Baltimore was known for things quirky and criminal long before Mark J. Adams opened what he claims is the world's only hot-pink bail bond office.
And so the city's reputation should survive once the rain lets up and the "shocking pink" former florist shop that Adams moved into a month ago can be repainted.
"We're going to paint it a stately green," Adams said.
Fair Deal bail bonds sits at 2150 Boston, in a mostly residential neighborhood between Canton and Fells Point. Neighbors voiced no qualms about the potential for the business to draw lawbreakers to the neighborhood, Adams said. But many expressed hope that he'd repaint the Formstone, which was pink when the Crimson & Clover flower shop was there.
"I made a deal with some of the neighbors that I wasn't going to tart the place up — no neon," he said.
He's already redone the inside, which had never bothered neighbors but was a bit girly-girly for a business primarily catering to men — men who'd tangled with law enforcement at that.
"Inside was painted a moss green," he said. "We put yellow over that. It had flower petals all over the ceiling. We left a couple petals for the sake of amusement."
Adams, 52, is a disbarred lawyer who in the 1990s owned a series of short-lived Baltimore newspapers, The Independent, The Harbor Crescent and The Baltimore Press. He got into his current line of work after "baby-sitting" an office for a vacationing bail bondsman.
"It's very entertaining work," he said. "It's a reality show without a camera crew. You could do sort of a middle class People magazine out of one of these bail bonds office. There's a story behind every bail."
Former City Councilman Keiffer Mitchell is deploying all those new social-media tools in his run for House of Delegates in the 44th District. Website. Facebook. Twitter. He even has a "photostream" coming on flickr.
But who looks at that stuff? Whippersnappers, that's who. And who actually votes? Senior citizens.
So along with campaign tweeting and flickr-ing, Mitchell is calling bingo numbers at senior citizen centers. He starts Thursday at the Sandtown-Winchester senior center, where he'll give out orange campaign shirts as prizes. He has several more senior bingo events planned.
"We're dubbing it 'Bingo with Keiffer,'" he told me. "It's a lot of pressure. I think I could lose some votes if I call the wrong number."
City Council President Jack Young arrived late and soaking wet to Wednesday's Board of Estimates meeting, The Sun's Julie Scharper tells me. The reason: He'd marched in a parade for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, which got under way a little late and in the rain.
"The sky was opening up as we were beginning," he told me later.
Young doesn't keep a change of clothes at City Hall, so he went on with his day in his damp green business suit. He said it wasn't that bad.
"This is good fabric," he said. "It didn't take that long to dry out."
Gift card, anyone?
It takes more than a stint on the stand in Sheila Dixon's criminal trial to scare Silo Point developer Pat Turner away from politicians.
"Help support Governor O'Malley while having fun at Silo Point Tuesday, July 20th 7:30pm," reads an e-mail from Turner. "It will be an amazing event with a lot of Baltimore Stars."
Throw in some gift cards, Pat, and maybe O'Malley's old "Partner in Progress" will show.