Tag Archives: Mount Vernon

Flowermart, Kinetic Sculpture Race, MD Film Festival Today

Today is a big red letter day in Charm City. It’s the second day of Flowermart, the third day of the Maryland Film Festival, and Kinetic Sculpture Race day.

What does this mean to you? It means if you’re going to any one of these, have fun. If you’re not, you probably shouldn’t leave the house at all, because you’re going to be looking at the biggest traffic clusterfuck since Baltimore Marathon day. Charles Street and Monument will both be closed in Mount Vernon all weekend, traffic will be slow through Station North, and South and Southeast Baltimore will see staggered delays and parking problems from spectators and moving sculptures, and those things aren’t fast.

God help us, we’re going to try to cruise through flowermart on the way to see some sculptures, if it doesn’t rain. As you can see from the photos, the race looks like more fun in the sun.

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Stoop Storytelling @ Centerstage Tonight

After their one-off show at Hopkins a few weeks ago, The Stoop is back in its regular home at Centerstage tonight to present Culture Shock: Stories about confronting the new, strange, and often scary.

Here's a scene from Pleasantville, a movie all about confronting scary new culture shock.

We’ve written about the Stoop enough times now that we’re having trouble coming up with new angles. We thought we might just blog a story of our own about ‘confronting the new, strange, and often scary,’ but all the ones that came immediately to mind were ones we don’t really feel like putting up online. Some way to run a personal blog, yes.

So instead, for further reading go over to B-More Cultured, where Katie recently posted an interview with Stoop producer Jessica Henken.

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Centerstage is at 700 N. Calvert St. in Mount Vernon. Tickets for tonight’s show are sold out.

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Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: Government Shutdown Averted Edition

We’re heading down to Midtown Yacht Club tonight to drink beer and talk politics in the regular bi-weekly meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

Midtown has been a nice spot for us all winter, but we couldn’t be happier to hear that the group will soon be moving back to Joe Squared, with their awesome outdoor seating patio and rum selection, for our summer session. If you’re as excited about outdoor drinking as we are, feel free to drop by and say hello. The group’s table is open to all.

Drinking Liberally meets at Midtown Yacht Club tonight. 7 pm.

Since the last time we met, we came “this close” to having a government shutdown. Of course, a government shutdown isn’t like a rainstorm or a lunar eclipse… it’s not something that just happens. Someone is to blame, and in this case that someone is House Republicans.

This fight we just watched was not about the budget. No one really knows how to fix the budget, although the grown ups in the room do know that there is no magic bullet and you can’t cut your way to prosperity. No, this fight and the disaster it nearly caused was entirely about Planned Parenthood’s right to exist. It shocked us that not one single media personality was smart enough or brave enough to identify what was happening and say it in plain English. Some came close, but no one came right out and elucidated the Republicans’ strategy.

Right wingers and Evangelicals in this country hate Planned Parenthood. It’s not just that they hate abortions, and it doesn’t matter to them that not a nickel of federal money goes to fund abortions… they hate PP, and view the entire organization as an enemy to be destroyed by any means necessary.

The GOP doesn’t have any problem with cancer screenings or birth control or pap smears as some on the left have suggested. But if you cut out the funding that PP receives for those services, the organization will at best be reduced to a shell of what it is now, and may even be forced to fold as ACORN was when they lost federal funding.

If women’s health services and women’s actual lives have to be sacrificed to meet those ends, then so be it… the Right doesn’t give a fuck.

Of course, the past is prologue and now that this fight is over, the next one is going to be even worse. The debt ceiling fight will have people going through the roof.

And on top of that, we won’t have Glenn Beck to kick around anymore.

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Midtown yacht Club is at 15 E Center Street in Mount Vernon. Look for the table with the red, white, and blue bottle.

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Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: Everyone Is Still Pissed Edition

Got to admit… We weren’t too impressed with that Monument lighting this year. It was freezing. It was packed. It was so much puppets and choir music. It was also pretty anti-climactic, as those sorts of things usually are.

For those of you looking to come to Mount Vernon and be just as festive (read: tipsy) indoors and without the crowds, we’d encourage you to come by the Midtown Yacht Club tonight for the regular meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

Baltimore's Drinking Liberally chapter meets at Midtown Yacht Club tonight. 7 pm.

When we were in the Middle East last summer, the Chop and everyone with us basically spent a long, hot Ramadan complaining about the concept of the month-long holiday. Of course, Christmas isn’t much better as it’s now transformed into a full-on 40 day circle-jerk. It’s strange to watch the world around us grind to a halt just because there’s one day of gift-giving and family time at the end of the month, but that’s what’s happening nonetheless.

People may not be shopping as obsessively as they used to, and there may not be as much phony-baloney Jesus guilt as there once was, but nothing is getting done regardless. Everyone we know is pretty much giving over the entire month to social obligations and high calorie, high fat comfort food, as well as getting excited for the sake of being excited.

This is as true in DC as it is anywhere, and you can count on nothing being accomplished by either side until at least State of the Union time.

In the meantime, everyone is still pissed. People who are pissed at Wikileaks are on a witch hunt for Julian Assange, while his supporters are pissed that they’re pissed.

The Democrats (including the Chop) are pissed that Obama is going to give away billions of dollars to people who already have billions of dollars.

The gays are pissed that they do not have equal rights, and if the president continues to act like a pussy, they won’t any time soon.

And the Republicans are pissed that even though they’re about to be in power in the House, they still have to lead their lonely, empty, stupid, meaningless, hypocritical lives.

So come on down to Midtown and have a pint of good seasonal ale. It really helps to take the edge off.

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Midtown yacht Club is at 15 E Center Street in Mount Vernon. Look for the table with the red, white, and blue bottle.

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Stoop Storytelling: War Stories @ Centerstage Tonight

Well, it took a while, but the Chop has finally got our act together enough to buy a pair of advance tickets to something. We’re big on the pop-in, the drop-by, and the go-around-the-way. Whether it’s a band or a book signing or a baseball game, we don’t like to get locked into anything. Something’s happening? Maybe we’ll come by and check it out.

Nice as it is to keep your options open, it kind of sucks to miss your guess and show up to a packed house or a sold out event. The Stoop has fooled us before. We’ve been wanting to check out the Stoop for a long time now. We’ve even blogged about it before. Hell, we’ve actually shown up to Centerstage on time and heard the dreaded “We can put you on the waiting list.” Well, fool us twice, won’t get fooled again. Or something like that.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Stoop tells war stories at Centerstage tonight. 7 pm doors.

We’ve learned our lesson. The Stoop is popular. Storytelling is popular. Here in Baltimore, we tell ours on stoops, but out in San Francisco they do it by porchlight. In Portland they gather at the back fence, and down in DC they speak easy. Whatever you call it though, it amounts to the same thing… people relating to each other in the way they have since the beginning of time; no art, no artifice, just telling their stories.

If stories have been around since the beginning of time, then war stories have been around almost as long. There’s no shortage of stories close in to a battlefield. We’re sure that tonight’s topical tales will run the gamut from the heroic and inspiring to the heartrending and bittersweet, on down to the vulgar and absurd.

We only regret that we won’t hear the one story we want to hear most: the one about all the wars being over and done.

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Centerstage is at 700 N. Calvert St. in Mount Vernon. 410-332-0033 for tickets.

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Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: SRB Edition

Well, Baltimore, it’s been a long two weeks in America. A lot has happened since the last meeting of Drinking Liberally’s Baltimore Chapter, and heaven knows it’s made us thirsty, so we’ll be taking ourselves down to Midtown Yacht Club for pints and politics tonight.

Drinking Liberally Baltimore meets tonight at Miidtown Yacht Club. 7 pm.

Heavy Seas on draft is just about the best thing there is for washing that “shellac” taste out of your mouth, but in our estimation, these elections really weren’t all that bad. We’re not at all pleased with the prospect of a Speaker Boehner and so many ineffectual GOP chairmen mucking things up in committees, but all this talk of “tidal waves” and the president “not getting it” are a lot of nonsense if you ask us. Half of those house seats the Democrats lost were in GOP districts that were kind of a coup to hold in the first place. The other half will be back in blue soon enough.

But that’s neither here nor there. We had a great time on election night drinking free beer and hobnobbing with elected officials. And we’re counting on a good time tonight as well, since one of those officials, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, is going to be hanging out and drinking beer at DL.

Yes. You read that right. Tonight’s special guest is the Mayor. She’s going to stop by for an informal visit to gladhand and talk politics. If you want to meet her, or catch her ear about the Vacants to Values Program, Wal-Mart, bulk trash pickup or anything else, this is your chance. Drinking Liberally meetings are, as always, free and open to the public.

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If drinking with the mayor isn’t worth a Mobbies vote, then we just don’t know what is. There are only a couple of days left in the contest, so click over there right now, and vote for the Chop in the Music/Nightlife, Misfits, and Personal categories.

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Chop on the Spot: George’s of Mount Vernon

You might be surprised to hear it, but the Chop fully approves of hotel bars.

Most often we find ourselves in one when we’re overseas. Many times hotel bars are the cream of the crop, and some countries’ bars are found to be so wanting that the hotel bar with the western visitors is the only place you can count on getting a decent drink poured and not have to put up with a lot of the unsavory things that are prone to happen overseas.

The clientele in a hotel bar is, obviously, mostly out-of-towners. They seem to be of a few certain types, which are easy to identify at the hotel, but are fairly rare away from it. There’s business travelers, who are pretty straight-laced, and then there are people who travel a lot for work, who aren’t what you’d call “businesspeople” and pretty much drink from the time the trade show closes until it opens again. There’s cougars and hospitality employees and tourists and even the Chop.

Geroge's is located inside the Peabody Court Hotel at the west end of Mount Vernon Square.

Sometimes the Chop needs a break. Sometimes we just get tired of Brewer’s Art and Dionysus. Sometimes we want to drink in a place that’s actually not a basement, and be served by someone in a tie and not a Dead Boys T-shirt. It’s times like this when we hie down to one of Midtown’s best kept secrets, George’s of Mount Vernon.

We’ve been to George’s a few times for dinner, and are never disappointed. The ambiance is hard to beat, the food is delicious and without pretense, and the service is much more personal and friendly than you’d expect in such a place. It also doesn’t hurt that the prices are set so that one can easily pick up the check on date night.

We didn’t get the full benefit of George’s though until we went there for happy hour. The bar in there feels more like home than any bar in the city. But not like your fixer-upper Hampden rowhouse… like a really, really nice home.

The 12′ ceilings, crown molding, 10 foot windows, chandeliers, and posh leather furniture all give the impression that you’re in the sort of place that Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein drank when they lived in Baltimore, and hell, maybe they did. There’s something nice about stepping back into the jazz age for an hour, and a stiff old-fashioned in this place will set you right. It’s just the thing to brace you up for the travails of modern life.

Best of all? George’s happy hour is Sunday- Friday, and all beer, glass wines and rail drinks are 2-for-1.

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George’s is in the Peabody Court Hotel, 101 W. Monument Street in Mount Vernon. (410) 727-1314.

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