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The stories behind the restaurants — and the people who make them

This old west melodrama could do with more bullets and less monologues

Is there a smarter way to package our takeout?

Now at home in Maryland Zoo

Should we give up plastic bags?

Make a habit of carrying out lunch, and you’ll be as bad as Jonas

The loudness of their voices filled the darkness of the sleeping house — A memoir circa 1951

The house breathed noisily around the sleeping girl and dog.     This house was too new for ghosts to have gathered, but floors creaked and walls settled in stealthy metabolism. Blown by the whirring fan, summer-light white eyelet curtains sucked the screens. Outside in the big dark beyond the open windows, cicadas shrilled. When a breeze stirred, enclosing junipers ran their green fingers down the screens’ outer skin.     Inside, the bedroom was hung with...

Twin Beach Players stages to scare

Twin Beach Players is making a habit of scary world premieres. This Halloween, it’s H.G. Wells’ unsettling science fiction novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau, adapted by playwright-in-residence Mark Scharf. Last year Scharf adapted The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to Twin Beach Players’ time and place; in 2013, he gave us Frankenstein.      “I try to keep it simple,” Scharf said, “having an appreciation for the resources Twin Beach Players provide. It...

Dress warmly if you want to get in on the nighttime bite

Darkness had fallen. The scattered fishing boats had headed home with little success. I was alone on the water, and it was a good deal colder than a few minutes earlier, when the sun was shining its last.     But I had dressed well. Zipping up the neck of my fleece turtleneck under a flannel-lined shirt and closing my foul weather coat around me, I settled down to wait.     Arriving just as everyone else was leaving was a little chancy. If the fish had shown up...

Moving rifts on the decline of jazz and a family

“Jazz is life.” So says Jim Reiter, director of Colonial Players’ Side Man, billed as an elegy for a lost love and a lost world. Both jazz and life, he explains, are propulsive, rhythmic and sometimes distorted improvisations where we all riff on the expectations set before us.     Unfortunately, musicians can’t riff on life as easily as they can on a tune, which is the point of this autobiographical tragicomedy by Warren Leight (producer of TV’s...

Here’s the one way to kill kudzu and bamboo

These very invasive species cannot be killed by spray during the summer months. They grow so rapidly that the week killers knock back only the top of the plants and not the roots.     To kill the roots of perennial plants, the weed killer must translocate downward into the roots and rhizomes. For kudzu, you need only to kill the roots. For bamboo, you must kill both the roots and the rhizomes, the underground stems from which new bamboo canes appear.     ...

Guillermo del Toro’s moody gem is a love letter to Gothic literature

Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska: Madame Bovary) isn’t some silly girl with dreams of romance. The only daughter of a rich businessman, Edith wants to be a writer.     Then European aristocrat Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston: High-Rise), reduces her to one of her heroines. She swoons over his romantic speeches. She sighs gazing into his eyes. She trembles at his touch. Sure, his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain: The Martian) is a little odd. Yes, Thomas is broke, with only a...

Maritime historian Richard Dodds tells us how the era of recreational boating rose and flourished

From lighthouses to skipjacks, amphibious landings to speedboats, all that and more is in Richard Dodds’ portfolio as Calvert Marine Museum’s Curator of Maritime History. Inside the Solomons museum, runabouts, cruisers and speedboats that look both modern and classic illustrate how that chapter of maritime history rose and flourished in Southern Maryland. Visit the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis this weekend, and you’ll see the vast diversification of their descendants. It...

Young-of-the year index way up

Fish are jumping on Chesapeake Bay. The thousands too small to take home are good news for the future of rockfishing. In this year’s survey, juvenile striped bass approximately doubled the long-term average, 11.9. This year’s index found an average of 24.2 juvenile fish per sample. That’s the eighth highest on record, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which has conducted and analyzed samples since 1954.     From that good news, you can...

30,000-horsepower Healy makes the nation’s first solo visit

Satellites snatch glimpses of the North Pole effortlessly, but human visits remain a rare achievement — and a dream. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy reached the pole on September 5. Healy’s was the fourth ever visit by a U.S. surface vessel and the first to reach the pole unaccompanied.     Healy, the nation’s newest high-latitude vessel, is a 420-foot, 16,000-ton, 30,000-horsepower icebreaker. Reaching the pole required plowing through ice more than 10 feet...

USS Calvert carried thousands into three warsVeterans Visit Their Ship’s Namesake

Veterans of the USS Calvert (APA-32) and families visited Calvert County, their ship’s namesake, for the first time, on a day that coincided with a blustery nor’easter.     The veterans meet annually, this time in Baltimore, where they toured Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard, where the amphibious assault ship was built. They also visited the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.     Commissioned in October 1942, the Calvert served in Operation Torch, the...