Baltimore, 10, 11, and 12

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March 6, 2011 by Darlene McC

Busy week, and the writing diligence has certainly slipped; however, there’s been a lot going on and I’m not going to beat myself up over doing good work.

Something New #10 – Pacificana & Coconut Jell-o

Tuesday evening the plan was to cook something new, but laziness and a dislike of the kitchen convinced me to turn to Google Maps and find another option.  Turns out that one of “the best” Chinese restaurants in Brooklyn is within walking distance of my apartment ~ of course, in the direction I’ve never really explored.

A strip mall stucco exterior in Brooklyn’s Chinatown hides an airy hall with vaulted ceilings, sky-high windows, and frosted-glass chandeliers. ~ New York Magazine

They’re spot on, and the cruise-ship-sized dining room was completely empty on a Tuesday night.  I almost felt guilty when we only slightly over-tipped the four waiters due to the lack of business; though apparently it’s a 2+ hour wait on the weekends.  The food was amazing, very flavorful and generously portioned without the wallet whimper.

The real kicker though was the desert (which they brought when we told them ‘no thanks’) ~ coconut jell-o.  My dining companion was seriously unimpressed, but I loved the stuff.  Served with fresh orange slices it was nice and light after a pretty serious meal.  Try it if  you get the chance.

Something New #11 – BALTIMORE!

Last week I got a call from my friend Mike over at Generous Company asking if I’d like to come down to Baltimore to help be part of an announcement they made Friday (we’ll get to that later).  Of course I said yes; I love Mike and I’ve been wanting to meet his partners-in-crime down at GenCo for awhile.  But also I’d never been to Baltimore!  Or ridden Bolt Bus!

(On the way out of the city Bolt Bus was a breeze.  We literally left to the minute on time and got in almost as close.  Our driver was very obviously paying attention when she avoided the jack-knifed tractor trailer that was blocking all 3 lanes and would’ve kept us there for 4+ hours.)

Baltimore seems like an amazing city; though granted I only saw a small part of one of the older neighborhoods for 2 days.  Our first night we ate at Tapas Teatro and it was truly fantastic.  Specifically, the deserts were beyond good.  My friend S and I ordered two to share: the chocolate purse (because of it’s name) and the goat cheese cheesecake (because it’s GOAT CHEESE CHEESECAKE!).  We dug in and each had a look of chocolate-induced-awe; so much so that when the waitress came back to ask how we liked them we both looked up in unison and mumbled “Oh my GAWD!”.  She backed away slowly.

But not just the food ~ Baltimore has some serious artists initiatives that have been helping to build communities out of nearly-abandoned neighborhoods.  I was genuinely impressed by their efforts to bring and keep artists around.

Which brings me to….

Something New #12 – Reading of REVELATION and GenCo’s Announcement

As I mentioned above, I was there to perform in an event for Generous Company; specifically a reading of Samuel Brett Williams’ play in development, REVELATION.  (You can view a quick teaser for it by checking out this post).  The reading went well and it was an interesting internal challenge for me ~ performing with the writer in the room isn’t always something you get to do as an actor, especially this early in his process; so trying to balance my own choices with what I believe are his intentions was new for me.

The reading went very well; and Generous Company made the announcement that they are to be a company in residence at the Baltimore Theatre Project in 2011.  This partnership includes the moving of their summer playwriting intensive festival, WordBRIDGE, to Baltimore this year.

I also had the pleasure of working with a talented and engaging group of actors and the artistic director of WordBRIDGE, Dave White.  Finally being in the room with them really drove home for me something I’ve heard about GenCo for years, which is their focus on building a community of artists.  I definitely got that this weekend and sincerely hope I get to work with them again.

Bonus: Something New #13 – Brooklyn Black

What’s a Something New post without beer, right?  Well, after all that travelling I went back to Ginger Man for a quick meeting and had myself another new beer: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.  I had every intention of doing a different something new; but when I rolled through the door at 12:15 I had missed my chance!  So, beer it is.


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