City's classiest ride on three wheels


September 27, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA

What self-respecting city would let a $1,300, gold-plated adult tricycle sit there - just sit there - in a shop window, waiting for somebody hip enough to take it home? Baltimore must be incurably square if the good guys at Acoustix Clothing on the city's West Side get stuck with this beauty, which comes with a custom banana seat, four mirrors and a spoked spare wheel hooked to the back. Trikes aren't just for tikes anymore. They're for grown-up cruising, as rappers and others on the West Coast have known for a decade. Haven't you heard, hon?

"It's new to Baltimore, very new," said Harold Smith, who owns the store with his brother, Lenny Pendell, and cousin, Troy Richardson.

Acoustix usually sells urban clothing, with its own line of jeans, T-shirts, jackets, even long underwear. But six months ago, the store parked the gleaming three-wheeler in its window, on the busy corner of Eutaw and Franklin. No takers. Not even a nibble. Plenty of gawkers, though. And people interested in taking it for a spin. "We really don't let them test drive it," Smith said.

Richardson professes not to care if the bike doesn't sell. "It's really for display, something to attract attention to the store," he said.

But Smith wants a buyer, and might have to look beyond Baltimore to find one. "I'm thinking," he said, "about putting it online."

Lincoln and Douglas agreed to seven

News from the gubernatorial debates debate, courtesy of letters exchanged late last week between Ehrlich campaign manager Bo Harmon and O'Malley campaign manager Josh White, which came my way yesterday.

The big picture: Ehrlich wants more radio, O'Malley wants more TV. Ehrlich wants to wrap up the debates in the next four weeks, O'Malley wants one a week until Election Day.

Ehrlich also wants one of the radio debates to be moderated by a guy who served as both candidates' top cop: Ed Norris. Not likely that O'Malley will agree to that one, since his own police force was warned last year to stay away from WHFS' "welcome home" party for the ex-commish on these grounds: "Members of the department shall refrain from making personal contacts with persons of questionable character."

The details: Ehrlich and O'Malley have agreed to two TV debates, on WJZ-Channel 13 in Baltimore and WMDT-Channel 16 in Salisbury. O'Malley wants two more TV debates, one at MPT and another to be hosted by the NAACP.

Ehrlich calls for four radio-station "events," with WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi, WMAL's Chris Core, WOLB's Larry Young and WHFS' Norris. O'Malley has agreed to one radio debate, with WTOP's Mark Plotkin, a week before the election.

Connect the dots

The dress code at Morton's is officially "business casual," but the Inner Harbor steakhouse won't turn away someone who shows up in jeans and a white T-shirt. Especially if that someone is Bruce Willis, who arrived there so attired Friday night. Willis, who is expected to be in town through Saturday while filming Live Free or Die Hard, ate with four companions in a private room. But my spies tell me the star strolled through the dining room to make a couple trips to the bathroom, and was friendly to diners who recognized him. ... More grist for conspiracy theorists: The tugboat operator from Maine accused of breaking into O'Malley campaign HQ was scheduled to appear in court today before District Judge Catherine Curran O'Malley. But some killjoy decided the candidate's wife shouldn't hear the case. So last week, Jason Yereance pleaded guilty to fourth-degree breaking and entering before visiting Judge A. Gordon Boone. (And yes, that's A. Gordon, not G. Gordon.) ... Michael Steele has a strong following in a surprising forum: So says Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report. "Facebook has just started tallying the number of users who list support for candidates," the magazine reports. "They're mostly lefties, but Maryland Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele is a fave." ... Bedard also predicts that if the Democrats take control of the U.S. House, and Baltimore native Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker, the big story will be "the stylistic changes the first woman in that job would inaugurate." "Gone would be the clubby feel of the current mostly male leadership. Instead, look for lots of flowers, bowls of San Francisco's Ghirardelli chocolate, and good art mixed in with photos of her grandkids," the magazine says. "Fashion might also return to Washington, but she doesn't get all the credit: Pelosi's husband buys her threads."

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