We checked our analytics to determine your favorite stories for the first half-year in the life of the Baltimore Fishbowl (okay, seven months). See below a list of what you read most, or if you missed something, where to play catch up first… 

 1. “An Inside Look at Johns Hopkins Med School Admissions” – This story by Associate Editor Rachel Monroe drew attention from medical schools around the country. The mysteries of elite admissions never cease to fascinate.

2.  “Desperate Housewives of Roland Park” – This heartbreaking and humorous tale of one local writer’s flirtation with her construction worker introduced many of our readers to Marion Winik, assistant professor of writing at the University of Baltimore and our most followed writer. Read her column, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” every first and third Wednesday on the BFB. Other mega-popular columns by Marion Winik? “The Decline and Fall of the Party People,” “The Things They Googled,” and “Don’t Sweat the Chicken Soup.”

3.  “Eight Acres and a Story in the Greenspring Valley” – From our popular Hot House series, short write-ups about local real estate on the market that catches the attention of writer Cynthia McIntyre for one fascinating reason or another. This one describing Greenspring Valley creepy yet grand mansion Mensana included details of the unfortunate downfall of the disgraced doctor owner who lost his license and narrowly escaped prison time for sexual misconduct. 

4.  “8 Over 80” – Local writer Kathy Hudson spent months researching and interviewing the many delightful and accomplished octogenarian subjects she profiled. Actually, we probably could have done 18 over 80. Whittling down the list proved to be one of the most difficult tasks of the year.

 5.  “Big Fish Q & A with Julie Bowen” – Local-girl-done-good Julie Bowen (Luetkemeyer) always draws a crowd when she is on the BFB. It helps that she’s the Emmy Award-winning star of the nation’s number one sitcom, “Modern Family.” Our analytics show that her following goes beyond Baltimore — readers around the globe flock to the site when she’s featured.

6.  “Baltimore Media Insurgents” – This roundup of online Baltimore media sources by former Baltimore City Paper Editor-in-Chief Michael Yockel pleased local readers who are eager for smart new sources of news and information.

7.  “Pot Smoking Parents” – This report by Senior Editor Betsy Boyd about suburban Baltimore parents getting high was our lead story at launch seven months ago and continues to lure curious viewers. 

8.  “Baltimore County Estate with Grand Past Languishes in Foreclosure” – This historical account/gossipy tale by writer Krista Smith about Cliffeholme, one of the most massive and most exquisitely beautiful houses in Baltimore County, lying fallow still has tongues wagging. 

9. “Undercurrent: A Sex Scandal’s Sudden Impact” – This sad and moving memoir by writer Holly Morse-Ellington about her brother’s jail time for sexual misconduct with a minor — a chilling account of an adult sister’s realizations and regrets — remains widely read. Published as part of our popular “My Real Life Modern Family” series.

10. “Dan Deacon on How Baltimore Became a Bright Star in the Indie Music Galaxy” – Contributor Robert M. O’Brien’s account of musician Dan Deacon’s rise to fame, and the roots of the Baltimore indie music scene, exposed many regular readers to Baltimore’s burgeoning creative little city within our larger city.