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Photo by: Sir John Tenniel

Antic performance art tackles a tale with a serious side: Baltimore’s Westside

“This disappointed me. In between being wowed by the costumes/roller-skating and scenes… I think the show could have been so much stronger had segregation NOT been glossed over.”
- Jodie Zisow

“To shed some light on the ‘Sit In & Occupy’ scene:  Fluid Movement made the decision not to do a scene about the 1955 Morgan State sit-in of Read’s drug store because we did not have enough performers of color to do it justice . . . We did not want to shy away from risky or challenging subject matter.  We simply didn’t have the proper cast to present the sit-in scene the way we wanted to, so we scrapped it.  After 13 years of working to represent the rainbow of Baltimore, we’re still mostly white.  It’s a challenge many organizations face, and one we continue to tackle & will keep working on.”
- Valarieps

“Come on-you had two black teenage cast members.  You could have asked them to bring others along–amateurs may be–but still possible.  You could have reached out to the arts schools in the area.  You could have gone to Morgan State.”
- Unellu

“We did all of those things and more.  No one we reached out to was interested.”
- Valarieps

“Commenter Unellu should come out and help improve the next show.”
- Rankamateur

“Why do you think you are not finding the diverse cast you want?  What are the obstacles?  Trust?  Lack of available talent? Black actors not wanting to work with a less diverse cast? . . . – it makes me sad we are still divided and you can’t find your actors.”
- Unellu
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Mayoral panel wants frieze to honor historic 1955 Read’s sit-in

“I like the idea of an allegorical frieze! (As long as it doesn’t come in the form of some absurd, abstract starchitectural doodad trying to make a mystical, esoteric ‘statement.’)”

- Marc

“Friezes are exquisite and they depict a story to those who know the story.  They can be admired for effect from a distance . . .Yet, they can be inaccessible, too far up or too far down, and except for historians steeped in the study of art, they can be meaningless to those will take them in without understanding their relevance or significance.”
- Unellu

“Read’s could have the interior recreated to look somewhat like back in the day – good photos are available – and it could be operated by an African American restaurateur who is excited by the history, as a place where once segregated people can not only come and eat, but those who were once kept out are now running the business.”
- heronwrite

“Baltimore City . . . still seeks to suppress and diminish the significance of this civil rights first that occurred here in 1955, compounding its initial suppression by our white establishment leaders back in 1955. It’s unbelievably short-sighted for government to be serving the developer’s needs, and not serving our citizens by acting in their best interests.”
- Tom Kiefaber

“The classical style will serve the city’s architecture well, and the formal style gives appropriate respect to these young men and women whose courage was as great as that of any who marched off to war.”
- Jo Brown
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City tentatively commits to funding community center in Westport

“Let’s face it. The original concept that this particular $250k would be tied to the proposed mega-million dollar Westport waterfront development extravaganza was pretty silly, which is why the city ignored it. It’s hard to keep all the wheeling and dealing straight, but I seem to recall this was also tied to the city building its big convention hotel, which is another non-sequitur. Good luck, Westport.”
- Gerald Neily
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Decrying cuts to Baltimore after-school programs, hundreds march on harbor

“Every cause sticks out their paws, from the least among us to the beast among us.  Every developer, every organization, every union, every collective, everybody . . . I would love to know, with a turnout of maybe 26% in the last “election”, how many of those adults vocalizing downtown actually got off their ass & went to their polling place.
- Davethesuave

“Money required to keep rec centers, pools and after school programs funded seems minuscule compared to the overall budget. If for no other reason SRB needs to find the money for these programs to convince the public she believes in investing in the city’s youth. To not do so hurts her image.”
- Brian
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“It seems like all of Baltimore is here”

“How many black teens have shot each other to death in B’more this year? Where is the outrage and the protests over that? Tragedies like the Trayvon murder are relatively rare, but the 200+ annual deaths of (mostly) black teens in B’more are frighteningly common and equally unnecessary. Do these protesters have their priorities in the right order?”
- Marc

“This is a moronic complaint . . . I haven’t heard one Black mother who lost her child to Black on Black violence, excuse the Black perpetrators.  But this crime has racial overtones — it harks back to the traumatic injuries of the days of lynching when official power belonged with the Whites and powerlessness belonged with the Blacks.”
- Unellu

“Where WAS the Mayor?”
- Jan Angevine

“She has already spoken when she released her FY 2013 preliminary budget; she spoke when she supported construction of the new Youth Detention Facility; she spoke when she opposed Transform Baltimore/Dr.Alonso’s plan to renovate school facilities; she spoke when she cut library hours; she spoke when she tried to privatize rec centers; she spoke when she expanded YouthWorks to a year-round program but only funded the summer portion and she spoke when she decided to close pools this summer … I’ve heard enough from her already!”
- Ktrueheart
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 Street-toilet floral display: spring landscaping in Baltimore!

“Oh Duchamp, look what you’ve done! Before your notorious antics upended the angst-and-relativism-ridden art world, art relied upon artistry to cultivate talent and create real beauty. But now it’s mostly about whacking together the detritus of a mindless consumer society to make shocking “statements” and inane gestures . . .  Last I checked – and despite the crackings of cynics – B’more was the Monument City, not the Bidet City.”
- Marc

“These new mini-roundabouts are just BEGGING for some kind of adornment. As it stands, they’re two dimensional and a bit hard to see. any valuable centerpiece is going to get smashed by a truck sooner or later, so something like this will fill the void.”
- Gerald Neily

“These bike traffic circles have got to be the world’s most idiotic traffic ‘feature’ I have ever seen. They are accidents waiting to happen. I have seen cars drive over them. I have seen approaching cars not knowing whether to stop and yield, so they drive straight thru without yielding to other cars. Or, they all just stop and wait..wait..wait. Pedestrians? Fagettaboutit! Take my life in my own hands when trying to cross with the cars not slowing down. All this for the bikers? Thanks a lot!”
- “Please don’t hit me!”
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Who says libraries aren’t used in the digital age and other BOE news

“If everything in this city worked like the library system Baltimore might truly claim it self-proclaimed title of ‘the greatest city in America.’”
- Westside Resident

“Library fine money should go to developing the library’s collection and library programs…why should it go to the general fund anyway?”
- JS

“The library is in full swing but they are cutting back a little in funding and cutting back the number of hours some branch libraries will stay open?   Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”
- Unellu
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Inside City Hall: Whoops and hollers for civil servantry

“Congratulations to the winners and all the other behind the scenes heroes.”
- Unellu
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Adrienne Rich, an appreciation

“She has said that ‘the more I love, the more I think / two people together is a miracle”, given all the cultural obstacles erected to subvert it into something else. However, I would say that she was the miracle. That she persisted fiercely, that she was unbending, clear and radical was a literary feat. Were she not one of the greatest poets of this century, they would have made her “disappear”, just like the all the outsiders she championed. She remained, however, unique, powerful and much loved.”
- Jan Angevine

“The poet as ambassador for the state–frightening,
the poet as enemy of the state–consoling,”
- Unellu
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Ambitious renovation would also mean closing 20 to 30 schools

“The fact that these schools and the students have failed to achieve have to do with the scarcity of resources over decades…the schools sometimes crumbling facade shows how the city neglected to give these communities what was needed to succeed.”
- Cindy Walsh

“This is a bold vision for reform that will cause an uproar of established interests. Exactly what this city needs.”
- Westside Resident
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STREET ART for Trayvon, by Nether

“What about these 200+ didn’t quite stir the emotions enough to get a march of hoodie wearers or a street art project or constant news mentions?”
- Dojani30
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VIDEO: edited by a city 10th grader: more voices from Trayvon Martin rally

“That’s sad. Awww RIP trayvon.”
- Kaykay9897
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Getting the skinny on Pimlico from a seasoned handicapper

“Say, aside from the Brew, was there anybody at the track under the age of 70?”
- Halsaxby00

“Regardless of the age of the attendees, racing is, indeed, a thinking person’s game. Hence the decline in attendance and handle. What percentage of the population can weigh factors like speed figures, jockey and trainer statistics and the impact of post position draws on the outcome of a race? Not a high percentage.”
- Jimbocp
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Bigots waterbombing protesters: a scene in Mad Men and real-life Baltimore

“Mad Men fails for me, precisely because it touches on the fringes of this repugnant universe without delving into the consequences of its depravity and debauchery. . . To me the beautiful white folks in Mad Men are lost and misguided imbeciles who accepted the segregation of their times, from their Madison Avenue perch. . . .  its ad men don’t seem to work and are in a state of perpetual priapism and its women are Bacchanalian fools . . . Give me Archie Bunker, the Jeffersons or Sanford and Sons.”
- Unellu

“For Gods sake take a pill will you. Better yet roll yourself a fattie and watch your moronic Sanford and Son. Stop taking yourself and everything so seriously.”
- John

“perpetual priapism perpetual priapism perpetual priapism perpetual priapism perpetual priapism perpetual priapism perpetual priapism… Elizabeth, I think this is the big one!”
- Gerald Neily
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Jazz at the Johns Hopkins Club, plus more weekend fare

“If the Blitzkrieg is going to ‘work its way through The Ramones songbook,’ the show is only going to last about five minutes.”
- Gerald Neily

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Below the Fold

  • March 24, 2014

    • Last Thursday, I sent an email to the Mayor’s Office of Communications asking for some basic responsiveness: Please return our emailed queries and phone calls about stories. Please send us the same routine emails you send to other members of the media. Lately, more so than usual, they haven’t been. It’s a shame because, even [...]

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