SAY CHEESE: The Cross Street Cheese Company's, ah, big cheese -- Ed "Vel" Byer -- hosted an "Unveiling of Vel" party last weekend at his South Baltimore town house to celebrate the 4-by-6-foot portrait of himself painted by international artist Gene Baldini last winter in Italy.
Champagne flowed -- two cases to be exact -- as the local cognescenti, including Pam and Arnold Lehman, Barbara Manekin, Elane Stein and Nelson Schreter, gleaned the first peek of the likeness.
"Everybody says it's like the picture of Dorian Gray," quipped Vel.
KID STUFF: Although tickets to the Baltimore Choral Arts Society's Sunday concert with WJZ-TV's Denise Koch as narrator are sold out, there are still tickets available for Saturday's "Christmas for Kids" concert at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium. Call (410) 523-7070.
TABLE HOPPING: WJZ-TV's Bob Turk delayed his honeymoon to Hawaii with new bride Tina Avig -- they were wed on Sunday -- to sample the chocolate pizza Monday night at Larry and Lorraine Denmark's newly opened Lorraine's in Owings Mills. . . . Timmy Latshaw's J. T.'s Saloon on Belair Road celebrates its third anniversary Saturday night. If you sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to your bartender, your first drink is 25 cents.
CLOTHES ENCOUNTERS: The American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop on York Road, across from the Senator Theatre, has received 75 new and fashionable holiday party dresses from Jacob Klitenic of Modern Formal Wear in Harford Mall, who's retiring after 50 years.
The dresses, at greatly reduced prices, include sequins, strapless and spaghetti straps. It's a great way to add to your wardrobe while helping a worthy cause.
FOR THE RECORD: Shelly Davis and Janice McLean, owners of Queen Island Records in Baltimore, are holding a search for local talent. If you're a songwriter, artist, choreographer, dancer or makeup artist, give them a ring at (410) 522-2045. Deadline is Friday.
PARTY LINE: Celebrate Christmas, the winter solstice and a full moon all in one night as the band Beyond Words hosts a Christmas variety show and bash at the BAUhouse Saturday night. Also on hand for the wintry night to-do will be the music of Amanda Pollack, Tita Rutledge, Lu Meastro with Mystery Train, the Walkie Talkies and other guests.
Add poetry and commentary by Bill Frazier, Jenny Keith and Richard Sober along with dancing by Loanna Kauffman, against a backdrop created by illustrator Greg Houston, and you've got yourself a happening time.
Take a canned good for the Maryland Food Bank and get a buck off the $4 admission. BAUhouse is at 1713 N. Charles St.
WE'VE HEARD: that the Admiral Fell Inn's Jim Widman is putting the finishing touches on his new lite-fare grill and watering hole called The Point adjacent to the Inn. Expect a February opening . . . that entrepreneur Bubbles has done so well with his collection of $5 earrings at his Fabulous jewelry cart in Towson Town Center, he'll open another one there after the first of the year . . .
That Max's on Broadway's --ing Ron Furman may be scouting locations for another dance club downtown . . . that local attorney Terry Berger of Cohn and Goldberg manages the business affairs of 15-year-old actor Brandon Call, who stars in ABC's hit show "Step by Step" and can be seen in "For the Boys" . . . that local art consultant Sue Perrin has landed the job of picking the art for the Camden Station Offices as well as the Oriole Park at Camden Yards.