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 »

Previously.

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 »

I got some mail from Maryland529, the folks administering the College Trust Account we have set up for Finn, and had to do a double-take at the address, which looked very familiar at first glance. Turns out it’s the same building I used to work in at my last gig. Hopefully the mojo in that place has changed for the better. It was a cool old building—one of the only ones in that area to survive the Baltimore Fire (the original Alex. Brown & Sons building around the corner is still pockmarked and stained from the fire) and used as a storage facility for the banks in the neighborhood. There was a great old diner in the ground floor of the building that appeared in many Baltimore-based TV shows and movies which is now under new ownership. I hope they left all the 1940’s era fittings and furniture intact.

Date posted: August 4, 2021 | Filed under Baltimore, history | Leave a Comment »

So, as I understand this, Art Modell gifted the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore with $3.5M over 10 years, and as part of that gift they put his name on the front of the building. He and his wife died several years later. Their wealthy children didn’t read the contract their parents signed. When they realized the deal wasn’t in perpetuity, they withheld the final disbursement and are now threatening the theater with fines if they don’t remove the family name within thirty days. During a pandemic.

TL;DR: Rich people continue to be assholes.

Date posted: March 3, 2021 | Filed under Baltimore | Leave a Comment »

Finn’s school was cancelled on Friday due to a cyberattack on the school network:

The cyber attack has halted school for 115,000 students, with no timeline for when classes will resume. It came as the school system has shifted to online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More troubling, there was a report issued the day before the attack that found multiple problems with the network’s security:

The network was not adequately secured, and sensitive personal information was not properly safeguarded, among other issues, the Office of Legislative Audits found.

Last year, Baltimore City’s computer system was locked down for months until they paid a ransom; we couldn’t pay our water bill all summer. All of Finn’s classwork is virtual, so I have no idea how Monday is going to go.

Date posted: November 27, 2020 | Filed under Baltimore | Leave a Comment »

Bel Loc 2
2004

DSCF8659
2020

They knocked it down to put up a fucking Starbucks. At least Second Chance saved the neon.

Date posted: September 9, 2020 | Filed under Baltimore, comparison | Leave a Comment »