The Mail 7/2/14

Traffic Studies

Khayree Robinson is just a microcosm of the kids-at-intersections problem ("Down on the Corner," Feature, June 25) here in Baltimore City and County. This has been going on for years, and not just at North and Mount Royal avenues. Little children who should be enjoying life, playing, going to school, and just being a kid, can regularly be seen at the intersections of Hillen Road and Cold Spring Lane, Gwynns Falls Parkway and Garrison Boulevard, Loch Raven Boulevard and Northern Parkway, and other busy intersections. Some are there under the guise of fundraising, and that very well may be the case, but why in the hell are the children darting in and out of traffic while the adults stand idly by? One hundred percent child abuse by anyone’s standards. 

Also, what about the white 20- to 30-somethings who suddenly have appeared while heading east on the 28th Street bridge, Loch Raven Boulevard and Northern Parkway (again), along North Avenue and Howard Street, and at other intersections all around the city? Programs, urban initiatives, help for the needy and folks who suffers from various social ills—these are not priorities compared to Harbor East, Canton, the nefarious hotel project (Harbor Point) and that sure-fire winner that no one wanted, the internationally known, can’t miss, Baltimore Grand Prix! The trickle-down effect is in full effect here. Its hellish aftermath is working wonders.

Sherman Stephens

Baltimore

Hold the Veggies

City Paper has a long and strong history with its food criticism. But since the retirement of the very fine Mary Zajac, the boat appears adrift, except when Zajac reappears sporadically from her retirement in the Mayan Riviera—or from wherever she decamped—to give us a guest review.

The latest review of Parts & Labor (P&L) illustrates the problem well (“Parts and Flavor,” Eats and Drinks, June 25). While Ryan Detter appears to write good blogs about the openings and closing of restaurants, which is a nice additive to CP, the long-form review finds him overmatched in both style and substance.

First, to substance: Detter tells us “. . . the prices are reasonable enough to try a bit of everything . . .” Really? Nor is it a small-plates kind of place for bohemians, as he implies. In fact, this restaurant is very expensive, with a bone-in, dry-aged rib-eye steak costing 50 big bucks by itself. Hard to see how two folks on a date could leave there for under $200. And speaking of P&L’s claim to fame, I did not see one word about why their cuts of meat or dry-aging process merit the great expense, although if you eat one their steaks your mouth will surely know the difference. 

Detter goes on to completely ignore P&L’s innovative beer-tap system, which has several different temperatures, and their highly local caste of microbrews. And what about wine? All the fat cats I know would drink a very expensive bottle of red wine with such high-falutin’ cow meat, but Detter fails to tell us of the wine list and whether or not the sommelier knows anything at all.

And why can’t Detter tell us what other “sweets,” as he wrongly names desserts, there are besides the one thing he mentioned? What is the pastry chef’s specialty? Why not leave and walk over to the Charmery in Hampden for ice cream instead?

Finally, on style: Maybe Baynard Woods should write in his next “Conflict of Interest” column an expansion upon his recent column about “Corrections” by making a version of the AP Stylebook called CP Stylebook and listing ugly or wrongful words which, if you catch them making it through CP’s editorial gauntlet to publication, can earn you a ‘can kicking’ session at the guilty editor and/or fact-checker, followed by a round of drinks with same at the Mount Royal Tavern. 

I proffer to CP that the most disallowed ugly word should be “veggies,” which Detter likes to throw around. First, men don’t say “veggies.” Ever! Hemingway didn’t. Neither did Mencken. So who does? Well, the sort of person who uses “veggies” is the kind of person who also clogs up the supermarket line at Eddies or Whole Foods at 5 p.m. when you are in a hurry to get home. Such a person is invariably pushing a too-wide baby cart while yapping on an iPhone as her other two preschoolers jump up and down with bags of candy screaming “Mommy–this!” Such people also drink white-wine spritzers. Needless to say, they never open the pages of CP. 

Please do not let the writers of the greatest newspaper in the ‘Greatest City in America’, as our city benches inform, ever use the word “veggies” in print again. Please.

William C. Bond

Baltimore

Dog tales

The citizenry of Baltimore has harbored an inherent mistrust of the Baltimore City Police Department for years, even decades. It has finally hit me (a lifelong Baltimore County resident) why their position has so much legitimacy. The recent incident involving some real brave Baltimore City officers slitting the throat of an eight-year-old defenseless dog really cold-cocked me (Baltimore City Power Rankings, June 25). One brave officer pinned the dog so the other really brave officer could do the ugly deed, slitting its throat. The dog bled out. This is not fiction. It’s just a day in the life of a few of Baltimore’s finest.

Society begins to warp when cops truly begin to believe they are infallible. That is what I believe is happening in Baltimore City. The pattern is a cyclical one.

The saddest aspect to all this is that most city cops are diligent at their jobs, and I am equally sure are very good people. But it’s the ones who construe the supposed aura of power as meaning they are unstoppable–they are the scum who really chafe me.

As a payback to the two fine officers, PETA should arrange to have the dog-slaying bastards’ fingernails slowly and so very painfully yanked. Maybe by a few chimpanzees on loan from the Maryland Zoo. Maybe at the plaza at City Hall. Maybe sell soda and popcorn. That just may be the appropriate payback. Just sayin’.

Patrick R.Lynch

Nottingham

Clarification:  A story on Ed Schrader’s Music Beat ("The Beat Goes On," Music, June 25) said the band’s new album is out on Upset the Rhythm. That is the band’s label in the United Kingdom and Europe. Their US label is Infinity Cat.