Interesting Sights From Northeast Baltimore(Spoiler Alert! There Will Be Wall Art)

I had lunch today at the Broadway Market and I always drive North on Broadway when I make my way home because it is just so interesting to see how Baltimore is developing in some areas and how there is still a lot of work to be done to improve our city in others. I love this city so much and I just can’t stop discovering it.

Well here is the awesome lunch I discovered; Bibimbop at Lucia Joanns in Broadway Market.  They serve normal diner fare AND Korean food.  AWESOME! Photo, please!

ImageStir fried veggies, beef, rice topped off with egg and srihacha sauce. Yum. You can get it without meat and egg for a vegan treat.

Afterwards, traveling North on Broadway, I took time to take a photo of one of my favorite pieces of urban art that I have been meaning to document here in this blog.  Finally, here it is.  Image

You may notice that in the left of the shot is a huge Scan thingy with the address of the vacant property.  I wonder if this is part of the Wall Hunters film project/social movement, ‘ya know as a way to ID the buildings.  I’ve seen these on other buildings with art on them so who knows?

As I headed farther up on Broadway I found this out of the way bar near Hoffman and Gay streets.      Image

It’s padlocked, I guess because it’s the middle of the day.  Maybe it is just closed for good, but admittedly, if it is shut for good, the immediate area around it is oddly clean.  The sign says, ‘Connie Torain’s Hideaway-Your Home Away From Home’.  Oh that Connie!

Now I only found Connie’s because I was turning around to take a photo of this Amtrak mural that oddly enough is visible from the Amtrak train tracks that run through Northeast Baltimore on their way to Penn Station.  I love the art but I wonder what the thinking was on that commissioning; “Hey, we need a mural of an Amtrak train to remind the people on Amtrak trains that they are on an Amtrak train!”  Here’s the mural.Image

Till next time, hons!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Sing along with the Bird!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Baltimore Boy’s Random Photos to See if WordPress Advice Works.

Last blog, I complained about how, once again, WordPress has felt the need to screw with a good thing, therefore, making the site harder to use.  I actually sent an inquisition to WordPress and a response was sent to my gmail.  As per usual, when I do stuff like that, the answers I get are for nerds, which is silly because why would a nerd need to ask a computery question??!

So here are 3 photos that are acting as a design guinea pig thingy.

At least the first photo is of one of my favorite subjects, Baltimore Graffiti.  This odd scrawling appears on the Bank of America ATM at the Northwood shopping center in Northeast Baltimore.

I like how its circled for emphasis.

I like how its circled for emphasis.

Now is the writer, tagging the ATM?  Is he maybe, BUMBA RED?  or is he a cheeky British sort who is hoping that his BUM is BARED? Crazy guy!

Dig this, recently, my Chef and I were reviewing our dress code/health code rules for our employees and in an email that he wrote concerning this matter, he typed, “All team members are required to wear a clean hat or banana to restrain their hair.  Yep, he meant to type, ‘Bandana’. But I wanted to let him know that even when he isn’t there, his trusted Regional Manager, (me) was ready to work!7.13bananahead

Now let’s finish with the greatest photo of all-My Beautiful Girls.

Look at those eyes!

Look at those eyes!

Looks like I figured out this thing, again….WordPress, please stop changing things!!



Posted in baltimore, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Carberry, cats, grafitti, life, style | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

My Baltimore Books

I am consistently threatening to do a whole bunch of blogs about every book I have that is Baltimore-themed. Much to my chagrin, I have failed to follow through on this.

Other than flea markets, Normal’s Books&Records in Waverly is probably the best place to buy the greatest variety of Charm City books. Let’s give them a visual plug, shall we?


Before I go any further, it seems that WordPress has seen fit to change the format and method of uploading images so I hope that this isn’t a wasted effort.  Let’s soldier on.

On my last visit to Normal’s I found this book, “The Buried Rose” by a Baltimore native named Sidney L. Nyburg. I am now going to try to upload another image.

It’s a collection of nearly-novella length stories that report on the problems of fairly well-to-do Baltimoreans around the time of the War of 1812.  The book was published by Knopf in 1932 and the copy I bought is a fourth printing from 1948, so there was a definite appeal to this book for many readers. Nyburg’s style is a little wordy and I’m guessing he wrote it with elongated, dramatic flourishes in hopes of mirroring the speech styles of the time depicted.  I did a search for Sidney Nyburg and found that he lived from 1880 to 1958 and that he was a lawyer that also happened to be a five-time novelist.  His most well-known work is titled, “The Chosen Ones” and is his only work that concerns itself with the experiences of the Jewish population of Baltimore.

But the real reason I’m writing this blog about this book is all due to the bookmark I found in it.  The bookmark is a very simple business card sized page holder.  Since I have no idea if the photo I took of it will actually attach to this blog, I will let you know that in the upper left corner of the card it says in iconic script, ‘HUTZLER’S Baltimore’.  In the center of the card, is the simple inscription, “Best Wishes, Peg”

Was Peg a gift-giver of this book? Was Peg an employee of Baltimore landmark department store, Hutzler’s?  That’s what my guess is, anyway.

I think it’s just the coolest thing.  This tiny glimpse of 1940’s Baltimore.

Posted in 1940's, baltimore, baltimore history, life, literature, maryland history, md, media, Shopping, Sidney L. Nyburg, society, The Buried Rose, Used Books, War of 1812 | Leave a comment

The Best Band in Baltimore That Doesn’t Exist!

If you’ve read this blog before, and really, how can you resist, you know that I enjoy graffiti.  Not all graffiti.  It has to be on something that someone doesn’t love, own, care about, etc.

I’m also a fan of what I call, Cementiti.  Cementiti is when someone draws in wet cement. We’ve all seen it and sure, a lot of it is stupid and uncalled for, but I find it interesting for some reason.

Anyway, I like to run and sometimes I run past the VA hospital complex on Loch Raven Blvd. and about 50 feet south of the bus shelter is this bit of Cementiti.


That’s right! It says, “HER BLACK OATMEAL”  What the HELL does that mean??!  I mean, it could be an advertisement for, “HERB LACK OATMEAL”, but…c’mon. Maybe, one of you delightful readers can give me an idea of what it might mean?  Maybe it’s a cipher?! A lazy cipher, but a cipher nonetheless!!

So of course in my mind it immediately became the name of the imaginary band that I’m in.  I know it’s no Toynbee Tile, but what the hell, I think it’s awesome!  Oh, and sorry that my big hand shadow is in the way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Wonder if The Owners of This Chinese Food Carry-out are Fans of “Volunteers”, Like me?!

I have been living near the Alameda Shopping Center for two years now, and I drive past it twice a day, five days a week so that means I get to giggle to myself every stinking time I see this sign;ImageYup, Chung Mee, just like the Cambodian Drug Lord in the movie, “Volunteers”, starring Tom Hanks and John Candy.  That’s right…this guy!

Image“Volunteers” is one of my favorite movies that I haven’t seen in a long time.  It came out in the 80’s and I can’t recall how it was critically received or how it did at the box office but my buddies and me, we thought it was great!  My brother, Sean loves it, too.  It’s probably my favorite Tom Hanks movie and it is DEFINITELY my favorite John Candy film.  Here’s the poster.Image“Volunteers” is wonderfully quotable and it’s the movie that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson met on, so there is a bit of trivia for you.  Remember the guy that played, ‘Dong’ in John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles”? That’s right, Gedde Watanabe.  Well he’s in it too!  He definitely has some of the best dialogue.

Anyway, I see this sign everyday and it makes me happy, because I love this movie.  Maybe I should stop by and get some dinner sometime? 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THRUSHES@Metro Gallery This Friday May 23rd!!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why, oh, Why is Rick Moranis’ Photo Hanging at Costas’ Inn??

I’ve been enjoying meals at Baltimore’s Costas’ Inn for a few years now.  It really is a bit of an oasis on North Point Blvd as that thoroughfare is sparsely populated.  By that I mean, there are a couple strip joints on the way to the Historic Battle of Northpoint area.  The food is consistently better than typical diner fare.  They get their hands on some good-sized crabs and they also do some real yummy blackened sea-scallops.The walls are covered in Horse racing memorabilia and the obligatory Orioles heroes type of stuff but in the vestibule they have a bunch of celebrity photos, all of which are autographed.  Some of the photos are glamour shot types but some of them show said celebrities actually in Costas’. They’ve got Oscar Winner and Baltimore native, Barry Levinson, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb(Kathie Lee LOVES their crabcakes!)  Most striking is the photo of Rick Moranis.  In the photo, he is smiling and posing with the staff.  The pic has got to be from at least 20 years ago.

This photo is striking, to me at least , because I cannot imagine why in the world Rick Moranis is at Costas’ Inn?!? Also, I tended bar at a restaurant in New York City in the 90’s and Rick ordered food to go from me, often.  So I got to wait on a guy that I kinda idolized during my teen years. My brother, Sean and I watched SCTV religiously. So I found it kind of weird that for as funny and creative as Rick is, I never saw the guy smile.  He did brighten up a bit when I would turn on a hockey game. What a zany Canadian!

I totally get that celebrities don’t have to be “on” all the time.  I’m a former professional comedian and I certainly don’t ‘feel’ funny all the time.  So no hard feelings toward Rick at all.

But I am still dying to know how and why he ended up at Costas’ Inn.  Maybe he heard that the crab cakes were amazing and he just had to make a trip down from NYC and that, above all, made the normally dour Rick Moranis….happy.

Rick Moranis at Costas Inn, Baltimore, MD

Rick Moranis at Costas Inn, Baltimore, MD


Posted in baltimore, Baltimore restaurants, baseball memorabilia, horse racing, life, TV history, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brooke Johnson’s One Woman Show at the Creative Alliance!

You can ask her about surviving cancer OR about the astronomical amount of residuals she gets from the TV show, ‘Hope&Faith’  or was it Faith&Hope? Either way, get your buns to the Creative Alliance at the Patterson on May 17th and if your lucky, she might just cut you with that chainsaw!!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Monty! Lake Montebello’s Sea Monster

ImageOkay.  This actually isn’t Monty, but he is a cutie, right?!  Anna and I have been marveling at the amount of Turtle-action there is at Lake Montebello.  I have been running around this Baltimore landmark for years and had never seen turtles before.  Geese, Ducks, Seagulls, that kind of stuff, but no Maryland Terrapins as it were.  Last month, during the first warmer days of the Spring, Anna and I went to the lake and saw nine different turtles sunning themselves on rocks.

A couple of weeks ago I saw turtles again, so today, when we went there for a run, I actually took my phone so that I could take a pic if we saw some of these zany creatures.  As soon as we got there we saw one! Great! I just grabbed the phone, took this shot, put the phone back in the car and we began our trot.  About a quarter of the way around, we two more.  While enjoying these two, I saw a dark shadow moving under the jade colored water.  I watched it for a bit and pointed it out to Anna and then this big Ol’ Turtle pops its’ big Ol’ head out of the water.  It was probably 2 feet long and about a foot wide and where all the turtles we’ve been seeing have squarish mustard colored designs on their shells, this one was decidedly solid dark green or black.  He was not only bigger, he was just different looking…kinda menacing. 

He dove back down and swam a bit and then resurfaced.  He did this two more times and we were just fascinated.  We were stopping families and making them look.  We are full-on turtle geeks.  So i named him, Monty, the Monster of Lake Montebello!

Of course, this means I’m going to have to go to the Lake for the sole purpose of looking for him so I can take some photos of him.  Eat your heart out, Nessie!Image

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Favorite new Baltimore Overheard! It Might be Mobtown Shank Worthy!

Here is a potential overheard for the Mobtown Shank and Atomic Books.

ImageI was running today.  I was heading east on Loch Raven Boulevard and made a left on Belvedere Avenue.  Soon after, I found myself coming up behind a young lady, probably high school age, talking on her cell.  As I get closer I heard her ask of the person on the other end, “Remember when I went to the bathroom this morning?  It was SWOLLEN!”  I ran by her as she was saying swollen. It took all I had to not break out laughing.

I love Baltimore!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments