Monday, May 7, 2012

Show Me More in 21044 (Monday LINKS)

"Life is great in 21228."  -- Superfluous proud bumper stickers around the region.

Those who have seen these stickers know that 21228 is Catonsville.  I normally find myself repulsed by the trite or sicky sweet, but these bumper stickers are fine by me.  I like the idea that these folks love where they live so much that they prop it on the bumpers of their minivans, sedans, and occasional sports car (I've seen it!).  It is a good measure less haughty than "Choose Civility" and gets right to the point -- I have this bumper sticker because I live in Catonsville.

I spent a good part of Sunday in 21228.  Their Farmer's Market, while somewhat modest compared to Baltimore City, is a great regional market and just opened on the 6th.  Simultaneous to the opening, Catonsville also had a "Flower Mart", which had even more vendors, including the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board, both of which appeared to have partnered to put on the event.  The entire downtown main street was filled with pedestrians, strollers, dogs, and reusable cloth bags.

I have to tell you -- I was jealous.  I wondered why Columbia can't have the region's largest Farmer's Market.  I lamented the fact that Ellicott City's Second Sunday may be the best Sunday event in Howard County, but takes less than 10 minutes to experience.

We're dropping the ball here.  Young professionals love this kind of thing.  Howard County has agriculture presumed on its flag!   And with all due respect to the current Farmers Market operations, Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm is not going to capture that market.

For the competitive minded folks -- If Columbia were Springfield, wouldn't Catonsville be Shelbyville?  I love our neighbors and everything they offer, but there is certainly narcissism of small differences at play.  In fact, the entire time I have been typing this post, I have been fighting the urge to insert some slight about a region that I have no reason to dislike.  (Maybe I did with the Shelbyville comment).  Any way you cut it, why are we ceding this community asset across the Baltimore County border?

So I'm issuing a challenge:  Chamber of Commerce, Howard County Tourism, County Council, Executive Ulman, community leaders -- let's reclaim weekend farmers markets in central Maryland.  As Sarah has earlier pointed out, we certainly have enough parking lot space.

And then we can work on our zip code themed bumper stickers.


In an update from last Friday's story about the Adler v. Meshkin lawsuit, Sara Toth notes that Mr. Adler will be dismissing his legal action and "recant[s]" his previous comments.  Brian Meshkin is quoted as saying that he is "grateful for Steve's continued support and friendship" and that he looks forward "to continuing our collaborations."  Weirdest.  News Story.  Ever.

The Baltimore Orioles have the best record in baseball.  hhhhhWhattt?

The racing group that put on last summer's Grand Prix promised to fund and plant 198 trees around Downtown Baltimore.  Those trees are now being the taxpayer's expense.  I'm pretty sure "Grand Prix" is going to become a useful metaphor in Maryland politics for years to come.

Socialist party candidate Francois Hollande beat the more conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for President of France.  The vote has been interpreted by many observers as a rejection of the austerity policies put in place by Sarkozy's government.  (Americans are known for not reading enough about foreign affairs.  Maybe this is a link you click just to shake off on 10th of that stereotype.)

Featured Blog Post of the Day: I enjoyed listening to And Then There's That with one of my favorite people, Joan Lancos, as guest.  Joan knows more about what's going on in Columbia than anyone.  Period.  And I know at least four people that would be very put off by that comment.

That's all for today.  Have a great Monday doing what you love.