Susan Dunn

Susan Gerardo Dunn is the founding editor and publisher of Baltimore Fishbowl.

The Raven: John Cusack Plays Edgar Allan Poe, Belgrade and Budapest Play Baltimore


Next Friday, April 27, is the release date of The Raven, a movie starring John Cusack as Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe. (See the resemblance?) The movie, a “thriller,” is about a serial killer whose murders in 19th-century Baltimore are inspired by “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Pit and the Pendulum” and other works by Poe. The doomed poet and author (John Cusack) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) to hunt down the murderer.

Although the movie depicts Baltimore, we missed out on this one. It was shot in Belgrade and Budapest in 2010.


Conde Nast Traveler Names Baltimore’s Four Seasons Hotel on its “Hot List”



The Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore has impressed the editors at Conde Nast Traveler.

The magazine lists the hotel among 121 of its favorite new hotels in its “Hot List 2012.”  Only about a dozen U.S. hotels made the list, putting the Harbor East gem in the company of  The Saguaro in Scottsdale, Az., Mr. C Beverly Hills in Los Angeles and Hotel Americano in New York.

Here’s the magazine’s take on the Four Seasons Baltimore:

The specs: A glassy Inner Harbor 256-room tower that easily outdoes every other hotel in town. Plush-but-generic rooms are secondary to an excellent restaurant and fourth-floor infinity pool backed by a bi-level sundeck and grill.

The look: Very beige, although the lobby’s six-foot quince-and-rose-filled flower arrangements impress, as do rooms’ huge bathrooms, which have walk-in showers, soaking tubs, and lots of sinkside space.

The experience: You’ll see Baltimore’s gritty side as you drive into town, signs of moneyed Old Maryland as you near the water. The glittering harbor is cluttered with schooners and yachts, and the hotel seems made for the lunching ladies who drop their Bentleys in the valet circle. The high-ceilinged marble lobby opens into a restaurant, Wit & Wisdom, helmed by San Franciscan celeb chef Michael Mina. It’s already one of the city’s best spots for gussied-up Upper Atlantic staples like blue-crab gratin, griddled rockfish, and lobster—which is served both straight up and cheekily swaddled in cornmeal in crustaceous corn dogs.

If only…
 the spa were better. It’s big, yes, but the technicians aren’t especially charming or skilled.

Bentley-driving lunching ladies?


View the entire Hot List 2012 slideshow at Conde Nast Traveler


Barron’s Asks, “Can Legg Mason Bounce Back?”

Legg Mason CEO Mark Fetting

Barron’s April 9 cover story explores the tough spot local asset management company Legg Mason finds itself in following years of lackluster performance.  The story interviews current CEO Mark Fetting, retired CEO Chip Mason as well as investors, large shareholders, affiliate heads and others to see what the company needs to do to turn itself around.

An excerpt:

TENSIONS ARE HIGH at Legg. And no matter how far-flung or independent the affiliates are, it’s clear everyone is weary of talking about what went wrong, and reticent about discussing relationships with the parent company — at times to the point of obfuscation. By and large, the fund families that Legg Mason owns are still premium brands that are struggling, but shouldn’t be written off. The CEOs are frank in discussing their firms, but as soon as the conversation turns to the parent company, words are chosen much more carefully, body language becomes awkward, and faces go poker.

Read “Can Legg Mason Bounce Back?” at



UMBC’s Freeman Hrabowski Makes Time’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”


Time calls them the, “people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world…the breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons.”  This year, University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski makes the list. Also among the top 100? Stephen Colbert, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, Jeremy Lin and President Barack Obama, and more.

Here’s what Andrew Rotherham writes about Dr. Hrabowski:

When you think of the top science universities in the U.S., schools like MIT and Caltech may jump to mind. But perhaps the most envied science program in the country is at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. That’s where Freeman A. Hrabowski III, 61, has spent 20 years as president turning a humble commuter school into one of the nation’s leading sources of African Americans who get Ph.D.s in science and engineering. The college’s Meyerhoff Scholars program — which initially targeted black men but is now open to all applicants — creates a highly structured (no phones or Facebook allowed during boot camp) and supportive experience for math and science students, almost all of whom not only graduate but also go on to grad school. Hrabowski, who was jailed at the age of 12 for five days for participating in a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Ala., where Bull Connor spat in his face, finished college at 19 and got his Ph.D. at 24. Now, as an adviser to the National Academies, he’s devoted to helping others succeed, in school and beyond.

View the entire list at

Baltimore’s Gerry Sandusky Still has a Sense of Humor…

Baltimore's Gerry Sandusky

WBAL sports director and Ravens announcer Gerry Sandusky tweeted this afternoon:

“Penn State sent my son a college interest letter today. Do they really think anyone named Sandusky wants to go there now?”

Baltimore’s popular broadcaster, Gerry Sandusky, and the former Penn State football coach and accused child molester, Jerry Sandusky, are no relation.

Our Gerry, with a “G,” told The Baltimore Sun last fall: “What I have discovered is that there is this parallel universe of people who have the same name but no relationship to people who have committed heinous crimes. Somewhere there is a plumber named Bernie Madoff.”

Baltimore Native, Award-Winning Sports Writer Frank DeFord to Speak at Garrison Forest School


Tomorrow night, Garrision Forest School will host “An Evening with Frank Deford” at 7 p.m. in the Garland Theater. (Book signing before the lecture, at 6 p.m.) He will speak on college athletics and women’s sports, among other sports-related topics.

Frank Deford grew up in Baltimore and went to Gilman. He still has family here. I’ve heard him speak twice and he always peppers his talks with memories of Baltimore and growing up here.  If you are a fan, it is certainly worth hearing him speak. He’s terrific.

From the GFS website:

Frank Deford, award-winning author, sportswriter, commentator, screenwriter, and Baltimore native, can be heard on NPR’s Morning Edition and seen on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. An accomplished writer, Mr. Deford has published 16 books, most recently, Bliss, Remembered, a love story set between the 1936 Berlin Olympics and World War II. Alex: The Life of a Child, his memoir about his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis, was made into a movie, as was his novel Everybody’s All-American. He remains intimately involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as chairman emeritus. Hailed by GQ magazine as “the world’s greatest sportswriter,” Mr. Deford has been affiliated with Sports Illustrated since 1962. Voted by his peers six times as “U.S. Sportswriter of the Year,” Mr. Deford serves Senior Contributing Editor for Sports Illustrated and has won numerous writing and broadcasting awards including an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Look for Mr. Deford’s newest memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter, from Grove/Atlantic, Inc. this May. At the GFS book signing, selected titles of his previous books will be available for purchase.

The event is free and open to the public. For accommodations for people with disabilities, please email Peggy Tiffany at[email protected].


For directions to Garrison Forest School, see the event listing on the Baltimore Fishbowl Events page.

Foreman-Wolf Razing the Roof at the Roland Park Deli

The former Roland Park Deli

When Restaurateur Tony Foreman — owner with chef Cindy Wolf of Charleston, Cinghiale, Pazo and Petit Louis —  first announced plans to open a new restaurant in the old Roland Park Deli space, he said he expected it to open at the end of 2011. Then it was March 2012. The latest date is August.  The reason for the delays? Major structural problems at the old shabby chic spot, behind the Morgan Millard Building in the 4800 block of Roland Ave.  Here’s what the old neighborhood haunt looks like now:


Allison Parker-Abromitis, vp of development and communications for the Foreman-Wolf restaurants, gave us the details in an email:

Don’t Throw Away That Stale Easter Candy: Peeps Contest this Week at SPSG




St. Paul’s School for Girls’ Fourth Annual Peeps Diorama Contest is going on this week.  Peeps, the yellow marshmallow chicks popular at Easter, have found renewed popularity in the last couple of years with the start of diorama contests across the country.  The first Peeps diorama contest was held in 2004 by the Pioneer Press in St. Paul Minnesota.  A few years later the Washington Post followed with its own “Peeps Show.”

What made SPSG get into the act?

The Cornucopia - A "Hunger Games" themed Peeps diorama at SPSG