Nora Ephron, best known for writing scripts for the movies "Silkwood," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Heartburn," was in Baltimore last week for her newest film, "Sleepless in Seattle." She and her crew, which included Academy Award-winning director of photography Sven Nykvist, selected Baltimore as the best place to get the East Coast scenery needed in the movie, which is being filmed primarily in Seattle.
Ephron is directing the romantic comedy, starring Tom Hanks as a widower and Meg Ryan as a Baltimore Sun reporter, for Tri Star production.
I think Ephron wanted to film in Baltimore so she could get her fill of Maryland crab cakes. She ate them while filming at Faidley's in the Lexington Market, and she was at Obrycki's on three different occasions with a variety of people, including Marc Platt, a Baltimore native who is president of Tri Star, and Meg Ryan.
Ed Hale, chairman of the Bank of Baltimore, has agreed to become chairman of the board of trustees of the Living Classrooms Foundation, formerly the Lady Maryland Foundation. After all, it was hard to say no to his son's former teacher, Dennis O'Brien, president and founder of the foundation. (Jim Bond is the foundation's executive director and he's brought Parker Rockefeller of the Rockefeller family on board as the director of development.)
If all I hear is true, the foundation's future looks rosy, especially when you have supporters like the Jim Robinson family in Baltimore County. (FYI: Robinson, one of the most prominent independent film producers in the country, owns Morgan Creek Productions in California, which released "Robin Hood," "Young Guns" and "Last of the Mohicans.") Robinson's son, Pat, is a friend of O'Brien's and his family and is working with the rock group Little Feat on a benefit concert for Living Classrooms in Washington sometime this winter.
Also, I hear there have been numerous friendly discussions about a merger of the Pride of Baltimore and Living Classrooms aka Lady Maryland. Sounds like an interesting year in the Baltimore harbor.
Wishes are coming true for the Grant-A-Wish Foundation, thanks to last-minute help from volunteer carpenters from the Air Force, Navy and Army; trim carpenters from Struever, Eccles, Rouse; and student carpenters.
In just a matter of weeks, the Children's House at Hopkins, a four-level, 19-bedroom house across from Johns Hopkins' front entrance, will open its doors. It's especially impressive because it was built with so much of the labor and materials donated.
Zip-i-de-FOOD-ah! is the name of a lighthearted party at the Baltimore International Culinary College to benefit its Student Emergency Loan Fund. Dress is casual, since the party, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 23, will be held at two locations: the Cooking Demonstration Theater, 206 Water St., and the Redwood Center, formerly the Merchant's Club, at 206 E. Redwood. One big plus is that there is free parking for partygoers at the Central parking garage, 208 Water St.
Ann Clapp, former owner of the Cafe des Artistes, is overseeing a rather impressive committee known for getting things done around town. When you have Bunny Dwin, Rebecca Whipple, Jeanne Sullivan, Janis Talbott, Pam Meier, Sascha Wolhandler, Nick Brown, Ricki Baker, Nanny Warren, Lynn Homes, Judy Orlinsky, Randy Wight, Edie Brown and Ina Fleischer, you have a winner. Call (410) 752-4982 to reserve tickets, which are $40.
Around town: Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn has a new general manager, Dan Banchiu, who comes to us from the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Washington. When he's not busy managing the hotel, you'll find him on the golf course. He and his wife, Maryann, live in Ellicott City . . . Virginia Tanner of Villa Julie College wants everyone to know that Dr. Nancy Grasmick will be speaking at the college Saturday about the need for well-educated teachers and the outlook for teachers in this decade. It's free, and you should arrive about 8:30 a.m. for a cup of coffee.