I love my dad.
He taught me everything I know about being a man, and I can think of no better way to live than to turn out just like him.
When the young thespians behind Single Carrot Theater decided to find themselves a home they searched far and wide before settling on Charm City. It goes without saying that we think they’ve chosen wisely, and their arrival here has illustrated something that we often say about Baltimore: it’s probably a crummy place to visit but it’s a wonderful place to live. That’s true not only for people, but for theater productions as well. While many touring productions that come through are artistically questionable and barely profitable (looking at you, Hippodrome), local productions are consistently interesting and unique.
That’s as true at SCT as anywhere. Baltimore is certainly a city of niches, and the Carrot has found theirs and settled into it quite well. They’ve quickly become a cornerstone of the Station North neighborhood and have been winning awards and new fans at such a consistent rate that it’s almost hard to imagine when there wasn’t a Single Carrot. That’s how naturally they fit into Baltimore’s cultural landscape.
Tonight’s sold-out show marks the official opening of Will Eno’s Tragedy: a Tragedy (with sneak previews having been staged this week). The New York Times famously called Eno a “Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.” While the Chop doesn’t pretend to know too much about theater, we do pretend to know about news. Or fake news. Or news that is dumb enough to be fake. We watch plenty of it anyway; like watching Tony Hayward on the Hill as we type this avoiding questions about an actual tragedy, and let us tell you, it is certainly tragically absurd. So we’re excited to see art imitate life on stage tonight… and more than a little scared that life will out-ridicule the ridiculous.
We’d love a chance to get to the theater more often, and to cover it in this space. It seems to us though that it’s generally not the sort of event to which you drag all your old punk-rock buddies, and it would be awkward to go alone. To us the stage is best appreciated with a date. Not just any date will make a great theater date though. She’s got to like theater of course, as well as being all-around wonderful and someone we’d want to see a lot more of. Lucky for us, we found a great theater date for tonight.
Single Carrot Theater is located at 120 W. North Ave in Station North. 443-884-9253. Tragedy opens tonight and runs until July 11.
If you’ve been following this blog with any sort of regularity, you might already know that we’re definitely not a foodie, but you definitely know that the last thing we’ll recommend doing is watching primetime TV. In a bizarre twist of fate tonight, that’s exactly what we’re recommending in one of the most random events we can remember happening… ever. Tonight is the night that the Food Network is set to air the Dangerously Delicious episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay.
The show will premiere at 9 pm, and Baltimore will be celebrating with a viewing party at South Baltimore’s own Mum’s. Yep. Mum’s. This is going to be sublime in so many ways.
If you know Mum’s at all, you know it’s not the kind of place that lacrosse players, condo-board types and tourists just stumble into on a whim. The show will not be competing with the World Cup or the NBA Finals for screen space. Nope, this is going to be a dedicated crowd, and they’re all going to be giving their full attention to booing, hissing and cursing Bobby Flay. And why not? It seems to us that there could be no more stark contrast in the culinary world than Flay and Rodney Henry. One is one of Baltimore’s prominent small businessmen who literally invented what he’s made from nothing. The passion and dedication that Henry has poured into his shop comes through in each bite, and he certainly deserves every bit of success he’s found. He can also rock a hat better than just about anyone in Baltimore. The other is a grating prettyboy with a rich-kid attitude who revels in his own celebrity and is the antithesis of everything Baltimore is about.
The Chop loves us some quiche, and broccoli mushroom cheddar quiche alll-most made our list of the top five late-night drunkfoods. We’re hoping the that the Dangerously Delicious crew will bring along a few varieties to go with Mum’s cheap drinks.
One thing we know the Pie Man will bring along is his guitar. In addition to the throwdown, tonight is one of the more unconventional bills you’ll find in the Baltimore music scene. We haven’t actually seen Rodney Henry play since his days in the Glenmont Popes, and the last time we saw the Popes was right around the same time we got a driver’s license. So yeah, it’s been a while.
He’s also got H.R.’s Human Rights Band to agree to play. They don’t make too many appearances, so the chance to check them out at Mum’s is worth noting. There’s been a lot of talk on Baltimore streets about H.R. since that citypaper article came out a couple years ago. The Chop has heard plenty of gossip and rumors that we will not repeat here. We’re going to go see the man for ourselves.
Come on Baltimore. It’s time to put your fork where your mouth is.
Mum’s is at 1132 S. Hanover St. in Federal Hill. Doors at 8. Throwdown airs at 9, and will be re-run at midnight if you’re watching at home.
You can ask any woman and they’ll all tell you the same thing… you can find some really great stuff at Target.
It’s no accident either. Whereas their main competitor Wal-Mart seems to purposefully sell the most generic, basic and bland sorts of items across the board and across the country, Target’s designer fashion program is consistently on-trend, versatile, and affordable, and is not only key to their business model, but to their success as well.
Whether it’s through partnerships with big name designers like Jean Paul Gaultier or Alexander McQueen, nationwide agreements with labels like Mossimo and Converse, or just hiring talented, sensible designers into their house label, design sensibility and reasonable prices make Target almost impossible to ignore.
Unfortunately, as with some other stores, women seem to have it much better than men in the aisles of Target. The Men’s section in every Target we’ve ever seen has been underwhelming, to say the least. Not only is it relegated to a small corner of the store, but it often looks more like it’s full of overgrown boys’ clothes than anything an actual man would wear. Still though, if you choose carefully it is possible to come away from Target with a few great pieces of clothing without spending much money at all.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you are in fact a man, and not an overgrown boy. This alone will rule out entire swaths of the men’s section very quickly. Once you get past the many racks of giant hibiscus printed board shorts, cargo shorts, and crummy graphic tees you’re on the right track.
While you’re at it, you can also skip right over any and all dress shirts, slacks, jackets, suits, shirts or anything that one might wear to an office. This is not where Target excels, and you’d do much better to pick these up elsewhere. Despite the partnership with Converse, the men’s shoe section can’t hold a candle to an actual shoe store. Once you’ve gotten past all this, you’re left with what is generally regarded as weekend wear.
As with any large chain, Target selection is dictated by volume. The good news is that everything is seasonally appropriate. You won’t find yourself buried in cable-knit sweaters in July or perusing shorts in December. The bad news is that sizing is at it’s most basic and is very limited. Most menswear in Target stores is labeled S,M,L, or maybe XL. Jeans run from about 30″-40″. If you’re accustomed to ‘big and tall’ shopping, you can likely stay out of Target entirely.
For the rest of us, it is crucial to keep in mind a rule you would follow at all times: Don’t outfit yourself entirely from any one store. We put that in bold italics because it’s important. It doesn’t matter whether that store is Target, Banana Republic, or Brooks Brothers. Buying too many clothes from one source shows through on the street, and it never looks quite right.
What you’re looking for at Target is typically solid basics like a pair of Levi’s or Wranglers (mind the Brett Favre dad-jeans though, there are plenty of those around), some flat-front chinos or a casual button up or polo. It can also be an outstanding source for certain accessories, most especially socks, belts, boxers and hats.
The hat selection is much better than you’d expect, but keep in mind that it’s very easy to look like a total shart in a hat. Don’t even try it if you’re under 30, and eschew any shred of irony.
By the same turn, it’s also a terrible place to shop for accessories. Sunglasses, wristwatches, and anything else that’s not socks, belts or boxers can be pretty tacky and is usually of very poor quality.
Our ultimate advice? Don’t go to Target for clothes. But if you happen to be in there for a new TV or a set of dishes or a small appliance, be sure to at least glance at the clothes. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Note: because of technical issues with Target’s website, these photos are of similar products. They’re of about the same quality and fairly well representative of Target’s offerings. Sorry about that.
Oh Monday. It’s been a long and busy weekend in Baltimore. Everyone’s tired. Most people are sunburned. Some of us are still hungover. With everything that’s gone on over the last 60 hours or so since everyone quit the workweek, it makes sense that no one feels like doing anything and there’s fuck all going on. We don’t feel like doing anything either, so we’re giving today’s post over to a public service announcement.
We’ve been noticing a trend of late that promoters for various parties/events or establishments have been leaving postcards scattered along the sidewalks in certain areas with high pedestrian traffic. These brightly colored and gaudy pieces of litter are like a trail of paper breadcrumbs, illustrating exactly the path on which some lazy flier-man walked. ‘Here’s where he crossed Calvert. Here’s Where he went down Baltimore Street. Here’s where he ran out of fliers and called it a day.’ To the area promoters who are guilty of this we say:
KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF!
It’s bad enough that we have to deal with an endless barrage of sub shop menus, fliers under windshield wipers and a new copy of that Sun Plus piece of crap every other day. Sidewalks strewn with several hundred promo cards for some strip club or the latest ‘grown and sexy’ party are absolutely the last thing this city needs.
If the city council is still looking for new ways to gin up revenue through taxes, fees and fines, we’d like to make a humble suggestion…