According to citybizlist Baltimore, Michael Phelps is trying to unload the Fells Point condo that he bought in 2007 for $1,699,900 for somewhere between $1.1 and 1.5 million. It sounds just lovely, with "honey-colored hardwood floors," a "rooftop terrace" and "a tee-vee nook with curving back wall tiled floor-to-ceiling with a bold and completely unexpected mottled orange tile." (!)
Alas, it looks like even someone as fast as Phelps can't outswim the economy.
Actor James Franco visited Hopkins Friday afternoon to introduce a film he made about the modernist American poet Hart Crane and participate in a question and answer session with Hopkins professor and noted Hart Crane scholar, John Irwin.
My colleague, Jess Blumberg, and I attended, and I wanted to jot down my impressions of the event before it recedes too far into memory. Jess will present her take on things in the April issue's "Charm City Chatter" column—so be on the look out for that!
It's Friday. Do you want to hear about animals being cute? Of course you do.
Earlier this week a rare-for-this-area harp seal was spotted just chillin on a dock in Edgemere. The owner of the house called the Maryland Department of Natural Resources who told him he must be mistaken. But he wasn't, and a team from the National Aquarium in Baltimore came out to verify the seal existence.
They said it seemed healthy and active and not distressed.
Harp seals' home waters are in the North Atlantic and Artic, but they do migrate south during along the Eastern Seaboard during the winter. They can sometimes be seen off Ocean City, but it is rare that they venture up the Chesapeake.
James Franco will be at Johns Hopkins University Friday afternoon. The actor/Renaissance man will attend a screening of The Broken Tower, a black-and-white film about writer Hart Crane that he starred in, directed, produced, and edited. He wrote the screenplay while still a student at NYU's Tisch School for the Arts. The film was shown at 2011's Los Angeles Film Festival, and it's expected to have a theatrical release later this year. Friday's screening is scheduled for 2 pm at Shriver Hall and will include a panel discussion with John Irwin, author of Hart Crane’s Poetry, which was recently published by Hopkins Press.
For the first time since 1994, Loyola University made it into the NCAA tournament with their win last night over Fairfield. In the MAAC championship game, held in Springfield, MA, the second-seeded Greyhounds trailed by four at the half, but opened the second half on an 11-1 run. Loyola ended up winning 48-44 in a defensively tough, low-scoring match.
Junior forward Erik Etherly, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while teammates Robert Olson and Justin Drummond made the all-tournament team.
Perhaps the game was most exciting for coach Jimmy Patsos, who served as an assistant to Maryland's Gary Williams for 13 years and is known primarily for his over-the-top antics on the court. Last night was no different, as he pointed fingers closer to players' faces...
I was just saying to a colleague that we need to stop blogging so much about The Wire. Don't get me wrong, I lurve The Wire. I watched its entire five-season run in about a week a few years ago and then wouldn't shut up about it for about a month afterwards. But, it has been off the air for four years now, maybe its time we move on?
But that becomes difficult when the show's reputation keeps growing and more and more people keep discovering the Dickensian detail David Simon and his cohorts brought to the show's portrait of Baltimore.
Ironically, the show was never very popular when it was on, but since it ended it's received a steady stream of high-profile notices in the press. The latest comes courtesy of none other than President Obama, who told ESPN's Bill Simmons this week that Omar Little—the gay, shotgun-weilding, ghetto rogue played by Michael K. Williams—has "got to be" the show's best character.
If you've seen the show, it's hard to argue with that assessment. As my coworker, Jess Blumberg, has said: "...
My daughter tells me a recent interview with John Waters has become something of an Internet sensation among teenage girls. The interview was posted on Rookie, a site geared towards teen girls, and she’s had friends in Vancouver, Hawaii, and Minnesota raving about it. Reading the piece, it’s easy to understand why, as Waters comes across as everyone’s favorite uncle. He’s understanding, worldly, and permissive, with a mischievous streak tempered by gentlemanliness. I’m, once again, astounded by his capacity for connecting with an audience.
Check out these comments: “the advice he gives is so wise,” “he’s got a pretty awesome perspective on life,” “I want to marry him, but I’m a girl so it probably wouldn’t work out,” “this man is quite literally a genius,” “I just love everything he stands for,” and “if only our parents were more like him.”
Waters says his favorite comment was quite succinct: “...
Friday night, while you were watching the fairly brutal episode of FOX's Kitchen Nightmares about Hampden's Cafe Hon, did you stop and wonder, "I wonder what Denise Whiting is doing right now?"
If the unlikely event you guessed "Having a viewing party," you'd be right. On Friday night at 8 p.m., a packed house at Cafe Hon was watching a big screen TV brought in for the occasion, as onscreen staff members (many in attendance at the screening took their turns calling owner Denise Whiting "a rude bitch," among other things.
For her part, Denise flitted around the restaurant during the viewing—she had already seen it, along with most interested locals, earlier in the day, when it was posted on YouTube. The owner was heard telling some patrons that the depiction on the episode was "not really me," but otherwise seemed to take things in stride.
Tonight at 8 p.m., Fox airs the episode of Kitchen Nightmares we've been waiting for, where notorious hothead Gordon Ramsay takes on Honmaster General Denise Whiting and aims to save her and her restaurant, Cafe Hon, from the torrent of bad press over her trademarking of the word "Hon."
For those who just can't wait, the entire episode popped up on YouTube and is below... Watch and let us know what you think!
SPOILER ALERT: I'll offer some thoughts on the episode below...
The episode gets off on a TERRIBLE foot—at least with locals—with this opening line: "Hampden, Maryland: a proud community located just outside of Baltimore." Of course, I don't need to tell you, dear Baltimore readers, that Hampden is a neighborhood well within the city of Baltimore."
From there, the show follows a very typical reality show script. The first half is disaster after disaster, set to dramatic music, and Whiting comes off as slightly less likable than the proprietor of Cafe Nazi.
You may not know his name, or be able to pick him out of a lineup, but you've certainly seen his work. As leader of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), the public-private agency charged with steering development in the city, M.J. "Jay" Brodie has had as much to do with creating the Baltimore we know and love as William Donald Schaefer and David Cordish—and now he's retiring.
Brodie's retirement was confirmed by the mayor's office last night after Brodie and Kaliope Parthemos, deputy mayor for economic development and a close confidante to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, had a private meeting.
Baltimore Brew has details about yesterday's sequence of events that lead to this surprise resignation.
Though the very nature of his job—presiding over a nebulously governed board tasked with deciding which...