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AVAM's newest exhibit features 'sci-fi inspired creations'

An artist featured in the American Visionary Art Museum's newest exhibit gets a write-up in the New York Times. 

Kenny Irwin, who is known among Southern Californians for his "Robo Lights" holiday display, is showcasing his "sci-fi inspired creations" at AVAM.

"A 'Cyclopto' snowman; a full-scale spaceship built with slot machine parts and topped with a spinning carousel; a pathway of peppermint skulls lit on either side with 12,000 colorful balls; and a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments made from microwaved electronic gadgets," are part of the show, writes the Times

Irwin's installation is part of a larger exhibit "Human, Soul and Machine: The Coming Singularity!" on view through August. 





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

Brewer's Art and Max's Taphouse among America's 100 best beer bars

We're sure there are a lot of good places to quaff beer in this country. 

Baltimore is home two of the best in the nation, according to Draft Magazine.

The brew pub (haha — get it?) recognized the Brewer's Art in Mount Vernon and Max's Taphouse in Fells Point in its list of the 100 best beer bars in 2013. 

"The venue’s sun-splashed foyer and cozy fireplace set the stage for the brewpub’s delicious Belgian-inspired creations and esoteric guest beers that make this piece of real estate a beer lover’s dream destination," Draft says of the Brewer's Art. 

"With a cool twentysomething crowd and vibrant weekend scene, this is the best place around to knock back craft and score digits on a Saturday night," it writes of Max's Taphouse. 

Read the entire story 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

Fodor's says Baltimore is undergoing a 'foodie renaissance'

Baltimore gotten some serious foodie cred, according to Fodor's Travel. 

From swanky joints like Ouzo Bay in Harbor East and farm-to-table restaurants like Fleet Street Kitchen, Baltimore is undergoing a culinary renaissance, Fodor's writes.

"Chefs are embracing the farm-to-table movement, working with growers from across Maryland and Virginia to incorporate locally grown ingredients on their menus," Fodor's writes.

Fodor's also mentions the Food Market in Hampden; Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point; Pabu and Wit & Wisdom, both located in the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore; and, Woodberry Kitchen. It also mentions Canton's the Fork & Wrench, whose owners are opening another restaurant in Fells Point. Read the entire story here

Physicians' report says BWI offers heart-healthy fare

If you're flying out of BWI, you have some healthy alternatives to pizza or a burger and fries.

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport came in at No. 4 in a report that ranked airports according to how many of their restaurants serve a plant-based, cholesterol free entrée. BWI tied with Washington Dulles International Airport in the report from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The report found that 33 of BWI's 41 eateries offer some sort of healthful fare. 

Denver International Airport came in at No.1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Chicago O'Hare International tied for No. 2. Los Angeles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport tied for the No. 3 spot.



CNN names Obrycki's one of the best hometown airport restaurants

Though it may have closed its longstanding restaurant in Fells Point two years ago, Obrycki's airport spots are still garnering good reviews.

CNN named it one of the 10 best airport restaurants that give travelers a taste of the hometown. Obrycki's Restaurant and Bar is located in Concourse B and Obrycki's A-Bar is located in Concourse A at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

"The BWI locale sticks pretty close to the formula that made the restaurant a Charm City classic," CNN writes. You can also go Obrycki's at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. 

The article also has recommendations for barbeque in Memphis and shrimp etoufée in New Orleans. Read the entire story here

New York Times takes a peek inside Christian Siriano's apartment

Ever wondered whether Christian Siriano's home is as fierce as his fashion designs?

The New York Times showcased Siriano's Chelsea apartment, which he shares with his partner and two dogs. The Maryland native won Season 4 of "Project Runway" and is now a fashion designer to A-list stars.

"Here, treasures from flea markets and yard sales, like a barn-door sign advertising fresh tomatoes, a gift from their client and close friend Kristen Johnston," the New York Times writes of Siriano's apartment.

"Atop chests, credenzas and a painter’s scaffold that has been cleverly repurposed as a back-of-sofa console table are framed photos, candelabra, books, busts, decanters — and bird cages."

Here's a link to the slideshow

Food Republic says Baltimore is one of the most 'underrated food cities'

Food Republic has given its readers seven restaurants in Baltimore they ought to visit. In a piece titled "Beyond Crab Cakes and Crime" (clever), the food site sings the praises of Charm City's culinary scene, calling it one of the more underrated food cities.

"Decades of well-reported urban decline, not to mention a little television juggernaut called The Wire, have given the city something of an image problem," Food Republic writes. "But the mid-Atlantic port is on the rise, as the convergence of inexpensive rents, creative culinary talent and incredible regional ingredients create one of the most dynamic restaurant scenes on the East coast."

The story mentions Birroteca, Woodberry Kitchen, the Food Market, Joe Squared, the Crown and Spike Gjerde's recently opened Shoo-Fly Diner in Belvedere Square. It even mentions Paulie Gee's, a Brooklyn pizza place that is opening an outlet in Hampden. 



Under Armour signs a lease in Soho

Those trendy lower Manhattanites are about to get a dose of Baltimore-style athletic wear.

Under Armour, which has been expanding its retail presence, has signed a lease in Soho, the New York Post reports. The 7,000-square-foot store, to open next year, is its first in New York. The company opened its first non-outlet retail store in Baltimore's Harbor East. It also recently opened a store in Shanghai and is opening a retail outlet in Tysons Corner, Va.

The company also recently opened a visitor center in Tide Point

New York Magazine goes neighborhood hopping in Baltimore

New York Magazine has devoted a Weekend Travel section to Baltimore, hitting an impressive array of eclectic shops, restaurants, museums and neighborhoods. 

This isn't your grandmother's guide to Charm City. New York Mag tells its readers to "Hang with hipsters in Hampden, a popular neighborhood of galleries, bars, and boutiques that feels a little like Williamsburg ten years ago."

Whoa, a New Yorker comparing Baltimore to Brooklyn?

"Go on an art crawl in Station North, Baltimore’s newest arts district. Stroll along North Avenue, Charles, and Barclay Streets to see 23 murals and installations by 30 local and international taggers like Gaia, Momo, Vhils, and Freddy Sam," New York Magazine writes. 

It also highlights veggie cuisine at Golden West, Spike Gjerde's newly opened Shoo-Fly Diner and the comfort food cuisine of the Food Market. Read the whole story here

USA Today highlights the next big idea competition at Under Armour

USA Today went behind the scenes of Under Armour's "Future Show" competition, in which the athletic apparel company seeks out the next great product idea from top innovators.  

The winner came up with a lighted shirt for joggers who run at night. Chris Forgey came up with Light Bohrd after worrying about his son longboarding (a longer type of skateboard) after sunset.

"The contest lures inventors from across the nation — all hoping to catch the eye of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who started his $2 billion company 17 years ago by innovating a shirt for athletes that pulls moisture away from the body to keep them dry," USA Today writes.

Two years ago, a contestant devised a magnetic zipper, which will show up in jackets in the fall, USA Today writes. Read the entire story here

Two Baltimore firms make Business Insider's 'Best Startups' list

Business Insider has featured a list of the 15 Best Startups to Work For in America and two Baltimore companies made the list: Parking Panda and Groove Commerce

Creative digital agency Groove offers 100 percent benefits and free Friday lunches, Business Insider writes. The company also recently moved into a 10,000-square-foot office in the Fallsway Spring building near Little Italy. 

Parking Panda hosts retreats at the beach and outings in restaurants. 

Office design company Turnstone partnered with University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor Peter Cappelli to come up with the list. Turnstone asked for nominations and then judges selected the 15 best based on four criteria: Business goals and impact, leadership, the culture and office space, and success potential, a measure of the business's ability to grow and how that growth could contribute positively to the community.

See the whole list here

Baltimore company awarded 'Best Indoor Roller Coaster'

Good news for thrillseekers. Baltimore company Premier Rides has been recognized for its Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster at Universal Studios in Orlando. 

It received the 2013 Golden Ticket Award for Best Indoor Roller Coaster from Amusement Today, an industry publication. It beat out Disneyland's Space Mountain and a coaster called Winjas in Germany's Phantasialand.

Located in downtown Baltimore, Premier Rides has designed roller coasters for Six Flags America, Paramount's Kings Island and the now-shuttered Sahara Hotel and Casino. It also designed the Blacklot Stunt Coaster, based on the movie "The Italian Job." 


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