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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

Real Food Farm takes its farmers market on the road with a food truck

Farmers' markets have become popular across Baltimore, but according to Inhabitat.com, Real Food Farm is taking the farmers' market idea one step further.

The design and sustaintability weblog reports that Real Food Farm has established a "mobile market" food truck that brings fresh produce to the area surrounding Clifton Park in northeast Baltimore. This area is a food desert, a place where residents may not have access to a supermarket.

Designed by students at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the truck delivers fresh produce from the Real Food Farm's location in Clifton Park and makes scheduled stops at farmers' markets, private houses and schools.

Read the full story here.

And see BmoreMedia's feature on "Green Masterminds" like Real Food Farm. 

Charleston and Woodberry Kitchen are among the 100 Best Wine Restaurants

Two Baltimore establishments, Charleston and Woodberry Kitchen, made Wine Spectator's list of the 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the U.S.

The restaurants selected for this list all "serve up a true passion for presenting mind-blowing wine-and-food pairings," Wine Spectator writes.
 
"The global wine list—boasting more than 800 selections—was designed to complement the modern American menu, showcasing fine wines as well as excellent wine values," Wine Spectator says of Harbor East's Charleston.

The magazine praised Woodberry Kitchen for highlighting regional and organic wines. 

"The wine list aims to provide exposure for wines from the Mid-Atlantic, specifically Maryland and Virginia, followed by organic and biodynamic wines from Europe and South America." 

You can see the entire list here

ABC's 'Secret Millionaire' visits four Baltimore charities

On Sunday night, ABC’s premiere of “Secret Millionaire” brought Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels out of her life as a millionaire in Pennsylvania to downtown Baltimore.

In Baltimore, Beiler searched for charities to support under the show’s premise – a millionaire goes undercover to find ways to help those in need. 

According to TWC Central, Time Warner Cable’s news website, Beiler visited four Baltimore charities: Miracle Garden, Moveable Feast, Casey Cares Foundation and the Rose Street Community Center.

In the show, Beiler learned the stories behind the people the charities benefit, such as that of a woman who Casey Cares helped after she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Now that she is in remission, the woman volunteers with the organization.

After interacting with the volunteers from the charities, Beiler donated money to support all four.

Read more about Beiler’s experiences in Baltimore here.

Maryland Historical Society invites the public to stitch the American flag

The Maryland Historical Society is inviting expert quilters and the public to help it recreate a copy of the American flag, USA Today writes.
 
The Mount Vernon museum recently assembled about 100 or so expert quilters to create a copy of the flag originally sewn by Mary Pickersgill in 1813—the same flag that would eventually inspire Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner.”
 
Staying true to Pickersgill's flag, the society is using wool bunting, rather than nylon, to craft the banner, USA Today writes.
 
And on Aug. 3 and Aug. 11, the historical society will open its project to the public, who will be able to add a stitch to the flag. Featuring several exhibits and costumed actors, the event will take place from noon-3 p.m..
 
Read more about the event here, and register for the event here.

Public policy website highlights new school near Johns Hopkins biopark

Next City, a public policy and current events website that explores urban issues, has highlighted the massive, $1.8 billion development in East Baltimore led by Johns Hopkins in a recent issue.

Though Hopkins has long been criticized for its relationship with the surrounding community, the university hopes that a new school opening in the fall can move the biopark and residential development forward. The school is embracing its role as a so-called "anchor institution" that can serve as a catalyst for growth in its surrounding neighborhoods. 

"The latest redevelopment promise — a $1.8 billion, 10-years-in-the-making endeavor to raze 88 acres worth of abandoned blocks and rebuild the neighborhood with a Hopkins-partnered primary school as the centerpiece — has similarly grown entangled with racial tension and accusations of corruption," Next City writes. "But this time, a plan to both enroll students from the neighborhood and attract new people to the area means that the needs of Middle East may not get left behind."

You can read the entire story here. (Subscription required.)

USA Today video highlights Baltimore refugees planting urban gardens

Some Baltimore refugees have managed to recreate some of their beloved memories from home through urban gardening, according to a video posted by USA Today.
 
One refugee from South Sudan, Joyce Kedan, explains through a translator “when I come here and grow things, I feel very happy and positive, and I think of home.”

In order to farm, Kedan turned to Baltimore nonprofit New Roots, which provides refugees with their own plot of fertile soil and uses community garden specialists to help refugees grow rural and exotic crops in urban soil.
 
See the video here.

Baltimore resident keeps an eye out for slumlords

Baltimore resident Carol Ott’s unconventional job takes her to neighborhoods in Baltimore with boarded-up windows and vacant properties, according to the Atlantic Cities.

The website, which focuses on urban areas across the globe, reported that Ott is behind Baltimore Slumlord Watch, a blog that publishes any information that Ott can obtain about vacant properties in Baltimore. 

The goal of the blog is to identify neglected properties and their owners in an effort to solve Baltimore’s problem with vacant homes.

Ott also began a second website in June, called Housing Policy Watch, to educate renters and landlords about common issues. Ott began this project with help from the nonprofit Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc.

According to The Atlantic Cities, Ott has been a resident of Baltimore for 13 years and says that her websites are a way for her to show “some tough love” to the city.

Read the full story here.

Baltimore named one of best cities for baby boomers

The Greater Baltimore area is among the best places for baby boomers to settle down, according to a study that recently appeared on Forbes.

Conducted by the finance website NerdWallet, the study took into account affordability, available health care, social activities and accessibility. Its goal was to find locations across the U.S. that provide people in their 50s and 60s with opportunities for an active, social lifestyle, as well as low costs that will ease the transition into retirement. 

Baltimore ranked No. 4 on the list due to the proximity of Johns Hopkins Medical Center and activities like life-enrichment classes and entertainment.

Pittsburgh was awarded best city for baby boomers, due to its accessibility, large population of baby boomers and availability of a wide range of activities from architecture classes to events. Third on the list was Cleveland. 

You can read the full list here.

 


Atlantic City promoters bringing boardwalk to Baltimore's Artscape festival

Atlantic City is launching a promotional tour that will bring its famous boardwalk to Baltimore, Philly.com reports.

Entitled “Do AC,” the tour brings all the elements of Atlantic City's boardwalk—the photo booths, massage stations, games of chance, giveaways, and DJs—except they've all been stuffed into a 750-square-foot trailer that's on the move. The tour launched in Philadelphia's Penn Landing this past weekend and will be traveling to Baltimore July 19-21 at the Artscape festival, before packing up and rolling to New York.

The tour “was specifically created to introduce Atlantic City to people in a new way, create a social media buzz and represent all 12 casinos in key markets," Liza Cartmell, president of the Atlantic City Alliance tells Philly.com. The tour is sponsored by Atlantic City's casinos, and is part of the city's annual $30 million dollar “Live from AC” promotional campaign.

Read more about the portable boardwalk here.

Jewish Museum of Maryland celebrating 'Superman' movie opening

A bar mitzvah is usually celebrated when a boy turns 13, but the Jewish Museum of Maryland is making a special exception for Superman.

The museum, located in Baltimore's Jonestown neighborhood, held a bar mitzvah on Sunday for the comic book superhero, who was created 75 years ago by Jewish artists. The superhero himself will be attending the event, which will also include dancing, music, food and a bar mitzvah cake, the Washington Post writes

The event will celebrate the new movie on the superhero as well as the museum's exhibit on Superman, which is on display through Aug. 18.
 
Read more about the exhibit here.


Baltimore Pride festival to feature mass wedding

The Baltimore Pride festival will host a mass same-sex wedding with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake presiding over the ceremony, writes the AP in a story that ran in the Washington Post. The June 16 event will take place in Druid Hill Park.

The mayor has officiated other same-sex marriages since gay marriage became legal Jan. 1. Event planners and marketers in the wedding industry said last year that legalizing gay marriage would boost business

 





 

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays at Carnegie Hall

Musicians from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra kicked off a six-day festival, Spring for Music, at Carnegie Hall last week. 

BSO Music Director Marin Alsop "began her bracing program with John Adams’s 'Shaker Loops,' the 1983 string-orchestra version of an earlier chamber piece for strings," the New York Times writes.

"The music is alive with oscillating melodic bits and rippling rhythmic figures, and this performance captured the bustling musical patterns and undulant waves of sound."

You can read the entire story here



Baltimore runners pay tribute to Boston

Runners in Baltimore and around the country paid tribute to the victims of the deadly bomb that exploded during the Boston marathon April 15, USA Today reports.

"Five days after the nation's most storied race for runners was shattered by terrorists' bombs, marathons and 10Ks across the country dedicated their runs and directed their donations to the victims in Boston," the newspaper writes. 

The April 20 Sole of the City 10K in Federal Hill began with a moment of silence and many runners sported Boston Red Sox hats.

"People may conclude that the running community has bounced back or that 'we will run again,' " Baltimore Sun Editor Olivia Hubert-Allen posted on her Facebook page, writes USA Today.

Read the entire story here.


Fast Company says Maryland is the third most innovative state

Maryland is home to a thriving startup community, says Fast Company. The magazine ranks the Free State No. 3 on its list of the most innovative states.

Florida, Texas, Arizona and Alaska rounded out the top five. Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia were at the bottom three of the list, which ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Maryland also ranked No. 4 on Fast Company's breakdown of the number of startups per million residents.

The magazine culled data from a variety of sources to come up with the ranking: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity and others. 
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