City Paper turned 35 this year, which, besides giving us the urge to buy a sportscar and date younger people, gave us a chance to think about our history and our connection to the Great City of Baltimore. You'll see that reflected in this year's best Best of Baltimore issue, which includes Classic Clips-awards we clipped from Best of Baltimore issues past that show just how much our feelings have changed with regard to the Ravens, Dan Rodricks, and Hollywood, and haven't changed with regard to Michael Phelps, Club Charles' jukebox, and Dan Deacon. In leafing through all those back issues, we were relieved to find a certain continuity in what we've always loved about Baltimore: Its energy, its lack of pretense, its DIY aesthetic, and the perennial feeling that the best is yet to come. We champion those values again this year, in categories like Best Reason to Live in Baltimore, Best Festival, and Best Foodie, among many others. Heading into the next 35 years, we're betting we'll continue to find reasons to believe in Baltimore. And that the hottie who works at Rocket to Venus will dig our new Beemer.
City Paper's Best of Baltimore 2012 was written Baynard Woods, Edward Ericson Jr., Van Smith, Erin Gleeson, Jenn Ladd, Joe MacLeod, Athena Towery, Evan Serpick, Al Shipley, Anna Ditkoff, Alex Ebstein, Bret McCabe, Brian Morton, J.M. Giordano, Geoffrey Himes, Jaye Hunnie, Jim Meyer, Laura Dattaro, Matt Kelley, Max Robinson, Christopher Myers, Rachel Horner, Sam Holden, Mary Zajac, and Andrew Zaleski. Interns: Aaron Pinto, Ellen Brait, Alexa Mechanic, Brandon Parker, Kristopher Jones, and Vicky Valet. Photographs by John Ellsberry, Frank Hamilton, Sam Holden, Michelle Gienow, J.M. Giordano, Frank Klein, Christopher Myers, Rarah, Josh Sisk, and Jefferson Jackson Steele. Cover photograph by Rarah with special thanks to John A. Cadigan, General Manager of the Meadowbrook Aquatic & Fitness Center, along with swimmers Jason Ewart, Muhammad Hudhud, Connor Kalicz, Mary Pelton, Gabrielle Runk, Korby Simpson, Kerry Treusdell, and Mitch Williams. Thanks also to Jasmine Sarp, the Michael Phelps WHEATIES® box, and CP's own Olympic hopeful, BESTY™.