There's lots to like in the issue this month, starting with our cover story, which delves into how local chefs are doing more with Charm City's favorite crustacean than just steaming them and making them into cakes. (Deviled crab eggs, anyone?) Arts and culture editor John Lewis peeks into the top-secret workings of the fiercely competitive computer-gaming developers that have turned the Hunt Valley area into a hub for this booming industry. And lifestyle assistant Shabdiece Esfahani went on a mission to find out why the annual Otakon convention—which celebrates Asian popular culture and comics—inspires kids (and kids at heart) to don some of the craziest costumes you could imagine.
But there are a couple of changes in the wind, both in this print version and on our website, that you won't find lsited on the table of contents. Online, look for The Chatter, a new extension of the magazine's Charm City Chatter column, which allows us to reflect on daily happenings around town in a much more timely manner. Check it out at baltimoremagazine.net.
And then there's the time-tested back-page Grill: It's had a good run, having featured something like 130 local luminaries in its 11 years. But it's time to do something different with the space, so this month we're running the best answers we've gotten over the years from a variety of subjects.
But the retirement of the Grill got me thinking, "Why haven't I ever been 'Grilled?'" (I ask this in jest, of course). So just to entertain myself, I thought I'd offer my own answers to some of the most popular questions.
Who's my favorite Baltimorean? Unless I'm allowed to pick my late brother Toodie, my vote goes to William Donald Schaefer, who almost single-handedly put Baltimore back on the map of vibrant, forward-looking American cities.
The book or film that's most changed my life? I'm going to surprise some who know me and say the Bible.
The greatest problem facing Baltimore? The answer seems obvious to me: Though we've been spared the suffering of some metro areas, I'd still say unemployment and it effects on families and neighborhoods.
I've always enjoyed the Grill question, Who would play you in the movie of your life? I'll take a young Robert De Niro, please.
And if I could write Baltimore's motto, what would it be? "Baltimore: America's best-kept secret."
Biggest mistake I've ever made? The answer is moving out of the city. (But I'm moving back!)
And, last but not least (drumroll), the bravest thing I've ever done: That would have to be quitting my secure job at the postal service 37 years ago to sell comic books!
There, finally, I can die a happy man: I've been Grilled!