Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Also, the Orioles are just like the Sox if you squint

Filed under : America
On August 22, 2008
At 1:45 pm
Comments : 13

You may remember how I’ve spoken about the various slogans that Baltimore has had in the past: Charm City (still in use!), The City That Reads, Greatest City in America, etc. Back in 2006 I had a good chuckle at the expense of this last one, because despite the fact that I love the city dearly, I thought it aimed a bit high, no?

But I have a new idea and I need to submit to the Chamber of Commerce because I think it just rules. I was inspired by Clark Crockefeller, the fake Rockefeller guy who kidnapped his daughter and was finally found, arrested, discovered to be a German nobody, and locked up. If you were reading carefully (and who isn’t? we all have so much reading time), you may have noticed he was captured in Baltimore.

Now NBC is running an interview with him where we learn why! I read about it in the London Telegraph. Yes, I get all my best domestic news from the UK, shut it.

Rockefeller told NBC he took his daughter to Baltimore because he could not afford the life he wanted in Boston.

Awesome! So there you have it, Mayor Shiela Dixon: “Baltimore – When You Can’t Afford Boston.”

(image from Baltimike @ Flickr)

Yeah, there’s no reason for this except it was on XM Radio as I was writing this, which is ironic because I used to listen to it as I walked by rowhouses just like the ones above. Well, mine were in Charles Village and these are in Hampden, but the photo I liked of Charles Village rowhouses on Flickr had all rights reserved. Hey, Hampden is right next to CV! Plus, College Boyfriend lived there.

The Cult – Sun King


13 Comments for this post

  1. KP says:

    I would rather look at the Sox with my eyes shut.

  2. Alex says:

    Yes, this is long enough to be a blog post of its own. But I don’t have a blog. So sue me.

    First, Hampden looks more like Baltimore (or at least more like “Hon” Baltimore, like Hairspray) than Charles Village does.

    Second, this reminds me of a hilarious column Calvin Trillin wrote years ago about slogan writing. It was a hobby of his, but he couldn’t understand why nobody ever used the suggestions he submitted. The ones for places that I can remember were “Nebraska: a long way across,” and “Akron: preferable to Youngstown.”

    Finally, my college roommate came from a town in Iowa with a population of 403. (Well, until one family moved away, and the population dipped to 398. Roommate reported that the citizenry were then kind of humiliated to be living in a town with a population UNDER 400!) He told me that the state tourism commission once held a contest for a new slogan to promote Iowa tourism, and the Des Moines Register ran non-winning entries, including this gem: “IOWA–warmer than Minnesota, more fun than Nebraska!”

  3. Becca says:

    KP, it’s OK, baseball season is over.

    Alex, I must disagree. If you drive down any of the North-South main drags to the harbor, the rowhouses on the side streets you see are much like Charles Village. Maybe without the porches. But I would argue that that’s the heart of Baltimore City and the rowhouses are all of that style.

    And wait, I have one! New Mexico: cleaner than Old Mexico.

  4. Irishcardinal says:

    I love the row huses in Bal’mer. And the painted screens on front doors–did you ever see those? A tradition in East Baltimore. I’ve only seen them on exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum.
    Durham NC has had “City of Exciting Stores” as their slogan in the 1950s. Their last slogan was “Where great things happen.” Yeah, if you consider murder ‘n’ stuff “great”.

  5. sarpon says:

    Alex! A Trillin fan? I wonder if this will be the year a presidential candidate finally snags his slogan masterpiece: “Never Been Indicted.”

    None of you (as far as I know) live in a place which officially competed to claim the slogan “Titletown USA” only to lose to Valdosta, Georgia. Although perhaps one has to have spent some time in Valdosta to understand the depth of the ignominy this implies.

  6. Alex says:

    Sarpon, I’d forgotten “Never been indicted”! Besides, doesn’t everybody like Calvin Trillin?

    Becca, you’d better copyright “cleaner than Old Mexico” before somebody else gets hold of it. I think it has real potential.

    With respect to (or as they say in Baltimore, “in regards to”) rowhouses, I think the photo you have looks specifically like Baltimore (whether it’s Hampden or Federal Hill or the ungentrified parts of Canton), whereas Charles Village looks to me as if it could just as well be in Philadelphia. On the other hand, I haven’t spent a lifetime in either Baltimore or Philadelphia, so my impression could be wrong. If so, blame it on insufficient sample size.

  7. KP says:

    Baseball season can’t be over. Carl Pavano needs to pull a groin or something first.

  8. Irishcardinal says:

    I also live in one of the Titletown finalists. For what it’s worth.

  9. Becca says:

    Some thoughts after a long, tiring weekend.

    I don’t believe I in any way live in Titletown. Unless the title is Crazytown.

    Is it wrong that I don’t know who Calvin Trillin is?

    Re: Baltimore rowhouses. I remember the first time I ever took the train there, to interview. I’d been there many times (we went every year, actually, but to Pikesville and by car, so I never saw the rowhouses till then). They totally captured my imagination; I never expected to live in one. They don’t look anything like Philly to me, although, admittedly I spent most of my Philly time in the streets named after trees.

  10. Alex says:

    Gee, Becca. “Wrong” is a strong word, and value-laden. Let’s just say, you’ve missed something. He’s a humorist who’s written a lot for the New Yorker and The Nation. Very funny. And kind of both of our homeboy. He grew up in Kansas City, and still thinks of himself as a Midwesterner in many ways, but he’s lived in Greenwich Village for decades, and a lot of his writing is very New York-y.

  11. Becca says:

    Does he have a blog?

  12. Alex says:

    Calvin Trillin doesn’t need a blog, Becca. I’ll find out how to contact him, and I’ll tell him just to do what I do: whatever I feel like writing, I just shoehorn it into Magic Jewball under the guise of commenting on posts, no matter how unrelated my “comments” may be to the original post.

    No need to thank me for that.

  13. Becca says:

    Look, bloggers I get. Commenters I get. Even blog readers. Who are these other people?

    Lemme know when he’s on board.

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