A STRAGGLER RETURNED from the Johns Hopkins University Institute of Policy Studies annual boat ride for business leaders through the harbor to Dundalk, with this report:
"A year makes a difference. The financial district skyline is grander as you recede, and still grander as you approach at night with the lights twinkling, thanks to the new IBM tower.
"The dead Allied Chemical plant jutting out in the middle of the harbor is finally getting some deconstruction or decontamination. looks like a giant asbestos job. The new Ukrainian church in Highlandtown is visible and gives great character to the town as seen from the water.
"The most striking sight, however, is the harbor itself.
"It isn't there.
"No ships. Well, very few, none at north Locust Point. A whole side of Dundalk had none. A couple at anchorage near the bridge -- strange, when all the piers were vacant -- gave proof that Baltimore is, indeed, still a working harbor.
"You get a good view of the successor industry. The number and extent of empty marina slips, attached to housing ventures not yet up, is staggering. When all those are filled with pleasure boats, the traffic in the channel will be so fierce that no one will notice the giant freighters that aren't there."
Of course, that's just one stray landlubber's view. He's probably wrong.
...* * * WHEN IT COMES to impersonating really famous folks, Mickey Steinberg has it all over his disaffected boss, Don Schaefer.
The two political leaders may not be on good terms any more, but they still are competing for the prize of "best on-stage performance by an actor in a dramatic leading role."
Mr. Steinberg's award-winning routine took place at this year's Legislative Follies, when he had lawmakers and hangers-on rolling in the aisles with his rollicking imitation of rock star Mick Jagger. His split with the governor gave new meaning to Jagger's classic, "Can't Get No Satisfaction."
Meanwhile, the governor tried to steal the show at his annual "thank-you" banquet for staffers in Greenbelt. He appeared on stage -- briefly -- in an Elvis look-alike costume.
But he ended up being upstaged himself by a professional Elvis impersonator.
And we always thought hizzoner's celebrity hero was wrestling's Hulk Hogan!
* * * BUMPER STICKER spotted in recently while stuck in downtown traffic:
"My daughter and my money go to the University of Arizona."
We know exactly how the driver of that banged-up car feels.