A night for guys to be bad for good



November 05, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

THE MARTIN'S WEST BALLROOM WAS PACKED, BUT this wasn't your usual party crowd. Forget the swish of ball gowns and flowery centerpieces decorating the dinner tables. It was another centerpiece that these folks were centered on: the boxing ring set up in the middle of the room.

This was "An Evening Ringside" -- cocktails, dinner and six bouts of professional boxing. The night's proceeds would go to The Jonathan Ogden Foundation, which helps city school students use sports to improve academically. Ogden brought along a family member who had used sports to bring him in line when he was little: his grandfather, John Sneed.

"My granddad used to coach boxing in D.C., for the Police Boys Club, and he coached me," Ogden explained.

"I was a boxer professionally from 1946 to 1948," Sneed added. "It's very seldom that they have [boxing matches] now, so I'm looking forward to tonight."

Football blended well with boxing, it seemed. Former Ravens president David Modell was host for a table of friends on one side of the ring, while current Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti presided over another. And former Baltimore Colt Lenny Moore was spotted between the two.

Not everyone here was an old hand at the fighting game.

"I've never been to a boxing match in my life. This is a first," said Ralph Rizzo, R&R Events president and chief executive.

"This is fun," said sports investment banker John Moag, as he scanned the mostly male-filled room. "This is everything that's bad about guys -- fighting, booze and too much food."

And let's not forget that other favorite "bad" thing -- the cigar -- brandished (unlit) by restaurateur Steve DeCastro, as he strolled through the throng. This was a night where "bad" was most definitely good.


She loves fishing, football and food

Sonja Sohn (like many actresses, she does not reveal her age) plays Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs on the HBO series The Wire. The show, which is filmed entirely in and around Baltimore, is airing its fourth season. Sohn grew up in Newport News, Va., but has spent much of her adult life in New York City. She moved to Baltimore in 2003, first living in Fells Point, and now in Roland Park. She lives with her husband, Adam Plack, and daughter, Sophia, 16, who attends Baltimore School for the Arts. Sohn has another daughter, Sakira, 20, who lives in New York.

Are you the only The Wire principal cast member who lives in Baltimore year-round, not just while shooting?

Yes, I think so. ... I live here because during my first season, I worked so much. Both my daughters were [living] in New York City. My oldest was still in high school. And going back and forth was really difficult for me. I had a difficult time balancing the traveling, the mothering and the workload.

How does living here affect your husband's work?

He's a musician and a producer. ... He has a studio in the house, so he basically works from home. He's done work with Deepak Chopra. He writes the music for all [Chopra's] CDs. He's written lounge music. "Chill out" tracks. Just not rock. He's done [every kind of music] but rock.

So, you guys have been here three years. What do you think of Baltimore?

We just love the restaurants. For a town this size, there's a number of great places to eat. It's phenomenal.

What are your favorites?

[Salt] is one of my new faves. Believe it or not, we just love going to Ruth's Chris. The one next to Power Plant Live. My husband gets to smoke a cigar in the bar. And we run into friends there. Young people, not just stodgy people. Petit Louis and Brasserie Tatin. In Timonium, we love Christopher Daniel. And Kali's Court is the bomb.

Is eating your hobby?

Absolutely. It's my No. 1 hobby. That, and watching football.

Your favorite team?

The New York Jets.

Why are you such a football fan?

I grew up with my father and brother watching football on Sunday. My husband's from Australia. ... He got into [football] because a partner of his introduced him to it. So, I was able to explain it to him, and then I got back into it. It's the strategy of it all. The skill of the players. How the game can turn around on a dime. ... In baseball and basketball, there are the same players going on and off the field. But, in football, there are two different entries -- offense and defense in the same team -- that have to be firing on all cylinders. Because if one is firing and the other isn't, they can negate the progress the other is making. It's about all these players being plugged into a central force and having to maintain that.

You are passionate about football.

Yeah. Oh, and my new hobby: I started fishing this summer. ... We just bought a house in the Outer Banks, so I've gotten into fishing down there. And crabbing. ... I'm not cleaning [the fish] yet. Right now, I'm just reeling them in. I've been catching a lot of croakers, so I use them as bait for crabs. ... But I'm much more passionate about other things in life.



Beaux Arts Patrons Preview Party

Benefits Baltimore Choral Arts Society

Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, dinner buffet, first opportunity to view and buy art

Scottish Rite Temple, 39th and Charles streets / / 6 p.m. / / Tickets $100

Call 410-243-3400


Second annual Winetasting & Silent Auction

Benefits Midatlantic Cardiovascular Foundation

Wines, food stations

Linwood's Restaurant, 25 Crossroads Drive, Owings Mills 2 p.m. / / Tickets $100

Call 410-825-2372


Book Bash 2006

Benefits Literacy Works

Beer, wine, martinis, food stations, meet more than 50 authors, live music, holiday shopping

Greetings & Readings, Hunt Valley Towne Centre, 118-AA Shawan Road / / 6 p.m. / / Tickets $60 in advance, $70 at door

Call 410-887-2001 literacyworksinc.org

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