CITY FOLK

Formerly homeless, Jerrie Olds gives back as chef at My Sister's Place

Formerly homeless, Jerrie Olds gives back as chef at My Sister's Place

Jerrie Olds sits at a vinyl-covered table for six in a large room full of other, empty, tables for six. Plastic marigolds sit in the center of each table, and a single fork, napkin, and cup lie in...

Dance Dance Revolution: Alex Albaig and her husband Niss live to dance

Dance Dance Revolution: Alex Albaig and her husband Niss live to dance

The elevator opens up to a spacious room where club-goers are mingling by the bar in their high-heeled shoes, cocktail wear, and dress jeans. At a high-top table by the dance floor, Alex Albaig is...

Despite a stroke, actor and athlete Chris Conlon keeps running

Despite a stroke, actor and athlete Chris Conlon keeps running

Nestled between Camden Yards and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is a quaint and tightly knit community, Ridgely’s Delight. One-way streets intersect and wind around neatly kept rowhomes...

Neil Grauer, a veteran writer and cartoonist who created Johns Hopkins' blue jay

Neil Grauer, a veteran writer and cartoonist who created Johns Hopkins' blue jay

It’s hard to miss Neil Grauer at a cocktail party; he’s the guy with the crowd of people around him. His dapper suits, signature bow ties, and vintage eyeglasses draw them; his...

Bob Lienhardt will tell you some of the best stories you've ever heard--as long as he can remember them

Bob Lienhardt will tell you some of the best stories you've ever heard--as long as he can remember them

Bob Lienhardt sits on a bench in Mount Vernon, painting watercolor landscapes. The 83-year-old dons a ruffled navy blue button-down, a weathered khaki wind-resistant jacket, a leather neck pouch, and...

Tears of a Clown: Starbuck has lived a long life as a Baltimore entertainer

Tears of a Clown: Starbuck has lived a long life as a Baltimore entertainer

Starbuck the clown whistles as the Inner Harbor crowds pass by. Today, he is dressed, seasonally, as a scarecrow—or a straw man, as he has it; “there’s nothing scary about me,&...

College Can Be A Drag

College Can Be A Drag

Shane Donovan Messick transforms himself from a well-mannered college student into the larger-than-life Melody Lyrishal. Melody,  his drag persona, was born out of his...

Horse Sense

Horse Sense

The sun is rising over the horizon when Sheldon Russell pulls up to the barns at Laurel Park. The 27-year-old has sustained many injuries throughout his career, but that will not stop him from riding...

Little Rouse On The Prairie

Steve Rouse, once local radio royalty, now rules the roost--literally

These days the radio airwaves are jammed with commercial stations so cookie-cutter and corporate that it’s nearly impossible to tell one from another. Which is not surprising, considering...

In A Pickle

Autumn Provenzano Moves to Baltimore for Network Marketing, Finds Love . . . And a New Sport

Lightning strikes in the distance and gray clouds hang over the city as a storm surrounds Patterson Park, but never manages to touch down on the tennis court where Autumn Provenzano is teaching about...

Long Exposure

Morton Tadder Has Been Shooting Presidents, Pitchers, Performers, And Playboy Bunnies For Over 50 Years

This is the story of a photographer, a back injury, and the photographer’s assistant. The photographer was Leon Perskie. You’ll never hear that name again, although it was he whose back was injured. So his 19-...

Setting A Record

Record Collecting Isn't Just Jack Moore's Hobby, It's Part Of His Worldview

A lot of people say that they love music, but they don’t. Not really. Not like Jack Moore. 

Get Rhythm

Get Rhythm: Carlas Holt Practices the Time-Honored Art of the Shoeshine

The arms of Carlas Holt move like gears as he uses a thick, wood-handled brush to spread the polish and a weathered rag to summon the shine as people pass by. Among the regular whir and blare of speeding trains and the robotic...

Music Man

Music Man

Instruments cover the crowded walls of Ted’s Music. Late-afternoon sunlight shines in from the large storefront window as Fernando Roman stands behind the long glass counter, as much a permanent fixture as the books...

The Peaceful Path

The Peaceful Path

The kitchen at Collington Square School is closed. That’s not something a chef wants to hear right before teaching a cooking class for about 15 elementary school kids, but this setback doesn’t phase Ihsan Baha-...

Cabinets of Curiosities

Cabinets of Curiosities

Vanessa White seems pleased as she stands on the sidewalk outside of 1028 South Charles Street in Federal Hill assessing the window display of her store, Vanessa Vintage Treasures. She usually...

Going Her Own Way

Going Her Own Way

Ocie Melanson is leaning against a speaker and absent-mindedly tapping a crescent-shaped tambourine against her hip as the stiflingly hot rehearsal studio, which looks like a hollowed-out garage...

Conversation Artist

Conversation Artist

At a recent meeting of the Filbert Street community gardeners at the Curtis Bay Recreation Center, Chanan Delivuk—a community gardener and artist who uses new media to explore dialogue and...

The Not-So-Straight And Narrow Path

The Not-So-Straight And Narrow Path

Here's one story about the West Baltimore corner of North Monroe and Mosher streets: On May 21, three people were shot: one in the head, one in the chest, one in the leg.

Shipping News

Shipping News

As Pride of Baltimore II motors out of the Inner Harbor to set sail near Fort McHenry, Captain Jamie Trost jokes, “If we abandon ship today, you can keep your Pride of Baltimore II lifejacket as a souvenir.”...

Heart and Sole

Heart and Sole

The pungent scent of dye and the whirring sound of a sander fill Lexington Market Shoe Repair, hidden in a back alley of the bustling Friday market scene.

Carved in Stone

Carved in Stone

There's a two-and-a-half ton granite stone sitting in Kevin Conley's office at the Barre Monument Company. Conley and the stone have a lot in common—both look as if they've been there a while, and neither is going...

Chasin' the Gram

Chasin' the Gram

The English 101 class I teach at Coppin is the shit. Technology is on point, we have the latest everything, and my students are amazing.

In Vogue

In Vogue

"You could tell I was not from Russia," Marquis Clanton says of his trip to St. Petersburg last year. "People would look at me, like, ‘He's not from here.'"

Hometown Tourist

Hometown Tourist

Susan Allenback answers the door and leads two reporters and a photographer into John Waters' library. "His throat's been a little scratchy," she warns them as they wait. A moment later, as he begins to come down the...

Agent of Change

Agent of Change

Robbyn Lewis sips a glass of prosecco and eats a few fries at Bistro Rx, a restaurant near the northeast corner of Patterson Park on Baltimore Street, a couple of blocks from her home.

Sweeter Times

Sweeter Times

It's a quaint term from simpler times: Confectionery.

The Pub Pastor

The Pub Pastor

Churches, like neighborhoods, are anchored to one place. As years go by and demographics shift, it's only natural that a church adjusts to a changing environment.

Psychogeography, Qu'est Que C'est?

Psychogeography, Qu'est Que C'est?

It's late morning on a breezy April Saturday and Joshua Berlow, 54, pulls his light-brown knit cap a bit more snug over his graying hair, adjusts his glasses, and steps back for a better shot of a closed church front. "Wow,...

Pet Psychic

Pet Psychic

Crystals and sculptures of dragons and dolphins decorate Terri Diener's office in a small room in the back of her spacious apartment. Her two tabby cats weave in and out of tremendous piles of papers as Diener settles in...

Mind Blowing

Mind Blowing

Ryan Grizzell, a 41-year-old Army veteran, is blowing a glass pipe, his blue eyes hidden behind protective eyewear as a soft, warm glow from a flame reflects on his face. Various glass rods are strewn about Shockers Smoke...

With the help of a prosthetic foot, Garry Moore still shreds

Polyurethane wheels whir across concrete as Garry Moore drops into the bowl at Hampden's new Skatepark of Baltimore, just before he flies up over the tiles, printed with a Maryland flag, with a slob air. He comes down...

Days of their lives

Courtney Speed points out the Union Baptist Church in Turner Station from the backseat of an SUV. Her friend, Miss Kitty, stops to chat. When a car horn blows, Speed says, "They must not be from here. We don't blow our...

True-crime writer Chris Boardman lionizes cops, remembers victims, nurses inmates, and runs for office

When Christopher Boardman first started working in Baltimore, at the port in the 1970s, he was already a frustrated writer. In the 1960s and early '70s, he'd penned opinions for the progressive Capital Times in...

On a mission to preserve Baltimore's tradition of public art

When you ask Linda DePalma about her favorite piece of public art in Baltimore, you expect her answer to be something abstract, something contemporary- something befitting a sculptor who was director of education at the...

The Crazy Russian brings the aura of old Europe to Route 40

The Weimar Republic might have ended in Germany in 1933, but remnants of its cabaret culture flew out of the Ukraine 25 years ago, in the mind of a young, ambitious woman from the Soviet bloc, and ended up on a dark strip...

Lance Lucas sees tech as a way out of poverty for inner-city kids

For a guy who paid himself $7,200 for a year's work (and for a 55-hour work week), Lance Lucas is extremely enthusiastic.

Who's Bad?

Who's Bad?

Dimitri Reeves has committed to memory every step of "Billie Jean," every slide and swing of "Thriller." He's mastered the shoulder pops and white-fedora flip of "Smooth Criminal."

Colleens and Resurrection

Colleens and Resurrection

"Bowtie" Bob Nelson is seemingly ubiquitous, rivaled only by BMA Director and benevolent scene queen Doreen Bolger in attendance of the city's hip events: He goes out between five and seven nights a week, to anything that...

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