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Maryland High Schools Among Best in Nation

U.S. News & World Report has come out with its ranking of the best high schools in the nation and Maryland schools made the grade. 

High schools in Potomac, Bethesda and Rockville made the top 100. A total of 62 high schools in Maryland made the list, writes the Washington Post.

Schools were assessed on how well they meet state proficiency standards and prepared students for college. You can see the complete ranking here

Wall Street Journal to Hollywood: Stop Picking on Baltimore

Charm City residents know that Baltimore gets a bad rap on the small and silver screens. 

But someone who writes for a national newspaper and doesn't ?live in Baltimore has come to the city's defense. 

Joe Queenan cites numerous examples of Baltimore's harsh treatment, starting with the most recent, The Raven. Starring John Cusack Edgar Allen Poe, the movie depicts innocent Baltimoreans getting murdered in the most gruesome manner. 

"Can the entertainment industry please stop picking on Baltimore?" Joe Queenan writes. 

Shows like the Wire and Homicide didn't do the city any favors either. In fact, the only time the city ever gets a break is when John Waters shows off the city's quirky characters, Queenan writes. 

The writer takes a yearly day trip Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Museum of Dentistry (hey, wait, we've never even been there) and other sites. You can read Queenan's entire ode to Baltimore here

New York Times Shines Spotlight on Baltimore Documentary

The Boys of Baraka, a movie about inner-city kids in Baltimore sent to a boarding school in Kenya, played at the Maryland Film Festival seven years ago.

It once again is in the spotlight, however, as the filmmakers are featured in a New York Times story on the creative tension between documentary film partners.

""Disagreements are an inherent, and productive, part of their working relationship," Grady tells the Times. “You’ve got creativity, money and ego involved.”

The two will feature their work again at the Maryland Film Festival this year with their movie Detropia

Poe Film Set in 19th Century Baltimore is No. 7 at Box Office

Is John Cusack really the best person to play Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven

We have no idea. Go read Entertainment Weekly. 

But we do know that the macabre Hollywood flick is set in 19th century Baltimore and it says so in all the movie reviews you read about the movie. 

Nice PR for Baltimore from a dead author!

The movie opened nationwide last weekend and is now No. 7 at the box office, according to the Internet Movie Database. It pulled in $7.25 million. 

UMBC President Among Time's 100 Most Influential

US President Barack Obama? Check. That British crooner who swept the Grammy awards this year. Check.

Not surprising finds on Time's list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. 

There's one that Baltimoreans can be proud of. Freeman A Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, made the list that even Mark Zuckerberg was left out of. 

"But perhaps the most envied science program in the country is at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County," Time writes. "That's where Freeman A. Hrabowski III, 61, has spent 20 years as president turning a humble commuter school into one of the nation's leading sources of African Americans who get Ph.D.s in science and engineering." 

You can read more about him here.  

Blimey! BBC Takes a Swig of Baltimore Beer

Baltimore's reputation as a beer town has spread across the pond. The BBC has a big feature on the renaissance in Baltimore's beer industry. 

"Beer is flowing back into the city, thanks to a combination of young beer enthusiasts, cheap real estate and the persistence of local brewers," the BBC writes.

Max's Taphouse, Pratt Street Ale House, Clipper City Brewing Co. and the Brewer's Art all get a mention in the story

Still, we can't help but be flattered that the BBC followed Bmore Media's lead. We wrote this story on the growing number of Baltimore brewers

"Veep" Screening Held in DC

"Veep," the HBO comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus that was filmed in Baltimore, had a red-carpet premiere earlier this month, writes the Huffington Post.

The show, which airs April 22, is about a female vice president. Maryland film officials credit the state's expanded tax credits for convincing producers to let Baltimore be a stand in for the nation's capital.

But I guess, when it comes to the red carpet premiere, they had to choose the real deal, eh? You can read the story and some pics from the event here

New York Times: David Simon Allergic to "Cheap Sentimentality"

Sure, you might own every episode on DVD. But if you ever meet David Simon, don't go waxing poetic about "the Wire."

That's according the New York Times ArtsBeat blog. Writer Jeremy Egner explains:

"Before Mr. Simon went Hollywood, creating the endlessly exalted “Wire” and the current HBO series “Treme,” he was a longtime crime reporter for The Baltimore Sun, and he often evinces that breed’s hard-bitten outlook and allergy to cheap sentimentality."

Simon also tells the Times that he wrote the series for the city of Baltimore. You can read the Q&A with David Simon here.

Millennial Media Starts Trading on the New York Stock Exchange

Millennial Media's stock market debut is the biggest tech IPO since last year's LinkedIn offering, writes the New York Times.

The Baltimore mobile advertising firm went public March 29 and its ad network reached more than 300 million unique users in February, the Times writes.

"The exuberance for Millennial Media underscores the rising profile of mobile technology companies, particularly those that help serve advertising to consumers," the article says. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Wall Street Journal Magazine Features John Waters' "Subversive Success"

Baltimore's favorite famous and quirky film director John Waters is featured in the April 1 issue of the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

No it's not an April Fool's Joke.

The director, 65, talks about a lot of things -- why he doesn't lie about his age, his childhood in suburban Baltimore where stood out from the other kids (you don't say?) and that he's mellow now because it's not cool to be his age and be angry. 

He also says he likes rap music. 

"I like rap music. But bragging about being rich to poor people is really offensive," Waters says. "I want to hear a gangsta rap song about buying a Cy Twombly painting or dating a museum curator. I want to hear about that kind of rich." 

Read the entire article here

"30 Rock" Takes "Clever" Stab at Baltimore

Tina Fey's "30 Rock" is known for featuring A-list celebrities, quirky characters, and absurd humor. 

And now, it's also known for taking a stab at Baltimore.

In an episode this month, Mary Steenburgen is walking along a New York City sidewalk with son-in-law Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin. She tells him that she contributes to the "Baltimore Philharmonic," a non-existent orchestra. 

"Of course lately it's just a Boombox and a guy in a crab suit," Steenburgen's Diana Jessup says. "He gets shot out of a cannon at Ravens' games. The city may not be thriving."

Getting airtime on a national, primetime comedy show is no small feat for Charm City. And at least one local blogger, who goes by the name Baltimore Boy, could not be more pleased.

"I don’t mind a dig at my beloved hometown when it’s both a low-blow AND clever," he writes. You can read the rest of his analysis here

Even Baltimore's real classical music group, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, enjoyed the attention. Check out their Facebook page

Woodberry Kitchen's Spike Gjerde Featured in GQ

Baltimoreans all know that Woodberry Kitchen is the city's original and most popular farm-to-table restaurant. Well it seems that word has gotten out to the editors of GQ magazine.

Woodberry Co-owner Spike Gjerde was recently featured in the magazine's food and travel section. Gjerde talks about his favorite spots in Baltimore, which include Hampden's Spro coffee shop, Wit and Wisdom restaurant in the Four Seasons Baltimore and the Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point. You can read the rest of his picks here

It certainly won't be the last we hear of Gjerde. The restaurateur is opening a coffee shop of his own and a fast-casual eatery this spring. 

New York Times Features Federal Hill Rowhome

A Federal Hill rowhome has made the cut in the New York Times "What you get for..." section. The part of the real estate section highlights properties in three different cities that are all listed for the same price. 

The Times features three homes for $900,000 in Baltimore, New Orleans and Bellevue, Wash. 

So what do you get for $900,000 in Federal Hill? A wrap-around terrace with views of downtown Baltimore, a six-burner Viking range and a wood-burning fireplace in the master suite. 

You can read the rest more about the property here

Baltimore Photographer is Good

What makes photography good enough for Good? 

It seems that Baltimore librarian knows the answer. His pics of Baltimore's streets and architecture are highlighted in the magazine. 

"Joust's photographs are united by a cinematic sense of style. A librarian by day, Joust traverses the city and surrounding counties at night, playing with long exposures and teasing out rich tones from the landscape," the magazine writes. 

Here's a link to Joust's blog where you can see more of his photos and notes on Baltimore. 

Baltimore County Shop to Be Featured on Reality TV Show

A Baltimore County sports shop will be the subject of a new reality TV show, according to the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawick.

ABC will follow the owners of Robbie's First Base in Timonium in 12, half-hour episodes. You can read more about the planned TV show in Zurawick's blog.
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