April 4, 2012
The results are in! We’re thrilled by the number of submissions we received for our first-ever Charles Street photo contest. We had an agonizing choice to make: just who had the most beautiful shot of Charles Street?
Our criteria was objective. We wanted photos that captured clearly recognizable Charles Street landmarks, in all seasons.
And the winners? We’ve selected three people whose photos captured the very essence of our neighborhood. I think you’ll be pleased with them:
Stephen Brockleman sent in this photo entitled “Charles Street Snow.” One look and it took me back to those frosty, early January Baltimore mornings.
Courtesy Stephen Brockleman
I asked Stephen what inspired him to take this shot.
“I’m a fan of urban center living, downtown Baltimore, and snow,” Stephen said. “While spring and autumn are visually attractive – to my eye, with a coating of snow, Baltimore seems postcard perfect; people in Baltimore seem to be at their best. Snow softens hard edges of all kinds and brings people together.
“That being said, Charles Street and the Mt. Vernon neighborhood create a pretty special environment for living, working, and playing all year-round,” he added.
We couldn’t agree more!
Our next winner, Marcus Dagan, is the founder of the Historically Delicious brand. Marcus’ photo, “Mt. Vernon Spring #1,” perfectly captures the delight we feel passing by the Washington Monument when the cherry blossoms are out.
Courtesy Marcus Dagan
“To me, Mt. Vernon – especially The Square – has lovely European elements, and the neighborhood satisfies my love of food on virtually every level of taste,” Marcus said. “The blossoms signal the beginning of my favorite season, spring. They are fleeting in their appearances and I took the shot to have them around always. I’m proud to say THIS is MY neighborhood.”
Well put, my friend!
And last but certainly not least, our final winner was Steve Speicher’s contemporary shot, entitled “North Tower.”
Courtesy Steve Speicher
“While the people are truly the lifeblood of Charles Street, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the structures in which the people live, work, and play,” Steve told me.
“Charles Street offers such a plethora of charming architectural styles and designs, reinforcing Baltimore’s nickname. I’ve always been intrigued by what comprises a city’s skyline, and how every building looks different depending on the time of day, and where you’re standing. They are geometric works of art.”
“I actually took this photo through my sun roof,” Steve added. “It was a sunny day on Charles Street when I peered up and was moved to capture the towering visual above me. Charles Towers represents one of the largest groups of residents on Charles Street, so this photo is as much about the building itself as it is about the people who call it home.”
All three of our winners will have their photos enlarged, printed and proudly displayed on the walls of our Historic Charles Street Association office. I always knew there was a lot of art in the museums and galleries along Charles Street, but now I’m so happy to know so many of our artists.
And we’re holding a special recognition celebration for Stephen, Marcus and Steve during our next monthly Happy Hour – which will be on Tuesday, April 17 at 5pm at the Hotel Monaco! We’ll have wine and hors d’oeuvres, courtesy of the wonderful staff at the beautiful hotel. If you’d like to join us, you are most welcome – but space is limited, so RSVP with me today.
Congratulations again to our winners!
Prime Time at the Prime Rib
Now through April 5, you can ‘get your steak on’ at The Prime Rib – by enjoying their delicious 15 oz USDA Prime Rib for just $15!
When General Manager Dave Derewicz told me about this fantastic special, I just had to see (and taste) it to believe it!
Yes, it’s true, I surmised, chewing one delicious bite after another. I sat at the bar and talked with the other guests.
“Remember on The Flintstones?” Bartender Dan Burkes asked, “Remember when, in the beginning of each episode, Fred comes home from work to a humongous piece of steak for dinner?”
“People react just like Fred Flintstone when they see our steaks come to the table – their eyes get really big, and then they immediately take out their cell phones to post pictures of it on Facebook!”
And while I enjoyed every ounce of that fantastic steak, I have to say that the appeal of the Prime Rib isn’t limited to their food.
Meet Maitre D’ Brad Black and Dan Burkes. They take the time to talk to their guests – and even remember your name when you come back!
This is the kind of place that makes you feel really special – why people have been coming here for so many years.
So come down and see for yourself why The Prime Rib’s consistently voted among Baltimore’s very best restaurants! And remember, the 15 for $15 USDA Prime Rib special ends this Thursday, April 5.
The Prime Rib is located at 1101 N Calvert St. There’s complimentary valet parking. Call 410-539-1804 for reservations. http://www.theprimerib.com/bal/index.html
Shades of Spring
With spring in full bloom and Easter this weekend – (can you believe it?)-
I thought this would be the perfect time to check in with our friends at Flowers By Gina D.
Gina has lots of sweet smelling bouquets you can send your loved ones this holiday.
The bouquet above is called “Shades of Spring” and includes hot pink spray roses, pink asiatic lilies, yellow alstroemeria and lavender daisy spray chrysanthemums accented with assorted greenery. I especially love the rainbow vase.
Or for a lighthearted ‘hello,’ you could send the “Polka Dots and Posies” arrangement, to the left.
Seeing this on my kitchen table would put a smile on my face, that’s for sure.
Gina’s Life-Affirming Story
Now, you might think someone who owns a flower shop might be as delicate as her arrangements, but it’s just the opposite with Gina Davis.
Gina owns one of the most successful flower shops in the city, but the story behind it is actually one of survival, faith and perseverance – through some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
Gina and Jonathan
You’d never guess by looking at Gina that just a few years ago her doctor told her she only had a few months to live.
Working at the time as an executive for the US Postal Service in Washington DC, Gina fell very ill. It was painful for her to breathe. She was told that she had interstitial lung diseases. And the diagnosis was terminal.
With every visit to the hospital, things would get worse, and Gina was placed on the list for a lung transplant.
In October 1996, Gina was actually laying on the operating table to receive a new lung when the doctor was informed that the donor lung was bruised and could not be used. (It was miraculous she did not receive it – had they done so, she would have died.) So Gina was awakened and taken home.
“Live for me,” her husband Jonathan told her, “Live for your family.”
Gina was strong, and was supported by the love of Jonathan and her wonderful children, Adrian and Tamara. Somehow, she found the energy to heal. Gina turned to flower arranging – a course she had taken on a whim only a few months before becoming ill – as a way to fill her afternoons at home.
Her talent was evident. Her friends asked her to put her flowers into arrangements. Impressed by her skill, her church, the Holy Temple Pentecostal Church, asked her, too. Soon, businesses were calling to place their orders.
And that’s when the miracle happened. By tending her plants, her body somehow found a way to recover. Two years after leaving the hospital, and with just 50% lung capacity, Gina opened her first flower shop on Charles Street.
Gina and Tyra Banks
Today Gina’s lungs are still scarred, but her body is strong, and so is her business. She has three employees, several delivery trucks and a rolodex full of happy customers – including Ray Lewis, Tyra Banks, S. Epatha Merkerson (Law and Order), David E. Talbott, Sommore (comedienne), Eve, Patti LaBelle, and so many others. She creates arrangements for weddings, funerals, special events and holidays, like Easter.
I can’t walk past Gina’s cheerful window display without thinking about her incredible story, and that’s why I wanted to share it with you. The next time you need to order flowers, do keep Gina in mind. Her flowers may look fragile, but they are strong as steel, just like she is. I’m proud to know her.
Spring is a wonderful and busy time for Flowers By Gina D. Weddings, receptions, parties, and other special events allows Gina and her creative staff a chance to show off their artistic skills. And let’s not forget the busiest day of all, Mother’s Day! Gina has to hire extra staff and several contract drivers to handle the hundreds of deliveries of all types of flowers for that extra special week.
Flowers by Gina D. makes deliveries all over the Baltimore area, and even ships arrangements around the globe. You can place your order by calling 410-385-8552 or visiting the store at 330 N. Charles Street. Website: http://www.flowersbyginad.com/index.php
Fun Things to Do The Rest of the Week
Free tonight, Wednesday April 4, from 6-8pm at The C. Grimaldis Gallery: a solo exhibition of photographs by Alexey Titarenko. The exhibition features photographs, taken in St. Petersburg between 1991 and 2009, widely considered the most significant in the Russian artist’s oeuvre. It is free and open to the public. C Grimaldis Gallery is located at 523 N. Charles Street. Phone 410-539-1080. http://www.cgrimaldisgallery.com/
Also on Wednesday, from 5-7pm, there will be Bocce Ball & Music at Preston Gardens! St. Paul & Pleasant Streets. Call 410-244-1030 for details.
On Friday, April 6th: Happy Opening Day! See you at the Park – Oriole Park, that is.
Saturday, April 7th from 2-3pm: Learn how to make a Button Easter Card at the Woman’s Industrial Exchange! Instructor Treena Moore will show you how to ornament felt with brightly colored buttons to create a uniquely adorable card to send to friends and family. $10. 333 N. Charles Street. Phone 410-685-4388. Click here for the website.
Also on Saturday, April 7 at 8pm at The Walters Art Museum: It’s the World Premiere of Carl Grubb’s “Inner Harbor Suire for Jazz and String Ensembles.” Originally written in 1983 and recorded by the Carl Grubbs Jazz Ensemble in 1993, “Inner Harbor Suite: Live at the BMA,” moves to another level with the inclusion of the string ensemble led by Peter Minkler. Located in the Graham Auditorium. Tickets $20. Call 410-385-2638 for tickets. Click here for the website.
Hey thanks for reading this far down! Trivia is next. If you have a friend or family member who you know would love to receive our Charles Street Insiders, send them this link:
And thank them for supporting our community.
I was astounded by the number of correct answers to last week’s question!
There are three Memorials to Lizette Woodworth Reese in Baltimore (four including the bust at the Peabody Library):
1. A bronze memorial tablet mounted on the wall of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, (Cathedral and Franklin Streets), second floor next to the Edgar Allan Poe Room.
2. A second is a bronze plaque, on which is inscribed her sonnet “Tears,” next to the main office at Western High School (4600 Falls Road).
3. And a larger memorial on the grounds of Eastern High School.
Ready for this week’s question?
On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sent the world’s very first telegraph message to which Baltimore building? And what did the message say?
Email me your answer, and you, too, could win a prize!
Until next week,
Executive Director, The Historic Charles Street Association
The Historic Charles Street Association (HCSA) is a non-profit organization, 501 (c)(3),whose mission is to support and promote the businesses, cultural attractions, entertainment venues, restaurants and retail establishments along the Charles Street corridor. HCSA serves as a problem solving and information resource for its members, as well as provides a forum for networking, communication and collaboration.