There are those who party hearty. Then, there are those who party hardy. A few thousand of the latter showed up at Shawan Downs for the Eighth Annual Legacy Chase. Never mind that they had to brave bombarding sheets of rain the entire afternoon. Or that the series of steeplechases was canceled halfway through the afternoon because of that rain. The party continued under various tents set up on a hill overlooking the steeplechase course, even as the ground in those tents went from mushy grass to wading pool.
"As I drove up, I was hoping for 50 people in our tent. But the commitment is so great to GBMC Nursing [the beneficiary of the event], that everybody has shown up," said Laurence Merlis, president/CEO of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, as he scanned a crowd of a couple hundred.
"Steeplechase racing in Maryland has a faithful following," said Doug Smith, GBMC Foundation president.
B&O; Railroad Museum executive director Courtney Wilson and wife Leslie Wilson, Maryland Department of Education assistant state superintendent, explained the high turnout a different way. "Because this is too good of a party to miss," she said with a laugh.
Sounds of laughter and conversation competed with that of the downpour. As the deluge continued - and the races didn't, one group of friends - Rosemary DiStefano, MedStar Health materials management director, and community volunteers Leah Holmes and Kathleen Palmissano - began speculating on a different type of finish.
"We're waiting for all the tables to float down the hill," DiStefano said. Sebelia of 'Runway' headlined show
B-more may lay claim to the most recent Project Runway winner, Baltimore School for the Arts grad Christian Siriano. But his predecessor, Season 4 winner JeffSrey Sebelia, was in town last weekend with his latest collection. Runway's best-known bad boy was the headliner in a fashion show put on by Mosaic Nightclub & Lounge at Power Plant Live! And, according to PPL's marketing chief Christopher Furst, Jeffrey's real-life persona is quite the opposite of the one he projected on the show.
"He was the one we were told [would] be the easiest to work with. ... He's actually a really cool guy. ... He's a guy's guy, but into fashion."
As for that fashion, Jeffrey showed a couple dozen pieces from his spring 2009 collection. Audience member Sharan Nixon, who organized Baltimore's Fashion Week this summer, couldn't stop raving: "Jeffrey's line was amazing. It was so Jeffrey. ... It was hot. It was fly."
Christopher says he didn't recognize Jeffrey at first, thanks to a new fashion accessory the designer is now sporting - a "big, burly mustache" that reminded Christopher of Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York. The giveaway? Jeffrey's trademark neck tattoos.
Come to the cabaret Little Italy now has its own cabaret Thursday nights at Germano's Trattoria. Owners Germano Fabiani and wife Cyd Wolf hosted the kickoff night last week to a sold-out crowd of 100. Guests saw a show by students and teachers from Baltimore School for the Arts, where their daughter Alessandra Fabiani is a sophomore in the theater department.
"The energy was at such a high level. Everyone was so happy," Wolf says.
There'll be more BSA nights in coming weeks, plus cabaret acts by local professionals. Check out the schedule at germanostrattoria.com.