brick, hardwood floors, large kitchen w/ tin ceiling. Located on Belt St. close to Riverside Park and all Federal Hill attractions.

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August 2009

These bills may cost you Continued from page 8 Description: Live entertainment and dancing will be permitted in virtually every bar and restaurant in Federal Hill. This bill was heavily amended to change its original purpose which was to establish a new city agency to license and regulate live entertainment and dancing and grandfather in existing entertainment venues. Status: Third reader. FHNA’s take: A bad bill with potentially disastrous consequences for home values in our neighborhood. Write to Mayor Sheila Dixon and request that she refrain from signing this bill into law. Go to to access information about a bill’s progress, sponsors and co-sponsors, agency reports, and so forth. Just enter the bill number (08-0163, for example) into the field labeled “keywords.” Let your FHNA officers and directors know how you feel personally about specific pending legislation. The FHNA’s formal position on any bill will reflect the majority opinion of the individual neighborhood association members who express one.

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August 2009

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1111 Light Street project: Intimidation now instead of reconciliation? The following article about the project at 1111 Light Street was prepared by members of the FHNA Board.


eveloper Arsh Mirmiran is proposing a mixed-use development project at 1111 Light Street, the site of the former Epstein’s department store across from the Cross Street Market. Current plans call for retail, office and condominium space with a total of 158 bedrooms. The developer plans to provide a total of just 107 off-street parking spaces on site for both tenant and customer use. Representing a group of nearby Cross Street and William Street property owners, the FHNA has raised concerns over the development’s impact on both traffic and parking in Federal Hill. The proposed density triggered a requirement for the Department of Transportation to conduct a Traffic Impact Study (or TIS) as a means of assuring that a project of this scope would not adversely impact traffic and parking on neighborhood streets. Two zoning variances from the Board

The name is still on the floow of the old department store at Light and Cross streets. of Municipal Zoning Appeals (the formal name of the city zoning board) also were required. The FHNA argued that the TIS should be completed before the zoning board granted any zoning code variances, even on a conditional basis. The BMZA disagreed and ruled in the developer’s favor on the

condition that no building permits would be issued until the results of the traffic study were available for review and steps to mitigate any potential traffic and parking problems were agreed to by the developer. A Baltimore City Circuit Court ruled to uphold the zoning board’s decision on administrative appeal. According to Department of Transportation sources, the developer has yet to tender the required payment for the TIS to commence. Recently, three FHNA Board members decided to take the case to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The response from the developer came in the form of a letter from the law firm representing Arsh Mirmiran and 1111 Light Street, L.L.C., declaring that “the time for 1111 Light Street’s generosity has expired.” The letter claimed the appeal “is in bad faith or without justification” and threatened to pursue the appellants for all legal fees and expenses incurred during the course of the appeal. A copy of the letter Continued on page 12

Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary!

Summer Sea Creatures Featured in Accent Lamps.

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1035 Light Street • Call 410-244-5999 or go to WONDERFUL ITALIAN SPECIALTIES EAT-IN OR CARRYOUT Eat-in or carryout • Late night Friday & Saturday NEW HOURS: Sunday, 11 a.m. 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. toto7:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 11 a.m. to to 4 p.m. Late Sunday: night Friday: 11 a.m. 2:30 a.m.

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1111 Light Street project Continued from page 11 is posted on the FHNA website at www. (See notice of dismissal demand.) If the appellants lose the case, as Arsh Mirmiran’s lawyers so stridently predict will happen, and such fees are awarded, it would be considerably more than a single homeowner or two could likely afford. So why continue to move forward with the appeal? Because the appellants firmly believe it is their responsibility to FHNA members to exhaust all legal and administrative remedies available to ensure that all of the crucial information that the TIS would produce would be available for the zoning board to unequivocally determine that the zoning variances, if granted, would not substantially increase the congestion in the streets, create hazardous traffic conditions, or adversely affect transportation in our neighborhood. Which, of course, brings us back to the original bone of contention — the Traffic Impact Study, and the question of

August 2009

why Arsh Mirmiran has tried to push this development forward without completing the required traffic study? If the TIS were completed and Arsh Mirmiran would enter into a traffic mitigation agreement with the city transportation and planning departments, there would be no basis for continuing legal action. Instead, Mr. Mirmiran seems content to spend money in an attempt to intimidate the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association and its Board members with the threat of legal action. Historic Federal Hill Main Street’s Design Review Committee is reportedly recommending that Light Street be made one-way south from Cross Street. One of the traffic issues associated with the proposed 1111 Light Street development is access to the property from Light Street. It is very difficult because Weber Street is barely 15 feet wide. This recommendation seems designed to mitigate the problem for the developer, but ignores the fact that this will force more northbound commercial traffic onto residential William Street and in proximity to Federal Hill Preparatory School.

It is worth noting that the developer of 1111 Light Street, Arsh Mirmiran, is also the vice president of Historic Federal Hill Main Street, whose offices are a block away. When the City Council passed Bill No. 06-0360, the clear intent was to protect the neighbors and the neighborhoods in proximity to such large developments. You might ask why such a Traffic Impact Study is important, but imagine how the construction of a condo-retail-office complex this big — with just 107 parking spaces and extremely limited ingress and egress — would affect traffic and parking conditions on your block? Why the developer of 1111 Light Street has chosen to go to such great lengths and cost to circumvent instead of mitigating these legitimate concerns is unknown, but taking a stand before a court of competent jurisdiction prior to ground-breaking is hardly an act of “bad faith” or “irrational obstructionism.” Rather it is an act in the best interests of the greater good of our community, for which your support is greatly appreciated.

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Sunday $10.99 NY Strip plus one side Monday $5 Garlic Butter Mussels or 1/2 lb. Extra Large Steamed Shrimp Charm City Trivia at 7 pm Answer questions, win prizes! Wednesday Lobster Night: 1-1/4-pound whole lobsters $13.99 Add steak to make it surf ’n’ turf! Thursday Entree Night: $11.99 entrees include fresh fish, steaks, crabcake Friday Early Bird 5-7 pm: $10 any entree!

Specializing in Fresh Fish Breakfast (Sat & Sun) • Lunch • Dinner Private Party Rooms 1113 South Charles Street Call 410-244-8686

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Aug Hillsider 2009:Urbanite Jan 2008

August 2009


4:45 PM

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Federal Hill 410.727.0606

New strategies for extraordinary times.

Baltimore Metro 410.583.0400 Phoenix 410.667.0801 Bel Air 410.420.6778 Canton 410.732.3030

Look for YWGC Realty on and

Cindy Conklin 443.629.0152 Bob Merbler 443.629.0162

New Listings • New Listings • New Listings • New Listings • New Listings

Randee Askin 410.615.5313

402 Grindall St. #B Townhouse condominium with private GARAGE located just one block away from Federal Hill Park. Spiral stairs lead to large second floor loft space that could be used as an office or second bedroom. Condo features gated entry, high ceilings, and great storage. $224,000 BOB MERBLER

40 E. Wheeling St. Beautifully appointed & renovated 2 BR, 1 BA home. The perfect balance of original detail and modern amenities. The kitchen and bath are simply fantastic! Also enjoy the original in-laid wood floors, decorative fireplaces, French doors, original wood work & quiet patio. $289,000 ANDREA GRIFFIN JAMES BALDWIN

James Baldwin 443.255.2502 Susannah Barnum 410.570.5161 Andrew Colletta 410.419.5710 Sharon Friedman 410.303.1664 Stacey Friedman 410.303.5747 Andrea Griffin 410.591.9183

1119 Riverside Ave. Extra wide & spacious - ideally suited for housemates w/first flr bedroom or family room. Master suite with walk-in closet plus second BR and BA upstairs, hardwood floors in LR, DR and BRs, and fireplace. Kitchen & baths new in 2008-09, HVAC 2007, fresh paint from top to bottom. Lovely, inviting patio & garden. Very special home! $339,000 RANDEE ASKIN

Kimberly Huskins 410.627.2852

121 Welcome Alley Dramatic open floor plan Otterbein townhome. 1 BR plus loft/2nd BR, 1 full bath, gorgeous wood floors, exposed brick, wood burning fireplace, galley kitchen, separate dining room leads to private patio. Located just a few feet from a tranquil park, this urban home is unique and one of a kind. $284,000 SHARON MICHAELS

Mary Lapides 410.804.6379 Peg McCarty 443.414.7798 Sharon Michaels 443.722.0221

Prices Reduced • Prices Reduced • Prices Reduced • Prices Reduced

Heather Perkins 443.928.9613 Alex Padussis 410.404.7397 Timmie Taff 443.226.3223 Angela Vavasori 443.865.1278

401 Warren Ave. •Reduced Situated on the Park at the top of Federal Hill, this 4-5 BR home abounds w/large, lightfilled rooms. Once 3 units before being renovated in 1995 into one large home. Don't miss the glass pneumatic elevator that will transport you from the open kitchen/DR up to the library then beyond to the 3rd fl Master Suite. Outdoor living on 4 levels w/stellar Harbor views. $899,500 CINDY CONKLIN & JAMES BALDWIN

117 E. Montgomery St. •Reduced One of the most gracious homes ever offered on this desirable cobblestone street. Exposed beams, mantels, columns & exquisite inlaid hardwood and original pine floors, convey the historic integrity of this home while the spacious fully equipped kitchen and baths provide modern convenience. $550,000

116 W. Montgomery St. •Reduced This unique property, blended from two homes, exudes whimsical charm with urban flair. 3 BR, 2.5 BA, gourmet kitchen w/granite counters & commercial appliances, open family room w/French doors leading to oversized courtyard, separate DR, library, den,3 FPs, dual zone heating, wood floors, FOUR parking spaces. $530,000



Mary Widomski 443.858.5228 Brigitte Williams 443.250.1841 Shana Witman 443.226.6038 Dennis Woytowich 410.428.3675

Come visit us at 1113 Light Street or on the web at

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August 2009

How cool: Federal Hill residents can help measure climate changes in city

By Katie Stofer of Maryland Science Center


he Maryland Science Center, along with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, is embarking on a new project involving everyday citizens studying indicators of climate change in Baltimore . With guidance from professional researchers, these projects will allow Federal Hill residents to contribute to vital areas of ongoing study that affect us locally and globally that scientists can’t obtain on their own. Communicating Climate Change (or C3) participants will observe and record local phenomena that are indicative of climate change. We are currently signing up volunteers to participate in “temperature blast” events — timed temperature measurements within and around the Baltimore metropolitan area to reveal temperature variations between cities and suburbs. The first event will be on Friday evening, October 2, from about 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. We are looking for individuals or groups to

See the “Jellies” at the National Aquarium and the “Chinasaurs” at the Maryland Science Center.

take measurements at their home, school, place of worship, or other place at that time. In the spring and summer, citizen scientists can also monitor plant life cycle events, such as the first leaf or first flower to see how climate change affects the timing of these budbursts and other phases. We’ll study flowering dogwood and forsythia in the spring and black-eyed susans in the summer. Any group or individual with interest in environmental issues or in becoming involved in scientific research is encouraged to participate. To learn more about these projects, please visit the project website at c3.html. From there, you can join our citizen science e-mail list for reminders and updates about the project. To sign up for the October event, send an e-mail to c3@marylandsciencecenter. org or call 410-545-5976. We’ll let you know how to borrow or purchase the necessary temperature instruments. We hope you will join us in these important studies to learn more about how Baltimore is changing as the world changes.

August 2009

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Act now to aid the homeless and Alzheimer’s and cerebral palsy research


arly risers may have seen them running through the streets of Federal Hill, or seen them on a national news program or heard them on WYPR. Now Back on My Feet, an organization that promotes self-sufficiency in the homeless population through running, is celebrating its sixth month in Baltimore, and its third month at the Baltimore Station on West West Street. To mark its success, the organization has teamed with the Orioles to offer tickets to the upcoming O’s game against the Angels on Friday, August 14, beginning at 7:05 p.m For $15 you can get a ticket in the lower reserve area and $5 of the price will support Back on My Feet. For ticket information, please contact Patrick Fields at 410-547-6096 or • Julia Elgert, owner of The Bottom Drawer on South Charles Street, is sponsoring a fund-raiser to raise money for Alzheimer’s research on Saturday, August 29, from 6-9 p.m. The event will be held at Illusions Magic Lounge at 1025 South Charles Street.

ESSEX $121,500

She said: “I am hosting this event because my own mother (at left) is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and if you have ever known someone or had a loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s, you already  are aware of how devastating this disease is.” She said the event would include a 50-50 drawing, a raffle, appetizers and a magic show. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at door. All money raised will be donated  to the Alzheimer’s Association of Maryland. For details, call Julia at 410-783-8998. Illusions has made some news of its own. It was recently named as one of the best nine clubs in America to have “quintessential Prohibition-style architectural design.” See for yourself at the event or at www.cnn. com/2009/TRAVEL/07/24/bars.speakeasies/index.html. Congratulations, Ken and


Spencer Horsman, for being recognized for your classy efforts to enhance the Federal Hill hospitality business. • It started six years ago as a small Otterbein party and a handful of people. But last year, Hoodstock attracted 170 people and raised more than $13,000 for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland. The party moved several years ago to the Otter-

bein Swim Club so more people could come. This year’s Hoodstock again will be at the swim club, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 12. A $25 donation gets you food, wine, beer and soda. There’s also live music, and T-shirts and raffle tickets for sale. Hoodstock is the brainchild of Russ Causey, who lives in Otterbein and serves on the UCP board. Details: and click on the Hoodstock link. Or call Lauren Magee at UCP at 410-484-4540, Ext. 4018.

Fells Point $119,000

Charming Condo in a Perfect Location. Surrounded by Woods, in Immaculate Condition, with Hardwood and Ceramic Floors. 2BR, 1Full BA.

3BR, 3.5BA Home with 3 Car Parking. Breathtaking Views from Roof Top Deck. Exposed Brick and Cherry Hardwood Floors.

Charming Starter Home. 2BR, 1.5BA, Large Kitchen with Updates. Wall to Wall Carpeting.





BROOKLYN $149,000

COLUMBIA $319,990


3BR, 1.5BA, Hardwood Floors, Updated Kitchen, New Deck, Fenced in Yard and Parking in front and back. Home Warranty

3BR, 2 Full BA, Large Charming Semi-Detached Home! Completely Updated. Large Fenced Yard. Tons of Natural Light.

3BR, 2 Full and 2 Half BA. Fantastic End Unit. Deck off Kitchen, Backs to Trees, Hardwood Floors and Fenced Back Yard.




Page 16

Savor the Flavors of the Neighborhood By Pat May


lavors of the Neighborhood, a dinner club in the Federal Hill area which began about a year ago,  invites anyone interested in getting together once a month to eat, drink and socialize with old friends while making new ones, to join us.  A revised group of the previous Foodies, the new social/dinner club meets monthly with members who bring either an appetizer or dessert and a bottle of wine or whatever they wish to drink.  Each member signs up to host an event in his or her home at some time in the next 12 months.    At the moment, there are about 50 members in Flavors. The way the process works is that  hosts set the guest limit according to how many people he or she can accommodate (usually 20 to 35.) Then, E-vites are sent out by the organizer for upcoming events, and those responding, attend on a “first come, first served” basis.

Flavors is a great way to meet new people, develop friendships and maintain relationships with old friends. Of course, the food is always terrific and, well, flavorful! To join or request more information, send an e-mail to me at or call me at 410-322-5591. •  The annual Maryland Corn and Watermelon Block Party will be held on Sunday, August 9, from 5 to 9 p.m. The event will honor Gus Pickens, a pioneer Federal Hill neighbor from the 1960s who lived at 105 East Montgomery Street. The event will be held at 124 East Montgomery Street. Look for a blue tarp and a lot of partygoers. Voluntary donations will benefit the Federal Hill Preparatory School in Gus’s memory. Please bring a dish or some drinks to share. Bring your friends; all are welcome. For more information about the event, call Walt Saxon at 410-539-1562.

August 2009

Allen Center serves needs of seniors in Federal Hill


he Allen Center for Senior Citizens is a cool place to be during these muggy dog days of summer. If you are a senior citizen, consider dropping by the center at 1404 South Charles Street to cool off, meet some new friends and enjoy a wide variety of programs and events. As an example, look at the calendar for August. You might enjoy a trip to the Toby Dinner Theater on Wednesday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or a shopping jaunt to the Dollar Tree on Saturday, August 14. The Allen Center group also will be holding an all-day picnic on Wednesday, August 19, at Michele’s. Don’t forget community bingo on Saturday, August 9. Doors open at 9:30. Rita Arrington is the director of the Allen Center. Call her at 410-685-6224 for more information.

Taxpayers urged to take advantage of recovery act


ith 2009 half over, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to take advantage of the numerous tax breaks made available earlier this year in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The recovery law provides tax incentives for first-time homebuyers, people purchasing new cars, for those interested in making their homes more energy efficient and parents and students paying for college. But all of these incentives have expiration dates so taxpayers should take advantage of them while they can. The regulations can be complicated. For instance, taxpayers who didn’t own a principal residence during the past three years and purchase a home this year before December 1 can receive a credit of up to $8,000 on either an original or amended 2008 tax return, or a 2009 return. But the purchase must close before December 1, and an eligible taxpayer cannot claim the credit until after the closing date. This credit phases out at higher income levels, and different rules apply to home purchases made in 2008. For complete information about these tax benefits, please go to

August 2009

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Support Southern District Police Explorers by going to an O’s game!


he next meeting of the Southern District Police and Community Relations Council is on the Third Thursday — August 20, at the police station at 10 Cherry Hill Road. The buffet begins at 6:30 p.m.; the meeting begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend all council meetings. The August buffet is being donated by the Brooklyn Church of God, but participants are encouraged to bring a dish to share. The agenda includes a welcome by Sgt. Eric Kowalczyk and Jack Baker, president of the SDPCRC. Deputy Major Margaret Barillaro and Jack Baker will present awards to the officer or officers of the month and Major Scott Bloodsworth and Lt. Steve Nalewajko will present an update of events and issues in the Southern District. The FHNA Board’s own John Rehmert will discuss upcoming buffets and conduct a 50/50 drawing. Federal Hill residents are urged to go on a Citizens on Patrol walk. The next walk in Feeral Hill and Federal Hill South is on Monday, August 10. See page 2 for details.

LEADERSHIP TRAINING: Officer Kevin Vaught of the Southern District has an unusual nickname (he’s known as Butterbean) and a passion for helping the youth of South Baltimore. Here he poses with some of the Baltimore Police Explorers, an organization that works with the Boy Scouts of America to provide leadership training. You can support the Explorers by buying $15 vouchers for any home Oriole game (except Yankee and Red Sox games) for seats in the upper or lower reserve sections. For tickets, contact “Butterbean” at 410-949-6761 or


They’re HOT, they’re FRESH and they’re cookin’at the Rusty Scupper

Rusty Scupper 402 Key Highway | Inner Harbor Marina | Baltimore, MD



© 2009 Allstate Insurance Company

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August 2009

If you like your music loud, raunchy and bluesy, you might groove to ‘Horehound’ By Paul Robinson


kay, while I have said it before, it bears repeating. Jack White’s musical career has legs. Look, there isn’t a whole lot of music out there that represents anything groundbreaking or original. Beck and Moby were probably the last two musicians who deserve credit for creating something at least somewhat unique. Jack White has managed to morph some of rock’s most inspirational influences into a sound all his own. Nothing evidences this better than to watch the interplay between White and fellow guitar virtuosos Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin) and The Edge (of U2; real name: David H. Evans) in a new documentary called “It Might Get Loud” that opens in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles on August 14. Among other things we learn from the film is that White apparently bores easily. The story goes that a Brit/American hybrid band called the Kills opened for the Raconteurs during a tour last fall. When Jack White fell ill, Kills vocalist Allison

The Dead Weather’s first release, “Horehound,” features Jack White and Allison Mosshart. Mosshart (perhaps I’m wrong but this seems to be a clever pseudonym in tribute to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and director Moss Hart) stepped in to cover White’s vocals for a date or two. This prompted the two to decide to work together and they formed The Dead Weather. The band’s first release is titled “Horehound.”

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this collection is that it is difficult to tell whether it is Mosshart or White singing lead. The duets are particularly illustrative of how much alike these two sound.Another wrinkle? White trades his usual guitar and keyboard duties for trap. WHAT? rap? White and Mosshart are joined on “Horehound” by Queens of the Stone Age guitarist/keyboard player Dean Fertita, and the multi-instrumental Jack Lawrence, White’s long-time friend and Raconteurs bandmate. With White on drums you would expect a percussive-heavy collection of tunes, and there are no surprises here — except perhaps lyrically. White’s previous work is so appealing because his lyrics generally convey wit and intelligence beyond his years. In fact (lifestyle preferences aside), Jack White could be considered the Oscar Wilde of modern rock. That’s why the repetitive nature of the material on “Horehound” is a bit of a letdown. Perhaps it is unfair to compare The Dead Continued on page 20

August 2009

Introducing Chef Farly’s New Menu! 16 New Inventive Appetizers New Dinner Salads New Entrees Same Great Selection of Wines & Beers Firkin Thursday – A New Firkin of Real, Cask-Conditioned Ale Upstairs Bar Every Thursday Night Home of the Real Espresso Martini

902 South Charles Street Historic Federal Hill 410-234-0235 Private Party & Business Meeting Spaces Available Visit the Metropolitan page on Facebook

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August 2009

The Dead Weather Continued from page 18 Weather’s output with White’s catalog. After all, to many the quirky White Stripes were an “acquired taste,” while the Raconteurs were instantly accessible. I doubt anyone will conclude that the players in The Dead Weather are exploring new ground on “Horehound.” That said, the work here is interesting if you prefer your rock loud, raunchy and even a bit bluesy. “Hang You From the Heavens” is what you’re likely to hear on the radio today. But for my money “60 Feet Tall,” “So Far From Your Weapon,” “Treat Me Like Your Mother” and the bluesier tunes “No Hassle Night” and “Will There Be Enough Water?” stand out on first listening. With second and third spins, the material is beginning to grow on me as I begin to develop a greater appreciation for the work’s (dare I say this?) sonic subtleties. Nonetheless, I am hard pressed to suggest that “Horehound” is essential material, particularly if you’re on an austere budget.

ROCK OUT: Master guitarists Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge star in a new documentary, “It Might Get Loud.” (No kidding!) The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on August 14.

2009 FHNA Membership Application — Please Join Today! Member No. 1 Last name__________________________First name______________________ Member No. 2 Last name__________________________First name______________________ Street address_____________________________Apartment/unit No._________ Phone number (please include area code)_______________________________ E-mail address_____________________________________________________

Amount paid $15 ___ (Over 65___) Amount paid $15 ___ (Over 65___)

Total paid


(Please make your check out to: Federal Hill Neighborhood Association and give it to a FHNA Board member or mail it to FHNA, P.O. Box 27112, Baltimore 21230. Your new membership card will be sent to you promptly.) All information will be kept confidential. E-mail address will be used only to communicate FHNA issues and events of importance to residents. No information will be shared with a third party.

Annual dues are only $15 per person; Federal Hill residents over 65 can join free!

August 2009


Join us for Lunch, Brunch, Dinner and Dessert! Check our website for daily specials including $5 Martinis Every Night, The Ultimate All-You-Can-Eat Sunday Brunch & Late Night Happy Hours, with 2-for-1 rail drinks and $2 Miller Lite and Bud bottles! •


1015 South Charles Street Federal Hill

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August 2009

Books: A great new guide to the old city; a travel memoir that delights


he Moon people published a great new guidebook to Baltimore in June, just in time for late-summer sightseeing or fall trips to Charm City. If you’re not a frequent traveler you may not be familiar with Moon travel guides, outdoor guides and maps for cities and countries around the world, but they have been published in Berkeley, Calif., for the past 30 years. They are uniformly well-done. “Moon Baltimore” was written by Geoff Brown, a freelance writer and a former editor of Baltimore magazine who has lived in the city since 1988. He includes all kinds of arcane information that many natives may have never heard about, various “secret” tips and trips, and interesting and intelligent comments about everything he encounters. There are 15 pages of easy-to-read maps and the Federal Hill, Riverside and Locust Point neighborhoods are labeled correctly, so it was a little strange to see several Locust Point restaurants listed under the heading of Federal Hill. I never thought of Harvest Table, Hull Street Blues or L.P. Steamers as

being in Federal Hill. Whatever happened to the place called South Baltimore? Quibbles aside, if you buy one book about Baltimore this year, this should be it. (sp) • “Narrow Dog to Indian Island” by Terry Darlington is a travel memoir that follows the wildly popular “Narrow Dog to Carcassone” and it doesn’t disappoint. Septuagenarians Terry and Monica Darlington and their whippet Jim set out to explore the 1,150 mile long Intercoastal Waterway in a beautifully painted narrowboat (a vessel built to navigate English canals). They encounter alligators, lost arcadias, hurricanes, and poisonous flora and fauna — to name a few of their adventures and perils. Darlington finds himself in many comic woe-is-me circumstances and only a fraction of their time is actually spent on the water. Fishermen, plantation owners, hobos, weathergirls, ex-spies and the walking dead regale them with tales. What we learn about the beautiful

Eastern coasts of the U.S. is nothing short of revelatory. This a very funny book that is lovingly observed. — Lynne Parks

PLEASE ADOPT A PET FROM BARCS! Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter

is at 301 Stockholm Street, near the Ravens Stadium. Call 410-396-4695 or go to www.baltimoreanimal Open: Monday—Friday from 12:30 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday& Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

August 2009

Page 23

‘The Help’ is a social awakening on both sides of racial divide “The Help” by Kathyrn Stockett. Putnam Adult Books, New York. In her engaging debut novel, Kathryn Stockett weaves the voices of three remarkable women living in Jackson, Mississippi in the midst of the early 1960s civil rights movement. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is a 22-year-old graduate of Old Miss and her mother wants nothing more than to see a ring on her finger. Miss Skeeter wants to be a writer and she is driven to find a challenging topic worthy

New Riders of Purple Sage to appear at 8X10


he New Riders of the Purple Sage began as a Grateful Dead side project. Founding members John Dawson and Jerry Garcia hooked up with guitarist David Nelson to form the band’s original nucleus. Dawson was the primary composer. Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Phil Lesh all contributed their talents in the early years. Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden took over percussion from Hart and Buddy Cage replaced Garcia on pedal steel guitar. While primarily remembered for the 1973 “hit” “Panama Red,” NRPS toured tirelessly through the 1980s performing material from their 12-album catalog. John Dawson passed away peacefully on July 21 at the age of 64 in Mexico, where he had retired several years ago. Dawson’s spirit lives on as NRPS’s newly released CD, “Where I Come From,” has the band on the road again (for the first time since the early 1990s) touring behind a collection of songs penned in collaboration with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Led by original NRPS members David Nelson and Buddy Cage, the current touring lineup includes Michael Falzarano (Hot Tuna) on guitar and vocals, Ronnie Penque on bass and vocals and Johnny Markowski (Stir Fried) on drums and vocals. The good news is that this legendary Bay Area band is scheduled for an appearance at the 8X10 club on August 13. Here’s your chance to see some great musicians up close and live plus it is an opportunity to show our appreciation and support for a great (and largely responsible) local venue, the 8X10 club. Tix are available at the box office. Be sure to tell owner Brian Shupe that you heard about the show in The Hillsider. — Paul Robinson

of her dreams. What she discovers are the voices of the black women who have sustained the privileged white community. Two of these women, Aibileen and Minny, will aid her in this endeavor. What results is a social awakening on both sides of the racial divide. The project will forever change the established boundaries of their town. Thought-provoking, humorous and heart-wrenching, you will not soon forget this wonderful book. — Lynne Parks

Aug 24Hillsider 2009:Urbanite Jan 2008 Page

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August 2009

Timmie Taff 2008 Top Producer Federal Hill Office

443.226.3223 cell • 410.727.0606 office •

106 WARREN AVENUE MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION $495,000 Three large bedrooms, two full and one half baths, exposed brick. Kitchen designed by Patrick Sutton. Original wood floors, four working fireplaces, private patio and deck with skyline view.







Hillsider August 2009  
Hillsider August 2009  

Federal Hill Baltimore Hillsider August 2009