Amy Mulvihill's picture
March, 17th 2009

Saving the Planet, One Drink at a Time

Environmentalists are pretty easy to make fun of: the wool-socks-with-Birkenstocks fashion; the Prius-driving; the reusable-shopping-bags; the general earnestness. To sarcastic smart-alecs like me, they might as well being wearing a bull's-eye.

But here's the unfortunate thing: They're right. Having sustainable resources and a healthy environment makes civilization possible. So, while I may still snicker occasionally at the granola-buying, hemp-wearing hippie in front of me at the supermarket, I have to say I do recycle, I do believe in sustainable farming and open space preservation, and I recently purchased my own set of reusable shopping bags from Trader Joe's. Plus, I think I want my next car to be a hybrid. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?

With that in mind, I trundled over to Red Star in Fells Point last Thursday evening for what was only the third meeting of the Baltimore chapter of Green Drinks, an international organization that promotes environmental awareness through casual, member-organized happy hours. The idea is for like-minded eco-geeks to get together once a month, have some cocktails, swap business cards, and build awareness about local, national, and global green issues.

The Baltimore chapter is already off to a great start. Despite it being only the third meeting, the gathering attracted more than 50 people who noshed on pizza, veggies, and spinach artichoke dip while sipping $3 rail drinks, house wines, and beers upstairs in Red Star's urban-rustic loft. The crowd mingled easily with attendees coming from as far away as Mt. Airy and Denver, Colorado! A brief presentation about Baltimore City's recycling program was led by Keith LoSoya, chair of the city's solid waste committee. Among other things, LoSoya broke the news that the City will be increasing its recycling pick up to once a week in 2009, news that delighted even my decidedly non-eco-geek friend whom I'd dragged along.

Green Drinks Baltimore chair Sotereas Pantazes, has even bigger plans for the April meet-up. In honor of Earth Day (April 22), he wants to create the largest gathering in Green Drinks history by joining forces with other Mid-Atlantic chapters, including Philly and D.C. We wish him luck, and maybe we'll even see him there.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 16th 2009

St. Patrick's Day preview!

The Life of Reilly

Even though there were a lot of St. Patrick's Day events this past weekend, there will still be plenty of places to chow down on corned beef and chug a Guinness pint tomorrow night. Here's a roundup of just some of the local Irish celebrations:

James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant (616 S. President St., 410-727-5107): Tomorrow night there will be live music all day and performances by an Irish dancer. The restaurant will be serving lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Dinner seatings will be at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. and reservations are strongly recommended.

Ryan’s Daughter (600 E. Belvedere Ave., 410-464-1000): The bar will be opening one hour early (10 a.m.) on St. Patrick’s Day for those early birds who just can’t wait another hour to have what we hope is only their first Guinness of the day. Like, James Joyce, Ryan’s Daughter will offer a heated tent with a limited bar for revelers who want to drink outdoors without actually having to, you know, be outside. The heated tent opens at 3 p.m. and will stay open until close. Inside, there will be live Irish music from a handful of rotating bands and extra taps of Guinness, Smithwick’s, and Harp set up to accommodate the crowds.

Mick O’Shea’s (328 N. Charles St., 410-539-7504): The Mt. Vernon bar will feature two Celtic-themed performers. From 12-4 p.m. Nua will play traditional Irish music. At 6 p.m. Move Like Seamus will take over, playing until close. The day after St. Patrick’s Day, Mick O’Shea’s will be closed for repairs. We’re unsure if there’s a correlation.

Dougherty’s Pub (223 W. Chase St., 410-752-4059): This cozy little Irish dive always seems friendly and welcoming to us. Dougherty’s will offer giveaways throughout the day (T-shirts, beads, key chains, bottle openers), beer specials, and specials of (what else?) corned beef and cabbage, as well as lamb stew.

Cat’s Eye Pub (1730 Thames St., 410-276-9866): Like always, Cat's Eye will feature live music tomorrow, but this time all day and all night, starting at 2 p.m. Originally from Ireland, the members of Dogs Among The Bushes add a rock flare to traditional Celtic music. The bar will be offering $4 Killians throughout the day, as well as $3 Miller Lite and Bud Light drafts and $2.50 Natty Boh.

The Life of Reilly Irish Pub & Restaurant (2031 E Fairmount Ave., 410-327-6425): This lively Irish pub in the unlikely Butcher's Hill neighborhood is doing it up right tomorrow. They're serving $5 car bombs, 25 percent off Irish whiskeys, and charging $9.99 for for each of their Irish entrees (Guinness stew, Sheppard's pie, and fish 'n chips) plus a 16-ounce Guinness. All day, they will also be raffling off two limited edition Guinness pint glasses for only $1 a ticket. And as Irish luck would have it, their March Madness specials start this week, making every third drink free.

J. Patrick’s Irish Pub (1371 Andre St., 410-244-8613): We talked to a bartender at this friendly Locust Point establishment and he described it as a "regular St. Patrick's Day program, which means that kids start pouring in the door around 10 a.m." Of course, J. Patrick's will be doing corned beef, potato, and cabbage platters, as well as Irish drink specials. Live music is set to start around early evening and go long into the night.

An Poitin Stil (2323 York Road, Timonium, 410-560-7900): The Still opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning and 100.7 The Bay will be broadcasting live all day from the bar. The first 200 people will receive a commemorative mug and drink prices increase as time goes on (and patrons get lit): from 11 a.m.-noon, pints are $2; from noon-1 p.m., pints are $3; from 1-2 p.m., they're $4; and until close, the pints are $5 each.

For the more hardcore celebrators, there is the 1st Annual Saint Paddy's Day Pub Crawl. Starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow a shuttle bus will make stops every 15 minutes to Lucy's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Mick O'Shea's, Tir Na Nog Bar & Grill, James Joyce, and Slainte Irish Pub.


[Image: courtesy of]

Amy Mulvihill's picture
March, 11th 2009

Always Going Back Again

As Jess said in her introductory post, this blog will have three contributors. I am one of them: Hi! I'm Amy Mulvihill, assistant managing editor. You may remember me from such blog posts as Virgin Fest 2007 and Virgin Fest 2008! If not, that's fine, too. We'll get to know each other soon enough.

As Jess also explained in her introductory post, this blog will be primarily about Baltimore nightlife. To make things extra confusing though, we decided to begin our coverage with a post about something neither in Baltimore, nor particularly nightlife related. Yay for sticking to a theme!

This post is about Fleetwood Mac. More specifically Fleetwood Mac's concert in D.C. last night. I went and I'm going to tell you all about and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

As Jess mentioned in her introductory post (she really covered all the bases there, didn't she?) I love Fleetwood Mac. Like, a lot. They are my favorite ever, ever, ever and I will defend their general awesomeness until I am blue in the face, so you can pretty much expect this concert review to be favorable, but I will try and maintain a minimal level of journalistic impartiality.

So, let's begin by ragging on D.C. a bit, shall we. That's always been a popular Baltimore pastime. But seriously, what is wrong with that city? Nothing makes sense and everything is so poorly marked. You would think that wouldn't be the case since it is one of the major tourist destinations on the continent, but then you would be wrong. Anyway, this is my long-winded way of saying I got lost and missed the first three songs of the set, which went thusly:

Monday Morning
The Chain
I Know I'm Not Wrong
Go Insane
Second Hand News
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Say You Love Me
Gold Dust Woman
Oh Well
I'm So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way

World Turning
Don't Stop

Second Encore
Silver Springs

They're calling this tour "Fleetwood Mac Unleashed" but I think we can all agree that's a stupid name. What it is, in fact, is a "Greatest Hits" tour, where the foursome of Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie (Keyboardist and contributing songwriter Christine McVie retired from the band in 1998) can play the hits without worrying about shoehorning new songs into the set when the audience clearly just wants to hear the Rumours songs for the umpteenth time. And, you know what? I'm okay with that, particularly since they sounded great and performed those old chestnuts with vigor.

Stevie Nicks, in particular, was in fine voice. Past cocaine use has destroyed the high end of her vocal range, but her weathered, reedy alto is still as affecting as ever, especially on the ballads. She sang a particularly wistful version of Landslide, which she dedicated to the members of the Armed Services. Storms, a somewhat obscure ballad from 1979's Tusk, was gorgeous and haunting, just the way nature intended it and Sara, my personal favorite Stevie ballad, was lush and romantic, like a sonic Bronte novel. Her uptempo numbers—Gypsy, Stand Back, and Rhiannon—achieved varying degrees of success, depending on how generous you feel like being. Our senior editor, Evan Serpick, who also attended last night's concert, felt Rhiannon lacked oomph because Stevie avoided the high notes. Fair enough. But she hasn't been hitting those since the 70s anyway, so I wasn't bothered. Would it be awesome if Stevie could still kick out the jams like she could in 1976 (see below)? Yes, yes it would. But I'd also like to weigh what I weighed in sixth grade. Too bad. It's never gonna happen. The woman is 60 and she still looks and sounds better than almost any 60 year old I can think of. That's enough for me.

Lindsey Buckingham, the group's once mercurial and resentful guitarist/problem child, seems to have finally found the affirmation he's been craving. He received the only two standing ovations of the night for his heroic guitar work on Big Love and the bluesy I'm So Afraid. I've always found him to be something of a whiny brat in interviews, always grinding on about how he never gets enough credit for being the genius producer behind The Mac's hit-making machine. It's a valid gripe. Stevie did initially seize the limelight (Check out the above video. Can you really blame people for focusing on her?). But that was more than 30 years ago now and since then, anyone who knows anything about Fleetwood Mac, is well aware of his contributions to the group as a vocalist, brilliant guitarist, songwriter, arranger, and producer. He's also developed into quite a showman, leaping around the stage with more gusto than whippersnappers half his age, all the while never missing a note.

The one weakness in Buckingham's arsenal is his voice, which I find overly-guttural. He tends to add lots of whoops and hollers to compensate and some people really like that. They think it shows passion. I think it shows that he can't hit the notes anymore, but I suppose it could actually be both. Still, you can't argue with his guitar playing and it is absolutely egregious that he is not a household name like so many of his axe-slinging contemporaries. But after the performance I overheard lots of youngsters enthusing about his mad skillz, so it seems all hope is not lost.

Anyway, this post is already about 500 words longer than it should be and I could go on and on and on as my poor friends and colleagues know all too well. Let's wrap this up, shall we? Fleetwood Mac were awesome, you should have been there to see it. It was even worth driving to D.C.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 5th 2009


Hey everyone, I'm Jess Blumberg, Baltimore magazine's associate editor. Welcome to the magazine's latest blog, On The Town! Here we're going to discuss the city's nightlife scene, whether it's a new bar in town, concert, gallery opening, sports game, play, gala, etc. If it's at night, we can cover it.

The city has always had an energetic nightlife, starting at its birth when sailors would stumble around the taverns lining Fells Point. A century later, Baltimore became the second largest port of entry into the U.S., attracting immigrants from all over the world who brought their diverse cultural identities with them. Starting in the 1950s, The Left Bank Jazz Society brought legends John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Duke Ellington to play in our very town (for more, see our April issue).

Fast-forward to today and our nightlife landscape is ever-changing. Within the past few years, Station North has emerged as a cultural epicenter in Baltimore, providing us with tons of art and performance spaces. A little bit north is the burgeoning Hamilton area, where Harford Road is now host to tons of shops, restaurants, bars, and a whole new scene. Downtown, Harbor East has had a giant makeover and at night its streets are bustling with shoppers, diners, and movie-goers.

Those are just a few examples of why we want to dedicate a blog to the city's nightlife. And when I say we, I mean myself, along with senior editor Evan Serpick and assistant managing editor Amy Mulvihill. Evan is a Baltimore native and former Rolling Stone editor, who helped put the city on the map by naming it "Best Scene" in the 2008 Best of Rock issue. Amy is a Goucher alum who loves Fleetwood Mac, drinking, and eating leftover baked goods in the office.

Of course, there are already great sources that explore the city's scene, like Midnight Sun, Metromix, SEN Baltimore, and obviously City Paper. We want to act as a complement to all of these extensive sources. We won't just cover great happy hour specials or what big act is playing this weekend, but we also want to tap into the other side of nightlife.

Hopefully we can rise to the challenge!

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