Tag: free

Taking in the BMA



catch of the day fish (2)All week, Baltimoreans have banded together. Organizations have created safe spaces for our children who were not in school, artists have provided free concerts and events, and restaurants have opened their doors providing complimentary meals as a show of support in a difficult time for our city. There’s so much amazing grass roots and word-of-mouth organizing going on right now. And at the same time, some of our most well-established institutions have also made themselves felt as a presence this week.

Free Sunday Art Classes for Kids at the BMA


Kids Art Classes at the BMA

catch of the day fish (2)This weekend is all about art. That is, it’s all about Artscape. Of course for some, that means all about staying away from the throngs of tourists, the beating sun, and the utter lack of parking. But even if you spend the day (or the whole weekend) trying to steer clear of Station North and the country’s largest free public art festival, you can still get your art on—and get the little ones in on the action with the BMA’s free family activities on Sunday afternoon. It’s a great (and air conditioned way) to introduce kids to fine art, and to explore creative, hands-on art-making that goes beyond the usual “art class” stuff.

AVAM’s Flicks from the Hill


Flicks Form the Hill

catch of the day fish (2)While serving jury duty recently, I noticed, in the jury duty waiting room, one of those City Paper “Best of Baltimore” plaques. Jury duty had been named Baltimore’s “Best Free Air Conditioning and a Movie. ” Ha. Looking around, it seemed unlikely that any of my fellow less-than-enthusiastic-potential-jurors had been polled for that vote. And yeah, it’s hot outside. I know. But when the sun goes down and the air cools off a bit, Baltimore’s many outdoor summer movie screenings are (in the opinion of this citizen) some of the best bets for summer entertainment that celebrates the season while not requiring you to melt/burn/coat-your-entire-body-in-500-spf-sunblock. And my favorite of the bunch? AVAM’s Flicks from the Hill.

Sunday, May 19: Art Outside



Has anyone petitioned the city to have our new tagline be “Baltimore: the city of awesome outdoor public festivals”? Maybe it doesn’t quite have a ring to it, but it’s certainly accurate, and describes one of our favorite features of this town. Not only is there always something to do—it often involves being outside, with great music, local food and artists, and our fellow Baltimoreans out to enjoy all that’s going on. One fabulous upcoming example: Art Outside, a juried arts event that will be held on Sunday, May 19th, around the Druid Hill Reservoir (aka our absolute favorite spot for a jog, a picnic, or just an incredible view of the city). If you’re newer to town, and ArtScape is your only reference point for outdoor art festivals in Baltimore, take note: from 1953 to 1968, Druid Hill Park was the site of an annual art festival inspired by the outdoor art sales that were being held in New York’s Washington Square. These festivals gave local artists the opportunity to exhibit their work to the public at a time when alternative and small galleries and exhibition spaces weren’t the norm that they are today. With fond memories of those festivals, Barbara Shapiro set out to bring that spirit– or more accurately, the whole thing– back for today’s Baltimore. And how perfect that it coincides with the reservoir’s 150th anniversary?

Free Film: A Free Movie Night at The Charles


I realize that beginning any phrase with, “I remember when X cost Y…” immediately renders one old and crotchety.  I’m going to go ahead and embrace that I may be old and crotchety then, because something that shocks me time and time again are the absurdly high prices of movie theater tickets.  It should not cost me upwards of $12 to see a movie that only receives a smushed pile of green on Rotten Tomatoes.  I didn’t ask for stadium seating, so please don’t make pay more for it.

The Charles Theater has always held a special place in my heart.  Their Revival Series, like that time they showed some Hitchcock,  alone makes me want to adorn them with accolades.  Tonight, however, they’re doing something a little different.  In conjunction with City Paper, all movies at the Charles are free after 6:00p.  City Paper is footing the bill for the first 800 people who show up at the theater after 6:00p, to see whichever movie they choose that is being screened that evening.  Not a bad way to spend a chilly Tuesday in January.

The Best of Craigslist from January 7-16: An Overly In-Depth Review of the Wholly Inconsequential


Baltimore Fishbowl Contributing Writer MV Banks writes the following column for The City That Breeds, and asks, “Huh?” to many of the weird and wonderful offers and asks on the local version of the world’s biggest classified section.


You know that unsettling guy from the bar you were avoiding on Friday night, or how about that girl that won’t leave you alone at the gym?  Here is where you’ll find them, in their tragic, creepy entirety.

Missed Connections and More: Dissecting the ads on Craigslist


Baltimore Fishbowl Contributing Writer Maria-Veronica “MV” Banks writes the following column for The City That Breeds, and asks, “Huh?” to many of the weird and wonderful offers and asks on the local version of the world’s biggest classified section.

Missed Connections

You know that unsettling guy from the bar you were avoiding on Friday night, or how about that girl that won’t leave you alone at the gym?  Here is where you’ll find them, in their tragic, creepy entirety.

“Hippodrome Theater (downtown Balto)”?

Date Posted: December 3, 2012
Sex: Male
Age: 62

Message: “You sat next to me Saturday evening at the Million Dollar Quartet show. section CMBAL row X* seat XXX*. You were with a chubby man. You were petite, short dark hair, glasses & the color of your lipstick was driving me madd. I wanted to kiss you & taste your lips. We smiled at each other twice. I wanted to speak to you , but couldn’t. I would love to see you again. Maybe only in my dreams.”

Questions raised: I am so impressed you’re on Craigslist at all, but especially for Missed Connections.  Mad kudos.  Now, what are the chances that the object of your affection also uses Craigslist?  Slim to none?  This breaks my heart, honestly, but you may need to search elsewhere.  I know 62 isn’t terribly old, but it’s old enough that this isn’t a guarantee buddy.

Pub Labs: The Poe Project


I can’t get behind fusion cuisine.  It feels so artificial and indecisive.  Some things just aren’t meant to be combined.

Other things, however, became exponentially better when put together.  Eggs and bacon.  Theater and bars.  Peanut butter and chocolate. This Sunday evening, in conjunction with The Baltimore Performance Kitchen and Centerstage, Single Carrot Theatre will be performing The Poe Project at Liam Flynn’s Ale House.  Directed by the same talented Genevieve deMahy who brought us Hotel Cassiopeia last season, The Poe Project promises to be equally as compelling.  This interactive show will pull from all of Poe’s murky history and precocious prose, and if that isn’t incentive enough, it’s being supported by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the “Big Read.”

Baltimore’s Book Thing: New Yorkers Just Don’t Understand


When I want to give out-of-town visitors a snippet of Baltimore life, I take them to the Book Thing in Waverly. We walk down a semi-creepy alley, aiming for a one-story warehouse. “Where are you taking me, again?” the visitor asks suspiciously. And then we get inside where the visitor sees the rows and rows of books — around 200,000 old dictionaries and romance novels and sci-fi trilogies and James Michener epics — and the visitor’s eyes get big, but in a good way. “Oh yeah,” I say casually. “All these books are free. Take as many as you want.” My New York friends are uneasy at this generosity, and are always looking for a secret tip jar or something. But no:  books at the Book Thing aren’t fake-free, or free-with-donation. They’re really free.

Over at the Electric Literature blog, another New Yorker muses about a recent visit to the Book Thing (“Soon The Book Thing seems instead like a Pynchon-concoction – a vast network of arcane knowledge spread around the globe by unseen hands”). He makes the classic first-time visitor mistake: picking up a book he already owns (“I already had a copy at home but… well… it was free”). A more seasoned Book Thing fan has a different approach:  “voids picking up books if he already owns at least one other book by that author which he hasn’t read yet.”

So, what is the value of a free book — or free culture in general? Take a look at Jansma’s ideas, then tell us yours in the comments below… or in the aisles of the Book Thing this weekend.

Charm City Circulator Goes "Green"


Which is just to say that Baltimore’s free and easy to navigate alternative bus system launched their new Green Route today. The new route will run includes stops at City Hall, Fell’s Point, the Water Taxi landing, and the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.

The Circulator boasts its eco-friendliness, reliability, and quiet ride. The buses are hybrid-electric, so I’d imagine they must be greener than city buses. As far as the other two claims, my few rides on the Purple Line do not bear them out. I regularly waited much longer than ten minutes for a bus, and more than once the ride was accompanied by a loud, continuous, high-pitched squeal.

On the other hand, not having to keep exact change on hand is a great convenience, and the Circulator’s easy-to-understand route maps cut the Gordian Knot of the city bus system.

What do you think? Is the Circulator a marked improvement on the city bus system, or is its route too limited to make much of a difference?