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Ropewalk Ocean City scheduled to open in May

The Ocean City version of Ropewalk Tavern, the restaurant and bar with locations in Federal Hill and Delaware’s Fenwick Island, will open by Memorial Day, owner Marc McFaul said earlier this week.

This Ropewalk (at 8203 Coastal Highway) is the largest of the three, and will feature a 300-foot deck, a 60'x40' pavilion, bars both inside and outside, fire pits, a canopy of palm trees and a large playground for children, McFaul said.

Construction is ongoing, but McFaul said there is a chance Ropewalk Ocean City could be open closer to mid-May. Entertainment is still being discussed, but McFaul mentioned booking dueling-piano performers and having “possibly an Irish music night.”

On Friday afternoon, a post on the restaurant and bar’s Facebook page said they are hiring “all positions for the spring/summer 2015 season.” For more information, go to ropewalkoc.com.

In October, the original Ropewalk Tavern in Baltimore — known by many as the Republican bar with a Ronald Reagan statue — will celebrate...

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Station North developer presents apartment plans

Construction of an eight-story apartment building sheathed in contemporary metal with gallery space and a Milk & Honey market on the ground floor could start in Station North by the end of the year, said developer Ernst Valery.

The city's design panel got its first look Thursday at plans for the structure, proposed for the Lanvale Street parking lots behind Valery's Chesapeake Building.

The building, intended to rise over a portion of Lovegrove Street, is to contain 103 market-rate apartments, with roughly 30 parking spots in the back. The project is expected to cost about $20 million, including the purchase of the property, said Ernst Valery, of SA+A Development and Ernst Valery Investments Corp.

Plans for the building, by LSC Design, pick up on the patterned facades of newer, nearby buildings such as the John and Frances Angelos Law Center and MICA's Gateway dormitory. They sailed through the a preliminary approval Thursday, with Planning Director Thomas J. Stosur pronouncing himself...

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All-Baltimore Sondheim Prize finalists announced

Six artists and one duo, all from Baltimore, have been named as finalists for this year's $25,000 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.

The finalists, announced Wednesday by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, are Mequitta Ahuja, Zoë Charlton, Benjamin Kelley, Magnolia Laurie, Jim Leach, Ryan Syrell and the duo of Malcolm Lomax and Daniel Wickerham, known as Wickerham & Lomax.

Work from all seven finalists will be on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art from June 24 through Aug. 9.

The winner of the $25,000 fellowship — established to "assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Greater Baltimore region" — will be announced during an awards ceremony and reception scheduled for July 11 at the BMA. The other six finalists will each receive $2,500 honorariums.

A bit more on the finalists:

Ahuja, who has been in Baltimore since receiving an artists' residency at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011, draws...

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Towson's All Time Low has No. 2 album in the country

All Time Low, the pop-punk quartet that calls Towson home, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week.

At 75,000 albums sold, "Future Hearts" — the group's sixth effort — was technically the week's biggest seller of physical copies, Billboard reports, but the trade magazine recently changed its metrics to gauge an album's overall popularity. (The number of times a song is streamed online is factored in, for example.) Therefore, the "Furious 7" soundtrack is No. 1, despite selling approximately 30,000 less physical copies than "Future Hearts."

Evolving measurements aside, this is the best opening week ever for All Time Low. The album, which was released on Hopeless Records on April 7, has been bolstered by the lead single, "Something's Gotta Give." (Watch the zombified video above.) As of today, it has nearly 3.5 million views on YouTube and more than 4 million plays on Spotify.

The group's exposure could continue to grow in the near future. After touring the country this...

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With festival on deck, 5 tales from Fells Point's privateering past

From a refreshing snowball to the Orioles' return to the diamond, spring's true arrival in Baltimore comes in many shapes and sizes. This weekend in Fells Point, the indication comes in the form of pirates and privateers — the harmless, re-enacting kind — who will take over the neighborhood for the 11th annual Privateer Festival.

The eye-and-ear-catching aspects of some attendees — outfits, props and exaggerated accents to name a few — have led some to label it a pirate celebration, but this is not merely a costume party. The Privateer Festival aims to educate others on the city's rich maritime history, while still keeping things lighthearted, according to Joy Giordano, the festival's organizer.

A “privateer,” by the way, is a privately owned ship commissioned by a government to fight enemies, and also shorthand for “privateersman,” or a sailor or captain of such a boat.

“We utilize the Privateer Festival as an opportunity to embrace the history of Fells Point, which very much encompasses...

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GLAAD Report: Movies improving for gay characters, still lack transgender roles

Studios are slowly starting to show more lesbian, gay and bisexual characters on film, according to the annual Studio Responsibility Index released today by media advocacy group GLAAD.

The report, which studied releases from the seven major studios in 2014, found that 20 of the 114 movies (17.5%) that bowed last year had characters who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. This is slightly more from 2013, when that percentage was 16.7% (17 of 102 films). However, none of these films included a character who identified as transgender. (This year also marked the first time that GLAAD examined smaller affiliated studios, finding that 11% of the 47 total films released by Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Roadside Attractions, and Sony Pictures Classics were LGBT inclusive).

This increased number from the major studios didn't necessarily equate to better representation, the report found. The majority of these characters were gay men (65%), while a third (30%) featured bisexual characters...

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