11 June 2008

A Word About Baltimore

As opposed to its evil twin, Baltimore is a pretty good city as far as large metropolitan cities go. While not as easily navigated as someplace like SLC, it's easier than even Denver, and especially all Nine Circles of Hell found in Annapolis. Parts of Baltimore scare me, as well they should. But by and large, it's not such a bad place. One now well-known establishment in Baltimore is Charm City Cakes, the cake making/decorating business featured on the Food Network's reality program "Ace of Cakes." I like Ace of Cakes for one specific reason: it makes me think I could do that. You watch some of these cake decorating shows and wonder how the crap they manage to pull it off; and that's even with them showing you how they pull it off, too. But with Ace of Cakes, a part of me honestly believes I could do what they do on that show. As we may recall, I am not a master of cake decorating. In addition, the cakes that come out of that shop don't look horrible--they actually look really good. But what they do somehow makes me think I can do it, too, given time, patience, and possibly hallucinogens.

As you know (and if you care) the musical "Hairspray" is set in Baltimore. Ace of Cakes was asked to create a cake for the Baltimore premiere of "Hairspray." Duff Goldman, who owns Charm City Cakes and is a huge fan of "Hairspray," commented during the TV show that "'Hairspray put Baltimore on the map." He was very excited about it. Perhaps it was his level of excitement that prevented him from realizing what he was saying. Fortunately, that is not going to stop me from making fun of him for it.

To "put [a location] on the map" suggests that the location in question had not been on the map previously, figuratively speaking of course. We can accurately state, for example, that Coors Beer put Golden, Colorado on the map. Golden had been something of a large city in its day a century ago as Colorado Territory's capital. However, it gradually faded into obscurity until Coors beer commercials stated that's where their beer was brewed. It wasn't until Coors told the country about Golden that anyone knew of its existence. Thus, Coors did indeed "put Golden on the map."

Now let us look at Baltimore. If Wikipedia is to be trusted (although I refuse to believe "Baltimore was founded by crack addicts"), Baltimore is not only one of the oldest and largest cities and seaports in the United States, but is also the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country, larger than the nation's capital region. With a rich heritage and cultural center, it is a hotbed for tourism, particularly the lovely Inner Harbor region of the city. It is the largest city in the state of Maryland, far larger than its capital, Annapolis (mostly due to the previously mentioned evil contained therein). Baltimore is also home to the vast complex of Johns Hopkins institutions, Johns Hopkins Hospital being named the best hospital in the country for years, and also home to the National Aquarium, one of the largest in the world. Hairspray was set in Baltimore because Baltimore is a well-known city, not the other way around. "Hairspray" did not "put Baltimore on the map."

Stick to cakes, Duff; leave the commentary to the rest of us.


Stephanie B said...

Not to mention the whole thing about the National Anthem being written about the fort that's in Baltimore (the name escapes me). I just realized my argument would be a lot more believable if I knew the name of the fort, alas Trav is upstairs with the girls and I'm too lazy to google it.

Abby said...

Fort McHenry. Good point.

judiroso said...

Abby, I am sad you didn't link YOUR cake decorating experience on this blog! I need a good laugh! "Moesha the cross-eyed explorer" Too funny.

Abby said...

I did link to it. Run the cursor over those words and there's the link. Silly woman, like I wouldn't think of that.