Merrill Witty


Sunnyfields Universal Design-Aging in Place Seminar


SunnyfieldsAccording to Sunnyfields’ design manager Kevin Brown, while the concerns of old age hit retirees hardest, it’s never too early to begin planning.

Get outdoors with al fresco dining and drinking at Baltimore hot spots

Outdoor dining in Baltimore
The patio at Gunther & Co.

More outdoor dining spaces have come on the scene making al fresco dining in Baltimore a highly anticipated summertime treat. Parisians have sidewalk cafes to linger in summer, but Baltimore has hidden rooftops and patios for outdoor dining that you can find in many neighborhoods, from Brewers Hill to Hampden.

Looking for casual, sophisticated, al fresco dining? Here’s three spots close to home

Village Square Cafe

Every few weeks, on a Friday night, my husband and I meet up with his oldest pal and his wife. Inevitably we choose to dine at Donna’s in Cross Keys. It’s close to both our homes, and the food is fantastic.

Even on the minor level: I don’t usually order a Caesar salad anywhere because it consists of just a bowl of Romaine lettuce with some croutons on top. But the Caesar at Donna’s is unlike any other salad I’ve ever eaten. I don’t know what the secret is, but I promise you will flip!

When I asked co-owner Alan Hirsch recently what was up for spring, he said, “We’ve made some changes to our menu for spring, and there are more to come. Our patio is officially open, and we’re seating on it whenever it’s over 65 degrees during the day. Note that when you reserve at Donna’s Cross Keys, you can reserve an outside table simply by asking for it (both over the phone and online). This particular patio has been named as one of the dreamiest in Baltimore by various travel sites.

Mt. Washington Tavern joins forces with Sagamore Spirit to create Triple Crown Cocktails


Triple Crown Cocktails with Sagamore RyeI was a formerly wary drinker. A glass of seltzer with a splash of white wine, to make a very weak spritzer, was about as strong a drink as I could handle. But I am learning to appreciate the stronger stuff.

And now that I’ve sampled the Mt. Washington Tavern‘s Triple Crown selection of three winning cocktails they’ve prepared to celebrate the month of iconic horse races, I’m hooked on the hard stuff or at least rye.

Traditional vs. hip: Kids’ clothes take a new twist

Hip flower girl
The hip flower girl at home.

My 8-year-old granddaughter served as a flower girl at two weddings last fall.

For her Uncle Dan’s outdoor California wedding she wore a delicate white lace dress with angelic puff sleeves and a ribbon sash. At Uncle Reid’s hipster Hudson, New York wedding, held in a former wheel factory, she marched down the aisle in a black leather motorcycle jacket, a tulle ball skirt, and sequined Converse sneakers.

Two different ideas of “making it work” junior style.