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New novel focuses on Zelda Fitzgerald's time in Baltimore

Zelda Fitzgerald is the subject of four new novels that are coming out this year, one of which focuses on her time in a Baltimore mental institution.

Erika Robuck's "Call Me Zelda", which comes out in May, is narrated by a nurse who cares for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife.

"The novel tackles one of the most contentious issues in the Fitzgeralds' marriage —their fight over who had the right to fictionalize their relationship," the Wall Street Journal writes.

The Journal also writes that Zelda wrote her own novel on her troubled marriage to the Jazz Age "Great Gatsby" writer while hospitalized for schizophrenia.

You can read the rest of the story here

Study: Baltimore one of the best cities for budgeters

Baltimore apparently isn't one of those cities where you'll see cash-strapped 20-somethings splurge on a pair of Manolo Blahniks. 

Baltimore ranks No. 8 on Card Hub's list of cities with the best budgeters. Boston, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Minneapolis were the top five on the list.

The credit card comparison site says Baltimore residents have, on average, a credit score of 738. Card Hub also took into account total debt-to-income ratios; the bankruptcy and foreclosure rates, mortgage debt and non-housing expenses.

Cincinnati, Tampa, Fla., and Orlando, Fla., were in the bottom three. 


USA Today highlights Reginald F. Lewis Museum's Harriet Tubman exhibit

Museums and tourism officials are honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman, 100 years after her death. 

USA Today features some of these homages, including a contemporary art exhibit "Homage to Harriet" at Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture. It starts March 23 and runs through June 23.

The USA Today also features three other Maryland honors to Harriet Tubman. Earlier this month, officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, just south of Cambridge. 

"The same day, the state designated a 125-mile driving tour, dubbed the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, that cuts through her home turf on Maryland's Eastern Shore," USA Today writes.

Maryland also passed a bill to establish the 5,700-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on  Maryland's Eastern Shore.


Wall Street Journal features the BMA's Max Weber exhibit

Cubist painter was taught by Henri Matisse and friends with Pablo Picasso and Henri Rousseau.

And he is now the focus of a new exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is featuring drawings, prints and paintings from the 20th century artist.

The Wall Street Journal highlights the exhibit, along with two others in Seattle and Miami.  

" 'Max Weber: Bringing Paris to New York,' chronicles in 40 works from 1908 through 1928 how he moved from a classical to a cubist style," the Journal writes. 

The exhibit started March 1 and runs through June 23. It features several Weber paintings from 1909 to 1915 that are part of the  BMA's collection along with many pieces on loan from the Estate of Max Weber. 
 


Video Americain gets a plug in the New York Times

Baltimore's Video Americain, one of the few remaining video rental shops in a dying industry, has gotten a shout-out in the New York Times' small business blog.  

Miguel Gomez recently opened — you guessed it, a video store! — in suburban Philadelphia and told the New York Times that streaming and online video rentals can't beat the personal experience of browsing through titles and getting recommendations at a store.

"There aren’t too many video stores left in the country, but the ones that are left are all pretty great," Gomez tells the New York Times. "Baltimore has Video Americain, Seattle has Scarecrow Video, Austin has both I Luv Video and Vulcan Video, San Francisco has both Lost Weekend Video and Le Video … so there are communities still supporting video stores, as long as the video stores have stellar inventories."

Video Americain has two Maryland locations: one on Cold Spring Lane in Roland Park and another in Takoma Park. Last year, it closed its Charles Village shop


Baltimore among the best cities for single men

If you're male and between the ages of 18 and 34, you could do worse than living in Baltimore. 

So says Forbes, which features an analysis from Rent.com of the top cities for single men. Baltimore made this list, along with Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. Rent.com says these are cities where women outnumber men by nearly 10 percent.

This is what Rent.com had to say about Baltimore:

"This delightful town wakes up locals with enchanting seascapes that capture both hearts and minds."

The Domino Sugar sign floating in the water is surely a nice view, but enchanting SEAscapes?

"Perhaps the call of the Atlantic is the romantic siren that draws so many young, single women to the town and the men in droves behind them."

The call of the Atlantic? In droves?

Hey we love Baltimore as much as the next person but someone needs to tell Rent.com that the body of water at the Inner Harbor ain't the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Rent.com says all the single ladies need to move out to the West Coast. It cites Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, San Jose and Seattle as the top cities for single women

Johns Hopkins among the top schools in world reputation ranking

Johns Hopkins University generally does well on U.S. rankings of the top colleges. 

But how does it stack up against institutions of higher learning from around the world?  Not bad. It ranks No. 19 in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings of the top 100 universities from around the globe. The University of Maryland, College Park also comes up on the list, at 95.

The British publication put Harvard, MIT and England's University of Cambridge in the top three. 

The Times Higher Education says it determined its ranking through an "invitation-only survey of academic opinion." 

Want to avoid Baltimore parking tickets? There's an app for that.

Ever wish you could know how likely it is that you'll get a ticket if you skip paying the meter while you grab a cup of coffee?

Now you can, thanks to a Baltimore developer. Hampden resident Shea Frederick has developed an app called SpotAgent that can assess the likelihood of getting a parking ticket at certain times and locations, writes Atlantic Cities.

"The city’s data includes the date, time and a rough address (as well as license plate info) for every parking ticket handed out in the city in the past year," writes Atlantic Cities. "And new tickets typically appear in the database within just a few hours of landing on a windshield.
 
SpotAgent is available for the iPhone and Android devices. 

Baltimore mentoring program featured in Forbes

Sarah Hemminger tells Forbes magazine that when she moved back to Baltimore for grad school in 2004, she and her husband Ryan felt like "something was missing."

That something was being part of a loving, nurturing community. That prompted her to launch the Incentive Mentoring Program, which matches a family of committed volunteers with underperforming high school students.

"We must build a reliable social support network by facilitating dependable, long-term relationships among students and caring adults," Hemminger tells Forbes

Centerstage to produce plays inspired by the Civil War

Baltimore's Centerstage is one of four performing arts organizations that are producing several theatrical works commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, writes the New York Times

The National Civil War Project partners the theater troupes with the arts department of an academic institution. In the case of Centerstage, the Mount Vernon theater is teaming up with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The duo has commissioned “At War With Ourselves,” by the Kronos Quartet that promises to feature a "legendary composer."

Theaters and universities in Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C., are also taking part. 



Baltimore NOT on Forbes' list of most miserable cities

High property taxes and crime? Check. A population of at least 259,000? Check.

Bad weather? Hmm..maybe the recent mild winters is why Forbes' editors overlooked Baltimore in its list of America's Most Miserable Cities.

Detroit, Flint, Mich., and Rockford, Ill., were the top three. Also on the list was Chicago, home of the nation's best pizza. That's according to Travel & Leisure, which also put Baltimore on the list. Can a city with great pizza really be that miserable? Well, in any case we're relieved Baltimore isn't on the list. Heaven knows the city doesn't need any more bad PR.




Rite Aid rolls out health clinics in Baltimore

Rite Aid Corp. is the latest pharmacy chain that is venturing into health care, writes the Wall Street Journal. 

Rite Aid rolled out 58 virtual health clinics in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh March 1. For a fee of $45, a patient can chat with a doctor via Web camera, the Journal writes.  

The pharmacy giant initially tested the concept in Detroit. You can read the rest of the story here





Under Armour opening New York office

Baltimore was abuzz Feb. 16 for the opening of Under Armour's new retail store in Harbor East

More than half the store is devoted to ladies' apparel as the Baltimore sportswear company is hoping to woo some of the women who buy pricey yoga outfits from Lululemon, writes Bloomberg.

Under Armour is also getting ready to open a New York office so it can tap top design talent to create feminine sportswear.

Executive Leanne Fremar  "is working on opening Under Armour’s first New York office, where she’ll tap design talent," Bloomberg writes.

"She also inherits a unit that has been growing 30 percent a year and added the Studio, a yoga-inspired line, and Armour Bra brands last year."

Travel & Leisure: Baltimore is one of the best cities for pizza

Good pizza places have sprouted up all over Baltimore and the readers of Travel & Leisure seem to have noticed. 

The magazine ranked Baltimore No. 19 on its list of 20 best American cities for pizza. Chicago, Providence, R.I., and New York got the top three spots. 

Travel & Leisure cites Chazz Baltimore in Harbor East and Joe Squared as two standout pizza joints that rely on coal-fired ovens. Joe Squared has two locations, at Power Plant Live and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District. The magazine came up with its ranking based on readers' votes in its America's Favorite Cities Survey. You can read the entire list here

We're just glad that someone gets us a little bit better than the the writer of this Washington Post piece.  Check out the comments if you haven't already. 



Peter Greenberg: Baltimore is the 'weirdest' road trip destination

We know that Baltimore is quirky and offbeat. Apparently travel guru Peter Greenberg has gotten this memo because he's named Baltimore the No. 1 Wacky & Weird Road-Trip Spot. 

"From the creepy brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe to the dark, irreverent humor of John Waters, a sci-fi nut, horror junkie, or simply a fan of good, old American kitsch, Baltimore is the number one quintessential capital of weird, cool and quirky sites in our country," Peter Greenberg writes on his travel website. 

The CBS News Travel Editor recommends visits to Port Discovery, the American Visionary Art Museum, the National Pinball Museum, National Museum of Dentistry and Geppi's Entertainment Museum

Santa Claus, Indiana and Albuquerque, New Mexico got the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. 
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