Baltimore Fishbowl LogoWe rounded up Baltimore Fishbowl’s most read stories of 2021, from a nightclub opening to the latest on Baltimore’s Confederate statues. Here’s a look back at what readers determined was their favorite stories of the year, starting, of course, with John Waters. (Click on each headline to read the full story.)

1. John Waters turns 75 today and he’s not slowing down

Photo by Greg Gorman.

Age is just a number for the Baltimore icon. The writer and filmmaker has no plans to retire any time soon: “I would be terrible, I think, if I retired. I would probably die the next day,” he told an audience earlier this year. Read the story to find out what’s next for Waters.

2. A Bridge to Somewhere: 9 1/2 Hours on Kent Island

The beach at Terrapin Nature Park on Kent Island is a hidden treasure in the shadow of the Bay Bridge

A guide to 9 ½ hours in the third oldest still-existing English settlement in America.


3. As Baltimore decides the fate of the provocative Male/Female Sculpture, its creator weighs in

Photo credit:

Ever wondered about the male/female statue outside of Baltimore’s Penn Station? Ed Gunts spoke with the creator of the most expensive piece of artwork ever donated to the city to learn more about the sculpture and the possibility that it might be moved.

4. Baltimore decides not to send its Confederate monuments to California

The empty base of the Lee-Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell. after former Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered its removal, along with three other city-owned statues, in 2017. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

An art nonprofit in Los Angeles, LAXART, requested to borrow four of Baltimore’s Confederate statues – which were removed from public view in the middle of the night in 2017 – to be featured in a museum exhibit. This story tells us why the statues won’t be traveling to California.

5. Five Black entrepreneurs chosen to fill empty retail spaces in downtown Baltimore

LaTonya Turnage, owner of Elite Secrets Bridal, one of the winners of the BOOST award.

A story about the city’s Black-Owned and Occupied Storefront Tenancy program and the five entrepreneurs selected to be part of it this year.

6. $50 million concert venue, The Paramount, moving ahead in South Baltimore

In June, architects unveiled designs for a new $50 million, 3,750-seat concert venue south of M&T Bank Stadium called The Paramount Baltimore. This story gives us the details.

7. Baltimore’s newest LGBTQ+ nightclub has opened in Mount Vernon, with a familiar name

A new LGBTQ+-affirming nightclub called Central Bar Mount Vernon has opened several blocks away from the former Grand Central nightclub. Photo by Ed Gunts.

A story about Baltimore’s newest LGBTQ+ nightclub, Central Bar Mount Vernon, which opened in November.

8. Operators of The Prime Rib restaurant explore options to move

The Prime Rib

The Prime Rib opened in the Midtown-Belvedere area of Baltimore nearly 56 years ago. This year, the owners considered a move from the restaurant’s Calvert Street location, where it opened back in 1965.

9. American Visionary Art Museum and Maryland Food Bank win comedian John Oliver’s ‘Masterpiece Gallery’ contest

The American Visionary Art Museum was selected as one of five museums in the country to host John Oliver’s collection of “weird works.” Read this story to learn more about the contest and the featured works.

10. Dumpster divers salvage food, furniture and more as pandemic fuels fondness for free stuff

Yarrow First-Hartling searches a dumpster behind a makeup store in Frederick County for items that she can salvage. First-Hartling began dumpster diving around Christmas 2020 after seeing TikTok videos about it. Photo by Marcus Dieterle.

The pandemic saw growth in dumpster diving, a trend fueled by economic shocks and social media videos.