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February 7, 2009

Blast from the past: New York George

new york georgeEver see a picture of someone and figure that if you knew them, you'd probably like 'em? I feel that way about this guy.

This is a Sun archive photo from 1995. Here is the caption:

"New York George" Miller, a 68-year-old local character, makes daily rounds visiting bars and businesses and sometimes helps people place bets at various racetracks. George enjoys a beer and his ever-present cigar at Burke's Restaurant, Lombard Street near the Inner Harbor.

I read a fantastic piece about New York George, written by a former coworker, Rob Hiaasen. Yeah, I bet I would have liked George.

(Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:19 AM | | Comments (12)


Hey Mr. Zink, when you look at this picture do you think about Johnny Mauro at all? I bet New York George and Big Gay John would have been famous friends.


We* need an update as to who Johnny Mauro & Big Gay John were to understand & appreciate what you are talking about.

* The royal subbing for some of us.

I miss Johnny Mauro, they do look a lot alike. I would always run into Johnny while I was day drinking somewhere. South Baltimore isn't the same without Mr. Mauro.

Big Gay John. What a character.


Big Gay John, aka Johnny Mauro, was a bartender at the Rowan Tree. I believe that he lived in South Baltimore for a long time. He now lives in New York, where I believe he is from.

Johnny Mauro was the life of the party. He was pure entertainment and a great character. He had a very distinctive voice, to say the least. Sometimes you were happy to hear it and other times you wanted to just run away from it. Johnny always had a great attitude and was fun to hang out with.


Goes to show what I know. I always thought Johnny was the owner of Rowan Tree.

I will never get that voice out of my head for as long as I live.

Mr. Twain,

He might have had some ownership in the Rowan Tree, I am not 100% positive. He lived above the Rowan Tree, which is owned by Ron Zimmerman. He treated the place as if he was the owner which is a trait that was great.

That voice, too funny!

I save all of his voice mails (which are HILARIOUS) if anyone needs to hear the sweet sweet sounds of Johnny Mauro.

NY George kinda looks like Quentin Crisp. they with Big Gay John would make quite a threesome

I sent a link with this post to Big Johnny yesterday. He said he laughed his [jewels] off (go ahead and change that to a more appropriate saying Sam!) [no prob, queen] when he read this. As it turns out he actually knew the guy from when he used to work at the now defunct McGinn's. He called New York George quite a character.

I knew New York George. He used to come into the old Calvert House (which was just south of the Sun's building on Calvert St.) back when that was an after-work hangout for people working at Maryland National Bank (RIP) back in the early 90s. He was a character, all right...the picture captures his essence pretty well. I never once saw him without a cigar. There was a man who could tell a story, as you'd imagine.

Hi all, i am trying to find John. We went to college together but we have lost touch since I moved from Fed Hill. Does anyone have any updates/clues regarding hix whereabouts and/or contact info?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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