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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

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

Locust Point named one of the best neighborhoods with historic homes

Home improvement magazine This Old House has chosen Locust Point as one of the best neighborhoods in the Northeast with charming, historic old homes.

The publication chose neighborhoods that have "plenty of New England charm, plus main streets and marinas that embrace East Coast living."

Of Locust Point, the magazine says it has a "gritty feel that celebrates its industrial past." It highlights Fort McHenry and Fort Avenue, with its local bars and crab houses and says the neighborhood is "the kind of place that would make Baltimore native and avant-garde filmmaker John Waters proud."

Norwich, Conn., Middletown Del., and Castine, Maine were some of the other towns that were honored for their historic houses.  

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.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship returns to Baltimore

USA Today reports that Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship has beaten the heat, and returned to Baltimore Harbor this past week.
Royal Caribbean's Executive Vice President for Operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, tells USA Today  “we're back, and we're ready to provide loyal service to Baltimore city."
The Grandeur makes its return to the Harbor after six weeks of intensive repairs, prompted by a serious on-board fire in May. 
Royal Caribbean's Grandeur return comes just in time.  Carnival Cruises, a rival cruise line, recently announced it will end all services in Baltimore in 2014, due to the city's new, stricter anti-pollution policies.
Read more about Royal Caribbean's return to Baltimore here.

USA Today features Fort McHenry in travel section

USA Today recently recognized Baltimore's Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine as one of its notable destinations.

The monument, located at 2400 E. Fort Ave., has witnessed many historic events, including the Civil War. It is, of course, best known as the site where Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the War of 1812.

According to USA Today, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine offers visitors the chance to view videos about the historic site, participate in tours and even touch a replica of the renowned 15-star flag.
You can read more about the destination here.

National Geographic Traveler spends 48 hours in Baltimore

National Geographic Traveler recently highlighted Baltimore’s best destinations in its June/July issue in a piece called “48 Hours: Baltimore, Maryland.”
NatGeo explored Mount Vernon, Hampden, Highlandtown, Locust Point, Little Italy and the Inner Harbor in its two-day itinerary.
It begins in Mount Vernon, noting the contributions of the “Gilded Age Industrialists" behind free institutions like the Walters Art Museum and the Peabody Library.

The article also explores the diversity of Highlandtown, “old-world bakeries” such as Vaccaro’s and crab cakes in Fells Point.

Read the entire story here.

Wall Street Journal features Locust Point 'hairdo archaeologist'

Janet Stephens makes her living as a hairdresser at Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa in Locust Point. 

But her real passion is studying the ancient hairstyles of Rome and Greece, writes the Wall Street Journal in an extensive profile of Stephens, whom it dubs a "hairdo archaeologist."

"Her amateur scholarship is sticking a pin in the long-held assumptions among historians about the complicated, gravity-defying styles of ancient times," the Journal writes. "Basically, she has set out to prove that the ancients probably weren't wearing wigs after all."

Read the rest of its hair-raising feature

Steelers' Land Shows Some Love to Charm City

The rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens is pretty intense  — to put it mildly.

But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers' hometown newspaper, tells its readers to spend some of their time and money in a "city that abounds with great food and art."

The travel story tells readers to check out the Baltimore Museum of Art, Fort McHenry, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Little Italy restaurants and other venues. "Today, its most famous site is the landmark Inner Harbor, a historic seaport that was redeveloped from the late 1960s through the '80s," the Post-Gazette writes about Baltimore.

We'll ignore the little tidbit on picking a good Steelers bar. 

Seattle Music Guru Picking Out "Aggressive" Songs for Under Armour

Spencer Manio picks out the right music that meshes with a company's brand. 

And the 39-year-old Seattle resident is picking out "aggressive electronic music" to play at Under Armour stores, Manio tells NPR. 

He can't reveal the songs just yet, but NPR writes that "there will likely be mainstream songs by Skrillex and Calvin Harris, who soundtrack many a CrossFit and 'bootcamp' experience."

You could also hear Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Baauer, Lunice and TNGHT next time you're buying Under Armour workout shorts. 

"If he pulls it off right, he'll communicate the brand, intrigue the consumer and expose people to extraordinary music," NPR writes.  "Essentially he's trying to help Under Armour convince you, whoever you are, even if your body is not a temple, that you could be in the Olympics."

Read more about Under Armour's music guru here

Port of Baltimore Gets Cargo Boost Due to Sandy

Sandy has wreaked havoc on transportation all throughout the East Coast. 

Last week, we featured a link to a story on how cruise operations were disrupted at the Locust Point terminal due to the superstorm. 

Now, it seems that the storm has provided a temporary boost to the port, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

Cargo ships are bypassing New York and New Jersey due to Sandy. "Maersk Inc., the world's largest container-shipping company, has begun diverting its cargo to Halifax, Canada, Baltimore and Philadelphia," the Journal writes.

The story does note, however, that the Port of Virginia in Norfolk is the biggest beneficiary. You can read the entire story here. (A subscription is required.)

Hurricane Sandy Disrupts Port of Baltimore Cruise Service

Maryland residents who seeking refuse from the massive Category 1 hurricane that is pummeling the East Coast were out of luck this week. Flights out of BWI were cancelled and the Maryland Transit Administration is suspending light rail, subway and bus service.

And cruise passengers leaving out of the Port of Baltimore saw their vacation plans disrupted. 

"Passengers who boarded the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas at the Port of Baltimore Friday evening looked forward to a five-night cruise to Bermuda," writes WBAL TV. "Instead, they left Baltimore five hours late for a ride to the lower Chesapeake Bay near Cape Henry, Va. The excursion became a 'cruise to nowhere' making no stops," the story says. The article was picked up by MSNBC.com. 

WBAL Radio Hosts Chat With BmoreMedia Writer Dara Bunjon

Last month, local food blogger Dara Bunjon wrote an extremely popular story that highlighted dining destinations on the Charm City Circulator Banner Route.

Mary Beth Marsden of 1090 AM WBAL Radio asked Bunjon how she got the idea for the story and to name some of the highlights of her culinary tour on wheels. The journey took her from Locust Point to the Inner Harbor. You can listen to the interview here

Bunjon authors the Dining Dish blog and is the Baltimore Dining Examiner for Examiner.com 

Under Armour CEO and Ravens Owner on Forbes' Billionaire List

Nine Marylanders made the Forbes' list of wealthiest individuals.

With a net worth of $1.1 billion, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank made the cut for the first time. He came in at No. 1075. Steven Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens Owner and founder of staffing firm Allegis Group, came in at No. 913 with a net worth of $1.4 billion. 

Hoteliers Richard Marriott and Bill Marriott Jr. also made the list. 

You can see the complete list here and a snapshot of the Marylanders on the list here

Carnival Cruise Lines "Putting More Emphasis" on Baltimore

Carnival Cruise Lines has launched a new ad campaign that touts the benefits of taking a vacation on sea versus one on land, writes the New York Times.

And its is concentrating these ads on 19 markets that have ports in or within driving distance of one of its ports, including Baltimore. That is according to Carnival Chief Marketing Officer James Berra, quoted in the Times article.

" 'Half of the United States is within a five-hour drive from one of our ports,' " Berra says in the story. " 'We’re de-emphasizing the Nebraskas and Wyomings of the world and putting more emphasis on places like D.C. and Baltimore.' "

You can read more about the ad campaign here.

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