As I cannot stop weeping for the horrendous fate of Freddie Gray, I turn to your story ("Guiding Light," City Folk, April 22) and weep for joy. There is so much pain in our world, and Aneice Vinson is helping to ameliorate that. Brava! Brava! Baltimore is like that—so much to cry about, with pockets of joy and solace.
Great article about the moribund Lexington Market ("The Battles of Lexington," Feature, April 22). On the title page, a color picture focusing on the market's neon electric American flag was featured. Interesting story about this flag, which is probably ignored more than studied.
The Marine Ballroom, built in 1898 and destroyed in a spectacular fire at the end of 1969, was located about half a mile out over the Atlantic Ocean. The neon was located in the middle of the stage proscenium and looked out at over 5,000 patrons when bands such as Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and countless others played. Gene Krupa's band played its first engagement there, as well as Rosemary Clooney when she sang with the Tony Pastor band.
That neon flag has seen many historic moments. It will still be seen if Lexington Market is one of them.
William Bond (The Mail, April 22), I have lived in Baltimore all of my life, and yes, I agree that much of the black community is made up of people "who have no respect for the law." I also agree that Baltimore City juries are much too forgiving of criminals based on misguided notions of racial solidarity. I even remember a case in which an obviously guilty thug was let off by the jury because (in the words of one juror) "we just didn't want to send another brother to jail."
But no police brutality? What planet do you live on? I'm guessing you never heard of "blaming the victim," which you clearly do in the fourth paragraph of your letter. And what do Reverend King, Al Sharpton, and Justice Marshall have to do with the matter at hand, anyway? Freddie Gray was handcuffed and put into the back of a van in OK condition; one-half hour later, he arrived at the police station with a broken back. I guess he did it to himself.
There can be police misconduct, whether "systemic" or not. In Freddie Gray's case, he was running away with the police, not fighting with them.
From my left point of view, to be transparent, the police are an occupying force in the ghetto, enforcing the wishes of the powers that be. There are no jobs. Why wouldn't the young males turn to drug slinging? And why wouldn't they run from the 5-0? Is that a crime?
What the hell does age have to do with sketching tough-ass cartoons ("Why we're not running 'Maakies' anymore," The News Hole, April 17)? You sound like a hater of old people, for chrissakes!
"As a 40-year-old, I'm not 'young,'" you write, "but I'm grateful that our masthead is increasing populated by people who are—they really should be the driving force behind 'alternative' culture, however we define it these days. If alternative weeklies are still relying on fifty- and sixtysomethings to be their driving force—and many of them are—then something is wrong."
Well, how do you define "alterative" culture "these days"? How is "alternative" different from established order? If your "alternative" is anything like the Boston Phoenix, then it is really only an established-order "alternative," just like Rolling Stone magazine. And established-order "alternative," in case you haven't realized, is an oxymoron.
Age has nothing to do with any of this! For the record, I am 66, was permanently trespassed from my neighborhood library two years ago for speaking truth to power, have cartooned all the local pillars, especially the ones who hand out the taxpayer funded grants, invitations, etc., and always send the cartoons to the targets. Never heard of me? Of course, you haven't! My local newspapers, the Cape Cod Times and Barnstable Patriot, won't even publish me. Hell, I've criticized those editors numerous times! I'm truly "alternative," as opposed to syndicated established-order "alternative." There's a world of difference!
Editor's Note: Due to the tumultuous events that have unfolded in our city over the past week, the City Paper staff decided to scrap much of its regular format and sections to focus exclusively on the death of Freddie Gray, and the protests and riots that have followed.
This week's issue was supposed to be our "Fiction and Poetry" issue, in which we announce the winners of our fiction and poetry contest and publish their work. For fiction, first place went to Dan Hunt for "Founders Day," second place to Tim P. Walker for "That Goddamn Chuck Mangione Song," and third place to Zoë Zellers for "Meet Me Near the Sign for 2 For $3 Fish Filets." There was a three-way tie in the poetry contest. The winners are "Train a Hypocrite," by Julia Showalter, "Growing Discontent," by Terrel Askew, and "Snowy Remembrances," by Alan Barysh. We will publish the winners in forthcoming issues.
Change a culture? It takes more than a big plan to change a culture. Nice piece.
Proud of the people of Baltimore for taking to the streets to voice their anger and frustration in a non violent manner. The last thing we need in this city is more violence, and the people need to be able to vent their pain while working towards positive change. The nation is watching us, and I hope the powers that be can prove that we will NOT tolerate police brutality in our city!!
These protests are about as productive as Honey Boo Boo's weight loss program.... These aren't protests, these are powder keg riots just seconds from igniting.... These people are literally waiting for any direct provocation from the police to start a full out riot in downtown Baltimore. They are unorganized, misguided, and blind. And a big thumbs up to the local media who filmed an on street interview with the guy who was stoned out of his mind.... International news agencies used his interview to personify this "movement".
I've know J.M Giordano for over decade now. There are very few people that love Baltimore more than he does. Seeing this happen to him disturbed me to my core. With all of the noise in the media and not knowing who is reporting honestly or for sensationalism -knowing that Giordano and Woods are out there reporting on this has given me an honest view on what is really happening out there on the streets of Baltimore. Thank you City Paper, Giordano, and Woods for loving this city and reporting in a clear, honest, brave and considerate way.
Amazing that a Reuters photographer was allowed inside one of the transport vans - Baltimore Police statement - "...photographs of the van could not be shared with the media because they are currently part of an investigation." ( How is a photo of the inside of the van going to alter the evidence in ANY conceivable way?) Sure hope he had a camera with him.
tense situation.things happen.cops were having bricks and hunks of concrete thrown at them....lot's of people suffer for their "art" maybe they were tired and tired of having cameras shoved in their faces.....no story here move on.......
Giordano is hardly an opponent of the police. He comes from a cop family.
I've got a suggestion. Get the hell outta the cops way when people are volatile and throwing stuff at them.
Reporters risk their necks to get the words and images we who were not there depend on to even know that something went down last night, so we can sit back, judge and unfortunately in your case Mr. Iman, make jokes about a bad situation. Show some respect.
I respect journalists and the harm they put themselves in to bring us a story, but refusing to move and then writing a story about how you were assaulted seems a little questionable. Cover the story, don't make yourself the story. Much respect for being there on the front lines, but don't write about it as if you were a victim of police assault.