B. Boyd


Meet Acclaimed Photographer/Instructor Henry Horenstein!


What makes a great photographer like Henry Horenstein tick? Or how does he click such astonishingly beautiful and often highly abstract images of animals and sea life? The artist and RISD prof shares pro secrets this Thursday night at the Aquarium.

He’ll discuss the making of photo books Aquatics (2001) and Animalia (2008), and more.

Of Aquatics, The Boston Globe noted: “[Horenstein’s] carp and jellyfish are weightless and oddly graceful, suspended in warm and diffuse atmospheres.” Of Animalia, writer Owen Edwards raved, “Though most photographers are driven to find a new vision, even the best fail more often than they succeed. In [these images], Horenstein has succeeded to a dazzling degree, evading the abundant clichés of animal photography at every turn.”

Horenstein, author of more than 30 books of photography, including Honky Tonk, Close Relations, SHOW, and Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual, used by numerous schools and universities, is certainly best known for his unforgettable images of people, famous and obscure, images which capture subjects’ vulnerability (check out his portrait of a young Dolly Parton in Honky Tonk), authenticity and personal awkwardness (Close Relations chronicles his own people), and playful idiosyncrasies (SHOW takes us behind the curtains of burlesque performance).

“I’ve spent a career mostly photographing people, which can be fun, rewarding, instructive, and …often difficult. So many personalities and attitudes. Good and not so good. Fish and other marine life require no personal interaction, but they take on lives of their own,” Horenstein says. “Mostly I’m projecting, I’m sure, but it is very peaceful to watch and shoot marine life. So many amazing creatures—the way they are built, the way they behave.”

The hardest aspect of shooting underwater creatures? Patience.

“I am a nervous person and generally bouncing form one thing, place, to another. You can’t do this with marine life because you can’t pose them or control the surroundings. You have to wait and wait sometimes for hours until your subject does something you want…in the best light, with the best background, etc.” he explains.

All marine life shots were taken in aquariums and zoos, because, Horenstein says, “I’m too chicken to go underwater.”

Horenstein’s work has been displayed internationally–in museums, galleries, and public art installations.

Event Details

This Thursday Oct 20
6–7 p.m. Wine and cheese reception

7–9 p.m. Lecture at the National Aquarium’s Meyerhoff Auditorium (book signing to follow)

Cost: $5 for members, $5 for students, $10 for non-members or free with book purchase

Reservations are required; call 410-727-FISH (3474) to reserve

Or submit a fish or fishbowl-related personal short-short story to win two tickets!

Baltimore Filmmaker Nicky Smith: Young One to Watch


In our inaugural Wunderkind Q&A–celebrating hyper-talented Baltimoreans under the legal drinking age–we interview 18-year-old filmmaker/musician Nicky Smith, who started making movies at 11, good ones.

Nicky, a 2011 Friends grad, still lives and creates film and music in Baltimore. Parents are City Paper founder Russ Smith, who edits Splice Today, and the painter Melissa Smith. Their gifted kid has known he wanted to shoot movies since he can remember, and with enthusiastic approval from Mom and Dad, began studying at Steve Yeager’s Young Filmmakers Workshop before high school; he loaded up on film at Friends as well, working closely with instructor David Heath, who plays “teacher” characters in several of Nicky’s movies.

Nine days shy of 19, Nicky has already generated a little library of clever, complex, dreamy-looking-and-sounding shorts (many backed by trippy tunes from locals Ecstatic Sunshine or Dan Deacon), all governed by a quirky vision by turns somber/poetic, sexy and hilarious — Yeager loosely compares Nicky’s work to that of David Lynch, and that’s an apt line to draw, but of course it’s complicated to compare an original. For me, unique, unconventional directors like Todd Haynes, for whom a single film like Poison can encompass three genres, and Tom Noonan and Mike Leigh, whose patience with, and huge trust in, their stage-to-screen actors results in natural long takes, spring to mind. (Not all of Nicky’s untrained actors convince, but he helps many achieve a realistic rhythm.)

Nicky’s senior project, “Vinyl Fantasy,” an ambitious hybrid short feature clocking in at 35 minutes, works like psychedelic public-access programming, the “shows” flipping out of sight when we least expect it, the manic screen throwing up previews and teasers for programming we’ll never know, then, in another dizzy switch, developing a languorous (and moving) long take between teenage lovers, after dark, in the woods. One of Nicky’s most accessible shorts, “Tamsin Bookworm,” made in Heath’s film class junior year, tracks the lonely life of a girl with stellar grades and severely limited social skills. Deacon’s soft soundtrack gives the whole thing a half-music-video feel; it’s something like an after-school special on Quaaludes. “Donald,” meanwhile, drills inside the oversexed adolescent psyche of a male dork whose visions depict him as a cocaine-sniffing pimp (but whose high-school-dating adventures prove pretty racy, too). “Donald” and “End of Vend” offer broader examples of Nicky’s comedic, winking way, the likeable ingredient present in all of his varied work, the humanistic stroke that makes it so watchable, and never (thus far) pretentious.

We talked to him about his vision, his music and music videos, his goals, how he gets natural performances out of civilian classmates, who he loves, hates, and still more.

How would you describe your mission or point of view?

I don’t want to tell stories in one particular way. I look at it like a wheel, where you can go off in these different directions and places and still have it be of a piece with everything else. I think life here on Earth is inherently sad, for a lot of reasons; life is a constant war of attrition against that insignificance…

Your films bring to mind the verité pace of Larry Clark’s Kids–scenes flow in unpredictable ways like the best docs and like Mike Leigh’s improvisations… What is your trademark directorial touch/technique/trick as of now, would you say?

Well, but I love working with non-actors in comfortable situations. Uncomfortable situations can be good…sometimes. Sometimes it’s too much of a pain to deal with. I like to inject a lot of black humor where you might not expect it, kind of like “The Simpsons.” And like that show, I don’t take myself too seriously.

How do you get non-actor kids to act?

All of the kids in “Courtship Couches” [a segment of “Vinyl Fantasy”] are basically playing themselves, with no prompting beyond, “You’re fighting,” or “You’re at a party.” In a way, it’s really a documentary of the people who are in it. I pick people I think are entertaining or interesting in real life. There was no script and no outline. I wanted to film people as they really were. It’s not about lines or plot, it’s about getting at this intangible feeling, a feeling of greatness, sorrow, purpose, connection and excitement all at once. [Senior year] is a time when the real world starts blooming for you, and you start seeing what people, adults, are actually like, and how you’ve got to survive. No more free lunch. And everything is so melodramatic…

Did you learn all the pro basics attending Steve Yeager’s workshop for five years?

It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. You have three weeks to shoot a 25-minute short from a pre-written script. Kids acting, directing, doing art and design… We operated like a real film set: same equipment, lingo, pace. You learn what to do and what not, and to get what you want out of what you have.

In what capacity have you worked with Matthew Porterfield?

I worked for a few days on the set of his new movie, I Used to Be Darker, and it felt like I was back at camp. I interviewed him in 2007 for a documentary on post typography.

Talk about your experience making movies at Friends, as part of your curriculum.

David Heath teaches English, music, art and math at Friends, a real Renaissance Ralph. [Heath] is the man — I made five shorts for that class. He was very supportive and into what I was doing. Helped me out a lot, defended me. “End of Vend” and “Morris Afternoon” were shown in Collection (assembly) and the kids loved them. Not all the faculty got it, which was kind of cool. It’s nice when you can push the edges and not totally alienate people. It shifts the boundaries.

What are you trying to convey with your senior project “Vinyl Fantasy”?

Watching TV can make you feel really stupid and burnt out. Viagra spots running right after stories on Anthony Weiner, Zoloft commercials on Nickelodeon, the disappointment of a real Big Mac after the luscious fantasy of the ad… Even watching the news makes you feel like a five-year-old. Commercials are so dumb, but at the same time they’re appealing to the subconscious…so there’s this really sinister undertone to everything on TV…you’re constantly being manipulated and tricked by this dumb, loud box. “Vinyl Fantasy” does not respect its audience. It thinks it’s dumb. That’s more a comment on how condescending the media is — I don’t think my audience is dumb.

Who are your most important influences?

Kubrick, Harmony Korine, Charlie Kaufman, P.T. Anderson, Todd Solondz, John Waters, Henry Miller, William Eggleston, Billy Corgan, Kurt Cobain, Jim O’Rourke, Matt Papich, The Simpsons, Jason DiEmilio (R.I.P.), Eric Copeland, Burning Star Core, At the Drive-In, Dylan, Bowie, Fahey, James Honeyman-Scott, Paul Banks, Don Cab, Unwound, My Bloody Valentine, Van Dyke Parks, Liz Harris, Needle Gun, Teeth Mountain, Nas, Brian Blomerth, Max Eisenberg, Dan Deacon, Jason Willett, William Basinski, Xiu Xiu, Whitehouse, Boards of Canada, Suicide, Velvet Underground, Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Green Day, Bill Maher, Larry David, Matt Drudge, David Foster Wallace…

I despise homophobes, womanizers, racists, the lazy, the ignorant, and the willfully moronic. And brostep.

What’s going on with your busy music life?

I’ve got a record coming out, “Yellow Jacket,” I’m doing music videos for Co La, Narwhalz, and Roomrunner… I’m in the process of setting up an East Coast tour with Miguel Sabogal of Alexander Trust, and arranging a 7″ split with Nick Hoegberg of Brother Simon.

Will you be the artist who comes home to Baltimore for good to tell our stories?

Not exactly. I love Baltimore and the people here, but I don’t want to make films exclusively about or set in the city… I’d love the make a Baltimore film, but it’s definitely not the only thing I want to do. But for the foreseeable future it’s the only place I can imagine living and working.

What will movies be like in 25 years?

Who knows — I haven’t seen a really good big budget movie in a long time. I hate almost all contemporary CGI. It looks like garbage. I hate feeling like I’m watching a scene cut from a video game, and that’s what it is, the same process. [Kubrick’s] 2001 used models, the moon sets existed in physical space… I hope there’s a revolution in terms of how we approach movies and their possibilities. It’s amazing to me how predictable and safe so many films are, mainstream and indie. Film is light and sound for a couple of hours — there are practically infinite possibilities, mind and consciousness-expanding possibilities, I would argue, but no one’s really interested in transcendence. I’d like to change that.

Adorable MD SPCA Commercial Makes Us Smile/Cry!


Want a lump in your throat, in the best way?

This week the MD SPCA has launched the most adorable, uplifting, tear-jerking TV and radio campaign to promote pet adoptions and additional support of their lovely work on behalf of abandoned animals–the campaign will run for one month, airing on local TV stations and on WLIF-FM. Ready for the heart-pounding “Aw” moment? Click here to watch now.

To help the cause, share the video on Facebook. Plus, sign up to make a monthly gift during the campaign and you’ll score a “Feel the Warmth of a Cold Nose” bumper sticker, and will be enrolled in the organization’s Faithful Friends group.

If our encouragement isn’t enough, the cute-dog-leaping-into-his-owner’s-arms commercial should do the quick trick. Kleenex recommended.

A New Social Network in Baltimore Links Young and Old


Last spring, we told you about the Village at Home. A brilliant concept that brings social networking to real life, linking young and elderly residents in a compassionate contract of favor-sharing. Everyone wins — everyone makes new friends. Fifty-six unique Villages are in operation around the country, and 120 more are under development.

The Village Baltimore launches on November 1! Volunteers are needed now. Call 410-235-3171 or email [email protected] to get involved.

The nonprofit encourages a system of regular exchange, whereby, for example, younger people can connect with those caring, older babysitters, while the same older sitters may receive rides, perhaps errand-running, courtesy of their younger neighbors. Older people gain the support necessary to feel confident remaining in their homes. Younger people can also take advantage of volunteer services. Vendor service options include tech support, landscape service, bill paying, meal delivery, information wrangling, housecleaning, and more.

Introductory memberships are $800 for individual membership and $1200 per household membership.  The membership fees cover only about 80 percent of the cost, so donations are welcome also.
Village At Home will be available in the following local neighborhoods: Blythewood, Bellona-Gittings, Cedarcroft, Cross Keys, Evergreen, Guilford, Homeland, Keswick, Lake-Evesham, Lake Roland, Mt. Washington, North Roland Park, Oakenshawe, The Orchards, Poplar Hill, Riderwood, Roland Park, Roland Springs, Ruxton, Sabina-Mattfelt, Tuscany-Canterbury, and Wyndhurst

Fat Is a Feminist Issue


In case you didn’t catch author and therapist Susie Orbach — the official international spokeswoman for body acceptance — lecturing at Sheppard Pratt this weekend, we cribbed several empowering aphorisms and alarming factoids from the thoughtful Brit’s Power Point presentation, “Navigating Our Culture’s Body Anxiety and Finding Body Confidence.” Not to mention the amusing audience participant who deftly challenged one piece of Orbach’s more avant-garde food-think advice.

Orbach, 65, a trim woman who wears a uniform of black pencil skirts and bright shoes, peppered her lecture with fairly shocking statements designed to keep us listening, eyebrows raised.

“There are now high heels for babies, did you know this?” she asked early on, bemoaning the trend toward dressing little girls like grown women.

Her predominately female audience rapt, Orbach then identified the five massive industries that program our brains and keep us hating our non-airbrushed selves and making self-destructive decisions — like heels for babies and too-tall heels for busy ladies — which are (drum roll) the glamour, food, diet, beauty and pharmaceutical sectors.

Women’s and Men’s Magazine Covers are Airbrushed — Learn to Laugh at Them

Get this sad stat: “Ninety percent of all women [in this country] want to change an aspect of their physical appearance.”

Shockingly, on average women in the U.S. also devote focused thinking to body image every 15 minutes — a couple of decades ago, Orbach added, it was a movie star’s job to be beautiful, and “now it seems to be all of our jobs.”

Helpful takeaway? It’s easier to complete a grad degree in philosophy when you’re not fixated on how you look in jeans. Orbach ought to know — her own over-achieving daughter, while working on her PhD, confessed that her thoughts turned to body and weight every five minutes. What to do? Psycho-analysis can help. So can outrage. And talking openly with friends. “Use your mouth.”

The Diet Industry Doesn’t Want You to Learn to Eat Right

In 2006, the U.S. spent $100 billion on diet products compared to $56 billion on education. Diet pills are an enormous money-making monster.

“Dieting is a profitable industry because it has a 97 percent recidivism rate,” Orbach nearly shouted.

So, if you diet, you’ll likely gain back the weight you lose. And meanwhile, the food industry “creates as many ways to sell, from the organic to the completely appalling.” To keep you guessing, spending, and messing up.

Best takeaway teachings related to eating? 

“Eat when you are hungry. Hunger signals are akin to the biological prompt of needing to pee.”

“Eat the foods your body is hungry for.”

“Taste every mouthful.”

“Stop eating when you’re full. Little kids [without issues] just spit the food out when they get full.”

“Find out why you eat when you are not hungry. Eating only solves hunger. There are no feelings in the fridge, it’s too cold in there.”

I appreciated the passionate way Orbach described life without food rules, how women and men who learn to eat based purely on hunger often make more time to read and pursue big dreams and idiosyncratic pathways. Their bodies morph into their ideal, as-nature-intended ones — often smaller bods. But I did wish she’d had more than an hour to pontificate, because certain blanket statements, like, “Get to know your appetite; remove the [food] restrictions; self-acceptance is the key; maybe you really do want a slice of cheesecake for lunch instead of a lot of other food and then the cheesecake,” left me applauding her revolutionary intentions but wondering if her catchphrases considered nutrition carefully enough. Could they really help a person who’s by nature crazy for carbs, for whom one bite of cake creates a very real craving for many more? Behavior which causes blood sugar to spike and sink and perpetuate the cycle.

At the end of the talk, when the attractive heavyset woman at the end of my row raised her hand, I felt like she’d read my mind.

“If I let myself eat cake for breakfast, you know what would happen to me?” she asked Orbach, into the microphone.

“Well, you must eat it only when you’re hungry,” Orbach said, her alert face tightening.

“But you’re telling me I can eat cake every day? I’m telling you that I love cake, and I’d eat a lot of cake.”

“You’d get tired of it,” Orbach said. “I promise you.”

“Try me.”

The audience laughed heartily. Orbach scurried off to sign books. And I left thinking that I admire her life’s work, that I agree we have many brain-washing industries to fight, but that I won’t be nibbling a single hot Krispy Kreme on a lunch break, and tagging that a radical act, or thinking of the greasy indulgence as a liberating gesture toward feeding my slimmest, least-neurotic self, not any time soon…yummy as the idea sounds. I know the real me would want to eat two.
Orbach is the author of Bodies, On Eating: Change Your Eating, Change Your Life, and Fat is a Feminist Issue. Go here for more information on eating disorders.

Love Aquarium Style


It’s the story of a lovely lady, Zoe, 12, a zebra shark, who had swum solo for some time inside the National Aquarium’s Wings in the Water exhibit, mingling with other fishes, sure, seemingly social, true, but in one sense living alone, without another zebra shark to call her similarly wacky-looking water family (extra-long tail, spotted body, big smiling face). All that changed recently when Zeke, age two, left the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to take up residence at the National Aquarium, smack dab in Zoe’s high-profile tank. We’re more interested in their potential May-December coupling than that of Demi and Ashton any day, and so consulted our favorite shark expert Andy Dehart, the aquarium’s director of fishes and aquatic invertebrates — and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week adviser — about Zeke and Zoe’s future friendship, including romantic possibilities that could bubble up.

Why was Zeke, who took up residence at the National Aquarium in 2010, only this month introduced to the public and fish-crazy paparazzi, via the Wings exhibit?

Zeke’s ready now at age two. He’s swimming with some very large rays, roughtail and southern stingrays with about six-foot wingspans. The sharks that live in there need to be a certain size to make their presence known at feed time.

Who has taken care of young Zeke? Or would you say shark-sat?

Our main aquarist Colleen Newburg is his day-to-day caretaker. Now that he’s in the exhibit, he sees volunteer divers twice a day. They help with [pole-]feeding, cleaning, and maintenance.

Do you think Zeke misses his mother?

Sharks receive no maternal care.

Are female and male sharks different personality-wise?

Nope, not much difference between male and female [shark] personalities. Each shark has a personality, though. Zoe is very curious: She always comes over when there’s activity. Zeke is a unique character — [he’s not a baby]; I would call him a juvenile.

Who named Zoe and Zeke?

My wife named Zoe when she was an aquarist here! Technically speaking, they actually have numbers as names–the real way we ID is with an ID number built by the first letter of the genus, the first of the species, the year we got that animal and the order. Zeke is also known as SF 10-1. Our staff are very passionate about the animals, of course, [and about naming them]. Colleen Newburg named Zeke.

Describe the striking physical transformation the zebra shark completes as he/she matures.

When they’re born out of an egg, they are solid black with vertical white stripes — the black fades to mustard yellow, while the stripes become yellow spots like on a leopard. This is why they’re also called leopard sharks. They also get really pronounced ridges on their backs, and have super long tales. The face of a zebra shark is like a big Cabbage Patch Kid!

Despite their age difference, will Zeke and Zoe mate?

They could mate.The age difference matters now — Zeke isn’t old enough right now to want to do that. It’s possible later. With a lot of these sharks, it can take eight to 14 years to mature. So, Zeke has a little growing up to do before it’s time to date.

Does the Aquarium hope they’ll hook up eventually?

It’s one thing we always look at. How can we breed instead of using wild specimens? Zebras have done well with breeding and mating. A long-term goal is breed them…

The Wings in the Water exhibit will be expanded and reinvented in the next year or so. Can you give us a hint about the new and improved show tank?

Both Zoe and Zeke will be featured! Sharks, rays, too, and we’ll be upping the number of sharks and unique animals…

Funky Charmer: Resident Artist Pam Stein


Self-taught mosaic designer Pam Stein calls herself simply a community artist, which smacks of a do-it-yourself artsy-craftsiness that tends to lower this viewer’s expectations — I prefer to describe Pam, our newest Baltimore Fishbowl resident artist, as an idiosyncratic creative/community activist whose multi-media installations reinvent collage. At her best, Pam dazzles with exuberant color and off-kilter imagery–trees sprout rivers, flowers and feminine faces; imagine Kahlo and Da Vinci merged brains, incorporated found objects, and watched “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” for inspiration.

“My mom was always into trees and has art with trees of all shapes,” Pam says. “I, too, am fascinated with the shapes and structure of trees–they seem to make it in my art even if it’s not the main focus.”

Pam has served as director of the art therapy program at Healthcare for the Homeless in Baltimore City, helping individual participants learn to integrate into society by way of step-by-step self expression. These days, she’s a stay-at-home artist mom with three young kids. Featured in galleries in and around Baltimore City, including the Walter’s, Pam’s work is often displayed alongside pieces by her therapy clients, whom she has directed and advised; much of her work remains on permanent exhibition in the new Healthcare for the Homeless facility on Fallsway. Currently, Pam participates in Parks and People’s “Nature of Things” show, displaying sculptures built of natural materials on the trails of Leakin Park in Baltimore City.

The artist is currently looking to make commissioned work and new projects. After the installation of two successful outdoor mosaic murals for a client in the Roland Park area, she’s also preparing a community project in her own Evergreen neighborhood. Pam’s own house on Schenley Road in Evergreen is another playful P.S. installation, with hot orange shutters, a blue porch, stars and many moons shimmering. Stunning sculptures (with faces) live on her porch and inside the house. Write to Pam for a tour or to commission a project.

Pam’s work featured here, “Shanti Tree,” uses origami, postcard fragments, found metal, and her grandmother’s jewelry. “Tribal Tree” is made with yarn and glue. The portraits are a collaboration between a homeless artist and a community artist, supervised by Pam.

Baltimore Housewives Learn "Hillbilly Handfishin’"


Locust Point stay-at-home mom Jen Grottenthaler applied to be on the Animal Planet

Homeless Dog Becomes Drug-Sniffing Super Hero!


This dog’s life sounds like a screenplay pitch: Homeless pup becomes professional drug-sniffing canine! Or: From homeless and hopeless to Humane Society resident to Maryland Division of Correction dog-in-training.

Fade in: Last Friday afternoon — rain coming down. Bruiser, a one-year-old labrador-pit-bull mix leapt and barked and feasted and snoozed and leapt some more at Humane Society headquarters. His brother Teardrop having been adopted first, easily, Bruiser wondered if his extra extroverted personality might not be too much for the typical rescuer to abide. Rain got worse, yet it was this steamy gray Friday, last Friday, when Bruiser was happily adopted by the Maryland Division of Correction Canine Unit. From here, bright, high-energy, 75-pound Bruiser will not only have a warm home with an active routine and kind, familiar faces, he’ll have a job to perform, perfectly suited to his ultra-active, highly inquisitive nature. The unit meanwhile earns a smart sniffer.

In act two, Bruiser’s set to enter a 10-week program, the Narcotic Detection Dog Academy. Many shelter dogs have come through this program with flying (or wagging) colors, according to Captain Mark Flynn of the Correction Canine Unit. According the the Humane Society press release, Flynn’s own backyard dog is a unit retiree, who spent years in service until he started suffering from hip dysplasia. 

“We like to take our dogs from shelters,” Flynn said in the release. “First, it saves lives.  Second, it saves the state a lot of money. It cost us thousands of dollars for one dog from a breeder. A labrador, for instance, can cost between $1500 to $3000 – and that’s untrained. If the dog is pre-trained by a breeder it can cost the state $6000!”

Upon graduation from the academy, Bruiser and his human partner will patrol statewide detecting drug odors and halting contraband from entering the state prison system.  Bruiser’s sniffing gift will enable him to identify a wide range of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, and ecstasy. That’s act three. But Bruiser’s so cute, and eager to please, we’re already hoping for a sequel.

Keep Your Shoes On, Baltimore! TSA to Cancel Stinky Rule


Probably the most time-consuming/embarrassing part of passing through TSA is shoe-removal. Not only is the unlacing inefficient when you’re nearly late for boarding, it’s not the most hygienic-feeling step, especially when the guy in front of you forgot his socks, and his Odor Eaters. A shoe-removal-frustrated friend who wished to remain anonymous said, “Can we talk about how gross it is to see complete strangers’ feet? Or having that handsome stranger help you with your bags and then… Ugh! Off come the shoes and there’s your bunion like a sixth finger pointing at him and grossing him out! And how about never wearing boots or high heels or any shoe other than a flip-flop or slip-on on an airplane? That’s fun.”

Agreed. Soon, though, seems we’ll be able to skip the foot-baring burden, striding from home to airport to window seat without so much as loosening double-knots, thanks to better technology in the works–according to a Politico post this week. At a “Playbook Breakfast” forum at the Newseum, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Politico White House Correspondent Mike Allen, “We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen. I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids.”

No details released about the new scanning technology to make our stilettos and sneakers safer, or any real hints regarding when we can start keeping our shoes on. So, keep your shirts on, travelers, be patient and polite about pulling your wingtips off, and trust that in coming months–or possible several years–your TSA walk will move at a quicker, cushioned clip.