CityPaper: Steel World

September 12th, 2014

Literary Baltimore

Stein in BaltimoreLast month I received an email from a British researcher who came across my 2008 piece about Gertrude Stein’s years in Baltimore. I also wrote a piece on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s years in Baltimore for Baltimore STYLE in 2010. Next summer I’ll be teaching a course at UMBC called “Literary Baltimore” and we’ll cover these two great American writers as well as others who have lived all or part of their lives in Charm City. As co-curator of The New Mercury Nonfiction Reading Series (named for H.L. Mencken’s American Mercury) I’m continually amazed by the plethora of talented writers working in the city today. Come out to the Baltimore Book Festival, Sept 27 and 28, and see for yourself!

September 2nd, 2014

“People’s Photographer” Martha Cooper


I first met photographer Martha Cooper in 2008 when I wrote about her project to document daily life in Southwest Baltimore for Urbanite. Since then I’ve come to know her well and was thrilled when Baltimore STYLE magazine asked me to a profile her for the magazine’s September arts issue. Marty is revered within the graf/street art community for good reason. But her Soweto/Sowebo project may bring her more recognition and acclaim outside that world.

August 7th, 2014

Steelworkers union hall closing

Union hall

Word on the street is that the United Steelworkers union hall at 550 Dundalk Ave will be shuttered in mid-September. Perhaps a good time to revisit this piece from April 2013 in which USW District subdistrict director Jim Strong pledged to fund a meeting space for retirees after the hall was closed.

July 10th, 2014

Bitter Ends & New Beginnings

New owner for Sparrows Point?

UPDATE: Dundalk Eagle reports that Maryland-based Redwood Capital Investments is in talks to buy a big chunk of the Sparrows Point peninsula. Del John Olszewski, Jr. says that Redwood has the necessary capital to cultivate a “clean property and pro-growth […]

June 20th, 2014

Catholic LGBTQ Group Marches at Pride2014 in Baltimore


For the past couple of years I’ve been working with a group of LGBTQ activists at St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church in Northeast Baltimore. Even before Pope Francis queried, “who am I to judge,” last year, signaling a possible shift in the Catholic Church’s problematic stance on LGBTQ people, the St. Matthews LEAD ministry and others like it have broadcast the message “All Are Welcome” – in St. Matthew’s parish and in the Catholic Church.

LEAD has about 40 active members, about half LGBTQ and the other half allies, most with gay children, siblings or other family members. Last week, LEAD marched with 24 other Baltimore faith communities – Unitarian, Lutheran, Methodist, Jewish, Presbyterian and 3 other Catholic parishes – in the Baltimore PRIDE parade.