Lord Baltimore Revisited


 In 1928, the Lord Baltimore Hotel was built, and for the most part it was a segregated hotel, until the late 1950’s.

This hotel has gone through several owners: closed in 1982, renovated and reopened in 1985, bankruptcy 1987, was part of the Radisson group in the 1980’s; sold again, then reopened in the 1990’s, and in 2014, re-bought by an old hand, again renamed, the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore.

What does all that have to do with  THE CULTURE PAGE? This hotel is in the National Register of Historic Places, and apart from the renovations, there is the inclusion of a cultural layer to meet the taste of many Baltimoreans, a musical lounge, and on my visit, the feature came in a  voice, that of Baltimore’s own, MEREDITH SEIDEL.

At first she could be mistaken for a front desk employee with the somewhat business attire, but at the meet and greet, the warmth is not perfunctory, or rehearsed. I sat with her, as she recounted her life in wanting to sing for Baltimore, and America.

THE LORD BALTIMORE HOTEL revisited with Meredith. (watch video).

The many faces of singer, songwriter, MEREDITH SEIDEL.
The many faces of singer, songwriter, MEREDITH SEIDEL.

Meredith collage


Window screen,  Monica Broere (screen painter) and Hispanic dance troupe.
Window screen, Monica Broere (screen painter) and Hispanic dance troupe.


At the 5th annual festival, I was exposed to Kwame Brew, a master West African Drummer, in Anne Arundel County. The art and skill of crab picking from Somerset County, the New Baltimore Hand Dance Association of Baltimore. A hearty welcome to Korean Drumming by Sabatian Wang, Montgomery County, and a group I never heard of THE SHERMAN HOLMES PROJECT, who received in 2014, the award, National Heritage Fellowship (Blues/Gospel/Soul).

No ethic group was left out: the Hispanics, East Indians, Orientals, the traditional European groups, all made appearances.

Attention was paid to the new and upcoming artists, the “kids”, the face painters, the budding griots, duck craftsmen, screen print makers, and pigeon flying trainers.

Food and dancing experts were not left out, only you, if you were not there.


(L-R) Village Girl by Shu Chin Liu; Woman Holding Bird, by Allyn Harris, and Three Little Goats by Mu Heng

The summer 2015 is here, and Baltimore is trying to right the negative events of the Spring.

Arts and Craft exhibitions flourish in the summer, with visitors making the Inner Harbor a “must see”.

“There’s only one place to really see all of Baltimore”, a quote from the Baltimore Office of Promotions & The Arts. And where would that be? Atop the World Trade Center, promoted as the world’s tallest pentagonal building, because it has five sides.

There’s an art exhibition on the top floor of this building, and as we are asked to “orient” ourselves to Charm City, among the artists, are Orientals from China,  Mu Hang Tai (Three Little Goats); Shu Chun Liu (Village Girl); CHENG JU LI, who has an undying infatuation with American writer, Ernest Hemingway (See Video).

While on the 27th floor, I checked on some exhibits on the other side of the floor: Rocks from the area where Flight 93 (terrorist attack 9/2011) crashed in Shanksville Pennsylvania; steel fragments from the devastation of New York World Trade Center in 9/11.

Washington D.C. has THE MONUMENT, Baltimore has the pentagon (sic), enjoy the overlook, and the exhibit.

Rub a Dub Grubbs

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Saxophonist Carl Grubbs, at St. Paul’s Schools, Baltimore Md.


Believe it or not, “rub-a-dub-dub” the old familiar nursery rhyme, was a love song about three men in a tub, Fate, Hate and Jealousy. As life would have it, there are love songs, and love tunes that break no hearts, but make them soar, like SATURN, from jazz saxophonist, CARL GRUBBS.

The Baltimore Inner Harbor has become a showplace for many visitors to the East Coast of the United States, it is no wonder that the rhythm of the bay kissing these shores would inspire a song or tune  from a musical composer; Carl has produced, HARBOR PLACE, a jazz format with the addition of  strings: violins, viola and cello.

Today we are attending a performance on the grounds of St. Paul’s Schools, a private prep school, just outside Baltimore, on a hill overlooking the city. It’s a mild day, the concert could have been held outdoors, but the indoor facility was preferred. Carl Grubbs is the Jazz Band Director here, and has been for the past 20 years. The Dean of Music paid tribute (see video).

For us to see what Carl is producing, his advanced students introduced him by showing off what they have learned (video).

Of all the selections, I think SATURN should be released as a single, it could be his biggest hit, just as big as Rub-a-dub-dub, this time CARL GRUBBS is in the tub.

His Life With Two Wives

Nancy Robinette, playing the sorcerer
Nancy Robinette, playing the sorcerer. Photo by ClintBphotography.

She was beautiful, the look of actress Candace Bergen of the 1970’s; adorable, attractive, eye blinding. After seven years of this bliss, she died, diagnosis, cardiac arrest. Subsequently he meets another, gets married, and after five years of bliss, it happened. No, the second wife did not die, but the first one reappeared, back from the dead.

His turmoil begins afresh, for he can have conversations with her, but no one else can. At dinner with the second wife, wife number one would ask him a question, he is forced to answer, at which point wife number two would want to know to whom he is talking. After a while he runs out of excuses, and confesses that wife number one has returned as a ghost and is haunting him.

Wife number one usually disappears, at which time he is able to talk to wife number two without interruptions. Him and wife number two plan to get rid of  ghost  wife by engaging a sorcerer. At the same time wife number one feels that since she is dead, no one should get her husband, she plans to kill her, so both his wives would be dead.

How did this triad turn out? I would not tell, however it is in the play BLITHE SPIRIT (Til Death Do Us Part), now running at Everyman Theatre.

Nancy Robinette, as the sorcerer is quite convincing. There are several take-a ways from this play, probably for men whose loved ones are gone to the great beyond, yet keep holding on and preventing them from falling in love again. And of course there are those true life stories of divorced wives not letting go, using the children of the union to put men in jail, even get them killed. What a life, you know who you are, get a life!


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