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Ripley's Believe It or Not Coming to Baltimore?

If all goes well, visitors to Baltimore's Inner Harbor could soon have a Ripley's Believe It or Not location added to their list of potential stops.

From the source:

"Ripley's, the tourist destination with an Ocean City boardwalk location, has put Baltimore on a shortlist of cities it wants to branch into, including Chicago and Las Vegas, Ripley's spokesman Tim O'Brien said.

Ripley Attractions Worldwide has more than 80 attractions across the globe, including locations in Hollywood, Calif.; Mexico City and New York. The common thread is those are "destination cities" where tourists flock and people wander into Ripley's while there for other attractions, O'Brien said. In Baltimore, for example, the Inner Harbor and National Aquarium fit that type of bill, he said."

Read the full story here.

Annapolis! It's a vacay that's like a stacay!

Keeping it local is good way to get the vacay you need at a stacay price. Less than 30 miles away, Annapolis is an excellent option.

Here's why:

"The Reynolds Tea Room and Tavern is the oldest tavern in Annapolis and one of the oldest in the United States. Enjoy this historic and charming setting for lunch (selections to $12) or high tea, which ranges from tea with scones at $7.90 to Colonial High Tea (tea plus a choice of soup, salad or quiche) at $20.95."

Read the entire article here.

Thumbs up for Walters hybrid art exhibit

Wonder what an art critic makes of the Walters' latest exhibit that doubles as a scientific experiment? It's good for self-exploration and scientific discovery, according to the Post's art critic, Michael O'Sullivan.

Here's an excerpt:

"Going around the room, I pretty quickly noticed a pattern in my preferences, which tended toward the rounder, more organic shapes -- a tear drop, the swell of human flesh -- and away from the sharp, spiky ones.

But here's a question: Are my preferences due to the fact that there's something innately appealing about those shapes? Or could my choices have been influenced by the fact that I know what Arp looks like -- after all, there's one of his sculptures at the entrance to the show -- and am drawn to the most Arp-y shapes?"

Read the entire article here.

As if we needed it, a list detailing Baltimore's awesomeness

Digital City contributor Jon Franklin praises Baltimore's art scene, stubborness, and the fact that D.C. hasn't "rubbed off" on it. He then lists 11 reasons why Baltimore is awesome. Of course, we can think of way more.

An excerpt from the article reads:

1. Cheap rent
For artists that tour and artists that stay home, the rent is relatively cheap. Like Philadelphia you can still find a one-bedroom for around $500. In general, it's more than it used to be and may go higher but still much less than New York rent.

2. Good arts and music scene
Look at the artists of a city and see who's done well for themselves. If they're also doing well in their own city then that's a good gauge that the city has a good scene. Dan Deacon, Animal Collective, Dru Hill, Mary Prankster, Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey are a few that are doing something different and have done well at it. There are well attended all-ages shows and burlesque shows as well as gatherings.

3. Atomic Books
One of the best places in the world, Atomic Books opened in 1992, closed in 2000 and reopened in 2001.
They not only support local bands but also artists as well. They will sell your zine, comic, book or cd on consignment. There are signings, parties, readings and a blog. They also accept fan mail for John Waters.

4. John Waters
Legend says that when John Waters was young his dad was driving him to school in Baltimore. There was a guy standing on the street corner doing nothing but being himself. Being himself really pissed off Waters' father so much that Waters' thought, I want to work with that guy someday. That guy was Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine. They went on to make great movies together including Cry Baby, Hairspray, Pink Flamingos and Polyester to name a few. The settings for most of Waters' movies is Baltimore.

Read the entire posting here.

Urban blogger shares notes on Bmore's stained glass

The combination of a Catholic boyhood and college summers spent window washing have given this blogger a hawk's eye for beautiful stained glass. He's put together a few spots to hit for sacred and secular stained glass-o-philes alike.

An excerpt from the blog posting reads:

If you're interested in those decorative transoms that seem to be above so many rowhouse doorways these days, there are a few places you can find them around the city. We're partial to a few, namely Daniel Herman Stained Glass (1601 Guilford

Avenue # 2S), Terraza Stained Glass (1412 Woodall Street), and Vintage Stained Glass . These are craftsmen, they can help you design what you want, even if you're not too sure yourself.

Finally, for the DIYers and crafty types who want to try their hand at making their own windows, there's The Glass Key in Jessup (8610 Washington Boulevard). They carry a full line of stained glass materials and tools, and, thankfully, offer a full line of classes for beginners like us. We appreciate that, if only because it's virtually guaranteed that our first five (or more) tries are going to come out as lumpy, disfigured pieces of glass . And also because once we get good we're not going to waste our time on anything lame like flowers or clowns, but only design super-cool stuff like stained glass rocket ships full of werewolves. That's just how we roll.

Read the entire posting here.

Italians explore la dolce vita in Baltimore

An Italian blogger writes about visiting her mother's family during a recent visit to the States and checking out the museums and other cultural resources in the city.

An excerpt from the blog posting reads:

We had a great time at the National Aquarium. And a good laugh remembering the last time we went there, when Danny was 3. He threw a major tantrum at the entrance, after we had paid for our tickets, of course, and repeatedly screamed, "I don't like fish!!!" Things went a bit better this time...

I was amazed at the incredible variety of marine life they have on exhibit. There is a special exhibit on jellyfish on now, called Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance. Apparently, there are too many jellyfish floating around, and judging from their map, a lot of them are in the Mediterranean Sea around Italy. We'll have to keep our eyes open when we get back home.

A new discovery for us was the American Visionary Art Museum near Federal Hill (where the national anthem was written, just in case you didn't know!). This museum showcases works of art by self-taught, "outsider" artists. The works of each artist are accompanied by a short biography, which I often found as interesting as the work itself. I'm a biography buff, admittedly, but each of these people seems to have an amazing life story and an amazing path to the discovery of their artistic talents.

Read the entire posting here.

National Aquarium aid flagged as one of the more "interesting" jobs in the country

To maintain morale during the tough economy, Monitor staff comb the nation's classifieds each week to find cool work for job hunters. A favorite animal-lover destination made the list this week. (So did a freelance wig maker gig in Arizona, operating a chocolate fountain in Florida, and styling dolls' hair in Massachusetts.)

An excerpt from the blog reads:

2. Marine mammal aide:

Employer: Baltimore National Aquarium
Wages/salary: $10 an hour
Details: Prepare daily animal diets and dispense vitamins; degree in biology or zoology required; scuba certification preferred. (For more information click here.)
Location: Baltimore (pop. 651,154, median family income $35,438) was the site of the first American umbrella factory in 1828.

Read the entire article here:

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