Thursday, December 24, 2015

Who is Baltimore's Santa?

Right in time for Christmas, House Speaker Michael Busch spoke up on behalf of Baltimore and a well stuffed bill package about to take shape in Annapolis which would bring various types of financial assistance to the poor biggest city of the State. 

Then there is Kevin Plank, but we can't quite tell if he is a Santa or a megalomaniac. His Fells Point hotel project on the Recreation Pier was like a great gift after a decade of failed attempts to administer life support to the sinking pier.  The distillery project in Port Covington  seemed to include much less community benefit, if any. Then again, City Garage, Plank's much touted maker space, is definitely a good thing for Baltimore. We certainly love Under Armour, one of the few local companies that really rocks. But now we hear about Plank's $6.6 million 35,000sf mansion under construction, defiling Baltimore County's most restricted land conservation zone. Ouch.  Less Santa, more a businessmen who is intoxicated by his own success. 

Mayor SRB not only doesn't look like Santa at all, she also removed herself from the list and so did Senator Mikulski, a reliable Santa for years, red jacket and all. O'Malley wants to be Santa for the whole country but the country doesn't seem to even notice. 

Maybe the biggest gift are the much recognized words of of Ta Nahesi Coates and his book "Between the World and me".

Of course, all the mayoral candidates are want-to-be Santas. So far necessarily mostly hat and no cattle, the pack incongruously led by the Grinch who stole Christ gift cards. 

But wait, if we don't know who really is Baltimore's Santa, we do know the the real Baltimore Grinch of 2015: He is the one who made off with $2.9 billion! And now the NAACP is after him. Ta Nahesi Coates would be a good expert witness. 

Happy Holidays! 

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA