Recently featured in the Washington Times, Gertrude's is a salt-stained bastion of coastal cuisine, with a menu chock-full of Chesapeake classics. Chef and owner John Shields, a nationally acclaimed coastal-fare innovator, author, and crab whisperer, named the restaurant for his grandmother, Gertrude Cleary. Grandma Gertrude's traditional Baltimore crab cake recipe lives on at her namesake restaurant with a dinner order of Gertie's crab cakes ($20), which arrives dressed with a choice of eight sauces, including the Creole or three-mustard. It's served with a choice of sides such as apple and fennel coleslaw, hush puppies, or grilled rosemary potatoes. Other maritime entrees, such as the citrus barbecue shrimp ($24) and the Chesapeake rockfish imperial ($30), recognize each other from the Shark Week extras' green room and happily provide diners fishing for Bay fare authenticity with transcendent catches for immediate consumption. Also available are Gertie's seafood Creole ($24) and locally raised beef burgers ($10).
Street artists use walls as canvases, but probably only a few are given the opportunity to use an entire building. The aptly named Graffiti Warehouse, managed by the Rosenfeld Organization, is a massive industrial studio where street artists have access to a safe space and extra-large, 34-foot canvases to do their work. Though each artist is required to bring his or her own paint, completed pieces go up on display and can be sold on-site, with half the proceeds going back to the creator. More than a dozen established artists currently call this space an exhibition home for their paintings and other media.
Open Walls photography tours provide glimpses of select street artists' work and introduce guests to the streets of Baltimore by visiting nearby under-used urban spaces, sites of beautiful murals, and the one overpass where Picasso used to hang out. Street artists aren't the only clients served by the studio, though: Graffiti Warehouse also supplies art therapists and photographers with resources and studios that feature soaring nine-foot windows and private bathrooms.
With an arsenal of informative magazines, elegant photographs, and illuminating documentaries, National Geographic has inspired planetary responsibility and natural wonderment for more than 120 years. Their latest filmed adventure, The Last Lions, ushers viewers into the wetlands of Botswana's Okavango Delta, where a lioness named Ma di Tau and her cubs fight for their survival. From fleeing raging fires and cub-killing rival prides to wading through crocodile-infested rivers and the supermarket at rush hour, this family suffers perils that leave audiences touched and awestruck. Crafted by award-winning filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and narrated by Jeremy Irons, The Last Lions aims to raise awareness of dwindling big-cat populations while sharing a compelling story of hope. The film is rated PG for depictions of the food-chain cycle without the accompaniment of an Elton John song.
Dr. Joanne Martin and her late husband, Dr. Elmer Martin, began their museum in 1980 as a mobile temporary exhibit, filling a Pontiac with four wax figures purchased with the down payment they had intended for their future home. Though the museum has visited numerous national conventions, Dr. Martin has personally toured Mexico's murals and Ellis Island to glean new ideas for reaching visitors of every economic level. One of Dr. Martin's favorite moments came at the opening of a President Obama exhibit just before his inauguration, when scores of eager visitors filled the room to capacity, cameras in hand.
Since 1844, Maryland Historical Society has kept residents connected to their state's heritage by publishing educational books and a quarterly magazine. These days, its museum brings that archived history to life with more than 350,000 objects, most notably the oldest-known surviving manuscript of Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner," which includes its original, crossed out title, "Get Ready for Baseball, America." Guests can also marvel at artifacts ranging from 900 pieces of furniture made between 1634 and 2000 to more than 2,000 paintings, including seven by Joshua Johnson, America's first professional African American portrait painter. Meanwhile, its Civil War exhibit occupies more than 5,000 square feet with 3-D video presentations. The society also sponsors extensive educational programs that enlighten young students with field trips, plus adult programs that include lectures, concerts, and symposia.
With pieces ranging from pre-dynastic Egyptian art to art-deco jewelry and American masterpieces, The Walters Art Museum is internationally revered for its culturally enriching exhibits. This season, view the majestically elegant urns, metal boxes, trays, and vases of the Japanese Cloisonné Enamels from the Stephen W. Fisher Collection, or volunteer for the interactive experiment measuring art's mind manipulations at Beauty and the Brain: A Neural Approach to Aesthetics. Members will remain in the know, thanks to access to The Walters' 100,000-volume reference library, education programs, and interest groups.