August 8, 2014
As I walked into the building generations of Baltimoreans knew as 11 East Chase, my memories of this venerable structure flashed back. The mosaic tile lobby, beamed ceilings, the oak parquet floors, fluted columns, wood paneling, marble trim and fireplaces all never looked better.
July 18, 2014
After spending a few hours inside the former Centre Theatre on North Avenue, I had no trouble envisioning its dazzling future. What had been a partially roofless, water-saturated spongy mess of wet plaster is now thoroughly cleaned, a shell full of promise. Its raw bones are impressive. That said, it still lacks a roof. A weedy wetland of grasses still sprouts along its marquee. But not for long.
July 11, 2014
Sometime in 1914, Luigi DiPasquale, who had left his home of Abruzzi, Italy, came to Baltimore and opened a corner store in Highlandtown. Ever the entrepreneur, he butchered and sold meats and also sold live goats tethered in the backyard.
June 20, 2014
The corner store in a dense, rowhouse-dominated neighborhood was a glorious asset. As I child, I had the luxury of three within a block. There were two drugstores, each with soda fountains, and a classic grocery-delicatessen. There, you could buy a can of tomatoes and a package of TastyKakes and learn the neighborhood news. Some of the proprietors and employees often had the status of beloved neighborhood figures.
June 13, 2014
On a drive along Cromwell Bridge Road east of Towson, you'll notice a classic white barn surrounded by a stretch of wooden fencing. Follow the entry drive at Cromwell Valley Park and you'll encounter a modest green sign marked Talmar.
June 6, 2014
If you want to learn the history and habits of a Baltimore neighborhood, just spend part of a weekend on a community walking tour. Residents open their homes and gardens for a peek at what is normally locked and bolted.
May 23, 2014
Not quite four years ago, I began some trips to St. Vincent Cemetery, an old and abandoned burying ground largely surrounded by the Clifton Park Golf Course in Northeast Baltimore. In that summer of 2010, a small group of descendants of those buried there initiated a campaign to get the weeds and invasive trees cut down — and to win respect for the spot where nearly 3,700 people rest.
April 22, 2011
If you lived in Baltimore in the 1970s, it seemed that William Donald Schaefer paved every alley. An exaggeration? Yes. But then, as now, old Baltimore needed a lot of fixing and Schaefer was in his neighborhood mode. He did it well and had the support of some pretty amazing people. He listened to his aides and he also obsessed over letters his constituents mailed him.
February 14, 2004
AS MY CAB turned south on Eutaw Street on Tuesday night, I asked the driver, "Where are the moving lights?"
February 22, 2003
IVE OFTEN thought that Baltimore possesses three truly great object collections: the Cone sisters' canvases, the treasure of Henry and William Walters and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Yes, the rail museum at Pratt and Poppleton, which suffered such a direct hit from this week's snowstorm, is this country's knockout stable of iron-horse history.
February 17, 2001
THE TELEVISION shows of 45 years ago were fairly tame fare compared to what the networks and cable deliver today. But certainly when this medium was relatively new - and the arrival of a fresh set in the neighborhood was still something of a novelty - gathering around the black-and-white screen was an event.
February 10, 2001
IHEARD this week from my sister, the mother of the twin girls who just turned 3. All her children (she has three) are down with the sort of childhood maladies that arrive in the late winter. Her washing machine is working overtime. The children just aren't themselves. Or are they?