Monday, July 26, 2010

Construction News and 200th post

Two big construction projects in the city will be getting under way shortly. After a long crane shortage, two will be on the skyline shortly. The University of Baltimore School of Law building and the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus grad housing will have their official groundbreakings next month. Currently, site work and preparations are ongoing at both locations. The new UB Law building will rise 12 stores at the corner of Mount Royal and Charles Street. In addition to adding 190,000 square feet of academic space, the new building will serve as a link between the campus and Penn Station. It will be a welcome addition to a rebuilding and growing neighborhood in Midtown.

In East Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins grad housing will rise 20 stories and add 542 beds to the medical campus. In an already expanding medical campus with the Wilmer Eye Institute and Armstrong buildings finished last year, and the twin medical towers expected to be finished in early 2012, the grad housing will be a major addition to the East Baltimore skyline. Hopkins Hospital already stands on a literal and figurative hill, and the grad tower will be quite visible from a lot of the city. Most importantly, this project adds student residents to the campus and will no doubt be a catalyst for commercial and retail expansion around the hospital.

Both the UB Law Building and Hopkins grad housing are slated to be finished in 2012. As soon as construction begins we'll be sure to snap some photographs to post here on the Skyline.

This is also our 200th post, so here's to one milestone and promises for more as the news rolls out in Charm City.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bmore Skyline Restaurant Review?

I have never done a restaurant or bar review before because a.) I go to the same places all too often and b.) there are already enough reviewers out there on the Internet or newspaper, but I figured I would dabble.

The gf and I decided to try a new place (to us) last Friday night, and headed up to Maisy's on N. Charles Street. They have been open since last June, and I pass by nearly every day on my home from work, but I never stopped in. We're glad we did! From the outside, it doesn't look very big, but the white lights hanging from the awning are helpful in recognizing it from a distance. On nicer days the floor-to-ceiling front windows are opened and the sounds of diners and happy hour goers can be heard on the street. This particular night, with the temps above 90, they were shut and the A/C was on.

We arrived for a later dinner, around 8:45pm, and there was a decent crowd. Looking for the quickest seats in the house we headed for the bar, started off with a drink, and perused the menu. The stand out is the pizza. They make their own crust, sauce, and mozzarella cheese and the toppings are picked locally.  It was fantastic.

The wait staff was very attentive, and the owner Matt Helme who was working behind the bar introduced himself and chatted with us throughout the evening. It has a very friendly atmosphere, the type of place you can come in frequently because of specials, happy-hours, and the small local feel to the place. The parking situation isn't ideal, but its walkable from the apartments and condos of the CBD and the houses in Mount Vernon. The Circulator also has a stop just up the block.

If you haven't been already, I would consider checking it out. It has a "recession friendly" menu, with sandwiches under $10, most entrees under $20, and pizzas big enough for two starting at $10.95.

Maisy's is located at 313 N. Charles Street and is open at 11am. Daily Happy Hour is 4pm-7pm, and weekend Late Night Happy Hour is 11pm-2am.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Early Morning Earthquake

Did anyone else feel that?

There was a 3.6 magnitude tremor centered around Gaithersburg around 5am this morning. WBAL this morning said that it was felt in Northern Virginia and as far north as Pennsylvania.

Post if you noticed it!

Artscape Escape

Artscape starts tomorrow, so prepare for the 350,000 attendees that will descend on Mid-town and Station North. For all of you who drive to work along Charles Street...good luck! I would suggest taking any other route if possible, but regardless it's going to be a crazy Friday commute with all the streets closed up there in the area.

The Circulator has already seen disruptions, and some riders got stranded today by miscommunication, if anyone kept up with Michael Dresser at The Sun.

If you're heading up to Artscape, enjoy the fun! If you're getting cranky about the thought of a couple hundred thousand art geeks coming into town for the weekend, just remember it's only 3 days a year. Maybe spend the weekend in other neighborhoods, or take a day trip. As for me I'll avoid the crowds as much as possible, but I may check out the least until it gets too artsy for me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Columbia/Ellicott City are #2

CNN Money ranked Columbia and Ellicott City #2 in their annual Best 100 Places to Live  for 2010. Others that made the list were Gaithersburg at 25 and Rockville at 31. Baltimore did not make the list, although I still love living here, and I'm sure many of you out there do too.

Columbia and Ellicott City sit roughly 20 minutes south of Baltimore, placing it in easy access to both here and Washington. Its proximity to job centers, schools, and shopping make it a nice suburb. Ellicott City's historic small town feel is a major advantage to people who want to live in the suburbs, but not in the sprawl.

For the full list, follow the link here:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baltimore Scorcher

It's going to be a hazy, hot, and humid one in Baltimore today folks! Temperatures are expected to be above 100 degrees in Charm City, tomorrow will be just as hot. The heat downtown can be even more uncomfortable with the concrete and blacktop helping to radiate more of the heat.

It was already uncomfortable when I made my morning commute at 8am, and the sweat was dripping by the time I hit the sweet AC in my office. Keep cool out there folks!