Baltimore Living

  • Best Reason to Leave Baltimore: The City's Messed Up

    Best Reason to Leave Baltimore: The City's Messed Up

    Where to begin? The murder rate? 344 people were murdered last year, most shot down on our city streets. The crappy, mostly segregated schools? A whopping 14 percent of our 8th graders met or exceeded standards in language arts while 5.7 percent did so in math last year. The housing? Roughly 16,000...

  • Best Reason to Stay in Baltimore: The City Needs You

    Best Reason to Stay in Baltimore: The City Needs You

    There are plenty of reasons to stick around in the city: the art galleries, the theatre scene, the musicians, the restaurants, the bookstores, the parks, the people…and especially the good Samaritan who painted the hopeful mural on the boarded-up door of one of the above-mentioned vacants, a persevering...

  • Best Baltimorean: Shorty Davis

    Best Baltimorean: Shorty Davis

    Duane “Shorty” Davis contains multitudes—OK, maybe that’s a bit too high falutin’ for a guy possibly best known for leaving toilets in front of government buildings, all part of his “potty training politicians” initiative/performance art. Let’s just say, he’s got his hands in a whole lot of shit....

  • Best Neighborhood: Highlandtown

    Best Neighborhood: Highlandtown

    H ighlandtown remains a Baltimore working class neighborhood at a time when change and gentrification are slowly altering many parts the east side. It is also home to much of Baltimore’s Hispanic population, which has introduced new restaurants, grocery stores, and art galleries to the area over...

  • Best Do-Gooder: Ericka Alston-Buck

    Best Do-Gooder: Ericka Alston-Buck

    Penn North Community Resource Center 1620 N. Carey St., (410) 728-2080, penn-north.com/kids-safe-zone If you’ve ever visited the Sandtown-Winchester-based Kids Safe Zone, you’ll see highly organized chaos. Founder Ericka Alston-Buck is a ball of energy, directing one volunteer to do this, another...

  • Best Door Knocker: Elizabeth Embry

    Best Door Knocker: Elizabeth Embry

    We have to be honest—we miss the primary election season. Sort of. Sure, people complained that there were just too many candidates running in the Democratic primary, but we loved all the attention candidates showered on us. The best parts were the door knocking sessions that brought candidates...

  • Best Hampden in Training: Remington

    Best Hampden in Training: Remington

    Hampden is all set, how about Remington? That’s something we imagine developers intoning as they squint into the distance from the top of the nearly unrecognizable Rotunda. Seawall might be a well-intentioned developer, but they remain a developer, and their mission for Remington is as unwieldy...

  • Best Truffle Shuffle: Public Transit Users, Reacting to Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s Insane Whims

    Best Truffle Shuffle: Public Transit Users, Reacting to Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s Insane Whims

    Dear Baltimore City DOT and Larry Hogan: What does Baltimore have to do to get one decent, fully functioning public transportation system? Pull up our shirts and jiggle? Our metro is a half-completed blooper reel waiting to be turned into a movie set for something taking place in Toronto, the buses...

  • Best Suburban Flight Lite: Hamilton-Lauraville

    Best Suburban Flight Lite: Hamilton-Lauraville

    bmoremainstreet.com Established as a “little Eden” north of downtown, the neighborhood that locals now call Hamilton is a suburb in the best sense of the term. It isn’t exactly the city—it has none of the increasingly expensive apartments of downtown and few of the rowhomes for which Baltimore...

  • Best Park: Druid Hill Park

    Best Park: Druid Hill Park

    900 Druid Park Lake Drive, (410) 396-3835, druidhillpark.org Things are happening in the rolling hills and wooded paths of Druid Hill Park where maintenance workers have re-paved walkways, completely reconstructed the soccer and baseball fields, spruced up the pool, planted new trees, fixed the...

  • Best Super Mario Bros. Level: Centre Street and Park Avenue

    Best Super Mario Bros. Level: Centre Street and Park Avenue

    Baltimore’s streets have been pocked with sinkholes at an alarming rate this past year, and this is especially true in Mount Vernon, where deep openings in the ground have formed in once stable streets. But one sinkhole in particular, located just west of the southernmost wall of the Walters Art...

  • Best Trail: Wyman/Stony Run Trail

    Best Trail: Wyman/Stony Run Trail

    stonyrun.org Tucked in a valley and running alongside a stream, wedged between Tudor Arms Avenue and San Martin Drive, the Wyman Park or Stony Run Trail (no one seems quite sure what its actual name is) is ideal for when you want to jog and feel left alone. Located along a former rail line that...

  • Best Cat-About-Town: Killer

    Best Cat-About-Town: Killer

    If you walk around the Avenue in Hampden often enough, you’re more likely to start seeing past the fancy restaurants and other charming spots and focus instead on the weekend chaos: puddles of puke on the sidewalk on a Friday night or, say, those beehived housewives touting the tourist-friendly...

  • Best Monument: FORCE’s Monument Quilt

    Best Monument: FORCE’s Monument Quilt

    themonumentquilt.org Displaying portions of the Monument Quilt across the country, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture aims to create a public monument of healing for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and the effects are powerful. In April, the artist-activist group blocked off part...

  • Best Festival: Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival

    Best Festival: Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival

    Lake Clifton Park, 2801 Harford Road, dccarnival.org In July, Baltimore hosted its fifth combined Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival, snagging from D.C. one of the most vivacious cultural festivals in the region. It was Baltimore’s 35th festival, but its expansion since D.C.’s trouble-addled...

  • Best Long, Slow Death: The Superblock

    Best Long, Slow Death: The Superblock

    The Superblock has had many deaths in its nearly 15-year existence in the grist-mill of bureaucracy, lawsuits, and false starts. But it died forever and ever amen earlier this year, when four groups bought bits and pieces of the parcel of land that planners once envisioned would house a giant skyscraper...

  • Best Champions: The Baltimore Blast

    Best Champions: The Baltimore Blast

    baltimoreblast.com Think about how things played out for Baltimore’s two best-known sports teams after the Best Of issue came out a year ago. The Orioles won their last five games just to get to .500, and the Ravens stumbled to a 5-11 season. As of this writing, playoff baseball in Baltimore is...

  • Best Blast: Pat Healey

    Best Blast: Pat Healey

    When we honored a member of the city’s indoor soccer team last year, the award went to stellar goalkeeper William Vanzela, a co-captain on the Blast. This year, it goes to his fellow captain, defender Pat Healey, who was named Defender of the Year in the Major Arena Soccer League during the Blast’s...

  • Best Raven: John Urschel

    Best Raven: John Urschel

    Typically this award is related to what happens on the field. While John Urschel is a fine offensive guard, who will no doubt be a contributor on the Ravens this year, he’s winning for a very different reason: Dude loves math. Like, loves it enough to get a sponsorship deal with Texas Instruments....

  • Best Oriole: Manny Machado

    Best Oriole: Manny Machado

    The way the ball hit him in the back and he looked back at Yordano Ventura as if to say, “Oh, FUCK no!” The way he charged the mound and tossed his helmet to the ground. The way he dodged a weak-ass swing from Ventura and then popped Ventura right in the cheek. Manny Machado has done many amazing...

  • Best Call: 'Trumbo Bumbo'

    Best Call: 'Trumbo Bumbo'

    Nothing about Mark Trumbo’s two-run home run against the New York Yankees on May 3 was all that special. He turned on an inside pitch and launched it deep into the left fields stands, something he’d been doing quite regularly during his red-hot start to the baseball season. What came out of MASN...

  • Best Statistician: Richard Gorelick

    Best Statistician: Richard Gorelick

    Baseball is a game filled with numbers and measurable stats. This is especially true now that stat geeks have added things such as WAR, UZR, FIP, and exit velocity into the lexicon. Former Sun food critic Richard Gorelick has been obsessively tracking something way more fun and way less complicated:...

  • Best Baltimore Appropriation: Natty Boh

    Best Baltimore Appropriation: Natty Boh

    A not insignificant number of Orioles fans felt victimized when it was reported that National Bohemian beer would no longer be sold at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It’s tradition, they squawked. Bohs and O’s, they uttered, robotically spitting out the meme-ified version of life in Baltimore. We’ve...

  • Best Porn: Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival

    Best Porn: Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival

    humpfilmfest.com Admittedly, Baltimore has its own emerging porn scene. It isn’t Van Nuys or San Francisco, but it can claim Dale Cooper, amateur porn pioneers Jen & Dave, some decent alt-porn Tumblrs, and erotic performer and sex educator Andre Shakti (who now lives in Oakland). So maybe it’s...

  • Best Surprise Bike Lane: Dundalk Bike Lane

    Best Surprise Bike Lane: Dundalk Bike Lane

    Dundalk Avenue to Sollers Point Loop OK, this bike lane is technically in the County, but it is such a sweet surprise we need to recognize it. Ride your bike east on Boston Street, taking the lane (or the sidewalk—just this once, we won’t tell) to dodge truck traffic, and you’ll hit Dundalk Avenue...

  • Best Nontroversy: Roland Avenue Bike Lane

    Best Nontroversy: Roland Avenue Bike Lane

    Roland Avenue from Coldspring to West Lake, transportation.baltimorecity.gov Baltimore City adopted a Bike Master Plan and Complete Streets policy in 2012. At the core of these plans is a commitment to making streets safe for all users—drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. As streets are redeveloped,...

  • Best App: Baltimore 311

    Best App: Baltimore 311

    Download for Android or iPhone, or on the web at baltimorecity.gov/311-services Pokémon Go might be the latest app to get people off their couches and out for a walk, but we like to go old school, busting out the Baltimore 311 app as we make our way around the city reporting potholes, cars parked...

  • Best First Date: Second Chance

    Best First Date: Second Chance

    1700 Ridgely St., (410) 385-1700, secondchanceinc.org Is it that sexy 501(c)(3)status, designating Second Chance, Inc., as a non-profit? What about the cute little three-wheeled car that greets people entering the giant warehouse full of stuff? Maybe it’s the optimism of the statement “WHAT IS...

29°