Wednesday, June 16, 2010

9th Annual African American Heritage Festival

It's another hot summer Baltimore! Time for the FREE festivities to begin. What better way to start than with the African American Heritage Festival (AAHF)?

The 9th Annual African American Heritage Festival is a 3-day event that brings together a diverse group of people to experience the history, culture, heritage, and arts of African Americans. The festival includes divine dining from multiple food vendors, local and mainstream talent showcasing their skills, and countless pavilions with educators set up to serve the community information about issues such as Health, Wellness, and Finances.

According to the AAHF website, the festival "attracts 500,000 people from Baltimore, Washington, and other neighboring states."

Check out the flyer above for more details! Hope to see you there!

*A little tip for all those wondering: The AAHF is a TOTALLY different event from the AFRAM, as so many of us old schoolers used to call it. I, too, thought that the title "AFRAM" had just been retired. Howeverm the acronym is used for other festivals such as the one being held in Norfolk, VA this summer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I assume that everyone reading this blog has taken a ride on the MTA at least ONCE. I can admit to the fact that I was confined to Marc Troy and Anthony (inside joke Baltimoreans!) up until 17 years of age when I got my driver's liscence and first car. I was riding high after that: no running after busses who leave you because they are running late, no running late for appointments because the bus can't be found, no sitting next to wierdos who talk your ear off or have a foul smel (you catch my drift).

My reaction after a guy challenges my space on the #3 Inner Harbor. Waaayyy too close for comfort!

Then my ride ended when I got hired by the City of Baltimore and started working Downtown. It was back to the bus for me (I mean, really, would YOU park in Downtown Baltimore?!) Back to broken windows and no air conditioning on 90 degree days, back to half hour waits for busses that are supposed to run every ten minutes.

Do you have an MTA horror story? Share them hear, I'd love to hear them. I have a few of my own, starting with one illustrated by the first picture :long exaggerated SIGH:. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day Events in Baltimore!

*Don't worry weekday workers, your long weekend if right around the corner! :)

If you celebrate Memorial Day and are looking for something to get into, here are a few events going on around or near Baltimore City this weekend (Thanks, Baltimore Sun):

Annapolis Memorial Day Parade
Annapolis, MD
May 31, 2010 @ 10 a.m.

The parade honors 300 years of veterans service to our country and community. Starts from Amos Garrett Boulevard and continues down West Street, around Church Circle, and up Main Street, ending at Susan C. Campell Park at City Dock.

Memorial Day Ceremony
Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens
Baltmiore, MD
May 31, 2010 @ 10 a.m.

This ceremony will honor Maryland soldiers and marines who were killed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since May 2009.

A day to remember the brave men and women who lie within the Circle of
Immortals and those who have defended our freedom. -Dulaney Valley Memorial

Memorial Day Ceremony
Loudon Park National Cemetery
Baltimore, MD
May 31, 2010 @ 10:45 a.m.

Hosted by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, this event includes military salutes and decoration of graves.

National Memorial Day Parade
Washington D.C.
May 31, 2010 @ 2:00 p.m.

This parade kicks off at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, and proceeds west down Constitution, ending at 17th Street. If you aren't able to make it out to D.C., you can also catch this parade at 2 p.m. on the Military Cahnnel (call your local cable provider for listings).

Honoring Our Heroes From Across the Generations-National
Memorial Day Parade Website

Click the event names to go to their websites for more details! Happy Early Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On the Edge Pt. 2: What about the citizens? Facebook users respond

So far there have been many Baltimore City Police running to retire or even resign due to the pension changes set to take effect on July 1, 2010. We aren't just talking about the police officers, though. There have been sergeants, lieutenants, EMT's, Paramedics, and fire fighters putting in their paper work as well.

These are the people who risk their lives everyday to help protect the residents of Baltimore City.

But let's face it: if you live in Baltimore, the protectors who seem most prominent are those boys in blue. If the high rate of retirees results in a shortage of officers (especially ones in high ranks), what kind of trouble will the city be in for? This is especially important to think about when we hear of young officers like this one abusing their authority. (Thanks, Baltimore Sun) Are we sure we want examples like this remaining to take care of our city?

On Facebook, some Baltimore City residents opened up and told me where their feelings lie when it comes to Baltimore City Police. Here is what a few of them said:

Crystal Sewell and Elex Taggert:

Fuck Em...

Stephen Felton:

I enjoy getting pulled over and then let off with a warning 'cause they have nothing to arrest me on...

Jessica Reid:

I think there are some good officers out there but it's overshadowed by the idots that's there. How as an officer are you gonna enforce the laws but you don't know the law? That's my problem with the city police.

Leon Foy:

BCPD: they are slow to investigate, quick to accuse, and they never know anything about the people they protect or the laws they enforce...Western District.

It looks like some residents wouldn't miss some Baltimore City Police if they stepped down. How would you feel?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the Edge: Baltimore City Fire and Police Retirement

The people who protect and serve your city are running scared.

Due to Baltimore City's $121 million budget crisis causing drastic changes in the city's infrastructure, fire and police officers have been sitting on the edge since the beginnning of this year. The reason why: those changes could possibly result in layoffs and a reduction of their retirement benefits.

Imagine this: you decide to to become a police officer at the tender age of 21. Some of the benefits you plan to enjoy include: steady pay increases, moving up in the ranks, and stacking your pension in order to retire at 41 with at least a $100,000 lump sum payment. All of this will allow you to move to Florida and spend your days on the sandy beach with your family.

Then, someone changes their mind and decides to make you work harder and longer in the present only to gain half of that pension in the future.

Baltimore City's Fire and Police Retirement System is currently one of the most generous contributory retirement plans that exists. Fire and Police staff, at any age, can retire with 20 years of service, or at the age of 50 with 10 years of service.

There is also a seperate account, called the DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan), that allows Fire and Police to contribute earnings which gain interest for a term of three years of their service. Fire and Police can sit back and watch this account grow with thousands of dollars until they are ready to retire.

On July 1st, this all might be taken away.

What are Baltimore City Police Officers saying about it?

"Oh, it's about to get real ugly!" says one officer.

Coming Up: What will happen on July 1st and what citizens think about a shortage of officers in the city...

Monday, May 17, 2010


O yes Baltimore, the time has come.

Time to break out the newspapers, mallets, and beers. Time to crack those legs and get moving towards your favorite crab shack in town. Time to snap open your wallets and count those nickels and dimes for an order of a dozen of your favorite sea creature. (or one BUSHEL, if you're really hungry). Time to dig deep through the guts, the mush, the dead man, and mustard, and find the hidden treasure that reminds you every time of why you risk the smell of your hands to have this one thing when summer hits:


Everyone knows that Baltimore is notorious for it's wonderful crab addiction. So if you plan to visit this the city known for getting it's fix from the bay, or if you are already conveniently located here for the summer, here are a few tips that I found from the website of one Baltimore's most superb crab shacks, O'brycki's (and a few comments of my own in bold):

  1. Break off the claws. (good for soup!)
  2. Lift apron and grip shell. (there's a name for that sharp thing in the middle?!)
  3. Peel off shell. (here comes the good part!!!)
  4. Clean out "mustard" (yellow fat which can be eaten) and "devil" (cellulose-like gills, don't eat. (Contrary to popular belief, you will not die if you eat the dead-man (or devil). However, the yellow fat (or mustard) is the devil...don't eat it, it's GROSS!!)
You can find more of O'brycki's instructions here. Warning: they get a little proper towards the end. My edited version: dig those fingers in that shell and FEAST!!!

I also found this fun video of a Marylander who has their own special way of eating crabs. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What's The 411? Snoop Doggy Dogg Live

Who else would be in the hizzle at the Merriwizzle Post Pavizzle other than the Snoopy D-o-double Gizzle himsizle? Fa shizzle!

Okay so I'll leave the rapping to Snoop Dog. You can hear him live at the Merriweather Post Pavilion for the Blazed and Confused Tour in Columbia, MD at 6 p.m. today, August 5, 2009. Be sure to visit the website to purchase your tickets (that is if they are still available!).

Those who do not partake in herbal influence are advised to bring oxygen masks. From what I hear about Snoop's previous concerts, Mary Jane has VIP entrance into the party and will be present!

The funky fresh band Slightly Stoopid will be headlining the show as well. What a perfect combination! I definitley get the humor in the show's title: Blazed and Confused. Yes, I know I am late on that one.

I would have sought a video interview with the West Coast G Snoop Dogg, but I've heard that he only does email interviews. In his interview with Midnight Sun and Baltimore Metromix contributor Mark Gross he stated:
Because generally reporters ask tha same questions, manage to piss me off with a smartass remark and I'm in tha studio wrappin up "Malice In Wonderland" when I'm not on tour.

I'd prefer not to have a cap busted in my ass so I'll stick to being a secondary source, thank you.

Check out the full interview here.

Photo Credit: Jeff Farsai,