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New Yorker Names Dan Deacon Concert Among Best of 2012

The New Yorker has reviewed the top classical music performances of 2012, which includes a March 26 concert that involved Baltimore-bred musician Dan Deacon.

"This event with So Percussion, Matmos, and Dan Deacon stood out for its anarchic, joyous spirit," writes the New Yorker. In its original blog review, the New Yorker writer Alex Ross describes the John Cage tribute as "one of the more entertaining and fulfilling evenings I've had in recent years."

Performances by the New York Philharmonic and the Birmingham Opera were also recognized in the list

Electronic composer Deacon was featured in Rolling Stone magazine earlier this year. 

Pizza Today Features Chazz Baltimore's Potato Pie

Potato pizza savored in Tuscany, Italy inspired restaurateur Sergio Vitale to serve a potato pie at Chazz: A Bronx Original restaurant, Pizza Today writes.

"Vitale’s coal-oven-fired white pizza is topped with sea salt seasoned potatoes, pecorino and fontina cheeses, rosemary and gar­lic," the magazine writes. "After baking he drizzles calabrese chili oil over it."

To prevent the pizza from getting too soggy, Vitale says he places a layer of shredded fontina cheese underneath the spuds, which he spaces out carefully.

“ 'Too many spuds cropped up in the center will make a soggy pizza,'” Vitale says. You can read the rest of the story here

Gordon Ramsey Visits a Reinvented Cafe Hon

Denise Whiting and her restaurant Cafe Hon are once again the darlings of the Hampden neighborhood, according to a recent episode of Gordon Ramsey's "Kitchen Nightmares."

Ramsey revisits Cafe Hon a year after his first visit to find a bustling restaurant, humble owner and good food. 

"The food was better, they said, the staff seemed happier -- the first piece portrayed them as primed for a full-scale revolt -- and the community seemed ready to let bygones be bygones, especially once Whiting made good on her promise to let go of the trademark," writes Chris Kaltenbach in the Baltimore Sun.

Whiting, of course, faced a public relations nightmare after trademarking the word "Hon." She then later abandoned the trademark and her decision was broadcast on MIX 106.5 and on "Kitchen Nightmares."

New York Times Bestows Music "Award" to Baltimore Symphony

The New York Times has recognized 10 classical music orchestras that have made great strides in the past year and bestows upon each its own little award — without any statues or cash to go along with the honor. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is among them and the Times honors the arts organization with the "Chicken Droppings-into-Chicken Salad Award."

"The financially troubled Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which was looking for a way to boost revenue and occupy the players during quiet summer weeks...wins for its summer academy aimed at amateur classical musicians, who pay to spend a week rehearsing and performing alongside the orchestra’s professionals," the Times writes. 

You can see the list of recognized orchestras here

Report Says Baltimore is a Buyer's Market for New Homes

If you're in the market for a new home in Baltimore, negotiate hard. 

That's according to Zillow, which analyzed the best markets for home buyers and sellers and concluded that Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore were among the top buyers' markets. In its list of buyers' markets, Baltimore came in at No. 7, behind Cincinnati, New York and Pittsburgh. 

The study, featured on Forbes.com, was completed using Zillow's third quarter 2012 market data.

"In buyers’ markets, homes for sale stay on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently and homes are sold for less relative to their listing price, giving buyers more negotiating power," Forbes writes. You can read the entire article here

Baltimore Restaurant Owners to Star in Reality TV Show

The owners of Hampden's Alchemy restaurant are starring in a new reality television show, according to tourism and hospitality website Citypeek.com. 

Baltimore-based RLTV is featuring the couple on a show called "What's Next," scheduled to air in the spring.

"The foodie show uses the small 75 seat venue ALCHEMY's partners Sommelier/Pastry-Bread-Sweets Debi Bell-Matassa and Executive Chef Michael Matassa to cover and tackle issues like: how do you run a business, how do you manage to work side by side your spouse," Citypeek.com writes

Founded by John Erickson, cable channel RLTV caters to the 50 + crowd in its programming.

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. 

Travel Channel Films in Federal Hill

Cross Street Market or Eastern Market? It's a showdown between Federal Hill and Capitol Hill on the Travel Channel.

The cable network was in Baltimore Dec. 7 and filmed at the Cross Street Market, writes Kevin Lynch in SouthBMore.com

"Get down to the market and let people know how great the area is," SouthBMore.com writes. "And, while you are there, grab something at one of the many merchants and support local business."

We can't wait to see the show when it airs. 

New York Times: Woodberry Kitchen Stocks Up for the Winter

How do restaurants serve up the freshest produce in the winter? They can, store and preserve, says the New York Times, which prominently features Woodberry Kitchen in its feature on how restaurants are saving up for the winter. 

"At Woodberry Kitchen, the chef Spike Gjerde collaborates with local growers to stock an abundant pantry, serving diners at his 162-seat restaurant," the Times writes. 

" 'We got in the kitchen and froze 10 cases of tomatoes and roasted, peeled and seeded 10 cases of peppers,'” Gjerde tells the Times.

The story also mentions Carroll County's Black Ankle Vineyards, which supplies grapes to Woodberry.

You can read the entire story here

Science Study: Baltimore and Minneapolis Look Alike

If you think a lot of cities are starting to look the same, you may be onto something.

The National Science Foundation is undertaking a massive, four-year study to examine the urban ecology of six cities: Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Baltimore. And researchers have found so far that the ecosystems in each are starting to resemble one another, the New York Times writes. 

"Scientists studying the function of urban ecosystems are developing theories of what they refer to as ecological homogenization," the Times writes. "Places like Baltimore, Minneapolis and Phoenix appear to be becoming more like one another ecologically than they are like the wild environments around them."

You can read the entire story here

Matthew Porterfield's New Film to Premiere at Sundance

Baltimore filmmaker Matthew Porterfield is debuting his latest film, "I Used to Be Darker," at Sundance next month. The movie tells the story of a runaway who goes to live with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore and confronts a family struggle afterwards. "Darker" is one of ten films in the film festival's NEXT program, which highlights innovative storytelling in film. 

You can read more about the NEXT films here on film site Indiewire or in this writeup in the New York Times. 

Porterfield garnered rave reviews for "Putty Hill" in 2010. The Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University selected the Hamilton native for its 2012-2013 Artist Residency Awards. Porterfield has also won the Sondheim Prize and was included in the Whitney Biennial. 

T. Rowe Money Manager Sounds Off on Fiscal Cliff

Economists are warning that the US will plunge into a recession again if Congress doesn't reach a deal to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts — the so-called "fiscal cliff."

But Bill Stromberg, director of global equity and global equity research at Baltimore's T. Rowe Price Group Inc., tells USA Today that investors shouldn't worry too much about this affecting their portfolio in the long run. They should build a diversified portfolio and worry instead about the artificially low interest rates that will go up at some point. 

"I personally don't think average investors should be structuring their portfolio around the idea of a short-term deadline in the market," Stromberg tells USA Today. "Their long-term asset allocation and choice of investments should be based on much longer-term horizons."

You can read the rest of the story here

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

Business School Dean Admires Baltimore Symphony Director

A business school dean calls the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director "a folk hero" in the most recent issue of Forbes magazine.

Doug Guthrie, dean of the George Washington University School of Business, got to know Marin Alsop because she was the first speaker in the school's Conversations on Creative Leadership series. 

"She is a woman in a field dominated by men, but she is so much more," Guthrie writes in Forbes. "A visionary who understands the connection between ambition and achievement. A crusader who knows how music can transform lives. A leader who accepts the risk that comes with great rewards. A trailblazer who is as adept at the trail as the blazing."

You can read the rest of the story here. 

Festival of Trees Puts a Spin on the Christmas Spirit

Timonium's Festival of Trees is one of the top 10 great places to "put a spin" on the Christmas spirit, according to USA Today and Jinglebelljunction.com's creator Monica Mays.

"It includes a fairyland forest with more than 600 decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses, all for sale," USA Today writes. "There also is a Harry Potter house, a toy train garden, holiday craft shopping and entertainment."

Tickets cost $13 and sales benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Other contenders on the list include a Santa pub crawl in Reno and Santa Claus, Ind., a town that celebrates Christmas all year long. 

You can see the entire list here

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