Baltimoreans bask in glow of warm praise in the New Yorker

April 26, 1991|By Henry Scarupa

Writer Tony Hiss has scattered bouquets around town in his article "Reinventing Baltimore," which appears in the April 29 New Yorker magazine, just out on newstands, and Baltimoreans are responding favorably.

"The article is a great tribute to all of the memorable things about Baltimore, whether you live here or whether you're just visiting the city," said Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

The mayor called the article "great publicity," adding it should prompt even more people to visit and to try to see more than the Inner Harbor.

At the Baltimore Zoo, which got a glowing mention from the New Yorker staff writer, director Brian Rutledge said, "I'm excited by it. He's someone who saw the zoo, wrote about it and supported it. I'm pleased Tony felt so strongly about us."

A leisurely, journalistic ramble through the city, the piece deals with Baltimore's third renaissance, following previous blossomings after the 1904 fire and after the development of the Inner Harbor.

Mr. Hiss envisions the city drawing on its newfound confidence to push forward an ambitious literacy campaign, significantly extend its transportation system and provide opportunities for the disadvantaged.

The lengthy story takes time to linger in several Baltimore rooms that impressed Mr. Hiss, including the stack room at the George Peabody Library on Mount Vernon Place. Head librarian Robert Bartram was pleased by the account.

"The man has obviously done his research," he said. "He never looked me up, but he seems to have gotten hold of everything he needed for his story. So many people don't know about the library or take it for granted. This should draw national attention to it, and I'm pleased with that."

Mr. Hiss also lauded the Woman's Industrial Exchange on North Charles St., fondly recalling the bill of fare, which includes tomato aspic, chicken salad and deviled eggs.

Asta Carr, long-time member of the Exchange board of directors, termed the reference to the tearoom and gift shop "just fine. . . . We're a very nice place and I'm glad he came to see us."

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