Monthly Archives: April 2012

Aisle Day Pass

I arrived at Mt Royal station at 11:55am, and approached the ticket machine with my CharmCard. However, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to get a simple one way pass or a full day pass. The former would mean fighting through the crowd of homeless people milling around the machines at Baltimore Street (who know darn well if you put $2 in the machine, you get 35-cents back and will thus mob you when you turn around); the latter means I would have a ticket for 30 minutes and the rest of it would be wasted.

I decide on the one way, but change my mind about mid-way through. As I was cancelling the transaction, I thought I heard someone behind me until I finally I caught “I’M TALKING TO YOU, DAMNIT!”

I turn around startled. “WHAT THE F-“ the small, thin African-American woman said sharply. She then took a deep breath and slowly unclenched her fist before continuing. “You have a pass? A day pass,” but before I could answer she hands the green paper card to me. “I don’t need it anymore,” she said.

“Thank you,” I said.

“You’re welcome,” she said curtly. You may have noticed, but I have a gift for ruining feel good moments.

About two minutes after stepping onto the concrete platform, the train arrives. I alight at Baltimore Street, and make my through the homeless masses, under the breezeway, around the construction area and down the steps into the gallery.

They were showing a collection of glossy, black\white photographs of New Yorkers being New Yorkers. The only thing differentiating it from other photography exhibits was that these were shot entirely on a mobile phone. Even the guy sitting at the counter called it “somewhat lazy.”

Less then ten minutes after getting off the southbound train, I was already on board the train back to UB\Mt Royal. That’s why I like covering art: theatre takes a full evening of my time, art takes a couple minutes on a Thursday afternoon.

I spent the next three hours writing furiously as if on some imaginary deadline. Finally, I pull the little green card out of my left pocket, and decided that I wasn’t going to waste it.

I was surprised when the northbound train pulled into the station less then two minutes after I stepped onto the platform. I was even more surprised when I heard the operator say that his destination was only “Timonium Fairgrounds.”

I got off at the next stop, which just happened to be Lutherville (the station immediately south of the fairgrounds). This was good because I tend to get “train sick” between Falls Road and Lutherville so getting off there would give me a chance to get myself settled again. It also let me see if there was a new tenant in the Borders space – there is: it’s now a golf store.

I spent ten minutes walking around the mall before heading back to the train. I wasn’t completely recovered, but I figured the worst had probably past. After a few minutes on the platform, a northbound train arrived – this one going to Hunt Valley.

I got off the train at 4:42 and immediately made my way to the soon-to-be-closed Best Buy on the far end of the mall. As expected, the place was in a bit of shambles with larger merchandise on the floor and smaller items shoved into whatever shelf space was left.

I picked up two games (one of the “non-discounted” categories) and made my way over to Gamestop to trade in my version of Pokémon Pearl. I got about $6.50 or five dollars more than I usually get for trade-ins there. J

It was shortly after 5pm when I entered the Outback Steakhouse on the western edge of the vast tundra known as Wegman’s parking lot. The food wasn’t great, but at least I got a nominal discount for sending it back.

I left the resturaunt at 6:30 and tried to treat myself to an ice cream cone at Carvel. I then made my way back to the light rail. We pulled into Woodberry station 30 minutes later, and the only passenger to get on was a fare inspector. He started at the driver’s end, but eventually made his way back to me. He takes the small green card from my hand, flips it over and hands it back to me.

It had now fulfilled its purpose, and was now in effect useless again. Well, maybe not, I told myself. Maybe I can give it to someone at the UB station, but when I got off the train, there was nobody there…

Categories: adventures, art, light rail, retail | Leave a comment

UM News: Getting Organized

A student group for doodling just started on the University of Miami campus after receiving a $500 grant from GOOD magazine.

Conversely, the university’s gay student group, SpectrUM, is celebrating 20 years of campus pride.

Back in 2002, I tried joining an upstart group known as “Canes for Cancer.” That group no longer exists, but a group of students recently took part in a Wendy Walk in Miami (others were held in LA and NYC) to support a cancer research lab in Oslo, Norway.

Of course, if you’re anti-social or just need a place to “study,” the paper just ruined two previously unknown sites on campus. On the other hand, there is a new graduate study area in the Richter Library…if it’s not too crowded.

Categories: South Florida, UM news | Leave a comment

Easter Art Hunt

I wanted to leave around 10am, but nothing on my itinerary was open until about 12pm so I left then.

I arrived at Hampden at exactly 12:31pm, and made my way over to the “new” Café Hon. The hostess shows me to a small table shoved between two occupied tables. I take one look at the “improved” menu, gave it back to the waitress and left the restaurant.

I walked a block east on 36th Street to Holy Frijotos, and the one server gave me a menu and took me to a table in the “carry-out” section. Ten minutes a second server appeared and asked if I wanted something to drink. Despite hearing them repeat the phrase “no more then 15 minutes” to their phone customers, it took them over 45 minutes to bring me my grilled chicken sandwich. It took another ten minutes for the original server to toss the check at my table.

Fed up with waiting, I took my check to the bar. The bartender glared at me. “You pay your server,” he said curtly.

“That could take another hour, and I’m kinda on a schedule here.”

“Hey, Mikey, come over here and take this dumbass’ check, so he’ll leave me the fuck alone.”

Server 2 reluctantly stops fucking around with server 1 at the other end of the bar to take my money, and comes back several agonizingly long minutes later with my change (all in $1s, as if I was going to a strip club afterwards). I didn’t bother counting out a tip for nonexistent service.

I left the restaurant, made my way east one block, crossed the street and found at the entrance to Minas Gallery…I found it to be closed. I turned around, and headed back to the light rail station.

I disembarked at Lexington Market at 2:20pm after realizing I had missed my stop. I was heading over to E.M.P Collective to see “Lifetime Subscription” before Friday’s closing. I walked up Howard Street and turned left onto Franklin Street, but couldn’t find the exact storefront. I walked around for several minutes trying to find it before giving up, and heading back to the light rail.

(For the record: E.M.P is located at the Baltimore Street Station, which was just as well since it wasn’t open on Tuesdays anyway.)

I was sitting in the Barnes & Noble café when I remembered that “Art at Top” show in the World Trade Center building less than 200 yards away from my balcony seat. If you’ve read this blog, you know I’m an advocate of “backyard tourism.” The problem is: a show like that, while nice on paper, would detract from the supposed main attraction of the site – the view. Even if it was cloudy, who would pay attention to the paintings anyway?

Cool, I just saved enough to pay for this coffee. 🙂

UPDATE: I was able to get back to Minas Gallery earlier this week. The review of “Time\Space\Manner” is now posted on my other blog. (4/11/12)

Categories: art, Baltimore, Hampden, light rail | 2 Comments

UM News: Truly an International College

A University of Miami professor has been chosen to lead a GEOTRACES mission to Arctic Ocean in order to help determine the effects of Global Warming. He and his team will begin taking samples from the Artic Ocean starting sometime in 2015.

Meanwhile, another professor won a $6,000 grant to study how objects impacted the French Revolution. She will use the money to research on location in Paris for two months.

Indian Student Association & Hindu Student Council hosted The Festival of Colors over the weekend, turning the campus green into a mess of other colors in honor of the Indian Holi day.

While Baltimore has elephants, Miami has gone to the bears as the Renaissance Faire moves into town.

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Announcement: NEW blog

I just finished creating my new entertainment blog. It’s called “Aisle Pass,” and it’s where I plan on posting all my art, movie and theatre reviews for the foreseeable future. But don’t worry, I plan on keeping this site up to date as well. Servus.

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