Now That’s a First

If you Google “Baltimore a city of firsts” you’ll find a long list of inventions and public services that started in Baltimore. Baltimore.org lists everything from the first post office (1774), first city to illuminate streets with gas lights (1816), and the first public library system (1886). That list goes on and on – but they forgot one, and this one is important to me: the first female Eagle bar leather titleholder (1992). That ground-breaking leather titleholder who was sashed Ms. Baltimore Eagle 1992 is Glenda Rider. On Sunday, December 10th I joined Glenda and several other Ms. Baltimore Eagle […]

Fun in Philly

With the rich history and charm of Philadelphia, a weekend trip to Pennsylvania’s largest city offers a great getaway for the weekend traveler. Getting there is easy: by car (as you are peppered with annoying tolls), by bus (tickets starting at $15), or by train (Amtrak starting at $40). Philadelphia has an estimated population of 1.5 million and more than six million in its metropolitan area. During the past century, its population identity has slightly shifted. In the 19th and 20th centuries, immigration and migration to the city resulted in large concentrations of African-Americans, Asians, Germans, Italians, and Puerto Ricans. […]

Expecting Perfection

Twenty-two years ago, when I first became a parent, I was full of ideals. I’d wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember. I knew I wanted to do my best to be the best mom I could be. I’d always been involved with kids. I’d been a teacher and had worked with youth groups in my church. I was the kid magnet when I went out with my friends. I enjoyed being around kids and was looking forward to being a parent. As family grew, through foster care, adoption, and one additional biological addition, I […]

Gary Schwarz – Master Musician Strum it, sing it, or fiddle it – as long as it’s from the heart, says Schwarz

Gary Schwartz has music in his DNA. The musical phenom has been entertaining patrons of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, as well as music lovers throughout Maryland and DC for decades. “My mother’s side was very musical,” Schwartz explained. “My grandmother graduated from the Conservatory of Paris, and my mom played piano, too. I started playing at the age of six after having heard a recital my older brother played in,” Schwartz added. “When I came home, I figured how to play it, and my parents decided that I should take piano lessons.” Born in DC and raised in Aspen Hill, […]

Winter Tea Dance Tunes By Gregg Shapiro

After pulling off a retirement stunt that would make Cher blush, LCD Soundsystem returns with the illusory American Dream (DFA / Columbia). Although it’s not as immediately irresistible as 2007’s Sound of Silver or 2005’s eponymous debut disc, American Dream does manage to push almost all the buttons for which LCD Soundsystem has become famous and beloved. From the filtered clang and multitude of synths on opener “Oh Baby,” James Murphy makes it clear that he’s back and he means business. “Other Voices” is a suitably titled funky workout featuring other voices, including co-songwriter Nancy Whang. The Bowie-esque “Change Yr […]

How to Live / Work with a Difficult Person

Is there anyone in the world who has had to work or live with someone who creates conflict or makes your life difficult in general? The bottom line is that you have to learn to negotiate in life whether it is for eight hours a day or all the time you are in the living quarters. The simplest example is the person you share workspace with and one who talks loudly or keeps asking questions that interrupt your day, or the one who likes it too warm or too cold so keeps overriding the thermostat. It is easy to dismiss […]

Hooray! HIV Stigma is Over!

Oh, to be a Hollywood producer. High-powered meetings and mimosas. Swimming pools. Movie stars. And as far as the eye can see, not a single person living with HIV experiencing stigma. That’s the candy-colored scenario presented by Brad Simpson, one of the executive producers of the FX series “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” as part of a radio interview on NPR’s “Here and Now” on Wednesday, January 31st. Simpson and co-producer Nina Jacobson were being asked about the objections of the Versace family to their fictionalized account of the last days of Gianni Versace, including the suggestion that Versace was HIV-positive. Brad Simpson defended […]

Skeleton Crew’ Walks Many Lines

She strides across the stage with the confidence of a spry mother tiger in her prime, ready to pounce. She lowers herself into the breakroom couch with the near-unbearable weight of the world on her shoulders. She inhales on a cigarette as if it is her last breath on this grimy, wretched earth, and then breezily exhales like she hasn’t a care in the world. She holds everyone else together, knows what they’re going to feel before they do, bears all but never bares all, and in the end, she does what needs to be done. She is Faye – […]