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Letters of Disappointment and Aggravation

Posted 10/4/2006

Iím sure you get a lot of this, but some of your choices in the Best of Baltimore issue (Sept. 21) led me to believe you are a bunch of morons. I guess I could elaborate, but why bother . . . Len the Plumber? Donít get me started.

Betsy Denning

Your Best of Baltimore edition was interesting. Who knew? Nearly 100 kinds of rap, pop, funk, club, electric, hip-hop, and gay music. Somehow, it seems to me, such a purportedly exhaustive list should have included chamber music, classical music, and the "first art," choral music.

I am writing in today to help address this egregious oversight on your behalf. For now (and, I would predict, next year) the Best Choir in Baltimore is the Bach Concert Series Choir. This group of 42 people presents a free concert on the first Sunday of every month, October through June, with a world-class orchestra and soloists. The concerts are at 4 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 701 S. Charles St., in the Inner Harbor. Did I mention these gigs are free?

It turns out that the timelessness of this music speaks to people in a real and immediate way. Large crowds come to hear these free concerts on the first Sunday of every month. Your list-makers should check it out.

T. Herbert Dimmock
Music Director, Bach Concert Series

Editor Lee Gardner responds: Gay music?

I am sure that you are inundated with letters of disappointment and aggravation over the paperís Best of Baltimore 2006. Well, you guessed it, this is another one of those letters. What the heck is going on over on Park Avenue? Does the City Paper staff ever venture out into this vast city and actually experience it?

Letís first talk about the most important issue at hand, the part that matters to business owners and managers alike: the Best of Baltimore Readers Poll. This is supposed to be a reflection of your readersí (and our patronsí) opinions as to what they feel is truly the "best" in Baltimore. Thatís why it comes as a great surprise to us here at Club 1722 that this yearís BoB votes seemed like they would be better handled by the state of Florida.

A footnote stated, "Due to technical difficulties we were unable to tabulate the Best After-Hours Club category." What does that mean? I find it hard to believe you deleted all your BoB e-mail responses or that you inadvertently tossed out all of the paper ballots. Perhaps. But itís interesting that only one category was mucked up: the one involving Club 1722. To be fair, you could have at least listed the nominees. Furthermore, as if the lack of even a mention wasnít enough, your staff awarded Best After-Hours Club to Paradox.

I canít help but ask: How many members of the City Paper staff actually go to Paradox to experience the "best" of late-night entertainment, as proclaimed by CP? And better yet, how many of the BoB-deciding staff have ever even stepped foot in Club 1722, before tossing our nomination aside due to "technical difficulties"?

Maybe a more informed decision was in order under the circumstances. Your Bar Scars writer thought 1722 was a cool experience (Bar Scars, Dec. 11, 2002). And judging by her columns, sheís hard to impress.

I am taking this time to invite any person with a City Paper ID to give Club 1722 a fair shot on any Saturday at 1:45 a.m. (after all the other clubs close) to take a journey of sight and sound and experience what real after-hours life is like. Itís not awkward to get to, just come up Charles Street two blocks past Penn Station. And by the way, weíll only pat you down if you ask for it.

Michael Kohl
Manager, Club 1722

Lee Gardner responds: For reasons unknown, the software that receives and registers online votes in our Readers Poll didnít register any votes for anyone in the Best After-Hours Club category, despite working fine for the rest of the poll. We are as baffled as you are, really, believe it or not. Since we receive most of our votes online at this point, we threw out the category entirely to be fair to all possible nominees. With some improved technical oversight and a little luck, weíll avoid any bugs and readers will have another crack next year.

Recently in your Best in Baltimore issue we noticed the Best Deck Dining was Vin in Towson. Nothing could possibly be further from the truth, as the highly overrated restaurant faces a cracked-paved parking lot and the Dumpster of the Rec Room. The restaurant is located in between a tight one-way alley and a storage facility. To vote this as the best deck dining must mean that, at the very least, there is very good service to be had. However, we have found that to be the opposite.

Christian Licier

I Am Very Accomplished, Thank You

It disappointed me to see A. Robert Kaufmanís friend Larry Kloze express distress at his U.S. Senate candidateís omissions from polls, debates, and now City Paper not giving him sufficient coverage--and having to belittle me in the process ("Speaking of Bob," The Mail, Sept. 27).

First off, the writer does not know if the comptroller and I are related somewhere along the line. And my assets are far more substantial than the nameís-the-same; if he would check my web site,, he would know that I am a nationally recognized elections advocate with some landmark cases in appeals courts, that I have been a prosecutor, twice elected city councilman, served as a federal financial analyst and state securities investigator, run a Charles County farm, operated a Mount Vernon hotel, and today manage a multimillion-dollar investment business; certainly ample qualifications as a Maryland candidate and being one of the best-educated people on the ballot. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I think City Paper has been perceptive and accurate in its coverage of campaign 2006.

Mike Schaefer

Lee Gardner responds: Mr. Kloze did know that you and the outgoing comptroller share no known kinship if he read our coverage of the Senate primary ("Heavy Hitters," Campaign Beat, Sept. 6), for which you confirmed that fact.

Corrections: Our "Best Proof That the Planning Department Has Gone AWOL" blurb in the Best of Baltimore issue contained two misreported facts. South Broadway Properties had originally proposed an 11-story condominium development in Fells Point, as reported in our piece, but current plans call for a 10-story building. Also, plans call for rehabbing the existing buildings along the 600 block of South Broadway, on the eastern boundary of the area affected by the project, not "tear[ing] down an entire block." City Paper regrets the errors.

Also, our Best Drunken Hookup Night blurb stated that college night at Power Plant Live! "might be ending." In fact, Power Plant Live! banned all college night activities among its tenants in March; Iguana Cantina, which is adjacent to but not part of Power Plant Live!, continued its college nights up until July. City Paper regrets the error.

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