The Insider

Maryland’s First West Elm Opens Today in Harbor Point

Photocredit: Core Creative Co.
Photo credit: Core Creative Co.

Home furnishings retailer West Elm opened today its first Maryland location at 1301 Dock St. between Harbor East and Fells Point.

Take a Look Inside the New Wee Chic



Wee Chic moved this past summer from a small spot in Green Spring Station to the space that The Pleasure of Your Company used to occupy in Green Spring Station. The new store is more than twice the size of the former space. Now the shop offers more merchandise, special sections and more.

Favorite House of Cards Location, ‘Freddy’s BBQ Joint’, For Sale



At least once an episode, Kevin Spacey’s duplicitous Frank Underwood character turns up for a solo meal at Freddy’s – a hole-in-the-wall rib joint where he is inevitably and mysteriously the only customer. Although many of House of Cards’ Baltimore locations are well known — the Underwood’s Georgetown townhouse in Bolton Hill, Zoe’s apartment on Preston Street, Tusk’s home in Roland Park — the exact location of Freddy’s Ribs has remained a mystery. Until now.

Recently spotted on real estate website Trulia, this location at 2601 Greenmount Avenue is, for sure, Freddy’s. And best of all, it’s for sale.

Cost of a rundown, two-story Baltimore rowhouse? $119,000. Owning a piece of television history? Priceless.


Happy Birthday Linens & Lingerie!



Today Baltimore shop Linens & Lingerie turns 30! That’s a long time for a small shop tucked away in Ruxton to stay in business. (Although it’s no wonder; it is a local gem!) In honor of the occasion, we re-publish an “Insider” we posted on the store last November.  Congratulations to our friends at Linens & Lingerie. – The Eds.

Inside Baltimore’s Linens & Lingerie

Originally published November 9, 2012 –

Linens & Lingerie‘s straightforward name belies the stylish sophistication that awaits within: bespoke linen, pretty lingerie, smocked dresses for little girls, cashmere throws, monogrammed towels and more fill the shelves. This is no Bed, Bath and Beyond: the distinctive products promise decadent comfort not found in a strip mall chain.

The central source behind all the panache? One Baltimore family who has owned and operated the shop for nearly 30 years with a certain kind of Baltimore graciousness that mixes equal parts good manners and good taste. One can almost see the polished silver that will sit atop the hemmed-stitched table linens they sell and visualize the mahogany four-poster bed the monogrammed comforters will snugly embrace.

Southerner Elizabeth Franke first opened the store in 1983 after her husband died — she didn’t want to be a “lunch lady” her daughter says — and long after the kids had graduated from Gilman, Garrison and Bryn Mawr. She modeled the shop after Gattle’s in Palm Beach and Hannah’s, a fine linen store that used to be on Howard Street. Her daughter Blair has run the shop for nearly a decade, carrying on a genetic predisposition for refined elegance.

The special occasion table linens standout, ranging from beautiful white linen and damask for the holidays to colorful everyday washable cotton (napkins to go with, too, of course). There’s still time to order tablecloths for holiday dinners.

Thick and luxurious bath towels — the monogrammed ones are my favorite –and special order bed linens from lines like Matouk (including the chic Lulu DK line) add a personal touch.

Taking a Walk Through the Bufano Sculpture Garden



Walking through the JHU Homewood campus recently, I stumbled upon a seemingly hidden pathway winding through a canopy of shade trees and discovered a menagerie of stone sculptures.  The collection, created by Italian-born sculptor Beniamino Bufano (1898-1970), was a 1983 gift to Hopkins organized by the the artist’s son in an effort to give his father’s work more exposure on the East Coast (the artist’s work also resides on the Stanford University campus).  The Bufano Sculpture Garden is adjacent to the Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center, and serves as an inviting, attractive spot for a cool stroll on a hot summer day.

Among the collection are “Bear and Cubs”


A wise old owl. (Owl)



The Happy Hatter of Waverly

Clyde on Main Street Hats
Clyde Davis-El of Main Street Hats

Courtesy What Weekly – In the world of fashion there are many different pieces to the wardrobe and most people of style have the basics covered.  Casual, formal, and professional looks each have their place. There is always room to improve the quality of your ensemble, however, with the tasteful addition of a timeless, functional and fashionable hat.

For hat expertise, I turn to Clyde M. Davis-El, Jr. of Main Street Hats at Greenmount Ave. and Thirty-First Street in Waverly. Clyde provided dozens of hats (an entire van full, to be exact) to complete the looks at the Delta Sigma Theta centennial celebration fashion show at the DC convention center a few months back. He makes sure that anyone in need of a hat for any occasion is well equipped.


I paid Clyde a visit to learn a little more about hats. My knowledge extended to only a few types like the Fedora, the Porkpie, and the Hamburg. At his shop, he met me with a genuine smile and the kind of laugh that could easily defuse a bad day.

Inside The Little Shoebox



Between the cheetah print carpet that lines the floor and the pink-hued walls that create a feminine feel, The Little Shoebox in Ruxton is the ultimate shop for shoe-loving women in Baltimore.

An Inside Look at Ellie Boutique in Ruxton


Walking into Ellie, the first overwhelming sensation one has is, wow—this is fun. The second is whoa—where do I start? The Ruxton boutique offers such a great variety of clothing, accessories, and gifts that unless you came in looking for something specific, you’re likely to find yourself heading for the dressing room with a pile of clothing so high that you can’t see over it.

The Insider: The Convenient Country Life

Did you know that from the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon to the Greenspring Valley, it’s just ten measly miles? A complete transformation of place rolls by in just a little over ten minutes. It’s a little like teleporting and it’s very specific to Baltimore. Most nearby cities have a more gradual landscape change and, as a transplant from one of those cities, I am always just a little bit shocked by it.A quintessential example of this is my friend’s beautiful house. It’s bucolic splendor at its very best, all well-worn charm and gorgeous green views. You would never guess that you are just miles from the convenience of the beltway and 83.

Inside the New Harbor East Anthropologie

Anthropologie on the circle in Harbor East

The new Anthropologie in Harbor East is just what you’d expect: fresh and funky.  The store is a chain of over 100 stores across the U.S. and each one is pretty similar, but this one is huge, much larger than the Towson Town Center store.