Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Hot Diggity-Dog the Ravens are in the playoffs! That means another Ravens Festivus! Expect purple to light up City Hall, Penn Station, and the Inner Harbor in the near future, if the Ravens can make a run this postseason. The 27-7 drubbing on the Jaguars ensured a Wild-Card berth and a playoff date with the Miami Dolphins next weekend on the road. Once again everyone is Wacko for Flacco, who threw for 297 yards.
In other NFL news my hometown Iggles ransacked the Cowgirls 44-6 on their way to the playoffs as well. They'll meet up with the Vikings in Minnesota in some Wild Card action.
Hope the long weekend was good. Back to work!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
* Quad Lighting at Johns Hopkins
* Snowflakes along Pratt Street
* Christmas Village at St. Paul Place
* The Washington Monument Lighting
* Fells Point Christmas Trees
* Campus decorations at Loyola
* Festival of Trains at the B&O Museum
* BSO Holiday Spectacular
* Christmas Parade in Hampden
Like all Christmas related things in Baltimore, we start and stop with Hampden. It's the wintry centerpiece of our fair city.
Whatever you are doing for the Holidays we here at Baltimore Skyline wish everyone in Charm City a Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
After 58 years the Fat Lady sings for the Baltimore Opera Company, and the Lyric will be a whole lot quieter. Sadly, they filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and canceled the last two shows of their season. Unfortunately not enough people in Baltimore like going to the Opera. It's a major blow for the High Arts for this city, though at least there is the BSO and the theatre arts (like Center Stage and the Hippodrome).
When Baltimore is trying to increase its image as an improving city, with a vibrant tourist scene, and attractive venues for its citizens, we go and let ourselves down by letting a culture scene die. Smothered like Desdemona in Othello by the pressure of the economy and other venues in the city.
Now, I can never say I've actually been to a BOC performance, or any Opera at all, although I am a big fan of Center Stage, but the loss of this performing art just encourages the dissenter's argument that Baltimoreans are "uncultured"
Here's hoping that the BOC gets back on it's feet, stretches out their diaphragms, and get some of that class back in Charm City
Sunday, December 7, 2008
What a great tradition, instead of having a large city tree, we light up the most recognizable landmark in the city. So every year in early December, lights are strung up Washington's column, and are ceremoniously lit, accompanied by fireworks, music, and food.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Here is the update from MTA:
Last updated: November 24, 5:31 AM
Effective Sunday, November 23, all Light Rail trains will operate between Hunt Valley and Cromwell Station/Glen Burnie and BWI Marshall Airport.
Trains will operate every 15 minutes between Linthicum and Hunt Valley and every 30 minutes from Cromwell Station/Glen Burnie and BWI Marshall Airport.
Shuttle buses will continue to provide service to Penn Station from the Mt. Royal/UB stop until further notice. As wheel maintenance associated with fall and winter weather conditions continues, Light Rail will operate some single-car trains which may result in crowded conditions during peak periods.
The MTA apologizes for the inconvenience.
Now if they had only spent that 4 million measly dollars on a solution back in 2000, we wouldn't have had this problem.
How have people been fairing on their commutes?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
With the major foul up with the Light Rail because of "slippery season" and broken wheels here are a few slight chances:
- you'll make it to work under an hour late.
- you'll see service continued above North Ave. in the next month.
- you'll find a seat on a train.
- that this problem will be fixed anytime soon.
- that the overnight power washing will keep the leaves at bay
- you won't see a Light Rail train packed to the gills passing you by.
- you'll keep your patience with MTA.
- they'll get this right when the trains are overhauled in 2011.
- you won't be driving to work for a while.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Sun has some more pictures here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-orioles1112,0,3040019.story
Friday, November 7, 2008
Yes, I was very happy with myself for coming up with that title.
Anyway, if you're into the Finer Arts, you should check out the The Raven, tonight or tomorrow at the Meyerhoff at 8pm. Guest conductor Leonard Slatkin, and the BSO, are performing The Raven, a musical accompaniment to Edgar Allan Poe's poetry. The performance also includes narration of five of Poe's poems by legendary actor, and Baltimore native, John Astin (you know Gomez Addams).
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
You have go to be kidding me. Up in Charles Village last night 16 people were arrested by the BCPD after election celebrations carried over into the streets. Overreaction reigned supreme in something that was nothing more than a showing of support for the candidate they were glad to see elected. I can see why the BCPD asked the crowds to move along, and understandably people got too enthusiastic, but arrests and tasers in response? It made for a sorrowful juxtaposition.
The Baltimore Sun had an article today about the incident. Hopkins students talked about getting tased, being shoved by officers, and camera phones being tossed. One student reported that a girl, after mentioning to a police officer that she had the right to assemble peaceably, was promptly thrown to the ground and arrested. Those arrested were not charged with any crimes, but spent the night in Central Booking
Their crowd control policies should seriously be reviewed. I am extremely ashamed of the BCPD for this one. They were college students, not rioters.
Sun article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/politics/bal-arrests1105,0,2394038.story
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Baby: "I just pooped"
Woah, the polling places are packed! Even with future voters. I went out to my polling place at Commodore Rodgers Elementary at 7:30am and i stood in line for an hour and a half! An HOUR AND A HALF! just to cast my vote. I knew I probably should have showed up earlier, but I like my sleep. We all know it slows down around 10am unil 4pm, and then picks up after that because all of the work force, but apparently the lines are longer than ever this year.
Maybe it's because you want change, or doing your civic duty, you just like chatting it up wih the nice sweet old Election Judges, or you are sick and tired of hearing Yes or No on Question 2 and want to get it over with, people are out there at the polls.
Luckily I got it done early today, because I would not want to be standing in line there now after spending all day at work.
Let's hope for no hanging chads this year!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
There was an article a while back about the Gateway at Washington Hill project, I think it was in the Baltimore Sun, but I can't be for certain. It mentioned that the property was sold and a new developer was looking to revitalize the program, albeit in a modified version. I was curious about the new project so I sent an email over to Kristina Kossolis at CBRE, the owner of the property, to see what the deal was. This is what she said:
"Phase 1 of the project is supposed to break ground fall of 2009 and will take 1.5 years to develop and phase two will break ground as the first phase finishes. It is the hope of the developer to bring great retail amenities along with residential units to the community."
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Nothing says "Celebration of Western Expansion" like a giant, stainless steel arch. I think it would be more impressive if it spanned the Mississippi, but it is a striking feat of engineering. It was designed by Finnish architectural genius Eero Saarinen in 1947, the same man who brought us the terminal at Dulles Airport and TWA's at JFK. The man really knew how to make steel and concrete curve gracefully. A large inverted catenary curve, it is 630 feet at its keystone piece, and 630 feet across at it's base. Two trams take passengers up either leg to the observation deck at the top. It was completed in 1965 after two years of construction.
The Arch is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial which opened in 1935. It sits mainly on the old portion of St. Louis, which by the early 1930s was so decrepit (not to mention too close to the flood prone Mississippi) that the buildings were torn down and replaced with a grand park. Nearby is the Old Court House, which saw the beginnings of the Dred Scott case in 1847 and 1850, which eventually led to the famous Supreme Court case in 1857.
Here at Baltimore Skyline, we do enjoy not only the architecture of our city, but those unique things we find all over, so we'll continue to bring you some great stuff from all over.
Hope you're enjoying your wet and windy Saturday night!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Unfortunate news coming out of MTA for Maryland Commuters, because of the budget cuts and souring economy, MTA is going to be making some cuts of their own starting in January. The MTA plan to cut 6 Commuter Bus routes and a few trains on the MARC Penn and Brunswick lines are coming at a time where mass transit is seeing one of the largest spikes in its usage. Last January the MTA announced that they would add four later MARC trips, to take advantage of later riders. Now, a year later, two of them, the 447 to DC and the 448 to Baltimore, are planning on being cut.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Legg Mason Tower
Friday, October 17, 2008
Now since it seems that Zipcar won't expand it's market in Baltimore beyond Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College, Bmore is going to just go around Zipcar and create it's on car sharing organization. Take that! Seeing as Zipcar has been a great success in markets like Washington DC and Philadelphia, why wouldn't they want to start up more pods here? Especially in a city whose public and rapid transit system is far less suited for people looking to get around. Car sharing would be a great option here, and it definitely is a loss for Zipcar.
On the good side of this is that Baltimore gets to create its own non-profit car sharing system on the lines of PhillyCarShare (http://www.phillycarshare.org/). The start up date hasn't been set yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was something in the not-to-distant future. We definitely need another option here in Bmore, and this will fill a great void. Baltimore is a city where you need a car to get to practically anything, and a car sharing system will help us do without. For those people who don't want to have the hassle of owning a car, with insurance, payments, and gas on top of it, this will be a great alternative.
Imagine being able to pick up a car for a few hours, go to the supermarket and do some errands, then return the car at a pod. If they are spaced frequently around neighborhoods and downtown the walk would be easy to get one. If they focus some pods around Metro, Light Rail, and Bus transportation centers, then we got something good going on. Plus they want to get a lot of hybrids, so environmentally they will be better, and hopefully get more individual cars off the street.
Let's hope they can get this up and running soon. We all could use a better alternative these days! (Maybe a bike sharing program in the future?)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It's hard not to see the Washington Memorial when you are out and about in the city. It sits on the highest point in Baltimore, and is 178 feet tall, so you can't miss it. Interestingly enough, it was conceived and construction began well before it's more famous cousin in Washington DC. Construction started in 1815, but wouldn't be completed for fourteen years.
The memorial is made up of three basic parts: Pedestal, Column, and George. The pedestal recounts the date that Washington took command and when he resigned is commission after the American Revolution, as well as his victories as Commander-in-Chief (all FOUR of them!) The tall marble Doric column stands atop the pedestal and standing on top is the 16-foot tall statue of GW.
The Memorial was, in 1829, the second tallest structure in the city (behind the Shot Tower), and even though that has long been eclipsed it is still a striking fixture on the skyline. It sits literally at the heart of the city in Mount Vernon, surrounded by Lafayette, Taney, and Howard. Although the hustle and bustle of the city goes on below, the good General still watches over from his perch.
One of the most unique Baltimore traditions (and by far my favorite) involves the Memorial, at Christmas time. New York has it's tree in Rockefeller Center and DC has their National Tree, but we do it a little differently here in Bmore: we just light up George. Lights are strung up the column, and in the most secular of ways we celebrate the holidays!
For a $1 you can walk up the monument, so next time you find yourself in Mount Vernon take a walk up (only 228 steps) to the top, but beware the railing is very low, people were shorter in 1829.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Good Grief. Thus ends another depressing season of Orioles baseball. A 10-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays brought the official season total to 68-93, a winning percentage of .422. That was good enough for 28.5 games behind and the second-worst team in the American League (thank you Seattle). That makes 11 consecutive losing seasons for the Birds, how much longer can this go?
Once again there was a disappointing end to a season that started off with a lot of promise. As a rebuilding season the O's dumped Miguel Tejada and Eric Bedard, while picking up Luke Scott (and his dynamite bat) and George Sherrill. However, the one pitched the O's hoped would be the back bone of the rotation, Adam Loewen, ended his career as a pitcher because of injury.
The Orioles had a lot of electricity and enthusiasm, but that will only carry you so much when the powers that be in the front office won't spend the dough to bolster the roster. While the team batting average was 8th in the AL (and 10th in the Majors) with a .267, their team ERA was a dismal 5.13. This was not only good enough for second worst in the AL, but also in the entire Major League. The pitching staff gave up 184 Home Runs, walked 687 batters while only striking out 922. After hanging around .500 most of the season the Birds dropped their last 28 of 34 and wound up at the bottom of the Al East for the first time since 1988.
Let's hope the off-season can bring some positive prospects, but seriously, Peter Angelos has got to do something or he's go to go!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wow, what a crazy home stretch in the National League East. The Phillies pulled off their second NL East Division championship in as many years. The last time the Phillies went to the playoffs two years in a row Ronald Reagan was in his first year of office, and the last time they won the Divison back to back was 1976-1977 (and won a third in '78) Wow. It got dicey at the end of the game, and I thought it would go down to the last game of the season once again, but we pulled it off! Top of the 9th, 1 out, bases loaded, with Brad Lidge on the mound. Lidge, who has been perfect in save attempts this year, gave a low slider to Ryan Zimmerman who rocketed it up the infield. A diving Jimmy Rollings stopped it, flipped it to Chase Utley who launched it to Ryan Howard for the 6-4-3 Double Play...In...the...bag.
Bring on some October baseball! Watching the results of the Mets and Brewers today to see who we get to play in the NLDS.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The first of probably many Baltimore Skyline Roadtrips brings us to New Haven, CT. Just a quick 4 hour Amtrak trip up the NorthEast Corridor and here we are. Nothing like catching a 5:45am train out of Baltimore in the rain, in the dark, to travel up North, on a Friday...for work.
Ah, New Haven, Home of Yale University, and our focal point of this blog- New Haven Union Station. Union Station was built in 1918 and officially opened in 1920. It was designed by Cass Gilbert, a pioneering architect from the early 20th century, he is most well known for the Woolworth Building in New York, but hey, he designed a pretty nice train station here in New Haven. Saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s it was revamped and reopened by Amtrak and Metro North. The most striking feature of the building has to be the Main Hall. It's coffer ceiling is reminiscent of Philadelphia's 30th Street, but is more the size of our own Baltimore Penn Station (the Tiffany glass and sky lights of Bmore beats New Haven any day)
An interesting addition from the 1970s renovation are the tunnels leading to the train platforms. Travellers pass through twin stainless steel tear drop corridors on their way out to the trains, preparing riders for their rides on the steel clad trains that will take them to their destinations...possibly 20-40 minutes late. The nice thing about it is that it doesn't take away from the old structure, kudos preservationists!
Well back in Baltimore, just a quick day trip, lots to do this weekend, Book Festival up in Mount Vernon, check it out and read some literature. Bring on the weekend Bmore.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Once the largest building in Baltimore, the Baltimore Trust Building, as it was first known, was finished in 1929 on the eve of the Great Depression. Designed by the architectural firms of Taylor & Fisher and Smith & May, it was Baltimore's first modern setback skyscraper. Standing high above the corner of Light and Baltimore Streets, it reaches 509 feet into the air. A mix of Art-Deco and Gothic elements make for a strikingly unique building. Constructed at a time when form superseded function, the exterior has bold ornamentation and sculpture. The interior lobby showcases murals depicting the Great Fire of 1904 and the Battle of Baltimore.
It remainded the talk of the town until 1973 when the more modern (and bland!) Legg Mason Tower was constructed. Even though it now plays second fiddle, the old man of the city still catches the eye quicker and strains the neck longer than it's younger neighbor.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anyways, starting Friday there will be a parade from Little Italy to the Flag House and then to the Inner Harbor. Afterwards the parade will move through Tide Point to Locust Point and ending at Fort McHenry. There will be events all day Saturday with living historians (reenactors) and then a large concert and fireworks display at dusk.
So head down to the Fort and bring your copy of the Star Spangled Banner, and an umbrella since there is a chance of showers, and help bring back an old holiday!
Now, I’m all up for preserving historic buildings, but it may start a bad precedent. Blocking this proposal could feasible kill any future attempt to do anything at that site. The Mechanic sits on some prime real estate at Charles Center, smack in the middle of the Central BD. The Mechanic is no Hippodrome, neither in capacity or looks. Sure the Mechanic is unique as it represents late 1960s/70s brutalism (the name fits the appearance), and it isn’t the only structure of its kind in Baltimore (see Loyola/Notre Dame Library at Loyola College). However, many see the building as an eyesore, as a lump of concrete rectangles in the middle of an otherwise nice plaza.
David S. Brown’s team brings in a great compromise: recycle the Mechanic into something that is needed (sustainable retail) while not wasting a good piece of ground. Hopefully CHAP will see it this way. Seriously, it's not that bad of a building, c'mon we've seen worse...