My fellow city-magazine publishers and I have all heard it before: Some people think our genre of journalism is largely about food, fashion, events, and so-called service pieces (best this and best that), and that we sometimes overlook serious public-affairs issues and the people behind them.
And this issue, as an example, is packed with events coverage, lots of edgy short pieces in the front of the book, a Home section that’s full of design inspiration, and the ever-popular ranking system that, this month, we applied to local crab-cake purveyors. But as useful as these pieces are, I suspect our 300,000 readers will also be drawn to some of the interesting people and issues we also give ink to this month.
Consider, for instance, a piece on the 70th anniversary of what was once a little, family-owned bakery in Highlandtown run by a couple of Greek immigrants. Those who know me are aware that John Paterakis, the 84-year-old patriarch of the empire that grew from that little shop, has long been a close friend, but the staff didn’t let me know the magazine was doing this feature until I saw the editorial line-up. But whether I know John or not, the story of a Baltimorean building an $800-million industry Goliath is worth reading.
Of course, Paterakis’s most visible contribution to Baltimore has been the real-estate development arm he created almost 20 years ago that bankrolled the gleaming showpiece of waterfront condo, retail, and office towers stretching from the Inner Harbor to Fells Point. And four generations after the first bun came out of the Paterakis oven, the company is still all in the family.
Then we visit with Larry Gibson, an accomplished attorney and law school professor, a renowned civil-rights pioneer, and an effective, if sometimes controversial, puppeteer of sorts in city politics for many years. He’s got a new book out on Thurgood Marshall, which is a worthy reason to look again at a man who has made his own mark on Baltimore during the past half century.
And be sure to read the compelling tale of Carole Morison, an Eastern Shore farmer who’s gone from feeling like an oppressed pawn of a mega-food company to being a recognized champion of sustainable farming.
So, the journal Daedalus we’re not. But I do think our content covers a broad range of interests. And that’s the goal.