Culture

For Sale: Best Job in Baltimore

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A few weeks ago, Darielle Linehan, owner of the Ivy Bookshop, sent a letter to a select group of people. It read:

 

Dear Ivy Friends:

 

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to retire in early 2012 and I wanted you as loyal and valued customers to be among the first to know of this future change. This was an exceedingly difficult decision to make and came as a result of my wanting to spend more time with my family… 

 

The letter — available on the counter at The Ivy Bookshop, which Mrs. Linehan opened in 2002, and has owned and managed for nearly 10 years – goes on to say that she  is putting the Ivy up for sale and would welcome inquiries from any potential buyer.  She adds that beloved as the Ivy is, she believes it could be even better, under “new leadership with the requisite new ideas, attitudes and skill sets to better position our business for the future.”

 

If that isn’t a call to action, I don’t know what is. How many times have you drifted out of the Ivy thinking “…owning the Ivy must be the best job in the world.”  The main reason for that — the amazing Ivy staff — is already in place, and our sources say they’re all staying – which alone is a reason to grab it.  The clientele is somewhere between loyal and addicted – and paying full price, knowing damn well they can get it cheaper on Amazon.

 

Alright, nobody makes a fortune in the book business. But we have real information saying that “if it’s not making money hand-over-fist, it’s definitely not losing money – and it has the potential to make much more.” Think more events, more publicity, and a website.  But please, keep the free gift-wrapping.

 

The Ivy Bookshop, all 2,200 square feet of it, is located in Lake Falls Village, at 6080 Falls Road. For inquiries call the Ivy, at 410-377-2966.


A Very Good Hair Day

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Anastasia Whiteshall 

Anastasia ran off before we got to ask her the question that still gnaws: Who cuts your hair? Her long, lovely chestnut locks set against white Ray Bans make for an eye-catching look. You don’t need much else.

Where are you from?

I am from Hartford County. I am graduate student in clinical psychology.

What brings you to Baltimore?

I am meeting friends.

Can you tell us about your outfit?

I am not sure where I got the shirt and jeans. The shoes are from a thrift store.

 

The BMA Celebrates Local Talent

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Autumn is steadily approaching and, sad as we are to bid farewell to summer fun, we’re looking forward to cooler temperatures and changing leaves. This year, the BMA is giving Baltimore another reason to look forward to fall with an exhibition celebrating Baltimore’s most talented artists.  The Baker Artist Awards 2011 exhibition will showcase art by the recipients of the Mary Sawyers Baker Prize, which awards outstanding local artists with $25,000 from the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.   

This years winners, performance artist Audrey Chen, visual artist Gary Kachadourian, and beatboxer/vocal percussionist Shodekeh, will be showcasing their work through various means.  Kachadourian’s artwork will take the form of  a room-size installation, transforming the gallery into a large-scale mural of the artist’s intricate drawings of trees, lamp posts, and more.  Video footage will display Chen’s use of cello, voice and electronic compositions and Shodekeh’s use of drums, turntables, sleigh bells and more.  

The Autumn exhibit, which runs from September 7th through October 2nd, will come to a head with the a free Late Night event on October 1st at 7:00pm.  The BMA will bring in a DJ, cash bar, and light fare for the event which will include live performances by Chen and Shodekeh, as well as a duet between the two.  

Is it Fall yet?

Sing Karaoke? You Could Be the Next Hampden Idol!

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In addition to hot fried foods and home-grown indie music, now there’s one more fun reason to be psyched for September’s Hampdenfest: Hampden Idol 2011. It’s just like “American Idol,” except everyone’s local–and fantastically imaginative rather than ruthlessly ambitious–and no one wins a recording contract. Returning after three years’ heart-breaking absence, the hokey hood-festival phenomenon is hosted and organized/curated by musician Kevin Hoffman, known to locals as Keyboard Man, and co-produced by Atomic Books. Contest stages past have included rousing performances by Spidey, a grown man dressed as Spiderman, singing “Spill the Wine” by War (quite well, I might add), hearty interpretations of Chicago ballads, and way more wackiness.

To get in the game, here are rules as stated at the official website: YOU MUST–
    * Be able to attend Hampdenfest in Baltimore, Maryland on September 10.
    * Be 18 years or older.
    * Be able to bring an amazing karaoke act (lyrics provided) to the stage in front of an adoring crowd. You don’t have to sing well, but you do have to entertain! The more unique the better.
    * Sign up via website, and then solicit votes via internet campaigning to earn a spot in the competition. Tweeting, getting people to Like you, etc. Stuff you do in real life already. We will take up to 10 contestants via this website, based on the number of votes…
    * At Hampdenfest, we’ll hold auditions and let a limited number of festival attendees sign up for a spot (first come, first served). We will take up to 10 contestants on the day of the competition, based on their audition.

So, put your personality-packed act together, snap on your tights, and act fast. So far, only a handful of people have signed up. You really could be the next Hampden Idol. We Like that.

Yoga in the Park: A Pro/Con Meditation

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Advantages

1. Getting a tan while in lying in corpse position
2. Don’t have to leave the dog at home
3. Using the butt crack of a statue as your Drishti
4. Feeling super healthy compared to junkies nodding out on the bench
5. Easy to sneak in if you arrive late
6. Easy to sneak away if you’ve had enough
7. In Tree position, you can actually hold on to a tree.
8. In Pigeon, you can actually watch the pigeons.

Disadvantages

1. Stepping on dog poop
2. Cool hipsters gazing at you with contempt
3. Losing your glasses in the grass
4. Getting ogled by old men
5. Dogs licking your feet in corpse position
6. Ants in your shorts
7. Possibly stepping on a needle
8. Worrying somebody might steal your shoes

This summer, I’ve been excited to take part in the free yoga class that takes place every Saturday morning, 8.30-9.30am, in West Mount Vernon park. The class is sponsored by Merritt Athletic Club, and the instructor, Jude, is super-friendly and non-intimidating. Participants are all ages and levels, and there are four more classes left. Just bring your own mat and water bottle.

Snipe Hunting

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Snipe Hunting

My uncle handed me a sack
and sent me to the yard:
“Just hold it wide; they’ll fall inside—
this hunting isn’t hard!”

What did I know? A girl of six
believes what she is told.
That August night in ‘68
I really thought I’d hold

a snipe before the stars appeared.
Instead, my uncle laughed
as I became mosquito bait
with rustling paper kraft.

It’s either faith or foolishness
that keeps me at this call.
The bag is now a flattened sheet:
I wait for words to fall.

 

Baltimore-area native Ann Eichler Kolakowski is pursuing a master’s degree in poetry at Johns Hopkins University. Her recent work also appears in Little Patuxent Review and Blast Furnace. She is completing a book-length manuscript of poems that chronicle the lost mill town of Warren, Maryland, which was destroyed and flooded in 1922 to expand the Loch Raven Reservoir, the primary source of Baltimore’s municipal water supply.

Martin Luther King, Jr Takes His Place Among Founding Fathers and Presidents

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The northwest shore of Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin is the site of the city’s newest monument: a thirty-foot memorial statue of Martin Luther King, Jr set among Japanese cherry trees.

The memorial employs visual metaphors lifted from his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech—visitors to the site enter between two rough hewn boulders representing the “Mountain of Despair,” while Dr. King’s likeness abuts the “Stone of Hope”—but the fourteen quotations engraved along the outer wall are culled from lesser known addresses and writings.

Recently, King’s name has been invoked in association with such politically divergent personalities as Barack Obama (mostly by his supporters) and Glenn Beck (mostly by himself). Ironically, travesties like these can be blamed on the wider acceptance of much of King’s message. In today’s mainstream, King is an almost universally beloved historical figure, and that kind of popular adoration begets politically convenient revisionism.

In his own day, King and the movement he represented were seen by many as dangerous to the status quo, even seditious. (Remember, he was assassinated!) In the decades since his death, King’s legacy has been by turns reduced to polite buzzwords like “peace” and “equality” or truncated to include only his part in the black civil rights struggle, ignoring both his uncompromising condemnation of the war in Vietnam and his efforts to mobilize the nation’s poor, a move which took the civil rights movement beyond issues of race.

The incorporation of literal quotations from a variety of speeches ought to help present an authentic picture of the man and his message, something that’s sorely needed amid all the opportunistic MLK-hijacking.

The dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will commence at 11 am August 28 on the National Mall in DC. For more information, visit mlkmemorial.org

BALTIMORE QUAKE 2011!

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It’s been all anyone can talk about online, on the phone, in person. Earthquake 2011: 5.8 magnitude! Jokes aplenty have kept us texting, and laughing. Check out buzzfeed’s funny photos of “damage.” And Gawker’s deliriously detailed, Obama-centered earthquake meditation. Love the photo we re-posted from FamousDC.com of one plastic lawn chair…knocked down. (Go there to see/hear Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move.”) To calm your mildly rattled nerves the Windup Space recommends the Earthquake Cocktail:

1 oz gin
1 oz bourbon whiskey
3/4 oz absinthe

We even heard of one 20-percent-off earthquake sale. Crabplace.com’s coupon code? 20 shakes.

But the most entertaining quake conversation remains: Where were you when it hit, and what were you thinking? Baltimore Fishbowl writers weighed in. Please do the same below and be sure to see the videos on our video landing from Baltimore Quake 2011!

“Standing in Matava shoe store at Bellevedere Square–shoes were falling off the shelves and we ran outside because I refuse to be found dead in a shoe store!” –Cynthia McIntyre

“In the dining room cleaning up the Goldfish [crackers] bag that my dog chewed up. I first thought the rumble was my bad dog running around.” –Krista Smith

“I was at the office…with my dog. My dog is awesomely welcomed at my office–he had been sleeping on my desk before he was startled by the rumbling, and immediately barked his displeasure that the room was moving. My first instinct was to pick him up and stand, ready for action. But then I just stood there, staring at my swaying iMac silently. Then one of the engineers, who were all in the next room having a meeting, yelled over the partition, ‘Sara have you been jumping up and down again over there?’ To which I replied, ‘Hey! That’s SO not nice!’ And he said ‘I SO didn’t mean it that way!’ Most fun office ever, even during an earthquake.” –Sara Lynn Michener

“I was driving around Litchfield County in Connecticut when the earthquake happened. Surprisingly the radio said it actually reached Litchfield County all the way up from VA and DC. I only found out about it when my friend called from Baltimore right after it happened. I was shocked, but relieved when he said nothing got destroyed and no one was hurt.” –Kristin Hughes

“I was doing my piano practice. My first thought was, ‘Are the chandeliers going to fall?’” –Mikita Brottman

“Sitting by the Gunpowder River, eating home-made cookies, laughing. The group of moms I was with all looked around, and said ‘Did you feel that?’ We counted heads of children, and reached for cell phones. Verizon network totally failed me, and it took 20 minutes to find out the rest of the family was okay. We stayed in our seats for a couple more hours.” –Elizabeth Frederick

“I got calls from friends and family in New York, California and Spain asking if we were okay.  You could hear the disappointment in their silence when I told them we were not in Baltimore today and missed the earthquake.” –Susan Dunn

“Alas, I am in Cape Cod, so I heard about it through text message and was jealous that I missed all the fun!” –Rachel Monroe

“I was home editing copy when the house began to vibrate. First brilliant thought: ‘Those are some big squirrels running the roof!’” –Betsy Boyd

“I was at my computer on the second floor of my apartment, when the construction team that has been working on the neighboring row house began operating a monstrously heavy piece of machinery. It was in fact so large and powerful that my walls were beginning to shake. I was going to have to go over there and tell them that they better turn off that impossibly thunderous watchamacallit right now; I mean it’s just unbelievable. It’s like a damn earthquake. Wait a second…” –Bob O’Brien

We’re Number 33!

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Gawker, the New York-based online newsmagazine, has named Maryland the 33rd worst state in the U.S. Overall, the state is praised for it’s beauty, but Baltimore is singled out for derision.

“They like made a whole television series about what a scary and miserable place it is!” the website reads, adding, “Other than Baltimore, Maryland is basically just the Mid-Atlantic’s Connecticut — all suburby sprawl dotted with occasional crumbling cities.”

Last week, the website began it’s “Worst 50 States in America” series, naming eight new states each day.  Gawker staff members were asked to rate the states on a scale from 1-10. The averaged scores provides the rankings.

Expect a Stylish Arrival

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Ericka Wilson

Ericka, spotted at Cross Street Market, gets our respect and admiration not just for looking great in the latest styles–long, strapless dress, dangly earrings, bejeweled sandals–but because she does it all while extremely pregnant.  It’s tough enough to look good on a sweltering day without baby on board. She looks cool, calm, collected and chic. Bodes well for baby.

 

You look so great. How far along are you?

Eight months. The due date is August 31st. It’s a girl.

Do you have a name picked out? 

Her father picked out Amirah. It is a Muslim name.

Is your dress a maternity dress?

No it is just a regular dress.

Where are you from?

I am from Baltimore.

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