January 16, 2010
The woman wailed outside the ruins of Cathedrale de Notre-Dame de Port-au-Prince, the Roman Catholic cathedral that symbolized Haiti's religious fervor. "This is what God did!" she cried Friday morning. "See what God can do!" Tuesday's earthquake brought down the roof of the enormous pink-and-cream cathedral, filling the apse and nave with tons of rubble. The quake punched out its vivid stained-glass windows, twisted its wrought-iron fencing and sliced brick walls like cake. The western steeple, which had soared more than 100 feet in the sky, toppled onto parishioners praying at an outdoor shrine to St. Emmanuel.
May 6, 1994
If you were to compile a list of structural ruins as tourist attractions, you'd most likely think of sites in foreign countries -- Pompeii in southern Italy, or numerous decrepit castles throughout Europe.The United States, a relatively young nation, doesn't rate as a destination for devotees of ruins. The same could be said of Ellicott City (its reputation for antiques aside). But a private group, with help from the state and Howard County, aims to turn a local ruin into an attraction by making a seven-acre public garden park out of the crumbled stone building that once housed a young women's finishing school.
June 24, 2001
"Love Among the Ruins," by Robert Clark. W.W. Norton. 333 pages. $24.95. Lately, I'll be reading a book, come across a bogus line of dialogue, an improbable turn of plot unpersuasively written, an interior monologue that stinks of unprocessed journal entry, and I'll have to stop reading the book. I'll try to get back into the narrative, but no matter what psychological game I play with myself, I just can't do it. It's as if the book has broken in my hands. The spell is weak. The book doesn't work.
January 29, 1996
NEW ORLEANS -- The imaginary line between past, present and future has been under assault in America for a long time, but in New Orleans it has been breached beyond repair. A monument to this idea stands now at the heart of New Orleans, right by the Mississippi River, the Convention Center and the Aquarium, all prime tourist real estate.It's the two-thirds-finished Harrah's Casino. This architectural, civic, social and political nightmare is snarling traffic, making politicians foam at the mouth, and it gives the moralists among us a reason to shake our heads.
November 14, 1993
More than 150 years ago, on a hill overlooking the mill town that would become Ellicott City, young women of privilege walked the formal parlors and terraced gardens of the Patapsco Female Institute.There, the girls, many of whom had left Southern plantations for the middle and high school, were sequestered from the temptations of the town below. And there, the story goes, only old men were permitted on the grounds. Young men -- even cousins and brothers -- whom the headmistress considered potential distractions to her students, were forbidden to visit the institute.
June 3, 2011
You might have seen her in the audience, drawing pad on her lap, pencil swiftly sketching the drama before her — King Lear going mad, witches chanting over a bubbling pot, dueling Capulets and Montagues, or a brooding Hamlet. For as long as the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has performed these classic plays in the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute, local artist Mary Jo Tydlacka has captured the tragic and sometimes funny stories with her pencil and parlayed them into wildly colorful expressions worthy of the pathos of The Bard of Avon himself.