With a flick of her stubby paintbrush, artist Kim Parr Roenigk blocks in the flamboyant gesture of a Flamenco dancer. Another day, her sure hand outlines Matisse-like pineapples. These are some of the images springing to life on a dozen large canvases at her Ellicott City studio. Once completed, the murals will be rolled up and delivered to the boutique Ivy Hotel, under construction in Baltimore City’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The 1889 mansion at North Calvert and Biddle Streets, originally a private residence, became the city-owned Inn at Government House in the 1980’s. More decorative painting by Roenigk and other local artists is already in place at the luxury private hotel, which is slated to open this summer.
Posts by Amy Davis:
More than 500 protesters marched from Empowerment Temple Church on Primrose Avenue north on Reisterstown Road to Reisterstown Road Plaza for “Black Lives Matter Sunday.” On Reisterstown Road, near the entrance to the shopping center, the protesters formed a circle and many laid down to stage a die-in to show solidarity with Michael Brown. Brown, a 18-year old black man, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer was not indicted, sparking nationwide protests, including this one.
Fake foam tombstones, polyester-spun cobwebs, and elaborate “haunted” houses abound during the Halloween season, but if you want to see the real thing, head to Westminster Hall at 519 W. Fayette Street. An 18th century historic burial ground and catacombs, simultaneously macabre and serene, lies directly across North Greene Street from the looming glass tower of the Baltimore VA Medical Center. Edgar Allan Poe’s gravesite attracts the most attention, but many prominent civic and military leaders are buried here.
The first clue that magic is afoot on North Howard Street is the collection of oversized alabaster clown masks that smile enigmatically through the dusty display windows of A.T. Jones & Sons, Inc. Enter the costume shop, and you face more sentries: a row of medieval suits of armor line the wall. A few are Victorian antiques, but most of the armor was fabricated from fiberglass. You can’t tell the old from the new, and that is the point.
The black and white world of workers conquering tasks large and small is the subject of Bodine’s Industry: The Dignity of Work, a recently released book of A. Aubrey Bodine photographs edited by his daughter Jennifer Bodine. It’s also the subject of an exhibit of 70 photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Industry that runs from Oct. 15, 2013 to Feb. 6, 2014.
Clip, clop, jingle, jingle. Next comes the sing-song holler: pe-eee-aches and ca-aaa-ntalopes, wa-aaa-termelon, su-uuu-gar bananas and swe-eee-et grapes…” This musical rhythm section cuts through the humdrum sounds of traffic, turning a routine city scene into something special. An Arabber, no longer a common sight on Baltimore’s streets, has arrived. Leading this musical band is Yusuf Abdullah, known as B.J., followed by his horse Tony, decked out in bells and a red feather plume and harnessed to a vintage wagon laden with fruit.
The Charm City Roller Girls roller derby team is used to bruises, fractures, sprains, tears, and all manner of pain. This is the price derby athletes willingly pay for the exhilaration of the sport. Women undergo a grueling 10-week boot camp to learn the basics before trying out for the league. It may take more than a year of mastering further skills to be drafted to a team. Roller Girls train hard for long hours to stay in shape, improve, and avoid injuries.
I saw the old house first, set behind a row of faded 19th century houses strung along Falls Road a mile north of the city-county line. It was a caved-in box that had given up being a home many winters ago. The dried vines that clambered up the weathered wood couldn’t hide the gaping holes where windows had been.
Harry Foote Jr., 74, a retired waterman with craggy features, surveys the setting sun gleaming through trees over the fishing boats docked on Armstrong Creek, and remarks, “What killed crabbing this season was that the market dried up. It wouldn’t matter whether we had a hurricane or not. People are broke. Not enough customers. Earlier in the season the crabs were immature. By the middle of September, the crabs are prime, full of meat. September and October were probably our best two months.”
This is the second season for the Druid Hill Farmers Market, which offers farm produce, friendly faces and fun activities for all ages. The vendors are arrayed along a tree-shaded path, south of the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory, every Wednesday, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. from June 6 through September 26. The Farmers Market was launched by the Conservatory, the Friends of Druid Hill Park, and the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks to foster a sense of community in the neighborhoods adjoining the park.