Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hollywood Diner Reborn...Again


Sweat Equity: Hollywood Diner gets new owner, vision from Maryland Daily Record on Vimeo.

If you hadn't noticed, the Hollywood Diner at 400 E Saratoga St. reopened this month, and not a moment too soon since the Baltimore Farmer's Market returns on Sunday April 3rd. I've always thought this was a prime location with residents and workers nearby, and market traffic on the weekends. Their angle is good, affordable, comfort-style food. Best of luck to new Hollywood Diner presents: Red Springs Cafe.

Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8am to 5pm
Friday: 8am to 7pm
Saturday and Sunday: (during Farmer's Market Season)

Where:
400 E. Saratoga Street

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One More Ranking...Social Networking

Men's Health has now ranked Baltimore the 58th most socially networked town in the US. I'm starting to think Men's Health has a vendetta on Charm City. Men's Health based their rankings on each city's users of Facebook and LinkedIn per capita, amount of Twitter traffic from members in the city, and other networking sites and blogs (are we not writing enough here?) to get the final tally.

With all the calculations that puts us at 58 out of 100, and a C letter grade. Well below Washington, DC (1), Boston (9), Wilmington, DE (22), and Los Angeles (33), but closer to Philadelphia (49), and New York City (53).

In our contemporary times when tweets, likes, and status updates lets us know everything that is going on in the world, and judges popularity from everything to celebrities, retail items, and what makes national news, is it that bad to be disconnected? Rather, do we here in Baltimore still just favor the original social network, face-to-face verbal conversations. You make the call.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where Do All These Rankings Come From?

Apparently, Baltimore is the 2nd Angriest City in the US, who knew! Well, this is according to Men's Health Magazine, which isn't exactly filled with empirical data and peer-reviewed articles. Weren't we listed recently as one of the top least-friendly places, ugliest, dirtiest, and rudest over the past few years? Is there any truth behind these claims, or does the rest of the country just not like us all that much.

IMO, I think the people that write these articles and make these surveys haven't spent enough time living in the areas they rank. They base their models off of national statistics, but don't understand the local culture because they haven't been immersed in it. Sure we have a lot of aggravated assaults, but that isn't indicative of the major of the population of Baltimore, so are we all really that angry? No.

So next time you magazine writers want to rank Baltimore, how about you actually take some time to get to know us.  Then  you can pass judgment on us, and maybe we'll believe you, but we probably won't, because you aren't one of us.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New MARC service begins Monday

Love it or wish it was better, the new MARC Penn Line schedule goes into effect on Monday morning. MTA Maryland, finally getting into the social network age has posted a video link on their Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1896043403490#!/video/video.php?v=1896043403490&oid=110997865589755&comments

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Downtown Open Space Plan:Some Good, Some Bad

At first glance, the Downtown Partnerships new Open Space Plan looks good. While the downtown district has many smaller parks, it lacks large open, green space that can be utilized by workers, residents, visitors, etc. While, I haven't had the chance to dive into everything, a few things already have come to mind.

  1. The plan for existing parks like Preston Gardens, Hopkins Place, and Liberty Place are excellent. They are underutilized, and could be much improved. The alterations and additions to Preston Gardens are extremely positive.
  2. The idea of turning the whole Arena site into a large park is misguided. I don't see the point, and I think it's waster real estate. The full plan gives four alternatives that turn some of the space into smaller parcels to develop, along with a park. This is the alternative I would select.
  3. I don't fully agree with turning over undeveloped land to park space. In the case of 1 Light St, it's tantamount to throwing in the towel. It's already an outrage that the old Southern Hotel was torn down for the sake of progress when it could have been repurposed (where was CHAP then?), and now we're stuck with a parking lot. Something should be build on that property, so we can at least saw it wasn't torn down for nothing (although it really was).
  4. The Downtown Partnership should really focus on improving what is already there, making them more useful, multi-purpose, and attractive. People should know where they are, how to get there, which green spaces and parks are near what, and what can they do when they get there.
I look forward to diving into the details in the next couple days. In the meantime, tell us what you think!