And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Photo by Mandy Goldberg/Flickr

When I think of home, I can’t help but hear the T.V. running like a toilet. Except with T.Vs, jiggling the handle means banging the remote against the table so the batteries work, or turning the dial to the next station, or adjusting the antennae so the image comes in clearer.

I’m not sure when my beef with television began, but I do know a T.V., at any volume, always sparks some irritation within me.

My grandfather calls it “Tell Lie Vision,” a riff that, like all jokes, has some truth to it. And perhaps, that’s precisely my issue: T.V. lying on my vision.

The Dirty Secret of Rodgers Forge, and Other Inspirations: Don Lee Talks About His New Story Collection


Twenty-one years ago, when Don Lee published his debut collection of short stories, Yellow, it was met with deserved critical acclaim. Each story in the book is set in the fictional town of Rosarita Bay, California, and like Joyce’s The Dubliners, the book presented an intimate, kaleidoscopic view of a place and its population.

Hot Plate: Wine dinners at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood & The Milton Inn, Bubbly for Babies at Green Spring Station, Kyodai at Ryleigh’s and more

Duck Duck Goose and No Way Rosé proprietor Alfred Ashish will appear on CBS Saturday Morning’s The Dish on April 23.

Baltimore’s culinary scene is blooming this week with a fun variety of events, appearances and announcements. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Hot House: Roland Park shingle house restored with home’s original charm


101 Woodlawn Road, Baltimore.

Hot House: Classic Roland Park shingle house; Architect-owned and updated with
6 bedrooms/5 bathrooms and a huge porch. 3,935 square feet. Asking price: $895,000.

Hot Plate: Easter & Passover plans, Ramps & Rose at Foraged, spring menus and more

Perennial is one of several local restaurants welcoming spring with new seasonal menu items.

This week, Baltimore’s dining scene has a lot to offer, including Easter and Passover meals and a flurry of new, pretty vegetable dishes on local menus. Here’s a look at what’s happening over the next few days:

From Baltimore to Alaska: Two RPCS Alums Discuss “Nobody Gets Out Alive”


Leigh Newman’s first book, a memoir, was Still Points North (Dial Press, 2013), which was a finalist for the National Book Critic Circle’s John Leonard Prize. Not long after the book’s publication, I interviewed Leigh for Baltimore Fishbowl.

Now Leigh’s second book, a short story collection entitled Nobody Gets Out Alive (Scribner, April 12, 2022), is here. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly writes, “The author’s crisp portrayal of the Alaskan landscape and rugged culture holds the collection—and its magnetic characters—together.”

Big Fish: Letitia Dzirasa and Not Returning to Normal

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa has led the city’s health department since March 2019. Photo courtesy of Baltimore City Health Department.

To all appearances, Baltimore is in Covid-19 recovery. The city’s vaccination rate is at 64%,  in line with the national average. Indoor mask mandates have been lifted, and children are back to school in person. It is beginning to seem as if the worst is over, and we can cautiously return to normal (although the BA.2 variant could change things).

For City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa however, normal is exactly where we don’t want to be.

Hot Plate: Masters & drinks at Mt. Washington Tavern, new drinks at Dutch Courage, Easter plans and more

Cake by Jason won the Maryland Zoo’s pastry competition, earning bragging rights and the honor of naming one of the Zoo’s new African penguins.

This week’s April showers mean more than just May flowers: it’s also time to start thinking about springtime produce. Baltimore restaurants are jumping into the season with new menu items, fun events, and big plans for Easter, which is just a week away.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the Charm City culinary world:

Hot House: Cockeysville stone farm house boasts ample space, plus several guest house


1701 Western Run Road, Cockeysville.

Hot House: 1806 stone farm house on Western Run Road. 4 bedrooms/4 bathrooms, 4500 square feet, plus several tenant houses and a barn and 26+ acres. Asking price: $2.45 million.

Far, Far West of Charles Street: Baltimore reunions in Tinseltown

A few Baltimore natives met for a meal at Mel’s Diner in Los Angeles, located in the former Max Factor building. Credit: Macon Street Books.

I spent a long week in Tinseltown last month visiting my daughter Amelia and her family. She is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts, an actress and the mother of a toddler named Lake.

Hot Plate: Bella Italia opens, New Beers Day at True Chesapeake, Razom benefit at La Cuchara and more

Sotto Sopra’s Opera Night is back this Sunday evening.

April is here and in Maryland, that brings warmer weather, the opening of crabbing season, and tons of good news in the food world. Here’s a look at what’s happening to kick off the month:

Hot Plate: The Charmery reopens, Woodberry Kitchen raises money for Ukraine, Cosima wine dinner and more

On Tuesday, Cosima hosts a wine dinner featuring the wines of Sicily.

As March draws to a close, local restaurants are gearing up for warmer weather, with spruced out outdoor spaces, fun events on the calendar, and more. Here’s a look at what’s happening this week in the Baltimore restaurant scene:

A strong woman and a family’s history

Anna Potter Jones, grandmother of author Rafael Alvarez. Credit: Jed Kirschbaum

My mother’s mother – Anna Potter Jones – spent her entire 84 years in the same house at 2729 Dillon Street in Canton. She was born in the house by midwife and in 1996 had a fatal heart attack there.

Q&A with JHU prof Lawrence Jackson, author of ‘Shelter’, a collection of essays on going from West Baltimore to Homeland


When Lawrence Jackson interviewed for a position as a professor at Johns Hopkins University, he presented in a lecture hall with a portrait of a former slave owner on the wall. Jackson’s family members were some of the only Black people in attendance. He mused that his chair should have been renamed for the person that he believed was partly responsible for his consideration: Freddie Gray.

Shelter is the story of Jackson’s return home to his native Baltimore, captured in a series of essays that are part memoir, part history of the city, and part reflection on Black fatherhood, homeownership, and economic mobility today. Born in West Baltimore, Jackson finds himself returning decades later as a professor at Johns Hopkins University, purchasing a home in Homeland, and seeking entry to private schools for his sons. Scenes from the life he returns to – sweeping the street in front of his mother’s church, attending a Martin Luther King Day parade – present opportunities to explore the complex inheritance of his upbringing in a family and a city shaped by generations of slavery.

Hot House: Arts-and-Crafts-style Palmer & Lamdin home wows with woodwork


803 W. University Parkway.

Hot House: Semi-detached Palmer & Lamdin with 8 bedrooms/4 baths, overlooking the Dell. 4,200 square feet. Asking price: $795,000.