30 May 08: Inga Please

"There's not a lot of . . . stuff with real seriousness in Philadelphia," Inga Saffron says when I ask her if she's been looking forward to her latest column. "So yeah."

Her latest column is the long anticipated review of Comcast Center, which will appear in this Sunday's Inquirer.

Since Comcast Center broke ground in January 2005, Inga's star has grown to include a second Pulitzer nomination, an eight page spread in Philly Mag, and indeed a certain level of notoriety.

As you might recall from a post a couple weeks ago, this web site was established in 2002. The domain name phillyskyline.com was appropriate enough for my growing collection of photos, which it was registered for, but in hindsight can be construed as either an homage to or theft of Changing Skyline. Thankfully, Inga laughs when I tell her this, relating that her column is also an homage to or theft of "The Sky Line" -- the longtime column by New Yorker architecture critic Lewis Mumford.

About that Changing Philly Skyline, there is nothing which has done so in her nine years as the Inquirer's architecture critic like Comcast Center has. American Commerce Center and the Girard Estate block could; Cira Centre and Symphony House have, a little. But the new Comcast tower, whose 975' height is not lost on Inga, is in her words, "a very big thing for Philly to chew on."

In meeting Inga in her Fitler Square neighborhood last night, I tried to get a sense of whether her Comcast review would lean toward positive or negative, but she was quick to explain that she does not believe in those words. "[My position] is about discussion," she says. "I try to articulate feelings others have, or find things people might not think of in their experience." Still, I thought, it's pretty easy to tell when she approves of a fab lab like Skirkanich Hall and disapproves of a pink prefab palace like the Nightmare on Broad Street.

With Comcast Center . . . I guess we'll find out Sunday. (Or sooner, as it will probably be posted on philly.com before the print edition.) When I ask for her thoughts on whether the building should be taller (as she implied in Cira Centre's case with her nickname Le Petite Cira), and if Arch Street got a bum deal where JFK Boulevard explodes, she stays mum, preferring instead to praise Melograno's pappardelle tartuffe, which she says is so good she won't order anything else. (I had the pappardelle with shrimp and scallops, and indeed, it was outta sight.)

Inga does well to guard her content, but she confirms that two frequently asked questions will be answered: What's up with the top? (Is it finished? Why is it different from the rest of the building?) What's up with the cutouts? (Are they supposed to be something? Are they just an architectural element?)

On this Comcast review, she says, "it's a little anticlimactic to do this now, since it's more or less been done for a while." I differ from this view though, simply because of the power of Inga Saffron's voice. Reserving her judgment until everything is done -- office workers have moved in, chain link fences have been removed, underground marketplace causeways have opened -- makes for a pretty climactic review, and just in time for an official grand opening the same week, I'd say.

In the three and a half years Comcast Center has been under construction, Inga has opined on a number of individual items -- plumber pee parties, Jonathan Borofsky's sculptures, Stern's digressions from Comcast to the McNeil Center (at Penn) to 10 Rittenhouse -- but the Big Sum comes Sunday. We're all looking forward to it.

–B Love

29 May 08: Philly Skyline in rainbows, disc 2

Here's a Thursday sequel to Monday's holiday post in memoriam of last Thursday's wicked weather ways that led to an intense double rainbow over Philadelphia. Jason Neer, from his perch at the St James, will see your South Street Bridge view, Alex L, and raise you not one but two Delaware River views. Dockside edition above, Philly Skyline Rainbow Skyline, Ben Franklin Bridge edition below. Thanks, Jason!

–B Love

29 May 08: The Doctor is in

And now, four wallpaper-ready shots of modern day Philly's biggest musical export. Last night's Dr. Dog show at Johnny Brenda's sold out in one day, and with a hugely anticipated album coming out this summer, chances are that export will grow even larger. They already have the endorsements of Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Beck, so when Fate is dropped on Park the Van on July 22nd and they're back home in West Philly after a national tour that has at least five festival dates . . . well our boys could very well be sitting on top of the world.

Oh no! All right! Come on!

Da da da da da da, da da da da da da, da dum, yeah. YEAH.

–B Love

Also visit: Dr Dog / We All Belong / Park the Van

28 May 08: Here we GO

And we're back. If you experienced technical difficulty reaching yr Skyline yesterday, look no further than the upper left panel of the graphic above. Seems there was some ill communication between Comcast and the Glbx handoff to the datacenter. That is: if you, like me, use the hometown cable giants for your internet connection, Skyline access DENIED.

But hey, here we are, and just in time for the first concerted Big Four update since the first of the month. It goes:

  • COMCAST CENTER: Ever closer are we to this building's official opening, nine days by most counts. The chain link fence around the trellis has been removed, so the plaza is fully open now. Not to be confused with The Plaza, the café which will open within the next couple weeks. (More on this later.) This particular photo update makes excessive use of colors and lights.

  • RESIDENCES AT THE RITZ-CARLTON: The new Ritz is pretty much topped off and you can make out the final shape of the building. About ten floors remain for glass installation, and the metal facing in the center of the south side (between the glass parts) will begin any day now. They're far enough along now that the banners that have risen with the slip forms have been removed and a new one announcing the grand opening has been hung closer to the ground.

  • MURANO: We haven't forgotten you, blue bullet, it's just been a while since we've been on a Trader Joe's run, nahmean? Latest observations at 21st & Market find an amply wide sidewalk on 21st Street (where cars will be entering the garage, which is across the street from Commerce Square's garage), a ___ to occupy the large retail space on the ground floor, and a move-in date of mid-June for the first residents.

  • 10 RITTENHOUSE SQUARE: Large scale construction doesn't slow down the best neighborhood in the city. As 10 Rittenhouse has climbed thirteen stories and change, Tria has opened its outdoor seating, where al fresco patrons watch from across the street while happily noshing on cheese and wash it down with concrete dusted vino. (Just kidding about the dust. Mostly.) Anthropologie's flagship store and Barnes & Noble (which this evening has a book signing with the authors of the latest Images of America series, honoring the bicentennial anniversary of the Walnut Street Theatre -- see more info HERE) are hemmed in by construction and, if the recent weather is any indication, barely even notice the crane overhead.

    For photos of all four of these projects, have a look o'er here:

    Comcast Center § Residences at the Ritz-Carlton § Murano § 10 Rittenhouse Square

    Two of those four take their place in this latest Philly Skyline Philly Skyline, taken around 8:30 last night from the Girard Avenue el station. It's the third edition of the sky in high drama mode in the past month. Click, enlarge, and pack a poncho.

    –B Love

  • 27 May 08: Double Nutter

    That was the Partridge Family's "Doesn't Somebody Want to be Wanted" followed by Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" as K-Billy's super sounds of the 70s weekend just keeps on . . . truckin'.

    What a beautiful Memorial Day, right? Whilst out making the Big Four rounds (Comcast / Ritz-Carlton / Murano / 10 Rittenhouse), I swung over to see what was left of the Odd Fellows Temple, the next-to-last building to come down for the Convention Center's expansion. The Race Street Firehouse will get what's coming to it very soon -- the gargoyles and friezes have already been removed.

    After coming up 13th Street from the el toward Race Street, I moseyed over to North Broad Street, which to my surprise was closed off. (Melissa Dribben managed to get 650 words out of this scheduled closure in Friday's Inquirer.) A couple dozen people were looking on from behind the barriers, cooling off in the shade in the middle of Broad and the trees by Hahnemann, when who should walk up from a closer look at the demolition site but Mayor Michael Nutter, sporting his Memorial Day best. The fashion of hizzoner takes no holiday.

    But there it is, the Odd Fellows Temple. Or there it was, as it were. It's an impressive demolition, perhaps the largest non-implosion Philadelphia has seen since the Meridian building was taken down one floor at a time in the late 90s. The 10 story building was designed by Edward Hazlehurst and Samuel Huckel in 1893 (PAB). The pair designed dozens of homes and churches in the region including Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, but many of their larger works have, like Frank Furness (for whom Hazlehurst worked before branching out with Huckel) before them, have been demolished. The Odd Fellows Temple joins the ranks of the Manufacturers Club and Franklin National Bank in the graveyard of Hazlehurst and Huckel's portfolio.

    Later on yesterday, I thought I'd check in on our old friends in the red pinstripes. Jamie Moyer said he didn't have revenge for last year's playoffs in his mind, and that much seemed evident when he gave up a three run homerun before the Phils even picked up a bat. When they did, it did seem a wee bit vengeful, as the Phillies racked up 20 runs, the most I've ever seen any baseball team score in person. And you know who else enjoyed this? Why, Mayor Nutter!

    Some more photos of both the Odd Fellows demolition (ongoing right now this second) and last night's Rockie drubbing should be up later today, as should a new Big Four update.

    –B Love

    27 May 08: On the Green Mountains

    Say hey to my main man Newt, the red spotted eastern newt to be exact. This fella was one of 18 salamanders Mark and I counted on the AT/LT, the portion of the Appalachian Trail shared with Vermont's Long Trail, from which the brewery takes its name. Vermont beers are aplenty, Long Trail and Otter Creek and Rock Art and Harpoon (it's based in Boston but their larger plant is in VT) and Magic Hat. They all wash down the maple everything: maple cheddar, maple meats, maple fudge, maple candy.

    Vermont is a highly recommended trip: you can make it in less than six hours when traffic cooperates, up the New Jersey Turnpike and I-95 to I-91. Or if you're in the mood for the scenic route, bust a left just before the George Washington Bridge and follow the Palisades Parkway through Jersey (check out the Rockefeller Overlook for a high-up northerly view of Manhattan with the GWB spanning the Hudson River immediately in front of you) to the NY Thruway through Albany and Troy to NY-7. Or what the hey, take 87 all the way through the Adirondacks and skip across Lake Champlain on the Port Kent ferry to Burlington. The occasional trip to Vermont is a good way to get a handle on everyday life in Philadelphia, tell you what.

    And here we are, back on the scene in the 215. Sup, Philly. Good to see you, looking good in that thick summer air.

    Did anyone else have a memorable Memorial Day? It was really quite something, the amount of people out and about enjoying the picture perfect ushering in of the summer season, not an empty bench in Rittenhouse Square, pure motion on the Schuylkill banks, a 20 run outburst by the Fightin' Phils, and get this: SKATERS IN LOVE PARK. This day-after-Memorial-Day is gonna make several stops, heavy on the photos, as we catch up with Philly Skyline bidness. It's all love, people. See you in two shakes.

    –B Love

    26 May 08: Philly Skyline in rainbows

    Happy Memorial Day, Philadelphia, and another special shout to those of you reading yr Philly Skyline from Iraq, Afghanistan and other places where you're identified and judged by your uniform even before hellos can be said. Get home safe.

    In opening my inbox for the first time since leaving for Vermont on Thursday, I read multiple accounts of a spectacular double rainbow overhead here on that same day. The eight hour drive to the Green Mountains was tempered by dramatic shifts in the weather, clear and sunny overhead, black and rainy in the distance, and vice versa. I kept my eyes open for a rainbow but saw none . . . Alex in University City, on the other hand, had this to say:
    I happened to be in the right place at the right time this evening on my way to see Kooza -- South St. Bridge just as the double rainbow was over the Skyline. I jumped off my bike and snapped a bunch of admittedly hasty shots with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01. Even if the photos had been taken with an SLR, I don't know if they would have captured the stunning beauty of the knockout combo of evening sunlight reflecting off of Philly's unique and utopian skyline, with a backdrop of roiling stormclouds, and punctuated by one of the most intense rainbows I've ever seen. Breathtaking.
    Indeed it is, Alex. Click his photo above to enlarge what is without a doubt the greatest rainbow I've seen in Philadelphia, and I didn't even see it with my own two eyes.

    –B Love

    22 May 08: Till we meet again

    Well friends, I hope your Memorial Day weekend itinerary is as sunny and warm as the forecast hopes it will be.

    Nathaniel? He's celebrating his over in Istanbul. He'll be back with a report (and the first ever Philly Skyline Istanbul Skyline) within the next couple weeks.

    Steve? He's MIA, somewhere between Cobbs Creek and the Philadelphian. Aren't you Steve.

    Me? I'm heading north to the Green Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, which is French for . . . Green Mountains. (There's that second-tier coffee named for them that you find in the likes of Amtrak cafe cars and Aramark's better efforts, and the coffee's okay, like a Seattle's Best, but it's still not good, but it'll do.)

    But yeah, it's a helluva place with its mountains and trails and beers and lakes and blue skies and maple syrups and Ben and Jerry.

    Back home this weekend we've got a Jam on the River, the Phillies in Houston for four before coming home for the holiday, the Stanley Cup Finals begin on your teevee, BBQ aplenty and lots and lots of sunshine. Soak it in, baby. I'll see you on Tuesday - peace!

    –B Love

    21 May 08: 1LP + RGB = ZZZ

    The scene above 1650 Market Street last night was right out of an intern's A/V test to make sure the conference room projector works. Or maybe the 15 minute period before a movie starts at one of the Ritz Theatres, when they flip through various works of art. Only last night, instead of fine photography or oil paintings, it was zigzags of simple red, green and blue light, fading from one to the next one second at a time.

    This web site has observed several times when One Liberty Place's evening lighting has been out or just looked bad (1, 2, 3, 4, e.g.). I'm not talking about intentionally turning the lights off, as they did in late 2004 to protest the attempt to designate the future Comcast Center a KOZ site (an attempt which fell short). I'm talking about the many many nights in the past two years 1LP has had huge gaps in its neon, or when it has been out completely.

    As I've said in the past, dismantling huge neon tubes and replacing them with a technology entirely new to the staff atop 1LP is no small undertaking, and I appreciate the work that goes into it. And indeed, 1LP has three stacked gables as opposed to Two Liberty's single line around its crown. But they have both migrated from neon to LED, 2LP managing to do so seemingly overnight.

    A rep from Cushman & Wakefield, which manages One Liberty Place, says that the LED system is installed, but that the software which programs it still has some bugs to be worked out. Last night's show looked bug-less, but boring, in that the red, green and blue through which it rotated are the primary colors of artificial light. (That is: I picture someone choosing "preset 1" in the program's options.)

    In all fairness, I guess it's best to reserve judgment for when the system is complete. Which will be . . . by the Fourth of July (and the Welcome America celebration)? Sometime this summer? The same rep could not say for sure. Stay tuned . . . ?

    –B Love

    20 May 08: Sailing

    Hot cha cha, who did that? Was it something I bought at the Trenton Ave Arts Fest and Kensington Kinetic Derby? (What up Patricio!) Was it something I ate at the 9th Street Italian Market Festival? (Hey Alonzo & Maya, yo John!) Maybe it was in the booze a-flowing from the POPE and the Royal? Was it taking photos on the roof in a thunderstorm? Whatever the case, I've been closer to death than to new content the last couple days, so please accept my apologies for the slow week on yr Skyline. On the plus side, NyQuil time is HAPPY TIME.

    Totally unrelated to any poisoning conspiracies (my face hasn't gone Yushchenko just yet), please enjoy the Philly Skyline Ferry Skyline above, as it comes into port over in Camden.

    I like the RiverLink Ferry . . . I just wish it had a more reliable schedule. It doesn't seem that hard to coordinate extra service and staff for, for example, Riversharks baseball games or especially concerts at the Sony Blockbuster Music Entertainment Tweeter Susquehanna Bank (SBMETSB) Center, but I've never seen them do it. This summer, the SBMETSB Center has among its scheduled acts Dave Matthews Band, Steely Dan, Pearl Jam and Radiohead, all of which would presumably have a decent fan base on this side of the river. Driving across the bridge, sitting in concert traffic and then paying to park in Camden is a drag (even more so when leaving).

    Ah well. If nothing else, the RiverLink is good for a nice, summer afternoon breeze, especially if the captain feels like taking you up under the Ben Franklin Bridge. Tickets are $6 round trip -- check its schedule HERE. But if you're really feeling like a sail, BYOB and check out City Sail. For thirty bucks, you get a two hour cruise of the Delaware River leaving from the slip at Penn's Landing. For more info, see their web site HERE.

    Stay loose, y'all.

    –B Love

    18 May 08: Rolling thunder revue

    For your consideration: Sunday, 18th May 2008, 4:58pm, Fishtown USA.

    11-18mm lens, ISO 200, f 5.6, 1/80 sec.

    18-55mm lens, ISO 200, f 5.0, 1/160 sec.

    70-200mm lens, ISO 200, f 4.0, 1/320 sec.

    One more (cup of coffee 'fore I go to the valley) below, from the original Rolling Thunder Revue, circa 1976, a fine year indeed.

    –B Love

    18 May 08: Well, shoot

    Behind canvas signs on chain link fences, the water, she daaances. This sneak peak animation is the fountain soundcheck over at the new plaza at 17th & JFK.

    With Comcast Center's official opening just a couple weeks away, the finishing touches are being put upon the last portions of the project: the fountain, the trellis (and its café), the underground marketplace, the enormous HDTV in the lobby. On that last one, Liberty Property Senior VP John Gattuso says the 80' x 20' TV will go beyond simple programming, but will very much be the art installation it is intended to be.

    When I wrote about the Olin Partnership designed plaza last summer, I likened the fountain portion of it to the one at PPG Place in Pittsburgh. Turns out that was a good guess -- Wet Design, who handled the fountain portion of Olin's plaza, did in fact devise the fountain renovation at PPG in 2002.

    Wet's incredible water forms are seen across the world at the likes of the Tokyo Dome, Dubai's Burj Al Arab and Chicago's Navy Pier, but their masterpiece is without a doubt the show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Where the Bellagio's lake is eight acres and Comcast Center's plaza is one-quarter acre, the hydro-choreography is from the same drawing board. And, it's lit from below by a programmable LED system. (About which, by the way, CBS Sunday Morning had a fascinating segment this morning, showcasing some of the LEDs already available and what will become available, some of it which may revolutionize interior lighting.) While the LEDs along the tower's corners and main part of the crown are fixed white, the fountain's lights will change colors.

    Godiva Chocolate is already open on the western end of the plaza and Table 31 is holding a soft opening today, with its own official opening scheduled to coincide with Comcast Center's opening. At that time, we'll see what the fountain and HDTV are made of, too.

    –B Love

    16 May 08: And now, Game 4 at the Wachovia Center,
    Presented without comment

    As a born and bred western Pennsylvanian who fondly recalls watching Mario Lemieux's victory skates with the Cup hoisted above his head, I have little comment on last night's game but to offer the Flyers my congratulations for an intensely fought game. They controlled the puck all night and just kept shooting, shooting, shooting. Joffrey Lupul was on his game (seen in the slapshot above), and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were no-shows.

    A few non-game observations about the Wachovia Center, though . . .

  • I've been to about a dozen Flyers games and a dozen Sixers games in my time, but I don't think I ever noticed how ugly the building is until last night. Given Ellerbe Becket's track record (which includes DC's Verizon Center, Boston's TD Banknorth Garden, and the most handsome stadium in the NFL, Seattle's Qwest Field), Philly got a raw deal. The mishmash of brick and suburban office campus white with the weird rounded roof . . . no sir, I don't like it. It works, but it's ugly. Viva la Spectrum!

    But seriously, with the Spectrum, Wach and Citizens Bank Park (and the parking lot memory of The Vet) all nearby, The Linc really stands out, doesn't it? Man that is a sharp looking stadium.

  • I totally dug the free orange "Megadeth Security" shirts they were giving away last night, and appreciate that Dave Mustaine pandered to fans to sell some records took sides with the Flyers and recorded the video he did . . . so would it be too much to ask for a couple Megadeth songs to be played over the PA? I heard at least two Metallica songs, a lot of Ozzy, and a lot of other typical, horrible stadium music. Given Megadeth's newfound affiliation with Flyers faithful, I mean, "Symphony of Destruction" would be just about perfect, wouldn't it?

  • "All you can eat and drink" seats are better in concept than they are in execution. Here I was thinking crab fries and roast beef sammiches and lagers . . . BZZZ. More like small hot dogs and crappy nachos and Sierra Mist. Lesson learned.

  • However, Kudos to Aramark for the playoff employee uniforms, embroidered with the Philly Skyline (South Street Bridge view) with Comcast Center.

    Let's close out this Flyer Friday with what I think is my best shot from my cheap seat last night, this wide angle orange crusher after the empty netter in the third period to make it 4-2.

    There's a lot of good stuff going on for when the rain rain goes away this weekend, so check the Calendar of Events directly below this post. One I forgot to mention: the 9th Street Italian Market Festival. Expect lots of music, cheese, pasta, good times and DiCicco. The festival's web site is HERE.

    –B Love

  • 15 May 08:

    Well now that's a regal purple, innit? Figured it was time for an update of the Calendar of Events graphic for the latest Calendar of Events. With spring in full stride and a sunny-and-68 forecast for Saturday and Sunday, this one is a doozy with plenty to choosy. It look a lil' something like . . .

  • WHO CARES ABOUT FAIRMOUNT PARK: Philadelphia does! Greater Philadelphia Cares is teaming up with Fairmount Park on Saturday to tend to the park. The all-volunteer morning of service -- cleaning, planting trees, weeding -- runs from 9 to noon and encompasses the entire park. Some of the more interesting options include spring planting at Fox Chase Farm, sprucing up the 33rd & Diamond entrance to East Park (Fairmount Park's 'signature project' for the day) and rerouting the Yellow Trail in the Wissahickon.

    For more info, see GP Cares HERE and Fairmount Park HERE.

    SATURDAY, MAY 17: All across the city within the Fairmount Park system.

  • DELANCEY STREET IS WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: Author Maurice Sendak personally chose the Rosenbach Museum to host his own works due to its literary dedication and unique collections. This month marks the beginning of a year-long exhibit at the Rosenbach entitled Sendak on Sendak, the largest such exhibition since Sendak's collections came.

    This weekend, it comes to life as the Sendak in Spring Festival, with a focus on the exhibit as well as a workshop, book fair and performances of Wild Things Whirligig. For more info, visit the Rosenbach's web site HERE.

    SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 17 & 18, noon-4pm, Rosenbach Museum, 2008 Delancey Street in Fitler Square.

  • SPEAKING OF BOOKS: Saturday and Sunday also mark the return of the Philadelphia Book Festival. Last year's inaugural event was so successful that it warranted a bigger and better return. Guests this year include Gordon from Sesame Street (Roscoe Orman, talking about his children's book Ricky and Mobo), Marnie Old and Sam Calagione, authors of He Said Beer, She said Wine, and . . . BabaWawa??? Aye, Barbara Walters is a featured guest this year; she'll be talking about her book Audition: A Memoir and she becomes the interviewee with 6ABC's Tamala Edwards Sunday at 6.

    The Library has a fully comprehensive web site on the festival HERE.

    SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 17 & 18, central branch of the Free Library, 20th & Vine, Logan Square.

  • KICKIN IT KINETIC KENZO STYLE: Elsewhere in second annual events, we find ourselves deep in the heart o' Kensington, up Philadelphia Brewing Company way. The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, the all-human-powered (i.e. no stored energy, not gas, not solar, not anything) race of things will run its route through traditional Kensington (Fishtown is and has always been a small part of the larger Kensington), making great use of Frankford Avenue and Penn Treaty Park and finishing up conveniently at the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival. The race begins at 12:30 but the Arts Festival is all day.

    For more on the Kinetic Sculpture Derby, see HERE, and for the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, see HERE.

    SATURDAY, MAY 17, Trenton Ave between Norris and Frankford in lower Kensington.

  • BALTIMAPS, HON: Finally on this 'ere Calendar of Events, a heads up from our friends 100 miles south, or an hour and five minutes away via Amtrak. (10 minutes faster if you want to spend three times the regular price and ride Acela.) The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood right now has an exhibit called Maps: Finding Our Place in the World, which is easily the greatest collection of maps I have ever seen.

    The exhibit spans cartography from BC Egypt through Ptolemy's revolutionizing to modern day digital mapping. It includes originals from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Hernán Cortés (the 16th century Spanish explorer and subject of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer"), and Gerard Mercator, whose 1569 cylindrical projection (part of the exhibit) has become the standard map projection, taking the round, spherical world and projecting it onto two-dimensional, flat paper. (Basically, if you are a map geek, you know who Mercator is and you should be excited that his original, hand drawn map is an hour away in Baltimore.)

    The exhibit also features John Smith's map of Virginia, hand drawn maps by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, an original ARPANET map circa 1982, and Harry Beck's groundbreaking simplified map of the London Underground.

    Plus, the show at the Walters is merely part of a city wide Maps Festival across Baltimore. Call your friends down there and tell them to get the pit beef, crab cakes and Natty Bo ready, you're crashing their couch for the weekend.

    The Walters map show is found HERE, and the Baltimore Festival of Maps is HERE.

    NOW THROUGH JUNE 30 in Baltimore. Head south on Amtrak or I-95 or Route 1 until you sense the entitlement surrounding the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe, you can't miss it.

    * * *

    Finally on this Ides of May, score one for The Possible City. Good news fresh off the table of the Planning Commission and their plan for Germantown and Wayne Junction indicates that Septa will in fact be saving the historic Wayne Junction headhouse, which they'd intended on demolishing. Instead, they'll be knocking down a wall that wasn't part of the original structure to improve sightlines. Renovations to the Germantown Avenue entrance will also include un-shuttering the windows to allow more natural light and adding ADA accessibility. I don't say this much here, but: well done, Septa.

    –B Love