Monday, August 18, 2008

Trendy Monday: Baltimore, Again

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a couple of major national press mentions of the Baltimore food scene, speculating that we might actually be getting some of the recognition the city deserves for its interesting and diverse food community.

Last night, I came across a couple of things that may explain some of the newfound (and very warranted) attention. Sometimes it takes me a long time to finish a magazine, as is the case with this month's Baltimore Magazine. It's the Best of Baltimore issue (look for my name in the contributors list!) and in addition to the usual BoB stuff, includes an article on the tourism and marketing efforts of BACVA Pres and CEO Tom Noonan.

By all accounts, Noonan is a creative and capable tourism professional, and it sounds like Baltimore's lucky to have him. What caught my eye in the article were the several mentions of "the city's thriving restaurant scene". In fact, the Baltimore Mag article opens with a discussion of a recent event hosted by Noonan. He traveled to NYC, taking with him some of the stars of the local restaurant scene (Spike Gjerde and Timothy Dean) and cooked a meal for a bunch of food and travel writers. The event resulted in at least one article that's already in print: a Michael Schulman Talk of the Town piece in the New Yorker. Not exactly shabby placement.

Based on the New Yorker article, I'd say that Noonan and crew did a good job conveying Baltimore's quirky and fun personality. We're lucky to have John Waters, of course - invoking his name paints such a crystal clear picture of what this city's about. I'm glad, though, that the people in charge of marketing the city aren't stopping and starting with the Waters iconography...and that they're tapping into the food world to flesh out Baltimore's story.

As I've said before, it's about time that we get this sort of credit.

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