Baltimore’s Chinatown, The Baltimore Beat and the State of the Union

Development in Baltimore’s Chinatown?


At the corner of Mulberry Street at Tyson Street, Martick’s is shown here, circa 1950 (Handout photo)

Developer Christopher Janian is seeking approval to demolish the former Martick’s Restaurant Francais in Baltimore’s Bromo Arts District, the next step in his company’s efforts to revitalize the vacant block the property sits on, according to Baltimore Business Journal. Janian said his team at Vitruvius Co. has gone through “multiple scenarios” to incorporate the building at 214 W. Mulberry St. into the development firm’s $30 million mixed-use project, which seeks to revive Baltimore’s historic and long-overlooked Chinatown. Vitruvius is among several firms that make up Park Avenue Partners LLC, which is leading the redevelopment of the 400 block of Park Avenue. The group plans to partner with Chinatown Collective, a 10-member organization of Baltimore residents of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. Chinatown Collective was the group behind the September Charm City Night Market, which brought in over 12,000 attendees to historic Chinatown.

Read more: Developer seeks demolition of old Martick’s restaurant to rebuild Baltimore’s lost Chinatown


New Mt. Vernon apartment complex would partially demolish 3 historic structures

Thirteen years after developer Howard Chambers proposed tearing down all or part of three historic carriage houses in Mount Vernon to make way for new housing, he is back with a different variation of his plan, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. Chambers has asked Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation to approve a plan to build a six-story, $9 million apartment building at 1012-1020 Morton St., where four carriage houses stand. CHAP will hold a public hearing on the proposal Feb. 12. According to his CHAP application, Chambers would “incorporate” the carriage houses into the project, meaning he is not requesting to demolish the buildings altogether. But drawings on file with the preservation agency indicate Chambers plans to tear down all but the front portions of three of the structures at 1014, 1016 and 1018-20 Morton St., while retaining all of the carriage house at 1012 Morton St.

Read more: New apartment project in Mount Vernon would partially demolish 3 historic carriage houses

The Beat Goes On

A year after it was shuttered, the Baltimore Beat, an alt-weekly newspaper founded by staffers of the City Paper after its demise, is coming back next month as a nonprofit online journalism outlet. Lisa Snowden-McCray will return as editor-in-chief, and Brandon Soderberg will work for the organization part-time, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. The start date is March 6. The site is aiming to publish stories and other content once a day during the work week. Per a release, Soderberg and Snowden-McCray hope to revive a print edition as a long-term goal, and will also put out one-off special issues. An effort to revive the Beat started almost as soon as the paper was abruptly closed by publisher Kevin Naff and parent company BNP Omnimedia four months after it was started.

Read more: The Baltimore Beat is returning as an online venture

State of the Union

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address at the Capitol, Feb. 5, 2019. (Doug Mills/The New York Times/Pool/Getty Images)

Trump’s State of the Union address

Running time for President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 5 was just under an hour-and-a-half. Walking-out time, or falling-asleep time, was much less, writes Michael Olesker. The speech seemed less of an inspirational oration around the national campfire than a series of applause lines, plodding in delivery but nice if you’re a Republican, hypocritical if you’re a Democrat and cheap shots if you’re an immigrant or remember one. This president won’t let go of that wall on the southern border, will he? He defended it in his address by decrying a murder committed by an immigrant who sneaked into America illegally. Never mind that we’re a nation of immigrants who have made this country great. Blah, blah, you’ve heard that argument. So the president reaches for one guy and makes him the poster child for every sinister, dark-skinned foreigner out there in the shadows looking to slither in here.

Read more: State of the Union — Healing or Hot Air?

Also see: 5 Jewish Takeaways from Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address

Anti-Semitic incidents in UK hit record high for 3rd straight year

The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom rose to 1,652 in 2018, marking a new record for the third straight year. The cases recorded in the annual report of the Community Security Trust, or CST, which is British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism, represented a 16 percent increase over the previous year. The report published Feb. 6 did show a 17 percent decrease in the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults, to 123 in 2018 from 149 the previous year. The most common single type of incident in 2018 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public, accounting for 29 percent of the annual tally, or 483 incidents.

Read more: Anti-Semitic incidents in UK hit record high for 3rd straight year

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