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How to tell it's summer in Baltimore

Tip #1: The Sun discovers that it gets hot. Today’s front page warns that the temperature is apt to reach 100 or more by the end of the week. Though not quite as unpleasant as Washington, D.C., which was built on a swamp and has remained one, the Patapsco Basin doesn’t really support human life in July.

Tip #2: Chessie has reappeared. Everyone’s favorite wandering manatee shows up again, celebrated in murky photos and articles about his irrepressible wanderlust.

Tip #3: Continuing the animal motif that marks news coverage in the warmer months, the snakeheads are advancing. The ugly-looking and predatory invasive species has been discovered in waters north of the Potomac. Speculation about its inexorable progress has not yet reached the point of warning residents to check swimming pools before plunging in, but we’ve got another six-eight weeks of hot weather to go.

Tip #4: You can’t get here from here. Last week, Artscape (which was moved to the hottest month of the year after its opening fell on a chilly day in June in 1982) tied up major streets in the middle of the city, at the same time that construction of a racetrack on streets in the Inner Harbor* cuts off Federal Hill from the rest of the city.

Tip #5: The Orioles stink.

Tip #6: Blogger, left listless by the overpowering mugginess, inflicts on readers a series of trite observations on the weather instead of writing a substantive post.


*I am not making this up. Several major streets in the harbor area are going to be an Indy Car racetrack over Labor Day weekend. This is supposed to bring fame and big bucks to the city, at the cost of months of major inconvenience for anyone trying to get anywhere.



Posted by John McIntyre at 11:32 AM | | Comments (6)


People love animal stories. Well, maybe not the Orioles, but you know what I mean.

All right, all right, someone has asked why, if Chessie is a named animal, I didn't use a personal pronoun. It was inattention. i blame the heat.

I'll fix it.

A couple from the glass-half-full side of the room:
1. The corn, cantaloupes, and peaches from the local produce stand are darn close to excellent.
2. I can find edible tomatoes.

And a big smiley face for Kem White--thanks very much! I would add that the vases are full of home-grown flowers this time of year.

Re the comments about Artscape street closings: I do have to say that they held off longer this year closing streets and making parking off limits north of the train station. But if anyone can name another city that makes it virtually impossible to get in or out of its railroad station for an entire weekend, I would like to know of it.

And re the Grand Prix: My periodontist's office is on Lee St. near Harbor Court. She will have to close her practice for an entire week because of the race, as patients will have no access to parking.

The question is, can a city that was built by brawny industry and shipping revive itself with street fairs and auto races?

Not just your periodontist. There's a hospital to which access will be limited.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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