Elizabeth Bastos


The Future of Owings Mills



Inside the now closed Owings Mills Mall. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Inside the closed Owings Mills Mall. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The Baltimore Business Journal recently convened “The Future of Owings Mills,” a panel discussion with Councilwoman Vicki Almond, Stevenson University president Kevin Manning and real estate developers Brian Gibbons of Greenberg Gibbons, and Howard Brown of David S. Brown Enterprises.

The event, hosted at the Owings Mills Jewish Community Center and attended by area illuminati, cognoscenti, and glitterati (I don’t know what any of these words mean) was billed as: “Owings Mills is not about the dead mall anymore. This Baltimore County suburb is hot.”

Post-Preakness: Horse Racing and Loving Horses

Exaggerator 01
Photo via preakness.com

By post time Pimlico Race Course had been downgraded to “sloppy.” It was a day of steady rain. Coming off the infield, the boots of the party kids were covered in mud. Hat feathers drooped. Women’s lace gloves — the revival of an 80s-esque Madonna trend? I hope so! — were spangled with raindrops.

Horsetail Clouds and Shadow Rolls Greet Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico

Nyquist's shadow roll (photo by Elizabeth Bastos)
Nyquist’s shadow roll (photo by Elizabeth Bastos)

It’s the day before Christmas, I mean, Preakness in Baltimore. It feels like a holiday. It feels like a million dollars around Pimlico. The circus is in town. The hats are coming out and people are hawking park spots in their side yards.

Sunrise at Old Hilltop Two Days Before Preakness

All photos by Elizabeth Bastos

There were a handful of kids on former jockey Charlie Fenwick’s great pre -Preakness tour of Pimlico this morning. I stood on the apron next to a lady named Janice who knows things because she follows Claire Novak of Blood Horse on Twitter and has a farm of quarter horses herself. I really like Janice. “Follow the drone,” she told me, “it’s following Nyquist,” and she was right.

Other Fall Flavors


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

When is Pumpkin Spice going to jump the shark already?

I long for the day when we speak of pumpkin spice with rueful laughter, as we do of the crotch-snap bodysuit, the foundational garment of Donna Karan’s 1985 Seven Easy Pieces collection.  I imagine the following conversion:

Marine Sanctuary

mallowsIn Valparaiso, Chile earlier this week at the Our Oceans conference President Obama designated two new federal marine sanctuaries. One’s in Maryland! Yay us! Fear the turtle!  

Prepping for Hurricane Joaquin

IMage via All Annapolis Facebook page
Image via All Annapolis on Facebook

I am in awe of anything — even a hurricane that might come up the Chesapeake — that necessitates using the words “forecast cone” and the name Joaquin. I have a huge crush on Johnny Cash as played by Joaquin Phoenix in Walk The Line. 


This weather event has my biscuit well and buttered. Because I also have a crush on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

    Meet You Where? The Problematic Place Names in Suburban Baltimore

    Festival at Woodholme
    Festival at Woodholme
    Hey, want to grab coffee?
    How about we meet at “The Festival at Woodholme”?
    What? There is a festival? Yay! I brought my tambourine! 

    Coffee, Sleep and Memory



    Green Helmet Ukelele Guy/YouTube
    Green Helmet Ukelele Guy/YouTube

    The National Institute on Aging is putting up $7.5 million for trials of a a possible new Alzheimer’s treatment drug being developed by AgneBio, a Baltimore start-up, and the Johns Hopkins University. “The clinical trial will evaluate a drug that has shown signs of calming brain hyperactivity linked to dementia.”

    Science Hashtags

    The North Pole
    The North Pole
    I will be peppering my weekend conversation with great ice breakers, including, actually, literally, an icebreaker. In a race to exploit the resources beneath the #melting Arctic as well as new shipping channels including the #NorthwestPassage, the icebreaker U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy “arrived at the the North Pole on September 5.”  It was “the first American surface ship to get to the top of the world by itself.” Hello, Santa.