I stumbled across this photo of Canton online the other day: newly constructed row homes directly south of Patterson Park. My first house would be to the far left of this shot as far as I can tell, in the block directly in the foreground. It’s hard to see what’s happening in the immediate foreground, but if I had to wager it’s an area of low ground being filled with dirt and oyster shells.

Date posted: October 9, 2023 | Filed under Baltimore | Leave a Comment »

Saturday morning, the family rose early and walked down the street to help sort and assemble boxes of foot for two local food pantries. We’ve done this for a couple of years now, and we’re getting to be pros at it; this year’s date was a month or so early, so the amount of food donated wasn’t as large as we were used to. But we all pitched in and made ourselves as useful as possible. At events like this, with decentralized leadership, we’ve found it’s always best to stand back and let someone else explain how things are going to work and what needs to be done, and I think we’re all very good at staying out of the way but pitching in where needed.

We walked back home, let the dog out, and then drove into the city for a tasty sushi lunch in my old neighborhood at the foot of Boston street. It’s boring and repetitive to write about how much things have changed down there, but it’s good to see some things are still similar. After filling ourselves on lunch I bought the girls our first PSLs of the season at the Starbucks up the street, which were…underwhelming. For $16 I was really expecting a lot more flavor. Then we drove up to my other old neighborhood and stopped in to the MICA bookstore for Finn to find some art supplies. I picked up a new watercolor pad and some window stickers to replace the one that crumbled on the Accord, and while I was there I spied a big retrospective book they produced a couple of years ago:

Thumbing back through the years I stumbled on a page about Portfolio Review day, which is (in an oft-told tale here at Lockardugan Central) where Mom and I drove down to Baltimore, I showed them my work, and was offered admission to the school on the spot. I took a picture of the page because this is exactly how I remember it—sitting on the steps in the Main Building to visit the various desks. Thankfully my friend Jeff and I had already attended a series of other Review days at Pratt and Cooper Union so we knew what to expect and how to set up our work.

On Sunday I got up and drove over to Columbia, where I met up with Scout friends and helped Bennett get the Hudson off the trailer and moving under its own power. We really didn’t have to do much, other than unstrap it and get it started; the accelerator pump is shot so it bogged down when he got on the gas, but it ran enough for us to take a few short drives up and down the lane.

Then we headed back to Bennett’s house to help demo a trellis on his back deck, which has been leaning drunkenly under the weight of a 20-year-old wisteria. We strapped it to an adjacent tree and used various power and levering instruments to remove most of the wood and stacked in in the back of his truck. Then we paused for some lunch and cold beer, and by 3PM were packing up for home. The rest of the day was pretty relaxed and we were all tucked into bed by 9:30.

Date posted: September 18, 2023 | Filed under Baltimore, finn, friends | Leave a Comment »

We drove over to the other side of Baltimore to see a double-feature of Legally Blonde and Barbie last night at the only remaining drive-in theater in the area. Apart from watching most of the first movie through windshield wipers as a giant thunderstorm swept through the area.

Barbie was surprising and bright and thoughtful and everything you don’t expect it to be; we all enjoyed it immensely. I hope it wins awards for best original screenplay and acting—for the leads and supporting roles alike.

Date posted: July 29, 2023 | Filed under Baltimore, entertainment | Leave a Comment »

Great! Catonsville is in the news for excellent reasons; apparently some dumb-ass white supremacist here was talking to Florida Man about blowing up power substations in Baltimore, and somehow that would equal freedom, or something?

Date posted: February 7, 2023 | Filed under Baltimore, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

The Patterson Bowling Center, a duckpin bowling center near my old neighborhood, is in danger of being shut down to make way for a condo.

An unpretentious community fixture where bowlers of all ages came to play a traditional Baltimore game, Patterson Bowling Center opened in 1927.

“I loved what it stood for and I love what it brought to that neighborhood,” Drayton said. “It stood for everything Baltimore.”

Duckpin bowling began around the start of the 20th century, but its geographic origins are muddy. Popular legend in Baltimore says that 1890s Orioles John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson invented duckpin at their alley The Diamond.

There’s a chance it may stay open, in a diminished size, but that’s currently up in the air.

Date posted: December 7, 2022 | Filed under Baltimore, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »


Date posted: November 28, 2022 | Filed under Baltimore, humor | Leave a Comment »

On or about Jen’s birthday we had a big storm blow through Maryland, and as it left, it took the scorching heat with it. Since Thursday it’s been averaging a beautiful 80˚, with sunshine and a light breeze pretty much all day. Poor Jen has been cranking on work for the last two weeks so we didn’t really get to do much on the day; I did get the family some delicious Indian food from Ananda and a slice of Smith Island Cake from the market down the street, which we enjoyed by candlelight at the table.

On Saturday we had a fun activity planned: Karean and Zachary drove over from Easton and we went to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone live. They project the movie on a huge screen over the stage, minus the music track, and the symphony plays along in time. The effect is stunning. So much fun! And the audience is into it. We had a blast seeing it again—so much so that I want to read the books again.

Sunday we packed up the CR-V (I got the A/C fixed just in time for the heat to break, but that’s timing for you) and headed to Bob’s house to visit and make some more repairs; I got the front hedges trimmed and swapped in a new sink faucet in the powder room. The hot water shutoff is leaking, so I had to crawl under the house to the main water shutoff (I’d like to punch whoever designed that house right in the dick) and then try to unscrew the valve from the pipe, but a combination of the angle, size of the cabinet, the wrong tools, and lack of patience got the better of me. I hung up my monkey wrench and made a note of what I’ll need for the next attempt.

Jen and I boxed up three cabinets’ worth of glasses in the kitchen so that I can pull them off the wall. Two of them have separated at the back, so they’re hanging precariously over the counter. My plan is to get them down onto the floor, rebuild the boxes, and make them sturdier than before. Then we can rehang them and make them useful again (it’s much cheaper than all-new cabinets).

I also tried to get the Chrysler started again, but for some reason that was being balky too. Spraying half a can of starter fluid into the carb got it close but not running, but I don’t know exactly why. I tested it for spark again, and that was fine, but it won’t catch. I think I’ve got to pull the carb off again and see if anything is wrong inside.

Date posted: August 15, 2022 | Filed under Baltimore, family, friends, general | Leave a Comment »

I only saw this in passing, reading an unrelated story: the Maryland Legislature quietly approved the issuance of 1.8 Billion in taxpayer funded bond capacity for upgrades to Oriole Park and Ravens Stadium, as well as for the Washington Commanders stadium in PG County. There was no opportunity for the public to comment or vote. I wonder if the Angelos family will now actually spend money on raising the team out of the dumpster?

Date posted: July 23, 2022 | Filed under Baltimore, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Hmmm. A scan of my Google News feed picked this up today: Café Hon in Hampden is closing this evening. The space has been bought by the Foreman/Wolf group, who run some of our favorite restaurants in the city. The last time we ate there was probably before Finn was born, and we were not impressed; the owner trademarked the word “Hon” and got a lot of bad local press for enforcing it. They were featured later on “Kitchen Nightmares” and nobody came out looking well. Hopefully the new venue will be worth visiting.

Date posted: April 29, 2022 | Filed under Baltimore, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

For me, and probably for many of Lev’s customers, being able to keep using equipment that we’ve been using for decades, that has our own little victory images psychically imprinted in them is not just an exercise in stubbornness and nostalgia (though that is surely part of it!)

One of the photo sites I browse featured an article about a Baltimore camera repair shop I’ve never heard of but will most certainly be bringing my Yashica to sometime soon; finding someone to repair old gear is almost impossible these days so you have to do it before they’re gone.

Date posted: November 15, 2021 | Filed under Baltimore, photography, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »