Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.

Pimlico makeover repositions racetrack as events venue, community hub

A rendering from the Pimlico concept plan. The Maryland Stadium Authority has just recently gone out to bid for architects.

After being known for decades as the home of horseracing in Baltimore, Pimlico Race Course has the potential to take on a new role.

Instead of serving as a place for one major activity, horseracing, Pimlico can become a new multi-faceted entertainment venue that draws people with a wide range of interests, while continuing to host one of the nation’s premier sporting events, the Preakness Stakes.

Barnes and Noble closing its Inner Harbor store


Baltimore will have one less bookstore after Saturday when Barnes & Noble closes its branch in the Inner Harbor.

Designing for Distance: City program plans for safe reopening of public spaces

An illustration from the guidebook for the city program, “Design for Distancing.” The guidebook serves as a resource for the safe design of public spaces as the city reopens.

As Baltimore’s local businesses and neighborhoods attempt to “reopen” safely for dining and shopping after the lockdown prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, new public “installations” are appearing around the city to aid in the effort.

How did John Waters end up in a country music video?

Cover art from Orville Peck’s Show Pony. John Waters has a role in the song “Legends Never Die.”

Taking a short break from films, books, visual art, spoken-word comedy, fashion and camp counseling. Baltimore-based multi-tasker John Waters has a role this month in a new country music video, “Legends Never Die.”

Baltimore Book Festival and Light City postponed for 2020


Add the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City to the list of annual events that have been postponed for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free Fall Baltimore and Baltimore’s Open Studio Tour will become virtual events this year.

The book festival has been postponed until 2021 and Light City has been postponed until 2022.

John Waters is the new face of Saint Laurent

Image via Saint Laurent.

After representing Nike and Nordstrom last year, filmmaker John Waters is the new face of Saint Laurent menswear.

The Parisian fashion house posted two black-and-white images from a new ad campaign on its social media accounts today.

One (shown above) features a snarling John Waters, dressed in a black double-breasted jacket, with a black shirt and black polka dot tie, holding dark Saint Laurent glasses with the frames pointing to his pencil-thin mustache. The other shows Waters adjusting the same tie, glasses on. Both were taken by the noted photographer David Sims.

The Village of Cross Keys is officially back under local ownership

Courtesy of Caves Valley Partners.

After 16 years of out-of-town ownership, The Village of Cross Keys is back in local hands.

“Time to Unlock the Potential,” says a blue and white sign next to the front gatehouse, bearing a giant key similar to ones on the Cross Keys logo. “Now Under Local Ownership. Caves Valley Partners.”

More than two years after it first expressed interest, Caves Valley Partners completed its acquisition of the commercial assets of Cross Keys yesterday and immediately disclosed plans to upgrade and expand the mixed-use community at 5100 Falls Road.

Open house at John Waters’ boyhood home draws a (socially distanced) crowd

Guests tour Oak Grove, a 19th century residence and the boyhood home of filmmaker John Waters, during an open house. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Nearly a dozen pink flamingos lined the driveway of a stately residence in Baltimore County on Sunday, as visitors strolled past. Two pink flamingo-shaped planters framed the entrance. Inside, more pink flamingos adorned tea towels that were hanging in the kitchen with the greeting: “Let’s Flamingle.”

For anyone who couldn’t guess, this was the boyhood home of John Waters, writer and director of the 1972 film “Pink Flamingos” and other Baltimore-centric cult classic movies. Although the filmmaker hasn’t lived there since 1966, the current owners have kept his memory alive with Pink Flamingo-themed touches in and around the house. At Christmastime, they even put Santa Claus on the front lawn, with a sleigh drawn by pink flamingos.

Filmmaker John Waters’ boyhood home goes up for sale

Image via Baltimore Soundstage’s Facebook.

Filmmaker John Waters’ boyhood home in Lutherville has just gone on the market.

The six-bedroom house at 313 Morris Ave. has been listed by Frances Hebert of Cummings & Co. Realtors for $936,000. An open house is scheduled for Sunday, July 19, from 1-3 p.m. Masks are mandatory.

‘A different Artscape experience’ gets underway this weekend


Residents might not know it by the lack of street closings in Bolton Hill, but this is Artscape weekend, the time of year when 300,000 people usually descend on midtown Baltimore to take part in the event billed as “the largest free arts festival in America.”

This year there will be no in-person Artscape festival, because the city and state are limiting crowd sizes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), which produces the annual festival, is still celebrating with three initiatives, starting with a virtual festival this weekend.