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Travel site says Maryland crabs are among the best iconic American foods

It turns out that Maryland crabs are loved by all, not just us folks who live in the Free State.

Readers of USA Today and 10Best travel website named crabs sold in Baltimore among the best iconic American foods. Maryland crabs were No. 2 on the list.

Albuquerque's green chile sauce, eaten with cheeseburgers and enchiladas, took the top spot.

Wisconsin's fried cheese curds came in third place and Memphis pulled pork in fourth. Philadelphia's cheese steaks came in at No. 5. 
The first place spot was "fiercely contested," as Albuquerque's mayor and Senator  encouraged citizens to vote in the poll, USA Today writes. 
See the full list here.

Slate study says Baltimore drivers are the fifth worst in the nation

Baltimore recently cracked a Top 5 list, but don't cheer just yet—this list ranked cities with the worst drivers.

Slate/s Brian Palmer analyzed the years between traffic accidents, automotive fatalities, automotive fatalities that involved alcohol, and number of pedestrians struck by vehicles to come up with the list. Baltimore came in at No. 5. Miami came in a No. 1, followed by Philadelphia, Hialeah, Hawaii, and Tampa, Fla.

Palmer notes that Baltimore's traffic report card was weighed down by the sheer number of accidents that occur in the city per year, saying “Baltimoreans just can’t keep from running into each other.”

You can read the full article and see Palmer's data 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.)

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 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.

Under Armour makes new sportswear line for Superman fans

Baltimore sportswear maker Under Armour has inked a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to produce a line of their famed athletic gear that features DC Superheroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, Variety writes.

The sportswear is available now on UA.com and sporting goods retailers and will be sold through the fall, says Variety.

This isn’t the first time the two companies have collaborated, as Under Armour provided the uniforms for the Gotham Rogues in the final film of the “Dark Knight” trilogy. After a well-received spring debut for an early version of a “Man of Steel” shirt, the companies decided to unveil a more expansive line, Variety writes. 

Read the entire story 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.


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.

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.

Study: Health and longevity of Baltimore residents improve

The health and longevity of Baltimore residents rose between 2008 and 2010, according to a study by New York's Social Science Research Council that was featured in Forbes. 

The research council put together a "heat map" that ranks each U.S. state on a scale of 0 to 10 — with 10 being the highest — on their overall state of well being. The council factors in education, income, health and longevity to come up with its number. 

"The five metro areas with the greatest increases in their index scores from 2008 to 2010 did so largely on the strength of improvements in health and longevity: Baltimore, Washington, DC, San Antonio, Dallas, and Boston," Forbes writes.

Connecticut fared the best among the states, with an index of 6.17 and high life expectancy and education levels. Maryland got a 5.94 on the index. You can see the entire story here.

Baltimore Museum of Art continues renovations to celebrate 100th birthday

On the heels of its reopening of an expanded contemporary wing, the Baltimore Museum of Art is plotting a series of new renovations to finish in the fall of 2014, when the museum celebrates its 100th birthday.

The BMA's upcoming renovations include a re-opening of the museum's original entrance, the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing and the East Wing entrance and lobby, Art Daily writes. Additional renovations that will wrap up spring 2015 include a new Asian and African art collections and  a creative learning center that will help children better relate to the art around them.

Read more about the BMA renovations here.

Food Network's 'Great Food Truck Race' shoots in Maryland

“House of Cards” isn't the only show shooting in Maryland anymore, as this week filming in Maryland turns from the political to edible.

Food Network show “The Great Food Truck Race” filmed in Annapolis June 21, the Baltimore Sun writes. The multi-week, coast-to-coast challenge pits food truck vendors against one another to see who can sell the most tacos, burgers and other fare.

The Indian-Mexican inspired Tikka Tikka Taco, the Hawaiian-style Aloha Plate Truck and cheese-steak vendor Samboni Boys took part in the Annapolis challenge, the Sun reports.

The Annapolis episode will air Sept. 15. Read the full story here.

Baltimore named one the best cities to live without a car

A recent study published in CreditDonkey, a financial education website, ranked Baltimore among the best cities to live practically car free.

The website used three factors to determine the rankings: the percentage of people who commute to work using public transit, gas prices and commute time. 

Baltimore ranked ninth, ranking higher than Portland, Ore., but preceded by Los Angeles, Calif. According to CreditDonkey, Baltimore’s public transit system, including subway, light rail and buses, makes it easy for residents to get around the city and to and from the suburbs.

The top three cities to live car free were New York, N.Y., San Francisco, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

See the full list here.

Ad Age names Millennial Media exec a 'Woman to Watch'

Advertising Age has named a female executive at Baltimore's Millennial Media on its list of "Women to Watch."

Mollie Spilman, the Canton mobile advertising firm's chief marketing officer, is one of 25 successful females on this list.

The former chief marketing officer at Yahoo tells Ad Age that Baltimore acts is a weekend respite for her and her two kids after spending her work week traveling to far-flung destinations like Paris, London, Los Angeles, Germany and Singapore. 

In spite of her achievements, she tells Ad Age that she has mixed feelings about being labeled a successful female executive.

"You don’t want to be singled out as a special case, as if there should be some different threshold for women.”

Read the entire story here.

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