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Magazine names Prime Rib and Phillips Seafood among best casino dining options

Maryland Live Casino took home the jackpot in Casino Player magazine's Best of Dining & Nightlife Awards.

Local restaurants the Prime Rib and Phillips Seafood won best steakhouse and best seafood restaurants, respectively. Casino Player surveyed readers to come up with the results. Readers selected Rams Head Center Stage as one of the best casinos to see a concert and the R Bar as one of best places to grab a cocktail. The Live Buffet, Bobby’s Burger Palace and the Cheesecake Factory were also recognized by readers.

See the entire list of awards here.

New report says Baltimore's bike population is growing

Baltimore isn't as big of a biking city as, say, Portland, Ore., or Minneapolis.

Those are the top two cities for bikers. But the percentage of Baltimoreans who enjoy commuting by bike is growing, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

Baltimore ranked No. 26 on its list of top cities for bikers. Washington, D.C., Seattle and San Francisco rounded out the top five.

Just 1 percent of Baltimore residents commuted by bike last year. But that's a long way up from the .2 percent of city residents who did so in 1990, a 321 percent increase. The report also showed that 27 percent of the city's residents commute by either foot, bike or public transit.

See the entire report here

NYC blogger names 23 things she misses about Maryland

If you're planning to leave the Free State, consider all the things you might miss. 

A New York City blogger has catalogued 23 things she misses about her home state of Maryland. Naturally, crabs and foods with crab in them are at the top of the list. 

Natty Boh, Old Bay, Ocean City and the Baltimore Ravens all make the list. Then there are things that you may not have ever thought of doing, like driving to Potomac and wondering which houses are owned by senators and which ones are owned by ambassadors. The story appears in the online magazine Thought Catalog. 

Read the entire list here

Southwest Airlines magazine takes readers on a journey through Baltimore

Southwest Airlines' magazine Spirit shines the spotlight on Baltimore in its July issue and highlights everything from Artscape, to crab cakes and the National Aquarium in Baltimore
Titled "Your Adventure in Baltimore," the article covers popular destinations for every travel personality, from sports fans' destinations like the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum to the many spots for art lovers, including the American Visionary Art Museum, the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art.
The article also mentioned Baltimore's rich history and many dining options, featuring restaurants B&O American Brasserie, Pazo and L.P. Steamers.
You can see all of the attractions in Spirit's guide to Baltimore here.

Will Michael Phelps swim in Rio?

When Baltimore native Michael Phelps finished competing in the 2012 Olympics in London, he insisted that he was finished with competitive swimming for good.  However, NPR reports that the most-decorated Olympian's decision isn’t as cut and dry anymore.
While touring in Barcelona, Spain, for the World Swimming Championships, Phelps was asked about whether he'll compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and he said he hasn't planned that far ahead in his life.  Far from a confirmation, but far from the black-and-white denial he offered after his time in the London games, as well.
While not currently training, NPR notes that there would be plenty of time to get into competitive shape for the 2016 games, were he to start preparing by 2015.

You can read NPR's full story here.

Under Armour's new running shoes are produced in a bra factory

Baltimore sportswear maker Under Armour has unveiled a new approach to making running shoes – shoes that fit like bras.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the shoes will be called Speedform and will hit the market at $120. The look is inspired by spacesuit design and their production will take place in a bra factory. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the Speedform shoes are a part of Under Armour’s campaign to triple its revenue in its footwear division in the next two years. Last year, footwear sales accounted for 13 percent of the company’s revenue.

Under Armour Senior Creative Director Dave Dombrow told investors that no shoe has ever fit so well, Bloomberg Businessweek writes.

Read the full story here.

Baltimore named one of best cities for baby boomers

The Greater Baltimore area is among the best places for baby boomers to settle down, according to a study that recently appeared on Forbes.

Conducted by the finance website NerdWallet, the study took into account affordability, available health care, social activities and accessibility. Its goal was to find locations across the U.S. that provide people in their 50s and 60s with opportunities for an active, social lifestyle, as well as low costs that will ease the transition into retirement. 

Baltimore ranked No. 4 on the list due to the proximity of Johns Hopkins Medical Center and activities like life-enrichment classes and entertainment.

Pittsburgh was awarded best city for baby boomers, due to its accessibility, large population of baby boomers and availability of a wide range of activities from architecture classes to events. Third on the list was Cleveland. 

You can read the full list here.


Baltimore runners pay tribute to Boston

Runners in Baltimore and around the country paid tribute to the victims of the deadly bomb that exploded during the Boston marathon April 15, USA Today reports.

"Five days after the nation's most storied race for runners was shattered by terrorists' bombs, marathons and 10Ks across the country dedicated their runs and directed their donations to the victims in Boston," the newspaper writes. 

The April 20 Sole of the City 10K in Federal Hill began with a moment of silence and many runners sported Boston Red Sox hats.

"People may conclude that the running community has bounced back or that 'we will run again,' " Baltimore Sun Editor Olivia Hubert-Allen posted on her Facebook page, writes USA Today.

Read the entire story here.

Baltimore ranks No. 14 on list of most walkable cities

Baltimore may not be as pedestrian friendly as New York or San Francisco, but it's more walkable than Denver or San Diego.

That's according to Walk Score, which ranked the 50 largest cities according to walkability. The Big Apple and San Francisco took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, followed by Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Walk Score came up with the rankings based on whether a city's residents can walk to nearby amenities and manage without a car. The Seattle organization promotes walkable neighborhoods.

Hampton Inn opening outdoor beer garden near Camden Yards

Orioles' fans heading to Camden Yards on Opening Day will have another spot where they can grab a post-game brew.

The Hampton Inn is opening the Deck at Camden Yards next to Pickles Pub, the Baltimore Sun reports. Get ready for some company if you head over there. Bar partner Fritz Brogan tells the Sun that he expects about 1,000 on Opening Day. 

"The idea for the bar came from MCR Development, the New York/Dallas-based hotel investment firm and management company that also owns the downtown Hampton Inn," the Sun writes. "Tyler Morse, MCR’s chief executive officer and a self-proclaimed “big Orioles fan,” says the recent successes of the Ravens and Orioles inspired the initial idea for the Deck."

You can read the entire story here

USA Today highlights Reginald F. Lewis Museum's Harriet Tubman exhibit

Museums and tourism officials are honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman, 100 years after her death. 

USA Today features some of these homages, including a contemporary art exhibit "Homage to Harriet" at Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture. It starts March 23 and runs through June 23.

The USA Today also features three other Maryland honors to Harriet Tubman. Earlier this month, officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, just south of Cambridge. 

"The same day, the state designated a 125-mile driving tour, dubbed the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, that cuts through her home turf on Maryland's Eastern Shore," USA Today writes.

Maryland also passed a bill to establish the 5,700-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on  Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Forbes highlights Under Armour's new products

Before Under Armour debuted its Brand House Feb. 16, CEO Kevin Plank and other executives gave New York media a preview of the 8,000-square-foot shop and what's in store for the Baltimore sportswear company. 

"The first item Plank introduced wasn’t a product after all, but a place where Under Armour will display its goods," Forbes writes about the Harbor East store.

Execs also talked about "Infrared, part of Under Armour’s innovative ColdGear line," new running shoes the company will unveil this summer, and a digital training monitor, Forbes says.

"There must be, among rival companies like Columbia and even Nike, to a degree, a bit of jealousy regarding Under Armour and its founder," writes Forbes of the company that pulled in $1.2 billion in sales last year. 

SNL spoofs Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is known for getting teary-eyed after a winning game and doing his famous squirrel dance. 

His antics have caught the attention of Saturday Night Live actors who lampooned Lewis in the Jan. 26 show, eight days before the Ravens square off against the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl. 

In the skit, "Lewis" says if his team wins the Super Bowl, he'll kneel down and "ascend into heaven." And then Thompson does the squirrel dance.

You can see the video here

Meanwhile, Chris Tucker and other Hollywood actors attempted their own version of the dance. 

Chris Tucker and 'Big Bang' actors perform Ray Lewis Dance

Mario Lopez tried to coax actors to try their hand at the Ray Lewis' squirrel dance at the Screen Actors Guild awards Jan. 27 — all with varying degrees of success. 

"Big Bang Theory" actors Jim Parsons and Kunal Nayyar, along with Chris Tucker all attempted to imitate the Baltimore Ravens linebacker's famous moves before the world sees the real deal for the last time in Sunday's Super Bowl game against the San Francisco 49ers. USA Today featured a video with the stars in action.

Lewis is retiring at the end of the season, after 17 years on the field. 

Meanwhile, Perry Hall resident and Ray Lewis fan Louie Silverio, attempted his own version of No. 52's dance and posted the video on YouTube. His girfriend Ashleigh Coffelt sent BmoreMedia the link. 

Ray Lewis boosts Baltimore Ravens brand by $125M

What a year for Ray Lewis to retire. In his last year as No. 52, the Baltimore Ravens' linebacker is squaring off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Just how valuable has Lewis been to the Ravens?

Forbes estimates that Lewis helped boost the value of the Ravens franchise by as much as $125 million during his 17 years of play by helping to make the brand more appealing. 

"The historic brand appeal of the franchise has helped keep the Ravens franchise value among the NFL’s top third," Forbes writes. 
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