A friend who visited Baltimore for the Baltimore Book Festival a couple years ago said, “This is the only neighborhood I’ve ever been in that calls itself a cultural center and really is.” That may not ring quite so true these days as the Book Fest has fled to the far-less-fertile pastures of the Inner Harbor and WTMD moved its First Thursday series to Canton. And that’s just with the work on the monument. Wait until they rip up all the trees and start re-doing all the parks. Not only will there be no festivals left, but the cultural institutions surrounding the parks, such as the Walters, Enoch Pratt, and the Peabody, and the various rich-people clubs may also start to suffer. This Mount Vernon face-lift seems like most face-lifts—a bad idea inspired by vanity run amok.