In the world of athletic training, Robert Taylor, Jr.?s resume speaks for itself. In addition to stints as the head strength and conditioning coach for two NCAA Division I programs, his expertise also landed him gigs with professional baseball, football, and basketball franchises. Now, along with the other experienced coaches at SMARTER Team Training, Robert shepherds high school athletes toward their full potential at training camps and clinics. Whether they?re honing position-specific skills for football, basketball, field hockey, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, or other sports, or increasing overall athleticism during the school?s signature Speed, Agility, and Conditioning Camp, students always find a challenging itinerary designed to bring skills to a more advanced level. There's even a college prep training program, which gets high school players ready for the increased intensity at the college level.
The faculty members at the School of Rock believe that immersion is the best way to learn any new skill, which is why they don’t just teach students how to traverse the notes and rhythms of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals in isolation. In addition to teaching students the technical skills during one-on-one lessons, the professional music instructors push them to fuse their individual parts into songs during full band practices with fellow beginner rockers. This combination of one-on-one attention and cooperative group learning helps kids of all skill levels hone their craft while overcoming common pitfalls such as stage fright or playing off-tempo. As kids learn to shred riffs, pound out drum solos, and summon Ronnie James Dio by hitting the correct vibrato atop a silver mountain, the classes build their confidence and kick-start a lifetime of loving rock 'n' roll.
Repeatedly deemed Best Rock Club and once voted Best Drunken Hookup Bar by City Paper readers, Ottobar hosts an ongoing calendar of local and touring bands, DJs, and comedians. With bars on both floors of the two-story venue, guests can sip on mixed drinks and beers while listening to live music or pumping quarters into an award-winning jukebox. The venue also hosts special nights including spelling bees and underground dance parties, wherein guests shake their hips to the sound of shoveling.
At Ginza Japanese Restaurant, fine dining is as much about the presentation as the taste. Hibachi chefs take to the dining room to cook up flavorful meals of filet mignon, teriyaki chicken, and fresh seafood right before diners' eyes, and then amp up the wow factor by constructing fiery volcanoes out of onion rings and making normally land-bound shrimp fly. The restaurant's sushi chefs are equally fastidious about presentation. Their selection of rainbow-hued makis include the fantastic roll, which features spicy tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, along with marble seaweed and tempura flakes.
Every year on the first weekend of May, downtown Baltimore's streets bustle as tens of thousands of moviegoers visit local theaters to watch films shot, directed, and edited around the globe. The Maryland Film Festival, like a freakish hurdle sprinter, runs for five days and showcases about 50 feature films and 75 short pieces—ranging from documentaries to animations—many of which are presented by their respective filmmakers or celebrity guest hosts. Past hosts have included Ian MacKaye and Branford Marsalis, and legendary filmmaker John Waters regularly makes an appearance at the festival, hosting a feature film of his choice. Attendees may also stimulate and expand their sensory palates with special events that have included international flicks, three-dimensional movies, and vintage silent films synced to live music.
Nearly a century ago, the Hippodrome opened as a combination movie palace and vaudeville theater, spending more than 70 years hosting big names such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Following a double-decade period of slow business and bad hairstyles, the Hippodrome closed down in 1990. Now, however, after an exhaustive restoration project that reanimated the theater’s chandelier-lit arches, the mural above the proscenium stage, and the grand-theater boxes that hearken back to opera’s heyday, the Hippodrome reopens to the delight of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.