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!

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My New Obsession: ‘In The Spirit’ Green Space in West Baltimore

After treating myself to an awesome Just Juice It juice from the Upton Avenue Market I was heading toward SoWeBo via Fulton Avenue and I stumbled upon this unique green space that I am assuming is a children’s park or memorial in a vacant lot on Lauretta Avenue(or is it street?)InTheSpiritGateway1in West Baltimore.

What isn’t unique is that like more than a couple of these parks, it has become overgrown and kind of forgotten.  I have a thing for taking trash bags to different locations and picking up trash and I can guarantee you that i will adopt this space. At the top of the center, squared arch,is this iron sign: inTheSpiritsignIt’s a little difficult to see but it says, ‘In The Spirit’.  What I’m not sure of is, in the spirit of what?  This garden takes up a lot that probably had 3 houses on it at one time and there is more to it. Lemme show you the other stuff. intheSpiritIronworkThis is some more iron work that is in the “windows” of the facade. This appears to be an angel.

InThespiritFenceOnce past the brick and iron work, there is this long fence that is overgrown with ivy but some text is visible, let’s get close up on the words.inTheSpiritBlueAs you can see, the text is obscured by ivy, but the words, True, News, Murdered, Live and Young Person are legible. Next to it is this mural on the side of the house that is still there.InTheSpiritmuralAs you can see, the mural is overgrown, too.  I am now officially fascinated by this park or memorial.  I did a search of the Baltimore Sun’s archives but couldn’t find anything solid on this particular location. I did find an article about something similar written by Susan Shapiro but nothing about this.

In the coming weeks, when I have a spare few moments, I’m gonna go back over there and try to uncover the words on that fence. I will let you know what I find

Posted in art, baltimore, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Baltimore Sun, Greenspaces, Memorial Gardens, Public Art, Sandtown-Winchester, West Baltimore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank You, Nova, MPT, NASA & The Hubble Telescope! #InvisibleUniverseRevealed


After a long day of work I was fortunate to stumble upon Maryland Public Televisions’ airing of a Nova episode called “Invisible Universe Revealed”. It’s all about the development and difficulty of creating the Hubble Telescope.  It goes into great detail about how flawed the Hubble was when it was first lifted into orbit.  The program went into fascinating detail about how NASA was able to train astronauts for 20 months to fly to Hubble to fix it.  Simply amazing!

After they go through these fascinating details, the NASA scientists go into all of the discoveries that Hubble has provided us with. Hubble had been able to prove theories, verify the existence of black holes, lead to the realization that the Universe is full of Dark Matter, by they way, even these physicists can’t exactly explain what Dark Matter is, And the thing that actually brought a tear to my eye is that they were able to determine approximately how many stars are in the Universe.

One of the NASA smarty pants guys( I think it was one of the Johns Hopkins Hubble guys, go Baltimore!) explained that they pointed Hubble on a very dark area of the Universe; an area seemingly free of a lot of stars and other pretty space stuff.  He went on to explain that the area concentrated on by Hubble is the equivalent of you or I looking into the night sky through a drinking straw. Hubble was able to peer into this straw hole and find millions and millions of stars and unless I’m crazy, thousands of GALAXIES!! Are you kidding me??!?

Anyway, many people, myself included, have been presented with information as mind-boggling and awesome as this and have said something to the effect of, “the Universe is so big, we humans are so insignificant, so small” etc.  But this time, I realized that we Humans ARE significant. We are incredibly unique. perversely flawed but unique.

If there was just some way that all people, everywhere could just grasp our Human exceptionalism, would we need to harm each other and ourselves as horribly as we do? Would we be so careless and cavalier?


Posted in A. Aubrey Bodine, baltimore, Hubble telescope, Invisible Universe Revealed, Johns Hopkins, life, NASA, NOVA, PBS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baltimore Boy Likes it Bazaar(yes i know the proper usage is ‘bizarre’)

I ventured to Hampden this past Monday and stumbled across a cool place that I had read about and was hoping to check out. Here’s their business card.BazaarBusinesscardYup, Bazaar Curiosities and Oddities on Chestnut Avenue.  If you liked the now-defunct Dime Museum on Maryland Avenue and if you are the sort of person that travels to Philadelphia just to visit the Mutter Museum, then you will enjoy this quaint little shop of creepy things.  Admittedly, if taxidermy gives you the willies, you should probably avoid Bazaar but if you want to buy photos of diseased genitalia, then RUN, don’t walk to Bazaar!

I did not purchase any of the aforementioned, nasty…um…nasty bits but I found an old Ouija board.  I’ve always wanted one. I don’t want to conjure up Houdini’s dear, deceased mother; rather, I want one because the Ouija Board as we know it, was invented in Baltimore by a man named Elijah Bond..

I could have picked one in pretty decent shape as there were a few to choose from, but I picked the board that had packaging in a state of disrepair, but I bought it because the artwork on it was spooky good.  Dig it!

BazaarOuijaArtwork   I’m also fascinated by really old photos of people I don’t know.  I just start trying to imagine their story and I like trying to figure out where in the world they are posing and all that stuff. Anyway, Bazaar had a whole collection of those kind of photos, too. Check out these nattily attired Bonnie&Clyde wannabes:BazaarBonnie&clyde  And you just have to love this fashionable and appropriately aloof young lady from back in the day- Doesn’t she look amazing?!  The fellow behind the counter at Bazaar quipped that I could use the Ouija board to contact the people in the photos.  Oh, how droll!

What or whom is she looking at??

What or whom is she looking at??

If i did use the board, I can guarantee that it wouldn’t quite look like thisBazaarbackofOuijaI mean, check out these nice, clean-cut white kids as they conjure otherworldly dark forces. It better not be a school night, you two!greenmountOuijaGraveAnd from one of my earlier blogs about Baltimore’s Greenmount Cemetery, here is Elijah Bond’s grave.This is just proof that Bazaar is right at home in Baltimore.

Posted in art, art history, baltimore, baltimore history, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Board Games, Greenmount Cemetery, Hampden, Parker Bros, William Fuld | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Baltimore Books: Ukazoo Books’ Local Interest Section.

I will not say that Ukazoo’s Baltimore/Maryland section is better than NORML’s but today I finally found a long-desired hardcover edition of ‘Homicide’ by David Simon.


I have only seen one other copy in hardcover and my friends,  Mike and Liz own it and I have coveted it for years as I read and reread my tattered paperback versions of this truly remarkable book that began the whole David Simon empire.

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How Do You Know It’s Winter in Baltimore?

This is how.

Dig your car out after a big snow and find the tell-tale sign that you live in Baltimore.winterinbaltimorePeople LOVE smoking Newports!

Posted in baltimore, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Carberry, Humor, newports, smoking, Snowstorm, Winter Weather | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Martin Short’s Baltimore Money Shot

Martin Short’s Baltimore Money Shot.

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Martin Short’s Baltimore Money Shot

I’ve been a fan of Martin Shorts’ since his SCTV days.  Like all of his SCTV compadres, he fearlessly created characters that were off-kilter and potentially only funny to a select few people.  Count me as one of those.  Because of this, I was eager to read his autobiography, “I Must Say”.

It is a good read and of course, there isn’t a darn thing Baltimore-y about it, as Martin Short is very Canadian.  But as the book was ending, he relates a story about staying in a luxury hotel here in Baltimore and some hijinx he found himself in. Here’s photo of the book:MartinShort

Anyway, he apparently, in an effort to liberate his morning paper from the vestibule of his hotel suite, managed to lock himself out of his hotel room. Yes, he was naked.  He spies a courtesy phone down the hall.  He grabs the newspaper to cover his adorable Canadian genitals and starts down the hallway.  Fortuitously, he notices a housekeeping cart and offers a hello to the maid working that room.  The maid comes out, takes a gander at Martins’ glorious nudity and says, “Oh, Mr. Short. You have made my day!  She even circled around him to get the full view. I just think this is great and more proof that Baltimore is the center of the Universe.  What would Ed Grimley, say?

That Maid in Baltimore got a real good look at my niblets, I must say!

That Maid in Baltimore got a real good look at my niblets, I must say!

Posted in actors, Autobiography, baltimore, Book Reviews, Books, Canada, Harper Collins Publishers, Hotels, Humor, literature, Martin Short, Memoir, SCTV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Baltimore Books, John Steadman’s ‘Football’s Miracle Men”

This post is long overdue.  For years, there was a book that was missing from my ‘Baltimore Books’ collection.  Missing, due to my own stupidity.

When I was boy, my Uncle Kelly gave me his copy of “Football’s Miracle Men, the Baltimore Colts’ Story”. It was written by the dean of Baltimore Sportswriters, John Steadman.  Let’s take a look at old John.steadmanLike I said, it’s been missing from my collection.  I couldn’t be more ashamed that I managed to misplace it sometime in my late teens or early twenties.  But let me say this; I knew the book inside and out.  I had almost memorized all of the stories about the beginning of Baltimore’s beloved Colts.  I could name long-dead Colts executives like they were rock stars.  Oooohhh Don Kellet’s DREAMY!!! This book came out in 1959! The Colts had just won their first Championship in 1958 over the New York Giants in ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’! John Steadman was not the kind of guy to wait for the paint to dry!

A couple of years ago, Anna and I were walking down main street Ellicott City and in the one of the antique shops was the book!!  I recognized it immediately!  I of course, rushed in and thumbed through it and reminisced about what the book meant to me.  It was a little pricey at $60 and I didn’t buy it.

It wasn’t too much later that I guess I had a birthday or we were celebrating our Anniversary, that Anna presented me with a gift that I eagerly ripped the wrapping paper off of and my jaw dropped, it was the book! But it was even better.  It was in pristine condition to include the dust cover.  I never knew that it HAD a cover.  I’d only ever seen it in plain, blue hardcover.

Here it is: a_002Jeez, I have got to figure out how to get better at taking photos with my Smartphone.  Anyway, you save it to your computer and enlarge it. I spent an half hour trying to make it look better than that.  Here is the point, go ahead and ask me what my favorite football team is…g’head, g’head!!  Yes, I love the Ravens but I will always love the Baltimore Colts.  One of the reasons is that my Uncle Kelly gave me this book and even though I was without it for years, I’ve gotten it back, better than before.  Oh yeah! It’s better because I do have the dustcover for it and on the back of it, there are some quotes from famous people that had read the book.  One of those folks was none other than Bob Hope!

"Some of the things that happened to the Baltimore Colts are funnier than Bing Crosby's golf game..."

“Some of the things that happened to the Baltimore Colts are funnier than Bing Crosby’s golf game…”

That Hope was irrepressible! That’s the actual quote!  Anyway, Thanks to my wonderful wife for always finding me the perfect gift and thanks to my Uncle Kelly for giving me the perfect gift.

Posted in baltimore, baltimore colts, baltimore history, Baltimore Sun Newspaper, Bob Hope, Carberry, celebrities, literature, Maryland, NFL, sports, Sports reporting, Sports Writers, The Greatest Game Ever Played | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WMAR Channel 2 Baltimore Has Video of Hae Min Lee, Victim in NPR’s ‘Serial’ Podcast


So what do we know from the final episode of #Serial? Well, we know that the video that is in this blog post was filmed on January 12, 1999. The day before Hae Min Lee went missing. What are the odds that someone is the subject of a news feature the day before she is abducted? #Serialpodcast #Baltimore

Originally posted on baltimore boy:

What are the odds that any news service would have videotape of a high school girl, that is going to meet a horrible fate such as that suffered by Hae Min Lee.

Admittedly, someone at Channel 2 is on their game.

Ya’ know, the more I listen to all the people that were friends or classmates with Hae and Adnan, I keep being reminded of ‘Twin Peaks’

View original

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Baltimore Boy-Giving Tuesday-Earl’s Place and The Conscious Corner

There are still a few hours left in Giving Tuesday, and I didn’t want to let some very cool news slip by without me mentioning it.

I am the General Manager of Great Sage in Clarksville, MD. Great Sage is a Vegan restaurant and it is part of the businesses that make up, The Conscious Corner.  Included in that group of businesses is Roots Market, Bark, and Nest.  Very cool businesses that consistently strive to better our world.  Here’s the Roots Market Logo!Roots Market MDAnyway, one of the wonderful things that my employers offer is something called, 2% for the Planet.  2% for the Planet is a program in which employees of the Conscious Corner can choose to have 2% of the profit of their purchases in Roots Market, go to charitable organizations.  These organizations are nominated by and voted on by the employees.  After a couple of election cycles, the organization that I keep nominating has been voted to receive this money!!  My favorite charitable organization is Earl’s Place in Baltimore.  Here’s the link to their website,

Sheila Helgerson and her staff help men that have suffered under the oppression of addiction, lack of opportunity and homelessness, get clean, prepare to enter or reenter the workforce and find housing and self-sustainability.

I just want to let the world know just how cool it is that I work for people that promote this type of wonderfulness and I hope that maybe this inspires other business owners to do the same. This is also the reason I nominated Roots Market as one of the Baltimore area’s “Best Places To Work” in Baltimore Magazine. Here’s the Great Sage logo!  If you want to pick a charity to contribute to, Earl’s Place is a good one.  I recommend picking one that is in your community.

Come and get some delicious Vegan Food!

Posted in baltimore, Baltimore City Council, Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore restaurants, Giving Tuesday, Great Sage, Roots Market, Vegan Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment