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Exploration Baltimore
February 7, 2008 1:15 PM   Subscribe

The yearly Best of Baltimore awards released by Baltimore City Paper have been providing a guide to Charm City for over a decade. You can find the best independent bookstores, theater, nachos, and plumbers. Or perhaps your tastes run more exotic--do you need the best constant reminder that Peter Angelos is the anti-Christ? The best place to get run over by bicyclists while hiking? Or the best place to make fun of stressed-out PreMeds? And there are always surprising picks; for example, check out the 2006 winner for best cheap entertainment. So when you're planning your next Baltimore visit browse the archives and find somewhere to enjoy yourself.
posted by schroedinger (23 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
No Best Fries & Gravy?

*cries*
posted by rtha at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2008


This is interesting, but shouldn't this be in travel filter?
posted by empath at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2008


Man, I miss Paradox. I mean it's still around, but it ain't the same. I remember driving up from DC to wait for 2 and a half hours in a line a block and a half long on Thursday nights every week. Good times.

Sonar is alright, but it ain't the 'dox.

If you like Baltimore club music, the 'dox was one of the places where it all started-- hip-hop, house, booty house and UK hardcore rave music all at the same club, mashed up into a glorious, goofy mess.
posted by empath at 1:31 PM on February 7, 2008


I guess I don't get it-- doesn't every "alternative weekly" in every city in the country do this? Is there something I'm missing about this that makes it special (a la the Arcata Eye's police blotter)?
posted by dersins at 1:32 PM on February 7, 2008


dersins, CP is known for its events calendar, which is pretty good, except it misses all the church suppers, church pierogi sales and all.

I will admit, I'm a bit surprised to see this posted to the blue.
posted by QIbHom at 1:35 PM on February 7, 2008


Whats with all the Baltimore posts lately?
posted by sfts2 at 1:36 PM on February 7, 2008


Whats with all the Baltimore posts lately?


Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.
posted by william_boot at 1:43 PM on February 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


Best fries and gravy are at the Sip N'Bite, rtha. Um, is it just me or is the 2008 Best of Baltimore not even out yet - comes out in the fall, if I'm not mistaken? Maybe this could have waited until then?
Grumble. They don't have anywhere near all the archives online yet either, I see. [EX BALTIMORONIST]
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:43 PM on February 7, 2008


Well, bored & reading around in the City Paper has paid off. OMG! You can't smoke at the Mt. Royal Tavern anymore! That smoking ban is going to be interesting as hell in Baltimore.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:03 PM on February 7, 2008


I prefer the old Atomic Books. Who's with me, folks! Oh, and where's Swallow at the Hollow??????
posted by dhammond at 2:20 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you, mygothlaundry. I will put that in the information hopper for the next time I'm there.

See, because I don't even live in Bal'mer, and I never did - my mom used to live there, so I know it from visiting, and from being just down the road in DC. But I still get nostalgic for it, which is kind of weird. But then, there's a lot about Baltimore that's best appreciated vicariously.
posted by rtha at 2:31 PM on February 7, 2008


GODDAMNIT STOP WITH THE BALTIMORE POSTS!*

*Every time I see a Baltimore or The Wire post, I get an overwhelming craving for Berger's Cookies, and not the type that you can order online. No, I want the fudge drop kind, which are similar but have much, much more delicious icing on top. So I am endlessly denied. Unless someone can post a recipe right the hell now, I may, I dunno, start killing junkies, biting them, and then tying a red ribbon around their wrist.

I'm for serious here.

posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:01 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't get it-- doesn't every "alternative weekly" in every city in the country do this?

indeed they do. what's more, these "awards" are almost exclusively a bit of advertorial glad-handing doled out to the businesses that buy display ads in these papers, so it's even more meaningless than you think.

weak post.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:50 PM on February 7, 2008


Thanks robocop, I wasn't even thinking about Berger's.

Now I have to go visit my Mother-in-Law...
posted by Mick at 3:52 PM on February 7, 2008


A smoking ban... in Baltimore?!
posted by louche mustachio at 4:25 PM on February 7, 2008


Where is the best place to get Lake Trout in the Hamsterdam area?

Im feelin a might peckish....and really, really twitchy.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:25 PM on February 7, 2008


Robocop, EVERY time someone in the family visits bmore, they have to bring back Berger cookies or else. Then they always disappear in two days. Bastards.

Now if we could only safely transport a cheesesteak over the 12hour drive, we'd be in business.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:31 PM on February 7, 2008


My mom sent some Bergers to my office last year and people really flipped out when I opened them up. They were literally gone within 3 minutes.
posted by dhammond at 5:48 PM on February 7, 2008


Well, shit. I don't have enough experience with other cities' alt-weeklies to know they give out quirky awards too--I thought City Paper was just cool like that.

I am going to resign myself to never being able to create a good FPP, ever. Dang!
posted by schroedinger at 7:36 PM on February 7, 2008


Also, in defense of the awards, all of the awards I've seen gone to businesses have been pretty well-founded, and not based on ad space. Heck, a lot of the businesses and places that get awards don't even get ad space.
posted by schroedinger at 7:38 PM on February 7, 2008


indeed they do. what's more, these "awards" are almost exclusively a bit of advertorial glad-handing doled out to the businesses that buy display ads in these papers, so it's even more meaningless than you think.

I spent two years running the music section of an alt-weekly, and witnessed the paper's entire process for putting the Best Of section together, so I'm very safe in saying: bullshit. Maybe a few very bad alts around the country do this, but it certainly isn't the standard. The editorial staff sits ina room and hashes them out, and there's no one from the money side of the building in the room. The staff argues about it, but typically the staff expert on any given topic is given the final word.

Should you take them seriously? Well, I never claimed to be the Ear of God while putting my sections together, but it was my job to have a pretty good opinion on whatever I wrote about. Same with the food people over in the restaurant section. And, my Lord, trust alt-weekly staffers when it comes to local boozing. They know of what they speak.

(That being said, I have no idea why this is a post)
posted by Bookhouse at 9:13 PM on February 7, 2008


what's more, these "awards" are almost exclusively a bit of advertorial glad-handing doled out to the businesses that buy display ads in these papers, so it's even more meaningless than you think.

There was a big stink in the letters this year because City Paper gave some backhanded award to Ace of Cakes, dissing them for looking good but tasting like crap, while at the same time Ace of Cakes was doing the cake for CP's big birthday bash. I think they also advertise in CP, too.
posted by QIbHom at 8:39 AM on February 8, 2008


What Bookhouse said ... when i worked at a few alt-weeklies (the Pitch in Kansas City and the Austin Chronicle, way back in the early '90s), these "Best Of" issues were already a standard feature -- with no input at all from the advertising staff. There were both "editorial staff picks" and "readers' picks" -- and, as a lowly intern at the Chronicle, I can attest that I spent at least two weeks carefully tabulating the readers' votes in all sorts of categories. And that's what was printed (including a few "worst of" categories that may have included some advertisers).
posted by lisa g at 12:28 PM on February 8, 2008


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