The Maryland Lottery continues to bring home the bacon – for the 15th year in a row it saw an increase in sales. The Lottery brought in $1.795 billion during fiscal 2012, a seven percent rise from 2011. The state is trying to figure out how and why the lottery is doing so well, what they’re doing right so they can keep doing it.
Even though we didn’t see a clear sky until Sunday, Artscape didn’t let us down. The Baltimore Rock Opera Society tore up Charles Street Bridge, the Koresh Dance Company made me wish I’d done ballet classes instead of Tae Kwon Do, and I didn’t care about my stomachache because the seafood gumbo gyro I got it from was so damn delicious. Everything was great, but by far the best thing I saw/consumed was a 40-minute set by the band Hume at High Zero’s Worlds in Collusion.
It’s not Scapescape, it’s not Whartscape, it’s… Ratscape! The Hour Haus (right above Arts and Craftsman/ next to Joe Squared on North Avenue) is hosting 47 mostly local bands over the three days of Artscape weekend. Fifty bucks will get you entry for all three days AND a meal AND five beers each day. That’s a pretty bangin’ deal.
Check out the Facebook event here. (Also, I’d highly recommend reading the comments under Simon Mugzilla’s post in there – an interesting semi-dialogue on profit in the punk/local music world.)
I’ve always had a lot of respect for Chick-fil-A’s business practices – the books instead of plastic toys? Awesome. The guts to stay closed on Sunday? Awesome, even though that’s the only day I ever seem to be in the mood for waffle fries.
Baltimore Fishbowl intern Moses Hubbard, Mt. St. Joe ’11, wrote the following essay as part of his high school senior project. Moses and friends collaborated on “a multimedia artistic rendering of Baltimore,” ultimately completing a short movie with music. Moses’s writing served as the film’s poetic narration. “We felt a weird sort of pull from the city, like gravity, that none of us could ignore,” he says. Moses is a rising sophomore at Fordham University.
Charles Street begins undramatically. It sprouts out where I-95 runs through the south side of Federal Hill, after a stretch of water and some train tracks, between two gutted warehouses. This first block is more parking lot than road, and a few abandoned cars can usually be found parked at haphazard angles along the street or in the grass beside it. It’s a humble origin for what becomes one of Baltimore’s most dynamic and important streets.
That awful phrase “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” is starting to take on a whole new meaning this summer. If you’ve stepped outside your house in Baltimore (or really anywhere in the U.S.) in the past couple of months, you’ve noticed how crazy stupid hot it has been. On the 18th we tied our record for hottest day ever in the city at 107°– the only other time it has been that toasty was in 1936. And even before that, on the 17th, we learned five more Marylanders had died from heat-related causes, bringing our total to 20 for the summer.
I walked out of my house the other day and saw a couple cop cars parked in the street. At first I just thought, “Ah, Baltimore,” and focused on a kid running down the concrete, but then I noticed caution tape, and several big black vans, and… stage lights?
You know that parking lot right near where Mount Royal runs into North Avenue – the one behind MICA’s Commons building, with that big pink sculpture like a twisted metal flower and the beat-up half-pipe? Well it won’t be there much longer.
MICA is using the property to build another residence hall, which they’re calling “Commons II” (their naming meeting must’ve lasted all of 30 seconds). The school is pumping $16.5 million into the renovation, which will be able to house about 240 additional students.
The Baltimore Sun writes “The project represents a key part of MICA’s strategy under longtime president Fred Lazarus IV to extend northward and rejuvenate the North Avenue corridor by connecting Bolton Hill with the 100-square-block Station North Arts and Entertainment District to the east.” The expansion is probably as exciting for the area as it is for MICA – the school has played a huge part in making the Station North District what it is today, bringing art, college kids, and yes, a lot of money into the area.
Baltimore schools, which under CEO Andrés Alonso had been steadily improving their Maryland State Assessment scores since 2007, have started to stagnate and in some subjects drop in performance, results suggest. This means harder work for teachers and administrators, especially in the city, where schools are lagging behind the state average.
Tonight is one of those rare times when I’ll be dealing with a problem I’m actually glad to have. I’m not sure what insanely awesome event to go to – should I watch the opening screening at the Visionary Art Museum’s “Flicks From the Hill,” or go see William Cashion and Bruce Willen at the Metro Gallery?
Flicks From the Hill is this summer movie series pulled together by the good people at the AVAM – starting tonight they’ll have screenings every Thursday through the end of August. The films are projected against the side of the Museum, and anyone who wants to can come, sit on Federal Hill and watch them with a blanket and some Two-Boots Pizza. They’re kicking it off with Spaceballs, and who can miss watching Rick Moranis’ eight-foot head in that 12-foot helmet? Before the screening, there’s a cheap beer and the museum is open for free.
But then there’s the opening of CONSTRUCT, a group exhibition from a number of Baltimore artists going on at the Metro Gallery. Tonight it’s open for free, and BELIEVERS, a new music project from William Cashion of Future Islands and Bruce Willen of Double Dagger, blesses the event with beautiful bass-throbs. Awesome art + awesome music + totally free is a hard equation to pass up.
I’m imagining myself right now as Odysseus facing an inverted Scylla and Charybdis – between rock and an awesome place, so to speak. Ah, decisions.