Monthly Archives: June 2011

Art, writing and theatre

Sometimes I get bored. It happens, but sometimes I decide to do something about it.

I woke up late on Friday with no particular plan, just a minor sinus headache and a somewhat abstract deadline. Never a good
combination, but I took an Aspirin and decided to make the best of it. I picked up the City Paper from the table, circled a few items and headed out the door.

My first stop of the day was…the Quiznos at MLK Blvd. You don’t expect me to judge art on an empty stomach do you?

My second stop of the day was The Walters Art Museum to see their new nautical themed show “Setting
Sail: Drawings of the Sea from the Walters Collection
.” It was a small, but stylistically varied show up on the 5th floor. In fact, the only
real complaint about it was the fact that I couldn’t find anything to complain about.

I left The Walters around 1pm, and decided to visit the neighboring Contemporary Museum as I’d pass it was on the back to the Light Rail. It’s a small museum, but I always find it vaguely inspiring to walk through if only in an “I can do that” kind of way. After two minutes in their gallery, I left utterly convinced that I chose the wrong major.

The train arrived at the station less than 3 minutes after I did, and I rode it up to Mt Royal station as they have a Starbucks that I sit and write at. I ordered my drink and went to one of the tables outside where I remembered there was an art show going on at the Student Center.

It was called “Hollow Men” and it was a collection of paintings hung in the hallway between the auditorium and the ballrooms. I liked the diversity of style and subject matter as well as the fact that none of the staff members that passed me said anything
about me drinking a frozen coffee in the middle of an art gallery.

I arrived back at the apartment shortly after 2pm and started writing my reviews.

Finally, I grew tired of staring at a blank screen and pulled my newspaper out again. There had to be something going on in this city, and there was – the opening of a play at that little theatre across from Centerstage.

Truthfully, theatre isn’t exactly at the top of my to-do list this summer, but it gave me an excuse not to cook dinner. The fact
that the show wasn’t as good as I had hoped is almost beside the point.

I got back shortly after 11pm, and began the processof venting my mixed feelings about the show I’d just seen. I knew that I’d eventually have to start writing those art stories, but I was tired and figured I’d work
on them in the morning.

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Categories: art, Baltimore Guardian, entertainment, theatre, writing | 1 Comment

Baltimore Pride Parade and Festival

I left the apartment shortly after 3pm and hurried down the hill so as not to be late for the start of the High Heel Race signifies the official opening of Baltimore Pride. The race was slated to begin at 3:30, but they weren’t even close to starting at that time (a development I should have expected).

The real bummer was that they changed it “due to cir-cum-stances beyond our control” they changed it from a “high heel race” to a “flip-flop race.” Yes, flip-flops are hard to run in, but the point of the race is a) that heels are even harder to run in and b) embarrass
the straight guys by making them wear women’s shoes. Even worse, the contestants had to provide their own flip-flops.

The parade started around 4:07pm. Sure, I could describe the cars, floats and assorted scantily clad marchers… but why bother? A parade is a parade, and this one was no different – after the 3rd or 4th car with an ugly drag queen hanging out of it, they all started to melt together.

Around 5pm, I staggered off to get something to eat with my feet, legs and bum asleep. The food there was the same overpriced fare you get at any street fair, and their quality definitely hasn’t improved over the years. I left as soon as I finished my overcooked kabob, and decided to stop and get something more substantial to eat on my way back to my apt.

The next day was more laid back. I didn’t have nearly as many events to attend, which meant I could stay at the Pride Festival as long as I wanted…or as long as the weather held out.

I arrived just after noon, and headed straight to the food alley where I purchased the most bland, tasteless and overcooked sandwich I’ve ever had. I then walked around the various other booths along the lake until arriving back at the food stands where I bought a doughy, slightly undercooked funnel cake.

I got up to throw out the other half of my funnel cake when I noticed it was starting to rain so I unpacked my umbrella and made my way towards the exit (surprisingly enough, people were still coming into the festival despite the weather). By the time I returned to State Center, the rain was gone.

Categories: Baltimore, festivals | Leave a comment

A very busy day – one bloggers attempt to see everything going on in Baltimore City on Father’s Day weekend in one day

10:06am– left apt

10:34am– arrive at Inner Harbor, I see they are having some of event (a nearby signidentifies it as “Baltimore Sand”) behind the Amphitheater so I stop to look around.

It doesn’t take long as there is only one sculpture surrounded by 4 vacant sand pits. I ask the only sculptor if it the rain had washed out his competitors:

“No, the rain doesn’t effect it,” he said. “The festival hasn’t begun yet. It runs from noon to 4pm.”

10:53am
– arrive at “The Harbor East Summer Celebration”

The
festival didn’t start for another 6 minutes, but none of the 5 security guards
standing around the barricades at Aliceanna\President Streets bothered stopping
me.

Not that it mattered as you could see the entire event – all nine booths of it – from behind said barricades. There was also a
small stage at Aliceanna\Central Avenue, but the bands hadn’t started playing yet so I went and bought a smoothie at the Häagen Daz next to the movie theater.

11:58am– arrive at light rail station at UMBH just as the train does, and get to Woodberry station seventeen minutes later.

I then spend the next ten minutes wandering around Hampden in the heat before finally
coming across the street the newly rechristened “Baltimore Free Market” was on
(it’s been held in a variety of locations since their storefront
closed late last year). I love the new name, it signifies their aim at
provide a more “upscale” handout.

12:49pm – I was not prepared for a line like this…and neither was the older woman who arrived in a MTA Mobility van: “Is this the line for that ‘Free Store’ thing. Crap, I can’t stand,” she didn’t have a choice as the van pulled out as soon as she alighted.

1:19pm – this line officially does not move, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. The teenagers in front of me are talking about
indie music, the woman is front of them is abusing her young kids, and there is absolutely zero shade here.

1:29pm –I have been standing in the sun for exactly one hour, and am seriously considering get out of it. I have a schedule to keep… but I can (sort of) see the entrance now. Besides, a man just pulled up trying to donate a cage full of live
chickens.

1:51pm – they finally let me into the store! It’s a lot smaller than it looks on the outside and the disorganized mob of stuff is nearly impossible to sort through -especially through with all the young kids running around underfoot. So much for that whole “upscale boutique” they were aiming for. :-/

1:53pm -One hour and 22 minutes in line and I left the store empty-handed after less than 2 minutes.

1:56pm –arrive back at light rail station. Onward…even if I have to shave an event (or two) off my schedule.

Categories: adventures, attractions, Baltimore, festivals | Leave a comment

a very busy weekend

Saturday, June 18

Setting Sail: Drawings of the Sea from The Walter’s Collection

The Walters Art Museum, 600 N Charles St, Baltimore,
June 18- September 11, 2011

Baltimore Pride Parade\High Heel Race with Pride Block Party

Charles\Eager St in Baltimore. 3:30 High Heel Race,
4pm parade, Block Party 6-10pm

Harbor East Summer Celebration

Harbor East, Baltimore, live music\drinks 11am-7pm

OWL CITY w/ Mat Kearney, Unwed Sailor

Pier Six Pavilion, 5:30pm, $25 – General Admission

Baltimore Free\Farmer’s Market
Baltimore Free Farm’s Ash Street Warehouse

3510 Ash Street, Baltimore, donate from 10am – 12pm, shop from 12pm – 3pm

 

Sunday, June 19

Baltimore Pride Festival

Druid Hill Park, 11am-6pm with music, entertainment
and drinks\food

Cat Adoption Drive – sponsored by Md. Feline RescueAssociation

Petco Stores, 10383 Reisterstown Rd, Owings Mills, Md

Abducting Diana

Vagabond Theatre, Fell’s Point, 2pm – $15

Father’s Day

Categories: art, Baltimore, entertainment, festivals, holidays, theatre | Leave a comment

Federal Hill Wine & Jazz Festival

I was planning to go to the Federal Hill Blues, Jazz & Wine Festival just for some photos (as I like to document my life in Baltimore), but I couldn’t find my camera. I tore my apartment up twice before finally deciding to go without it and, looking up at the grey skies, I realized… I forgot my umbrella too.

I arrived at the festival at 1:22pm, and made my way through the half-vacant, semi-organized “wine alley” en-route to the actual art and – more importantly – food sections of the festival.

Boy was I disappointed. It had food and beer, but it was only 3 blocks long. I bought a “Texas Tator” meal ($7) one of the one of the booths, and then realized that I had no place to sit down to eat it. I also bought a fruit smoothie and I barely finished it (I wasn’t about to waste $5 I spent on it). That was all I bought food wise, and I was quite proud of myself for it.

I left at 2:18pm. It was three blocks long, I’d already eaten, and I had no photos to take so…

I exited the festival, but didn’t really feel like waiting around for the circulator…which meant it passed me less than a block into my trip. Now, I definitely wasn’t waiting around for it. I also wasn’t interested in having what the homeless guy who stopped me in front of the liquor store translated. I’m a rotten person… but not nearly as much as the man preaching on the subway about how “the Jewish army has infiltrated our city.”

It was after the train arrived and I had gotten aboard that I witnessed the saddest –yet most hopeful – thing I’d seen that day. A man with the most flattened, contorted face boarded and sat on the bench across from me with his bag. He didn’t say anything; he just sat there smiling to himself and anybody who dared look at him. I almost wish the preacher dude had seen him, but he seemed contented enough just to head home with his bag, oblivious to the rest of the world.

In the end, the camera didn’t matter as I could always take pictures at next year’s event. What mattered was: I there (at the festival), I saw it, I experienced it and looking into that man’s face at the end of the day I realized that I had nothing to complain about either.

Categories: Baltimore, Federal Hill, festivals, neighborhoods | 1 Comment

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