Rainbow Round-Up: January - March 2014
Five Questions with Lee Johnson, Director of Sales at the Lord Baltimore Hotel
Q1 - What is the history behind the Lord Baltimore?
The Lord Baltimore was originally built in 1929 by architect William Stoddard. It was previously known as the Radisson Plaza and was recently acquired by the Rubell family. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was visited by Martin Luther King Jr., Al Capone and Eleanor Roosevelt, among a host of other historic luminaries. It is a 23-story, 440-room property in the heart of downtown Baltimore that features the historic Versailles and Calbert rooms, which have hosted more than 80 years of Baltimore society events.
Q2 - Tell us about the exciting new changes visitors can expect.
During renovations, we discovered a room in the southwestern corner of the building that had originally been a speakeasy during Prohibition. We are reopening it in March 2014 and naming it Speakeasy. In November, the former Versailles Room emerged as a French restaurant called French Kitchen inspired by the extensive collection of Matisse paintings collected by Baltimore's Cone sisters that is now at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Also new, the Lord Baltimore Library and Tavern, which will replicate a European pub, will feature book-lined walls and an operating fireplace that will seat up to 40 guests.
Q3 - How will art be instrumental to the guest experience?
Currently, there are a series of nine murals that tell the stories of Lord Baltimore. Thanks to the upgrades, the hotel and guest rooms will be decorated with original artwork from the Rubell Family Collection. The Rubell family – whose Rubell Family Collection in Miami is widely acknowledged as one of the top contemporary art museums in the world – is known for its talent in discovering emerging artists, emerging cities, neglected architectural gems and emerging neighborhoods. The Rubells believe deeply that the key to the economic success of a city is dependent on its cultural relevance.
Q4 - What role does the Lord Baltimore play in the LGBT community?
The Lord Baltimore Hotel is dedicated to providing equal service to all. In 1958, after the Baltimore City Council considered but failed to pass an ordinance prohibiting racial segregation in public accommodations, the Lord Baltimore Hotel voluntarily ended its restrictive guest policies. Today, the Lord Baltimore Hotel continues to be the leader in setting an example of providing an equality environment; active involvement; and hosting many events including Equality Maryland, Maryland Corporate Council (network of LGBT and straight ally professionals), the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Baltimore (GLCCB), Pride-related festivities, and many same-sex weddings and receptions. The Lord Baltimore Hotel exemplifies LGBT support through forms of media and festivals including Fun Maps, Baltimore Gay Life magazine, Baltimore Outloud, Baltimore Pride and Baltimore Black Pride.
Q5 - Where do you dine or hang out when you’re not working?
My fiancé and I seek out establishments where we feel comfortable, gay-friendly, but not necessarily gay. Some of our favorite dining locations are Prime Rib (formal dining); Marie Louise Bistro and Sammy Trattoria (both are mid-priced); and Tavern on the Hill for casual dining. Some of our favorite hangouts are the piano bar at Jay's on Read, live jazz at The 13th Floor at the Belvedere and neighborhood favorite Mount Vernon Stable (where everybody knows your name).
February 14-23, 2014
Hibernation is out and celebration is in this winter in Baltimore. Visit Baltimore and the city’s tourism partners are teaming up to combine the great offers of Hotel Week, Restaurant Week and Museum Week into more than a week of savings. Look for money-saving hotel packages, fixed price menus at a host of restaurants, and special offers and programs at museums and attractions.
2014 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship
March 7-10, 2014
The road to March Madness starts in Baltimore with nine games, eight teams in four days! Baltimore will crown another champion when the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Men's Basketball Championship takes place at the Baltimore Arena. The win-or-go-home event will crown one champion who will represent the CAA as its automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championship and the Big Dance.
Special Events & Exhibitions
The Amazing Johnny Eck
Maryland Institute College of Art
December 13, 2013 – March 16, 2014
The Maryland Institute College of Art will present a never-before-seen exhibition of personal objects, artifacts and artworks by sideshow performer Johnny Eck (1911–1991), one of Baltimore’s most famous citizens. Perhaps best known for his role as “the half-man” in Tod Browning’s film “Freaks” (1932), Eck later achieved worldwide fame as Robert Ripley’s “most remarkable man alive” and was a skilled performer, artist, actor, magician, puppeteer and woodcarver, amassing a cult following that exists to this day. The exhibition is the first ever of its size, showing hundreds of Eck’s works on paper, sculptures, drawings and paintings – including painted screens, a Baltimore folk art tradition.
Baltimore Museum of Art
January 29 – September 14, 2014
More than 30 vivid paintings, drawings, prints, watercolors and sculpture present an overview of the revolutionary art movement that flourished in Germany during the first three decades of the 20th century.
The Films of John Waters, with Sue Lowe
Five consecutive Thursdays, February 13 – March 13, 2014, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sue Lowe, a John Waters’ star and professor of art history, will present a four-week class on Waters’ films through the lens of her own experiences on set. For each session, Lowe will screen a film and host an intimate discussion in this lecture-style course. Advanced registration required. Deadline: Wednesday, February 12. No walk-ins accepted. $100 for members; $125 for non-members for all four sessions.
Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics
The Walters Art Museum
February 23 – May 11, 2014
The Japanese art of flower arranging, or ikebana, has inspired the creation of extraordinary ceramic containers. This exhibition outlines the history of some of Japan’s major schools of ikebana and displays a wide variety of contemporary ceramics created in harmony with the most modern floral conventions.
Tassels and Champagne
February 14, 2014
A flirty erotic night celebrates affairs of the heart. Gilded Lily Burlesque, Baltimore’s premiere burlesque company, crafts an evening of tasteful strip tease and variety arts for you and yours. What a better way to cuddle up!
Book Bindings from the Gilded Age
The Walters Art Museum
October 26, 2013 - January 20, 2014
During the late 19th and early 20th century, fine book binding enjoyed a golden age of creativity and lavish decoration. These handmade, individual and highly personal objects were made not only to protect the texts they contained, but also to be admired and appreciated as portable decorative masterpieces in their own right.
Crimes of the Heart
January 8 – February 2, 2014
Beth Henley's comedy “Crimes of the Heart” brings theatergoers into the Mississippi household of the Magrath sisters. Babe has just shot her husband because she didn't like his looks. Meg is back in town after a failed attempt in the music business and a nervous breakdown. And Poor Lenny – everyone has forgotten her 30th birthday, plus her pet horse was just struck by lightning! Bad luck certainly runs deep among the Magrath clan. But with warm-hearted laughs and touching family moments, the sisters forgive the past, face the present and embrace the future in this contemporary American stage classic.
Stones in His Pockets
January 15 – February 23, 2014
When a big Hollywood film crew takes over a small Irish town, the locals line up to earn their “40-quid-a-day” as extras – and maybe pursue some dreams of their own. Charlie wants to write a blockbuster screenplay, while Jake would settle for a date with the lovely leading lady. Where they and their neighbors end up ultimately surprises them all. www.centerstage.org
February 26 – March 23, 2014
Both hilarious and heartbreaking, “The Dresser” is a backstage tale of life upon the wicked stage and the power that theater has to lift the human spirit in times of great strife. As Britain is under attack from German aircraft, a group of traveling, ragtag Shakespearean players tours the English countryside performing the Bard's tragic masterpiece “King Lear.” Sir is the last of the great actors of a generation that has since passed. As he prepares to play his 227th performance as Lear, he suddenly realizes he cannot recall his first line. It is only his dedicated and loyal dresser, Norman, who would do anything to help lift his master, who can bring the once-great actor to the stage for a final curtain call.
March 5 – April 6, 2014
Revelry, disguises, swashbuckling and, of course, pining lovers abound in what some call Shakespeare’s most perfect comedy. Twins Viola and Sebastian, separated in a shipwreck and presuming each other dead, wash ashore in the beautiful but mysterious land of Illyria. A tale of mistaken identity and mismatched ardor unfurls as lords and ladies, servants and masters wind a topsy-turvy path to happiness.
Where to Stay:
With more than 25 TAG approved hotels and over 10 IGLTA partner accommodations, visitors’ choices range from quaint B&Bs and boutique hotels to larger upscale hotels, and extended stay properties, all making finding a room in Baltimore easy.
Lord Baltimore Hotel
20 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Housed in a stunning French Renaissance building located in the heart of downtown Baltimore and just three blocks from the famous Inner Harbor, the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel offers its guests easy access and exclusive offers at area attractions including the National Aquarium, the Walters Museum, the American Visionary Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum, the Peabody Library and concert venues.
Where to Dine
Baltimore’s culinary scene is drawing rave reviews from around the globe. From the Inner Harbor to our trendy, historic and hip neighborhoods throughout the city, dining options in Baltimore have expanded in recent years to feature a veritable smorgasbord of cuisines and a range of stylish environments to suit every taste.
Marie Louise Bistro
904 N. Charles Street
This Mount Vernon bistro specializes in a blend of French, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. The Bistro atmosphere is casual yet upscale and offers an expansive wine selection to guarantee an affordable and enjoyable meal. It offers delicious quality fare using only the finest and freshest ingredients available.
For more information or to schedule a visit, email Moneé Cottman at email@example.com
Plan your trip!
- Fell’s Point Haunted PubWalk March 1, 2014 - November 29, 2014 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
- The War Came By Train: American Civil War 150th Anniversary April 30, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- Civil War Trains Exhibit August 16, 2012 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- The Original Fell’s Point GhostWalk March 1, 2014 - November 29, 2014 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
- Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War April 16, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day