Archive for the ‘Shelter’ Category

The New York Times had an interesting article in last Sunday’s Business section about Stuyvesant Town, a housing development near the East Village in Manhattan.  In 2006 a private equity firm purchased the development for a cool $5.4 billion.  That astronomical price was premised on the firm’s ability to hike up rents in order to push out long-time residents that were taking advantage of regulated, rather than market, rates.  According to the Times, this tactic has been utilized by other firms that have purchased rent-regulated apartments in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.  (more…)


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Snow 3.0

Hold on to your hats

Oh, the weather gods have a treat in store for us. 12-20 inches of an snowy blanket threatens to home-bound us for yet another weekend. But we’re not caving this time. On the docket:

  • Stocking fridge with strong wintry beer like our local Resurrection from the Brewer’s Art.
  • Bread making, maybe Swiss Braided Bread, for old times’ sake. I got a patch in baking from my 4-H club for this bread.
  • Sledding in Fed Hill. On snow, unlike these guys (more…)

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Population Dip? Swell

Just do It

Just do It

On the Urban Discoveries Blog, Matt Smith highlights a recent article showing Baltimore’s population is plunging by some 3000 people every year. He proposes 6 highly sensible ways to increase the population. Here are a few more, coming at you from the New York City Department of City Planning.

According to the census, the City of New York grew by 686,000 people between 1990 and 2000 — more than Baltimore’s entire population, added within 10 years. How’d they do it?

a. “Substantial natural increase” a.k.a., baby-making, so that more people were born than died. This is a scalable model we can adopt, no?

b. “Domestic migration losses offset by immigration.” White people moving to put babies in suburban schools were replaced (who needs ’em anyway) by plucky immigrants. Let’s here it for the Koreans and the El Salvadorians, and their bim bam bop tortillas. Come all ye Vietnamese, Indians, Hmong, Liberians, Maoris.


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POC 09Celebrate… And Have a Good Time. No, really, take a hint from Kool and the Gang, and enjoy this weekend. It’s for all the ladies and gents taking a breather from the back-to-back nuptials of wedding season.

DON’T get tipsy before noon, wear spike heels in grass, smear cake on your face, or freaky dance with your friend’s parents.

DO boogie down with music, outdoor movies and piles and piles of crafts for … free (mostly).

Black Lips: Kick this s**t off with a dance party at Sonar, complete with Spank Rock and Mad Decent’s Popo ($16).

Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom: At Fort McHenry, salute the Emancipation Declaration, read in celebration of the Civil War’s defining moment, when Union Soldiers landing in Galveston, Texas were told that slaves were free. Bring your own flag, and umbrella.

Pile of Craft 2009: Forgot to browse the registries before all the good stuff (read: under $150) got took? Eschew Crate n’ Barrel and flock to Red Emma’s church to purchase locally produced functional art, like ceramics, fine art or irrepresible stuffed yarn creatures. If they’re a youngish urban couple they are MUCH better off with stuffed yarn than crystal. (more…)

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"My New East Side is Active"

"My New East Side Is Active"

800 houses were gobbled up last week by the East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI). As the Urban Discoveries blog notes the initiative is actually taking off, after countless cleared blocks, lots and fields have laid fallow for years (EBDI was established in 2003).

The $1.8 billion program is gearing up to establish an 88-acre mixed use development with mixed income housing blocks,  schools, Johns Hopkins biopark, and actual parks. Oh, and a hotel at Eager and North Wolfe. Yes, you read that right… We trust the EBDI will inform guests to utilize the fitness center rather than strolling north, east or west into (likely debilitated) blocks unacquired by EBDI.

Rumor had it, a couple years back, that a Trader Joe’s was bound for the lot northwest of Johns Hopkins hospital. Could that be in store for the 80,000 square feet of retail promised to East Baltimore, the land where the brave retailers on Monument Street–S&A Dollar Store and Payless Shoes–shut behind bullet proof metal covers after 6pm.

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Arabbers per Maryland Historical Society

Arabbers per Maryland Historical Society

The sun may emerge Thursday, so the weatherman says. The new issue of Urbanite offers  a few reasons he should show up for the weekend(s):

1. Sundays 9am-3pm, Arabbers sell produce from local farms in Legends Park at Fremont Avenue and Laurens Street. These wooden wagon-toting sellers are an endangered species.

2. Live Baltimore’s Buying into Baltimore event, May 9, 9am-2pm: take a tour through west Baltimore, tour homes and get a $3000 down payment grant if you buy. Taser not included.

3. Frosted Crab soup at the Hopkins Club or Maryland Club. In nice weather the crowd roars from the second floor’s open-air restaurant. We have no means of access, but this Old Bay-flavored cold tomato soup is insanely popular with those who know the secret handshake. (Reputedly, strawberry and cayenne-flavored squash soup is on offer at the posh Engineer’s Club, by the Mt. Vernon fountain)

4. Baltimore Herb Festival in Leakin Park on May 23. Ride a “wee steam train” and sample Bay Laurel, which sounds like a love child or a sturdy thoroughbred mare.

5. Free literary walking tour of Mt. Vernon including homes of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tupac on May 9

6. Sidestep rat traps, sludge puddles and a rust-coated grill to plant herbs in moldy, cracking pots scattered about the Carriage House courtyard… Oh yeah, the Urbanite‘s Hidden City issue totally missed this gem of a weekend activity (ranked with cleaning the rain-splattered grime off our windows).

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It's so Baltimore

It's so Baltimore

Readers hunting for features within The New Yorker are accustomed to paging through glossy ads for earth-friendly ski resorts, humanist hedge funds and environmentalist oil companies. The latest marketing contradiction puts the spotlight on Baltimore, a destination normally unheralded in The New Yorker‘s pages for parties or much else (with a few exceptions). The ad announces “THE BEST NEW CLUB IN TOWN IS…” Where else? “YOUR HOME.”

Did you know, Baltimore, that there is a hot raging party going on at the Ritz Carlton Residences on Key Highway, on a newly paved row of concrete where Federal Hill brick rowhouses meet the fishy Bawlmer harbor? They’re just $600,000 to $5 million, available for immediate occupancy. (more…)

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