Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bull Riding in Baltimore

Professional Bull Riding is on it's way to Baltimore.  The PBR tour stops in town for two shows (Feb 3rd and 4th at 8PM).  Tickets range anywhere from $12-147, so there are seats for everyone.  The show will include the toughest, most professional riders in the circuit.  That means it's a great chance to check it out if you've had an interest.  Check out the PBR page for more info, and click here to buy tickets to the event.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Reminder: Bromo Seltzer Tower Open this Saturday

The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower will be hosting it's monthly open house this Saturday, February 4th from 1-5PM.  Check out their site for more info, and our pictures for a glimpse of the clock from the inside.  As always, keep an eye on the local events calendar on the right side of the page for these kinds of events.

Edit:  Forgot to mention that this event is always FREE!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Polar Bear Plunge 2012 Pics and Video

With over $2.5 Million raised by almost 15,000 plungers, the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge was a huge success this year.  We've got some great pictures of the event along with a first-hand video of a plunge.  According to the Baltimore Sun, around 24,000 people took part in the event yesterday.  Click on the pictures for high resolution and check out the video at the bottom.  On to the event pictures!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Moving Right Along in Penn Station (Pictures)

A set of doors has been turned into an interesting exhibit in Penn Station.  The MICA designed "Moving Right Along" shows various cartoon characters making their way through the station.  It certainly catches your eye as you pass by, and adds to the station's already great ambiance.  If you're waiting for a train (especially attempting to entertain kids) take a walk over to check out the 5 minute show looped all day.  The exhibit will be up until February 16th.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

BNotes...the Baltimore Currency

Though you might not know it, the BNote (BN) is Baltimore's local currency.  There are almost 20,000 in circulation, and it's growing every month.  Why do we need or want a local currency?  Simply put, money stays in the community if the only place you can spend it is in the community.  Besides that, they just look cool.  Fredrick Douglas and and an oriole bird adorn the BN1 while Poe and a raven adorn the BN5.  The texture of the paper makes it feel sturdier than your run-of-the-mill US dollar, and the physical size of the BN is just larger than their US counterparts.

Over 130 retailers currently accept the currency, though most of those are limited to the northern parts of the city (mainly Hampden).  Now here's the great part...when you exchange $10 for BNotes, you get BN11in exchange.  Prices are the same in stores and restaurants, so it's like bringing a 10% off coupon with you!  It makes going to places like Woodberry Kitchen in Clipper Mill more affordable.  Check out this page for more info on the currency, and this page to find local businesses that accept BNotes.

To pick up BNotes, just stop by one of the 11 locations listed here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Papa Johns 50% off today

The Washington Capitals won 5-3 last night against the Boston Bruins.  Because they won and scored 4 goals, Papa Johns offers %50 off your entire online order (remember not to call the order).  To get this deal, just put in CAPS50 in the promotion code spot when you put your order in.  There's also another, seperate discount offered in 2012 of 10% off online orders by using promo code SS200 in honor of the Star Spangled 200.  Only one of the promo codes can be used at a time though.

So go get that lunch or dinner 50% off today:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baltimore Build, Remodel, and Landscape Expo

If you're looking at doing work on your home this year, the 14th annual Baltimore Build, Remodel, and Landscape Expo this weekend (Jan 27th-29th) is for you.  Hundreds of vendors will show off the latest trends in design and products.  It's a fantastic place to get some ideas for making your house look great.  Here's the official website for more information.

Baltimore Best for Hospital Care

According to a Survey by HealthGrades, the Baltimore Area has been ranked #1 in Hospital care in the country.  9 out of 16 of our area hospitals are ranked in the top 5% (remember, Hopkins is still #1 in the country for 21 years and counting).  It's great to know that if you need them, the hospitals around all of us are so good.

Here's the related Baltimore Sun Article.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orioles Fanfest Pictures

There's nothing quite like waking up to a snowy Baltimore cityscape.

After pulling out the warmest of our Orioles gear, it was time for Fanfest!  The Oriole Bird himself was there to greet fans and give high-fives to everyone (a rare treat given his busy schedule during the off-season).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Balti-Odd Event: Zombie Gras

Do you love Zombies?  Of course you do...so come be one in the second annual Zombie Gras pub crawl sponsored by Geppi's Entertainment Museum.  The event starts at 10AM on February 11th at Geppi's.  After paying your $10 at the door, you get to visit hair and makeup artists, art vendors, and see celebrity guests.  At 1PM you move onto the pub crawl starting at Pickles.  For the next 5 hours (if you last), you'll zombie-walk your way to the harbor and back with food and drink specials at every stop.  Oh, and there's also a scavenger hunt...I can only hope for zombie-related stuff.

Right now the event only seems to be on Facebook, but check back here for more info in the future.  As always, keep an eye on the local events calendar on the right hand side of the page for all events Baltimore!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

RIP Poe Toaster

For the third year in a row, the Poe toaster didn't show up to Edgar Allen Poe's grave and leave his usual gift of three red roses and a half-drunk bottle of cognac.  The tradition had been going on since 1949, but he's been a no-show since 2009.  Today Jeff Jerome, who runs the Poe House, announced the tradition officially dead. This simple mystery had become one of the great local legends...something every child who grew up around Baltimore was told.  I can remember wanting to wait outside the graveyard on January 19th, only to come to the realization that a city street corner was the last place my parents wanted their 10-year-old son stand through the night on.  Why January 19th?  It was simply Edgar Allen Poe's birthday (This year would be his 203rd).  It looks like the tradition, like Poe himself, is to be seen nevermore.

Baltimore Sun article about the end of the Poe Toaster.

Wikipedia article for more information on the Poe Toaster.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ravens Purple Friday Rally

Join cheerleaders, Poe the Mascot, the team band, and some Ravens alumni this Friday, January 20th at noon for a Ravens rally. The event will be held down at Harbor Place Gallery for about an hour and will include some giveaways...and of course some pre-game energy!  Go Ravens!

What's up this Weekend?

Lots of stuff going on in Baltimore, so go out and get involved:
And don't forget there's always the Ravens game on Sunday if nothing else catches your eye.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

AVAM Eco Conference

The American Visionary Arts Museum is hosting the 2012 State of Our Earth Eco Conference this Sunday, the 22nd.  Guest speakers from Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, Tibetan monks, Aquarium CEO John C. Racanelli, and many more.  Here's the link for more information.  Of course, that's only if you can pull yourself away from the boat show on the other side of town...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baltimore Ravens Win!

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for beating the Houston Texans 20-13.  Did you notice that the American flag flying above M&T stadium today was a 15 star, 15 stripe replica of the flag flown over Fort McHenry during the battle of Baltimore in 1814?

Now onto the AFC championship!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Papa Johns 50% tomorrow

The Washington Capitals won 4-3 tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Because they won and scored 4 goals, Papa Johns offers %50 off your entire online order (remember not to call the order) tomorrow, January 14th.  To get this deal, just put in CAPS50 in the promotion code spot when you put your order in.

So go get that lunch or dinner 50% off!

Under Armour Expansion

When Under Armour announced their plans to expand their campus in September (which they had bought for $58 Million in July) of last year, many neighbors expressed concern.  Those concerns seem to be (for the most part) dealt with.  It might be the $235,000 given to the Locust Point Neighborhood Association, or it could be simply the fact that the company has done a good job of listening to the area's concerns.  As the construction gets closer to beginning, we get our first glimpse of what it could look like in a rendering released a few days ago (pictured above).  The expansion would add some 400,000 square feet of space (double the current size of the facility) including a 20,000 square foot retail store.  The plans also call for a museum (fingers crossed for a wax figure of Kevin Plank), new garages, new office space, and employee housing. Will this rendering sell the idea to neighbors?  Let's take a closer look.

Winter Restaurant Week

From January 20th to the 29th, over 85 Baltimore restaurants will play host for the Winter Restaurant Week.  Three course dinners are at a fixed price of $30.12 or $20.12, and two course lunches are at $15.12 (not all places do lunch).  It's a fantastic way to save money while getting to try out some really special and interesting places around town.  One great idea they've incorporated is to actually provide the menus online for you to take a look at.  With that info you can make sure that there's something for everyone's taste when you reserve a table.  Get out there and try out some restaurants next week!  Don't forget to make a reservation though...some of the best places fill up fast.

Baltimore Winter Restaurant website with info and Menus

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Maryland Schools are #1 Again!

For the fourth straight year, Maryland schools are ranked #1 in the nation as reported by the Baltimore Sun.  Congratulations go out to our teachers and administrators that have worked diligently this year (often far beyond what they're paid for).  Now let's keep it up!

Polar Bear Plunge

If you love jumping into extremely cold water (or just like watching crazy people do it), show up at Sandy Point State Park on January 28th for the 16th annual Polar Bear Plunge benefiting the Special Olympics.  "Plungers", as they're called, need to sign up ahead of time here.  I warn you in advance...the Plunge website might be the worst one I've ever seen.  The event itself is fantastic though, with a small festival and local celebrities taking part as well.  To Plunge, register here and raise $50!

Here's the main site for more info.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baltimore Boat Show

The Baltimore Boat Show is on next week, January 19th-22nd.  If you've never been, it's an amazing and expansive indoor display of watercraft for only $10 a day (free for kids 15 and under).  If you buy tickets online before January 28th, tickets are only $8.

While checking out the boats is also fun (and doing some dreaming while looking at the pricey boats), there's more to see and do.  You can talk to an expert about boating in general, race the remote control boats, take part in the crab-picking contest, see a fishing demo, take the kids to the kids art area, and even see former Oriole Rick Krivda who will be appearing with the Oriole bird!

Here's the main site for more info.

If you were born after July 1st, 1972, you're required to get a boaters license to operate a boat or personal watercraft in MD waters.  You can do just that at the boat show by signing up ahead of time.  For the $75 fee you get to take the course at the boat show, materials, refreshments during breaks, three tickets to the show, and a $25 certificate for future classes at the Annapolis School of Seamanship.  If you decide to sign up for the class, it runs on Thursday and Friday nights from 5-9PM (so it doesn't dig into the work day too much...which is nice).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Orioles Become Yankees This Week 109 Years Ago

In case you weren't aware before, the New York Yankees history is built on the team that was stolen from Baltimore in this week of 1903.  Established in the 1890's, the Baltimore Orioles won 3 straight pennants and won 3 out of 4 Temple Cup Championship Series (World Series of the day), while participating in all 4.  Despite their dominance in the game, Baltimore was sacrificed to the city of New York by a money-hungry owner (can you tell I'm bitter?).  Just imagine the prestige and success the club could have achieved during the 51 years that we had no team at all in the city.  Imagine the history that could have been...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Parking Panda

A Baltimore start-up has come up with a great city parking solution.  Parking Panda crowd-sources parking by allowing individuals to list private parking space online for rent.  Think of how hard it is to find parking spaces around Ravens Stadium when it comes to game time...this way allows you to reserve your spot ahead of time at a price you are willing to pay.

Check out the official site here

National Pinball Museum Opens This Weekend

The National Pinball Museum officially opens doors this Saturday at 10AM.  Tickets, if bought here before Saturday are at reduced prices.  With tons of displays and games you can play yourself, the museum looks to bring a whole new experience to the Power Plant Live area (and all of Baltimore in general).  Make sure to stop by!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Orioles Fanfest tickets on sale

The tickets for the 2012 Orioles Fanfest on January 21st at the Baltimore Convention Center are now on sale.  Tickets are free if you're a season ticket holder (even a partial season plan), or $10 per adult/$6 per kid or senior.  In addition, autograph vouchers for players will be a separate cost, but proceeds go to the Orioles Reach charity.  It's easy to forget just how special this kind of event is...only a few teams in Baseball do it.

Click here for tickets and more info.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"House of Cards" to be filmed in Baltimore

Governor O'Malley announced today the the Netflix backed "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey will begin filming in Baltimore this Spring.  Great news for the city (especially with a Budget of $100 Million for the show), following HBO's recent filming of "VEEP" around town.  Now...will Baltimore be called DC in this show?  Here's hoping for Baltimore NOT standing in for another city!

Related Baltimore Sun Article

Bromo Seltzer Tower Open House this Saturday

Just a follow-up reminder that the Bromo Seltzer Tower will be hosting it's open house this Saturday, January 7th from 1-5PM.  Tours of the clock tower are usually offered in addition to art studios on each floor.  Everything is free to do, unless you spot some art on display that you just can't live without.  Parking around there is usually not too bad on Saturday afternoons, but the best options are the Convention Center Light Rail stop (1 block away) or the Charm City Circulator Orange Route (Howard Street stop Westbound, Eutaw Street stop Eastbound).

If you can't make it (or just want to see some pics), check out the quick tour we did in a previous article here on Bmore Interested.

Here's the Bromo Tower website for more info on the open studio days:

Baltimore Conservatory Tour

As the weather gets colder and colder, places like the Baltimore Conservatory in Druid Hill Park should jump up your to-do list.  Most people wouldn't go until the summer, but what fun is going to an indoor tropical greenspace when it's warm out?  The Conservatory is technically free, though they do ask for a donation (in the $5 range) if you can.  For me, $5 is well worth the warmth-filled escape.  Parking is easy, and usually plentiful right out in front for free.

The Conservatory consists of 3 main rooms, and a few smaller, side and connecting rooms.  The tallest and oldest room (1888), is the Palm room.  Two long rooms off the back house desert and sub-tropical plants along with some water features.

Here are just a few shots from a trip last January.  For larger images, just click any shot (and use your arrow keys to move through them easier too).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ravens Paint the Town

The Ravens team is busy painting spots around town in preparation for their first home playoff game in years.

Here are some more pictures and a nice video:

Fest Of All

South Baltimore's 5th annual "Fest of All" Festival will be held Saturday February 25th at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.  The event is $75 per person, and this DOES SELL OUT (so don't try to buy tickets at the door like many unhappy people did last year).

The Real Geniuses will be playing, open bar will be flowing, dancers will be doing their thing on the dance floor, and fashion will be plentiful as models will be showing off designs from local shops.

Check out Federal Hill's page for tickets!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ravens Playoff Tix Available Today

A limited number of tickets to the first Ravens home playoff game (in years) are for sale today at 10AM.  Try your luck here!

Edit:  When I checked at 10:08AM, all tickets had sold out.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Baltimore Homicides

The big number everyone is talking about right now is 196.  That's the total homicides Baltimore City had in 2011.  What's impressive about this number is that it's the first time we've seen the total below 200 since 1978, and it's the fewest total since 1977.  Since 2007 we've seen significant drops in not only homicides, but also gun violence in general.  Often, the argument is made that the good hospitals are to credit for drops in the total homicide count...but that doesn't seem to hold true.  If the reduction in gun crime is going down faster than the reduction in murders, I would think that's a clear indication that hospitals aren't the leading cause of any drop in the rate.

Another point that should be made is that at least 7 of these 196 homicides are from previous years, such as a man that was shot in 1992 and just died this year.  If we were to credit these previous years with the homicides, we would probably see significant drops in the last 7 years, and rises in the early, mid, and late 1990s.

To put this all in perspective (and to really understand why we can view this as good news), the all-time high homicide count is 353 in 1993.  Here's a good infographic for homicides by year.

Are 200 murders per year acceptable?  No.  Should we do everything in our power to bring that number to 0?  Yes.  Should we view this milestone as progress?  Absolutely.  Who should get credit?  While everyone would like to take credit for progress in stopping crime in Baltimore, I feel that we should primarily thank Baltimore Police Commissioner Bealefeld (pictured above).   Since taking over in 2007, we've seen the most progress in stopping violent crime in the city.  Alongside Bealefeld, we should thank the police and neighbors who have worked together to take back their neighborhoods.  Target for 2012?  I'd say we attempt to keep homicides below 175.

NYE Fireworks in Baltimore

Fireworks in Baltimore harbor last night turned out to be the biggest display ever over Charm City.  The show lasted 18 impressive minutes with perfectly clear skies making for an unforgettable event.

Take a look at a nice little video by the Baltimore Sun (who stepped up and sponsored the event this year).

Happy New Year, and welcome 2012!