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September 7, 2010

New nightlife reporter Erik Maza tries to buy sunscreen, gets flat tire on first day

eiufz9hp94eiph4f.jpgThe first day at a new job is usually fraught with alarm, sweat-stains, disorientation. Not me. As Sessa wrote earlier, I'll be your new live music and nightlife reporter.

For my first day on the gig, I woke up eerily prepared. I ironed my shirt, didn't drop cereal on my pants, even added a dimple to my tie. Notes? Check. AP Style Book 2008 edition? Check. Missing from my to do list was some sunscreen. You know what they say: moisturize, moisturize. It was 7 a.m. and I didn't have to be in the newsroom for another two hours, so I drove to the nearest Rite Aid to my digs to be totally spiffed up for the office.

Ah, Greenmount Avenue in the morning. As I'm parking, BANG! PFFF! Had I been shot? It's only been a week, Baltimore! Turns out I'd driven too close to the curb and punctured my tire. Two hours before work. Great. Greenmount and 32nd St. -- just where you want to be with a pooped car. Did I mention I hadn't ever changed a tire before? Or that I'm the nightlife reporter, what in the world do I need sunscreen for? Que Sera Sera. This was my welcome.

Before coming here, I was a reporter at another whacko news town: Miami ...

In the land of leopard prints and the three horsemen of the apocalypse -- Lebron, Wade and Bosh -- I wrote cover stories on the little-known subculture of Cuban punk and Miami's merry band of deadbeat gamblers. I blogged on everything from why Marina Abramovic makes rich people cry to a top ten strippers list inspired by the New Yorker's 20 under 40 list. I might have also blogged about "Avatar" once or twice, and how it delighted gays and upset communists

So why leave all that? Well, about three years ago Dan Deacon came to Gainesville, where I went to school. He hadn't become a Pitchfork darling yet, and there were maybe 50 people at the cavernous Common Grounds. Deacon, noticing the joint half empty, decides the only course of action is a dance-off, with him leading the charge. I hadn't seen another chubby white person dance so well since I saw Beth Ditto get down with The Gossip. In my mind, that was Baltimore: dance-offs, John Waters and Bubbles from "The Wire." My first week in town has only made me like it more.

I rode the circulator. Drank cheap beer at The Ottobar, and apparently missed John Waters by a hair. At Red Emma's, got accosted by crusty punk kids pushing their latest zines. And the other day stopped by what may be the greatest hair salon ever: Nappee by Nature, on York Road.

As a reporter in Features, everything interests me (see prior clips for reference), and not just stuff related to nightlife or live music. Send me tips, suggestions, alerts to the next warehouse party, new bar, or Nappee by Nature. I'm at And remember kids, screw sunscreen.

[Twitter Midnight Sun]

(Photo from Who's Dated)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 2:47 PM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Random stuff


Eric, as someone who grew up in the neighborhood, I say Greenmount & 32nd-no problem, Greenmount & 22nd? Big problem! Anyway, welcome to Baltimore! It sounds like you've already found some of the weird and wonderful. Hope you do run into John Waters the next time you're at the Ottobar!

Welcome to Charm City and the Baltimore Sun! : ) See you around on Twitter!

This just feels all wrong...

Welcome to Baltimore, Erik!!

welcome to baltimore. sounds like it's charms (good and bad) have already begun.

so does this mean I have to Ice you instead of Sam, coz I still need to do that at some point

@evan: arctic berry will do

Congrats, and welcome!

To make the world a little smaller:

The brewer at Titanic Brewing in Coral Gables learned his beer craft drinking good beer in the 1990s at the Last Chance Saloon, a bar that had 65 taps of micros, in Columbia.

Why, yes. I AM a beer geek. Ask Sammy-boy.

Hey man,

We need to get a photo of you ready for when they pull Sessa's. It should be a little more glamous than the Wanted Poster mug shot you currently have up on your Twitter page.

You've never changed a tire before?

1. Never admit that.

2 Never admit that.

So newbie when you coming in for a drink off? See how well you can handle the sauce. And I don't sell any smirnoff ice so you are safe from Evan.

Welcome to bmore!

Welcome to Baltimore! you'll have to get to the idle hour for the chartuese, pickle backs and some good music

Welcome aboard, never mind the bollocks at Red Emma's.

hey fresh meat- bet you didn't know Nappee by Nature is spelled that way becuz of a big tiff with the now non-existent Nappy by Nature of Mt. Vernon.

Wow Eric, already censoring posts. Didn't think what I said was all that bad. Epic fail.

err, havent censored anything rube. if a comment wasn't posted, comment again!

very nice, but tell us Mr. Maza, did your tie survive the flat tire debacle for your debut at The Sun? Fill us in.

And welcome to B-More.

Dude can you get out a bar- there have been nothing but music posts since you signed on. You're new in town, you got alotta catching up to do.

Tif is right.

This is a hard drinking town and this is where the heaviest drinkers come for bar info, deals, and gossip.

John, I fly by your place every day- I would stop in but it's just at opening time and being the first drinker in a bar always makes me second guess myself

haha Tif, usually i've been here for hours cleaning or doing paperwork. No chance you would be the first person to drink here if you just get in at 5

I think I was the first person in there drinking yesterday til the other guy who I paid my tab to grabbed a beer!

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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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