December’s chill winds remind us of winter’s wrath, which I think Mother Nature demonstrated pretty well last February with the double-whammy blizzards of almost biblical proportions that crippled the region for days. Certainly that scenic but difficult week would rank high on anyone’s list of Baltimore’s 25 most memorable moments in 2010. But what would be the other 24?
We came up with our own answers this month in “The 25 Events that Rocked Baltimore,” one of the many reasons to read on. There’s also a terrific Home supplement (don’t miss our visit to Brian Billick’s impressive Eastern Shore digs) and a movie-themed holiday gift guide put together by lifestyle editor Janelle Erlichman Diamond that has something for everyone. (How about a reusable travel bag with inflatable air chambers for flying home bottles of wine or one of Nickie Nelson’s oh-so-Baltimore screen-painted handbags?)
And, of course, there’s the cover story, “Baltimore After Dark,” which reveals associate editor Jess Blumberg’s heretofore secret desires to plan other people’s nightlives, with tips on what’s hot in more than a dozen categories from sports bars, galleries, and dance clubs to hipster spots, lounges, wine bars, live music venues, and more.
Speaking of entertaining yourself, we’re welcoming to the magazine a new contributor, someone I think you’re all going to love. Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased since she’s my very own daughter, Gina Geppi, who will be authoring a column called “Riding Solo,” which is geared toward singles in the city.
Gina, 33, a business consultant, freelance writer, and Baltimore native, came to the magazine with the idea for the column because she loves the city and saw an unanswered need in the big singles population out there. But you won’t hear Gina bemoaning her marital status in this new space—she wants the column to celebrate being single because, in her case, it gives her time to do what she loves, from traveling, dancing, cooking, and spending time with family to taking in Orioles games and indulging her guilty pleasure—reality TV shows. I hope you enjoy her debut.
I haven’t yet mentioned our dining coverage, which is always popular among our readers. Perhaps to underscore how closely our food features are followed, I have an interesting morsel of news on that front.
A month or so ago, food and wine editor Suzanne Loudermilk decided to run a contest that would allow readers to become restaurant critics for a day. From her little corner of our website, she solicited restaurant reviews from readers (no chefs, restaurateurs, food bloggers, or published food reviewers were allowed) with the promise that the authors of the best ones would win a free dinner for two at one of Baltimore’s great restaurants. Readers responded in droves: We got close to 100 reviews submitted before the deadline, and many were just terrific. Now the ball is in Suzanne’s court: She has the tough job of picking winners.