A city icon with an inner secret

By: Carol Sorgen

Those familiar with downtown Baltimore can’t miss the Bromo-Seltzer Clock Tower, which has overlooked the Charm City skyline since 1911. But in the last decade, changes have been afoot inside the iconic landmark. Now known as the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, since 2007 the Tower has provided studio space for artists, as well as a venue for free exhibitions, receptions and live... READ MORE

Local writers cover the White House

By: Dinah Rokach

The focus of the following books is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, the most famous address in the world. The authors live in D.C. and Virginia, and two of them have served inside the White House — giving their works a unique perspective. Obama: An Intimate Portrait, The Historic Presidency in Photographs, by Pete Souza, forward by Barack Obama, 352 pages, more than 300 color... READ MORE

A revealing production of Gypsy at Toby’s

By: Stuart Rosenthal

The musical Gypsy — loosely based on the early life of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee — is really more the story of her single-minded narcissistic mother Rose. And if Rose brings to mind Ethel Merman, there’s a good reason: Merman not only starred in the original 1959 production, she was one of the forces behind the whole project, working with producer David Merrick and... READ MORE

Love music? Time to get jazzed

By: Mike Doan

“You must join a jazz band!” shouted my sight-singing teacher after I played a few bars on the piano. “What? I’m 76 years old. Who would want me?” I replied. Well, the Jazz Workshop did. Paul Pieper, who runs the 18 two-hour classes and jam sessions every week in Tysons Corner, had me sit in on a session so we could size each other up. Since I took jazz piano lessons in... READ MORE

A workshop for jazz singers

By: Margaret Foster

In 2008, when the Jazz Workshop was in its early stages, director Paul Pieper realized some students didn’t play any instrument at all; they were singers. So Pieper enlisted a colleague, jazz pianist Chris Grasso, to teach a session for vocalists only. Now, almost a dozen years later, the jazz singer subgroup is still going strong. Every Thursday, Grasso meets with three groups for a... READ MORE

Sample Baltimore’s markets and food halls

By: Carol Sorgen

Several years ago, food trucks were all the rage. Now food halls are popping up all over the country, giving restaurateurs the opportunity to lower their overhead by sharing space, while also giving diners the opportunity to partake of a variety of food offerings in one location. Baltimore has long had its own version of food halls, with its traditional city markets. These include some... READ MORE