March 4, 2014
by Geoff Shannon
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Lundi Gras

The Japanese girl didn’t speak English, but I kept talking to her, hoping the time would pass. We were sitting at a picnic table inside Igor’s, a bar located on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. I drank there often. They serve strong Bloody Mary’s. In the back near the pool table, the owners installed a bank of electric washers and driers so locals can drink and do laundry. The bar is also a half step from Jackson Street, where the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club kicks off Mardi Gras morning every year. Continue Reading →

February 23, 2014
by Geoff Shannon
Comments Off on City Paper Is Dead. Long Live City Paper

City Paper Is Dead. Long Live City Paper

I was going to write an extended obituary for City Paper, Baltimore’s alternative weekly, following its sale to frenemy Baltimore Sun this week, but Gawker editor and former CP staff writer Tom Scocca (who’ve we’ve mentioned here before) beat me to it. Scocca hit all the eloquent notes concerning the now inevitable demise of our alt-weekly, and opened up the conversation further, writing what I consider the quintessential paragraph on the real reason for all this newsy decline: Continue Reading →

February 3, 2014
by Geoff Shannon
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Five-Points Book Review: Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas*
Hunter Thompson

1. There are books (and movies and music and…) that ingrain themselves into your conscious so hard that you forget just how much they influence your everyday. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one of those critical cultural cornerstones for me. I read the book at 17, and the Terry Gilliam movie starring Johnny Depp came out right around the same time. The chemical rampages and nihilism inspired my friends and I. Late night, at summer house parties or in the darkness of a winter college weekend, we would drink hard liquor and shout Fear and Loathing lines back and forth to each other. Our parties, like the book said, were for men of true grit, and we were chock full of that of course. Continue Reading →

January 31, 2014
by Clare Lochary
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Class Chatter Super-Catholic Edition

There has recently been a spotlight on my alma mater, Notre Dame Preparatory School, for refusing to list an alumna’s marriage to another woman in its Class Chatter, on the basis that gay marriage is not in keeping with Catholic Doctrine. Class Chatter does include non-Catholic weddings, civil ceremonies and second marriages, so the exclusion of gay marriage is pointed, particularly in Maryland where same sex-couples enjoy the same legal standing as their mix-and-match counterparts. Continue Reading →

January 27, 2014
by Geoff Shannon
Comments Off on Advice from Writers: Scocca, Alvarez, Christensen Help A Young Scribe

Advice from Writers: Scocca, Alvarez, Christensen Help A Young Scribe

Ten years ago I was a middling student and aspiring journalist wrapping up my career at Tulane in New Orleans. Since the university didn’t offer journalism, I carved out a career resume serving as the sports editor for The Hullabaloo and freelancing whenever I could grab a gig. I also reached out to writers I admired and asked for advice on writing, working, breaking into the business, etc.  Continue Reading →

January 17, 2014
by Clare Lochary
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Shift During Flight

Welcome to the Writer’s Salon, Life Of King’s new (and hopefully growing) fiction writer series. Our inaugural story comes from Baltimore writer and editor Clare Lochary. Want to contribute? email geofflax@gmail.com

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Anne loved to travel, even on the most boring, proasic business trips to resolutely unglamorous places. Things that were givens in your hometown — finding the office, remembering what kind of car you were driving, feeding yourself — became noteworthy accomplishments on the road. Doing the distinctly unsexy security point strip tease, tearing away her layers of scarves and coats and shoes, felt like a patriotic duty instead of a bureaucratic hassle. Anne had always been a neatnick, and the opportunity to have government officials inspect and approve of her perfectly organized carry-on bag was a secret pleasure, although she kept the bored business traveler’s poker face in place while they did it. Continue Reading →

January 9, 2014
by Geoff Shannon
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Murder in the City: Hey Mister in Belair-Edison

first in a hopefully occasional series following Baltimore’s 2014 homicide rate, in an attempt to contextualize life in Charm City.

Continue Reading →

January 7, 2014
by Geoff Shannon
Comments Off on A King’s Table: Cuban Black Beans

A King’s Table: Cuban Black Beans

One in an occasional series on adventures in cooking 

It’s January, a massive cold front blowing down from the arctic, and our fair Charm City is about to endure single digit temperatures. So how bout a big bowl of black beans to keep you warm in the night? Continue Reading →